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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Fort Hood Hero Cops; David Letterman vs. Joe Halderman; Interview With Carrie Prejean
Aired November 11, 2009 - 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, the two civilian cops hailed as heroes of the Fort Hood massacre speak out for the first time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW," COURTESY HARPO PRODUCTIONS)
SGT. KIMBERLY MUNLEY, POLICE OFFICER: When I got shot, it felt like, honestly, a muscle being torn out of my leg.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The attorney for the alleged shooter reacts and he'll give us the latest on his client -- the U.S. Army officer accused of slaughtering his fellow soldiers on American soil.
Plus, the untold story of controversial ex-beauty queen Carrie Prejean -- how does she explain the homemade sex video she calls the biggest mistake of her life?
And why does she say that she's been Palinized?
And also, the Letterman sex and alleged extortion scandal -- the defense says Joe Halderman was doing business, not blackmail and he wants the case kicked out of court. Letterman's lawyers insist their guy is the victim, who's ready to testify.
And the two sides square off right here, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We'll meet Colonel John Galligan in a moment. He's the attorney for the accused Fort Hood shooter.
But first, two civilian police officers, Sergeant Kimberly Munley and sain -- and Senior Sergeant Mark Todd, are being hailed as heroes for their roles in ending the Fort Hood shooting rampage. Munley, a 34-year-old mother of two and a veteran of the military, was wounded during the incident. She's credited with bringing the accused shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, down.
Munley and Todd spoke for the first time earlier today on "The Oprah Show".
Here's part of that interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW," COURTESY HARPO PRODUCTIONS)
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST: Was there a moment of confusion or uncertainty?
MUNLEY: Yes, the entire incident was -- was very confusing and chaotic. There was many people outside pointing into the direction that this individual was -- was apparently located. And as soon as I got out of my vehicle and ran up the hill is -- is when things started getting pretty bad and we started encountering fire.
WINFREY: Do you remember getting shot?
MUNLEY: Yes, ma'am, I do. I remember pretty vividly.
WINFREY: What does it feel like?
MUNLEY: Not like people kind of describe on the movies or how their reactions are on the movies. It's -- when I got shot, it felt like, honestly, a muscle being torn out of my leg.
WINFREY: Have you had a chance to process all of this?
MUNLEY: I take it day by day. And I know it's going to be a -- a slow process to get back to my normal life. But I know that I can accomplish it and -- and get back to -- to what I do and love to do on a daily basis. So I think that it will come in time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now from Fort Hood, Texas, retired U.S. Army Colonel John Galligan.
He's the civilian attorney for the accused Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan.
Is it -- is it possible, Colonel, to get a -- a fair trial with this much pretrial publicity?
COL. JOHN GALLIGAN (RET.), MAJOR HASAN'S CIVILIAN ATTORNEY: Well, Larry, you hit on a point that's obviously of great concern to me. And depending upon where the government seeks to conduct a trial, if a trial is in the future, it's going to be an issue of great significance to the defense.
Personally, I'm greatly concerned that in the memorial service that was conducted here yesterday, we had an assemblage of some of the most senior members of the military establishment present. And, of course, we had the president himself, who is our commander-in-chief. With that kind of presence here at this site, not only do I have concerns about it, I can -- I can tell you, I've been approached on the street by many folks in this vicinity who have expressed the same concern -- it is possible for him to get a fair trial, they ask him?
And I just simply shake my head and say, well, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
KING: Well, is it obvious, Colonel, that the defense is going to deal with the mental responsibility question?
I mean is that obvious?
GALLIGAN: Well, mental response -- well, I think it's obvious that anytime you have conduct alleged or attributed to an individual that's completely inconsistent with what appears to be earlier conduct, that issues are -- are raised that call into question one's mental responsibility. Another issue associated with this case is exactly who and where would be the proper forum to make that determination that -- as to mental responsibility.
Clearly, again, I don't know. Normally we send military accused -- or defendants to Darnall Hospital for purposes of having such evaluations conducted. Whether an appropriate eval -- evaluation could be conducted at Darnall I think is problematic. We used to think of Walter Reed as the gold standard for these type of examinations. And, again, because of what we've already heard in the media, where Walter Reed is under scrutiny, I think that would be an issue.
So when and if mental responsibility is brought into question, these little side issues that I've talked about are things that are going to have to be addressed.
KING: A couple of other things. And I want to spend some more time with you as we go along.
Have you met with your client?
GALLIGAN: I have, but very briefly. After I was retained by his family, I immediately proceeded down to contact him, because he, of course, is the client. The family did request that I assume a role as the defense counsel in the case, but, clearly, I'd have to receive his -- his consent.
So I did travel down to Brooke Army Medical Center, where he's in the intensive care unit. And I went -- or together with me I -- I took the detailed military defense counsel. That's major Christopher Martin. He's the senior defense counsel here at Fort Hood. And he has been currently detailed as the military defense counsel in this case. That's a right that Major Hasan enjoys under the UCMJ.
We both went down there and met with him briefly, after getting permission, really, from the doctors, to the effect that it wouldn't interfere with his medical treatment. And we spent about half an hour with him. But it was primarily just to introduce ourselves, advise him that we are the current defense team in his case and indicated to him how that could be changed.
And -- and he knows that if he doesn't like me, he could be -- replace me. If he wants someone in addition to me, he could do that.
He further understands that, in addition Major Martin, if he wishes to ask for another JAG attorney and that JAG attorney is reasonably available, that person also would be made part of the defense team.
Right now, though, Larry... KING: How would you describe his state of mind?
GALLIGAN: Well, I would just say he was sufficiently coherent for me to accomplish the objectives that I just discussed. It was readily apparent that either due to the medications or the sedatives that he was under, any attempt to communicate with him beyond that brief time frame would have been unrealistic. And so Major Martin and I concurred that it would be best to visit with him anew in -- in several days.
And I'll be honest with you, I'm thinking about doing that possibly sometime tomorrow, maybe tomorrow afternoon.
Right now, I have not been in receipt of...
KING: Have you...
GALLIGAN: ...any formal charge sheet. I mean there's been no formal charge sheet -- DD Form 458 -- produced in his case. That may come in -- in due course. I have not been furnished with any copies of investigations or reports. In fact, I'm learning -- or I believe I'm learning most of the facts so far, primarily from the national news media. And, as you know, that's not always correct.
KING: Yes (INAUDIBLE).
GALLIGAN: The first reports as to my client is that he was deceased so...
KING: Have you -- is -- we've heard reports that he's paralyzed.
Is that true?
GALLIGAN: Larry, with respect to all of the reports that are being made about his medical condition, whether it's medical, mental or physical, I prefer not to address that at this time.
GALLIGAN: I respect fully the hospital and patient privacy rights of patients and my client. And I just think this would not be an appropriate time to make any comment on that.
KING: I understand.
Thank you, Colonel.
We'll be calling on you again.
We appreciate your cooperation.
GALLIGAN: Well, Larry, I just hope your listeners will join with me in saying that the important thing at the end of the road here is that we ensure this military defendant -- this -- this officer, who has had a number of years of good service with the Army, that he receive a fair trial. If it's in a military forum, that's fine. But whatever forum, our Constitution does provide for a fair and impartial trial.
We owe it to all Americans -- and that includes the people that have been victimized or otherwise affected by these tragic events -- to ensure that a fair, impartial, judicial process is pursued.
That's my hope. That's my duty and that's my pledge to my client.
KING: Thank you, Colonel.
Colonel John Galligan, United States Army, retired.
The lawyer for the accused CBS producer accused of trying to extort $2 million from David Letterman wants to have the case dismissed. He argues it's a commercial transaction.
Letterman's attorney says it's classic blackmail.
Both attorneys go head-to-head, when we come back.
KING: Everyone on the planet by now knows that David Letterman went to the district attorney of New York and asked that charges be brought against the -- Mr. Halderman, the CBS News producer, for extortion, claiming that Letterman had had relationships with people who worked for him. Those stories were true, but Letterman claims he was being extorted.
In that connection, we welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Gerry Shargel. He is the attorney for Joe Halderman.
Halderman, by the way is the CBS News producer, attempting extortion -- charged with that.
And in New York, Daniel Horwitz. He's the attorney for David Letterman. He's not a prosecutor, but the attorney representing David Letterman.
Gerry, you want the indictment against Halderman dropped, saying he was involved in a commercial transaction and not a crime.
GERALD SHARGEL, ATTORNEY FOR JOE HALDERMAN: That's right.
KING: Can you briefly explain that?
SHARGEL: Yes. Our position that we argue in -- in a written memorandum of law is that anything that Joe Halderman did did not rise to the level of criminal behavior. This whole idea of -- of blackmail or extortion is a very fuzzy area. It's not settled. But it's clear that in this case, it did not rise to the level of extortion.
KING: We know that he said to Letterman, "Give me money or I'll publish a book." Do we know that?
SHARGEL: Well, it wasn't that profound. He said several times during recorded conversations to a representative of David Letterman, "You don't have to do this. It's your option. You can do it or not. If you don't do it, I intend to write a book. I always wanted to write a book."
He wasn't twisting his arm. He -- he gave him an option.
You know, Larry, over the past week alone, there have been three stories in the news -- prominently in the news about -- one that involved the Catholic Church buying someone's silence, entering -- entering into confidentiality agreements. So it's crystal clear that a person or an institution or a corporation can ask of an employee or an ex-employee, we don't want you to talk.
SHARGEL: And the fact that -- the fact that Joe Halderman asked Letterman, whether through his representative, whether he wanted to buy this was not criminal.
KING: Daniel, is the law fuzzy to you?
DANIEL HORWITZ, ATTORNEY FOR DAVID LETTERMAN: Absolutely not, Larry. The law is very settled in New York. Extortion has been on the books for many, many years. And there's no doubt that what Mr. Halderman is accused of doing, based on the evidence that was described by the district attorney and the evidence we've seen when we helped Mr. Letterman refer this matter to the district attorney, my co-counsel and I, John Abernathy, of Fulbright and Jaworski, there's no doubt that this is blackmail.
It's not a legitimate transaction. You know, he threatened to collapse Dave's world. He threatened his family. He threatened his professional and personal life. He stood outside his apartment at 6:00 in the morning and waited to drop off this package. And we submit to you that this notion of selling him a screenplay treatment, you know, about the embarrassing moments in Dave's life, that Dave would never buy something like that and that, in fact, what Mr. Halderman was trying to sell was silence. And, in fact, under the law, that's a crime. And that's why we referred it to the district attorney. And that's -- that's the basis for the indictment as far as we're concerned.
KING: It does make your client, Gerry, look a little shady. Right here, I've got this book, David, and it tells all.
SHARGEL: Look, I don't think it was shady. It -- it's a as a matter of fact. It's an indelicate fact, but it's a matter of fact that David Letterman was -- was having an affair with his live-in girlfriend. There's no question about the fact that -- that Joe Halderman was angry, and I think appropriately so.
And -- and did that play into this? Perhaps. But that doesn't change it to -- to being criminal. And the law is not as settled as -- as Dan Horwitz said.
And I'll tell you, this. I'll go one step further. You know, we cited a lot of authority -- Constitutional authority, statutory authority -- for the proposition that this didn't rise to the level of blackmail. We stand by that.
But the interesting thing is that Dan has not seen much of what I've seen. Dan has not seen the recorded conversations. Dan has not seen some of the documents that are pertinent to this case...
KING: The recorded conversations between?
SHARGEL: Between Joe Halderman and the attorney then representing David Letterman. (INAUDIBLE).
KING: There were no conversations recorded between Halderman and Letterman, right?
SHARGEL: No. Absolutely not.
KING: In fact, they've never met, right?
SHARGEL: They've never met. That's absolutely right.
KING: By all accounts...
SHARGEL: But you -- but can I just say this?
If you take those recorded conversations into account, if you take the confidentiality agreement that was not offered by Joe Halderman, but was offered by Jim Jackoway, who is the attorney for -- for -- for David Letterman, if you -- if you take the purchase agreement -- a formal purchase agreement that was put before Joe Halderman by Jim Jackoway, this has all the indicia...
KING: If the...
SHARGEL: ...of a lawful transaction.
KING: Did the prosecution see and hear those tapes?
SHARGEL: Of course they did. Of course. They made the recordings.
KING: All right. David, by all accounts -- now Joe Halderman is not some dummy. He does a lot of true crime reporting.
Can you envision that he's going to get a $2 million check from David Letterman and can deposit it?
HORWITZ: Well, Larry, I mean, I think that's what he intended to do. And I think that that's what the evidence described by the district attorney shows. And, again, as I said, we do have some familiarity with the evidence here, having referred the case to the district attorney. So we think that the evidence is -- is fairly compelling and that he did, in fact, think that he was buying Dave Letterman's silence by threatening him, by threatening to ruin his reputation, by threatening to do all the things that I just said that he did and that, in fact, you know, he did go and try to deposit that check.
Now, with respect to issues like a contract or the things that we've heard described tonight and elsewhere, you know, Larry, I -- I was a prosecutor for 10 years and have been doing defense work for 10 years. You know, I've seen situations where people who commit crimes, you know, they do things like -- they do -- they do things to cover up those crimes, so that if they're confronted, they can explain away their criminality.
And in this particular case, there's the patina of a cover-up with respect to some of these things that we're hearing about...
KING: All right...
HORWITZ: ...about contracts and -- and those sorts of things.
But if you look at the evidence in its totality, the evidence that we've seen in the motion and the evidence that was described by the district attorney, you see evidence of...
KING: Let me...
HORWITZ: ...of an intent to extort money from Dave Letterman.
KING: Let me get a break...
SHARGEL: Larry, this is...
KING: Let me get a break...
SHARGEL: ...this is flatly wrong and I'll tell you why.
KING: We'll pick right you up.
More with our guests when we come back in 60 seconds.
KING: I'm sorry if I referred to -- to Daniel Horwitz as David Horwitz. It is Daniel Horwitz.
And the attorney here is Gerry Shargel. Now, Gerry, according to you, the sensationalism surrounding this indictment is fueled by the celebrity of the purported victim and the deference paid to that celebrity by the DA's office has swallowed the only pertinent issue, is what you're saying.
KING: What's the pertinent issue to you?
SHARGEL: The pertinent issue -- the pertinent issue is whether the conduct of Joe Halderman rose to the level of extortion.
Did this violate -- did this conduct violate the penal law?
And I say that...
KING: Why would he bring this book -- the book details what David Letterman did, right?
That's what the book is, it's the story of David.
SHARGEL: It's the treatment -- the story, correct.
KING: David Let -- what David Letterman did with these women.
KING: Why would he bring it at 6:00 a.m. in the morning to the driver of the David Letterman's car?
I mean there...
SHARGEL: Well, I -- you know, I don't...
KING: I never...
SHARGEL: ...I don't -- I don't...
KING: ...delivered a book at 6:00 a.m. in the morning to the driver of a car.
SHARGEL: Yes, you know, but -- but I don't get that that has any -- any evidentiary value, the fact that it was 6:00 in the morning.
Would the case have been gone away if it was sent Federal Express?
Would the case have gone away if it were 9:00?
KING: It would have looked more businesslike if it was sent by Federal Express, right?
SHARGEL: No, I think -- business started for David Letterman at 6:00 in the morning. Business started for Joe Halderman at -- for -- at 6:00 in the morning. That was a convenient way of delivery -- delivering it.
KING: All right...
SHARGEL: And I'll tell you something else. There have been -- there has been such an distortion of -- of that, because there have been suggestions that he broke into the car, that he snuck into the car, that he -- you know, in a very surreptitious way left it.
He -- he knew the driver and he gave it to him.
KING: Daniel, why -- since the prosecutor's handling it, why does -- why does David Letterman need a lawyer?
HORWITZ: Well, Larry, you know, he -- he was approached with a very serious threat. And we were asked to help him navigate this through with the district attorney. And that's what our role has been. And he's a victim here...
KING: But now that it's navigated, why -- why does he need an attorney now?
The prosecutor has it. You're not going to be in court.
HORWITZ: Well, many times victims of -- of crime, they -- they continue to need advice. And here, you know, there's been a lot of attention in the media. And frankly, there are facts that need to be brought to -- to the attention of the public. I mean, we're having a discussion tonight about facts. You know, Mr. Shargel has brought out, you know, only one side of the facts.
And -- and it's important that the facts of the case, as the district attorney has described it, come out.
Now, the district attorney is going to file a response to Mr. Shargel's motion. And that will be in -- in several weeks. And I think you'll see a full set of the facts described there.
KING: Mr. Letterman will have to testify. There will be a trial.
He's going to have to testify, right?
HORWITZ: If there's a trial, Mr. Letterman will testify. That's right, Larry.
KING: Is that a big if, David?
SHARGEL: I don't think it's an if. I think if there's a trial or -- that that's not the if, but at the trial David will...
KING: You think there is going to be?
SHARGEL: I -- I think there will be a trial. And -- and David Letterman, in my view, will have to testify. And if the prosecution doesn't subpoena him, I will. And -- and I'll go one step further. Dan Horwitz is a criminal defense lawyer.
I don't know, is Letterman expecting trouble?
He needs a lawyer or a battery of lawyers, a team of lawyers, to get the facts for the district attorney's office, this purported victim?
It sounds a little odd to me.
KING: We'll ask Daniel about that when we come back.
Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: We're back.
By the way, in case you're on another planet and missed this whole story, here's a clip of some of what David Letterman had to say that night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN," COURTESY WORLDWIDE PANTS INC.)
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: That's a decision for them to make, if they want to come public and talk about the relationships, if I want to go public and talk about the relationships. But what you don't want is a guy saying, oh, I -- I know you had sex with women, so I -- I -- I would like $2 million or I'm going to make trouble for you. So that's where we stand right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: All right. Daniel, why does David need a criminal lawyer?
HORWITZ: Well, Larry, as I said, this was a very, very serious criminal threat. And many times people in those situations turn to lawyers.
But frankly, Larry, I think the question really is Dave Letterman is a victim here. And -- and to shift the focus to Dave is really inapt. You know, we're -- we're talking about charges against Joe Halderman. They're serious charges. They're charges that, if he's convicted, will result in, potentially, a long prison sentence. And so, you know, that's really where the focus needs to be.
KING: All right...
HORWITZ: And any attempt to shift focus away from that is an attempt to...
KING: Yes. Gerry...
HORWITZ: ...to change the facts. I mean, frankly, that's a little bit of what's going on here, Larry. I mean, you know, as a defense lawyer, I can tell you that, you know, when you don't have a good set of facts, what you try to do is shift the attention to the facts you like.
KING: Yes, all right. Good point.
HORWITZ: But here...
KING: All right...
HORWITZ: ...you've got to talk about the facts that are relevant, Larry. KING: Gerald, what on -- David didn't do anything wrong, did he?
SHARGEL: I didn't shift the focus to David Letterman.
KING: But Letterman didn't do anything wrong?
SHARGEL: He didn't do anything wrong.
SHARGEL: Well, he might have done something wrong...
KING: He may have done...
SHARGEL: He may have done some...
KING: Unethical, yes, OK.
SHARGEL: Yes, I mean, unethical, immoral, inappropriate, by his own admission.
KING: But in this matter...
SHARGEL: Creepy -- that's what he said on TV, creepy.
But here's -- here's the point, Larry. I didn't shift the focus. I filed a 34 page brief that talked about the Constitution, that talked about relevant case law, that talked about the statute and talked about the history and the development of the law of blackmail. I made a claim that the statute was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.
That's not shifting the focus. I'm not playing games here. I didn't -- I didn't go before the public and say this is all about Letterman.
Letterman's conduct is relevant, relevant -- it's relevant because of the intellectual property issue, because of the manner in which he acted raised the value of the intellectual property and -- and gave Halderman something to sell, something to publish and get paid for it. He's entitled to do that.
KING: Daniel, did David discuss with you the fact that he was going to go on the air with this?
HORWITZ: Well, I can't really, obviously, Larry, breach the attorney-client privilege. So I'd really rather not talk about the substance of any conversations we've had. Suffice it to say that we're in touch.
HORWITZ: As I would be with any client.
KING: How is your client doing, Gerald?
KING: He's been taken -- he's taken off payroll, right?
SHARGEL: Yes. He's been taken off the payroll and the only thing I can say is he's doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. He knows that this is going to be a -- a difficult journey. But I intend to prevail. And -- and we're going to work together to get that done.
KING: Do you think he's being presumed guilty?
SHARGEL: I think a lot of people are presuming him guilty. And I -- I think that -- and, frankly, Larry, that's the reason I'm here, because I think that the public opinion, fueled by comments like Mr. -- like Mr. Horwitz is -- has been making -- is making, is that it's an open and shut case.
It's not an open and shut case. There's no way it's an open and shut case. There's a very serious question as to whether this is blackmail or extortion. I argue that it's not.
KING: All right, without telling me that David suggested it to you, Daniel, are you comfortable with him going public?
HORWITZ: Am I comfortable with him going public?
HORWITZ: I mean our...
KING: Because your client...
HORWITZ: ...our client, Dave, made...
KING: ...went on the air. He broke the story.
HORWITZ: Yes. I mean Dave did a courageous thing by going on television. I mean, I don't think it was easy to do what he did. And I think -- I don't think it was easy -- it's -- it's -- it's not an easy decision to make a referral to the district attorney for the kind of things that we're talking about here. And yet Dave's done. That and Dave's resolve was strong and is strong, in terms of dealing with this.
That's why I say, you know, if there's a trial, he's prepared to testify.
KING: Was your client surprised that David went public? Jerry?
SHARGEL: Surprised, I don't think so.
KING: What words would you use?
SHARGEL: I think he recognized and would acknowledge today that David is David. Mr. Letterman is very clever and very manipulative when it comes to his audience. He knows how to control an audience. He's a master at what he does. And he thought it would be more appropriate for him to announce the arrest of my client. As it's usually done, the district attorney or the county announces an arrest. Before the district attorney announced the arrest, he just wanted to get out ahead of the story, and put it in a light most favorable to him.
KING: Daniel, do the prosecutors keep in touch with you about this?
HORWITZ: Yes. I mean, in the way that the prosecutors would keep in touch with the lawyer or representative for any crime victim, absolutely, Larry.
KING: So, you're not surprised by that? You are in on the know as to how they're going to handle this?
HORWITZ: No, Larry, I'm not in on the know. I wouldn't say that. I would say that, you know, prosecutors work with their witnesses. I mean, I was a prosecutor in that office. I had contact with my witnesses, or if they had lawyers, I was in contact with their lawyers. I mean, there are times when we speak to them about the things that they need to talk to us about. I mean, that's -- and that's -- that's par for the course. There's nothing unusual about that at all.
KING: Jerry, would you say you're confident?
SHARGEL: I'm confident, and there's everything unusual about this case. Everything.
KING: If -- if he's not guilty, is there -- is there a false -- a false crime here?
SHARGEL: As I tell my client -- each and every one of my clients, let's get the acquittal first.
KING: Thank you all very much. Gerald Shargel and Daniel Horwitz. After the break, you'll all remember her, former Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean. She's going to talk about her sex tape that surfaced, and she's speaking out against her critics.
KING: Tomorrow night, Al Gore will be our special guest. Joining us now from Washington, Carrie Prejean. She's the former Miss California USA, author of the new book "Still Standing, The Untold Story of My Fight Against Gossip, Hate, and Political Attacks." There you see its cover. Pleasure to welcome her back to this program.
In essence, Carrie, what was untold?
CARRIE PREJEAN, FMR. MISS CALIFORNIA USA: You know, there was a lot untold, Larry. I think that so many people have heard such bits and pieces of what really happened with the pageant. And, you know, this book is really just for Americans who believe that their beliefs are under attack and the double standard that there is, you know, conservative women have to face.
KING: So it all dealt with that one question, though, right? Were you taken aback by that?
PREJEAN: With the question that was asked at the pageant?
KING: Yes. That started all this, right?
PREJEAN: Right. You know, seven months ago. I can't believe that we're still talking about it, but seven months ago I was asked the famous question about same-sex marriage. And I answered honestly and to the best of my ability. And, you know, ever since then, I have been attacked, and there's been a campaign against me.
So, I think it's really important for people to understand what this is really about.
KING: You characterize yourself as being Palinized. What do you mean?
PREJEAN: Well, you look at Sarah Palin and Congresswoman, you know, Michele Bachmann, they are relentlessly, you know, torn down by the liberal media. I mean, they're wonderful women. They're intelligent. They're great mothers. They're brilliant. And yet there's this double standard that conservative women are fair game to be attacked. And it's not right. And it needs to stop.
KING: Doesn't the conservative media tear down liberal politicians?
PREJEAN: Not to the extent that liberals do to conservative women. I think that they get away with it. If you look at Keith Olbermann, for instance, I talk about it in my book, some of the things that he says on his show about conservatives, if Sean Hannity or if Bill O'Reilly said anything like that about a liberal woman, like Sonia Sotomayor or Michelle Obama, he would be off the air. And there is this double standards and Americans are now exposed to it.
KING: But the conservative media commentators denounced Sonia Sotomayor as a racist, Hillary Clinton as a bitch and a liar. Laura Ingraham recently accused Nancy Pelosi of having do everything but sell her own body to get the health bill passed. You must condemn things like that.
PREJEAN: Look at the things that they said about Sarah Palin and her children. I mean, it's unbelievable. The attacks are still coming. And, you know, when they're not happy with the message, Larry, what do they do? They attack the messenger.
KING: Well, you don't see that it happens on both sides?
PREJEAN: I think that it's important for women to stick together. I think that's the biggest thing. And I think that there definitely is this bias against conservative women. It's fair game. And if they don't like what you have to say, they have to attack your personal life. And that's what we've been seeing. It's very consistent.
KING: Her book is "Still Standing." It's been quite a year for Carrie Prejean. And does she have any regrets about it? We'll ask that when we come back.
KING: Carrie Prejean's new book, "Still Standing, is out and available everywhere. Paula Shugart, the president of the Miss Universe Organization, by the way, issued a statement about your book. It says, "Carrie's version of the truth and the facts are two very different things. Sadly, it appears that Carrie is frequently in error, but never in doubt. From my dealings with Carrie, I simply do not understand how she could have any credibility in the public eye."
How do you respond to that?
PREJEAN: Well, I think Paula Shugart is a little upset that she was exposed as the fact that she was the one that hired Perez Hilton to be the judge. So I don't think she's too happy about that.
KING: All right, let's get to an embarrassing part for you and how you are handling it. You recently confirmed that when you were 17, you made what you call a private video, a sexual-type tape, that you sent to your boyfriend. Have you seen the video?
PREJEAN: You know, I don't think that's the important issue, Larry. I think that, you know, there's a video out there of me that I sent to my boyfriend at the time. And it was for private use. But does that justify my actions? No. And I take complete responsibility for the decisions that I made when I was a teenager. And I've learned a lot from it.
And in my book, in the last chapter, I talk to women about how it's so important to realize that nothing is private anymore. And I admit in my book that I'm not perfect, and I've made mistakes, and I have learned from it. But I think that the biggest thing is that you own up to it, you take responsibility, and you just move forward.
KING: Did you own up to it? Did you let the Miss California or the Miss USA Pageant know about that video?
PREJEAN: You know, I think that people need to be reminded that I was not fired for any video, for any photos. I was fired for, I guess, supposed contract violations, not making appearances, and I guess being hard to work with.
KING: Yes, but the question was, did you inform them? Because they have a morals clause in their contract, although you -- I mean, did you ever tell them about the tape?
PREJEAN: I was not fired for a morals clause, Larry. If you look back, you will see that they fired me solely for contract violations for missing appearances. So, this has absolutely nothing to do with why I was fired. But people would like to accuse me of that. KING: "Extra" asked Donald Trump to comment about your sex video. And according to "Extra," he said she's trying to act like she's a nun. Maybe she should release the tape and people would see whether or not she is a nun. What's your comment about Donald Trump's involvement in all of this?
PREJEAN: Oh, my gosh. He -- I have so much respect for him. I think that he was thrown into the middle of this. And I really respect him as a businessman. And I know that at the end of the day, he has to listen to the people who he hired and who work for him. But I really wish he would have done a little bit more of an investigation on what really went on. So --
KING: But you also write that during the pageant he did something many contestants found humiliating and devastating. What did he do?
PREJEAN: Well, I talk about it in my book. And the 50 contestants were on the stage, and it was just a great time to meet Mr. Trump. And he -- you know, we were on stage and there were some women on the right and some women on the left. And there were some women who were devastated. They felt that they didn't -- that Donald Trump didn't like them, that, you know, he didn't look at them enough.
And am I portraying him as a horrible person? No. And Donald Trump is such a small part of my book. And people would like for me to get distracted by that. And I'm not going to let that happen. So --
KING: One of the things -- by the way, do you plan any legal action to block the video from being made public? Because you were under age when it was made.
PREJEAN: You know, everything that was discussed, Larry, in mediation is completely confidential. And it seems as though I'm the only one holding up to that contract. So, if that's the case, then I will stand by that contract, and abide by it.
KING: Did you get a settlement, though?
PREJEAN: That's completely confidential. There was a confidential mediation. And I don't think that needs to be discussed right now.
KING: We'll be right back with Carrie Prejean. Her new book is out now and available everywhere. It's "Still Standing, The Untold Story of My Fight Against Gossip, Hate, and Political Attacks." Don't go away.
KING: In two weeks we announce the CNN Hero of the year you voted for. By the way, before we talk about tonight's hero, do you have a hero, Carrie?
PREJEAN: Sarah Palin is my hero. KING: Oh, she is?
PREJEAN: Yes, she is.
KING: Have you come to know her, by the way?
PREJEAN: Well, actually in my book "Still Standing," I actually had a conversation with her. And I just -- I really look up to her and admire her for her strength and her courage. And I just -- I really admire her. So --
KING: You want her to run for president?
PREJEAN: Excuse me?
KING: You want her to run for president?
PREJEAN: I think she would make a great president. But I think she's -- she's smart enough now to get out of that. You know, she's sick and tired of being attacked. And she's doing great things. So, I'm very happy for her.
KING: Now here's Grammy winner Mary J. Blige to introduce you to one of the very deserving nominees. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY J. BLIGE, SINGER: Hi, I'm Mary J. Blige, and I had the honor of performing at the first CNN Heroes, an all-star tribute recognizing everyday people who changed the world. As president of Fawn, I'm dedicating myself to help women to reach their full potential in life. Now, more than ever, the world needs heroes. And I am thrilled to help CNN introduce one of this year's top ten honorees.
ROY FOSTER, CNN HERO: How can I turn my back and walk away and leave you right here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't.
FOSTER: I can't. Because I know you wouldn't turn your back and leave me. Nationwide, veterans are neglected, homeless, unacceptable.
What branch of service?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Army.
FOSTER: Army? So was I. We are still brothers in arms. So, no man left behind.
My name is Roy Foster. And my mission is to help and empower homeless veterans. If you're going to work for sobriety, you got to change. Stand-Down House provides service for veterans only, a safe, clean place to live, all the meals, to help services. The camaraderie is that internal glue. Tell him one of his brothers in arms came out looking for him, and let him know, yes, we will be back. They are the best. And they deserve the best.
What I do, I love. I love it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Carrie Prejean. She's the author of "Still Standing." That book is available everywhere. We'll take a call or two for Carrie in a moment. You sued the pageant after they fired you. They counter-sued. And then you accused them of a number of things including religious discrimination, clearly an issue very important to you. Why did you settle? You don't have to tell me the terms of the settlement. But why settle, since you had a fight to carry on?
PREJEAN: Larry, everything that was discussed in mediation -- I'll say it again -- is completely confidential. I'm not going to be able to talk about that. So I'm just letting you know that ahead of time.
KING: So you can't even say why you settled? That's not -- how does that break what you settled for. I'm not asking you what the settlement was.
PREJEAN: It's a confidential agreement and I'm not allowed to talk about that. So --
KING: So the agreement discusses the motive behind why each party agreed?
PREJEAN: Larry, you're being inappropriate. You really are. So I'm not going to --
KING: What? I'm asking a question.
PREJEAN: I'm not going to talk about anything discussed in mediation. It was a confidential settlement.
KING: All I'm asking -- so -- All right. So what you're saying is, in mediation, it was discussed why you were mediating?
PREJEAN: Larry, it's completely confidential. And you're being inappropriate, OK?
KING: All right. Inappropriate King Live continues. Detroit, hello.
CALLER: Hi, calling from Detroit. I'm a gay man and I love pageants. I'm sure that you, Carrie, have got great gay friends that helped you possibly win. What would you gave them as advice if they wanted to get married?
KING: Did you hear the question, Carrie? Did she hear the question? Is she leaving because I asked what motivated the settlement?
PREJEAN: Excuse me?
KING: Did you hear the question?
PREJEAN: No, I can't hear you.
KING: You took the mike off. You put the mike on, you can hear.
PREJEAN: I think you're being extremely inappropriate right now. And I'm about to leave your show.
KING: Well, so I went to another area. I took a phone call. They asked a question of you. I left that subject. You feel it was inappropriate? I didn't mean to be inappropriate. I just thought it was a logical question. But you need to have a mike. Who are you talking to?
Hello? We'll be back right after these messages on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: We're back with Carrie Prejean. I did not certainly mean to ask you a question -- you don't want to take phone calls, right?
PREJEAN: Yes, that was the agreement that you had with my publicist.
KING: No one told me. I didn't know we weren't supposed to take phone calls. And I meant nothing of the question.
PREJEAN: Right, and this is you and I talking and I appreciate that.
KING: OK. What are you going to do next?
PREJEAN: Oh, my gosh. I'm just so excited to be, you know, promoting this book. I'm so excited to be an author now. It's really great that -- I'm 22 years old, and I think that I've accomplished so much. And I think that there is definitely a message out there to spread to young women and that is, you know, never do anything that you wouldn't want your biggest fans to see or, you know, never do anything that, heaven forbid, your dad would see.
So I think that there's definitely a message out there to spread to young women, to just be careful of what they do. And you can definitely learn from my mistakes.
KING: So you have some regrets?
PREJEAN: Excuse me? KING: You have some regrets?
PREJEAN: Well, obviously the choices I made when I was a teenager, you know, that doesn't reflect who I am today. So yes, there were mistakes in my life. And no one's perfect. And I'm definitely owning up to those mistakes. As far as the pageant goes, no, I have no regrets.
KING: Do you see yourself running for office some day?
KING: So professionally, what would you like to do?
PREJEAN: Well, I would like to continue my education. And I'm very involved with the Special Olympics Organization, and it's a huge passion of mine. So I would love to go back to being Carrie the 22- year-old college student pursuing her degree, and continuing to do the things she loves to do.
KING: Would you ever enter another beauty contest?
PREJEAN: I don't think there's another pageant that I could do. I think that I had a goal of competing for Miss USA and I had reached that goal. So I'm very content with that.
KING: Are you sorry you entered that pageant?
PREJEAN: You know, there was so many great things that have happened because of the pageant. I do talk a lot about the negative things of the pageant. But, Larry, in my book I talk about one particular event. I was sent to an appearance, and it was actually the wrong address. And I was -- actually ended up at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. And I was able to visit all of the sick children and just, you know -- for a time, just take off my crown and sash and just be Carrie, the girl that loves to serve and loves children. And so some of the most amazing things have happened since being in the pageant.
KING: We're running late. Thanks, Carrie.
PREJEAN: Thank you.
KING: The book is "Still Standing," Carrie Prejean.
Two notes before we go: Lou Dobbs announced his departure from CNN tonight. I want to wish him very well.
We take a moment also to recognize all the military men and women who have served the United States - we wish you all a very happy Veterans Day.
AC360 right now - here's Anderson.