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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Will Paris Hilton Go To Jail?

Aired May 11, 2007 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, will Paris Hilton go to jail?
She's hired a new attorney.

Will there be a desperate last ditch appeal to keep the world's most famous heiress out of this slammer?

And what's it like in there anyway?

We've got a reporter right there at that detention center and she's been speaking with the Hilton family.

Plus, a former Hollywood madam who did time in a sister jail to the one where Paris would serve her sentence.

And then Dominick Dunne -- the high society insider who's a friend of the Hiltons. He'll also take us inside the bizarre murder trial that's got Hollywood buzzing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOMINICK DUNNE: ... never pulled a gun on any of these women, make that very clear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Hey, it's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

On May 4th, Paris Hilton was scheduled, or is scheduled, to -- she was sentenced to serve 45 days in jail.

And we'll get into that right off the get go.

Cheryl Woodcock, the correspondent with "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider," is at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynnwood, California, where, if Miss. Hilton goes to jail, that's where she'd serve.

In New York is Janis Min, the editor -- weekly editor-in-chief of "Us Weekly." This week's "Us Weekly" tells us what Paris can expect at that Century Regional Detention Center.

Here in Los Angeles is Judge Glenda Hatchett. Judge Hatchett occupies the bench on her own syndicated television show.

Expected shortly is Mark Geragos, the famed defense attorney. He's rushing in. And here in L.A. is Jody "Babydoll" Gibson, the former Hollywood madam who spent 22 months behind bars, four of those in the sister facility to the Century Regional Center.

We'll start with Cheryl Woodcock.

I understand, Cheryl, that you've spent time today talking to Kathy Hilton, Paris' mother.

What did she have to say?

CHERYL WOODCOCK, "E.T." & "THE INSIDER" CORRESPONDENT: That is correct.

Right now, the family is just completely devastated. Right now, they're concentrating on recovery of Rick Hilton, who was in the hospital today for a stomach surgery. That's what they're concentrating on right now.

KING: What are they saying about Paris?

WOODCOCK: You know what?

They are just so incredibly worried about her. And there's just a lot of stress going on right now in that family.

KING: Is...

WOODCOCK: They're just trying to make it one day at a time.

KING: Is the family appealing directly to Governor Schwarzenegger?

WOODCOCK: Absolutely not. I can tell you right here and now there is no truth to that whatsoever.

KING: The surgery, was it successful?

WOODCOCK: Yes, it was, Larry. It was a very successful surgery. And, actually, Paris and Kathy are by Rick's side right now.

So, we wish you the best, Rick.

KING: Janice Min, your "Us" magazine has a lengthy article what Paris can expect in that jail facility.

Did you go to that facility?

JANICE MIN, "US WEEKLY" EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: We -- we have reporters who are very familiar with the facility. We interviewed people involved with the sheriffs department who told us quite extensively about what to expect there. And, you know, the joke has been made a million times, but it is no Hilton. It is a -- it's what you would expect. It's a confining, somewhat depressing, very rigid place where, you know, the goal is to mete out punishment. And that is what will happen. KING: But why would it be that way, since the jail is also a facility where people who are about to go to trial but don't have bail also go?

So therefore they're innocent until proven guilty.

Where are they treated harshly?

MIN: That's -- I mean that's the way the legal system is here. There, unfortunately, there is no luxury jail in America. Typically -- I mean, obviously, states play a lot of money to maintain these jails and there's just not the budget to have 400 count sheets in these facilities.

KING: I wasn't saying 400 count sheets, but a lot of people there are not guilty of anything. They're awaiting trial.

MIN: Um-hmm.

KING: So why are they treated harshly at all?

MIN: Well, the place where Paris is going to be held -- it will be -- she will be held in a place with -- with other women who have, for the most part, been convicted of narcotics offenses. She will be -- she will have a roommate. But she's in a ward with nonviolent offenders.

What we -- what we ascertained is that she is in with people who have been convicted of crimes. It's quite a large jail with many different -- with many different areas.

KING: Will she be allowed visitors?

MIN: She will be allowed visitors one hour on Saturday and one hour on Sunday. She's allowed unlimited visits with her attorney, but she will have to speak exactly as you would see on TV -- she has to speak through a speaker box similar to you would -- similar to what you would speak in at a drive-through fast food restaurant.

KING: Jody "baby doll" Gibson, you spent two months at a sister facility, right?

JODY "BABYDOLL" GIBSON, EX-HOLLYWOOD MADAM: Correct. High power.

KING: What were you there for?

GIBSON: I was there for -- right before being shipped off to state prison for being convicted of running my escort empire.

KING: A prostitution service?

GIBSON: Yes.

KING: OK.

What was it like?

GIBSON: It was a very traumatizing experience. It -- it has a glass door with a toilet in full view so everyone can see when you go to the bathroom. And you sleep on a steel shelf. You are subjected to humiliating strip searches where you have to, you know, bend over to take all your clothes off and they look up you with a flashlight. The lights are fluorescent. They never shut off. You get massive headaches. It -- it's really very serious and very traumatizing.

KING: Worse than the state prison?

GIBSON: No. The difference is that jail is actually safer than prison. It's segregated. You're not with general population. In prison, you are in general population and you are, there, one of, you know, 5,000 women.

KING: Give me a daily schedule.

GIBSON: Oh, what, for jail?

KING: Yes.

GIBSON: You're up -- well, in jail, it's not as, you know, regulating as prison. Prison, you have to get up at 7:00 a.m. For breakfast. You have to go to work. It's very rigid.

In jail, if you don't want to eat, you don't eat. There's not really anything to eat anyway. You basically, you know, are on your own time.

However, my understanding was that she was going to be in 23 hour lockdown and that she was going to be segregated without anyone in her cell. So this is news to me she has other inmates around her.

But in 23 hour lockdown, you are handcuffed even on the way to the shower. You're uncuffed just to take your 15 minute shower and handcuffed and brought back to your facility.

KING: Judge, that would happen to someone for driving with a suspended license?

JUDGE GLENDA HATCHETT, TV'S "JUDGE HATCHETT": I did not know that she was going to be on 23 hour lockdown. That surprises me, Larry.

I would think not. But this is news to me and that's something we need to check into.

KING: What happens when you send people to jail?

HATCHETT: Well, it depends on what they're being sent for. In this situation, it would be very much as you described where they're in a jail -- in a county jail. The biggest thing, I think, that's going to happen with Paris is that she's not going to have the communications access -- no Blackberry, no Internet. I mean she's basically going to have to abide by the rules and pretty much be in prison -- in prison uniform day in and day out.

The only visitation she will have, as you've heard, is on the weekend, except for her lawyer.

I mean it's going to be a life changing, probably, situation for her in jail.

KING: Cheryl, you have been inside the facility?

WOODCOCK: You know what, Larry?

I have not. I'm outside the facility right now. It looks very nice on the outside. However, one of your producers just spoke to an inmate who was released and she said that the conditions inside were pretty harsh.

KING: Where is Lynnwood?

WOODCOCK: Linwood is about 20 miles out of Los Angeles, close to Long Bong beach.

KING: South then?

WOODCOCK: South yes.

KING: We'll take a break and be right back with more.

We hope Mr. Geragos gets here, too.

Coming up, Paris' family may not have appealed to Governor Schwarzenegger, but 22,000 other people have. Details when we come back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Paris, why don't you just admit what you did was wrong?

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't give a damn about my reputation.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT")

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forty-five days in jail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More popular than ever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) having fun. And it's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) be the one.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE," COURTESY ABC)

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: Who is Paris Hilton?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I don't give a damn about my reputation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE," COURTESY ABC)

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: On this Paris Hilton thing, Paris called her...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take responsibility and do the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. No, no, no, no.

Not me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me.

No, no, no, no.

Not me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't give a damn about my reputation.

Never been afraid of...

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HOWARD WEITZMAN, HILTON'S ATTORNEY: I think she was singled out because she's who she is. I've been involved in cases and know cases where people have second and third driving under the influence convictions and don't go to jail. And it was clear that she's been selectively targeted, in my opinion, been prosecuted because of who she is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Before we get Janis Min to give us the rundown of a daily schedule at Lynwood, Mr. Geragos, who's been there a lot, tell us it isn't bad.

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it's not the...

KING: Mark Geragos has arrived.

GERAGOS: It's not the worst. I mean you've been to Sybil Brand, where -- when it was still open -- and that is an awful place to be.

The Lynwood facility is probably one of the newest facilities. Twin Towers is also new, but the problem with Twin Towers is there's more sensory deprivation.

Lynwood is not that bad at all.

The problem is -- the real problem is, is she's going to be -- Howard is completely correct in that she will be discriminated against.

She, in this sense -- normally, and I've had clients within the last two weeks where lawyers in my office have admitted a probation violation. They've been sentenced to 10 -- anywhere from 10 to 45 days.

One of my lawyers tells me that just this week, somebody who was sentenced to 45 days, just similar to her, was released in less than 24 hours because of the overcrowding.

So, that's not going to happen to her, because everybody is going to be paying attention.

But if she was -- if this was Joe Hilton, as opposed to Paris Hilton, she could fully expect to be released and -- due to the overcrowding.

KING: Are you saying you think if she goes, she'll do 45 days?

GERAGOS: I think -- no, because with credits, the most they can keep her is 30. She -- if they're going to be fair about it -- and this sheriff is, you know, Sheriff Bach is a pretty fair guy...

KING: Yes, he is.

GERAGOS: But if they're going to be fair, she shouldn't do more than two or three days, because nobody else is doing more than two or three days on something like this.

KING: Janice Min...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of her (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

KING: ... with your research, what's the daily schedule like?

MIN: In the county sheriff's department, he laid it out pretty clearly. It's very regimented, which I think will be the hardest thing for Paris, who is used to so much freedom.

Lights come on at 6:00 a.m. They serve breakfast. It's pretty much the same thing all the time -- corn flakes, juice, milk, some wheat bread. Then she stays in her cell.

At 11:00 a.m. they bring lunch out. Remember, this is a woman who likes to eat lunch at The Ivy. In jail, she's going to be eating mostly turkey bologna sandwiches. They serve potato chips and a fruit punch and an apple.

KING: So far it isn't bad.

Go ahead.

MIN: OK. It's like a school lunch, essentially.

KING: Yes.

MIN: At 4:00 -- at 4:00 p.m....

KING: My kids had that today.

MIN: Yes.

At 4:00 p.m. you know, dinner comes very early in the jail. So she'll -- the typical dinner includes a -- it's a chicken burger patty with gravy, vegetables and pineapple bits. And at 5:30, they clear -- they clear the food and it's lights out at 10:30.

KING: Is that what you had?

GIBSON: No. Mine was considerably worse.

However, because she's Paris Hilton, she is going to be harassed every single solitary moment.

KING: By whom?

GIBSON: By every inmate in there. They're going to want to know everything about her, who she knows. They're going to be talking at her constantly. She will not have a moment's peace.

KING: Do you agree with the sentencing, judge?

HATCHETT: I do agree with the sentencing. Everybody says oh my goodness, it was one violation. But you have to follow the timetable, Larry.

This happened back in September of '06. She was arrested on a dui. And at that time, the statute says that she could have been sent to jail at that point for a period of not less than five days and not more than 90 days.

But she got a pass. Eventually, in January -- the system works slowly -- she was put on probation. But her license was revoked in November.

And so then she gets stopped January 15th. She gets stopped about February 27th.

And so it's not just this one situation that she's going to serve time with. I don't think the 45 days is unreasonable in this situation.

KING: On May 9th, Paris Hilton issued the following statement through her attorney, Richard Hutton.

Is he a new attorney, I guess?

HATCHETT: Yes.

KING: OK.

"After reading the media's coverage of my court hearing, I feel the need to correct what I believe are misconceptions about me. I absolutely realize how serious driving under the influence is. I cannot live with myself if anyone was injured or killed while I was driving while impaired. Clearly, no one should, no matter how slightly. I am ready to face the consequences of violating probation. No one is above the law. I surely am not. I do not expect to be treated better than anyone else who violated probation.

However, my hope is that I will not be treated worse."

A fair statement?

GERAGOS: Yes. And Richard is -- Richard Hutton is the dean of the dui lawyers in Los Angeles. So Richard clearly knows what he's doing.

She is going to be treated worse, however, and is being treated worse. If it wasn't her, you would be able to continue there is case a number of times. You'd find a much softer place to land.

Generally, there are people -- if you get the judges right, generally if you come back on a probation violation within the first year, you're getting 30 days no matter what.

But there are alternatives to that and there is ways that you can work around that.

The problem is with this kind of scrutiny, it's the oldest story in the world. KING: But...

GERAGOS: God save me from this fair treatment.

HATCHETT: Well, but I think, Mark, the other problem is that you had a stop on January 15th. And in the glove compartment in February -- February's stop, there's the first citation.

And so the question becomes why aren't you paying attention?

And I think that the problem is that it appears that she has such a blatant disregard for authority.

KING: Therefore there's...

HATCHETT: And I think that that's the problem.

KING: You don't buy this statement?

HATCHETT: Well, I think that this is carefully crafted. I agree that she has a great lawyer now. But I think that this is kind of after the fact. And I don't think that her actions are consistent with this.

Larry, she shows up for court late, even for the hearing.

KING: Does this statement indicate that she can't ask for a reduced sentence?

GERAGOS: Well, I think that at a certain point, because of the way that this has played out, obviously, what's going to happen is somebody is going to go in and see if they can't get a reduced sentence of some kind.

You know, there is a glitch here in the law in California. You can literally file a notice of appeal in a misdemeanor case and you can stay the jail sentence. So if they wanted to do that, automatically, under 1275, you can stay the jail sentence...

KING: For how long?

GERAGOS: ... on any misdemeanor.

KING: Until the appeal?

GERAGOS: As long as it takes to do the appeal.

HATCHETT: Until the appeal.

KING: When we come back, could time in the slammer make Paris an even bigger celebrity?

We'll ask, when we come back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PARIS HILTON: Really sexy and cute.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE, COURTESY ABC)

KIMMEL: The last 48 hours, there have been wildfires, floods tornadoes, an earthquake. It's nuts. And I can't help but believe that this is god punishing us for imprisoning Paris Hilton. I really can't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILTON: That's hot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN," COURTESY CBS/WORLDWIDE PANTS)

LETTERMAN: Earlier today, Paris Hilton called the L.A. County Jail and requested a junior suite.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILTON: That's hot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO," COURTESY NBC)

LENO: And Paris called her punishment "cruel and unwarranted." That's the same thing people said about her CD when it came out, remember that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILTON: Oh, no. Oh, Even though the guys are crazy, even though the stars are blind. You show me real love, baby, I'll show you mine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) not letting you guys out of the parking lot.

(CROSSTALK)

(VIDEO OF PARIS HILTON CRASHING A CAR)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey (OBSCENE WORD OMITTED)!

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let this man out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let this man out of here.

Let this man out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love the media.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Oh, life at the top.

GERAGOS: She should get 45 days for ruining that poor Bentley.

KING: Yes.

Cheryl, do you know who is advising her?

WOODCOCK: You know what, Larry?

I do. Right now, Paris is preparing for this experience and she's actually been in contact with Patty Hearst.

KING: Who has done time?

WOODCOCK: Yes, she has. And she is giving her advice and tips. And it's actually comforting Paris. And right now, she's working out twice a day -- Paris. And she's actually trying to do some therapeutic artwork -- collages with her animals. So she's basically preparing for this experience of jail time.

KING: Which is a good idea.

Jody, is she going to be a bigger celebrity now?

GIBSON: Absolutely. KING: After jail she'll be bigger?

GIBSON: Absolutely. She'll write another book about her time in jail.

KING: Even if it's three hours?

GIBSON: Correct.

KING: My three hours in jail.

GIBSON: Her one hour -- her one hour incarcerated. It will likely be a best seller.

KING: Did jail change you?

GIBSON: It is a very humbling experience and, yes, it is a real reality check.

KING: Janice, do you think she's going to be bigger?

MIN: Paris will be bigger than ever when she comes out of jail. Let's remember, Paris' brand is trouble. The thing that really put her on the map to all of America was a sex tape that she ended up embracing and ended up actually making money off of herself.

You know, no matter -- scandal never seems to taint Paris. She was caught on camera using the "N" word. She gets into terrible feuds and fights with all of young Hollywood. Her sidekick is stolen, embarrassing e-mails revealed.

Nothing ever seems to slow Paris down. And, let's face it, the reason we're even talking about Paris right now is that people really like to watch people they don't like as much as they like to watch people they do like.

Paris crosses both worlds.

The amazing thing about Paris, when I've met her several times, she's the most incredibly charming person you could ever meet. She's so lovely. When you see her work with the press and fans, she'll stay on a red carpet and sign -- sign autographs for fans for hours and hours and hours.

She's an interesting contradiction. And for that reason, I think the public will be willing to embrace her in -- in her -- in whatever capacity down the road.

KING: Judge, are you affected if a famous person is before you?

HATCHETT: I took an oath not to be, Larry. And that's -- at the end of the day, you really have to try to be very impartial about this. And I often wondered, when I looked at this, why the judge just didn't take her into custody that day and say, you know, enough. Because this is really just (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KING: You might have put her in custody right then?

HATCHETT: Yes. Yes, I really would have. I would have maybe given her until 6:00 to report back. But I don't think that we have all been served by the fact we've let this go on for more than a month. It's just crazy.

KING: What's like to defend a famous person, Mark?

GERAGOS: If you, as you always say, god save me from the fair treatment, because it isn't fair treatment. When you have, as I've indicated before, I don't care who it is, when you have that kind of scrutiny, it paralyzes everybody. It paralyzes the judge. It paralyzes the prosecutor. Nobody wants to do anything that they're going to be criticized for.

So what they end up doing is giving you the max and prosecuting you to the max or sentencing you to the max.

HATCHETT: I don't think that's always true, Mark. I really don't. I mean I think that there are judges who really sit and listen and really try to make the right ruling (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

GERAGOS: Well, I've had -- I've had that experience. I won't name names. I've had the experience where judges...

HATCHETT: No, I agree. I agree.

GERAGOS: ... have tried to do the right thing...

HATCHETT: I agree that...

GERAGOS: ... but ultimately, at the end of the day, the prosecutor really controls the situation.

KING: Cheryl, do her parents believe that after all of this, she's going to change?

WOODCOCK: You know what?

They are certainly hoping that. They also do feel that this punishment is awfully extreme. But they're hoping that it will turn into something positive, then, perhaps, Paris could become a role model and something really good could come out of this.

KING: Is it extreme, judge?

HATCHETT: I don't think it's extreme, because what we keep forgetting is that she was already on probation. She could have gotten 90 days -- up to 90 days on the first events back in September.

KING: The drunk driving?

HATCHETT: The drunk driving.

GERAGOS: Yes, but as a practical matter, nobody gets that.

HATCHETT: Well, as a practical...

GERAGOS: I mean even if you -- as a practical matter, even if you go to trial and lose, you know, you're not supposed to be punished for exercising your right to a trial. But you do get punished for that if you lose. The most that anybody...

HATCHETT: But she could have gone to jail.

GERAGOS: The most anybody is going to give her is 15 days on a first offense, and that's extremely -- extremely rare.

HATCHETT: OK.

OK.

GERAGOS: Nobody does...

HATCHETT: But she could have...

GERAGOS: Nobody does 45 days on a probationary (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: What would you give her Jody?

MIN: I mean, you know, for her benefit, I think she needs to do a couple of weeks there. And I do have sympathy for the situation.

What I'm curious about, though, is how are they -- and Mark, maybe you can answer this -- how are they going to handle the strip searches for contraband? Are they going to take her and segregate her by herself in a room? Or are they going to line her up with all of the other girls out there?

GERAGOS: She's going to, when -- well, presumably if she actually goes in, the -- what they're going to end up doing with her is treat her on the same line with everybody else. They're not going to do anything any different, because they don't want to be subject of anybody second guessing them.

KING: Off the top, Cheryl, how many days you think she'll serve?

WOODCOCK: Off the top, I'm hoping a few hours.

KING: Janice?

MIN: I think it will end up probably being around 20 days. She'll end up on good behavior, get her sentence reduced. But I think she will end up in there for at least a few weeks.

HATCHETT: I think at least half.

GERAGOS: Twelve hours.

GIBSON: I would say a couple of weeks. Two or three weeks.

KING: Thank you all very much.

Illuminating.

Coming up, a celebrity and crime writer unparalleled, Dominick Dunne, also a friend of the Hilton family.

He takes on Paris' problems and other Hollywood stories, as well.

He always is right on top of making news.

Don't go away.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So here's to you Paris Hilton. Could you hear me when I say you've got everything you want, so could you please just go away?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILTON: That's hot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's to you Paris Hilton. Can I say what's on our mind?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LARRY KING, HOST: He's a best-selling author. He's an old friend. He's a regular contributor to "Vanity Fair" magazine. He's well known, for among other things, his coverage of the trials of the rich and famous. He's Dominick Dunne.

By the way, one quick reminder, the greatest interviews of LARRY KING LIVE now available on DVD. All you got to do is go to kingoftalkdvd.com, kingoftalkdvd.com. We have personal observations on all of the guests, too. Hope you find it fascinating.

We always find Dominick Dunne fascinating. OK, we're talking about the Hiltons and I know you know the parents well, don't you?

DOMINICK DUNNE, FRIEND OF HILTONS: I actually know Rick and Kathy and they're an incredibly nice couple. And you know the thing is, it's -- what nobody understands about it, as wild as Paris is and so forth and so forth, they are really a family. And you see it at Christmas time when they send the family Christmas card. There's two brothers in that family that you never hear anything about that totally stay out of the picture. So they are a unit.

And you know Paris has done a very stupid thing. And I think she should go to jail, by the way. And it's certainly not going to be 45 days because it just looks like rich kids stuff if you...

KING: And it does.

DUNNE: ...if you get out of it and that don't go over.

KING: Rick's surgery, did you hear, they say it went well.

DUNNE: Yes. I didn't know that until I heard it.

KING: How about some people trying to appeal right to the governor?

DUNNE: Well, I mean, it's...

KING: What do you make of all of these signatures asking for it?

DUNNE: Well, that's what I hear. I didn't know that until a little bit ago.

KING: Why do people like her?

DUNNE: She's an astonishing phenomenon. I mean...

KING: I know.

DUNNE: ...she earns a lot of money, you know. That's the thing. She earns something like $7 million to $10 million a year just by going to these openings and these parties. She charges for that. And she is...

KING: But what does she do?

DUNNE: Nothing.

KING: So she's famous for nothing?

DUNNE: Nothing, that's right. And you wonder, she's 26, now when she gets to be 30, is this going to still work? I don't think so.

KING: And you've covered famous people...

DUNNE: Lots of them.

KING: ...celebrities. You're the epitome of a celebrity coverer, if that's such a word. What do you make of this one?

DUNNE: Well, I mean, there's nobody like her. I mean, she's utter -- in fact, she's world famous. She is known all over the world. And it seems like she goes out every night and poses and does those poses. She's in a different dress. She's somebody that people talk about. And, you know, it's her own fault that she's in the trouble she's in.

KING: What do you make, Dominick, of this wave of young people like this, young girls?

DUNNE: Well, I really think about it because the favorite person in my life is my 17-year-old granddaughter, who is beautiful and who has the boys knocking at the door. And I hate it that Paris and the group around her, Lindsay Lohan, are the role models for the young girls of America. And, you know, I don't want my Hanna to...

KING: But how did we get to this?

DUNNE: How do we get to it? Well, we are in the most celebrity- mad phase in the history of our country.

KING: Tabloids add to it?

DUNNE: Absolutely.

KING: Does "Vanity Fair" add to it?

DUNNE: Sadly, yes, but not primarily. I meant that's a -- I mean I always felt that it was a mistake for us to have Paris on the cover, by the way, because -- of "Vanity Fair" because the people who follow her don't read "Vanity Fair" and the "Vanity Fair" reader doesn't care about Paris Hilton.

KING: No.

DUNNE: But there's that group of them, you know, Lindsay Lohan...

KING: Now, Lindsay is a talent though. You've got to see "Georgia Rule," the new movie. She's terrific.

DUNNE: She's wonderful. I saw her in the Garrison-Kaler (ph) movie...

KING: She was great.

DUNNE: She was wonderful.

KING: She can sing.

DUNNE: She broke my heart in that picture.

KING: Yes.

DUNNE: And you think what is she doing this for? This is a talent. I don't know anything about Britney Spears, you know, except all of that junk I read. But, I mean, Lindsay Lohan is a really talented woman who could have a great career. And she's going to ruin it.

KING: And you're here to cover the Phil Spector trial...

DUNNE: You bet.

KING: ...for "Vanity Fair." Phil Spector, one of the greatest record producers ever, right?

DUNNE: Ever. KING: Certainly in the top three best ever...

DUNNE: Ever.

KING: ...on trial for murder for a woman he picked up that night.

DUNNE: He had known her not quite two hours.

KING: Now, first, who is his lawyer?

DUNNE: His lawyer is a fascinating man called Bruce Cutler.

KING: But he's not there, right, or is he back?

DUNNE: Well, he's back.

KING: Because he left for a while.

DUNNE: And he gave me -- well, yes, he got sick allegedly. I didn't quite believe that, by the way. And, you know, he is John Gotti's lawyer. And every time he is mentioned, he is called "Mafia Lawyer." You know that's not a great sound.

KING: No.

DUNNE: But the thing I always liked about him is he got John Gotti off three times. And on the fourth he got life and he died in prison. But, you know, Bruce Cutler always went to visit him. I don't know why that touched me, but it did. And it wasn't just, you know -- he's a nice guy.

And last night there was a little screw up at the court, and the driver didn't come. And so Bruce Cutler said to me, "I have to go to Pasadena." So we got on the back of his limousine and he said, "You come to Pasadena with me and I'll have them take you to the Chateau Maramont afterwards." So I got a good chance to talk to him and...

KING: What does he think?

DUNNE: ...well, of course, you know, he thinks he's going to get off. I'm not sure that I think that.

KING: Dominick Dunne is the guest. More on the Spector trial when we come back not to mention a look back at some of the Phil Spector's bizarre choices in hair styles. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may not know the man, but you know his music. The producer of these recordings is Phil Spector. Spector is now accused of murder, charged with murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his suburban home in 2003, allegedly putting a gun in her mouth and pulling the trigger. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Our guest is Dominick Dunne. I know you have admitted it, been prosecution-oriented, in your career. DUNNE: I am very definitely prosecution-oriented.

KING: Are you in this case?

DUNNE: I am. I am. I do not believe for an instant that Lana Clarkson committed suicide in his house, I mean for a woman to go to the house of a man whom she doesn't know to do the most intimate of intimate acts, which is suicide. I also don't think that beautiful women shoot themselves in the face. And she was a -- Lana Clarkson...

KING: Very pretty.

DUNNE: ...was an extremely beautiful woman. And to shoot where her teeth are all over the floor, that's just now how a beautiful woman does it.

KING: All right. The other side would be what would motivate Phil Spector to kill someone he's just met?

DUNNE: Well, you see, he has a reputation for pulling guns on people. And he's had that reputation for years and years. There's -- at the trial, there have been four women who have had that experience with him. But there's a lot more than those four women.

KING: Could it have been accidental then?

DUNNE: I'm sure it was accidental.

KING: So you don't think it was first degree murder?

DUNNE: I don't think it's first degree murder at all. And the key to this whole story is going to be the chauffeur. There was a Brazilian chauffeur. And his regular -- Phil's regular chauffeur was on holiday or some reason and he had this substitute chauffeur. And he picked up Lana Clarkson, who was the hostess in the V.I.P. room, the Foundation Room, it's called, at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard. And she didn't know who he was and didn't want to give him a table. And then somebody tipped her off that he's this big guy in the music business or was and so forth. And they got talking and she went home with him.

Now that chauffeur had the house -- he lives in a castle in Al Hambro (ph) and he had the car parked right outside the front door and he heard a shot. And allegedly, this is the story that Phil Spector came out of the house holding the gun and saying, something like five words, "I think I shot someone or killed someone."

The driver, Brazilian, calls the 911, which is in Al Hambro and what they're saying about him is -- now I heard there's been a lot of lawyers on this case before Bruce. And I heard Leslie Abramson say this first and now I've heard Bruce Cutler say it, that the windows were up in the car, a big Mercedes, that the heat was on, that the radio was on, that the fountain in the middle of the courtyard was doing water and he couldn't possibly have heard this.

KING: And he'll be called to testify?

DUNNE: Oh, he's major.

KING: What do you make of Spector's hair styles? What's going on with that?

DUNNE: Well, this is a pretty good one. I mean this is very calm. I mean he had that Diana Ross one for a while. And, yes, I think this for him -- that's the one, I mean, the Diana Ross one. And he -- you know, he's given a lot of thought to his looks in this thing, to what he wears. He makes an entrance every day in the courthouse. I mean it's worth seeing. He wears these like Edwardian frock coats that were like from Carnaby Street, remember back in the '60s. And he comes in with his wife. He married after the murder of...

KING: Let me get a break and we'll pick up on the extraordinary Phil Spector with the equally extraordinary Dominick Dunne.

Dominick Dunne spoke with Philip Specter in the men's room. We'll talk about that and about O.J. Simpson's restaurant rejection; get his reaction to the book Simpson tried to publish when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Back with Dominick Dunne of "Vanity Fair," best-selling author as well. You ran into Phil Spector in a men's room at the courthouse?

DUNNE: At the courthouse.

KING: What was said?

DUNNE: Well, it was the darnedest thing. There's only one men's room in -- the whole floor uses at the courthouse. So it's always crowded and you've got to sort of wait your turn to go up there. It just happened. It was just the two of us in there. Because he comes -- all the time he is surrounded by threes of the most huge African-American guards you've ever seen. They must weigh 300, 350 pounds each and they dress alike.

But this time they weren't in the men's room. And Phil was standing there and he had this Edwardian coat opened. And the coat opened and it covered the other two urinals on each side of him, and there's only three. So, you know, I had to wait. I mean couldn't say to him, will you move your -- you know.

And so, anyway, he came back and it was the first time that we spoke. We know each other. And it was the first time since the trial started that we actually spoke. And he's washing his hands like this and he says, "How are you, Dominick?" And I said, "I'm fine, Phil." And I kind of really didn't know what to say, Larry. And we have a mutual friend who we met through, and that's Amet Herdigan (ph) who has just died, a great friend, great, great, great. And I said, "Oh, I went to Amet's memorial service at Lincoln Center last week." And he was so interested in hearing about it, and everything else got forgotten, the trial and everything. He really wanted to know who was there. And I said, listen -- you know when you tell a story and then you think of other little things. I said, "Mick Jagger mentioned you in his eulogy." And Phil said, "Mick mentioned me?" And so you know it really still means something to him. It was nice.

KING: We're all little boys.

DUNNE: It was nice.

KING: What do you make of O.J. being asked to leave a Louisville, Kentucky restaurant and his lawyer said it may be racially motivated?

DUNNE: Well, I don't believe for one second it was racially motivated. I mean, you know, they tried that at the trial, too. And I don't -- I just don't believe that.

And I, for one -- and I'll probably annoy a lot of people, I'd like to give some applause to the owner of that restaurant. I think that, that was -- you know he didn't want -- he believes O.J. to be guilty as do most of the people in this country and didn't want him there and that's his privilege.

KING: And we'll be back with our remaining moments with Dominick Dunne right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: A couple of other things in the time remaining. Would you read O.J.'s book "If I Did It?"

DUNNE: It was slipped to me. I had it and let me tell you about it, Larry. I tried twice to read it and you know what? It gave me a bad feeling and I didn't want to read it. And then I had it on the table in my house, and you know what, every time I walked by it, I got a bad feeling. I just thought -- I so disapproved of that and I so loved the American public for rising up and saying we don't want that book. So I took it to the corner of 49th Street and 3rd Avenue and dumped in the trash can.

KING: Great story.

Alec Baldwin, were you embarrassed for him?

DUNNE: Yes, but, you know, I got to tell you, Alec Baldwin is a terrific guy. He truly is. And I don't want to make it like we're best friends but I know him. And the last time I saw him was at the Golden Globes. And he's mad about that child, absolutely mad about that child. And I just can't believe that what he said -- what he was saying to the wife, not to his kid. I feel very sorry for him. I feel very sorry that piece of tape was leaked.

KING: Yes.

DUNNE: How terrible that is for the kid at school.

KING: Bad for the kid. You're not doing the kid a favor?

DUNNE: None, none, none. And look, I hope they're able to work this out. And I hope he doesn't lose custody because he's a great father.

KING: You got a book coming?

DUNNE: I do, I do. It's called "A Solo Act" and it's coming out from crown. There's one problem with it -- the last chapter is not finished yet.

KING: "The Solo Act" or "A Solo Act"?

DUNNE: "A Solo Act."

KING: Fiction?

DUNNE: Fiction, but like all my fiction, it's based on...

KING: Criminal.

DUNNE: ...criminal period.

KING: A trial or a criminal?

DUNNE: A criminal trial.

KING: OK, you don't want to tell me. You don't want to jinx the book. Do you ever think of retiring?

DUNNE: No, no. I'm 81 and I just love going. I just love being in it and I love -- you know, I'm also covering a trial in Chicago...

KING: Conrad Black.

DUNNE: The Conrad Black trial, which is fascinating. And I was in Chicago and I saw Radlehr (ph), his partner. He turned state's evidence against him and I saw him get cross-examined by this Toronto defense attorney, who is the toughest guy I ever saw in my life. And he's really tough. I mean, I would just -- I would have a heart attack if he were...

KING: Is Conrad -- is that a criminal trial?

DUNNE: Yes.

KING: It's not a civil trial. It's a criminal trial.

DUNNE: Yes. KING: Do you like Conrad Black?

DUNNE: I do and I like his wife. Now his wife and I have known each other since 1970 in Hollywood.

KING: He and Murdoch were big rivals.

DUNNE: They don't like each other.

KING: Why do you love trials?

DUNNE: Well, you know, I never attended a trial in my life until I attended the trial of the man who killed my daughter and that got me interested in trials. That got me interested in the things that disgust me about trials, the whole showbiz aspect of the trial. You know they dress this guy who killed my daughter like he was a sacrasin in a seminary, you know.

KING: But that got you interested in covering trials?

DUNNE: It did.

KING: Because there's nothing more human, is there, than a trial?

DUNNE: No. I mean you get right down to the basics of a person's life there. And I think that the Spector trial is going to end up a fantastic trial. I expect something to happen in that trial. You know he is a guy who loves drama. He does and you know that. And I just think something is going to happen. I don't know what but he's going to create a storm.

KING: And you'll be there?

DUNNE: And I'll be there.

KING: And you'll be writing about it.

Mr. Dunne, it's always a pleasure.

DUNNE: Thank you.

KING: Dominick Dunne, the best-selling author, and regular contributor to "Vanity Fair" magazine. He covers the rich and famous better than anybody before or since.

Tomorrow night, Katie Couric will interview me in a repeat of the highlights of the 50th anniversary week. And Sunday night, we'll repeat our interview with Oprah Winfrey. That's Katie Couric hosting tomorrow night, Oprah Winfrey Sunday. We'll be back live Monday night.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com

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