Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With 'Biggest Loser' Contestants; Interview With Tony Robbins

Aired December 30, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, as millions watched they lost 250 pounds together and found romance with each other. And now, from the reality hit "The Biggest Loser," Matt Hoover, the big winner, and second runner-up Suzy Preston, they're here to tell all.
And then renowned motivational speaker Anthony Robbins will tell you how you can achieve your dreams like they did. He'll take your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.

He's "The Biggest Loser." He's Matt Hoover and that, of course makes him a winner. They were both, he and Suzy Preston, involved in the NBC hit show "The Biggest Loser" and she was the second runner-up and he was the winner. What did you weigh at the start, Matt?

MATT HOOVER, WINNER "THE BIGGEST LOSER": : Three hundred and 39 pounds was my official weigh-in weight.

KING: And now?

HOOVER: My final weigh-in weight was 182 and I'd say right now I'm probably up to around 198 or so.

KING: Is that where you want to stay?

HOOVER: I started lifting weights. I want to put some muscle on and, you know, build back up that way. I don't need to be that thin for everyday walking around.

KING: What did you weigh Suzy?

SUZY PRESTON, RUNNER-UP "THE BIGGEST LOSER": I was 227. I know. I was a big girl, Larry, and my final weight was 132.

KING: And are you right now?

PRESTON: I want to live at 140.

KING: Why do you want to gain? You look great.

PRESTON: Well...

KING: Come on Suze (ph).

PRESTON: No, I don't want to gain any where I'm at right now but I know when I was at 140 that's -- you had to do things for the show and that was the -- that's my realistic number.

KING: One forty.

PRESTON: I don't want to gain, no, yes.

KING: How tall are you?

PRESTON: Five, four, but I got some muscle under here. I don't want to just be...

KING: When you see yourself, when you see yourself, Matt, and you were, there's no other way to put it, you were fat.

HOOVER: Yes, I was obese and I was very unhappy and I mean...

KING: Look at that.

HOOVER: Like you don't realize the hurt that that guy is carrying around, you know. I had to say goodbye to him on the final -- when we went home. I gave him a kiss goodbye because I'll never be that way again. I'm never going to feel that way again and I want others, you know, to be able to experience that.

KING: Why did you enter the show?

HOOVER: I'm a little different than Suzy and a lot of the other people. I was literally laying on the couch with a bag of chips on my gut and a beer in my hand watching season one and I was like, "What are they all crying about, you know? They're babies. I'm going to go on that show."

And, I applied and started the process and ended up on the show. And, for people who watched the show, they'll know that I cried almost every week. It was an emotional just roller coaster that I wasn't prepared for. I was ready for the physical but the emotional changes that took place I would never...

KING: What was the biggest emotional change?

HOOVER: For me it was letting go of the pains that I've had in my past. I went to the University of Iowa to wrestle. I fully expected to be an All-American and national champion, never did, and that ate at me every day from the time I left school. I'm 12 hours short of a degree. I left school. I stopped wrestling and took off and that seemed to become my pattern.

KING: Why did you let yourself go?

HOOVER: Just feeling bad. I felt bad for myself. I felt sorry for myself.

KING: So you ate?

HOOVER: And by doing that I ate, I drank significant amounts and...

KING: Beer?

HOOVER: Lots of beer.

KING: And you, Suzy?

PRESTON: And I kind of have a different story. I had been heavy all my life. I was the cute little chubby girl, you know. It's not so cute when you're 29 packing 227 and I was...

KING: I mean look at you.

PRESTON: Yes, big.

KING: Big. Did you date?

PRESTON: Did I date, no, no.

KING: You didn't date?

HOOVER: No, I was pretty much everybody's buddy. I don't want to be your -- you're like my brother.

PRESTON: Yes, I had a lot of -- yes.

KING: And so you like figured it was your metabolism or something you were born to be fat?

PRESTON: No. I do think that people are pre-dispositioned to carry weight or not but it's still the choice you make. It's still the choice if you put the food in your mouth or you if you don't...

KING: And you chose it?

PRESTON: active. The fact is I didn't -- I say that I didn't put myself on the list. I constantly did things for other people and didn't ever do anything that I really wanted to do, you know. If someone said, "Hey, can you do this" it was like I was there and it was like now I decided I needed to put myself on the list and actually take time, make healthy choices and to gain some confidence and feel better.

KING: Why did you enter the show?

PRESTON: It was kind of a fluke. I was at a client's house cutting her hair.

KING: You're a hairdresser.

PRESTON: Yes. And I was traveling around at the time, which is a thing that I've changed because I was working 12 hours a day and sitting in her kitchen watching her TV with her and the thing for an audition came on.

She goes "Oh, you would be the perfect person for that show," not like hey fat girl, get off your butt and hook it up. It was more like because we had talked about weight issues before and I was like there's no way I'm going on a reality show, please.

And that night I went online and looked and you could send in a tape and so I thought oh what the heck I like to make silly tapes and I made a silly tape and sent it in.

KING: Where was the show done?

PRESTON: Simi Valley, California.

KING: When you went through it you didn't think you'd win did you?

HOOVER: I did. I went into it -- I have always been a very competitive athlete and I've never done anything, even when I was at my worst, without thinking that I had a very good shot of accomplishing that. So, when I went into it, I knew that my cards had to fall right but if they did that I'd have a pretty good shot at being number one.

KING: Is the way you win losing the most weight or is it more things?

PRESTON: Yes, it's the basically reality show. Someone gets kicked off every week, so you have to stay on long enough but in the very end it gets eliminated to three finalists and then those three go home and compete at home. They put it in practice in real life and then you come back and the total percentage lost...

HOOVER: Percentage lost.

PRESTON: Highest percentage lost was the person that won. I think it was rigged. He's an athlete, come on. Of course he's going to win. I'm just a cute little chubby girl.

HOOVER: Suzy lost out on being the first runner-up by one pound, so I mean it was very close. There was definitely not a blow-out as far as who the overall champ was.

KING: Do you still feel chubby in there? Is there a little chubby person still in you?

PRESTON: Actually, honestly I'm fighting those thoughts because I just told you I'm just a cute little chubby girl and...

KING: But you're not but you said "I am."

PRESTON: I catch myself all the time doing that because the fact of the matter is I think and especially for girls, you know, weight is definitely a physical thing but it's a mental and emotional thing and if you don't change the thinking and how you feel about yourself then the physical will just come back on.

KING: Do you still feel like that?

HOOVER: I made a lot of changes. Actually the night of the final weigh-in was my being sober for nine months, so I stopped drinking. I had to change everything and I do sometimes catch myself thinking like I used to where it's like how do people see me when I'm -- like I'm like man I feel pretty chubby today but I'm walking down the street and people are like there's "The Biggest Loser." I'm like man if you knew how I'm feeling today.

But then on the same hand instantly I am. These people are looking to me as a role model now and I have to take that responsibility and be proud of that so I mean it's tough, you know. You've been like that for so long and making that change.

KING: So, no big desire for chips and beer or is it still there?

HOOVER: Not for beer, for chips.

KING: We'll take a break and we'll come back and find out how this thing started between the two of them and then Anthony Robbins. Don't go away.


HOOVER: I was a division one athlete. I wrestled at the University of Iowa for two years. I haven't always been big. In college I wrestled 177 and 190 pounds, you know. I was an (INAUDIBLE) athlete and I was once, you know, had potential, you know, to possibly be an Olympian and now I'm 340 pounds and can hardly walk up a set of stairs.




HOOVER: I used to be a pretty good athlete. I won a state title. I was thin. I was the guy to be around, the athlete.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just kicked ass for two hours.

HOOVER: I just (INAUDIBLE). You know you think that you're going to, you're so much worse off than what you believed. This show offers such a life-changing thing that it's so emotional and I never would have thought it.


KING: Boy you are emotional.


KING: You don't appear it now but you win $250,000 what are you going to do with it?

HOOVER: Invest it. I'm going to try my hardest not to (INAUDIBLE). It's funny you ask that because and the fact that Tony's here because the first thing I wanted to get when I got home was I went to the bank and took some money out so I could pay back people I owed.

And one of the people that I owed money to was Guthy-Renker who did the billing for the Tony Robbins tapes that I bought a year ago that I couldn't afford. I was like I'm going to try this, you know, and I couldn't afford it so actually the guy over there has got a little bit of my money now. But, you know, I paid back my debts and now I'm going to invest it.

KING: Oh, that's good. By the way now available on DVD is "The Biggest Loser, the Workout, Volume 1," there you see its cover and "The Biggest Loser Special Edition" premiers next week and you win $25,000 right?


KING: Did they pay you yet?


KING: (INAUDIBLE) work that out, work that for us.

PRESTON: It's been in the mail for quite a while.

KING: All right now how did this thing blossom between the two of you, you Suzy tell me first.

PRESTON: Well, he says it's when I cut his hair but...

KING: You cut his hair during the...

PRESTON: Yes because he had quite the mop and...

KING: I saw that, yes.

PRESTON: Yes, we all went and got makeovers and he was the only one that was like, nope, no one's touching my hair. And we're like oh, there he goes again. But and then I actually got an opportunity to cut his hair the following week because he saw -- I don't know why did you end up...

HOOVER: Well everybody looked so good, you know, I felt like I hadn't lost any weight yet. Everybody else looked so significantly different. I was like I want it now, you know, and I missed my opportunity but then fortunately Suzy (INAUDIBLE).

KING: So what happened while she was cutting it?

HOOVER: For me it was like...

KING: Magical touch.

HOOVER: Yes, it was. When she was cutting that hair it was falling off and I just felt like pieces, old pieces of me were just falling with it. It was a very -- it was probably the most pivotal moment on the show for me. I was like here it goes and she was a part of that, of me letting go of so many things that I didn't even know I was holding onto and when it was done I looked different. I felt different. I really smiled more. I mean I didn't cry as much. I mean I was, up to that point I was a wreck.

KING: So, are you a couple now? How would you describe the relationship as of now?


HOOVER: I think it's very new. I mean we just started hanging out after the show was over and, you know, we've had people "Are you getting married? Are you engaged?" It's like we're just finding out about each other and working together and hanging out but we spend a lot of time together.

PRESTON: Yes, we're dating, Larry.

KING: Well, so far do you like what you see?

HOOVER: You know, Suzy was very pretty even when she weighed 227 and I didn't like the, you know, the things I liked about -- didn't like about her weren't physical. It was her squeaky voice and (INAUDIBLE). There were things she didn't like about me so it was a very unique relationship and then it started off when we were both at our worst points. So, I never had to pretend that I was a super nice guy to impress her. She got the worst foot right off the bat and here she sits.

KING: So, how would you describe it now?

PRESTON: I would say we're dating, you know. You have to understand we were, yes we were together for these four months on the ranch but we couldn't stand each other. We only started liking each other the last few weeks while we were together.

Then we were separated completely for five months, no contact, and we've been back together now for a month. So, we're still, I mean it's a new relationship but, yes, I'd call him my boyfriend.

KING: So does that mean you're not seeing others at the moment?


KING: You are seeing others?

PRESTON: No, we're not! We're not.

KING: You're not seeing others and you're not seeing others?

HOOVER: Actually I am.

PRESTON: You are?

HOOVER: Sure. PRESTON: Who are you seeing?

HOOVER: Can't tell you.

KING: Oh, oh, see, lose weight and they -- but he's honest.

HOOVER: I've had marriage proposals from like five or six different girls.

PRESTON: Larry, do you know any single boys?

KING: Suzy he's giving it to you now right?

PRESTON: I know he better be.

KING: Good move though (INAUDIBLE) like that and they come running right?

PRESTON: You bet.

PRESTON: Dad, dad.

KING: So you live in?

HOOVER: I'm in Iowa.

KING: And you live in?

PRESTON: Seattle.

KING: So, that's a distance apart. How do you work this?

HOOVER: Phone bills, you know, talking. I think there's something to be said for talking to someone like that because you have to talk. You don't get messed up with, you know, the physical and stuff like that. It's like she's getting to know me. I'm getting to know her.

You don't have to worry about some of the things that can hinder a relationship because you really -- what are you going to do, you know? You're talking on the phone. You can't just go sit at dinner and stare at each other and eat. It's pick up the phone and talk and that's pretty unique.

KING: Are you still cutting hair?

PRESTON: Yes, I am when I'm home. We've been so wrapped up with...

KING: Do your clients not recognize you?

PRESTON: They had quite a shock when I came home the first time but a good shock but I have such great clients and family and friends. They're so supportive.

KING: And what do you do Matt? You're not working now right? HOOVER: No, I've just been doing this. Actually I just recently got since things have slowed down I talk to a lot of middle school and high schoolers about my experience and try to help them along the way because I think that a lot of times we overlook those kids and sometimes by the time you're an adult you definitely are capable of change but it's a little harder and if you can learn from someone else's experience at a young age and that's what I'm really focusing on now.

KING: When you look in the mirror what do you see?

HOOVER: I see someone that's focused and driven.

KING: And slim?

HOOVER: Slim, you know, needs to shave a little bit but I mean I see a different person than what we saw at the beginning of the show.

KING: And you Suzy?

PRESTON: Yes and I try to -- I remind myself that every time I look in the mirror.

KING: Good luck to both of you.

PRESTON: Thank you very much.

KING: Thank you guys.

HOOVER: Thank you.

KING: Matt Hoover and Suzy Preston the winners of "The Biggest Loser."

And when we come back they're square now, don't owe him anything, Tony Robbins. Don't go away.


KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE an old, dear friend on this eve of New Year's Eve, Tony Robbins. Anthony Robbins is the best-selling author and motivational speaker and authority on the psychology of leadership and negotiations and peak performance. He's worked with people all over the world.

His newest DVD program is the Ultimate Relationship, there you see its cover. It's, what is it, five sets?

ANTHONY ROBBINS, BEST-SELLING AUTHOR, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER: Yes, it's actually ten. It's a ten-day program.

KING: Speaking of relationships what do you make of our two losers?

ROBBINS: First of all they're adorable and they're amazing what they've accomplished, probably a little uncomfortable to find out on national television that you're not exclusive in a relationship but I'm glad he was honest with her to say the least, maybe good to maybe give her a little clue in advance.

KING: What about their motivation extraordinary isn't it?

ROBBINS: Extraordinary.

KING: That's a Robbins kind of thing right?

ROBBINS: Well, actually as he said, he told me in the Green Room that he got my program about a year ago before this all started and decided to apply for this thing and tapped into things and so he just sent me a check. I guess he bounced a check (INAUDIBLE).

But, you know, it's the chemistry of transformation that's interesting to study. It's to see what does it take for somebody to finally get satiated with where they are, you know.

Sometimes satiation comes because you're just so sick of so much pain. In his case it was a competitive thing. It's like oh I can beat those guys. And everybody has a different way that they get there.

KING: It's how you use it right?

ROBBINS: That's right how you turn the drive on.

KING: Why mostly, we're at New Year's Eve, why usually do resolutions not work?

ROBBINS: Because they have nothing to do with really resolving anything. They have more to do with deciding something you'd like to have happen. When we resolve something...

KING: More a wish?

ROBBINS: It's more a wish. It's a hope. It's what I think I should do and it's often a reaction to what we don't like. And when you really resolve something the shift in that is real because here there's an identity shift.

It's kind of like when people say to me, "Well, I've not smoked a cigarette for ten days" and I'll say, "Why are you counting so you can tell people how many days you last when you go back?"

Because when you're a person who's made a shift in your identity you're not a smoker anymore. It's not a fight anymore like trying to smoke or not smoke. You just say "I'm not a smoker." If somebody offered you a cigarette, you wouldn't say what brand is it? You'd say, "No it's not who I am."

KING: Yes.

ROBBINS: So, making that shift in identity is what makes a permanent change. Resolving something requires that you cut off any possibility of going backwards. It's burning the boat so you take the island and most people don't do that.

KING: A definition of insanity is repeating the same act expecting a different result then a lot of people are nuts, right, by that concept right?

ROBBINS: That's true.

KING: Why do we do that?

ROBBINS: Well, I don't think it's conscious. I think what it is for most people is most of us have a desire for a greater life but we don't really believe we can make that happen. That's why guys like Matt and Suzy are so inspirational to us.

But I think it's really important each year to remember the things you have accomplished and get associated to it. It's that lack of certainty that makes us not follow through. We basically get caught up in living our lives and these goals are desires on the shelf. We fight the traffic. We come home, watch TV and do our e- mails and then go to bed and start the whole cycle over again.

But people who really change are people that get satiated and they get disturbed enough with something and they usually find an insight. They find something inside themselves that makes them make a real shift where they say, "You know what" like he did, "This is all about a bunch of emotions. I'm disappointed that I'm not this world champion athlete and now I'm sitting in my pity pot and it's time to change." If we can get to the truth we can change anything.

KING: Even successful people can have insecurities right?

ROBBINS: Almost everybody does. We're all afraid at some level that we're not enough in some context or that we won't be loved. It's human nature. I don't care. I've dealt with presidents of the United States, you know, prisoners, children, everybody in between. It's part of the nature of being a human being that we are born in dependency to another human being to survive and they got to love us.

KING: We're learning a lot tonight. Why are emotions so hard to change? Why, for example, if someone is in a relationship they know isn't good, why do they have such trouble leaving it?

ROBBINS: Because...

KING: Why do abused women stay in relationships?

ROBBINS: Because most people would rather -- most women, for example, would rather have some form of attention than to be ignored or to feel completely empty as horrible as that sounds or because someone has a linkage to that's what love is.

I'll tell you I believe human beings have six needs. We need certainty that we can be comfortable that we can avoid pain and have pleasure. We need uncertainty to feel alive, to add variety, that spice of life. We need to feel significant, something Matt felt like he lost to feel like we're unique, special in some way. We need to feel loved and we need to grow or feel like we're dying no matter how successful we are or how happy we seem to be on the outside. And we need to contribute beyond ourselves so our life has meaning.

When somebody gets addicted to their problems, any time you start linking in your mind that by doing something, like eating, you meet many of your needs, it becomes an addiction even though it's painful, even though you're overweight because it gives you comfort, certainty.

When you eat you get variety. You're bored. You're frustrated. You eat. You have a total state change. You're giving yourself a little gift. You're giving yourself a little connection with yourself.

KING: And how about people who do things that hurt themselves? I mean it tastes good to eat a Twinkie.


KING: You feel good to eat it. How about people who bring pain to themselves?

ROBBINS: Well, most people are drugging themselves with something, if it's not food, if it's not alcohol, if it's not overworking, it's their problems because if you have a big enough problem and you can talk about it to yourself or other people you can say, see it's not I'm so screwed up, it's just I have OCD or I was raped or I've been through this horrible experience.

And it may be absolutely true but the focus on that shows that there's something insignificant in your life. It's not you that's the problem. It's something you can't control and it's a way of connecting with yourself, feeling sorry for yourself.

KING: You said everyone wants to be loved. Does everyone also want to love?

ROBBINS: I think everyone wants to be loved. Whether everybody wants to love is a part of emotional maturity. When you're a baby people always say, you know, babies are so loving. I say, wait a second, babies are loving when you give them everything they want.

Some people are 50 and they're still a baby. They want to get love but they don't want to give it. Part of our maturing as human beings is our capacity to want to give it and getting the juice from giving it because the feelings inside of you fill you up.

KING: There are some people who don't want to give it right?

ROBBINS: Well, some people are afraid.

KING: They hold back. They won't commit. They...

ROBBINS: Well they're afraid that, you know, it won't be reciprocated or they'll get it for a while and it will disappear. So, part of what, you know, we try to do with people in relationships is to change the orientation from this egocentric, what am I getting out of this, or the kind of trading love where I'll give to you as long as you get to me, to a place where you get addicted to turning your partner into a place of excitement where you can't wait to please them, to support them, to love them. And when you get addicted to giving your heart instead of trying to get it you're filled up with what you're giving.

KING: Yes. And in that can result in, I'm sure you discuss in your relationship, envy and jealousy right?

ROBBINS: Oh, without a doubt.

KING: Because it's ownership.


KING: What do you do with that?

ROBBINS: Boy you got a lot of question today. I'm really bouncing all over the place. I like this.

KING: Well, you got a relationship book, ten tapes.

ROBBINS: I think...

KING: We're going to go to other areas.

ROBBINS: The secret I think with that jealousy again is that's where you're still trading. I own you. I gave you this and therefore you have to love me. The greatest love of all is where you're willing to love somebody and even give somebody up. Many people in their lives, one of their greatest moments, my mother, I had this conversation with my mother just recently.

I said to her, one of the things I'm most proud of her is that she was in a relationship with a man who was 15 years her junior and he had not had children and she loved this man.

She loved him more than any of the other three or four fathers that kind of moved in and out of my life by far and she let him go because she knew that she was in a different stage of life and she did not want him to not have children and not have that life and then he died. He was in a car accident.

And she was telling me that how horrible this event is and that she played God and I said, "No, mom, it's one of the moments I'm most proud of you in life because you were completely unselfish. You didn't let go of him because you were getting anything.

You let go of him because you loved him so completely it wasn't a trade. You loved his soul and you wanted him to be happy and you did what you believed was right." And he knew before he died that he was loved completely and unconditionally. That's something most human beings will never know and that's one of the things I'm most proud of in my mom. KING: We'll be right back with Tony Robbins, terrific guy and he's helped so many people. His newest DVD program the Ultimate Relationship. We'll talk about his involvement in the recent series of events that led to capital punishment in California. Don't go away.


ROBBINS: When you guys were making love did you want more?



ROBBINS: You wanted to go even further?


ROBBINS: Did you tell him that?


ROBBINS: The truth is you don't feel free in your life do you? What prevents you from being free?


ROBBINS: What are you trying to avoid losing by being gutless?


ROBBINS: And what if I told you that that very gutless is what's causing you to lose her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wouldn't believe it.

ROBBINS: When's the last time you stepped up and faced something intense and just dominated when's the last time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not for a long time, years.



KING: We'll get to Tookie Williams in a moment, and we'll go back to him later--back to relationships later. In your ultimate relationship program you have six essential rules, understanding, giving, trust, intimacy, honesty and alignment.

What to you mean by alignment?

ROBBINS: Well, one of the most biggest challenges I think people have in relationships very often is that they're not aligned. I remember I was actually going to Fiji one time. We were talking about this off the air here. And my wife and I are very playful. So I get in one line and she gets in the other. Everything is, you know, a game or a race together. And there is a man behind me that said, Tony. And I didn't know he was there. And he was a very famous man here in L.A., a very famous agent.

And he said, well, what are you doing here? And I said, I'm going to my home to my resort. And he said, well, I have just gotten married. I am on my honeymoon. And I said, well, where is your wife? And he said, she's over there. And she's standing next to my wife, my pearl Sage.

And so, I said, how did you meet? And he told me. And I said, how long have you been together? And he said, 10 years. I said, you're just getting married now after 10 years. He goes, yeah, she really wanted it.

So after a little talking I said, well, are you going to have kids? The question everybody asks. He said, well, no, I made it clear. This is my second marriage I've already been through that. I am not having kids.

And I thought, well, have you discussed it with her? He said, she wants it, but I told her no. So sure enough I am thinking this relationship is going to have some problems. There is not alignment here to start with.

So when I get out of line, my wife says, honey, oh my God, are they in trouble. I said, why? She said, she said that he thinks they're not going to have kids, but she says she'll be pregnant, you know, within nine months.

So when you don't have alignment in your relationship around goals and around values. Yes, it doesn't have to be identical, but it has to aligned.

KING: Do you believe in soul mates?


KING: You do ?

ROBBINS: I do. I met my wife...

KING: Meant for each other?

ROBBINS: Beyond meant for each other, greatest gift of my life. I would give everything I have experienced in my life, which has been a very, very challenging life but also very, very privileged life, to be with my wife. There is nothing on earth that comes close to it.

I, you know, been with presidents, and I've had you know--I can tell you a day, I was with 18,000 people in a room, one of my big seminars, right? One of the biggest ones in those days.

And I took my company public and I made $400 million in a day, and I was like isn't this really great. And I went home and I was depressed. And no B.S. And the reason was the money didn't matter.

I loved what I was doing. When I was on stage giving my soul I was being myself, but when I went home the relationship I was in, it was a great woman, but everything about me is loud and intense. And, you know, I'm not a very quiet guy, and it's like everything was annoying.

So I had to be someone I wasn't. And so I was miserable. And I thought to myself, you know, I don't want to be one of those VH-1 specials where, you know, these guys at the peak of their success, you know, somebody gets killed or they, you know, become alcoholics or something like that.

And I said, I have got to make a change. And I made that change in my life, and I made a list of everything I want in a relationship, every single thing. And I was so detailed, Larry, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

I got to have some intellect. I got to have somebody who can pitch and catch with me not just somebody who is going to say, oh, Tony, isn't that great? I need somebody who challenges me. I wish I had never thought of that, but my wife she is unbelievable.

But then I also made what I wouldn't want in my life. And this woman and I were friends for six months. I was dating other women. I'd call her and say, she was my coach. I'd say, you know, why do we want to marry on the first date? And we'd laugh.

And after six months I finally said, why haven't we ever dated? And she said well, I don't have to date you to love you. And I thought what an idiot I am.

But the moment we met was a soul connection. There was no sexual attraction. It was just like I walked across the room I looked in her eyes and I said, you are so beautiful. I said, I mean inside beautiful. I said, because I wasn't attracted to her, but I felt this like soul.

And so our friendship grew and then we dated. And we still didn't have any passion, honestly.

KING: And how did that grow?

ROBBINS: That grew by us becoming more of ourselves. Most of us have worked most of our lives to be a certain way. I mean I used to have my hair glued in place and my tie. And, you know, try to, you know, be Mr. Success, you know, and I was in my 20's and all that stuff.

But I'm a wild man and my woman is, too. And we were very, very both of us. She had her hair tied in a bun, and, you know, she's a phlebotomist. She does blood. And she's a dietitian and she's an acupuncturist.

And so she was, you know, playing the doctor role, and I was playing the good boy role. And we just found each other souls and got into it. And opened each others up. And when you're real, you have real passion.

KING: You mentioned you had to change the situation you're in. Isn't change the hardest thing to do?

ROBBINS: It is. It is the hardest thing. But the question is how. And I think you either do it proactively where you finally say, you know what, I'm not willing to settle. I am going to make this thing to happen or it happens in a reaction usually.

Somebody has got so much pain they can't take another day of being that overweight. They can't take another day of being in bed with somebody that they really like but they don't love.

You know, you have got to make a shift. Life goes by.

KING: One way or another it is going to end, though?

ROBBINS: It is going to.

KING: Why did you get so involved in Tookie Williams?

ROBBINS: That was interesting. I...

KING: It seemed out of your view.

ROBBINS: Yes, I'm not somebody who like runs around and protests, you know, the death penalty. I'm actually for the death penalty, at least I been in areas where I think there is violent crime. That is just premeditated.

But in Stanley's case I happened to see the movie "Redemption." And I saw it during the summer. And I am always interviewing people like yourself. I don't do it for sport. I do it to learn, and I seek people out.

So I talked to some friends, and I said, I would like to meet this man. Because Jamie Foxx can make anybody look good. You know, he can make anybody look good. Of course, he looks like a hero here.

And then in the midst of that his final appeal was rejected. And so I went up to San Quentin with a dear friend of mine, Tim Blitzith (ph), a friend of ours also, and went up and met Stan. And spent about four hours with him on death row.

And I asked him penetrating questions everybody told me not to ask him because that is my nature. I would say, now tell me why you wouldn't have done it then? I can see why you wouldn't do it now. Why wouldn't you do it then?

And he told me some story. And then I went and did the research, and then I interviewed just about everybody I could in the case. And then I did a two-hour interview with him. And, like you, I have had a great privilege.

I haven't have 40,000 interviews, but I've been with Mother Teresa and, you know, the Dalai Lama and presidents and people of that nature. I have had a chance to coach them.

He's one of the most unique human beings I have ever met in my life. Somebody whose level of congruency about who he is as a man was so strong that he wouldn't beg and he wouldn't give up--listen, I could beg or I could apologize for this.

He said, I apologized for everything I have done in my life. But I can't apologize for something I didn't do. The only thing I have left is integrity after six years in the hole in solitary confinement.

So I went and did the research. We worked with a team. I worked his clemency lawyers. We went to the victims themselves because that is who I was most concerned about. What do they feel? And nobody published the fact that they didn't want him to be executed. We got letters to the governor directly about that.

And the basic argument was simple. Even if you believe in the death penalty, this man isn't going anywhere. We gave 60,000 e-mails to the governor from people who he has changed their lives.

KING: You are a friend of the governor's right?

ROBBINS: Yes, we are friends.

KING: Did you talk to him?

ROBBINS: Yes, talked to him.

KING: Did you talk to Tookie before he died?

ROBBINS: Yes, we did.

I'll tell you an interesting moment that will define him. If you want to know who Stan really was.

KING: Well, let me get a break.

ROBBINS: OK. I'd love to have people know this.

KING: This is called a grabber. Show business. We'll be right back with Anthony, my man, Robbins. Don't go away.



ROBBINS: Now you got a pattern of looking at women and judging them by the exterior. We can't talk about it. We have got to break that pattern. So I want to ask you, has there been a time when you were like especially shallow when you looked at a woman and just thought you were better than she was?

JACK BLACK, ACTOR: All the time.

ROBBINS: All the time?

BLACK: Oh yes.

ROBBINS: Can you name one specific time when you were really shallow?

BLACK: Oh, yes. I got one.

ROBBINS: You lose. Come out.

BLACK: What the hell are you doing, banana hands?


KING: Tony Robbins. If you've never been to a Robbins seminar, and I've worked at a few of them. Although I don't understand why I'm there, I have no message to deliver. There is no experience like it.

OK. You have a story about the last moments of Tookie Williams.

ROBBINS: Yes, when we were actually here I was on the air with you when the governor said there would be no stay of the execution, which was around 6:00 p.m.

And Barbara Becknell was there with him, who was the woman who supported him for 13 years. And she was the one to tell him that there was no stay. And he shrugged his shoulders and he said, listen, I don't want you guys to worry. He said, I would like to talk to each of you in my final minutes where I have to leave.

He sat down with each person individually. Said thanks to myself and Steve who had been working to help him. But his whole focus was on them. You know, making sure they didn't feel like failed him and trying to support them because he knows he's going to die.

And he said, you know, even though I didn't commit these murders. He said, it's karma because I did so many bad things in my life. I am being basically tried for me as a symbol.

But the most moving thing was the last thing he did before he left through the doors to the area where they're preparing him for his execution, was he turned to the guard and he said, listen--you probably know, Larry, in the last 30 days the man who is condemned is put in a special set of cells that are a few feet from the execution chamber.

And they have 24-hour guard on you with machine guns because they don't want you to commit suicide.

KING: God forbid you should die.

ROBBINS: Yes, the state needs to do it. You can do it yourself.

KING: Absurd.

ROBBINS: And so even when you're showering, there's not a moment of privacy. And so he turns to this guard. The last thing he said before anybody saw him being executed was, I just want to tell you, I haven't had a moment of privacy--not a moment of dignity for 30 days. He said, you're the only guard that gave me ten minutes of dignity and looked away when I was showering myself.

He said, you can't imagine what that meant to me. And he said, I really want to thank you. And the guard starts to cry, and he walks through the doors.

And then Barbara, he said, I don't want anybody to witness my death. I don't want you to go through the trauma. He is worried about everybody else. This it the man who is the killer. He was a killer or he was a gang banger years and years ago, but that was 24 years ago.

He said to Barbara, I don't want you to go in there. She said I will not let you go in a room where only people want to kill you, where there is only hate. He said, well if you're going to be there I want you not to worry. So he said I will look up and I will smile at you, so you know everything is OK.

And then instead of five minutes to kill him, as you know, it took 38 minutes because he is so muscular. They kept missing veins. So he had to help them find the vein to kill him. And then he was getting frustrated.

And he looked up because he didn't want Barbara to suffer. And he looked up and smiled at Barbara right before he died. So, they, what value that wasn't taken out of man who has helped so many thousands, tens of thousands, of kids.

And, you know, as I said, the victims didn't want him--the victims' families didn't want him to be murdered. The victim's groups like Mothers Cry No More all lost their kids, you know, to gang bangers, who are pro-death penalty, didn't want him to go. But, for whatever reason, the decision was made.

So at the funeral I got to see his son.

KING: And you spoke, right?

ROBBINS: Yes, we had Louis Farrakhan and Jesse Jackson and myself. And it went on for about four hours. Four hour day.

KING: You will see Arnold? You're a friend of Arnold's?


KING: What will you say to him?


KING: What and why?

ROBBINS: Why? Why did you do it? I really want to know why. And have a dear friend, Steven Reuther, who knows him very well, as well. And they're having dinner tonight so I'll probably hear the first version of that, and then I'll see Arnold in Sun Valley when we go there for vacation.

KING: Blue Springs, Missouri. We take some calls for Tony Robbins. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Tony. I was curious what got you motivated into the motivational speaking arena?

ROBBINS: Well, that's a good question. I hate the term motivational speaker. I'm kind of saddled on it.

KING: What do you call it?

ROBBINS: I'm really a coach. I'm a people performance coach. I started kind of a coaching industry, life coaching, about a quarter of a century ago.

KING: All right. What got you into coaching?

ROBBINS: What got me into it is I am always interested in what made the differences in people's lives. You know, why is it one person is given everything family, love, support, and they spend the rest of their life--a great education--they spend their life coming in out of rehab.

And then there's somebody else out there who is sexually abused, emotionally abused, physically abused, you know, on Oprah and they come on and they spend the rest of their life making a difference in the world.

So I wanted to know what those differences were, and I wanted to know not just out of curiosity. I want to change my own life as much as anything else.

And so, I didn't have any role models. So I started with books, and I thought, I'm going to read a book a day. And I took a speed reading course and I didn't read a book a day, but in seven years I read about 700 books in the area of human development, psychology, philosophy, physiology, anything I thought would make a difference in the quality of life.

And I made changes to myself. I started with my body. And my friends saw the change. And they said, what do you do? And I told them. And then I helped one of my buddies lose 20 pounds, and I got love for it. And I'm a love bug.

And so I got hooked. I thought I got to always have the answer. I always want to be able to give something. So I was obsessed with having answers.

In then in my 20's I was exposed to what was then the cutting edge, something called NLP. And I learned how to like wipe out a lifetime phobia in less than an hour.

KING: What does it stand for?

ROBBINS: Pardon me?

KING: What does it stand for?

ROBBINS: Neuro-linguistic programming. The study of how language affects the nervous system. And I used these tools. I was no better than anybody else. But I was gutsy, I guess, or crazy or stupid or all the above.

And I challenged traditional psychologists and psychiatrists on the radio in Canada, which is where I started, and said, give me your worst patient. I'll handle them in an hour. Give me somebody with a lifetime phobia. Give me somebody who works with a fear.

So, this psychiatrist called up on the air and started attacking me and said I was a liar and you can't do that. And I said, listen, you have never met me. I'm respectful of your opinion.

But if you're a scientist you have to test your hypothesis so why don't you come and bring me one of your patients. Bring me somebody you have never been able to cure. I am doing a free guest event at the Holiday Inn. Bring me somebody. Who do you got?

And this person said, well, I can't make them do this. And I said, don't you have somebody who is willing to try something new. And long story short, they brought me this woman who had a lifetime phobia. The psychiatrist worked with her for seven years.

KING: Fear of what?

ROBBINS: Snakes. Dreaming this recurring dream, where she would have a snake come and bite her on the face. And that was so real it would cause adrenaline shoot through her body and she would wake up.

He had been treating her three to four times a week, seven years. I said bring her down that should take me 15 or 20 minutes. So that is what made my career. Because instead of 100 people showing up, you know, 500 people showed up to see the shoot out between me and this psychiatrist.

KING: What did you do?

ROBBINS: I used a simple technique. I didn't even create it. It came from NLP, but I did it. And if you've ever seen a phobia, a phobia is an uncontrolled response to something. It's not just an intellectual fear.

KING: Afraid to get near an airport if you're afraid of planes.

ROBBINS: Or you start shaking out of control. So, I said, ma'am, how do you feel about the snakes? And she started shaking, and, you know, the guy in the front row is going I bet she didn't know she was that bad. And I'm thinking, I didn't know she was that bad.

And I did this little simple technique on her. And it took me about 15 minutes, but when I was done I brought out a snake and wrapped around her. And that became my signature because now I had-- people thought I was setup so now I would take anybody's phobia.

Somebody had been stuttering for 30 years, and I figured out how to stop the stuttering.

KING: That's not a phobia though is it?

ROBBINS: No, it is a very different technique.

KING: We'll take a break and be right back with the extraordinary Tony Robbins. Don't go away.


ROBBINS: Her job is to try to hurt you. Your job is to show nothing will ever hurt me because I love you. You can scream. You can yell. You can smack me. Well, you are never getting away. I will take care of you forever.

Tell him what you are afraid to tell him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The constant negative crap in the household...

ROBBINS: The more she does this become more of a man. A man that is like I love you and whatever it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you to death.

ROBBINS: That's it.



KING: Tony has a Web site and you got a program on it, before we take the next call. What is it?

ROBBINS: Yes, it's called New Year, New Life. It's free. Anybody...

KING: New Year, New Life?

ROBBINS: New Year, New Life.

KING: How appropriate!

ROBBINS: Well, when you told me that you wanted me to come on this morning, I went out and did it for you, and you can do it for about 15 minutes, and would love to have people join us there. And also, people interested in coaching or any of the other resources we have, they'll be available on our Web site.

KING: Where do they tap in?


KING: And you've got this -- you came with this program this morning?

ROBBINS: I came up with it this morning, because I knew we were going to be here, so I figured we should create something, because I knew you were going to ask me a million questions, and I want people to have a system...

KING: New Year, New Life. Just go to Tony --


KING: Do you have a resolution? What do you want to change, big man? And you are a big man. What do you want to change?

ROBBINS: Well, I'm really proud this year. We've had 2 million people between Thanksgiving and Christmas at my foundation, and I want to make that 2.5 million. We keep growing at 25 percent on that.

KING: Any personal thing you want to change?

ROBBINS: Well, I am going to create more leverage, more impact with less time. I own a resort in Fiji. It's a top-rated resort, and we aren't there enough. So we're going to spend five weeks there. And I'm really proud of what I'm doing in the wellness field. I own a company with two partners called Metabalife, we just bought it this year, we bought Twin Labs, we bought Rebas (ph) Publishing, and we're bringing science and the ability to understand how to change your emotions. Like these guys change the way -- not because they just diet and exercise. Because they have emotional fitness, psychological strength. And that's really what we're going to bring to the table.

KING: Lily, Kentucky, hello.



CALLER: This is Evelyn, and this question is for Tony.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I've been married 31 years, and I got married at 17, and it don't seem like our marriage is going anywhere. It don't seem like we've got anything. Recently, my mother died, December the 8th, and I've cried my eyes out. And it don't seem like I have anybody to turn to.

And what you said a while ago was easier to walk out sometimes by telling someone that you love them more, and I'm just about at that point. I've never been alone and I'm afraid to be alone.

KING: There's a common fear. Staying in this situation you're not happy because you're afraid to be alone. ROBBINS: Well, you're also -- you're experiencing so much pain that the reflection is going to be on everything in your life, including your relationships. So, first, I send you my love and my condolences.

And I'll tell you, the steps of what to take aren't easy, but they are simple. The first thing you're going to have to do is get you strong again, because in the state you're in right now, to leave your relationship would be the easy way and yet the scary way, as you said. You know, because it means being alone. It sounds like you're more scared of that than even staying in a relationship where you're unhappy.

The first thing that I would do would be to make a shift in you, emotionally. You need more emotional muscle, if you will, or strength. And the way to start with that would be your body. What kind of physical condition are you in?

KING: She has no -- she's off.

ROBBINS: Oh, she's off, I'm sorry. So I'll just tell you, the first thing that I show people how to do, is we all have certain states of mind and emotion where we do the right thing automatically, where you're in the flow. We also have states where we can't, you know, find, you know, whatever we need with both hands. You know, we can't remember our own home telephone number.

There is a process we teach of how to condition your mind and emotions so that you're able to get yourself to follow through and take action. It's like any other muscle. If you don't use determination, it doesn't get stronger, it gets weaker. Faith unused gets smaller.

KING: Can she go on your Web site?

ROBBINS: She can go on our Web site. She can do that. And if she will call back in and leave her number, I'll assign a coach to her to help her turn around, because she's going to need more than just some information.

KING: If you'd call back, ma'am, and give us -- if you can get through, give us the number to our producers.

ROBBINS: And I'll get you a coach and get somebody started on a 90-day program with you.

KING: And he will. Yorktown, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, this is Debbie.

KING: Hi, Debbie.

CALLER: Hi, Tony. How are you?

ROBBINS: I'm doing great. How are you, Debbie? CALLER: My -- I'm pretty good. My comment is, it's extremely hard to find a relationship in these days, but especially for women, because women have to be educated how to respect themselves. They need a man, they go out for dinner, and what do you think happens that night? Why do you think a lot of men don't want to commit any more? Because these women are too easy, and it makes it bad for us, good women. So, how do you find a good guy out there and how do we educate our own gender?

KING: I've got to get a break right away, but...

ROBBINS: OK, I'll give you a two-second version. Educating your own gender is not something that I can do for you. I think that has to be done by women. My wife does that.

KING: Is she right? Are more women -- are women looser now? Is that necessarily a fact?

ROBBINS: I don't know that that's true, but our culture...

KING: Certainly (INAUDIBLE).

ROBBINS: Our culture has shifted. Sexuality for a younger generation has certainly changed in terms of how it's seen and the experience. But I think the question about how do you find the right person is three-fold. One, you have got to first be clear about what it is you want. Because if you don't know what you want, you didn't know if it walked by. And most people are so caught up in the belief system that all the good ones are gone, there's nobody left today. You have to give up that story and get crystal clear what you want, what you don't want.

Second thing you have to do, though, is, you have got to be worthy of that person. You have got to make a list of what kind of person would you have to be to attract the kind of man you say you want? And you've got to work on yourself first. This idea of going after what you want almost never works. When you are living your life and you're happy and you're fulfilled and you're strong, you attract people to you, very differently than when you are saying there aren't any good ones and I'm getting older and what is going to happen?

KING: We'll be right back with our remaining moment or so with Tony Robbins. Don't go away.


KING: Want to wish you on behalf of Tony and myself a very, very happy new year. We'll be on tape tomorrow night, of course. And we want to remind you to watch Anderson Cooper tomorrow night. He will host a gala New Year's Eve special, starting at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 Pacific.

So, we'll be on one shot tomorrow night at 9:00 with the women of country music, and then watch Anderson Cooper at 11:00 from Times Square. I know you can't wave your magic wand and change things. Do you think we'll ever going to see people stop killing people? Only got 20 seconds. Do you think we'll ever see it?

ROBBINS: It will take a change in human consciousness, because, unfortunately, killing, violence is the fastest way to feel significant. You don't have an education, don't have a background, I put a gun to your head and I'm in the hood, I'm significant, I'm certain you're going to respond. I don't know what you'll do next, I got variety, and I'm connected to you in a sick way. So it's one of our deepest problems and yet it meets many human needs. It destroys us, and yet it meets needs temporarily. So a change in consciousness is the only thing that will shift. That's beyond what I can do by myself, that's for sure.

KING: Thanks, Tony.

ROBBINS: Thank you. Good to see you, Larry.

KING: Anthony Robbins. And don't forget, his new DVD program, "The Ultimate Relationship." You want to go on his Web site for New Year, New You. It's

Tomorrow night, the women of country music. And then, Anderson Cooper with his New Year's Eve special. Right now, "ANDERSON COOPER 360" is next. Good night.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines