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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Chelsea Clinton Wedding Secrets Revealed; Bill Cosby Internet Death Hoax Debunked; Lohan Goes to Rehab
Aired August 2, 2010 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, Chelsea Clinton's exclusive wedding. The little girl who grew up in the White House married in an emotional ceremony fit for a princess. What the beautiful bride wore, and who was there.
Plus Lindsay Lohan is out of jail. Is it too soon or will 90 days in drug rehab be the real test for the troubled actress?
Then, Bill Cosby is dead, If you believe Twitter. The Cos is calling in to prove he's very much alive.
All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
And hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips sitting in for Larry King tonight. He is on vacation. And as you probably already know, Chelsea Clinton tied the knot with her longtime beau Marc Mezvinsky over the weekend at the Astor Court estate in New York.
And joining us to talk about the wedding, Rosemary Feitelberg, New York correspondent for "Women's Wear Daily." Rosemary covered the nuptials. Anita McBride, former chief of staff for First Lady Laura Bush. And Nia-Malika Henderson, political reporter for the "Washington Post." She covers the first family.
And, ladies, we're all talking a lot about very little.
PHILLIPS: We've all been trying to figure out where do we go and how do we begin.
Rosemary, I think I'm going to start with you, though, because you were in Rhinebeck, you were covering the nuptials. Was this one of your most difficult assignments because you couldn't get in?
ROSEMARY FEITELBERG, NY CORRESPONDENT, WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY: It proved to be incredibly challenging, but also more motivating for that fact. It seemed as though the less information the Clintons chose to release, the more the public wanted to know.
PHILLIPS: And it's interesting, did it, it drew attention from all over the world. And the pictures were actually pretty funny in how creative people were being to try to get the inside scoop.
So, Rosemary, what struck you most from the outside? How hard did you have to work and what did you get to find out?
FEITELBERG: Well, we -- my colleague and I probably approached 70 different wedding guests, and all of them were completely buttoned up as well as about 30 of the local business owners.
It's a small town of about 8,000, Rockwellian sort of environment. And the place was just turned upside down with all the excitement but there was really no concrete information to go on.
PHILLIPS: And Anita and Nia, you are saying that is a true testament to the respect that everybody has for Chelsea Clinton?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, POLITICAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Right. And I think the fact that she very much directed this day. It wasn't, you know, a Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton extravaganza. It was very much a day Chelsea Clinton ordered.
You didn't see a lot of the big donors from the Clintons or a lot of the big Hollywood names. They're very much friends of Chelsea Clinton and the dear, dear friends of the Clintons who saw Chelsea grow up.
PHILLIPS: And you were saying the same thing, Anita, is that it could have been such a show. But Chelsea was in charge of this.
PHILLIPS: This is the young girl we've never heard talk. She's never been interviewed. Her mom took her out on the campaign but reporters weren't allowed to talk to her. We'll talk more about that in a minute. And yet it seems she was calling the shots.
ANITA MCBRIDE, FMR. CHIEF OF STAFF FOR LAURA BUSH: She really did. At the end of the day, of course, and all the speculation about who the celebrities were going to be at this wedding, she was the only celebrity and really would have been the only one that mattered anyway no matter who was there.
She's the bride. She did direct this, of course. And everybody that was there was there for her and for her groom. I mean they -- this was a special day. And they managed to direct this the way they wanted it to be. People were very respectful of their privacy. Twelve bridesmaids. And that --
PHILLIPS: Not one picture.
MCBRIDE: Not one photo.
PHILLIPS: We didn't see one photo of the groomsmen.
HENDERSON: Nothing on Facebook, no Tweeting about it.
(LAUGHTER) MCBRIDE: I think it's so hard for presidential children in general to really lead a private life when you have very public parents.
PHILLIPS: Why do you think this gained so much attention? Is it because we haven't heard much from her and this was her wedding day? And maybe folks were thinking, the doors will be open and we'll get some sort of inside scoop or we'll hear from her or we'll learn something about this young woman who's turned out so well, and hasn't gotten into any trouble, any public scandals?
MCBRIDE: Right. I think there's a couple of reasons but I'll let Nia speak first.
HENDERSON: Yes, I think that's part of what it is. Here it is, she is the daughter of political figures who have dominated public discourse and political discourse for the last 20 years. But yet she has been silent.
I mean I think one of her only public appearances was at the DNC in 1992 when she introduced her father. And then of course she did go out and stump for her mother. But people don't know what she sounds like. People don't know what her private life is like.
So this was our kind of one chance to kind of glean something about her private life from this huge event.
PHILLIPS: Why wouldn't she talk? This would be the perfect opportunity, right?
MCBRIDE: Well, I guess my question is why should she?
PHILLIPS: And why change what's working.
MCBRIDE: And why change what's working. She's really been able to maintain a wonderful private life again after, you know, being in the limelight since she was 12 years old. And I think there's a certain expectation that Americans have that, you know, we don't have a royal family in our country but we have a first family.
And we're interested in the children of our first families and watching them grow up, particularly when you see a young girl grow up into this young woman and, you know, successful in her own right and really maintained a life that seems to make her quite happy.
I think there's, you know, a part of us that just feel, you know, proud of that transition that our first families and particularly first children can make.
PHILLIPS: OK. I want to talk about the cost because this is what grabs so many people's attention from the very beginning.
And Rosemary, maybe I'll start with you. I know everyone is going to wan to weigh in on this. You know there was speculation that this wedding was costing $2 to $5 million. I even asked Ed Henry, our White House correspondent. Ed, are you serious? Did they really spend that kind of money? He said, Kyra, that was so blown out of proportion. Nobody can confirm those numbers. It's ridiculous. It's just that we didn't know anything. So everybody was speculating what things would cost.
What did you find out?
FEITELBERG: It certainly was -- well, it seems to be it's anyone's guess how much the wedding could have actually cost. We do know the average American wedding costs $22,000. And this was considerably more lavish.
PHILLIPS: No average American wedding, that's for sure.
FEITELBERG: When we asked the president's aide how much of the expenses the Clintons picked up and also whether the -- what percentage of the federal, state, and local government were responsible for security, we were passed off to the New York State Police and also to -- excuse me, the Secret Service.
PHILLIPS: Well, I'll tell you what, when I heard the numbers that the wedding cake could have cost $11,000, I'd sure like to taste that cake, ladies. What do you --
PHILLIPS: I would hope there'd be a precious gem. You know, it's like the king cake and you find a little goody in there. Yes, right. Wrapped in gold.
MCBRIDE: And you have good luck for a year.
PHILLIPS: Yes, exactly. And then you've got to buy the next one. That would be scary.
Well, Anita, let me -- let me ask you about that. You know you dealt with the Bushes and their daughter's wedding. We're talking about a former president who dealt with issues of poverty and the economy and lack of jobs. You've got an active secretary of state that deals with issues of poverty and hunger around the world.
When it comes to something like this, and you want to give your only daughter everything, you want to give her that wedding that's for a princess, do you have to step back and think, we've got to think about how this could be perceived or the image that maybe we're spending too much money and this might not look so good?
MCBRIDE: I think all politicians are sensitive to perception. They are public persona, they are sensitive to what the public thinks. But, again, I think this is a private event. And the Clintons are able to and want to give this kind of event to their daughter. I really think it needs to just stay right there.
PHILLIPS: All right, ladies. We're going to keep talking about this more. Stay with me. Please. Why all the mystery before and after the wedding. Will our guests have some insight into Chelsea Clinton and why she is so private coming up next.
PHILLIPS: And welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Kyra Phillips sitting in for Larry tonight. And we are talking about the wedding fit for a princess.
Did we find out anything more about the very private Chelsea Clinton? Well, joining in on the conversation now Sally Quinn, journalist and author. She's founder and co-moderator of the "Washington Post on (INAUDIBLE)".
And Lloyd Grove is editor-at-large at the "Daily Beast.
Welcome to your both. Guys, I want you to see this picture. Lloyd, I can't -- I can't hear you. Can we just double check that real quick? Say hello.
LLOYD GROVE, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE DAILY BEAST: Hello.
PHILLIPS: There we go. Thank you, Lloyd. Check out this picture, guys. I found this of Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton when they first got married. Look at that. In her dress from Dillard's.
Quite a switch from the Vera Wang that Chelsea wore and Marc. Yes, exactly.
Lloyd, what did you think of the dress? And I have to ask you, the dress and the whole look and dad walking her down the aisle.
GROVE: Well, you've come to the right man for that.
GROVE: I mean, the one thing I would say, she looked beautiful, she was gorgeous. And in terms of the from Dillard's to Vera Wang, upward mobility is the story of this country and the Clintons reflect that.
PHILLIPS: Actually, that's a really great point. And, you know, upward mobility, it hasn't been the perfect fairy tale, though, as well. I mean talk about a family, as some have described, a very popular soap opera, Lloyd.
GROVE: Well, and Chelsea from a very young age toughened up. When she was 6 years old and her parents were already in politics they would school her how brutal politics can be at the dinner table.
And it only got tougher when she got into the White House. Luckily the press gave her her space. But on the other hand she had to live through a terrible crucible with the Monica Lewinsky episode.
PHILLIPS: And let me --
GROVE: And --
PHILLIPS: You know what, let me ask you about that, Lloyd. What is -- do any of us know, and I would love you all to pipe in on this. Do we know what the true relationship is between the father that walked that bride down the aisle? Is she daddy's little girl, Lloyd, or is -- you know, she looked up to mom, the strong female role model in her life?
GROVE: She's very close to both of her parents. She campaigned relentlessly for her mother in 2008. I followed her around various states. And she met with people. She answered all kinds of questions, some of them very personal. Not from the press, however.
And with her father, I mean, they're just very close. I was once at a party. And across a crowded room, I saw her mouthing the words "I Love You" to her dad. Now whose heart wouldn't melt at that.
PHILLIPS: Wow. So Sally Quinn, I think that there's been a lot of speculation through the years that maybe Chelsea has harbored, you know, some tough feelings toward her dad because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
How do you see it? I mean you're connected to everybody in the Washington circle.
SALLY QUINN, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Well, I have to tell you, you have never seen more crazed and frantic reporters this last week than I've seen in Washington, because nobody knows anything.
People calling me in the middle of the night saying what do you know? Give me anything, a name, a face, a date, a detail. So I -- you know, everybody has been speculating because nobody knows anything.
But I think one of the things that's most touching about this couple -- Lloyd was mentioning the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal and what Chelsea went through. And of course, Marc's father was in jail for a number of years for fraud. And both were children of politicians.
They both went to Stanford. And I think that was really a bonding relationship for both of them. I mean they can help -- they have been able to help each other and support each other and understand each other.
And clearly she's very close to both her parents and he's close to his parents, too. And I think that having each other to talk to, they understand what the other one has been through better than anyone else in the entire world. And that's been extraordinary for both of them.
PHILLIPS: I see.
QUINN: And I also -- you know, not much has been -- not much has been made of the interfaith marriage so --
PHILLIPS: And I wanted -- Sally, I wanted to lead to that.
PHILLIPS: You --
PHILLIPS: You wrote on your blog.
PHILLIPS: I -- I want to point that out because we've been -- we've been following that. And you wrote a fabulous article about the fact that he's Jewish, she's Methodist. Why did the spiritual aspects of this union seem so important to you?
QUINN: Well, you know, interfaith marriages now are 37 percent of marriages in this country, which I think is a number really shocking to a lot of people. But it is difficult, because people have to decide what kind of relationship and what kind of faith they want to follow.
And interfaith marriages are about three times more likely to break up than marriages where they are both of the same faith. But it seemed very touching that they wanted to incorporate both of their religions into this. I mean they had the Huppah, you know, that's the thing where they stand under, and have the ceremony.
The breaking of the glass, he wore the prayer shawl.
PHILLIPS: His prayer shawl. Yes.
QUINN: Yes. They danced the Hora. They carried the bride and groom around on chairs. So I mean there was a lot of Jewish tradition in this marriage. And they also had a minister as well.
But I think that it seems to me that what they're basically saying is we're going to come together as a couple, as a married couple, and we're going to be inclusive in our relationship with each other and our faith.
So I suspect that they'll probably decide to celebrate all, you know, and observe all of the different religious holidays. They'll probably decide to bring their children up understanding and being pluralistic. And I think that's very healthy. It's a very American wedding in that sense.
PHILLIPS: Well, we're going to keep talking about it. All of you, please stay with me. More on the wedding of the year coming up next.
PHILLIPS: And welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. We're talking Chelsea Clinton wedding scoop. We're talking during the break, Nia, and you wanted to add in on the relationship between Chelsea and her father. You said, really, she kind of became known as the bridge between the parents.
HENDERSON: Yes. There's that iconic image of her showing across the lawn as her parents, I think, they're coming out of the helicopter, and she literally is holding both of their hands. And, you know, at the time that press and the scandal -- the Monica Lewinsky scandal was breaking and people were kind of breathlessly, you know, kind of speculating about that.
And there she is between her parents. But I think that's one of the most iconic images of Chelsea Clinton and certainly speaks to her respect, I think, and probably even forgiveness for her father in that situation.
PHILLIPS: Interesting. So Lloyd, what do you think Chelsea has learned about marriage observing her parents?
GROVE: Well, that's a -- that's a really tough question. I think in some ways her parents have a good marriage. It's a very -- I mean they are interested in the same things. They are both politicians.
So on that level, Chelsea has learned that a marriage can be good in that respect if you have a common interest and work together, as certainly Bill and Hillary have done politically.
PHILLIPS: And Anita, you were pointing out faith is going to play -- as Sally is talking about, the article that she wrote on interfaith marriage, you're saying that's going to be key to a lasting marriage for them.
MCBRIDE: Well, I think this couple demonstrated that right away. This was important to their marriage and to start their life out this way. You could see the joy on their faces when they took their vows. And the picture of that was released.
And I think you're right. You know faith will help them appreciate the good times that they will celebrate in their lives from this point forward or also help them weather the challenges that all marriages face. And so clearly I think that's a very hopeful and happy sign to have seen that.
PHILLIPS: And, Sally, you point -- you made a great point. These are two young adults that came from families that had huge scandals with their fathers. Do you think that's helped them bond?
QUINN: Well, I think that certainly that had a huge effect on them. But I think also when you asked what they've learned about marriage, they can look at their parents and they can see the mistakes that were made and they can learn from those mistakes.
I mean one would hope that they would learn from those mistakes. And one of the things clearly they have decided to do is to lead a much more private life than their parents. I mean, their parents are very, very public people.
And as we were talking earlier about how they were -- I think Lloyd said they were -- she was schooled from an early age about how difficult politics are, but -- and the kind of scrutiny that you get and the kind of criticism.
And she clearly has shied away from that. I would be surprised if she decided to make -- have a political career or whether he did. I think that they both have decided that one of the things that is difficult in any marriage is to have that kind of scrutiny.
So I think they've learned a lot from their parents about that. What they don't want as well as what they do want.
PHILLIPS: Nia, what do you think?
HENDERSON: No, I think she's -- I think she's exactly right. And I think one of the examples -- I think one of the reasons people admire Chelsea Clinton so much and even her husband who has been through these scandals, they very much avoided the pitfalls of famous folks -- famous people, I mean, you're going to talk about Lindsay Lohan a little later.
PHILLIPS: You guys even said, what a contrast.
HENDERSON: Between her and --
PHILLIPS: How do you go from Chelsea to Lindsay Lohan. We're going to do it.
HENDERSON: Yes, exactly. People who were kind of famous for not really doing anything or famous for misbehaving, she has very much avoided that -- you know, those pitfalls.
MCBRIDE: Parents that were very involved in her life and his. I think that really makes a difference, too.
PHILLIPS: What a perfect segue because that's exactly what we're going to talk about, Lindsay Lohan. Talk about a totally different set of parents versus what Chelsea Clinton had.
All right, so anybody? Do we know where they're honeymooning? OK. That's the next question.
Lloyd, do you have any scoop?
GROVE: I'm monitoring TMZ minute by minute.
QUINN: I just don't want any 3:00 a.m. phone calls asking me where they are on their honeymoon.
PHILLIPS: Yes. Exactly. Sally, Lloyd, Anita, Nia, what a great conversation. We had such little information and we did it.
PHILLIPS: Breaking news. Thanks, guys, to all of you. Appreciate it so much.
QUINN: Thank you.
PHILLIPS: All right.
Well, despite what you may have seen on Twitter, Bill Cosby is alive and well and he's with us next.
PHILLIPS: Well, I thought we had some breaking news tonight. The top trending topic on Twitter today was Bill Cosby's death. But here's the problem. He ain't dead. As a matter of fact, he's on the phone with me right now very much alive.
And, Bill, I'm very glad that you're not dead and I sure hope you feel the same way.
BILL COSBY, COMEDIAN (via phone): Hello. Hello.
PHILLIPS: OK. We do have breaking news.
PHILLIPS: Bill Cosby has called in to give me his last-dying wish.
COSBY: Yes. Yes. Last -- no.
PHILLIPS: And it is? What is it Bill?
COSBY: Lazarus, part four.
COSBY: Look, I don't want this person or whatever, I don't want them to do this anymore because this is a -- this is my fourth time being reported.
PHILLIPS: And let's let folks now how this happened. This happened on Twitter, right?
PHILLIPS: How did you find out about it? Do you -- are you on Twitter?
PHILLIPS: Real -- that's pretty hip.
COSBY: That's not how I found out.
PHILLIPS: OK. How did you find out?
COSBY: I found out when my daughter called -- my daughter called the house. Someone picked up. And she said, is my father there? And the person said, yes. She said, is he alright? And they said I think so. And so they put her on hold and they got me, and she said, dad, people are calling me. Are you all right? So she had to -- it had to hit her where usually if you hear about your mother, your father, someone in your family, a friend. And it is no longer fun.
COSBY: It's something -- I had friends call me from -- an owner of a restaurant that my wife and I frequent. And that person said his son called him crying, and then he started to cry, and then the staff started to cry. Now, I don't know, maybe psychiatrists will say I'm feeding this person's ego. But I just want to say to friends of that person, just tell them to stop, because it isn't funny.
I went -- the first time I heard one -- and as I said before, this is the fourth time. The first time I heard one, I went to Mark Twain's old classic piece about the rumors --
PHILLIPS: Reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.
COSBY: Exactly. So I went to that. And then later, when it showed up again, my wife let me know. And she was upset about it. So then I went into, I would like to write a rebuttal and got into the word rebuttaling. My wife said there's no such word. I said, I don't care, I'm alive and I can make up any words I want. That proves I'm alive, because I made up a word. So I'm rebuttaling.
Then when this one showed up, I had -- Malcolm Jamal Warner's mother, the fellow that plays Theo, called me. Even though she heard my voice and she talked to me, it was as heavy and she didn't like what had happened. And I think that this time, people like Harry Jefferson calling -- this time people are not amused by this.
PHILLIPS: Right. It's hard on your friends and your family. So how do we turn this around, Bill? Should we -- you've definitely made your point. Hopefully this character is going to stop, because it does. It affects the family, I think, more than anybody else. That's unfair. But when it comes to you and the fact that we all love you as one of our favorite comedians, I guess this would be the perfect opportunity for me to ask you, all right, so when you do die, what's that conversation going to be like, that one-on-one talk that you're going to have with God?
COSBY: I don't know. But I do know I have an impression of what hell is like?
PHILLIPS: And that is?
COSBY: It's where anybody is laughing but there's nothing funny.
PHILLIPS: Oh, no. Now you're scaring me.
COSBY: So you better be good.
PHILLIPS: You've already warned me on that. Now, you know, have you thought about who you'd like to speak at your funeral?
COSBY: No. A guy asked me and -- a guy asked me. He said, if they make a movie of your life, who would you like to play you?
COSBY: And I said, Stephen Wright.
PHILLIPS: Tell me why?
COSBY: Obviously you've never seen Steven Wright.
PHILLIPS: No, I haven't. You need to school me.
COSBY: No, I want you to look up Stephen Wright before the program is over. Have your people rush and get a picture of Stephen Wright performing, and that's where the punch line -- you've got people right now laughing. As a matter of fact, why don't you go into --
PHILLIPS: I'm going to get on Twitter right now and I'm going to ask everybody who Stephen Wright is. I'm going to find that picture.
COSBY: See if you can get a picture of Stephen Wright and it will be wonderful.
PHILLIPS: OK, that's -- I promise. I'm going to have that by the end of the show and it's going to be a shout-out to you. I definitely don't want to forget any highlights in your obit. Tell me right now what I must not forget when I'm on here for real and I'm talking about your life.
COSBY: And I've passed away?
COSBY: You don't owe me any money.
PHILLIPS: At this point, I don't.
COSBY: Great. That will make me feel very, very wonderful.
PHILLIPS: Bill Cosby, thanks so much for calling in. What a pleasure.
COSBY: Good luck on your wedding.
PHILLIPS: Thank you so much. I hope you'll be there. I don't know. I'm thinking that maybe if nobody knows about it, I might create hype like Chelsea's wedding and finally have some privacy. What do you think? COSBY: Over my dead body.
PHILLIPS: No pun intended. So glad you're alive, Bill. Thank you for the love.
COSBY: Thank you.
PHILLIPS: Lindsay Lohan is out of jail and in rehab. We've got the very latest next.
PHILLIPS: All right. So this is Steven Wright. Are we able to get a close shot there, Jose? There we go. There is the picture. Fantastic. Thank you for bringing that up, Chris, for me on the iPod. Yes, Bill Cosby said this is the man. When he does die, he wants Steven Wright to play him in his life story. I think the picture tells it all, folks. Steve, I hope you're ready for that role.
All right, Lindsay Lohan was released from jail in Lynwood, California early this morning. She served only 13 days of her 90 day sentence. Was it too soon? She did immediately go into drug rehab, though, where she will spend 90 days, the full 90 days, trying to overcome alcohol and possibly other addictions.
Here to talk about it, Greg Hannley, owner of SOBA Recovery Center in Malibu, California. Also Tara Conner, Miss USA 2006. But you might not remember her receiving her crown, but you'll remember her controversy. It involved allegations of alcohol and drug abuse. She entered rehab and was allowed to keep her title.
Tara, why don't we start with you. Your first reaction to what's going on with Lindsay Lohan.
TARA CONNER, MISS USA 2006: I think a lot of people saw it coming. I think that she's been spiraling downhill a little bit for the past few years. So I don't think I was really surprised.
PHILLIPS: Are you -- we're talking about somebody with a lot of talent. A beautiful young woman when she's all put together. Fame, fortune, it came to her at a very young age. You received the crown. You're obviously a beautiful young woman. You had a lot of attention on you at a very young age. Is that too easy of an excuse to say, I just had too much coming at me at such a young age and I couldn't handle it?
CONNER: I think that anyone that suffers from alcoholism or addiction, it doesn't discriminate who you are, where your background is, what you've accomplished, how successful you are. I think that it can happen to anybody.
So, yes, I do think it's an excuse if someone says, I've just been so busy, and I've been so tired. It's excuse after excuse. Because I've used them all. I know every excuse in the book. So, I think, like I said, it can happen to anyone. Excuses are just excuses. PHILLIPS: A lot of people would say, wow, you're so beautiful. You were crowned Miss USA. You had the future right there in front of you. You could do anything you want. Why is she struggling with alcohol and drugs?
CONNER: I think that what a lot of people don't know is that I started my struggle with alcoholism and addiction at 14 years old.
PHILLIPS: Why is that? What happened at 14 that started that?
CONNER: I think life was just in session for me. I really didn't have the tools, nor did I have the capacity to react to certain situations better than what I did. So what would be normal for most people to just brush it off their shoulder, for me it was exemplified by 10 percent. Everything was so much bigger than it actually was. So what I needed to do was I needed to find a way to check out or numb myself out, because I couldn't process normal emotions how normal people can do.
Any alcoholic or addict, they can't handle their emotions. Drinking is just a symptom. But if you're an alcoholic, you're always going to have these emotions. I have them today. I have to have -- use the tools that I received from going to the Caring Foundation to keep up my day-to-day life. It's a constant battle. But if you stay on it, and you keep it your number one priority, you'll be OK.
PHILLIPS: Daniel Baldwin, I want to bring you in. I understand we're connected to you now. As a matter of fact, Greg Hannley said, I don't know if he's going to be able to make it; he's in between golf holes in Oregon. So you got away from the course to join us for a very important discussion, Daniel. Thanks for joining us.
DANIEL BALDWIN, WENT TO REHAB NINE TIMES: Thanks for having me, Kyra. You know, it's interesting that you said why is this woman struggling with her addiction. If you were to ask the same question, why does this woman have cancer, you'd say because she has cancer. This woman has a disease. She doesn't have a choice in it. She has a disease. So it's not a fault thing. It's now a matter of whether or not she's going to go and get her chemotherapy and decide that she's going to try to beat this disease, or she's going to succumb to it and end up killing someone in a car or die of an overdose.
PHILLIPS: Daniel, I know you -- we just got you connected and came in kind of in the middle of the conversation. Let me clarify, because I want you to speak to this, too. The same question could be addressed to you. What we were saying is a number of people that are not in the position that you were in or Tara was in or Lindsay Lohan is in, you know -- just average Joe Smith that has a job and a family and hasn't struggled with this disease, OK, is sitting at home wondering, wow, Daniel Baldwin, he's an actor. He comes from this famous family. He's so talented. Why would he need drugs and alcohol.
I think you bring up an interesting point that there is a misconception that just because you're a talented, good looking, successful person, that that's sort of the easy way to have a good time, because you've got money and lots of people around you with all of these temptations.
BALDWIN: Well, that's why I use the cancer analogy, Kyra, it knows no racial or socioeconomic boundaries, it's a disease. So from the indigent person that uses and lives on the street to the Lindsay Lohans, Daniel Baldwins, whoever they might be, it doesn't have that kind of mind set. It's no different than any other disease. She suffers from an affliction that is treatable, and she can keep it in remission. But there is no cure for addiction.
BALDWIN: She'll have to work a program of action, which is why I wanted Greg Hannley to be on the show, because I've been to rehab nine times, nine. And some of the best in the world, the ones who write the books, the whole bit. Until I moved into his facility and surrendered to his program, I didn't get it. Because when you live in that protective bubble -- I'll throw you all the catchphrases and holding hands, kumbaya, the whole bit -- it does not help you when you get out of that bubble to live a sober life. The best thing she could possibly do is get out of UCLA and call Greg.
PHILLIPS: Guys, stay with me. Greg, I'm going to have you weigh in. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.
PHILLIPS: We're back talking about Lindsay Lohan and her problems and whether or not she can overcome them. Greg, I want to get right to you, founder and CEO of SOBA Recovery Center in Malibu. That's where Daniel went to rehab. You know, is that where Lindsay should be, not in a jail cell, but right into rehab?
GREG HANNLEY, SOBA RECOVERY CENTER: Where she's at is right where she needs to be right now. I think the fact she got transferred directly from jail to UCLA shows that there's some type of other issues that need to be addressed. It's very unusual to see something like that happen. I think the judge, from what I'm seeing, is doing it right down the line to save her life. This is a life and death situation for her right now.
PHILLIPS: Daniel, let me ask you a question, because you were talking about this is a disease. She's battling addiction, but you know, she comes into court. We don't know if she was sober or not, right? And she's got FU painted on her finger nails. Is that a disease? Is that about addiction? Or is that just no class and totally disrespectful to anybody that wants to tell her what she needs to do to shape up?
BALDWIN: Well, don't get me wrong when I say that Lindsay is Lindsay's own worst enemy right now. She just keeps getting if her way, because she won't surrender to the fact that she has this disease and this problem. So it's going to probably take the L.A. court system and a smart judge to put the screws to her a little bit to get her to see the light of day, unless she wants to stay in jail for a prolonged amount of time.
Whatever your bottom is, you eventually will reach it. And there's a new bottom waiting for you each time. There's a much worse bottom waiting for Lindsay, no question about it. Now, the biggest problem that I think she has is that you see that as her saying, you know, FU on both fingers, and her being stubborn. I think it's the addict who knows that is she doesn't get her way out on the street again, that's much longer before she's going to be able to use or drink again. That's what I think it is.
PHILLIPS: Interesting. Tara, what do you think?
CONNER: I think that she's a little girl lost. I don't know her personally, so I hate to speak on behalf of Lindsay. However, for me, I was ready to get sober. When I went through my very public demise, I needed to go through that. But the great thing about hitting a bottom is you touch the ground and you can bounce back up. So I think that hopefully she's in a position where she's being forced to be held accountable for her actions.
And I think the judge did a perfect thing. I don't think she was in jail for long enough. But I do feel like putting her straight into a facility was the perfect thing to do, because I didn't have the option. The day they told me to go to rehab, I missed Christmas. I missed my birthday. I missed New Years. But, you know what? It was the best time of my life. And it gave me the life that I have today.
My hope for her is that she learns and grows and takes this time to reach in, see exactly what is going on, and learn what the necessary steps are to do esteemable actions. Because she is a talented actress. She's a beautiful. I actually admire her in a lot of ways. I just know that she can do a lot better than what she's been doing. And her disease is holding her back.
PHILLIPS: Greg, we should point out, we're not just talking about the famous Daniel Baldwin or the famous Tara Conner or the famous Lindsay Lohan. We're talking about a lot of people from a very young age -- Tara started drinking at 14, up into adulthood -- that struggle with this same thing. Like Tara said, how do you reach that lost little girl at a point like this? What's your solution? How do you do it?
HANNLEY: Well, it's being familiar with the way they feel. I've seen through -- being at a recovery center where I see people every single day, that there's consistencies in the way that they feel about themselves. Just like Tara had said is that how celebrities, how people in general try to treat that is through ego, where small, esteemable acts is what rebuilds the spirit. And it takes time.
The thing -- you could go anywhere in the world for a length of time, a short length of time, and the results are going to be the same. But this is a chronic illness. It's going to be needed -- it's going to need to be treated indefinitely. It's something she'll need to go every single day, and deal with her recovery in one form or another to become recovered. Otherwise, it's just a vicious cycle. And it doesn't matter who they are. It doesn't matter where they're from. It doesn't matter whether it's celebrity or Bowery Street drunk. Everybody has the same opportunity if they want it. She just has to want it bad enough. She has to want to change her life in every different aspect.
PHILLIPS: Stay with me, guys.
HANNLEY: It's possible.
PHILLIPS: That's the good news. More on Lindsay Lohan's fate when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
PHILLIPS: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Kyra Phillips, sitting in for Larry tonight. He's on a well-deserved vacation. Daniel, you mentioned in and out of rehab nine times. Are you sober now?
BALDWIN: Yeah. Yes, doing quite well. I want to give everyone out there that's watching this a gift. Greg, what's the website?
HANNLEY: It's SOBAMalibu.com.
BALDWIN: SOBA, S-O-B-A. SOBAMalibu.com. If you have a child, a husband, a wife, a sibling, whatever it may be, do yourself a favor, go to that website, give these people a call, and help someone in your family, give them the greatest gift of their life, freedom and sobriety.
PHILLIPS: Tara, are you sober?
CONNER: I am. I have over three and a half years. I haven't experience relapse, thank goodness.
PHILLIPS: Greg, you've been sober for six years. You're running this program. Is it a struggle every day? Are you staying strong.
HANNLEY: No, it's -- we were just talking about. I'm staying strong through being able to help others, and as -- if I'm able to sit down and help somebody, then I'm not thinking before myself so much. And that's when things get tricky, is when we're just sitting around. You know, doing something spiritual, doing something to help somebody get on their feet is a good thing. That's how we recover our esteem; we recover our spirit. And that's how we maintain recovery from whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, any kind of anything that --
When I talk to people, I say, here's the level. If you're -- if alcohol, drugs, if something is interfering with you having a good life, then it needs some attention. And I tell people all the time, it's kind of like rebooting. We get a -- just to stop and take a look at your life, see how you're living it, and determine if you want to continue living fear, ego, just running hard with no destination, or if you want to move into where you're comfortable where you're sitting.
And that's all. I finally realized that where I was at was where I was trying to get to my whole life, I just --
PHILLIPS: You hit it on the head. It's finding there is something spiritual that you find in recovery. You found it. Tara, you have found it. And Daniel, my friend, I know you find it on that beautiful golf course out there in Oregon. I hope you get to play Banded Dunes. I appreciate all three of you for the conversation. It was frank. It was direct. And it meant a lot to me. I appreciate your time, guys.
And I want to thank Larry King so much for letting me sit in for him tonight. Larry, I hope you enjoy your vacation. Get back here real soon. It's time now for "AC 360." Have a great night, everyone.