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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Perspective on Spitzer Sex Scandal

Aired March 13, 2008 - 21:00   ET

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


LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Tonight, the former escort who says she showed the governor's call girl, Kristen, the ropes. The former pimp who says she was one of his top ladies. The elicit world of hookups for hire revealed. The Spitzer sex scandal unlocked the door on a forbidden zone and we'll take you inside with those who've made a living there.
Plus, Dr. Laura answers questions that everybody's asking -- why do husbands cheat and why do their wives stay with them?

It's provocative, it's informative and it's next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

Lots of interesting people to talk to tonight. Our first guest is Jason Itzler. He was the founder and owner of New York Confidential, a high-priced escort agency shut down by authorities several years ago.

A 2005 "New York" magazine cover story says he called himself the king of all pimps. He says that Kristen, the Emperors Club escort with whom Eliot Spitzer met at the Mayflower Hotel, he says she used to work for him.

By the way, "The New York Times" has identified Kristen as 22- year-old Ashley Alexandra Dupre. Jason says he knew her as Ashley, but she worked for New York Confidential using the name Victoria.

We'll call her Ashley, since that's what Jason calls her.

How did you hear about -- how did put the two together, Jason?

JASON ITZLER, FORMER PIMP: Well, I was on the Anderson Cooper show, as you might know, last night. And all of a sudden, I'm asked to look at a monitor plasma and I look up and I'm asked to say, you know, what is it about this girl that she's a $2,000, $3,000, $5,000 an hour escort. And I had a weird feeling, almost like a deja vu, that I really knew this person.

But I wasn't going to take a chance and say oh that -- you know, on national TV you don't say I think I know that person. So I played it cool said how beautiful she was -- which she is. And now that I know who she is, of course she's that beautiful. It was quite an unusual experience.

KING: And when did you go home and fully realize it? ITZLER: Well, talking to Anderson Cooper I learned that "The New York Times" released a story that contained this girl Kristen's MySpace page.

I was dying to get home and get on my computer and go to "The New York Times" article and click on the MySpace page. And when I did and I clicked on the pictures section, I was like oh, my God, of course this is, you know, Ashley who I met at (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Under what circum...

ITZLER: (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Under what circumstances, Jason, did you first connect with her?

ITZLER: I was checking into the Gansevoort Hotel, probably with Natalia at the time, in 2004. Usually the rooms are ready when you check in. In this circumstance, they were not ready. So I sat down on the couch, I look up, there's a gorgeous brunette smiling at me.

I was captivated. I thought she might be hitting on me. She wasn't. She asked me if I wanted a drink. It turns out she was a greeter/cocktail waitress at the Gansevoort Hotel, which, if people don't know, is a super hip, trendy boutique hotel in Manhattan -- my favorite hotel in Manhattan.

KING: How successful was she when she went to work for you? How successful was she at what she did?

ITZLER: I don't think we should jump there yet. I met her, she offered me a drink, I thought she was beautiful and I didn't want her to be an escort in New York Confidential. I actually I wanted to go on a date with her. She was breathtaking.

So I gave her my business card, which was a titanium New York Confidential card at the time. And I was hoping that she wouldn't look up the Web site and find out that I ran an escort agency. I was hoping that she'd be impressed by my card and just call me.

I get a phone call two days later, hi, Jason. This is Ashley from the Gansevoort Hotel. Do you remember me? I said, of course. She said, I want to work for you. And I laughed -- hysterically I laughed. And I said, do you know what I do?

And she said, of course I know what you do, I went to your Web site. And I said get over here right now. She came over to New York Confidential. I introduced her to Natalia and we knew that we had found a rock star escort when we met Ashley. And I'm sorry --

KING: And how...

ITZLER: ...I interrupted you, Larry.

KING: OK. How well did she do? ITZLER: She was spectacular. In my opinion, she was the hottest, sexiest escort New York Confidential ever had. Natalia was the best escort the world has ever had.

For the category of sexy and hot, this girl took the cake. This is the ultimate girl next door. She certainly was at 19. I haven't hung out with her in the last three years. I spent a little time on Riker's Island. But I imagine she's just as beautiful as she was.

KING: What was she charging?

ITZLER: We were getting, easily, $2,000 an hour for her with three, four, five hour minimums.

KING: Quickly So when you connect her with Spitzer, what goes through your mind?

ITZLER: Well, I mean, the way that I look at it a little bit is that Spitzer was the attorney general who took down seven or eight escort agencies -- mine being one of them -- mine maybe being one of the more well-known. After Spitzer took down these escort agencies, in a weird way I'm -- you know, I'm watching the story, I'm thinking he's a hypocrite.

I'm thinking it's kind of funny. And all of a sudden, you know, one of the main people that he took down -- my girl is the girl that took him down. So it's kind of like that's my girl. It's a little crazy.

KING: Well, haven't you kept in --

ITZLER: I don't wish harm on him or anything --

KING: You don't?

ITZLER: No, of course not. But theoretically and, you know, a guy that enjoys reading a good book, what a cool story. How funny it is.

You know, karma -- what goes around does come around. Spitzer acted like a bit of a hypocrite or, you know, I'm the king of all pimps. He was the king of all hypocrites and it's kind of funny how this story is playing out.

KING: Why hadn't you kept in touch with her?

ITZLER: I don't believe she got arrested when New York Confidential got raided and I got arrested and went to jail. She's an awesome, nice, sweet girl.

She was a dear friend. And I thought that if I communicated with her from Riker's Island, it might bring attention to her. And I wish her the best and I didn't want to hurt her in any way. So I totally lost touch with her.

KING: Do you think she'll benefit from this and accrue with like books and publicity?

ITZLER: Well, I know she's drop dead gorgeous, has a great personality. She has an unbelievable singing voice. And maybe this will launch her into becoming a star. Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan -- crazier stuff goes on.

KING: All right, hang right with us, Jason. We'll be coming back to you.

ITZLER: OK.

KING: When we come back, we'll meet Natalia, the woman he was referring to, who once worked with the prostitute we now know as Kristen. Our next guest says she showed her the ropes as an escort.

That's after the break on LARRY KING LIVE.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Purchasing a human being should not be allowed in any society.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Eliot Spitzer at one time understood that, helping New York to pass one of the few laws in the country increasing the penalties for men who buy sex. That he, like so many others, allegedly decided to break the very law he helped pass is painful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: As we come back, that's a live shot of Ashley or Kristen's apartment.

Joining us now from Montreal is Natalie McLennan. She was Jason Itzler's number one escort at New York Confidential. He referred to her as Natalia. That was her working name.

She says she befriended Ashley, also known as Kristen, gave her tips as to how to become a successful escort. And she has a much discussed forthcoming book coming about her experience. It's titled "The Price."

How did you get to know Ashley, Natalie?

NATALIE MCLENNAN, SAYS SHE GAVE "KRISTEN" ESCORT ADVICE: Well, I got to know Ashley through Jason. He brought her by our, you know, world famous loft that we had down on Worth Street in Tribeca in Manhattan. And he introduced me to her. And, obviously, immediately I was struck by just how physically beautiful she is.

But it was really amazing to meet her and become friends with her. We did spend quite a bit of time together professionally, but then as friends, hanging out. We would go shopping together. And she -- even though she was so young, she was very level-headed and very mature for her age.

KING: Because someone is physically beautiful, does that mean they would be a good prostitute?

MCLENNAN: No, I don't think so. I don't think so at all. I think the escort industry, for the most part, is about being free-spirited, is about wanting to sort of take risks a little bit and have fun. But at the same time, it's about connecting with people. You know, morally, you can look at it however you like. But I really do think that it's about connecting with people, you know, the men who --

KING: How did...

MCLENNAN: Yes? I'm sorry.

KING: I mean yes...

MCLENNAN: The men who seek out escorts are looking to form a bond with somebody, whether it be physically, intellectually, spirituality, emotionally and whatever it is.

KING: How did you feel when you learned she was the girl with the governor?

MCLENNAN: Well, my jaw did drop a little and I couldn't believe that the face in the picture belonged to that of the girl I knew as Victoria. Her name is Ashley. I was -- I was in shock, but at the same time it made perfect sense, you know?

People can say whatever they will about Mr. Spitzer, but he did rise to success and was a very powerful man -- and I'm sure very charismatic man. And Ashley was just as dynamic a personality. You know, I would never assume to speak for her, although I do think that she should have the opportunity to tell her story to the press and the public and express, you know, her experience.

But if I can say one thing, I think of anybody -- maybe even in the world -- I can perhaps relate most to what she must be going through right now. And if there is, you know, one thing that I can say to her is that what helped me get through my experience -- my little brush with the media and my little brush with fame and -- and, as well, with the law -- what brought me through it and has kept me a very healthy, you know, sane, positive thinking person is my connection to my family and the friends I've had since I'm a young girl. And that's really what helped me through everything so...

KING: Were you ever involved with any people that might be called famous or well-connected?

MCLENNAN: That definitely happened, for sure.

KING: Will you reveal those names?

MCLENNAN: Absolutely not. I will never reveal any names of the people that I -- that were clients through the agency, whether they be famous or not, you know, just out of respect for them and for their families.

KING: Natalie, do any hookers ever marry their johns?

MCLENNAN: They do. There is one girl what worked at New York Confidential, a very nice girl. And she went on a date with a client and then we never saw her again. We couldn't understand what was going on.

And it turns out that they met and they fell in love and she never returned. It's a real sort of Cinderella, "Pretty Woman" story, you know. And now they live -- and they have a place in Paris, a place in London and travel all over the world and they're married, which is, I think, just a fantastic story -- every girl's dream.

KING: Me, too.

MCLENNAN: Yes.

KING: Ashley's brother, by the way, Kyle Youman, spoke with CNN about his sister after the Spitzer scandal hit the headlines.

Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KYLE YOUMANS, "KRISTEN'S" BROTHER: It's just hectic, you know. I can't really comment on it. I'm sticking by my sister to do everything and I hope she's going to be fine. Everything that's said is, you know, just talk. She's a great woman, an independent woman. And she'll make it through and she'll be fine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Natalie, did you teach her -- did you teach Ashley the ropes?

MCLENNAN: I wouldn't necessarily say that I taught Ashley the ropes, although I was already working as an escort when she came into the agency as somebody who had never been there before. So I more befriended her than taught her the ropes.

And I think the one thing that I did try to offer her, as I tried to offer any of the girls in that industry, were how I dealt with it, how I kept it healthy and kept it OK for me to be doing, because I think, you know, one of the most upsetting things about the industry is to see girls who maybe are lost, are hurt and doing it for the wrong reasons and end up even more hurt than when they started.

And to me, that, you know, when I entered into the industry, it was never with the intention to stay for very long. It was to fix my financial situation and to, you know, add some forward momentum.

KING: Yes.

MCLENNAN: But the moment that it started to feel as though there was some self-abuse going on or anything unhealthy, I left immediately, because, really, it's just not worth it.

KING: All right, let me get a break.

MCLENNAN: OK.

KING: Natalie will be coming back with us. Don't go away.

It's not just sex, it's business for the madams who know the trade well. They join the panel when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: February 13. A petite brunette called Kristen boards a train at New York's Penn Station, arrives in Washington at 9:00 p.m. and heads to the Mayflower Hotel, Room 871. Next morning, Eliot Spitzer testifies to Congress about bond fraud -- even as the FBI says Kristen heads home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Jason Itzler returns, the founder and owner of the former agency, New York Confidential.

Natalie McLennan, who was Jason's number one escort at New York Confidential, remains.

Joining us now in New York is Jody "Babydol" Gibson, who owned and operated an escort service for 13 years. She's the author of "Secrets of A Hollywood Super Madam" and "Sex on the Internet."

And in New Orleans, Jeannette Maier, the former madam of the Canal Street brothel in that famed street in that famed city.

Jody, what do you make of this whole story?

JODY "BABYDOL" GIBSON, FORMER HOLLYWOOD MADAM: Well, you know, I think that it's clear that a lot of men that are in the legal profession think that they're above the law. And it seems that Mr. Spitzer did, too.

KING: Jeanette, what's your read?

JEANNETTE MAIER, FORMER MADAM, "CANAL STREET BROTHEL": Oh, I feel the same way. In fact, I'm currently working with some producers out of Hollywood about these current issues -- or should I say current affairs. And we're not at all shocked. However, I'm a little ashamed of the hypocrisy in America today.

KING: Hypocrisy like Governor Spitzer closing down Jason's agency and then being trapped in one?

MAIER: Right. Right. And then turning around and doing it himself, you know?

KING: Yes. It's weird.

MAIER: And it's sad that the men walk away and the women get charged. And I think it's wrong and unjust.

KING: Jason...

MAIER: And I think we need...

MCLENNAN: Yes, Jason would disagree with that.

KING: Jason, I know you were a prominent pimp, is it -- well, you call yourself that.

ITZLER: I don't call myself that. That's what the media called me. And hopefully, I've moved on.

KING: OK. I'm sorry.

ITZLER: That's OK, Larry.

KING: All right, you ran an escort agency.

ITZLER: I did.

KING: The governor was described as a difficult client. What does that mean to you?

ITZLER: I think Natalia will probably agree with me, typically what a difficult client would mean at an extremely expensive escort agency is that he didn't feel that he needed to wear a condom -- be that for a regular experience or a more of a Bill Clinton experience. But no condom.

MCLENNAN: Would you agree, Natalie?

MCLENNAN: It was rare, but that did happen that there were certain clients who felt that they didn't need to adhere to the rules. But I think in almost every single case, most escorts would never agree to that.

KING: What did difficult mean to you then, Natalie? What would it mean to you if I told you a client was difficult?

MCLENNAN: You know, it's funny, I have to say that in my experience, there were very few difficult clients. But I guess that would be the definition.

KING: Not wanting to wear a condom. What would it be to you, Babydol?

GIBSON: No, it could also mean he had some unusual sexual proclivities that we haven't heard about yet.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Well, don't a lot of people have that? Isn't that part of the whole trade?

GIBSON: Yes and no. Some people are more specific and particular and unusual in their proclivities. It varies. He could have wanted something that's really unusual.

KING: Jeanette, what does the term difficult mean to you?

MAIER: Well, there are some strange proclivities out there.

(LAUGHTER)

MAIER: Typical, though, would mean to me the normal guy, you know, the typical guy and -- but when you call in and say oh, I've got a strange request, then you start to worry because it goes pretty far.

GIBSON: Larry, can I...

KING: What should...

Yes, go ahead.

GIBSON: I'm sorry. I was going to offer an opinion on something. Apparently, wasn't the story she took a train instead of a plane?

KING: Yes, right.

GIBSON: OK, wouldn't...

KING: What does that mean to you?

GIBSON: It could be that she was some toys...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Paraphernalia, yes.

GIBSON: ...and a bag of tricks.

KING: That was expressed last night. Jason, what do you think should happen to the governor?

ITZLER: I think that the governor should never be allowed to hold a political office again. I think that we shouldn't respect him the way that we did before -- or that many of us did. I think he should do no jail time. I don't think he should severely be punished because what he did isn't really that bad. It's not that wrong.

GIBSON: Oh, I disagree.

ITZLER: People do it all the time.

KING: Who disagrees?

MCLENNAN: Oh, I disagree, as well.

GIBSON: I, Jody "Babydol" Gibson. I disagree. I think he epitomizes the arrogant hypocrite. It's not so much the act of having sex and paying for sex that makes this this bad.

It's that he was such a self-righteous arrogant hypocrite. And he prosecuted so many people. Those people are still going to be sitting in prison cells while he just loses his job.

MCLENNAN: I agree with you (INAUDIBLE) on that.

KING: Well, he closed Jason.

(LAUGHTER)

GIBSON: Exactly. My sentiments exactly.

KING: And Jason has an amazing attitude.

ITZLER: I'm not bitter (INAUDIBLE).

MCLENNAN: He's a man.

(LAUGHTER)

GIBSON: But, Larry, guess what? I don't think he'll do a day. I do not (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Natalie, do you consider this profession a victimless crime?

MCLENNAN: I think it depends on the participants. I think if the escort is healthy and of sane mind when she's making her choices, then she's not a victim. I think if the client is either single or has his conscience clear and is doing everything in a, you know, in a safe, respectful manner with regards to the people around him, then I think it is a victimless crime, absolutely.

KING: But if they're married, there is a victim, is that what you're saying?

MCLENNAN: I don't know.

KING: Is the wife a victim, Jeannette?

MCLENNAN: You know, is...

MAIER: Well, I think that every day there's extramarital affairs, every day in everybody's life, you know. And because of who he is, it's a big thing. But I don't -- everybody feels sorry for the wife. Well, you know, even I've been cheated on. I know what it feels like. And I feel sorry for her, too.

But I think the real victim here is the girl that's working, especially Ashley, because, you know, from what I read on MySpace, she was homeless. So she did this for economical purposes, obviously, and to be able to take care of herself and get a place to live and to hopefully further her music career.

KING: Well, it's going to... MAIER: I'm sure she's succeeded at that at this point.

KING: Yes, I would say...

MAIER: Well, yes, I hope so.

KING: ...she will be a roaring success. Thank you all very much.

MAIER: Roaring!

GIBSON: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Jason Itzler, Natalie McLennan...

MCLENNAN: Thank you, Larry -- thank you.

KING: ...and her forthcoming book is called "The Price"...

ITZLER: Thank you, Larry.

Thank you so much.

KING: You're welcome.

Jody "Babydol" Gibson, author of two books. And Jeannette Maier in New Orleans.

Anybody in the sex trade might want to have a lawyer on call. An attorney representing one of the escorts from the Emperors Club will be here. And so will Dr. Drew Pinsky, when LARRY KING LIVE returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Before we meet Dr. Laura, let's get another aspect of this case. Joining us in New York is Kathleen Mullin, criminal defense attorney. She is representing, by the way, one of the escorts mentioned in the government's affidavit against the Emperors Club Escort Agency.

In Tucson, our old friend Don Clark, retired FBI agent. When in service, among his assignments were assistant special agent in charge of the criminal division in New York and special agent in charge of Houston.

And here in L.A. is Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."

Kathleen, is your client out on bail?

KATHLEEN MULLIN, REPRESENTS EMPERORS CLUB DEFENDANT: My client is not charged with anything. So, you know, she's not in custody and not facing any criminal charges.

KING: It says one of the escorts mentioned in the affidavit. Explain how she was mentioned without being charged? MULLIN: Well, the affidavit supports the indictment of the four defendants who were charged last week, arrested and are being prosecuted by the federal government for money laundering. Supporting that affidavit -- in the affidavit, there are allegations from the wiretap naming women and clients one through nine, et cetera.

KING: And why, Kathleen, if they are just mentioned and not charged, do they need legal representation?

MULLIN: Well, you know, Larry, all of the girls who are mentioned in that affidavit are potential witnesses for the federal government in the case that's already been brought, and any potential case that may be brought. So, with that in mind, I think it's a wise idea for all of them to have representation.

KING: Well stated. Don, you are a veteran, retired now from the FBI. What do you make of this?

DON CLARK, FORMER FBI AGENT: Well, you know, Larry, what I make of this is that there are a lot of victims at play here. And we're talking about this whole scheme. I mean, clearly, this operation goes beyond just the johns, if you will.

There's got to be a major organized crime network that's going on. I don't think the southern district of New York would have taken this on and gone to the extent to acquire wiretaps and all the technical capabilities they've used to gather this information -- it's been a long-term investigation. This is a major case, and there's got to be major dollars involved. And we'll probably see some major figures arrested in this case in due course.

KING: Major outside of New York, as well?

CLARK: I think you will see it outside of New York. You may very well find this all over the country. Their communication network was far reaching, and it just wasn't New York. I suspect that they will be all over.

KING: Drew, how do you feel about, first, the escort.

DR. DREW PINSKY, VH1: About what's happening to her? One of the things about her, when you look at her Myspace page -- we are so sort of PC in our country. We dismiss things that are really obvious. What her Myspace page says is, you know, I was down and out. I was broke. I was homeless, and I pulled myself up. I got myself through. Good job. Became a prostitute and made yourself through.

You cannot go lower than that as a woman in New York. She was absolutely at the bottom. She has undoubtedly a horrible trauma history, and undoubtedly we'll hear about this as time goes along. For whatever it's worth, she will probably exploit the situation.

What's really interesting about this, somebody is that down and out is capable of a lot of things. It really throws open the door to all kinds of theories, as the investigator is saying, about what really might be going on here. It's even possible that you have sort of a "Pretty Woman" type situation here.

KING: What do you mean, the governor liked her beyond --

PINSKY: Maybe he fell in love with her at some point, and maybe these organized crime rings exploited that in some way. Who knows how deep this went. There's no doubt, it's still about him and his denial, him and his sense of specialness and invulnerability.

KING: Are you saying some people may have had the governor in the hip pocket?

PINSKY: I didn't think about that until the investigator just mentioned that. But this is like a great story. Who knows. Somebody that feels invincible, somebody that feels special is capable of being exploited in this way.

KING: How does the escort feel, Kathleen?

MULLIN: You know, Larry, as much as I respect Dr. Drew and, you know, I'm familiar with his show, I don't agree with that. And I don't agree with the idea that the escorts at all feel victimized. These are very --

PINSKY: Let me just interrupt if I could. I have treated many -- probably hundreds of people in this situation, and I have never met one yet that didn't have a profound history of childhood trauma. I've just not met her. She may be out there. She doesn't get to me.

MULLIN: Yes, and, you know, Dr. Drew, I respect that. And I have a JD, not an MD. I'm not prepared to make any kind of diagnosis that's medical or psychological or related. But I can just tell you that my experience is that many of these girls are very intelligent. They are very enterprising.

PINSKY: Absolutely. And they are down and out and they are on the street and they are as low as you can go, because of having fled a horrible traumatic situation, often in their home, and they find a way out and they find this. They are capable of it because they are trauma survivors.

MULLIN: Yes, and you might be right about that. Many of the men who patronize them have their own circumstances that --

PINSKY: Absolutely. Absolutely. Oh, absolutely.

KING: I didn't ask you about the men. We talked about the men last night. Don, do you think, because now they have gotten the governor, they will break this?

CLARK: Yes, of course. They are going to break this case. I heard someone say just a few moments ago that all of these girls are mentioned in an affidavit. Trust me, Larry, they are going to be witnesses in a case. There's no if, ands or buts about it. Defense lawyers --

KING: She said that. CLARK: Yes, and that's where the -- yes, I know. And that's where the information is going to come out, and see where they are going to go with this. I suspect, though, that perhaps not so much focus on the people like the governor, as focus on the people who are the really -- also, the real criminals in this, the ones who are really making the money off of this. We talked earlier about money laundering in this case, and all of this activity.

This is a huge operation that is going on. That's where we need to get to the heart of it, and the rest of it will be dealt with accordingly.

KING: And, apparently, it's going to get, if the term is right, more huge.

PINSKY: It sounds like it. You asked last night, how long will this go on? This is going to go on for awhile.

KING: Kathleen, is this going to be bigger and bigger, do you think?

MULLIN: Oh, yes. I think we're at the tip of the iceberg here and it's going to get bigger and messier before it gets smaller and cleaner. That's for sure.

KING: Thank you very much. We'll call on all of you frequently. Kathleen Mullin, good to see Don Clark again, and Dr. Drew Pinsky. Dr. Laura Schlessinger. If anyone has anything to say about this, it's Dr. Laura. She will sound off on husbands who cheat and women who stand by them next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Client Nine said he would pay for everything, train tickets, cab fare from the hotel, and back, mini bar or room service, travel time and hotel. When asked about payment, Client Nine said, yes, same as in the past. No question about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We now welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE frequent guest, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the syndicated talk show radio host, "New York Times" best selling author. She's in New York tonight. Her new book is "Stop Whining, Start Living." Before we ask you about current matters, who are you writing this for? The woman or the man. Who whines?

DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, AUTHOR, "STOP WHINING, START LIVING": Oh, good question. I think we women more typically whine, and it's not that we're the only one who feel things deeply. It's just that men tend to be a little more stoic, and they tend to vent their feelings in more physical ways and sometimes, unfortunately, as Dr. Pinsky knows, they use alcohol and drugs to quell the feelings.

KING: Your general thoughts, doctor, on the Spitzer story.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, you know me, Larry, number one thing, the kids. I am devastated for the children. There are three girls here who I would imagine always looked up at daddy as a hero, and, of course, daddy is our first heterosexual relationship where we learn to trust and respect and feel safe and comfortable. And it wouldn't be surprising young women in the this position to have problems with relationships to some extent, because if you can't trust your daddy, how can you trust this guy?

It's a devastation to the kids. And you know me, that's where my heart always goes.

KING: With your study, as you have over the years, of risk, why would someone in this position take that risk?

SCHLESSINGER: It's not unusual for -- let's just say men here -- for men in positions of power to feel an entitlement above and beyond good sense. We've seen that time and time again with religious leaders, with people in politics and what have you and big business.

It's a mentality, sort of like thousands of years ago, when you would conquer a village, rape and pillage. Taking the women is part of the control. And that's very sad. You do see that a lot, where there is just no thinking about the rules, because I'm above it.

KING: Do you, at all, put any blame on the wife? Naturally, you are not intimate with the family, and you haven't sat down with them, but is there any blame put on her side?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I honestly wouldn't know what their marital arrangement is, so I couldn't speak to that. But I know one time, and it's in my book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands," an ex-high price call girl wrote me, saying that most of her johns were married men, and most of the married men didn't want sex. They wanted a woman to just pay attention and to flatter them. And that was an eye opening thing.

When I read that on the air, I got so much feedback from guys, saying that they are reasonably decent guys. They're not sociopaths. They're not narcissists. They're not using their wives and using hookers and affairs because that's their attitude. They just felt so dismissed at home, so unimportant, so just put by the side with no sexual intimacy and no respect and admiration.

You know, the girlfriend/boyfriend stuff that people have in the beginning. They just became more susceptible. You have to always understand, it takes -- that's four. It takes two people to keep a relationship bonded.

KING: Do you like the idea of the wife standing there, standing up for the husband?

SCHLESSINGER: If I were a loving, invested, caring, really involved wife, and my husband did something like this, he would be at the press conference himself on crutches. KING: So, it makes her supportive of the act or too supportive of him, or what?

SCHLESSINGER: You know, I really don't know what's in her mind. There are all sorts of arrangements people have in business and in politics, where some people have a really loving marriage, other people have arrangements and double lives.

And some people just want so much, and it's more typical of women than men, to just keep the nest together, especially when there are children. And the rest of it just seems to go by the wayside, because there's just this drive to keep families together, which is, you know, what I do for a living. I try to keep families together.

KING: Her book is "Stop Whining, Start Living." We'll be right back with Dr. Laura Schlessinger is with us.

First, let's check in with Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360" coming up at the top of the hour.

What's up tonight, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, tonight on 360, the subject of race once again rearing its head on the campaign trail. Videos of Barack Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, on the pulpit are making their rounds online. They're causing quite a stir. That's the video there. He makes some very controversial remarks, to say the least. But they are his remarks.

The question tonight that we're examining is what exactly is Barack Obama's relationship with Mr. Wright? Beyond that, should a candidate need to explain the remarks his pastor makes? Barack Obama is being asked to. Is that fair? We'll get some answers.

Also, new information on a possible deal to have a revote in Florida and Michigan, and we'll dig deeper into what you are looking at, Larry, the fall of Eliot Spitzer. We're going to look into whether or not Mr. Spitzer's next stop might be jail, as well as an up close look into the dark side of prostitution. Not a pretty picture. That's coming up, Larry, on 360 at the top of the hour.

KING: That's Anderson Cooper, "AC 360," 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Dr. Laura. Her book is "Stop Whining, Start Living." Kristin, the high priced prostitute that Governor Spitzer patronized is becoming a celebrity of sorts.

SCHLESSINGER: That's pretty typical for our society, isn't it?

KING: How do you react to it?

SCHLESSINGER: It makes me sick. People like that used to be infamous, now they're famous. KING: What changed?

SCHLESSINGER: We lost our morals, values. I mean, look what a nice, calm, reasonable, decent, respectful interview you had with women breaking the law and involving themselves in family situations. I mean, it's all pretty disgusting, you know?

And we're treating them with -- well, you're a classy guy, so you are going to treat all your guests with respect. It's kind of flabbergasting, if you think about it, that they are willing to be on camera just as bold as you can be, saying they do something (INAUDIBLE)

KING: Got a point. Let's take a call for Laura. Washington, D.C., hello.

CALLER: Hi, the question I have for you Dr. Laura is, really, the way I see it, we have tens of thousands of years of evolution which pretty much determined that men will want to have more than one sexual partner for a lifetime. Isn't the problem really that we train women in our society today to expect sexual exclusivity even though that defies nature?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, you know, there's a scene from "The African Queen" when -- oh, gosh, Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn -- he's getting drunk. He says, it's just human nature, and she lowers the Bible, and she goes, we were put on this Earth to rise above nature.

That's a disgusting thing for a man to say about men. Men can be as respectful of vows and commitment and sex is a part of love as women can. That is so -- I can't believe a man would diss men like that.

KING: You think that disses men rather than counts to --

SCHLESSINGER: That disses men. That's silly. That is the just silly. That disses men. That disses vows. You see people married 60 years walking in parks, holding hands, that loving bond. There's sex which you can do with a stranger.

There's sex you can do with yourself looking at a computer. And then there's sex in a loving bond with somebody who would put their life down for you, and human beings elevate themselves to that level when they make that religious, deeply emotional commitment to each other.

To say that men have to get some. Well, you know, we put aside impulses for something greater.

KING: How do you react to people who think of prostitution as a victimless crime?

SCHLESSINGER: As a victimless crime? Well, I remember in the '60s, the beginning of the feminist movement, where women were not supposed to be sex objects. That's number one. So, I see prostitutes, whether they have decided to do it themselves or not, supposedly, as debasing themselves.

They are victimizing themselves. And when they have johns who are part of families -- I mean, I understand, you know, that there are lots of combinations and reasons that people do things -- but nonetheless, they are interfering with families.

I see the families as victimized. So there are plenty of victims to go around. The IRS is a victim. I pay my taxes. And a lot of that money never sees the IRS sheets.

KING: Should johns and escorts both see prison time?

SCHLESSINGER: I don't know. I'm not an attorney type or a legislator. I'll leave that to them.

KING: The book is "Stop Whining, Start Living." We'll back with more moments with Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It's a guaranteed best seller. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Laura Schlessinger, author of "Stop Whining, Start Living." By the way, is it ever OK to whine?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, if we didn't start talking about the book, I was going to start whining. But other than that, I think whining is very necessary. When people say, you should never whine, that's not fair and it's not realistic.

There are things worth whining about. And when you whine, you vent, and that's good, as opposed to having high blood pressure and having your brains explode. You talk to somebody who can give you comfort, feedback and maybe advice and suggestions. The part that's bad about whining is when you stay there.

KING: And if -- when you stop, you start living? The title works?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, it does, because when we're whining, we're really stuck in the negativity. One of my favorite little interactions on the air was from two women, one calling, saying, I'm so sick -- it must be this thing genetic thing again about men that I heard about a moment ago -- men always leave their socks around.

I don't know why can't they pick up their socks. I'm so angry with my husband. I don't feel like having sex with him and I'm annoyed with him all the time.

The woman says, you know what? I would give anything to see socks around my house, because it would mean my husband hadn't died. So, it's all in the perspective and what you make important. We really start living life, this precious, brief time we have, this gift of life, the more we balance the realistic response to terrible things that we have to deal with, either fix or endure, the more we balance that with embracing what is wonderful, then we're really living. And there are people in hospitals right now dying and they would give anything to have that moment that you are wasting by just embracing the negative.

KING: Why do we whine?

SCHLESSINGER: We whine because it's a self-defense mechanism when we're in pain, just like little babies. We whine because we're hurting. We whine because we're frustrated. We whine because we're aggravated. We've been betrayed, shocked by something, devastated. It's understandable to whine.

KING: So it's human?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes.

KING: Do you give us tips as to how to stop?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I wrote this book very intensive in dialogues between me and listeners, and e-mails, because people came from all kinds of whining circumstances, from horrible childhoods to illnesses to not even realizing they were nags. And how they recognized themselves, and how they decided to make the difference, and what they did to make the difference, it's all in the book, because it helps people have that shot of recognition.

Oh my gosh, this is me, because there's going to be a different mechanism by which people pull themselves out of -- now, let me say this, you never are completely un-sad. There are always things to be sad about. But when we acknowledge the sad but don't let that stop us enjoying the good, then we have a health, balanced life and we can enjoy ourselves.

KING: Laura, we'll see you back home soon.

SCHLESSINGER: I hope so. Thank you.

KING: Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The book is "Stop Whining, Start Living." Check out CNN's number one show page, CNN.com/larryking. You can e-mail upcoming guests, send us an I ask question or download our latest podcast. We're online all the time at CNN.com/larryking.

Tomorrow night, Tori Spelling, the actress who is now an author, writing about money, sex, motherhood and more. She'll tell us all about it Friday night on LARRY KING LIVE.

To tell us all about what's happening now, here's Anderson Cooper and "AC 360" -- Anderson.

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