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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
The Crash of the TAM Airliner in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Autopsy Findings on Chris Benoit and His Family; Interview With Larry Flynt, Jeane Palfrey
Aired July 17, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, shocking amounts of testosterone found in the body of wrestling superstar Chris Benoit when he killed his wife, his son and then himself. And get this -- authorities think he may have sedated his son before suffocating him.
We'll get exclusive first reaction from WWE champ John Cena.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK LUNSFORD, TESTIFIED AN HOUR AGO IN JOHN COUEY PRE-SENTENCING HEARING: I hope you hear her cries as you try to sleep at night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Mark Lunsford -- how on earth was he able to stand in court today and face down the monster who raped his 9-year-old daughter Jessica and buried her alive?
And then --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WENDY VITTER: To forgive is not always the easy choice, but it was and is the right choice for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: In a dramatic press conference yesterday, Senator David Vitter spoke for the first time on the scandal linking him with the D.C. Madam and her alleged prostitution ring. And his wife, who once reportedly threatened to do a Lorena Bobbitt on him if he strayed, stood by her man.
Now in another exclusive, the alleged D.C. Madam speaks out on Senator David Vitter and his wife.
And also with us, "Hustler" publisher Larry Flynt, who exposed the Vitter scandal.
And then, his wife is live in the morning and he's live here tonight. It's the other man in Kelly Ripa's life -- not Regis, her hunk husband, "Age of Love" Mark Consuelos.
All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin with that story you probably know -- the plane with as many as 170 people aboard has crashed and burst into flames in Sao Paulo in Brazil. That's Brazil's largest city. No immediate reports of deaths, but obviously there will be many, many fatalities.
It was a TAM Airline Airbus 320.
Joining us in Washington is aviation expert Carl Rochelle.
And on the phone, Arthur Wolk, an aviation safety expert; Julien Brierre, the freelance reporter in Sao Paulo; Captain Juan Carlos Maimone, a retired American Airline pilot who has flown into that airport many times; and our very own Miles O'Brien. Carl, it's so early but what's your first read?
CARL ROCHELLE, AVIATION EXPERT: Well, there are two or three things to look at, Larry.
One is the weather, which was obviously a factor in this. And when an airplane comes down like that, you bear in mind that those wheels aren't turning when they hit the water. They are still. And they have to spool up before any braking effect can take place.
So you get something that's called hydroplaning sometimes. If the airplane was a little fast and if the spoilers weren't set in advance, if the automatic braking system was not turned on, if the pilot was high and hot, the runway was slick -- there are an awful lot of factors that contribute to this.
The wind is also a factor. We don't yet know what the wind force was and whether he was landing up wind or down wind. He should have been landing into the wind, but we don't know all of these things. They will come into it like that.
But this is not the first time something like this has happened. Several years ago in California, an Air -- I think it was a 737 -- an aircraft ran off the end of the runway and came within something like 20 or 30 feet of a new gas station.
So the potential is there.
ROCHELLE: And what has made this worse, of course, is hitting the fuel and exploding and causing all of the fire, which makes it very difficult to get out of the airplane, Larry.
KING: Arthur Wolk, our aviation expert -- a safety expert -- with us on the phone.
What's your early read?
ARTHUR WOLK, AVIATION SAFETY EXPERT: Well, I would think certainly the weather was a factor. Apparently, it was very heavy rain. But more importantly, the airport, while being busy, also was built in the '30s and has not really been updated. The runways are short. They don't shed their water as quickly as they should, which makes braking action difficult. And, in fact, a federal judge in Brazil actually prohibited landings at that airport by large aircraft like the A320 for a period of time. He was overruled by the court of appeals.
That airport just is not up to what I'll call the safety standards that we expect to see for commercial traffic.
KING: In a minute we'll talk with a captain who landed there many times and with a freelance reporter who knows the area.
But first Miles O'Brien, what's your thoughts?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION EXPERT: Well, Larry, there are reports -- consistent reports from airline pilots who have been in and out of there recently -- that this particular runway, which was only about 6,000 feet long. The Airbus A320 would need, on a good day, about 4,500 feet; on a rainy day maybe a different story.
In any case, this runway had been recently repaved. And according to these pilots who are in the know here, they were waiting for the concrete to cure long enough in order for them to groove the runway, put those numerous thousands of grooves horizontal to the direction of the runway which allows the water to be shed more efficiently off the runway. In other words, if there weren't grooves there, as is reported, as we're hearing from these pilots, it's quite possible that this rain condition, which has been there for several days, might have caused water to collect and might have made the braking action much less than those pilots had anticipated. Another thing to look at here, Larry, is there are reports from witnesses on the scene that that airplane was struggling to regain altitude, was trying to take back off again. If the flight crew had made the decision once they landed, realizing that they're -- they had hydroplaned and their wheels weren't braking as they should, did they make the decision to go full throttle and try to fly again and not have enough space on that short runway to do that, and thus putting them in a situation where they ended up crashing?
Given the velocity of the crash and the distance from the runway, that is one of the things that the investigators will be looking at very carefully, Larry.
KING: Captain -- thank you, Miles.
Captain Juan Carlos Maimone is a retired American Airline pilot. He's flown into that airport many times
What can you tell us about it, Captain?
CAPT. JUAN CARLOS MAIMONE, RETIRED PILOT, HAS FLOWN TO SAO PAULO AIRPORT: Well, I pretty much agree with everybody else over there. And one of the things in that particular airport, even with that happened in almost 90 percent of the airports in South America, they keep from building business nearby the airport and you don't have any escape. Once you leave the runway, you've got a building right in front of you.
This would never happen in the United States, but it happens pretty, pretty often in South America -- buildings, buildings, gas stations, (INAUDIBLE) right next to the runway.
In this particular case, I cannot believe it's not even 150 feet from the runway to the next building. So in this particular case, according to what I hear, the pilot trying to raise some power to get the airplane off the ground, which I believe is impossible because it's pretty large airplane. And besides that, if you have a lot of water on the runway and you don't have enough power or enough concrete to get that thing off the ground.
KING: Thank you, Captain.
Julien Brierre is a freelance reporter in Sao Paulo. We'll wind up with him.
Julien, they're reporting -- Brazilian TV. In fact, it was just reported on the earlier program that 10 are definitely dead in one of the buildings.
Do you hear that?
JULIEN BRIERRE, FREELANCE REPORTER, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: I'm sorry, Larry, there was a problem on the line.
But what I can tell, last -- it's the numbers that are getting from television here and from authorities. Colonel -- Colonel Manuel Antonio Zarajujo (ph). He told about, of course, not exactly, but around 200 people dead on the scene between passengers, between crew people and people on the building on the scene.
KING: Thank you, Julien.
Julien reporting 200 dead. That makes sense, with 170 on the plane and possible others in buildings. We'll be following this throughout the night.
Up next, the toxicology reports from the murder/suicide of wrestler Chris Benoit and his wife and young son.
Don't go away.
(VIDEO CLIP FROM WRESTLING MATCH, COURTESY WWE USA)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. KRIS SPERRY, GEORGIA CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: We analyzed the urine of Chris Benoit for the presence of steroids. And the only steroid drug that we found was testosterone. And this was measured at a level of 207 micrograms per liter. Now, along with other analyses that were done in the urine, we were able to ascertain that this level of testosterone indicates that he had been using testosterone, at least within some reasonably short period of time prior to the time that he died.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Coming to us now from his base in Tampa, Florida is John Cena, a return visit with the WWE champion and superstar.
He knew Chris Benoit professionally, as well.
Toxicology test results are in, in the shocking double murder and suicide involving Benoit, his wife Nancy and their 7-year-old son Daniel.
Investigators say that Benoit had steroids, the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and a painkiller in his system last month when he did the killings. According to the tests, his body had 10 times the normal level of testosterone. His wife tested positive for therapeutic levels of Xanax and painkillers. And his son had a high level of Xanax, indicating he likely was sedated at the time of his death.
What do you make of that, John?
JOHN CENA, WWE CHAMPION & SUPERSTAR, WORKED WITH CHRIS BENOIT: I make that the media kind of jump to conclusions. You can see that Dr. Kris Sperry said that there were elevated levels of testosterone. Chris tested clean for all anabolic steroids. Granted, the testosterone levels were high. But Kris Sperry also went on to state that even with his elevated levels of testosterone, there is no link between high testosterone level and the behavior that happened in the Chris Benoit murder.
This is -- this is one of the things where the media, when the people seized -- when the authorities seized Chris Benoit's house, they found anabolic steroids. So immediately the media wanted to latch onto that. Now the theories on whether or not Chris sedated his children -- or his child or his wife before suffocating them both, that is what it is. It's just theory.
Like I said, Larry, the last time I was on the show -- and thank you very much for having me back -- what we have is an unexplainable tragedy. And people will theorize about this for as long as they want to, similar to the murder of president John F. Kennedy. But it will be just that.
The toxicology report is out and it's obvious. Even with elevated levels of testosterone, Chris tested clean for anabolic steroids.
KING: All right.
But it's obvious, also, to assume, John, that he must have -- and maybe in an act of kindness in this weird case -- given the 7-year-old Xanax so that he would be relaxed and sedated.
CENA: No, you're right, Larry. But like you just said, it's an assumption. And like with most of the details in this case, just because there was no -- there was no note. This is not a telltale suicide. This really was an act that came out of left field. And because there's no answer, the media wants to point to an answer. And that's why the steroid issues comes up. That's why the painkiller issue has come up. That's why all these things have come up.
But like I said, this really came out of left field and I think this toxicology report proves it.
KING: What are your confreres saying, the other people in wrestling, your pro-wrestling partners and the like, what are they saying about this story?
CENA: Larry, we're doing the best we can to make sure our life go on and my livelihood and our business goes on. The only one thing that has really hurt me and really that I take so sour about this whole situation is how the media shifted its focus from this horrible tragedy to our business, and has gone on degrading our business and how we handle our business.
The WWE has a substance abuse testing policy. It tests for performance enhancing drugs and illegal narcotics. Chris Benoit tested in April 2007 and was clean. So, by the toxicology report, what should have happened between April and the day that these acts were committed is Chris supplemented testosterone. That's all. That's it. Plain and simple.
But it's a shame that the media has shifted its focus to the WWE, which tries so hard to protect and maintain the integrity of its athletes.
KING: In fact, the WWE's statement is, on Mr. Benoit's last drug test in April, administered by Aegis Labs, A-E-G-I-S: "He tested negative for anabolic steroids and for testosterone. Given the toxicology report of GBI released today, it would appear that Mr. Benoit took testosterone sometime after his April 2007 tests."
How often are you tested, John?
CENA: I -- since the testing began in February 2006, I've been tested six times. It's a -- the drug testing policy is administered so that each athlete, each performer gets tested four times a year. So I'm probably due for another two tests before the year's at end. But it's done at random, so at least I could be tested four times. At most, you could be tested any amount of times.
But the bottom line is four times per year guaranteed.
KING: Any penalty for testing positive?
CENA: The first penalty is a 30-day suspension and a clinical discussion about rehab. The second penalty is a complete six to eight week rehab program. The third penalty is finding another place to work, which I do appreciate because the WWE is not just kicking their talent to the curb. If they have a problem, the WWE is trying to make steps to fix it rather than just eliminate it. So they'll try twice to help you out and if you can't be helped, then obviously you have to go elsewhere for work.
KING: What do you make, John, of the large amounts of testosterone?
What do you make of it?
CENA: Obviously, Chris supplemented testosterone between April and the time of the tragedy. Now --
KING: I mean but why?
What do you take -- what do you take it for?
CENA: I don't -- I'm not a doctor. Larry, I don't know. And that's something that I'm really uneducated about. I wish I could help you out there, because maybe that would help us. Maybe that would give another theory to what's happened.
But as far as testosterone supplementation, I -- I can't give you an educated answer, so I don't even want to theorize.
KING: John, thanks, as always, for joining us.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
CENA: No, thanks for having me back, man.
I appreciate it.
KING: John Cena, the WWE champion and superstar.
By the way, we did a whole show on this last week with John, Brett "The Hitman" Hart, Chris Jericho and others. If you missed it or wanted to see it again, it's available by pod cast and you can download it at cnn.com/larryking or on iTunes.
When we come back, Mark Lunsford came face to face today with the man who confessed to burying his little Jessica Lunsford alive.
We'll talk to Mark about this day when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUNSFORD: Her death will change things across the land, but her life was worth so much more. For 29 months, my daughter has heard me cry and beg god to stop the pain in my heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Everyone knows the Mark Lunsford matter. Mark, a good guy. His 9-year-old daughter Jessica was abducted from her bed and murdered in February of 2005. John Couey was convicted that crime in March of this year and today Mark faced Couey in court, giving a statement at the hearing to help a judge try to decide whether Couey should get life or be sentenced to death. No decision yet.
How hard was it for you today, Mark?
LUNSFORD: Well, it's -- it's always hard, Larry. I mean, you know, I have a great concern not just for the verdict and the death penalty for my daughter, but for the other children that survived and the prosecution of those sex offenders. Every day we hear about women and -- grown women and children being raped and murdered by sex offenders.
When are we going to put a stop to it?
KING: Wasn't it hard to look at the man who did it?
LUNSFORD: It was very hard, Larry. It's hard because as a father, I mean, your most normal reaction is to reach out there and kill them.
But you have to let the system do its thing, you know?
Justice will prevail in this.
KING: We have a brief clip we're going to show now of you speaking -- speaking directly to John Couey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUNSFORD: I hope you hear your cries as you try to sleep at night. I hope you see the tears run down her face when she asked you to go home. I hope you spend the rest of your life in fear of death because you will never hurt another child again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Had you planned that, Mark?
LUNSFORD: Yes, sir, I did.
KING: Well, it was well written and well planned.
The attorney for Mr. Couey is claiming that his client is mentally incompetent.
How do you react to that?
LUNSFORD: It's a copout, Larry. I mean that's what happens during murder trials. This isn't the first time and it won't be the last. But we all know from the testimony of the doctor that was in there today, Pembridge (ph), that he is not retarded and even the doctor for the defendants say that she can't argue that, you know, he's not retarded.
KING: Obviously you favor the death penalty here, do you not? LUNSFORD: I do when it comes to our kids. I mean, you know, I think that when it comes to our children, our children deserve justice. And justice for the death of a child is an eye for an eye for a child.
KING: Would you attend -- in Florida they do it by what, injection?
LUNSFORD: Death by lethal injection.
KING: Would you attend?
LUNSFORD: I'd hold the syringe if they'd let me.
KING: No, I understand completely.
In other words, there's no way you can give this man an inch of understanding?
LUNSFORD: You -- you can't. I mean, these kind of crimes against children, these heinous crimes -- as an old black -- as an old wise black man once said during jury selection in Teravives (ph), "It's just too heavy, your honor. It's too heavy for mercy."
KING: You bear some burdens and we have to ask it. Your 18-year- old son Joshua, Jessica's brother, has had some legal trouble in Ohio.
KING: He pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexual conduct with a minor, sentenced to 10 days in jail.
KING: What happened?
LUNSFORD: Well, with Josh, Larry, I mean the problem that we're having with the system, I've seen the system fail on both ends. I've seen -- my daughter was murder by a repeat sex offender and now my son is being accused of being a sex offender when it's merely a Romeo and Juliet.
The parents of that girl took those kids to the mall, took those kids skating. When Josh was 17 it was OK. The parents get mad at Josh and then they file charges against him.
Well, the system provide -- prevailed and said that Josh would get 10 days in jail, so that's what he got. But the people, the legislators on a state and federal level better get a grip on things. Too many times we're hearing about grown women and children being murdered by repeat sex offenders, OK?
And then you want to take the Romeo and Juliets, like the young man in Georgia who sits in jail for 10 years for having sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend.
When are we going to recognize the problem?
But not only that, we passed the Adam Walsh Act and supposedly there's $300 million appropriated to it.
But where is it at?
The State of Ohio is in compliance and there's no money.
What's going on, D.C.?
What is going on?
KING: Boy, have you come of age, Mark Lunsford, since the first time you were on this program standing in the woods looking for your daughter.
LUNSFORD: Yes, sir, I have.
KING: You have become an educated man, boy.
LUNSFORD: Well, I owe a lot of that people like John Walsh, Marc Klaas, Ed Smart, Aaron Runyon, Congressman Poe, many senator members that I've met. And even on a state level, the senators and the representatives that I have met, they've really done a good job on teaching me things.
But now it's time that they learn something on a federal level -- fund the Adam Walsh Act.
Where is this $300 million that you appropriated to it?
KING: Do you think the John Coueys of the world are curable?
LUNSFORD: No. I think that in the history of mankind no one has ever been rehabilitated from these types of crimes. And that's a quote from an educated man that's been involved in this for 13 years, Marc Klaas.
What are you doing with your life now, Mark, as this comes to a close?
LUNSFORD: I don't do nothing but lobby for children, Larry. I spend my time going to other states. I've been to probably 28 states in the last two years to get Jesse's Law implemented in those states and encourage those states to use Jesse's Law to put theirself in compliance with the federal bill, the Adam Walsh Act.
KING: You're a great man, Mark.
Thanks for being with us.
LUNSFORD: Thank you Larry.
KING: Killer John Couey is the subject of our quick vote online right now.
The question -- should he be sentenced to death for the murder of Jessica Lunsford?
You can give us your opinion by participating in our quick vote on cnn.com/larryking.
Up next, the so-called D.C. Madam and Larry Flynt, the publisher who was apparently responsible for uncovering a Louisiana senator's sex scandal.
Are there more sex scandals ahead?
Find out next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DAVID VITTER (R), LOUISIANA: I want to again offer my deep, sincere apologies to all those I have let down and disappointed with these actions from my past. I am completely responsible and I'm so very, very sorry. No matter how long ago it was, I know this has hurt the relationship of trust I've enjoyed with so many of you and that I have a lot of work to do to rebuild that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Hypocrisy running rampant on Capitol Hill. Senator Vitter was an outspoken of all things wrong, including prostitution and the like.
His wife also spoke at that press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WENDY VITTER, WIFE OF SEN. DAVID VITTER (R-LA): To forgive is not always the easy choice. But it was and is the right choice for me. David is my best friend.
Last week, some people very sympathetically said to me I wouldn't want to be in your shoes right now. I stand before you to tell you very proudly I am proud to be Wendy Vitter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now in San Francisco is Jeane Palfrey, the alleged madam of Washington, D.C. In Miami is her attorney, Montgomery Sibley; and her in Los Angeles, Larry Flynt, the publisher of "Hustler" magazine, who -- you broke this whole thing, right?
LARRY FLYNT, PUBLISHER, "HUSTLER" MAGAZINE: Yes. A lot of people are confused on that. The madam deserves the credit. My chief investigator was working on the ad he took out in the "Post." And he had already had a relationship with her and...
KING: That ad is where you say you'll looking for who will give rewards?
FLYNT: Yes. And he got a phone number from her and he just dialed it up at random.
KING: And up came Vitter.
FLYNT: And up came Vitter.
KING: Jeane, first of all, what do you make of everything that's happened since this broke?
JEANE PALFREY, ALLEGED D.C. MADAM: Since the Vitter revelation broke?
PALFREY: Well, it's been quite crazy for me personally. I think it has played out somewhat the way I would have imagined. Senator Vitter was rather quiet for the last week or so. I was rather surprised that he did not resign but -- and came back to D.C. but then again that's his decision to do so.
KING: Mr. Sibley, where is the current legal status of your client?
MONTGOMERY SIBLEY, ATTORNEY FOR ALLEGED D.C. MADAM JEANE PALFREY: Well, greetings again from Miami, Larry. And...
SIBLEY: ...basically we're working on the legal issues before the judge which has to be resolved before the matter can go forward to trial. And we're hoping to have it dismissed before it ever gets there.
KING: Mr. Flynt, you recently told CNN that you function at a higher standard than the mainstream media when it comes to exposing scandal. What do you mean?
FLYNT: Well, absolutely. They -- the mainstream media holds me at a higher standard.
KING: They hold you higher?
FLYNT: Yes. If I release information like this on there, I've got to be right. Larry, if I'm wrong, they you step on me like a bug, you know.
KING: How many, Jeane -- true.
Jeane, how many people -- how many well-known people are in your book? PALFREY: Well, Larry, I absolutely have no idea. We estimate statistically there are approximately 20 to 30 to 100 possibilities. And this is based upon a rough estimate of 10,000 clients who used the service over the past 13 or so years from 1993 to 2006.
KING: You were providing the women, right? You weren't one yourself, or am I wrong?
PALFREY: No, that's correct. I ran the business long distance from San Francisco, the Bay Area.
KING: And were most of the clients in Washington?
PALFREY: They were all in Washington and some in Baltimore, the Washington, D.C./Baltimore Corridor and surrounding areas.
KING: Larry, without naming them, because we stand under legal protection here, are others coming?
FLYNT: Oh, yes. We've gotten 10 times more leads from the recent ad in "The Post" than we got during the Clinton impeachment. Unbelievable. We've got...
KING: Ten times more leads?
KING: Does that mean you have phone numbers that you're following up?
FLYNT: Not just phone numbers.
FLYNT: We've got good leads. We've got over 300 initially. And they're down to about 30 now which is solid.
KING: When are you going to print?
FLYNT: Well, the last thing now is we don't know if we want to let it to drip, drip, drip or we want to go with everything at once.
KING: You mean you might release 30 names at once?
FLYNT: A good possibility.
KING: Will we be -- I don't want to get into names yet. Will we be shocked?
KING: Were you shocked?
FLYNT: I was shocked, especially at one senator but...
KING: One senator especially? FLYNT: Yes.
KING: Montgomery, are you shocked?
SIBLEY: Well, I'm shocked about two things, if I might, Larry. Please understand that this is one escort service out of approximately 60 in the Metro D.C. area. And indeed there are more escort services than there are McDonald's in D.C.
Now what's happened here is one service by the coincidence of Jeane being in California had all the calls recorded in the telephone records, and therefore were able to track the customers back through the record numbers. As the other escort services may or may not coming forward, we're going to get a real full picture of what have goes on in the District of Columbia environments.
KING: Do you know the names that Larry Flynt appears to know, Montgomery?
SIBLEY: Larry, I'm the custodian of the telephone records. And I've given probably three-quarters of them to Larry's agents. There's another set of records that are still being scanned and are going to be released in the next couple of days as well. I don't know the names and that's one of the reasons we released the list. Jeane needs the names for her defense because we have to bring these people in to testify as to the legal sexual behavior that was contracted and provided for.
KING: Are you going to give her the names, Larry?
FLYNT: We'll cooperate with Jeane in any way we possibly can. But I want to point something out very important. (inaudible) lied on TV when he apologized to the nation. He...
KING: Lied how?
FLYNT: ... well, he's using his wife and kids as a shield and said what happened. Those rumors out of Louisiana where he had a small brothel of hookers. That was not true. Well, it is true. I'm working with the major Louisiana media down there.
KING: You say he had a brothel of hookers in Louisiana?
FLYNT: There's been about five we've been able to track down so far. So you see what happens when you're a guy like him and you're not completely honest, see, he didn't even have to bring that up. And now that he's brought it up, everybody is all over it, including us.
KING: What bothers you the most is the hypocrisy, right?
FLYNT: It's the biggest threat to democracy.
KING: Speaking out on morals?
KING: Jeane, does that bother you, when people speak out on morality and then act immorally?
PALFREY: It bothers me considerably. And the reason that I ultimately released the phone records, as I did, was this very point, the hypocrisy.
There's another point that needs to be mentioned as well, perhaps even more important, and that is the susceptibility of blackmail of certain clients having used the service over the years. Most people at the moment for obvious reasons are focusing upon the hypocrisy angle. However, intellectualize a bit, think about it a bit, and you'll come to the conclusion that we've come to, that there are possible people who have used the service who have become subjects and targets of blackmail. And many of these people being in D.C. most likely have security clearances.
KING: Thank you all very much. We'll be doing a lot more on this -- Jeane Palfrey, Montgomery Sibley, and Larry Flynt.
A quick update on that Brazilian air crash: fire officials say the death toll is up to 200 so far, which we reported 45 minutes ago.
When we come back, he's been Kelly Ripa's co-star and co-host on TV, but at home, he's her husband. He's also starring in a new reality show. Mark Consuelos is next her on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY RIPA, ACTRESS: It's that time of year.
MARK CONSUELOS, ACTOR: February. Let's see, Lincoln's birthday.
RIPA: Very nice, man, but no.
CONSUELOS: Washington's birthday.
RIPA: You know I don't dig guys with pony tails.
CONSUELOS: I'm getting visions here of the chocolates, and champagne, and hearts. And will you be my valentine?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's where they fell in love, right, that scene?
CONSUELOS: You know what's scary is that I don't remember doing that scene. We were together. I think we worked on that show together. Kelly was on for 14 years. I was on for seven and a half. And I don't remember that scene.
KING: Mark Consuelos is with us, the actor and TV personality, husband of Kelly Ripa, who co-hosts "Live With Regis and K." He's the host of the new summer TV reality show, "Age of Love."
We already have a call for you already.
Caller, are you there?
RIPA: Yes, I'm here.
CONSUELOS: Well, you know what, this is...
KING: This is the wife.
CONSUELOS: This is the softball throw here. Here you go, this is the easy one.
KING: Well, she's going to hit you hard.
CONSUELOS: All right.
KING: Why don't you like "Age of Love?"
RIPA: I've got to tell you -- Larry, let me just tell you something -- Mark, wise choice.
RIPA: I love the outfit.
CONSUELOS: Thank you very much.
RIPA: I just have to tell you.
CONSUELOS: She picks out my outfit.
RIPA: I'm sorry, Larry, what was your question?
KING: What do you like "Age of Love?"
RIPA: Why do I like it? Well, I think initially what I dreaded about it and what I didn't like about it was what I wound up liking about it. I thought it was a show that was probably going to be aimed at making fun of women in their 40s and maybe their need for a date. And what I found is that women in their 40s are these vibrant, brilliant, sexy, sexual women who can have any man that they want.
KING: Why do you like doing it, Mark?
CONSUELOS: Well, you know what, I'm a fan of reality TV. We sit at home-- and you know, Kelly will attest to this, we watch that stuff. And when NBC came to me and kind of pitched me this idea, I kind of bounced it off my wife and she was somewhat offended and somewhat intrigued. And I called him back immediately and I said, "My wife is offended. This should be a good show." KING: You're an actor. Is this your first hosting?
CONSUELOS: It is. It is. And I had some trepidation and apprehension about doing it. But I worked with guys from Three Ball, you know, on another project and NBC. I love that network. And I trusted them and it was a blast.
KING: And you're out here and Kelly is back there. You do the show out here?
CONSUELOS: We do the show out here. In five weeks, we shot the whole...
KING: It's all done?
CONSUELOS: It's all done, yes. So I raced home afterwards.
KING: And how has it played?
CONSUELOS: You know what, I can't speak for the ratings, but everywhere I go, I get stopped and, you know, people -- and it's usually women that are a little bit older that really, really enjoy the show. And that was, as Kelly said, that was one of my worries also is that we would be kind of, you know, taking or making fun or being kind of cruel, but I think what it's done is it's made people or women in their 40s or late 30s and late 40s all that more relevant.
KING: Kelly, any reason for you to be jealous over this?
RIPA: Larry, I don't think I have a jealous bone in my body.
CONSUELOS: It's true.
RIPA: I just -- you know I'm a fan of women. I really am. I mean I'm a fan of my husband naturally, but I'm a lover of women. I think that women should empower each other, which is why I always have a problem when it comes to women fighting over a man. I just never feel that there's a man good enough for women to be fighting over.
CONSUELOS: She's right.
RIPA: But I have to say that, you know, I'm just sort of impressed that these women have sort of, for the most part bonded together really. And I think that Mark Philippoussis has treated them all equally with dignity and respect.
KING: He's the prize, right?
CONSUELOS: He's the prize, yes.
KING: Kelly, thanks for calling in.
CONSUELOS: Thanks, babe.
RIPA: Thanks, guys.
KING: Our guest needed it. He's humbled and -- say hello to Regis.
RIPA: I sure will.
KING: We'll be right back with Mark Consuelos. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONSUELOS: These women are just out of college.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I see you walking down the street, they're like she's really hot.
CONSUELOS: These women are old enough to be their moms.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate that term, biological clock. It makes me sound so old.
CONSUELOS: And pro tennis star Mark Philippoussis is dating them all.
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS, PRO TENNIS STAR: What have I gotten myself into?
CONSUELOS: It's young versus old in a battle of the ages.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONSUELOS: You've got to be really, really sick to be laying on the floor of an emergency room in New York City.
RIPA: Right, that's true.
CONSUELOS: It's pretty crazy. We're going, you know, I'm on the ground. This lady comes by, like do you have any idea how bad I feel. And she's like -- you know because we did -- we're on "All My Children" at the time. And she comes up. She goes, "Would this be a bad time to get an autograph?" I'm like, no, it's fine, come here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Mark Consuelos.
An e-mail question from Terry in Middleton, Pennsylvania: "Kelly is always joking about Mark's height. How tall are you, Mark?"
CONSUELOS: I think I'm always joking about my height. I used to be 5'9". I think I'm shrinking. I mean if you see me on the show, the guy is 6'5". So I think I'm actually -- each episode, it's -- they see that I'm actually shrinking, 5'8"- 5'9".
KING: How much taller are you than Kelly?
CONSUELOS: Well, she's -- you know she's about 5'2". So I'd say about seven or eight inches.
KING: All right, now that you're not acting but hosting a show you like...
KING: ...reality shows, what's the difference? What don't you like?
CONSUELOS: You know what? I had such a great time, Larry, that I would go in and I would do my 15 minutes of work because it's the easiest gig there is other than your -- well, not -- this is the good job. And "Regis & Kelly" is also really a good job. I'm not saying it's easy.
But I go in for 15 minutes and then they say you can go home now. And I would sit and watch in the control room. And you can watch both apartments and what's going on and what they're saying about us guys. They're talking about us, Larry. So I've got information.
KING: The theme of the show is basically?
CONSUELOS: Well, you have women in their 40s, you have women in their 20s and you have a guy who is 30. He's right in the middle, and it's kind of a, you know, social experiment to see which way he'll go.
KING: And he's a good looking guy.
CONSUELOS: He's a great looking guy and he's 6'5". I hate him.
KING: And they both want to be with him, right?
CONSUELOS: You know it's funny. They immediately want to be with him. And I don't know if they actually have feelings for him or -- you know in my experience, I'm sure you've seen this, and maybe for women, if more than one woman wants a guy, maybe it's not so much that they want them, but they just don't want anybody else to have him.
KING: We have another e-mail question from Roslyn, Vorhees, New Jersey: "You and Kelly are both in terrific shape. Would you consider doing a workout video together for like couples?"
Not a bad idea.
CONSUELOS: You know what, that is a great idea. You know Christy Brinkley has a great exercise thing that she does. You know what? I think that it probably wouldn't be a very good video. It would be kind of a boring video. We don't like working out as much as people think. KING: An e-mail question from Jeff in Cincinnati: "If and when Regis retires, would you like to permanently co-host 'Live' with your wife. If not, what's your ultimate dream job?"
CONSUELOS: That is the ultimate dream job. That's a great job. But I have an interesting knack, the acute knack for making my wife angry. So I annoy her. And if I worked with her every single day, it would just -- it would be -- I would torture her. And it wouldn't be fair.
KING: So you wouldn't want to do that?
CONSUELOS: I couldn't. I think the great thing about what they do is that they don't talk about what they're going to do. And they have that going for them and they just kind of go off the cuff. And her and I, you know, we see each other all the time. So we'd run out of things to say.
KING: Do you miss doing a soap?
CONSUELOS: You know what, I grew up on that soap and I miss the people there. I miss the crew. The hours and the schedule is a little grueling. So I don't miss that part.
KING: Back with our remaining moments with Mark Consuelos on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mark Consuelos dropped a big surprise.
CONSUELOS: The 20's will move in with the 40's up on the 40th floor. And you have 15 minutes to get your belongings and move in. Forties pair up with the 40s. Twenties pair up with the 20s. A few miles away, Mark is anxiously waiting for you on a luxurious yacht.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
CONSUELOS: You're going to compete in a triathlon. And that yacht is your finish line.
Why don't you give them a call and ask them to come down here one at a time so you can have that last talk with them? And then after that, you're going to have to send two ladies home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Mark Consuelos, host of the summer TV reality show, "Age of Love." Why do soaps remain so popular?
CONSUELOS: I think it's an escape, you know. I think that our lives, the characters on the soaps, are so bad that people can kind of say, all right, they can forget about their lives for a second and kind of like let -- you know watch people who have worse situations going on, or better situations. But I think it's a great escape during the day.
KING: Fun to do or trying?
CONSUELOS: Both. Both, you know -- and to have that gig in New York as an actor is an extraordinary gig because you're -- you know there's more productions now. But during the time when I was there, it was -- you know you get a lot of great day players from the theater, from Broadway that you work with there.
KING: Oh really?
CONSUELOS: Yes. Oh, sure. And they're really happy to do it and they're fantastic.
KING: And it's steady work, right?
CONSUELOS: That's also it, the golden goose.
KING: Why did you leave it?
CONSUELOS: You know, just like anything, you want to try to branch out. And you know, after seven years I thought it was time to kind of move on and try other things. But I will always have an affinity in my heart for that show.
KING: So you left of your own?
CONSUELOS: Yes. I mean, I think probably the last couple of years I was trying to get killed off, you know, but they wouldn't do me that service. So, you know, we left -- I think we both left at the same time and we went to Los Angeles to do a talk show. Go figure.
KING: What show did you do?
CONSUELOS: I don't know. It was just some show. I think my wife's character had a show. I forgot the name of the show. But we kind of went off to the sunset to do a talk show in Los Angeles. So they knew something was up.
KING: That's really interesting.
KING: Your lifetime goal is what professionally?
CONSUELOS: Professionally, you know what, I don't even really think about that. Right now, I have three kids that are young. And you know I'm getting some time to spend with them in between jobs. And seeing them grow up, and being a good husband, and being a good dad is kind of my lifetime goal.
KING: Is it hard frankly when the wife is better known?
CONSUELOS: You know, it's -- first of all, let me just say, I wouldn't trade my position with anybody. I'm very, very happy to be Mr. Consuelos. And technically, she's Mrs. Consuelos. So I don't care who, you know -- our friends and people close to us know who we are.
KING: It doesn't bother you that you're not Mr. Ripa?
CONSUELOS: You know what, I think the first time that was actually coined, that phrase, I think I called myself that. So I kind of brought that on to myself.
KING: And the kids are doing well?
CONSUELOS: Thank God, yes. They're great.
KING: They're how old?
CONSUELOS: Ten, 6 and 4. And there's three of them but they feel like 15.
KING: And they're girls?
CONSUELOS: I've got two boys and a girl in the middle.
KING: Any more coming?
CONSUELOS: That's like -- that's the million dollar question. Oh, my gosh, I'm looking at my wardrobe back in the -- oh, my gosh!
KING: Would you want more?
CONSUELOS: I -- you know what, with my wife and seeing what a good mother she is, I could have 10 kids.
KING: No kidding?
CONSUELOS: Yes. But I'm not going to have 10 kids but I could have 10 kids.
KING: But you could?
KING: Great meeting you, Mark.
CONSUELOS: Thanks, Larry.
KING: A pleasure having you with us.
KING: Mark Consuelos, the husband of Kelly Ripa and the host of the summer TV reality show, "Age of Love."
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