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Interview With David Hasselhoff's Ex

Aired May 7, 2007 - 21:00   ET




LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, "Baywatch" star David Hasselhoff temporarily barred by a judge's ruling today from seeing his teenaged daughters -- this after having one of them shoot these heartbreaking images of Dave, a divorced dad and recovering alcoholic drunk on a floor.


TAYLOR-ANN HASSELHOFF: Tell me right now or I'm -- I'm not going to talk to you ever again.


KING: And now exclusive -- his ex-wife Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff's first interview on that shocking video.

Does she see it as a cry for help or as a leverage factor in a bitter custody battle?

I'll ask her.

And then, David Hasselhoff's attorneys respond in their first interview, with questions and claims of their own.

Who leaked the video? How is David handling today's decision that keeps him apart from his daughters?

An intense emotional exclusive hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

It's the marital split that got a tidal wave of media coverage around the world.

David Hasselhoff, star of the global smash series "Baywatch," and before that, "Knight Rider," and his wife of 16 years, Pamela Bach- Hasselhoff. Their divorce done, David and Pamela are each pushing for sole physical custody of their two daughters.

And today a bombshell in court. A judge temporarily suspended David's visitation with the girls just two days after Taylor's 17th birthday. Her sister Haley turns 15 in August.

Right now, here's a look at that videotape, provided by "Extra," that led to today's court ruling.


T. HASSELHOFF: Tell me you're going to stop.

D. HASSELHOFF: I'm going to stop.





This is M.S.


KING: We welcome Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff to LARRY KING LIVE, as well as her attorney, Debra Opri.

Any idea when that tape was recorded, Pamela?

PAMELA BACH-HASSELHOFF, EX-WIFE OF DAVID HASSELHOFF: My oldest daughter, Taylor-Ann -- it was about two weeks ago.

KING: Do you know...

HASSELHOFF: The last weekend she was in Vegas with him.

KING: ... what the circumstances were? Did he ask her to do that?

HASSELHOFF: I have asked her that and she said no. I -- I was with my youngest daughter, Haley, and we had just come back from a vocal lesson on Wednesday night. And my oldest had called me in such a rant and a rage. And I was, "Calm down. What are you seeing? What are you seeing?"

And she's saying, "A tape."

And this is Wednesday. And I -- I was trying to have her explain what tape. And then she went on to say she had taken a tape of her dad.

I didn't know about it.

And I said, "Why didn't you ever tell me you taped him?"

KING: Why did she tape him?

HASSELHOFF: I think that -- I don't think, I know. It is her cry for help because she sees there's nothing else going to work. As I have tried, thinking if I just pour out the bottles, if I just be by his side, if I just baby-sit him, give him more love, do more for him or make him see himself, it will get there.

But the disease of alcoholism is cunning. It's a baffling disease. And it's very...

KING: What...

HASSELHOFF: ... chaotic. And it's a family disease.

KING: Was it the reason for the divorce?


KING: What happened in court today, Debra?

DEBRA OPRI, ATTORNEY FOR PAMELA BACH HASSELHOFF: Well, what happened was what's supposed to have happened. We had an emergency relief hearing that custody and visitation be suspended based upon the video and the judge basically told David Hasselhoff's attorney sir, there is an elephant in this room and you're asking me to ignore it and I can't ignore it.

And he suspended the visitation and custody until May 21st so we can go in on a full hearing on the video.

KING: The daughter did the video, what, to show to the father -- to help his -- the father to show him what...

P. HASSELHOFF: I asked her that. I asked her that. She said she wanted to show daddy.

And I said, "Well, did you ever?"

Then I put my arms around her, telling her how much I love her. It's not her job. He's the parent.

The most important thing is I just pray that he gets help, because they love their father.

KING: How did it get to the TV shows?

P. HASSELHOFF: That's what I want to know and that's part of the old -- the enabler in me wants to get to the bottom of everything, to run...

KING: So you had nothing to do...

P. HASSELHOFF: Absolutely not.

OPRI: Listen...

KING: Because it benefits you.

OPRI: Well, no it doesn't. It was... KING: Of course it does.


OPRI: Well, there were problems with her due totters -- two daughters this weekend. And the bottom line is who knows and who cares?

But he sends out a press release saying he was aware of it.

David Hasselhoff has been spinning so badly, I don't even think he can acknowledge...

KING: But...

OPRI: ... where the videotape came from.

KING: But he wouldn't release it?

OPRI: Well, you tell me.

I mean who...

KING: How could he release it?


Who took it?


P. HASSELHOFF: Well, I'm the same -- I do feel the same way. I'm...

OPRI: Why would she?

P. HASSELHOFF: ... I'm as baffled, too.

OPRI: Why would she release it?

KING: Well, certainly he wouldn't.

OPRI: Larry, let...

P. HASSELHOFF: I wouldn't even know where the tape was.

OPRI: Let's put it this way.

KING: Let her talk.

OPRI: Yes?

P. HASSELHOFF: I didn't even know there was a tape. I didn't -- she never even told me he was drunk.

KING: There's more to the video that was broadcast on several TV outlets.

In this particular clip, we heard David and his daughter talking about how he feels he's lost everything.


OPRI: I'm sorry about that.


T. HASSELHOFF: Why are you like doing this to yourself?

D. HASSELHOFF: Because I'm lonely and I have a lot of trouble in my life.

T. HASSELHOFF: Tell me you're going to stop drinking. Tell me right now or I'm -- I'm not going to talk to you ever again. And I will truly disown you, because it's not fair treatment of your family, what you're doing.

D. HASSELHOFF: I'll be fine.


KING: Pamela, do you think your -- do you think your daughter released it?

P. HASSELHOFF: No. No, I don't.

KING: Well, if she didn't release it and you didn't release it, and obviously he didn't release it, who released it?

P. HASSELHOFF: I don't know. I don't know.

KING: It don't help anybody?

P. HASSELHOFF: It doesn't help anybody. I don't know who did it.

Yes, do I want to know?

And then I'm really digging into my spirituality. I go to Agape and Dr. Mike with (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and listen to the words of the wisdom and, you know, as Winston Churchill said, when you're going through a tough time, just keep on going.

But I find myself wanting to -- who?

But the big picture is really there is a man who I love, my daughter loves, my youngest daughter loves. It's the disease we hate.

KING: Why did you -- since you didn't want the tape released, he didn't want it released...

P. HASSELHOFF: I didn't know there was a tape.

KING: Oh, you didn't even know and the daughter -- then why go in and take custody away from him?

OPRI: Because it's my job. I had to do it. If I had ignored the video the same way that...

KING: She could have said no.

OPRI: The same way the judge says I can't ignore this video. There is a concern for the safety of two children.

P. HASSELHOFF: I want them to have a really good, healthy relationship with their father. It's like when an alcoholic is wrapped around a bottle and then the family and friends are wrapped around the alcoholic. We're going to protect it.

That's why I don't believe Taylor-Ann would have released it. I know I didn't. I know my youngest daughter.

When you're the family of a disease, it's the elephant in the room. You don't talk about it.

KING: What's your goal in this case?

P. HASSELHOFF: It's a small unit.

KING: What's your goal?

P. HASSELHOFF: My goal is that David really get -- seeks help and that he gets healthy and that he's around for when they get married and when they have grandkids and --

KING: So you want him to see his daughters?

P. HASSELHOFF: Absolutely.

But right now if he's still in -- in, you know, the disease and not really in the recovery program, it -- it's not going to serve anybody.

KING: When the 17-year-old is 18, custody is out of the question then, right?

OPRI: It's a moot issue.

KING: Yes.

OPRI: But right now, there is the safety of the two children. And that videotape was taken by the 16-year-old daughter in Vegas with her boyfriend. And...

KING: Oh, the boyfriend was there?

OPRI: This is what I've heard. I heard that the boyfriend used to be a P.A. with "Extra," you know, that...

KING: So the boyfriend might have done it?

OPRI: Who knows?

I mean all we know is we've been asking for it and I had to rely upon third party sources.

P. HASSELHOFF: And I also heard his assistant and his agent was there.

KING: The boyfriend or the friend?

P. HASSELHOFF: The boyfriend, his assistant and an agent.

OPRI: Yes, there were a lot of people.

P. HASSELHOFF: You know, what -- what happens when I see this is probably very different...

KING: What happens?

P. HASSELHOFF: ... from all of you.

OPRI: It's been very rough.


KING: What happened to you?

P. HASSELHOFF: ... the side of me of 17 years raised in it and being a part of the enabler -- there is -- the first part is to get my daughter away and not witnessing it and separate her. And then the other part is where is his coffee? Where is his Tylenol? Where's the Pedialyte? Where's the heating pads? Where's me taking his blood pressure?

That's what I did.

OPRI: The enabler...

P. HASSELHOFF: ... five nights a week (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for 17 years.

OPRI: She doesn't want her daughters to take over her role.

KING: You still love him?

P. HASSELHOFF: I always will.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff and Debra Opri, right after this.



T. HASSELHOFF: Yes, you do.


And do you know why?


T. HASSELHOFF: Because you're drank. And tomorrow morning you will regret everything that you've ever told me.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hasselhoff, now locked in a bitter custody battle with his ex, Pamela Bach, tells "Extra": "I have been going through a painful divorce and I have recently been separated from my children. Unfortunately, I did have a brief relapse, but part of recovery is relapse."




D. HASSELHOFF: What outfit of mine really turns you on?

P. HASSELHOFF: Whoo. There is no outfit but that birthday suit. No. Um...

D. HASSELHOFF: You heard it here.






D. HASSELHOFF: OK. We got that one.


KING: Would you go back to him?


KING: Would you go back to him?


P. HASSELHOFF: But in the place that I'm at in my spirituality and my Al-Anon and where I'm at right now, I -- I am very grateful and very fortunate. And I love where I'm at. And, you know, my discovery...

KING: I mean if he were really and truly sober.

P. HASSELHOFF: If he was truly sober, that's a beautiful man. I hate the disease.

KING: You would go back?

P. HASSELHOFF: And I take responsibility...

KING: You'd go back?

P. HASSELHOFF: ... that I stayed.

OPRI: Tell him, Pam.


P. HASSELHOFF: But would I stay if he got help and as I continue in my recovery...

KING: Yes.

P. HASSELHOFF: ... of -- and my children?


OPRI: Please say maybe.

KING: A question from...

P. HASSELHOFF: Obviously, maybe.

KING: We have an e-mail question for Pamela from Katarina (ph) in San Francisco: "Do you think it would have been in the best interests of the children to keep the tape from being released? How much do you think a parent's struggle with addiction should affect their right to custody and visitation?"

OPRI: Want me to get this?

P. HASSELHOFF: I don't know. I just know that one of four children are in an alcoholic family. And this tape, however it got out -- because it really does bother me, to a point, until Terry Cole Whittaker -- have you ever heard of her?


P. HASSELHOFF: It's all about that there's things that happen that we have no control over. And the big picture -- if the old me stays into still trying to figure out who released it, it -- it takes the focus off of there is a disease that needs to be addressed.

KING: Got you.

When do you expect to see the court appointed psychologists so they can make a recommendation about custody?

P. HASSELHOFF: Well, I was supposed to call before the week. And I have -- I have a hard time with that, because this gentleman does not know my family. And I've told him many...

KING: Let her speak, Debra.

P. HASSELHOFF: ... too many things. And it doesn't get in the report. And then I've interviewed many attorneys who, when I mention this gentleman's name, they say he's a strategy.

And I go what?

He's not a real therapist in this sense. He's really for the courts. And it's who hires him.

KING: They hired him, the other side, huh?


KING: Do you -- what's the status of the custody case right now, Debra?

Right now?

OPRI: We have a hearing June 1st. They file -- David Hasselhoff filed a motion for complete custody and our bottom line is we're challenging it.

He started the war. He took the step of saying to her, "I'm taking the girls."

And she basically hired me and said, "He's taking the girls."

And I said, "I don't understand."

He's an alcoholic and he's filed a motion to get complete custody.


It won't affect this...

P. HASSELHOFF: Which takes the focus off him.

KING: ... the 17-year-old is going to be 18.

She's moot, right?

OPRI: No, no, no.

P. HASSELHOFF: But she's got a whole...

KING: I mean there's no custody...

P. HASSELHOFF: She's got a full year... KING: ... of an 18-year-old.

OPRI: She's not going to be 18, Larry. They're still minor children. One's 13, I believe, who just turned 14 this past Saturday. She had a birthday party...

P. HASSELHOFF: No, she didn't. My 17-year-old turned -- my 16- year-old turned 17 this Saturday.

OPRI: Turned 17.

KING: Oh, but there is a 17-year-old, right?


OPRI: Yes.

P. HASSELHOFF: That's Taylor-Ann.

OPRI: Yes.

KING: Now, she...

OPRI: And the younger one is 13.

KING: Taylor's not going to...

P. HASSELHOFF: They're the most beautiful, compassionate, sensitive, very smart, loving...

KING: Who recommended the therapist?

OPRI: It was...

P. HASSELHOFF: Their side.

OPRI: They call it a 730 evaluation in California. When there are issues of custody and alcohol usage, they will have a 730 evaluation.

P. HASSELHOFF: Which would have been fine. I was like this is -- but when I would say things and it would fall on deaf ears. Like when I had to go rescue my youngest when he was in an un-inebriated state in a dark street. She calls me. I -- I rush over there from dinner. I tell this to this gentleman.

He goes, "Well, you know -- "

And then I have a tape...

KING: What?

P. HASSELHOFF: ... of David saying to me, "I will have this doctor rimb (ph) you and dot, dot, dot.

KING: Well, the most important thing is since these girls are of age...


KING: ... they're not seven or eight, what do they say?

What do they want?

P. HASSELHOFF: They love both of us.


P. HASSELHOFF: They want their father to get better. They want somehow...

KING: They want joint custody?


KING: What do they want?

P. HASSELHOFF: If he -- if he's better. They just want their father to get better. He's been to three rehabs. They want him to get the help.

KING: Because isn't teenaged children their preference, often, the courts go with it?

OPRI: Yes.

KING: If you ask a 15-year-old...

OPRI: Yes.

We have an issue. We have an unhealthy parent and a healthy parent. We have Mr. Hasselhoff using the court system, calling 911 to set my client up to accuse her of drug usage, anything the pull her away from the children.

It's a power play. It's a hate fest.

What she wants to do is go back...

KING: She don't seem to hate him.

OPRI: No, it's a hate fest by Mr....

P. HASSELHOFF: No, I hate the disease.


OPRI: ... you know, and she wants to neutralize the playing field and say to her husband joint legal custody...


OPRI: ... is great, when you get healthy. She wants him to get healthy. She wants him to save his life and she doesn't want her daughters to assume her role.

KING: What's the status of the restraining order?

P. HASSELHOFF: There's no restraining order.

KING: There is no restraining order?

OPRI: Not to my knowledge.


KING: You saw him appear in "The Producers" in Las Vegas.

P. HASSELHOFF: I -- by his urging.

OPRI: And invitation.

P. HASSELHOFF: And my daughter's urging.

KING: You all went?

P. HASSELHOFF: As much as I wanted to go. But then I -- I wasn't -- he kept, you know, come on, come on, come see the show.

OPRI: I'll give you an example of the manipulation, Larry.

He invites her to come see "The Producers." Her children are basically going to be on their own. So she comes out. And then after the fact, he comes and says hey, you know, you violated the restraining order by coming to see me in "The Producers."

P. HASSELHOFF: He gave me comp tickets.

OPRI: Those are the games.

KING: When we come back, Pamela will respond to some of her negative press, when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, Hasselhoff is pointing the finger at ex-wife Pamela Bach. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Hasselhoff reveals his ex-wife was the only one with access to the tape.

The damage is mounting, according to Hasselhoff, who tells Seacrest: "It's really sad and really affecting my children."




T. HASSELHOFF: You're throwing your life away by drinking. I don't know why you are. It's stupid.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: David tells "Extra" today: "I have seen the tape. I have learned from it and I am back on my game. I thank god for the love of my children."

The question now, will this sad reminder keep Hasselhoff sober for good?



KING: We're back.

Pamela, there's a lot of negative stuff out there in the press, in court documents.

Did you allegedly fail a drug test conducted (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

P. HASSELHOFF: Did I allegedly?


KING: Did you fail a drug test?

P. HASSELHOFF: Well, at Cedars-Sinai, no. But the -- you know what?


P. HASSELHOFF: I don't do drugs. I don't do drugs.

KING: Did they do a hair sample? Did...

P. HASSELHOFF: They did a hair sample at a lab that's attached to this Dr. Strom (ph). It come -- it came back saying positive. I'm like I know my truth. I know who I am.

What in the heck...


P. HASSELHOFF: ... because I went to the lab innocently, like anybody else would, and I -- so I told Dr. -- I said, "There's no way. I'm going to Cedars-Sinai."

He says, "It's not a reputable hospital."

I said, "Excuse me, sir?"

KING: What?

P. HASSELHOFF: And that made me just run all the faster. I said I've just been bulldozed. I'm -- I'm being -- ah, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)... KING: What's with your nanny, Becky?

What's her involvement in all of this?

P. HASSELHOFF: She was never a nanny. She was a babysitter, as needed. I've had other babysitters. I've always been a hands-on, full-time mother.

KING: Is she going to testify?

Well, that would go back years.

You don't have a babysitter now?

P. HASSELHOFF: No. No. No. And she was never a full-time babysitter. I mean David would lend her my clothes. She had my driver's license. I wanted it back. And it -- the last time I -- she babysat, she was not at home. And the house -- me and David were in Australia and the housekeeper and our assistant were doing the job that I had hired to do babysitting.

KING: Is she supposed to testify...

P. HASSELHOFF: And she wasn't there.

KING: Now, what did she -- why is she in this?

OPRI: Let's just say there are going to be casts of characters and the characters are going to go this way. They're going to go that way.

KING: All at the hearings?

P. HASSELHOFF: I'm really surprised that she has done this. I...

KING: What did she do?

P. HASSELHOFF: You know, I'm surprised because she said...

OPRI: She's an interesting character. Leave it...

KING: What did she do?

OPRI: We'll leave it (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

P. HASSELHOFF: She has a DUI. I mean she -- she -- I just -- she's never been a nanny...

OPRI: She's one of his witnesses.

P. HASSELHOFF: ... she's claiming to be a nanny...

KING: Is she making accusations...

P. HASSELHOFF: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE). KING: She's making accusations against you?

P. HASSELHOFF: I -- yes, things that just...

KING: All right.

P. HASSELHOFF: ... I go how much did she get paid?

KING: Have there been accusations at all about violence in this between you and David?


KING: Has David ever harmed you?

P. HASSELHOFF: Yes, that's not something I wanted out. Not at all.

KING: But it came out?

P. HASSELHOFF: And shame on me for staying. Shame on me for not having my confidence. I'm like a -- a -- I was like a doll, a wound up doll in four walls, you know?

You become part of that chaos of the alcoholic.

OPRI: Battered wife syndrome similarities.


KING: That happens. I know.

P. HASSELHOFF: ... you know, but there was a lot of great, great things. It's just...


P. HASSELHOFF: ... the disease is so strong.

KING: All right, David released a statement with regard to that.

OPRI: Yes.

KING: So, I'm going to have to read it.


KING: "Recent events have made it impossible for me to continue to remain silent. My ex-wife and her latest attorney, who seem to share a thirst for publicity, recently suggested that I not only have been physically abusive to her, but that I was also physically abusive toward our two daughters, as well.

This latest claim is not only utterly false, it is also obscene. Our daughters are outraged by the falsity of their mother's claims. They urged me to allow them to go to the press to challenge these claims. I discouraged our daughters from doing so, but I agreed that I would finally come forward and challenge these absurd claims made by their mother."

P. HASSELHOFF: Now, that is not true.

OPRI: That's a -- that's a manipulation again.

P. HASSELHOFF: That is not true.

OPRI: That's an -- that's what we've been in court all morning about. That is a manipulation, again, of his two daughters.

What right does Mr. Hasselhoff have to say my daughters are feeling contempt toward this woman, they're very upset?

It's a manipulation of his daughters for their loyalty to him and that will end. And as far as the publicity factor, this woman...

P. HASSELHOFF: This is amazing.

OPRI: ... did not use publicity. He used publicity. There was a leak. There was an absolute leak of a declaration of Mr. Hasselhoff that she used cocaine. And their response was oops.

P. HASSELHOFF: I don't do cocaine.

OPRI: She hired me because of his misuse of the media.

P. HASSELHOFF: The only thing I was addicted to was David. (LAUGHTER).

KING: And still may be.

P. HASSELHOFF: That's it. And cigarettes, you know?

OPRI: Yes.

P. HASSELHOFF: But -- yes, that was the only thing I was addicted to. And you do -- the family -- it's a family disease.

KING: By the way, we don't have any information on Becky. I asked about Becky, but we don't know any facts...


And you know what?

KING: ... concerning her.

P. HASSELHOFF: It's not here nor there.


P. HASSELHOFF: It's surprising how she's...

KING: And she... P. HASSELHOFF: ... popped up.

KING: Are you saying she will be testifying?

OPRI: From what I understand, she's one of a cast of characters that they may call as a witness for custody.

KING: But that's all we know?

OPRI: That's all we know.

KING: Yes.

OPRI: That we can say.

KING: What's your goal, Pamela?

P. HASSELHOFF: My goal...

KING: Yes, what's your goal?

P. HASSELHOFF: ... is to continue raising my two beautiful daughters and that David hopefully gets the help that he needs and that there is a beauty that has not really existed. There's a lot of good and my goal is just to get on with my life. And I see it nothing but, you know, exciting...

KING: Have you spoken to him? Have you spoken to David?

P. HASSELHOFF: He called me on Saturday.

KING: He called you on...

P. HASSELHOFF: Just briefly. Briefly. Ranting and raving. And I thought, I no longer will be engaging myself in that kind of treatment.

KING: What's it like when you see that yucky drunk scene?

P. HASSELHOFF: Do you know, it's extremely, extremely difficult, because what people are seeing is what I lived for 17 years -- and my daughter, both of them. And I -- it just -- it just -- oh, it breaks my heart and it makes the mother side, the tiger side, wanting to protect my cubs.

Shame on me for having them in this marriage and seeing this. And I'm taking...

KING: Do you blame yourself?

P. HASSELHOFF: ... responsibility that my children, as you can tell, my daughter is very calm. And that is mommy. They...

OPRI: They're used to it.

P. HASSELHOFF: They saw it. OPRI: They're used to the scene.

P. HASSELHOFF: It is nothing new. And god love Taylor-Ann. She -- she didn't release it. I know. I know...

KING: How...

P. HASSELHOFF: ... in my heart, I know in my heart, I know in my heart...

KING: A couple of other things...

P. HASSELHOFF: ... we're not in that space.

KING: How long has David been drinking?

P. HASSELHOFF: For as long as I've known him. He was drunk...

KING: He was an alcoholic when...

P. HASSELHOFF: ... on our second date. But I didn't -- to me, an alcoholic was the man on the -- or the bum on the street. I mean that's how sophomoric and how backwards of a -- you know, my impression of what an alcoholic was. There was no alcoholism whatsoever in my family.

I'm raised in the Midwest and it took, over time, you know, for me to even realize this.

OPRI: I'm very proud of her because she is dealing with this now so that her daughters have a healthy life.

P. HASSELHOFF: I go to Al-Anon. I hear their experience, strength and hope. And if it wasn't for this fellowship -- and I go to Agape, which is Dr. Michael Beckwith. They're beautiful people. I have so much support.

KING: Wow!

P. HASSELHOFF: And David does, too, if he can just see it.

KING: I know you both.

I wish you both the best.

P. HASSELHOFF: And our daughters.

OPRI: Thanks, Larry.

P. HASSELHOFF: Thank you very much.

KING: I'm embarrassed seeing that tape.

Thank you for coming.

P. HASSELHOFF: Thank you very much. OPRI: Yes.

KING: Thank you for -- thank you, Debra.


KING: Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff and Debra Opri.

Still to come, an exclusive -- David Hasselhoff's attorneys have their say, their first interview in all of this, when LARRY KING LIVE returns.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shockingly, David Hasselhoff wanted this recording made.

HASSELHOFF: I'll be fine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Through his lawyers today, Hasselhoff tells "Extra", quote, "I am a re-covering alcoholic and he explains he asked a family member to record it. "Because of my honest and positive relationship for my children who were concerned for my well-being, there was a tape made when I had a relapse to show me what it was like when I slipped."


KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Melvin "Mel" Goldsman as he is known and Marci Levine, they are the attorney representing David Hasselhoff in this extraordinary case. You guys have been quiet so long. Why now?

MELVIN GOLDSMAN, DAVID HASSELHOFF'S ATTORNEY: Well, you're right. For the last year and a half David's position has always that he is just not going to engage in this public discourse of his divorce proceedings because unlike his ex-wife and her attorney he recognized that discussing that publicly just has a detrimental effect on his children. And he just out of respect for them ...

KING: So why now?

GOLDSMAN: It finally had reached the head with the release of the tape and with her making allegations that are completely false about alleged spousal abuse and even intimating that there was child abuse here, his daughters reacted violently to that. They indicated to him either he was going to come forward or one of them were and he was going to have his children ...

KING: You are backing his statement in full, then?

GOLDSMAN: Absolutely.

KING: OK. Was it your idea to come on this show?

MARCI LEVINE, ATTORNEY FOR DAVID HASSELHOFF: No, it certainly was not. But we felt an obligation to David to tell the truth and to give his side of the story to the extent possible.

KING: Very embarrassing, those tapes, for your client.

LEVINE: Of course, he was very disappointed about the relapse but he is back on track and he is focused on moving forward and staying sober.

KING: Who released the tape?

LEVIN: I think it's fairly obvious. Mel, do you want to elaborate?

GOLDSMAN: We're absolutely certainly who released the tape and that is Pamela and maybe her lawyer in concert with her.

We have information to show -- Today, she said to you she didn't learn about the tape until late Wednesday. Well we have information she was contacting reporters early Wednesday morning, indicating her availability later in that day to discuss the contents of the tape when she claims to you today she didn't know it existed.

KING: One of the two clips from the David Hasselhoff tape seems to show how seriously divorce has affected him. Let's look at that again.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you always doing this to yourself.

HASSELHOFF: Because (inaudible) children away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me you're going to stop drinking. Tell me right now or I'm not going to talk to you ever again and I will totally disown you because it is not fair to your family what you're doing.

HASSELHOFF: I'll be fine.


KING: Pamela says that his alcoholism caused the divorce. But didn't David file first?

GOLDSMAN: Absolutely.

LEVIN: David did file first because he recognized that it was not healthy for the children for them to continue to live in that household. Pamela has her own issues, which David would really not like to elaborate on in greater detail but felt out of necessity and for the health and welfare of the children, he need to file for divorce and his own well-being. KING: With two children that age, you need a custody fight?

GOLDSMAN: Well, nobody needs a custody fight. But unfortunately, we're confronted with that. What's not been spoken about is the fact there are serious allegations been made regarding Pamela, not by David and not by us, by the court's expert.

And I notice you asked Pamela who appointed the expert and she said the other side did. That's an absolutely false statement. The person who was appointed was appointed by the court to assist the court in reaching the truth here. That expert has submitted a report to the court, in which he concluded that not only had Mr. Hasselhoff not committed domestic violence and not only had he not had any problems with the children in that regard, but that Pamela in fact had.

That expert, appointed by the court, not by our side, not an expert retained by us, concluded that Pamela had been verbally and physically abusive to these children on multiple occasions. That's currently before the court and it's the basis for our requesting sole legal custody.

May I add one thing to that, Mel? It's ironic because it's her former attorney suggested that Dr. Angus Strom (ph) be appointed as special magistrate. It did not come from our office.

KING: You lost in court today, though, right? They took away his ...

GOLDSMAN: We got an order -- The judge issued and order we're unhappy with and we're unhappy with it for several reasons. There was no evidence before the court to justify the order. It was just matter in my view of a good judge not knowing what to do initially when confronted with this and therefore what he did, I want to make this very clear, he temporarily suspended David's custody. It's not a permanent order.

And he ordered everybody to be interviewed by his expert yet again so that expert could decide what should be done and make a recommendation to the court.

KING: Marci, she says she still loves him and she even said if he was sober, she'd try to get back together. How does he feel?

LEVINE: I think there's no way possible that that is going to happen. But it's clear she does want to reconcile because for the past year and half, she's been begging him to come home.

KING: She has?

LEVINE: And when he hasn't done so, it's always ratcheted up by releases to the press.

KING: So he doesn't love her anymore?

LEVINE: He will always care about her. She is the mother of his children and wants the best for her and the children.

GOLDSMAN: If I could add to this, you really hit on what's going on here. David decided that they can't be together any longer and he doesn't want to be married to her. She's very angry with him for that. And she's been asking him to come back non-stop for the last year and a half.

He has been uniform in his answer by indicating we're just not right for each other and it's not right for the kids. And I'm not coming back. When she hears that, she responds by threatening him, by telling him she's going to ruin his life and ruin his career. And you can see that she's taken that path.

KING: We'll be right back with more of LARRY KING LIVE right after this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Extra has exclusive footage that's a tough wake-up call for the star.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me you're going to stop.

HASSELHOFF: I'm going to stop.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the disturbing home video of David Hasselhoff drunk and incoherent on the floor of his home.



KING: We're back with Mel Grossman and Marci Levine, the attorneys for David Hasselhoff. The court appointed psychotherapist, Pamela says that he or she is biased.

GOLDSMAN: I'm glad you asked that because she made some very unfair statements. Dr. Strom (ph) is one of the more highly respected professionals in our field and when the other side, that is the prior counsel for Pamela, suggested that he be the expert to the court, we readily agreed. But the suggestion came from him. And to suggest he is biased because she doesn't like the decisions he's making is ridiculous.

KING: What about Becky, the nanny? You made references to her. She is going to be a witness?

LEVINE: She may. We haven't made that decision yet. She clearly was the nanny almost the children's entire lives and she was closely bonded to both of the children. And apparently Pamela must feel threatened by her and is angry that Becky hasn't taken sides or didn't want to take sides in this case and tried to terminate the relationship between Becky and the children, not withstanding the children's feelings about her.

KING: Didn't David want the daughters to tape him?

GOLDSMAN: Not exactly. That story sort of got convoluted. When David had been successful in recovery for a significant period of time, he made a flip comment, to his daughters, if I ever go off the wagon feel free to tape record me. He never imagined in a million years he would ever have a relapse or that that would happen.

I think that's something Taylor for the purposes of showing David what it was like for them.

KING: We have an e-mail from Debbi in Jensen Beach, Florida. Is David willing to voluntarily check himself into long-term residential care and complete this program?

GOLDSMAN: If I could, David, ever since that relapse has taken steps to ensure it doesn't happen again. But I really don't want to discuss specifically what it is that he is doing. I think we have to respect his privacy there. All I can tell you is he has re-doubled his efforts to make sure he maintains sobriety.

KING: Pamela is saying, we didn't bring this up, but she didn't sign a prenup.

LEVINE: I'm sorry, what was the question?

KING: Did Pamela say she didn't sign a prenup?

LEVINE: She did sign a prenup.

KING: That didn't come up in the first part of the show. She did sign a prenup.

LEVINE: She did sign a prenup.

KING: How is David taking all of this?

LEVIN: It's very sad that all of these issues have been aired publicly, that the children are hurt by this. He's sad that there was a failed marriage but recognizes it's something he needed to do for himself and the children and he cares about Pamela notwithstanding everything else that's happened.

KING: In court, though, Mel, that tape is going to hurt him, real bad. Let's be logical.

GOLDSMAN: That tape will hurt him. But there is a lot going on in this case in addition to this tape. We have a court appointed expert who is convinced that it is in the best interest of these children they be primarily with David. KING: Even if he drinks?

GOLDSMAN: You know what, they're going to be convinced he's on his way to recovery. If he had another relapse or anything like that occurred, that would be devastating to him. But I'm satisfied that's not going to happen.

LEVINE: But that's not the only consideration that the court has to be concerned about. There were certain findings made by the special master that one would believe the court would need to consider, that is Pamela's conduct with the children and some of her own issues, including issues with substances in the past as well as her engaging in physical and verbal abuse of the children.

GOLDSMAN: And by the way, when she tries to pass this notion somehow she didn't test positive of cocaine because of hair extensions, she's just misleading you. Because the lab knew she had hair extensions so they took the hair follicle test from her bangs where there are no extensions. But she's tried to take the story that they were somehow stupid enough to take a hair extension rather than her actual hair

LEVINE: And by the way, that wasn't an isolated incident.

KING: Why has this gotten so ugly?

LEVINE: I think part of this is because Pamela has retained a new counsel who likes to resort to certain tactics as she has done it in other cases and clearly invited the press in top every proceeding. And she has held court, so to speak, at Spagos to field questions and invite the reporters to delve into further into questions about the tape. I think that's her agenda, that's her modus operandi.

KING: Do you share that view?

GOLDMAN: Absolutely. I mean, they sent an e-mail message to all of the media indicating that they would be dining at Spagos at 1:30 in the afternoon in case anyone wanted to come by and get a comment from either one of them regarding the video that was out. It was ridiculous.

LEVINE: The lack of genuineness of some of the statements made by Pamela I think is apparent. But if she truly cared about the children, she wouldn't be perpetuating this in the press.

KING: When is it all going to end, guys?

GOLDSMAN: Well, we have got our expert interviewing. We're optimistic that he is going to recommend to the court that David's time with the children be immediately reinstated and we're hoping those interviews are going to take place this week. David has already set his up. We've already set anybody else who has to talk. Of course, the other side, you can well imagine, they are going to probably drag their feet and not want to go interview.

KING: Thank you both very much. Marci, Mel. LEVINE: Thank you very much, Larry.

GOLDSMAN: Thank you.

KING: Mel Goldsman and Marci Levine, the attorneys for David Hasselhoff. Let's check in with our man Anderson Cooper, the host of AC 360. What's up, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, Larry, thanks very much.

Tonight we're taking a closer look than you've ever seen at major tornado and a look at the devastation this weekend storms have left behind. We have video caught by storm chasers who barely got away with their lives. Imagine speeding down a road at 40 miles an hour in reverse with a twister coming at you. It is just one of dozens of tornadoes over the weekend. We'll report on that and we'll also have new presidential polling out that shows Republican candidates losing out with the public and what all that means for the race ahead.

A whole lot more, Larry, at the top of the hour.

KING: Thanks, Anderson. That's AC 360. 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. And when we come back, TV's Judge Hatchett who used to preside over a real juvenile court. Her verdict after hearing both sides of this case, after this.


KING: We now welcome Judge Glenda Hatchett who occupies the bench on the syndicated TV show, the courtroom show called, no surprise, "Judge Hatchett." She prior to making this jump spent many years in a real courtroom. What's your read on this mess?

GLENDA HATCHETT, TV JUDGE: I tell you, the greatest advantage in this case, Larry, is that these daughters are older. They are teenagers. One just turned 17 yesterday or so.

And so the judge is going to really be able to understand from them directly. I think it was smart to have a special master come in, that they are going to recess this case until June 1st. But at the end of the day, like we saw last week with Alec and Kim, really, the parents are fighting, and the kids are caught in the middle of the situation.

KING: Will the judge -- would you leave it up to the kids?

HATCHETT: No. I wouldn't leave it up to the kids. But I would listen very carefully to these kids. Clearly, this daughter was pleading with him. Daddy, you've got to stop. If you don't stop, I am not going to speak to you. Look what it is doing to my family. Look at what you are doing to us. You have got to stop.

So if there was not a relationship, I don't think you would see that kind of plea. I would not leave it up to them but would rely heavily on what they had to say in this situation. Because you can glean a lot from what they had to say about this. KING: What do you make of the fact she still loves him?

HATCHETT: I think there's kind of this conflict, and I've seen it with so many women in situations where people are abusing drugs or alcohol. They don't love the person when they're drunk but they do still love that person. And I do think if he got rehabilitated and they could work it out, I think she'd go back to him.

KING: This is an easier custody case than if they were eight and seven.

HATCHETT: Oh. Much easier, so much easier. Because these young teenage girls are going to be able to articulate with great detail what is going on.

The key question, the threshold question, have you been abused by either parent? Have you seen your mother high on drugs? We know that your father has a drinking problem, how has this affected you? And if you had a say, where would you want to go?

KING: What's the effect of that ugly tape?

HATCHETT: It's tough. It's a tough tape. But it is their mirror. I believe that she did it, the teenage daughter did it to hold up a mirror to her dad and said, this is how we see you, please stop, we don't want this anymore. And it's got stop.

Now people criticize, should the judge have suspended visitation? I think that the judge did that out of abundance of caution.

But ultimately what we want to do is try to make sure that there's a relationship between David and his daughters. And I think that hopefully this will be a wake-up call for him and that he will get really serious about getting some help, Larry.

KING: Does alcoholism automatically mean you don't get any kind of custody?

HATCHETT: No, it doesn't. Because I will tell you if we suspended visitation, seriously, if we suspended visitation for every drunk parent in this country, we'd be suspending a lot of visitation. Let's be very clear. There are a lot of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. The question is, are you able to function as a parent?

That really is the question.

KING: Next, how does the Hasselhoff case match up against the nastiest custody battle Judge Hatchett has ever heard. The answer when we come back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The kisses, the hugs, the adoring looks. It's the way they were. The intimate loving scenes from the Hasselhoff marriage you have never seen before, captured as our cameras were rolling on the set of Hoff's Western spoof, "Fugitive Run" in 2002.


KING: We're with Judge Glenda Hatchet, who hosts her own show going into its eighth season, by the way. How does this match up to other cases.

HATCHETT: This is mild. It is really mild.

KING: Mild?

HATCHETT: And you know why - it is mild. As extraordinary as this seems, it's mild, Larry, in the course of things I have dealt with over the years.

KING: (inaudible) for an example.

HATCHETT: For example, she still cares about him, I believe. I don't think she's out to ruin him, I really don't. I have a situation where a mother literally rehearsed her daughter into saying that her father had sexually abused her in order to absolutely destroy this man's life. And then the child recanted.

KING: How did you get her to ...

HATCHETT: What happened is we were watching her in a one-way mirror. She was being interviewed. I had psychologists come in because something intuitively just didn't seem right to me.

And she kept telling the story over the same way, as if she was practicing for a play. A child doesn't tell the same story exactly the same words over and over and over again. And so, finally, in talking to her, she finally admitted that none of that was true.

And her mother hated her ex-husband so much that she used her own child in such a despicable way. And so I look at this family and as difficult as this tape was to watch, and we've been watching it over and over and over again, the truth is, though, Larry, that this situation can be fixed. David can get help. His daughters really love him. I think his ex-wife still loves him and they can work it out. You have children old enough who can understand the disease of alcoholism. I think as a family, they can get through this.

KING: You already said you're not going to let the daughter tell you who gets custody?

HATCHETT: I will listen but I will not rely ...

KING: They're not the judge.

HATCHETT: No, they're not. And ultimately, the judge has to stand in with great strength and not get swayed by a lot of emotion and say at the end of the day, when we clear all this out, what do we do that's in these children's best interests? I'm hoping that they'll figure out a way that they can have a relationship with him.

KING: Does an attorney like Debra Opri that's tough and vituperative, does that affect the judge.

HATCHETT: Let me tell you, Larry, if I had found out, if she were in my court and she had issued an e-mail inviting these people to lunch at 1:30 for comments, I would immediately issue a gag order in this case because I think there is a way you start manipulating and you're using the press. If you have got a strong case, take it to the judge, let's work in the children's and family's best interests.

I'm not for this foolishness.

KING: Do you think it is going to be resolved?

HATCHETT: I hope it will be resolved. And I think it can be resolved but I will tell you, I looked very closely at the attorney representing the mother in this case. I think she might keep it going on longer than necessary.

KING: Because.

HATCHETT: Because she's playing to the press opposed to using the judicial system in the way that it's intended to be used.

KING: Judge, great seeing you.

HATCHETT: Thank you. I love being here. Thank you. Congratulations on 50 years.

KING: Thank you.

And in connection to that, the judge leads me into it, we have a DVD just released from Time Warner, it is a collection of 300 great interviews on this program. It's called "The Greatest Interviews, Larry King Live." Selling at only, I think, $29.95, and it's available everywhere DVDs are sold. You can also get it at as well.

I think you'll find it extraordinary. People like Sinatra, Al Pacino, Johnny Cash, whole host of people. Presidents - seven different presidents and personal comments by me about each of them.

That's the greatest interviews, available everywhere DVDs are sold. Also at That's it for tonight. Tomorrow night we're going to have a whale of a good time here. My man, Howie Mandel will be here. We'll have two of the models and two of the big winners from "Deal or No Deal" the sensational hit show from NBC.

Howie Mandel and the crew from "Deal or No Deal" tomorrow night. Right now, to New York, Anderson Cooper and AC 360. Anderson?


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