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Farrah Fights for Her Life; Miss California Controversy

Aired May 14, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Farrah Fawcett fights for her life, valiantly battling cancer, making huge headlines documenting her ordeal.


FARRAH FAWCETT, ACTRESS: So I go on and hope and pray that these changes that continue to bombard me will help me -- help me to help others.


KING: Candy Spelling is here to tell us about the Angel her husband made famous.

And then, Miss California is called a liar, as the beauty queen scandal gets even uglier. She cancels on us as the heat gets too hot. What started out as a gay marriage debate has degenerated into attacks on Sarah Palin.

What's going on?

Plus, Ashton Kutcher makes good on his Twitter victory pledge.


ASHTON KUTCHER, ACTOR: We are delivering on the promise to ding dong ditch Ted Turner.



Good evening.

Farrah Fawcett, the actress known worldwide for her beauty and her role as one of "Charlie's Angels," is reportedly seriously ill and may be close to death after a long battle with cancer.

A two hour documentary, "Farrah's Story," about her struggle with the disease, will air on NBC tomorrow night.

I've talked to Farrah quite a bit in the last few months. This is a sad story and everyone is praying for her.

We welcome Candy Spelling, a close friend of Farrah. Her former husband the late Aaron Spelling, produced "Charlie's Angels, " which, of course, made Farrah famous. Candy's new book is "Stories from Candyland."

Did you first meet Farrah in connection with getting that part?

CANDY SPELLING, HUSBAND AARON PRODUCED "CHARLIE'S ANGELS": Yes. Actually, she did a lot of small, little parts in the movies for Aaron starting around 1973. So it's been, my God, 36, 37 years since I, you know, first met her.

KING: So you knew her well during all that time?


KING: Did you know about her getting picked to be on "Charlie's Angels?"

SPELLING: I remember. She -- she was just outstanding in a couple of -- of -- she -- she did some small roles. She -- I think the one that Aaron really decided he was really going to use her was this American beauty pageant and, also, it was like "Murder on Flight 502." He did the 90 minute versions.

KING: Movie of the week?

SPELLING: Right. Movie of the weeks.

KING: How do -- what's she like?

SPELLING: Oh, my God. She was like, just full of life. And the smile that would, you know...

KING: When did you know she had cancer?

SPELLING: I found out about a year -- when I first heard, I don't know if it was a year or two years ago when we first heard. And I contacted her. I hadn't talked to her in a while. And I just -- she said I'm going to be all right, Candy. Everything is going to be all right.

KING: It's anal cancer that spread, right?


KING: Let's see a clip from that documentary. This aired on NBC's "Today Show" with Farrah talking about her cancer.



FAWCETT: Three words I never, ever thought possible that I would hear -- malignant, tumor, anal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was such a private person and now she's naked to us all. She wants to make one last impression.

FAWCETT: My doctors asked me to come in and get my test results in person. That was when I heard it -- the fourth word I never thought I would hear -- recurrent.


KING: Why do you think, Candy, she did the documentary?

SPELLING: I think that she wanted to give other people courage that, you know, are fighting this kind of thing. I know how, you know, devastating the press can be to -- you know, was with Aaron when he had cancer. And it's just so difficult. And I mean, you know, it's hard to have a private life at that point.

KING: Why do the tabloids, would you know -- and you've been around them a long time -- get so tough on someone in such pain?

It don't matter?

SPELLING: It's news. It's news. And I -- I -- it's kind of a sad thing. I -- I'm always so sorry to see it. But, you know, people believe what they see. And a lot of times we don't know how true it really is.

KING: Farrah's longtime companion, Ryan O'Neal, was on NBC's "The Today Show" this week talking about the cancer.

Here it is.


RYAN O'NEAL, ACTOR: I think that she may have believed that she would survive and have a document -- a film document.

And I'm sorry to give you some not great news.

That's not how it's going. This -- she's had a terrible time the last year, a terrible time.


KING: It's a little ironic that Ryan's on-screen life in "Love Story" also dies of cancer.

SPELLING: Yes. Yes, well...

KING: It's sad.

Any idea why they never got married?

SPELLING: I -- I don't really know. I think -- it's kind of hard to say. I think that they had a good thing going. And I think that, you know, they had a child together. And I think it really was wonderful. Actually, they lived down the -- the street from me, or I may say the beach from me, in Malibu.

KING: Did she and Aaron always get along?

SPELLING: Oh, yes. Always, until I think -- you know, people don't realize, she -- she -- once the phenomena -- and it was. It was the Farrah phenomena -- happened in 1976 when "Charlie's Angels" happened and then they did this poster.

KING: The famous poster.

SPELLING: The famous poster. And it was of the fair hair (ph). And everybody had to have Armando's famous cut of the famous fair hair (ph).

KING: There it is. And that may be -- it's hard to say anything is the greatest -- that may be the greatest photo shot of a celebrity -- marketing a celebrity -- ever taken.

SPELLING: She's -- she was beautiful. She's still beautiful. I mean...

KING: Who took the photo?

SPELLING: That -- I'm not sure who took it.

KING: Who did the hair?

SPELLING: Armando.

KING: Armando.

SPELLING: Armando. It was Armando -- Teddy and Armando was -- they owned a shop in Beverly Hills. And he gave her that style. And it was just, whether someone had red hair, brown hair, blond, they wanted to have the Farrah cut.

KING: And it's hard to believe, isn't it, she's in her early 60s?

SPELLING: She's 62, I understand.

KING: Yes.

SPELLING: And it's just -- it's -- it's young and this is just so sad. And she's so brave. That's what I think is so amazing.

KING: When was the last time you spoke to her?

SPELLING: I spoke to her about a year ago. And I just -- you know, she kept saying, I'm going to be fine. She really believed that she was going to be fine.

KING: And still does, apparently...


KING: I mean with all the pain...


KING: She still has -- goes to Germany three times a year and... SPELLING: I know. But according to Ryan, I think that it's -- it's

KING: This is the last shot?

SPELLING: This is it.

KING: Did Aaron try a lot of things, too?

SPELLING: Yes and no. He -- he -- they -- he had throat cancer and they wanted to cut out part of his tongue and he said no. And I said, you -- you have to do something.

And we were at UCLA -- and I respect what Farrah did with UCLA, I have to tell you. Because she -- she made it public that they -- you know, they got into her records and made some of -- some of the things public. And sometimes that's a terrible thing when it's privacy.

Aaron was at UCLA. And it's -- it's a wonderful -- you know, knows who does it -- someone working there, thinking I'll make an extra buck, I'll sell it to the tabloids.

KING: Yes. That's terrible.

SPELLING: It is terrible.

KING: We'll be back with "Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart, among the millions wishing Farrah the best.

Stick around.




Have you seen her, been with her today?

MARY HART, CO-HOST, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT": It's been the same thing the last few weeks, that she's stable. You know, ever since she came out of the hospital, she's remained in very stable condition. She's not gotten worse. In fact, if anything, in the last week, she's gotten stronger.

STEWART: But having said that, it is cancer.


KING: Alana Stewart is an amazing woman, by the way. Every time that Farrah goes to Germany, Alana goes with her and stays with her.

We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Mary Hart, co-host of "Entertainment Tonight" and -- she's here in L.A.

And J.D. Heyman. He is the assistant managing editor of "People" magazine and he is in New York.

Staying with us is Candy Spelling here in Los Angeles.

Anything later that "E.T." is reporting, Mary?

HART: Well, you know, there is an issue of the lawsuit that -- that was brought today against Farrah. And -- I mean against Ryan and Alana by somebody who had been working on the documentary with them. So that's -- that's kind of...

KING: Saying what -- asking...

HART: Well, stating that they cut him out of it. And I can't give you any details about that. But Ryan's statement this afternoon was that he was disgusted and disappointed and dismayed by that, especially at this time, when Farrah is fighting for her life.

KING: She's home now, right?

HART: She is at home. And, like Alana said, she sees her every single day, as does Ryan.

You know, I asked Alana, how much time does she have left?

Is she dying?

And she doesn't want to use those words. I think she feels strongly it's not her place to determine how much longer Farrah is going to be with us.

KING: It's really nobody's place, right?

HART: Right.

KING: We're all terminal.

HART: It really isn't. But then you talk to Ryan, and he was at the screening last night. I have seen the full documentary, which Candy, you must see. It's heartbreaking, gut-wrenching. It's incredibly brave. And you know, it -- it is the boldest, bravest, most raw thing I've ever seen Hollywood do.

KING: J.D., how do you explain that friendship between Farrah and Alana?

J.D. HEYMAN, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, "PEOPLE": Well, you know, I think Farrah was -- is a woman who has, you know incredibly close and loyal friends. There are a number of people around her who are extremely caring and loyal.

Alana Stewart has been right there with her through -- through this entire process. And, of course, her relationship with Ryan is really -- you know, it's an incredible love story.

KING: It's amazing.

HEYMAN: And, you know...

KING: Yes.

HEYMAN: ...he has been there by her side and -- and has been incredibly moving when he's talked about her. He has never been a guy who has held back in terms of expressing his emotions about this process. He's said some incredibly moving things to people.

You know, Farrah, obviously, in the process, here. You know, she's -- she's lost that -- that hair that was her, you know, trademark. And, you know -- and he talked, you know, really movingly about that -- about that experience...

KING: Yes.

HEYMAN: ...and holding onto some of her hair and -- and how hard that's been and how she's maintained her dignity and graciousness this entire thing.

KING: Farrah hoped to help others by making this documentary.

Here's another clip that aired this morning on "Today."


FAWCETT: I used to wonder how people who were very sick, with a terminal diagnosis, could get up and go on with their lives and not think about dying every moment of the day. I didn't feel this way in the beginning, when hope and determination left no room for anything else in my mind and body except pain. And so I go on and hope and pray that these changes that continue to bombard me will help me to help others.


KING: Are you surprised she did the documentary, Candy?

SPELLING: No. I really think that she wanted to get this out to everybody, that -- you know, that you can be brave and that -- and you can have hope.

KING: When was the last time you saw her, Mary?

HART: I haven't seen Farrah for a couple of years. I -- I saw Ryan last night. And I have seen Alana several times in the last year-and-a-half. And, you know, when we were talking about the whole process yesterday, Alana and I started talking about this a year-and- a-half ago, when she first took the video camera and they took their first trip to Germany.

But she said it did not start out as a -- you know, with the goal of doing a documentary for the world to see. It started out as her private diary on video to just show the journey. And, again, she has been hopeful every step of the way, up until very recently.

KING: We'll come back with more. And then we'll ask J.D. about Alana talking about Farrah's cancer. It ran on "The Today Show." But we're going to ask him about reports that her friends feared that she wouldn't even live to see the documentary.

Back in 60 seconds.


KING: We're back.

J.D. in "People," your story reports that her friends feared she wouldn't even live to see the documentary.

Would you elaborate on that?

HEYMAN: Well, that's right. I mean Farrah is, you know, very sick. And, you know, anyone who has dealt with -- with this kind of cancer can tell you it's not a pretty thing.

But as Mary was saying earlier, everyone is very quick, around Farrah, to -- to leave a little hope and to talk about -- about her in the present tense and to take great heart in moments -- even this week, when she seemed to rally or gain some strength.

And though, you know, Ryan O'Neal has been particularly articulate about hoping for -- for some little turnaround. You know, we know what the -- what the prognosis is here and so do they.

KING: Right.

HEYMAN: But, you know, they do hold out, you know, hope that she'll...

KING: Right.

HEYMAN: ...she'll keep going just a little longer. It's...

KING: Nobody...

HEYMAN: It's awfully sad.

KING: Here's another clip with her friend, Alana, talking about Farrah's cancer.

Again, this ran on "The Today Show."


STEWART: And she said, I'm holding onto the hope that there is some reason that I got cancer.

Is this sort of giving her a reason? I think that she thinks that way. I think she feels that way, that, well, if God chose to give me this disease, then I need to use it to do something helpful for others.


KING: She's had fetal stem cell injections in Germany or elsewhere, too.

Has that helped, Candy?

Do you know?

SPELLING: I don't know.

KING: Do you know, Mary?

HART: I don't know about the fetal stem cell injections...

KING: I was told that. I don't...

HART: I'm not...

KING: I'm pretty sure about it.

HART: Yes, well, you know, Larry, what you see -- because she does document this -- is a large needle going in that has a laser on the end of it. And this was a very painful and, you know, progressive procedure. But they injected it right through her ribs into her liver. And then they would turn on the power and zap each of the tumors.

KING: I don't think that's...

HART: It did make them go...

KING: That's not stem cell.

HART: That is not stem cell. And I don't...

KING: You know, I don't...

HART: ...recall the specifics of that.

KING: I had heard that, so I want to say leave it at that.

HART: Yes.

KING: I had heard that.

HART: Yes.

KING: I don't know that she had it.

HART: Well, we saw that happen so...

KING: Wouldn't you try anything?

HART: I would try anything.

KING: Anything.

HART: Absolutely.

KING: Go anywhere, try anything.

HART: I admire her courage. When you're given that dire prognosis -- and, really, they didn't think she would live much longer after that first diagnosis and the recurrence. And, you know, here it is, two-and-a-half years later. And she says that, through all the pain, through all of the suffering, she had extra time that nobody expected.

KING: Amazing woman.

We're back with more on this edition.

As we go to break, during the filming of "Farrah's Story," camera crews documented how difficult it is to fight a difficult disease with the added burden of being famous.



FAWCETT: Stress is what feeds your cancer. Stress is what gives you cancer. And then here is the paparazzi giving you stress.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you feeling?

FAWCETT: Didididi. It's like you're a non-person that -- to not be able to go and park and go up to the doctor. And so there was a great deal of dodging and hiding.



KING: We're back with the panel.

Ryan talked about their relationship on "The Today Show."



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How would you describe the relationship that the two of you have?

O'NEAL: I know this, that in the last two years, I love her more than I have ever loved her -- ever.


O'NEAL: She's so much more of a woman and a powerful, courageous, fearless. And I look at her with -- with awe.


KING: J.D., Ryan had some health problems, doesn't he?

HEYMAN: Well, you know, this whole family, famously, has -- has struggled with a lot. And certainly, this is the most traumatic ending to this relationship that one could imagine. You know, there is, you know, of course what they're dealing with Redmond, as well, who is, you know, is struggling with a serious drug issue.

Farrah seems to be -- you know, as far as we know, she's not aware that he has been incarcerated during this time. He was allowed out of an L.A. jail to visit his mother. And there's a real bond between Ryan and Farrah. They've...

KING: But the question was, doesn't Ryan have an illness too?

HEYMAN: I'm -- I'm not aware of an...

KING: Mary, doesn't he?

HART: A year before Farrah was diagnosed with her anal cancer, he had been diagnosed with leukemia.

KING: Leukemia.

HEYMAN: Oh, with the leukemia.

HART: And she came rushing to his side to take care of him.

And, yes, J.D. I know you know that, too. But he's doing very well. He went into remission. He's been doing very well.

KING: Most leukemia patients do.

HART: Yes.

HEYMAN: Yes, I'm sorry, Larry. I thought -- I thought you were talking about right at this moment.

You know, right at this moment, he's actually doing very well. He plays tennis once a week. He -- you know, he tries to, you know, get out there. And when he's not with Farrah, by her side, he's actually, you know, in seemingly very good health. Obviously, this is a wrenching thing for him.

KING: Is that one of -- to your knowledge, Candy, is that one of the best-selling posters ever?

SPELLING: Oh, as far as I know.

KING: Millions, right, you think?

SPELLING: Yes, millions. And it -- it was just -- it was amazing. I think what very few people realize, Farrah was only on "Charlie's Angels" one year.

KING: Really?


KING: And has had a fixed life forever.

SPELLING: Yes. Yes, I know.

KING: One year.

HEYMAN: And, interestingly enough, Larry, she also had some insecurities about that poster. She -- she was self-conscious about her -- her mouth, about her smile, about how she looked in it. She was really quite surprised at the success of that poster and, you know, as everyone was. It was a moment in time that really captured the mid-'70s and launched her as -- as a superstar.

KING: Perfect.

"Entertainment Tonight" asked Ryan a question about marriage and Farrah last night at the screening of the documentary.

Here's what he had to say.


O'NEAL: Oh, I'd do that. I would do that. She's still a little bit hesitant. Yes. I'm working, though. I'm working.


She's still a little hesitant?

O'NEAL: You know, she's been married, I've been married, she said, and we have a good thing. But I said, you said that 30 years ago.

Shouldn't there a change -- a sea change?

Maybe there is. You never know.


KING: Mary, for Hollywood, that's a longstanding love relationship, isn't it?

HART: It really has been. It's one of the most storied. It has been tremendously tumultuous. And, you know, like we've all discussed already, there have been some real downs in all of their lives.

But through it all, the love has remained. And I really think -- and it's not uncommon, when people are drawn together by -- by near tragedy, that these two had a deep love right away for each other and it has lasted and gotten nothing but better and stronger.

And, you know, when it really has counted, these last couple of years, they were there for each other.

KING: Are you shocked that UCLA would sell stuff -- people in UCLA would sell things?

HART: You look at human nature, you look at secrets -- I don't believe, in today's society, secrets can truly be kept anywhere -- I mean from the Pentagon to UCLA.

But Farrah -- one of the things that comes up at the end of the documentary is see, she is so proud that she has helped enact legislation that -- that protects patients' records all -- in all institutions. She's very proud of that. That's one thing she made a point of saying.

KING: She's a very smart girl, isn't she, Candy?

SPELLING: Very smart. Very smart.

HEYMAN: And I think a real...

KING: Do you...

HEYMAN: Oh, sorry.

KING: Go ahead, J.D.

HEYMAN: I was going to say, and a very, very -- you know, she was aware of her image and the power that these images would have. I mean, you know, you have to understand that Farrah Fawcett -- this has been, you know, more than 30 years of being a public person. And even before she was famous, when she was just a college student in Texas, everyone knew who she was.

She was a celebrated beauty from her very, very early days. And she was aware of the power of her image. And she really took control in the last, you know, months and years, you know, of this cancer battle...

KING: A good question.

HEYMAN: really...

KING: A good question from the control room.

Does she have hospice care at the house, do you know?

HART: She has care at the house and...

KING: But not hospice?

HART: ...whether it's technical -- I haven't used -- I haven't heard the hospice word used, but she does have care.

KING: Thank you all very much.

HEYMAN: And...

KING: Candy Spelling -- oh, you want to add something quick, J.D.?

HEYMAN: I was just going to say, you know, she -- she does have care at home, but it is -- it is, you know, it is really friends and family. It's -- it's, you know, no extreme measures are being taken.

KING: Yes.

Candy Spelling, Mary Hart, J.D. Heyman -- Heyman -- what is it? J.D., is it Heyman?

HEYMAN: It is Heyman.


Thanks very much to all of you.

HART: It's Hart.

KING: Hart.


KING: You're Spelling.



KING: Spell that.

HART: King.

KING: King.

Can the Miss California scandal get any uglier?

Do you believe it's still around?

The answer seems to be, yes.

And what's Sarah Palin got to do with it?

And we'll talk with Donald Trump, next.


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

Miss California has been caught up in multiple controversies after a judge in the Miss USA pageant, Perez Hilton, asked her about gay marriage. Pageant owner Donald Trump says she will keep her title.

Miss California Carrie Prejean was scheduled to be a guest on this program tonight. Late this afternoon, she canceled her appearance.

Let's meet the panel. Shanna Moakler is the former executive director of the Miss California Organization. She resigned after the Trump decision. Keith Lewis is co-executive director of Miss California USA. Paula Shugart is president of the Miss Universe Organization. She oversees this pageant, Miss USA, Miss Teen, everything. Alicia Jacobs was a judge in the Miss USA Pageant and a former Miss Nevada USA.

Paula, why do think Carrie canceled?

PAULA SHUGART, PRESIDENT, MISS UNIVERSE: Well, honestly, I think she was exhausted today. I know she was traveling back from New York. I think she had plans. This was a late booking. It's more of a travel issue than anything else.

KING: After weeks of controversy about whether or not Carrie Prejean would retain her title, the pageant's owner, Donald Trump, made his decision. Watch.


DONALD TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": Carrie will remain Miss California. It was a controversial question. It was a tough question. It was probably a fair question, because it's asked of many people. And I've often said it. If her beauty wasn't so great, nobody really would have cared.


KING: Donald trump is with us on the phone. Donald, how could you say no one would care if her beauty weren't so great? Is that kind of an insult to the people who are really passionate about gay marriage? What does her looks have to do about it?

TRUMP: It's just a fact, Larry. People talk about it all the time. It goes in one ear and it's fine and people listen. This has become like a national big deal. I mean, not even national. It's international. I had a friend call from Paris. He said it was the biggest story in Paris. I had a friend called from London. It's the biggest story in London. Bigger than the wars and anything.

So I would tell you, Larry, if she were not so beautiful, people wouldn't be talking about it. You know that as well as I do.

KING: Shanna, why did you resign? SHANNA MOAKLER, FMR. MISS CALIFORNIA DIRECTOR: I just felt that when I was in Donald Trump's office, one of the things we spoke about was that she stayed to her contract. If she did not stay to her contract, she would be fired. If anymore pictures came out, she would be fired. But I went into the press conference kind of with -- I guess it's my own fault, but I thought that would be addressed at the press conference. It wasn't.

I felt she was being rewarded for breaching her contract. It was a difficult pill for me to swallow.

KING: Did she not breach the contract?

KEITH LEWIS, CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MISS CALIFORNIA USA: She did breach the contract. At the same time, she's a 21-year-old woman. You sit down with her, go over it and say, hey, these are the points that need to be changed. You need to bring yourself back into compliance. You make sure she understands it. You try and find out what the reasons were behind it. You move forward.

KING: Paula, do you completely agree with Donald?

SHUGART: I do. Honestly, I think as of Tuesday, it's a fresh start. I think she was thrown into the limelight and the last few weeks have been crazy. I think we should all start over.

KING: Alicia, you're a critic of it, right?

ALICIA JACOBS, JUDGE, MISS USA PAGEANT: I think Donald is an amazing business man. I think he made a decision that was very smart for the organization. I wish that Carrie had been honest about the photos from the get-go and she wasn't. That's my problem with the whole issue.

KING: Donald, why didn't you entertain the thought of dishonesty.

TRUMP: Well, I didn't, Larry. You know, we are living in the 21st century. To be honest with you, she believes -- I really believe she believes what she's saying. That's good. I found her to be a lovely young lady. I never met her before. I just met her the other day for the first time.

We had a news conference. I thought she gave an amazing speech, by the way. It was carried live by many networks, commercial free. It's been sort of an amazing situation. We've carried live, I think, by five networks all over the world.

KING: What about breaking rules?

TRUMP: Well, the rules sometimes get a little bit broken, and then you have to make a decision as to whether or not that breaking of the rules was so serious that you terminate somebody's crown. That's a big thing in someone's life, if you take away a crown. I believe she's going -- and I hope -- if she doesn't, we'll have to do something about it. I believe she'll be a really excellent Miss California. If she is, she's going to remain there. If she's not, we're going to do something. I think she'll do very well.

KING: We'll be right back with more. Don't go away.


KING: Donald, I know you'll be with us for one more segment. What are your feelings about Shanna and Alicia and the fact that Shanna quit the organization and Alicia disagrees with your decision?

TRUMP: I respect both of them. I think that's fine. I was a little surprised at Shanna because she was in my office and she, you know, seemed like everything was fine. She was actually going at it pretty hot and heavy with Carrie. I was a little bit surprised she would really deal with it that way.

I have great respect for Keith. I think Keith has done a fantastic job. I really don't know Shanna too well. You know, it's too bad she had to resign.

KING: Shanna, want to comment?

MOAKLER: I'm just following my heart and my feelings. When we were at that press conference, I basically watched a young girl -- which is fine that she's young. But she basically pointed fingers at everybody else and never took responsibility for herself one time. She never took accountability for anything. I didn't want her to get her crown taken away from her. I wanted her to take responsibility.

I can't go back to my state and run a healthy pageant when my contract means nothing.

KING: Donald, we're going to play a clip here and then I want you to comment. Carrie gave an emotional news conference. Let's take a look.


CARRIE PREJEAN, MISS CALIFORNIA: On April 19th, on that stage, I exercised my freedom of speech. And I was punished for doing so. This should not happen in America. It undermines the Constitutional rights for which my grandfather fought for.


KING: Donald, do you think this was a freedom of speech issue?

TRUMP: Well, I think to a certain extent you could say that. Some people disagree. She was asked a very tough question. But you know what? Miss America is gone, Larry. It's no longer on network television and it's not very relevant anymore. When I bought these pageants over ten years ago now, they weren't doing great. They were just sort of surviving and now they're hot as pistols, the Miss Universe and the Miss USA.

We just got an extension from NBC for three years. They're very relevant. We ask very tough questions. Frankly, this wasn't the toughest question. Other tough questions were asked of the other contestants. In fact, you could say they were even tougher than the questions she got.

You know, the girls have to be very smart and very cunning to win.

KING: Donald, thanks for joining us. We appreciate you giving us the time after this difficult time. Donald Trump, see you next week in New York.

Keith, are you kind of torn here? Because you're invested in this, aren't you?

LEWIS: I am. I am.

KING: Was there a side of you that partially agrees with Alicia and Shanna?

LEWIS: You know, I absolutely have torn emotions, and I am mentoring young women and trying to get them to be at the highest place that they can be, and that's what the job is. Yet, at the same time, you want to hold them accountable.

KING: Catch-22?

LEWIS: You are in a difficult situation. What you're trying to do is you're trying to come up with progress, maybe not perfection. And so I'm always looking for progress. You know, I don't -- I didn't take Shanna's resignation. I said absolutely not. You can keep it. Because I feel like she's a part of my California family and she's not going anywhere.

KING: You're rolling your eyes, Shanna.

MOAKLER: No, I'm not rolling my eyes. I'm going to cry. I love this man. It was very, very difficult -- very difficult decision for me.

KING: You understand that, Paula?

SHUGART: I do. One thing I hope comes out of this -- this is a great system. Both Shanna and Alicia are products of this system. They both got their breaks from going through the system. The fact that Keith and Shanna got this show -- this is the first year in over a decade that Miss California this year is going to be on television. We're already much more relevant. I think that's the stuff to focus on now. It's a great system and we're proud of it.

KING: Alicia, are you surprised how carried away this thing has gotten?

JACOBS: Larry, I'm stunned.

KING: You're a reporter now.

JACOBS: I'm an entertainment reporter. Yes. This was on April 19th. I was delighted to be a judge, still very proud to have done that. I can't believe we're still talking about it. Larry, the really sad part is an amazing woman was crowned Miss USA that night. We're not talking about Kristen Dalton. I would love to see her get the attention she deserves and let's move on from this.

KING: What happened to her?

JACOBS: What happened to her, indeed.

LEWIS: We had a lot of talk about Miss California. She's kind of just living the high life in Trump Tower and taking care of business.

KING: What we're saying here it is better it win a state?

LEWIS: I think what we're saying is that the media has, perhaps, not grown with the evolution of what these women are, because --

MOAKLER: I think the story also was so sensational because it hit the first amendment; it hit gay rights; it hit big business; it hit so many -- the Bible, religion. I mean, so many factors came into play that really heated the debate.

KING: We'll be back in 60 seconds as the debate rages on.


KING: We'll continue our discussion of Miss California. But first, it's time for tonight's hero. Pam Koner, another great example of someone seeing a need and doing what she can to fill it. I asked her how the program she started, Family to Family, works.


PAM KONER, CNN HERO: Every month, families with more across the country help families with profoundly less with basic life essentials. We sponsor a family one to one.

KING: I understand you supplied more than 770,000 meals to families across the country?

KONER: We have over the last six years, I'm very happy to say. We have done that, yes.

KING: How did you come up with this idea?

KONER: Well, it's a serendipity, actually, is what I like to say. I was sitting on my porch on Sunday afternoon, reading a story in the "New York Times" about a community in Illinois so profoundly poor that the last week of the month these families were not eating. And just said I have to do something, and I want to do something and I came up with an idea.


KING: The world could use thousands of Pam Koners. More about Miss California after this.


KING: Tom Hanks tomorrow night. By the way, we've got a couple of big "American Idol" shows coming up. The first one is a week from tomorrow. All next week, we'll have blog exclusives from the contestants, including Danny Gokey, who got the boot last week.


KING: Here are some comments from our blog and Twitter about all this. From Carol, "I was with Carrie Prejean all the way. In fact, I share her beliefs on marriage. But when she lied on her application, she lost me."

Margie says, "does Carrie think we believe her when she blames the photographer for taking numerous snap shots that exposed her breasts when a gust of wind occurred? She didn't have a blouse on, but she could button up."

Jan writes, "if the judges did not like the contestant's answer, that's one thing. But to persecute someone for giving an honest answer is unbelievable." What do you think of the photography?

JACOBS: I don't buy for a second it was blowing in the wind. I'm sorry. I just don't. I think that was an excuse. And again, not being truthful. She had to have known. She looked like she was posing for most of those photos. Just own up to it, admit it, say I made a mistake and move on.

KING: Did a photographer just show up?

SHUGART: I'll take Carrie at her word. I'm all about moving forward now. I'm about -- this press conference, let's move forward and have her represent California.

KING: So what's passed has passed?

SHUGART: Past is past. Hopefully that's it and we'll move on.

KING: Keith?

LEWIS: Yes, I'm pretty much the same way, in terms of we have to move forward. We have to get back on track in California. We have a big platform here. It's the beauty of California. It's celebrating diversity. We're going out and getting sponsors for our telecasts. There's so much to do and we've been consumed in this wildfire. Each time I think we've almost got it out, some ember flares up again. And I'm ready to get back to business.

KING: Shanna, how long is this going to go on?

MOAKLER: I look forward for them to get back to doing really amazing pageants. But to answer your original question, Larry, when I -- the next day after the press conference, I was watching her on "The Today Show" talk about those photos. And that's really what did it for me, because I couldn't stand behind someone who was going to continue to lie.

KING: Here's what she said to say about the pictures.


PREJEAN: I find it appalling that a professional photographer would violate my chest by releasing an unauthorized and inappropriate image taken in between post shots on a windy day, which I was unaware of.


KING: You modeled, right?

JACOBS: I have.

KING: The explanation, you don't buy?

JACOBS: No, I don't for a moment. When you are modeling and you're posing, you're very well aware of what is exposed and what's not. And if there were a cool breeze, she'd have been aware of it. Trust me, Larry.

KING: So Paula, even though you're putting it behind you, you don't buy that, do you? You can tell us.

SHUGART: We're among friends here. You know what? Honestly, I cannot imagine what she has been through for the last three weeks. She gave an answer to a question. She did get attacked. And I would be a little gun-shy. I'm going to give her a pass on this one.

KING: Even though her answer was -- was the attack unfair, in your opinion, Keith, about the answer?

LEWIS: I do. I do, because she wasn't prepared for it. The thing to remember is that is Perez Hilton's schtick. Now, she, perhaps, didn't understand that, but that's just kind of what he does. It wasn't a personal thing.

So I didn't like the fact that it heated up that way. I certainly felt for her through the whole thing, and we would have liked it not to have been that way. But at the same time, that's what it is. It is what it is.

KING: On that part, do you stand with her, Shanna?

MOAKLER: I do agree with Keith on that. But what fueled this fire is that she went and then aligned herself with NOM. And when she did that -- that's the National Organization for Marriage. That put us in a very difficult spot with our sponsors and with people that were even supporting her at that point. She went and did tele- marketing. She did PSAs. And then these organizations made it so difficult for us to even communicate with her. It was a train wreck.

KING: What was it like being Miss Nevada? JACOBS: It was the time of my life, the greatest experience ever. And honestly, I credit the career I have today to being a part of the Miss USA system. It was the greatest experience ever, and I'm very grateful. And I always will be. So it was wonderful for me.

KING: Were you asked any tough questions?

JACOBS: Not that tough. But I could have handled that one just fine, too.

KING: You would have handled it?

JACOBS: Absolutely.

KING: Do any of you agree with her answer?

LEWIS: With --

KING: To the question on marriage?

LEWIS: Carrie's answer? oh, gosh. You know, I think that -- that that was a tough question. And I think that -- I don't really want to tackle it.

KING: OK. You don't have -- she could have said that, too.

MOAKLER: She could have said leave it to the states. You know, that's the great thing about America. Let the people vote.

KING: More to come. Ashton Kutcher is gloating over his Twitter win in the race for one million followers. That is ahead. Stick around.


KING: Paula, what do you make of Sarah Palin? The governor is supporting Carrie. In fact, she said "the liberal onslaught of malicious attacks against Carrie Prejean for expressing her opinion is despicable." Now she's in it.

SHUGART: Well, everybody's in this, trust me. I don't know anybody that's not. Well, I agree. I do think that there were a lot of attacks on Carrie that were unfounded. But I also see -- I think there were attacks on both sides.

KING: Now, that really wasn't that tough a -- when you think, it was on the ballot. A decision was made by voters. The Supreme Court's hearing it. Everybody had an opinion.

SHUGART: And since the pageant, how many states have voted on it? I mean, in the last three weeks?

KING: Six now, I think.

SHUGART: Relevant question for a relevant pageant.

LEWIS: It was great that it raised the conversation.

KING: That was good.

LEWIS: Because it really is important to come to some kind of resolution. And you can't resolve it without having a conversation.

KING: Carrie was on Dr. Dobson's radio show and had this to say about her answer.


PREJEAN: Honestly, I felt as though Satan was -- and I don't want to say that this person represented Satan. But I felt as though Satan was trying to tempt me in asking me this question. And then God was in my head and in my heart saying, Carrie, do not compromise this, you know. You need to stand up for me.


KING: The governor was one thing, but God and Satan are in this. What do you make of that one, Shanna?

MOAKLER: Well, you know, I did not know that Carrie had such a strong stance on traditional marriage. I know that she's been in her church for four years. She was in two ministries, and not one person from -- I never heard of prayer circles for her before she went to Miss USA. There was no one at her preliminaries. Keith and I were at her preliminaries. Her own father wasn't at her preliminaries. You know? So --

LEWIS: We're kind of a family as well.

MOAKLER: This is a new issue that came up after her answer when these other organizations, which I really do feel like are exploiting a young girl.

KING: They are a little, aren't they, in a sense?

SHUGART: I think they definitely filled the void right after the pageant. And I think she's quite articulate, but I think she really aligned herself in one direction, and hopefully she's coming back now.

KING: Will the breast implants play any part in this, Alicia?

JACOBS: The fact that she has them?

KING: Yes.

JACOBS: No, not at all. No. That was an afterthought. And that's just people wanting to talk about something sensational. It was a non-issue.

KING: Aren't we all shocked at how Carrie -- when is it going to end? Tonight?

SHUGART: No, I don't think so. We haven't heard of last of it yet.

LEWIS: You've got to tune in. California, we're live, November. Everybody needs to be watching. We need responses.

KING: What are you going to do? Are you going to recrown her?

LEWIS: No, when we have a new crowning, when she gives up the crown.

KING: We'll be there for that one. Thank you all very much. Shanna Moakler, Keith Lewis, Paula Shugart and Alicia Jacobs.

It all started innocently enough; Ashton Kutcher, the actor, had a Twitter account with hundreds of thousands of followers. CNN's Twitter account, roughly the same number. That's when my friend, Ashton, decided to up the ante. Take a look.


ASHTON KUTCHER, ACTOR: So is that 850, and I looked and I saw that CNN was, like, 50,000 followers ahead of me. And I thought it to be quite significant that we now live in an age for media that a single voice can have as much power and relevance on the web as an entire media network. And I think, to me, that was shocking. And --

KING: So you picked me out?

KUTCHER: No, I actually picked out Ted Turner, and I said I would ding dong ditch Ted Turner's house if I beat CNN-BRK to a million followers.


KING: It was a nail-biter. Turns out Ashton Kutcher did beat CNN to a million followers. Last night in Atlanta, he and his wife, actress Demi Moore, along with some friends, made good on the promise. Check it out.


KUTCHER: We're here at Ted's Montana grill. If you don't know -- where are we at? if you don't know, we are delivering on the promise of ding dong ditch Ted Turner. We have plenty of ding dongs. We have plenty of people. We are now ding dong ditching.


KUTCHER: And here's our bell.


KING: No, I don't believe it either. A plus K, by the way, is Ashton Kutcher's -- his Twitter name. Well played, Ashton. Ashton's not the only one who's Twittering or Tweeting. You can always follow me at KingsThings. Now Anderson Cooper, who Twitters, and "AC 360." Anderson?