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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

What Happened On "The View" Today?/Mary Jo Speaks Out

Aired May 23, 2007 - 21:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)
ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: Let me speak...

ROSIE O'DONNELL: you're going to double speak.

HASSELBECK: OK...

O'DONNELL: It's just a yes or no.

HASSELBECK: I'm not a...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, it's war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

O'DONNELL: you said nothing and that's cowardly.

HASSELBECK: no, no, no. No, no, no.

O'DONNELL: Nothing.

HASSELBECK: That is not -- that is not -- you will not call me a coward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Rosie O'Donnell and Elizabeth Hasselbeck went at it today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

HASSELBECK: explain your thoughts. They're your thoughts. Defend your own insinuations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And it got personal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

O'DONNELL: Because here's how it gets spun in the media. Rosie -- big, fat, lesbian Rosie attacks innocent, pure, Christian Elizabeth.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: It's "The View" feud that everybody is talking about.

We've got the latest with former "View" co-host, Debbie Matenopoulos and more.

Then, Joey Buttafuoco and Amy Fisher dating? Making out for cameras? Maybe even moving in together?

Oh my gosh, this nearly 15 years to the day after the "Long Island Lolita" shot Joey's then wife in the head. And now the ex Mrs. Buttafuoco, Mary Jo Connery, fires back.

Plus, the mystery of the missing Chicago area mom. She vanished without a trace three weeks ago in the middle of a nasty divorce and now reports of bloodstains in her husband's truck.

We'll cover it all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. Anybody who thought that Rosie O'Donnell would spend her final days of "The View" singing "Kumbaya" with her co-hosts has another think coming.

Rosie and Elizabeth Hasselbeck went head to head again today. And the whole thing started when Joy Behar brought up last night's edition of LARRY KING LIVE, when Al Gore was our guest.

Here's a part of that argument.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

O'DONNELL: I have told you I support the troops.

HASSELBECK: I have done the same for you.

O'DONNELL: I asked you if you believed what the Republican pundits were saying.

HASSELBECK: Did I say yes?

O'DONNELL: You said nothing, and that's cowardly.

HASSELBECK: No, no, no. No, no, no. That is not...

O'DONNELL: Nothing, Elizabeth.

HASSELBECK: Do not -- do not call me a coward because, number one, I sit here every single day...

O'DONNELL: So do I.

HASSELBECK: ... open my heart and tell people exactly what I believe.

O'DONNELL: So do I, Elizabeth.

HASSELBECK: Do not call me a coward, Rosie. I do not hide. O'DONNELL: It was cowardly yesterday.

HASSELBECK: It was not cowardly...

O'DONNELL: Yes, it was.

HASSELBECK: ... it was honest.

What is cowardly?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there no commercial in this show?

(LAUGHTER)

HASSELBECK: I'll tell you what's cowardly.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Man!

HASSELBECK: No!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are we, on PBS?

HASSELBECK: No! No! Asking a rhetorical question that you never answer yourself, that is cowardly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is directing this show?

Let's go to commercial.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And our panel to discuss all of this, in Los Angeles, but not with us -- she's at the E! Television set -- is Debbie Matenopoulos, a former co-host of "The View" from 1997 to 1999.

And here on our set is Harvey Levin, managing editor of tmz.com and Dayna Devon, the co-host of "Extra."

Debbie, what do you make of this is this?

DEBBIE MATENOPOULOS, FORMER CO-HOST OF "THE VIEW," HOST, E!'S "DAILY TEN": Hi, guys.

Well, I honestly believe what happened on that show today is what made it so groundbreaking to begin with. You have four women or five women at any different time with different opinions and different views. And especially when you're talking about politics, it's going to get heated and people's feelings are going to get hurt, you know what I mean?

And this isn't the first time Rosie and Elizabeth have gone head to head. I think it was just the farthest it's actually gone on set. And when -- when the audience files out and the cameras turn off, they're still real people with real feelings.

But it was riveting television. It was so compelling. It was so good, it became a financial benefit. They didn't even go to commercial. So, you know what I mean...

KING: All right, Harvey, one might say two people arguing.

Why is that a story?

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: Well, I think this is a story because it was personal. They can get into arguments and realize it's show business.

I have -- I'm sure this is going to shock you, but I have spies on that set. And I am told that it was genuine, that this was incendiary, that Rosie O'Donnell was genuinely furious as Elizabeth because she really felt that she gave her up.

KING: Should I feel responsible since it started over Al Gore's experience on this show? Should I...

DAYNA DEVON, "EXTRA" CO-HOST: It's your fault, Larry.

KING: I did it.

LEVIN: You should wear this badge of honor.

KING: A badge of honor.

Danya, what do you make of this?

DEVON: You know, I think it's actually a great thing. I think the fact is there are women at a table discussing politics and the war in Iraq, which I think is a great thing. They're very impassioned people.

But this is why people say don't bring up religion and politics, because when you do criticize someone's political views, you're insulting the very fiber of their being and usually the fiber of their parents' being and the parents before that. So you're really getting them at the core of who they are.

KING: And she was accusing her of copping out on her?

DEVON: Yes. Well, she was saying that she didn't stand up for her.

KING: Oh.

DEVON: And she was saying that -- Rosie had made a comment that 650,000 Iraqis have died, and so who are terrorists, insinuating that it was possibly our troops.

So she -- Elizabeth didn't answer her. She just kind of let her answer her own question and said you're an adult, make your own comments. MATENOPOULOS: I don't think...

KING: Debbie?

MATENOPOULOS: I don't think Rosie was insinuating it was the troops at all, Danya. I really believe she was insinuating her political beliefs. It was more about our government, I believe, not the troops. And I think Rosie has made that clear. She's not against our troops.

Who is against our troops?

Nobody. Maybe you're against the war, but not against the boys there.

KING: The argument -- the argument went on for a long time.

We're going to show you another clip now.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

O'DONNELL: Our enemies in Iraq.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

O'DONNELL: Did Iraq attack us?

HASSELBECK: No, I'm saying Al Qaeda...

O'DONNELL: OK...

HASSELBECK: ... in Iraq...

O'DONNELL: Did Iraq attack us, Elizabeth?

HASSELBECK: Iraq did not attack us, Rosie.

O'DONNELL: Correct.

HASSELBECK: We've been there before.

O'DONNELL: Well, what are you...

HASSELBECK: I'm saying our enemies, Al Qaeda -- are you hearing that?

O'DONNELL: Oh, I hear it but where do you want to go, bubb?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a political discussion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't interview each other.

HASSELBECK: If you're playing...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just say what you mean.

HASSELBECK: ... a game, OK? If you're playing a game and I'm going to say OK, I'm going to throw to my wide receiver, wide right, OK?

Do you do that?

I'm going to do it in two seconds.

What does that do for your enemy?

O'DONNELL: Well, you know what, Elizabeth...

HASSELBECK: It gives them time to plan.

O'DONNELL: ... if the enemy are innocent civilians, I don't want to play that kind of football.

HASSELBECK: The enemy are not innocent civilians.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Iraq didn't attack us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Harvey, is this kind of a boost for Elizabeth?

LEVIN: Huge. I mean, I think Elizabeth was invisible on that show until Rosie got there. and I think this puts her over the top.

The question, who is her foil now that Rosie is a short-timer?

They've got to pick somebody who can become that kind of a lightning rod or she's going to look like a wacko.

KING: Who replaces Rosie?

DEVON: You know, I think right now we're looking at Roseanne Barr as a frontrunner. There's many other people lining up. Whoopi Goldberg is actually who Rosie wants to replace her. Many, many names.

I just -- I can't envision who is going to be as polarizing as Rosie, though, right...

KING: And they want someone polarizing?

DEVON: Yes, I think they want someone, because, you know, this is what we're talking about right now. This is what we talked about today on "Extra." Everybody is talking about Rosie. And her (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KING: Speaking of "Extra" -- hold it. "Extra" nabbed an interview with Elizabeth Hasselbeck after her slugfest. DEVON: Right.

KING: Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY "EXTRA")

HASSELBECK: Oh, was there a spat today on "The View," my gosh. And being not Rosie, I think she's the best person to say what she meant by that.

Barbara, on behalf of everyone, I'm sorry.

I would hope that a disagreement or a -- a heated debate wouldn't be the end of a relationship.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Debbie, do you think this is big for Elizabeth?

MATENOPOULOS: I think it's huge for Elizabeth. I think Rosie O'Donnell is the blest thing that ever happened to Elizabeth Hasselbeck, because it actually forces Elizabeth to be honest. I don't mean TV honest, I mean honest -- and lay it all out on there on the table, regardless of what anybody else may think.

KING: Right.

MATENOPOULOS: It has forced Elizabeth to thicken her skin and I think people actually like her more for it. And I was just with Roseanne Barr this past weekend, interviewing her for "The Daily Ten." And she said -- I asked her all about this -- and she said, listen, Rosie called me and said here's the deal. They're not going to want somebody like you because they want someone less crazy, not more crazy, than me.

But she also said if she really wanted that job, she would...

KING: Did...

MATENOPOULOS: ... she would take it.

KING: Harvey, did Rosie have a point?

LEVIN: You know, I think Rosie was ticked off that -- that she took a beating in the press and she felt it was unfair and she felt that Elizabeth...

KING: But she didn't take a beating in the press over the Al Gore thing and the Iraq thing, since it hadn't appeared yet.

LEVIN: Well, but she had just taken a general beating over the -- over the comments that she made, political comments that Elizabeth, she felt, didn't defend her.

She -- if you watch that tape really carefully, they were talking about "Dancing With the Stars." and Rosie O'Donnell looked like I just couldn't care less about this right before they started talking about this. It was like she was -- she was preprogrammed...

KING: She came for a fight?

LEVIN: Came for a fight.

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

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.

There's more of the battle ahead.

Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

O'DONNELL: The enemies in Iraq?

HASSELBECK: This is when we are going to pull out. All right.

O'DONNELL: The enemies in Iraq?

HASSELBECK: Al Qaeda.

O'DONNELL: Wait, the enemies in Iraq.

HASSELBECK: Al Qaeda.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who didn't even go...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

O'DONNELL: you just said our enemies in Iraq.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

O'DONNELL: Did Iraq attack us?

HASSELBECK: No. I'm saying al Qaeda...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't interview each other.

HASSELBECK: If you're playing...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just say what you mean.

HASSELBECK: If you're playing a game, OK -- if you're playing a game and I'm going to say, OK, I'm going to throw to my wide receiver...

O'DONNELL: Elizabeth...

HASSELBECK: ... some type of plan...

O'DONNELL: ... if the enemy are innocent civilians, I don't want to play that kind of football.

HASSELBECK: The enemy are not innocent civilians.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right.

(INAUDIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, honey.

You know what?

I don't want to...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like watching "Dancing With the Stars."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COMMERCIAL

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

O'DONNELL: There you go.

HASSELBECK: I just don't understand why it's my fault if people spin words that you put out there or phrases that suggest things. And I gave you an opportunity two days ago to clarify the statement...

O'DONNELL: I know. I think that's...

HASSELBECK: ... that got you in trouble on all of those issues. I did that as a friend.

O'DONNELL: That -- that got me in trouble. As a friend, you gave me the opportunity. That was very...

HASSELBECK: I did.

Why don't you grab (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that?

O'DONNELL: That was very sweet of you.

What I was is asking, you...

HASSELBECK: Yes?

O'DONNELL: ... who actually knows me...

HASSELBECK: Yes.

O'DONNELL: Do you believe I think our troops are terrorists, Elizabeth?

HASSELBECK: I don't think that you...

O'DONNELL: Yes or no?

HASSELBECK: I don't think that...

O'DONNELL: Do you believe that, yes or no?

HASSELBECK: Excuse me. Let me speak, OK?

O'DONNELL: You're going to doublespeak. It's just a yes or no.

HASSELBECK: No, no, no. I am not a double speaker.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Last night we asked you, do you think Al Gore will end up running for president?

Eighty-nine percent said yes. That's yes, he will.

Tonight's text vote question is who do you side with in today's big fight on "The View," Rosie or Elizabeth?

Text vote from your cell phone to CNN TV, 266-88-TEXT King A if you side with Rosie and King B if you side with Elizabeth.

And, Dayna, what do you think of -- what do you think Barbara Walters thinks?

DEVON: Well, I think Barbara Walters regrets that she took today off. Every time -- Barbara has -- has reined them in for a long time. They were using the "B word" on the show for a while and she actually, on the air, said no more of that.

She's kind of the den mother. And when she's gone, the cubs tend to get in some little brawls.

KING: Is this big for the overall show, Debbie? Was this a good day for "The View?"

MATENOPOULOS: For sure.

Larry, ever since Rosie announced she was leaving, people were thinking what's going to happen to the show? How is this going to survive?

Rosie put a spark in that show that it had needed for so long. It -- she put -- basically, it wasn't fireworks, it was SCUD missiles that she dropped in the middle of that studio. and it worked.

And she did it again today.

It just proves how valuable Rosie O'Donnell is to that show. I think it was amazing what happened. The ratings probably skyrocketed.

KING: Harvey, her point... MATENOPOULOS: You know, I mean Harvey knows that. Bill knows that.

KING: Harvey, her point -- Rosie's point -- was well taken.

Do you think she said the troops were terrorist or that she meant the government is terrorist?

LEVIN: Yes, she didn't mean the troops, clearly. And...

KING: So why didn't Elizabeth simply say I know you didn't mean the troops?

LEVIN: You know, I don't know the answer to that, but that's clearly what sparked Rosie.

I can tell you this, Rosie is just ready for a fight when it comes to politics generally now. What happens during commercials on that show, she goes into the audience. The other women kind of sit there. She goes into the audience and she talks to the audience. She's gotten in several fights this week over politics and railed on some audience members because she didn't like their political views.

KING: Do you like the show better, Dayna?

DEVON: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I was so worried when Rosie was coming on board. But I have to say, we are all glued. You go through the "Extra" newsroom and everybody is watching. Ratings are so up since she came on in September. Everyone is talking. It's the water cooler talk. I just -- I can't imagine the show without her, and that's the mark of a great host, when you can't imagine it without her.

MATENOPOULOS: Yes.

KING: Let's show you one more clip from today's row.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

HASSELBECK: Why?

O'DONNELL: But I wanted to know what people like you -- but you are my friend since September...

HASSELBECK: Yes. Yes.

O'DONNELL: Do you believe that I think our troops are terrorists?

HASSELBECK: I do...

O'DONNELL: And you would not even look me in the face, Elizabeth and say...

HASSELBECK: What are you talking about?

O'DONNELL: ... no, Rosie.

I can understand how people might have...

HASSELBECK: I asked you...

O'DONNELL: ... thought that.

Why don't you take this opportunity like I'm six?

HASSELBECK: Because you are an adult and I am certainly not going to...

O'DONNELL: So are you.

HASSELBECK: ... be the person for you to explain your thoughts. They're your thoughts. Defend your own insinuations.

O'DONNELL: I defend my thoughts.

HASSELBECK: Defend your own thoughts.

O'DONNELL: Frankly, every time I defend them, Elizabeth, it's poor little Elizabeth that I'm picking on.

HASSELBECK: You know what?

Poor little Elizabeth is not poor little Elizabeth.

O'DONNELL: That's right. That's why not I'm not going to fight with you anymore...

HASSELBECK: Stop suggesting that...

O'DONNELL: ... because it's absurd. So for three weeks, you can say all of the Republican crap you want.

HASSELBECK: But you know I...

O'DONNELL: I'm not going -- I'm not going to do it.

HASSELBECK: It's much easier to fight someone like Donald Trump, isn't it?

Because he's obnoxious.

O'DONNELL: I've never fought him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: When does Rosie leave?

DEVON: June 21.

KING: Do you expect her to go sooner? DEVON: No, I don't think so. I think they're going to patch things up. She's taking tomorrow off because it's her girlfriend's 40th birthday. So she's taking tomorrow off. And that's always an awkward day, Elizabeth says, whenever -- after they have a big, you know, fight like this.

So she'll take that off. I think she'll come back. I think she'll be fine. But it is not going to go quietly. She's going to be on that show and there's going to be fireworks until the bitter end.

KING: Debbie, is this going to be Trump 2?

MATENOPOULOS: Oh, gosh, I don't think, so Larry. I think what happened there today is something that would happen in the makeup room or would happen off-set.

I was there, remember?

I left that studio in tears before from fighting with the other women, not for any other reason but that you spent a lot of time together and you're very strong and you have your own opinions. It doesn't mean you don't like the person.

So, do I think Barbara and Bill may sit them down and do a little tsk, tsk?

Sure. But I don't -- I don't think it's going to be a big fight. I think the girls genuinely both had their feelings hurt. It was two girls with hurt feelings.

KING: All right.

Harvey?

LEVIN: I disagree. I mean, Rosie is taking this personally. This was offensive to her. Elisabeth...

KING: She's going to keep it going?

LEVIN: You know what?

What I'm told is she doesn't feel invested now. She has nothing to lose. She's leaving. She does feel like a short-timer. and she's not going to take crap from people.

KING: So, wait a minute, Harvey.

Do you disagree with Debbie?

LEVIN: I disagree with you, Larry.

MATENOPOULOS: Yes, Harvey!

KING: Debbie, he disagrees with you, Debbie!

MATENOPOULOS: You better watch out, Harvey! You know, I have to say, I rewound the tape today and I was watching it. And, actually, Rosie looked like she was almost -- almost in tears at the end of this.

MATENOPOULOS: Yes.

DEVON: She looked like...

MATENOPOULOS: And so did Elizabeth.

DEVON: ... she was almost kind of sad.

Yes.

They -- she really did seem like...

MATENOPOULOS: They were upset.

DEVON: ... something Elizabeth did hurt her feelings...

MATENOPOULOS: Exactly, Danya. DEVON: and maybe she was a loose canon today. She really did seem upset about something.

DEVON: Exactly.

KING: Thank you all very much. Debbie Matenopoulos, Harvey Levin, Dayna Devon.

And we appreciate your input on this titanic struggle of morning television. Up next, a reported return of a romance that was made in tabloid heaven.

Are Joey Buttafuoco and Amy Fisher at it again?

The woman Amy nearly killed, Joey's ex-wife, has an opinion and she's here to talk about it, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY "INSIDE NEW YORK CITY")

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, another bizarre twist in Amy and Joey's forbidden love affair.

Joey, would you ever consider marrying Amy?

JOEY BUTTAFUOCO: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COMMERCIAL

KING: We are back.

It was a tale made for the tabloids -- the inspiration for three television movies.

On May 19,1992, Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot in the face outside her Long Island home by her then husband's Joey's 17-year-old lover, Amy Fisher.

Amy then became known as the "Long Island Lolita," ended up spending seven years in prison for the assault.

Meanwhile, Joey served time for statutory rape. And after he got out of jail, he and Mary Jo stayed together until 2003, when they divorced.

Joey married again and young Amy became a wife, too.

And now Joey and Amy have reunited for a highly publicized dinner date, complete with canoodling for the camera. And there's talk they may be moving in together.

By the way, they've also been served with divorce papers by their respective spouses, which should shock no one.

We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Mary Jo Connery, the former Mrs. Joey Buttafuoco.

This is 15 years ago.

What do you make of this?

MARY JO CONNERY, JOEY BUTTAFUOCO'S EX-WIFE ON JOEY DATING AMY FISHER, WHO SHOT HER: Isn't this unbelievable?

I just thought they'd all go away and leave me alone.

KING: And here you are back in the headlines again.

CONNERY: Here I am.

KING: All right.

Are you shocked?

CONNERY: Yes, I -- I was shocked. I -- I didn't think that he would stoop to something this low.

KING: Why is he the low one?

What about her?

CONNERY: Well, her too. Her, too. I don't know what to make of it. I know what everybody else knows. I have no contact with him. I haven't spoken to him in about a year. He hasn't spoken to his children. He hasn't gotten in contact with any of his family members...

KING: He doesn't contact -- how old are the children now?

CONNERY: Twenty-seven and 24.

KING: What did you talk about a year ago?

CONNERY: With?

KING: When you said you had not spoken in about a year?

CONNERY: Oh. Probably nothing important. Maybe something that the kids were doing or someplace that they had to go. Nothing important. We really haven't had much contact.

KING: Did you know his new wife?

CONNERY: I never met her. I knew of her through my children. I knew about her through my children. But I have never met her.

KING: Now, the "New York Post" says that Joey and Amy are going to move in together.

What's your reaction?

CONNERY: Well, he has no place else to go, so I guess, why not?

I don't know that I believe any of this. I think it's all a big publicity stunt.

KING: For who?

CONNERY: For Joey. I think Joey likes to be in the spotlight. Joey needs attention. And I think that this is how he's getting it now.

KING: when this whole thing happened, were you totally shocked?

Or did you question Joey?

CONNERY: Oh, god, I questioned him, a lot. I mean I was like a raving lunatic. You know, I come across as very well kept together, but behind closed doors I was screaming and yelling at him, a lot.

KING: Did you know about his girlfriend?

CONNERY: I did not. I did not have any idea.

KING: You must have suspected something?

CONNERY: I didn't. I really didn't.

KING: What were you screaming about?

CONNERY: And I don't know whether I blame that on the -- the time, young children, busy, you know, mom, housewife, taking care of the kids.

KING: So when you screamed at him, it was about what?

CONNERY: Well, you mean -- I'm saying after I got shot.

KING: Oh, after you...

CONNERY: After I got shot. And I was like, who is this person?

KING: So when that knock -- or was it a doorbell ringing or a knock on it?

CONNERY: Yes. Yes, the doorbell rang. And I was in the backyard.

KING: And what happened?

Refresh the viewers' memories.

CONNERY: They don't all remember.

KING: Oh, well, 15 years, you've got a whole new generation.

CONNERY: That's true. That's true.

I was in the backyard painting, you know, minding my own business. And the doorbell rang. And I could see -- it was a beautiful spring day and I could see through my backdoor to my front door, which was open, but the screen door was closed.

and there was this kid at the door. It's noon on a Tuesday.

What's -- it's somebody selling Girl Scout cookies.

What do I know, right?

So I had no hesitation. And when I went to her and she said, "Are you Mrs. Buttafuoco?"

I said, "Yes."

She said, "I need to talk to you about your husband, Joey."

OK. She knows who I am. She knows Joe.

So I -- I went outside. There was no reason for me to feel fear or afraid...

KING: You didn't invite her in?

You went outside?

CONNERY: Thank god I went outside.

KING: Because?

CONNERY: Because she shot me right there. And if I had been in the house...

KING: If you had been inside, you might have died?

CONNERY: I believe that. Because if she had come in and done that, I went -- I was out for the count from, you know, the minute that she (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: So where did she -- where did the gun come from, the purse or?

CONNERY: You know, she had like culottes on, like now when I think back, like loose culottes. And she had her hands in her pockets. And so it must have been -- and it was a .25 caliber gun, which I've seen since, and it's a small gun.

So when I dismissed her and said I'm going in and I turned -- and I must have opened my screen door, because there was blood on the door jamb. Afterwards, I found this out. I didn't know it at the time. So I must have gotten it open.

And she literally just -- like I turned and she pulled and right -- right here, the bullet. I mean this close, as you and I are sitting together. This was how close I got shot.

KING: Were you out?

CONNERY: Bang. I didn't know what hit me. I thought that she hit me with a baseball bat. But I couldn't figure out in my brain as I was going down, where did she get the bat?

Like I didn't see a bat.

KING: Or who is she?

CONNERY: Yes.

KING: Or what is this about?

Did she say anything?

Did she say I'm in love with your husband? Did she...

CONNERY: She said that her sister was having an affair with my husband at the time.

KING: Before she shot you?

CONNERY: Yes. Yes.

And, you know, at the time I was 37, she was 17. you just know when a kid is lying. And you're like when your son, you know, he's got the chocolate all over his mouth and he's looking at you and going where -- you know, what did you do with the chocolate?

No, it wasn't me. I didn't do it. You just -- I knew that she was lying about something.

KING: The television show "The Insider" landed some exclusive photos of Joey and Amy.

Let's take a look at that part of their story.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE INSIDER," COURTESY CBS PARAMOUNT) J. BUTTAFUOCO: I don't owe an explanation to anybody at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): "The Insider" chronicling Amy and Joey's unbelievable reconciliation from day one, their kiss in the rain and their romantic dinner were all caught on camera.

Here are Joey's divorce papers, filed by Evanka less than a month ago.

But now questions -- could this be part of a reality show?

Are his feelings for Amy sincere?

He told "The Insider" a wedding between him and the woman who shot his wife in the face could be on the horizon.

So would you like to, you know, skate off into the sunset with Amy Fisher?

J. BUTTAFUOCO: Possibly, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: How is Joey...

CONNERY: You know...

KING: Go ahead.

CONNERY: I just was going to say his first line was, "I don't owe an explanation to anybody."

And that's where he's wrong, because he does. He owes an explanation to his son and to his daughter, because this is the woman who tried to kill their mother when they were nine and 12 years old. And if he thinks because they're grown up that this doesn't affect them or if they don't feel that he's wrong, very wrong...

KING: Has he ever apologized to you?

CONNERY: Oh, sure. Yes.

KING: Yes.

CONNERY: Very.

All right, I think that this is part of a self-destructive pattern. Ever -- ever since then, he's always done things that -- that he doesn't -- how can I -- he makes very poor choices. And I believe he doesn't want to be happy because of the guilt that he feels for what he -- happened to me.

KING: We have some e-mail questions.

We're also going to meet Mary Jo's fiance in a little while.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amy Fisher, the so-called Long Island Lolita, confessed to shooting the wife of her alleged lover. Fisher was released Wednesday after spending a month in Huntington Hospital's psychiatric unit after attempting to take her own life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mary Jo Buttafuoco, a 37-year-old housewife suffers facial paralysis, blurred vision and hearing loss after being shot in the head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, HOST: Mary Jo Connery is the former Mrs. Joey Buttafuoco. We have an email question from Tammy in West Caldwell, New Jersey: "Are you concerned that the news of Joey re-involving himself with Amy might set you back again psychologically? Does it make you start questioning your judgment again?"

CONNERY: That's a good question. No, it won't set me back psychologically because I'm really way past this. Where he is, I am so far past it.

Yes, have I questioned my judgment over the years? Yes, ever once in a while I have to sit down when he pulls these stunts and I see this. I didn't see any of this back then so I still have to wonder.

KING: But you helped Amy get out of prison.

CONNERY: Well, you know it was a long time ago. She had been in jail a long time. At the time, I was ready. It took seven years for me to get to a place in my heart and in my head to let this go. That was the beginning of my process of letting this go and letting this anger go and moving on with my life.

KING: So what did you do, appear before a parole board?

CONNERY: It was actually-- they had granted her a new trial because apparently her first attorney did some bad things, I'll say, and she was granted a new trial. And instead of us going through a whole trial, I met with her mother first and I talked to her and I listened to her. And we kind of decided instead -- the district attorney said, "Would you be willing to have a plea bargain, say yes to a plea bargain and give it time served?" So I said you know what, she's been in jail seven years. She's young, yes.

KING: Did you ever consider taking Joey back, forgiving him? Did that ever occur during any of this scenario?

CONNERY: Since we've split up?

KING: Since the shooting. CONNERY: Well, I stayed with him.

KING: For how long?

CONNERY: '92 to 2000. We separated in 2000.

KING: Why?

CONNERY: Why?

KING: Why did you stay?

CONNERY: Oh, why did I stay, well, you know, that's always the question. But I had two children to raise. I was very sick. He was very sorry. I know now 15 years later, when I look at my children, who are the most magnificent young adults and who are so good and smart, I did the right thing because through example, I showed them, you don't quit when you're down.

KING: So no regrets over staying?

CONNERY: No regrets.

KING: Another email concerning the children from Evan in Princeton, New Jersey: "Mary Jo, I think you're a very courageous lady. I wanted to ask, do your children have any contact with their father? How do they feel about it?"

CONNERY: They have not seen him or spoken to him since he went back to prison on January 8 of this year. He has been out of prison now, I guess, 3 1/2 weeks. He has made no contact with them. He hasn't talked to them. They don't know how to get a hold of him.

KING: Does that surprise you?

CONNERY: It does surprise me. It really does.

KING: Was he ever a good father?

CONNERY: You know that's the amazing thing. He loved his children. He loved those children. And I think he's given them up for money and I never thought...

KING: Money from where?

CONNERY: Well, I guess the beginning of this, whatever he's doing.

KING: You think tabloids pay him?

CONNERY: I don't know. I think it's for a reality show. A reality show would pay him, right? I mean...

KING: Wait, there's going to be a Buttafuoco reality show?

CONNERY: That's what I hear. I don't know. KING: Joey and Amy in a reality show?

CONNERY: That's -- I know what you know. I see this and I go who would want to buy this. But, you know...

KING: Another email from Barbie in Mobile, Alabama: "Are you concerned for you safety or your children's' safety now that Joey's back with Amy? Do you have any way to keep them away from your family?"

CONNERY: No, I'm not concerned about my safety or the kids. If anything, they should worry about us. They better stay away from us, the two of them. They're crazy. No, I don't any feel like that.

KING: So there has to be -- you're engaged now, right?

CONNERY: Yes.

KING: Your fiance, we're going to meet him in the next segment. There has to be in you a total -- what is this all about? I mean...

CONNERY: There is. Of course, there is. I'm so disappointed in him. I shouldn't be surprised but I guess I am. I'm not so much -- because it's like a week that I heard about this and it's settling in, and I'm just saying, what are you thinking?

KING: What do you think their mates are thinking?

CONNERY: Good question.

KING: That's why I asked it.

CONNERY: What are they thinking? They are going -- obviously, they are going along with this kookiness. They're going along with it because they filed divorce papers. We all saw them. They're on the Internet. So I think that this producer sat the four of these nimnuts down and said, "I got an idea, you guys get a divorce and you guys get a divorce and we'll put you wacky two together and we'll make a reality show." I really have visions of that's what happened.

KING: And you can conceive that it might be a hit?

CONNERY: Oh, please, no. Please no. You know I mean the dumbing down of America, here it is if this goes.

KING: No better proof than this.

CONNERY: Yes.

KING: All right, we're going to meet your fiance in a moment. Just ahead, life after Joe -- after Joey, rather. Mary Jo is joined here by her fiance. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What do you make of Amy? JOEY BUTTAFUOCO, HAD RELATIONSHIP WITH AMY FISHER: I think that she is a pathological liar, a psychopath, and needs a tremendous amount of help. I don't know if she's ever going to get it.

KING: Pathological meaning you think she believes what she says?

BUTTAFUOCO: You know, unfortunately, she forgets what she says, you know, one lie after another.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONNERY: And she looked me right in the eye and started to fill up and said, "I'm so, so, sorry." And I reached. You know it was like a reaction. I reached and I said, "Thank you." And as we both reached, the guard, like, pulled my hand back, you know, so we couldn't do it. But she looked in my eyes and just was, like, saying, "I'm so sorry." She couldn't say it enough.

KING: Amy, what do you make of what Mary Jo did?

AMY FISHER, LONG ISLAND LOLITA: Well, you know what; I have come to realize she is a very nice person. I'm very great grateful for what she did. You know words can't express it and you know it's something very personal. It's not something I really want to share with people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're with Mary Jo Connery and she is with Stuart Tendler. We call him Stu, Mary Jo's fiance and business partner, in Original Party Posters. If you want more information on them, original party posters.com. I saw some of the work they do, they do terrific work.

How did you two meet?

STUART TENDLER, MARY JO'S FIANCE: How did we meet? We met in Las Vegas.

KING: You were playing, she was playing?

CONNERY: No, I was dating his best friend, as a matter of fact.

KING: So you break up another one...

TENDLER: No, it wasn't like that.

KING: Did you know the whole Buttafuoco story when you met her?

TENDLER: I knew of it, not as much as I know now.

KING: What did you make of it?

TENDLER: At the time? Like I said, I knew of it. I didn't know a lot about it.

KING: Did it affect you starting up with her?

TENDLER: No, because I didn't start up with her. We just were friends because she was dating a friend of mine.

CONNERY: I was more nervous about it.

KING: So how did it begin for you romantically?

TENDLER: Lots of phone conversations.

CONNERY: Yes, we lived far away. We lived about 90 miles away from each other and we would talk at night, three, four hours every night. And I just -- we just had the values, the morals, the backgrounds. That's what I was looking for. And I did -- he had it. He had all of those things.

KING: What do you make of this reuniting?

TENDLER: You know, I just think there's two really dumb, selfish people here that -- the only people this is affecting is the kids. I mean we're all going to go live our lives and go about our business. The only people getting hurt are the kids.

KING: The kids are grown up. They're adults.

TENDLER: But no, her kids aren't. And you know he says the same thing, they're adults. I see these kids all the time. This hurts them. This destroys these kids. This is a lady that shot their mother. This is just...

KING: Are you sorry now you helped get her out?

CONNERY: Oh, no, no. I did what I needed to do. I'm not sorry. I'm just sad that this is what they have resorted to.

KING: You told me something during the break that's hard to believe but the producers of the -- tell them what they asked you to do.

CONNERY: Yes, I got the first phone call maybe five weeks ago from the producer who is putting this all together.

KING: This reality show?

CONNERY: Yes, this reality show. And he asked me, how would I feel about re-creating the crime? So like I said to you, after I got up off the floor, I said, "Did I hear that right? I only have one good ear, but did I hear that right?" And he said, "Yes, would you like to re-create the crime?" And I thought about it and I said, "Sure for a million dollars, I'll stand there and do it." I never heard from them again.

KING: They wanted to re-create the crime?

CONNERY: This is what he asked.

KING: You're engaged for five years now, Stu, or were you together for five?

TENDLER: Together for five years.

KING: Are you going to get married?

TENDLER: I don't know are we going to get married?

CONNERY: You know we...

KING: When are you going to get married?

CONNERY: Yes, we probably will. It's just we have to plan a wedding.

TENDLER: You know what it is, we both have our children. We're not looking to anymore children. We're as deep into a relationship as two married people could ever get. We own a home together. We have a business together. You know we get along great.

CONNERY: Some day. Some day.

TENDLER: Look, we've both been married. It didn't work out.

KING: With what you have gone through, didn't you have a question with regard to Stu of trusting?

TENDLER: Well, I'd like to think that I learned from my mistakes. And as I got to know this man and we shared, like I said, the same values and I got to know him, no, I didn't feel that way. I'm not that kind of a person. I'm a pretty easy-going kind of person.

KING: And you live in Simi Valley, right here in California. You have a poster business right nearby.

TENDLER: In Chatsworth.

CONNERY: Yes, yes.

KING: If you want more information, originalpartyposters.com. Continue, Mary Jo, good luck.

CONNERY: Thank you, Larry, thank you so much.

KING: You're a hell of a lady.

CONNERY: Thank you.

KING: Good luck, Stu.

TENDLER: Thank you very much.

KING: Mary Jo Connery and Stu Tendler. When we come back, the mom who went missing just after filing papers to have her husband removed from their home. And now he's asking sole custody of the kids. That story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

Lisa Stebic vanished from her home in Plainfield, Illinois on April 30. Her estranged husband, Craig, was the last person known to have seen her alive. Although the Stebices were divorcing, they were still living in the same house. However, the day she disappeared, Lisa mailed off a petition seeking to have Craig removed from the home. In her divorce case, she accused him of being cruel, inconsiderate, domineering and verbally abusive. Yesterday Craig's legal bid to gain custody, temporary sole custody of the two children, was rejected.

Joining us in Chicago is Mark Greenburg, the cousin of Lisa Stebic, the Illinois mother and wife who has missing since April 30, and Melanie, his wife. The Greenburgs have been speaking out on behalf of the family during this ordeal.

On the phone is Joe Stebic, she's the father of Lisa Stebic's estranged husband, Craig.

And in New York is Lisa Bloom of Court TV.

Lisa, you want to get us up to date on this?

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV: Well, absolutely. As you say, Larry, what many legal observers thought was a strange move by Craig Stebic was denied by the judge. The judge said there's no reason to grant temporary custody to Craig just because Lisa has disappeared. The grounds that Craig had sought to get sole custody were simply that she was gone. She could come back at any time and take the children. The judge rejected that.

It's now been over three weeks, as you say, Larry, that she's been missing. The only forensic evidence that's been found so far is some of Lisa's blood found on a tarp in Craig's car. Other than that, there's no evidence of her whereabouts, no credit card receipts, for example, no cell phone calls. She simply seems to have vanished.

KING: Mark Greenburg, do you believe in foul play here?

MARK GREENBURG, COUSIN OF LISA STEBIC: Well, you know, Larry, at this point after 23 days, it's getting hard to keep up hope. But I think, you know, we have to keep up hope. We've seen so much support from the community, from, from family. We just keep hoping and praying.

KING: Melanie, how old are the children?

MELANIE GREENBURG, MARK GREENBURG'S WIFE: How old are the children? KING: Yes.

MELANIE GREENBURG: They're 10 and 12. She has a daughter that's 12 and a son that's 10. This is very difficult.

KING: How are they dealing with this?

MELANIE GREENBURG: It's very difficult. Lisa worked as a lunch room lady at a cafeteria in a school so that she could be home for her children every day after school. These are children that are used to seeing their mom every day after school. And it's extremely difficult. It's been over three weeks. It's hard for the entire family. Everyone is in anguish. We know that Lisa would never leave her children. She would never do this to her family. And so we're just -- it's a complete mystery. We don't know what could have happened to Lisa.

KING: Joe Stebic is on the phone. He's the father of Lisa's husband, Craig. What do you make of this, Joe?

JOE STEBIC, LISA STEBIC'S FATHER-IN-LAW: Well, I'll tell you what, it's all a mystery to me. And just like I heard this lady now talk about that blood again, how come, one station comes up with finding Lisa's blood in a tarp in a truck, and all the rest of the stations deny it?

KING: So you're questioning whether Lisa's blood was ever found anywhere near your son's truck?

STEBIC: Right.

KING: What do you make of this, then, Joe? What's your read on it? What does your son tell you?

STEBIC: He just doesn't know what happened to her. I know we were up here in Michigan on a Sunday -- I mean over the long weekend. And they all went home Sunday and I went home Sunday. And I talked to him Sunday night and that was it. Then I didn't know nothing until he called one morning and said Lisa never showed up. That's the only thing I know.

KING: Joe, how well do you get along with Lisa?

STEBIC: I love Lisa. She was a nice lady.

KING: Do you at all believe anywhere in your system, in your gut, that your son could commit violence?

STEBIC: No, I don't believe that not at all.

KING: Lisa, what's the story about one station saying blood and another station saying no?

BLOOM: Well, the reports that we have heard are that the police have indicated that blood -- a small amount of her blood was found on a tarp in his truck. That certainly doesn't necessarily make him guilty of murder. After all, they were a married couple. It would be typical to find any kind of blood, saliva, et cetera, of hers in his drink.

But one question I would have for Joe is, did Craig report her missing or was it, as had been reported, a neighbor that reported her missing the next morning? If Craig says she disappeared at 6:00 p.m., why didn't he call 911 immediately?

STEBIC: Well, because for the simple reason, Craig told me that she's been leaving every night almost at 6:00 or 6:15 to go do exercises or do something.

BLOOM: And then she's gone all night? And she's gone all night, leaves her children alone all night?

STEBIC: Well, who's at home? Who's home? Craig is working every day and he and the kids go to bed at 9:00 at night because he's got to get up about 4:00 or 4:30 to go to work.

KING: Mark, do you suspect Craig?

MARK GREENBURG: You know...

STEBIC: Yes.

MARK GREENBURG: ... Larry, at this point, you know, we're really relying on the Plainfield Police Department. There are a lot of media reports. Our hopes and prayers are that Lisa is still out there somewhere to be found. But we're relying on the Plainfield Police, the FBI, to look into all possible situations and circumstances and hopefully find something that will bring Lisa back to us.

KING: No question, Joe, that your son did not do anything wrong?

STEBIC: I can't believe that.

And another thing I'd like to say is, if she was so abused, isn't there any kind of a police report or anything? That's what I don't understand. I hear she's been a battered wife. I heard she was taking classes someplace as a battered wife or whatever it was. See, I don't have no TV up here where I'm at. I only go to town and people tell me what they hear on TV.

KING: So you're saying if that was the charge in the divorce, why weren't there police reports?

BLOOM: Larry, can I respond to that?

KING: Yes, sure.

BLOOM: She indicated in the papers that she filed, that she mailed off on the day she went missing, verbal abuse, verbal abuse. I've not heard anything about physical abuse but that he was domineering, verbally abusive and controlling. And that's why she wanted the court to require him leave the house and leave her alone with the children.

STEBIC: You know what; Craig was never verbally abusive to her. Every time I was down there, they seemed to get along just fine.

KING: Let me get a break. We'll be back with more with Mark and Melanie Greenburg, and Joe Stebic and Lisa Bloom of Court TV. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELANIE GREENBURG: We just pray for her safe return.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On Saturday, family and friends marked Lisa's 38th birthday with a somber celebration that included a vigil and a birthday cake bearing Lisa's picture.

CROWD: Happy birthday dear Lisa.

MARK GREENBURG: We continue to hope and pray that with all of the things that we've been doing, that people are out there looking and keeping their eyes open. And if they see something or realize they've seen something, they'll talk to the Plainfield police.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Coming up next week on LARRY KING LIVE, former first lady Nancy Reagan on the just-published Reagan diaries and what they reveal about the man who adored her, President Ronald Reagan. That's a week from Thursday, May 31, on LARRY KING LIVE.

Joe Stebic, does your son give you any hint as to what he thinks his wife might be?

STEBIC: No, all he told me one time was she was on that computer and he figures something that happened over that computer in email stuff. That's all I know.

KING: Is he leading any kind of search? Does he keep in touch with the police?

STEBIC: Well, no, because the police get in touch with him every once in a while. But every day I call, I ask him, I said, "Did anybody call? Did the cops call?" And he says no.

KING: Do the police tell you anything, Mark?

MARK GREENBURG: Well, you know, Larry, we do talk to the police fairly frequently. They're trying to keep the family as updated as possible. Obviously, one of the concerns that they have and that we have is that their investigation not be hampered, impaired, by whatever they may tell. They've got to make sure the Constitution is satisfied. So they're very cautious about what they do tell us. But we're in regular contact and they're telling us as much as they possibly can. KING: Melanie, frankly, it doesn't look good, does it?

MELANIE GREENBURG: It is very hard to be optimistic this many days out. We appreciate the opportunity you're giving us because we're trying to get Lisa's picture out there as wide -- to as wide an audience as we can. We don't know if someone may have been passing through the Chicago area and has seen something. We just urge anyone to call the Plainfield Police with any tip or any lead that they might have. All we know is there's no way Lisa would leave her children or her family like this. So we don't know what has happened.

KING: Lisa, is there a running theory in this case?

BLOOM: Well, I want to say, first, that the police have said that Craig Stebic is not a suspect. Having said that, we know that women in abusive relationships, and that's what she claims in the court papers, the most dangerous time for them is the time that they decide to leave the relationship. And Craig's dad is right. She had been exercising a lot. She lost about 40 pounds in the months before her disappearance. She got a tattoo of a butterfly on her back, symbolizing rebirth. And according to all of her friends, she was looking forward to this divorce. She was starting a new life and she was optimistic. So it's very odd, and certainly does sound like foul play that she would simply disappear and never be heard from again.

KING: We're out of time but we're going to do a lot more on this certainly. And we hope it has a happy resolution.

We thank you all for being with us.

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