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King Charles

Alabama Supreme Court Ruling That Frozen Embryos Are Children; Many Republicans Wants To Protect IVF; Trump Says His Indictments Appeal To Black Voters; Jon Meacham On Biden-Trump Rematch; Mitch McConnell To Step Down From GOP Leadership Position In The Senate; Sloan Dulce On Jon Stewart's Return; Rex Chapman's Struggles With Addiction And His Powerful Story Of Redemption. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired March 02, 2024 - 20:00   ET





GAYLE KING, CNN HOST: Hey, Mr. Barkley. You know what, I was thinking -- hello. Yes, it's Charles Barkley.

BARKLEY: Stop, Gayle.

KING: Everybody looks good when they're walking.

ANNOUNCER: From the CNN Studios in New York City, it's "King Charles."

BARKLEY: We're not going to waste your time.


ANNOUNCER: With Gayle King --

KING: I'm Beyonce but you could call me Gayle.

ANNOUNCER: -- and Charles Barkley.

BARKLEY: It's cold as -- out here.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, best-selling presidential historian Jon Meacham, former NBA star Rex Chapman, and from "The Daily Show," comedian Dulce Sloan. "King Charles" starts now.

KING: Going in, going in. Welcome, welcome.


KING: Every time I see that open, Charles, I always say I'm glad we get to do this show, don't you?

BARKLEY: I love doing this show. But I am pumped tonight. I know we got a couple of special guests, but I'm really excited for Rex Chapman. I love that guy. KING: I know.


KING: I just met him. You've known him for a long time.

BARKLEY: You were so excited, you called me. Don't be calling me on the weekend, Gayle.

KING: We got a real special show for you tonight, because we've got three interviews that we can't wait to talk to you about. In a few minutes, we're going to bring in a presidential story and a man with a hand in the State of the Union address that's coming up very soon. His name is Jon Meacham.

Then we have one of stars of "The Daily Show," that would be Dulce Sloan, to talk about what's going on in this country. Some people are very concerned. We were out talking to people earlier this evening, they're very concerned about what's happening in America. How she's covering it? She's got a new book. She is talking about state of politics, dating. She has got lots to discuss.

Plus, an interview. I know I'm very excited about this, Rex Chapman.


KING: I didn't know Rex Chapman. He's on a journey. You have to see to believe from basketball star to addict to rock bottom to Twitter celebrity. Why do you like him? You've known him a while. Why do you like him?

BARKLEY: I've known him a long time, number one, because he's just a great person. I really appreciate him sharing this book. And I had a younger brother who passed away who was an addict. So it's very personable -- personal to me.

KING: To you.

BARKLEY: Somebody who makes it out the other side. And --

KING: How old was your brother?

BARKLEY: I want to say 42, somewhere in there.

KING: So, a grown-up.

BARKLEY: He was a grown-up.

KING: Yes, yes.

BARKLEY: But, man, most people, you know I got a chance to meet Jelly Roll at the All-Star Weekend. He had so many people who were covered on stage. And I walked up to him and said, man, thank you. Because it's interesting when you're in the fight.

KING: Yes. BARKLEY: Because I used to want to grab my brother like, yo, man why can't you stop doing drugs? And he's like, you don't understand. And obviously, he passed away at a young age, but it has such a negative -- I don' think my mother ever got over it.

KING: Over it. Yes.

BARKLEY: To be honest with you.

KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: Because when we have somebody who's struggling with addiction, it ain't just them.

KING: It's everybody around them.

BARKLEY: It's everybody around you.

KING: So, looking forward to talking to Rex.


KING: And on our last show, just last Wednesday, just after the Alabama Supreme Court rule that frozen embryos used in fertility treatments were children. That story broke just as we were going on the air last week. We have Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley on and asked her about the ruling. She told us at that time that she believes -- you remember what she said.

BARKLEY: Yes, I do.

KING: She's said -- Charles, she tells that life begins at conception. And so, yes, those frozen embryos, the ones thousands of desperate parents depend on to start or grow their families should be considered children.

And then the House and the day since her comments on this show, her fellow Republicans have been desperately trying to change the conversation on the issue. Here's some of the conversations on this topic.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE: I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious little beautiful baby.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): People who want to have family should have the government and the law on their side.

SEN. ROGER MARSHALL (R-KS): I think the Dobbs decision clearly puts this issue back at the state level, and we would encourage the State Legislature of Alabama to right this wrong.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): In terms of fertility clinics, if you're pro-life you want these things to function, to actually provide people with children who have a hard time otherwise.


KING: Yes, even Alabama Senator -- that, of course, was Lindsey Graham, but Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville is now saying IVF needs to be protected in the State of Alabama, which, Charles, is your state.

Now, for the record, many of the Republicans are saying they want to protect IVF. They're also co-sponsors of a bill that's aimed at doing the opposite. Now dear, you're just sitting there with your head and your -- and your hands in your -- your head in your hands. Never a good sign. What's wrong?

BARKLEY: When I --


KING: What are you thinking?

BARKLEY: When I agree with Trump, Matt Gaetz, and Tommy Tuberville, you know things are bad. Like --

KING: What do you agree with them on specifically, yes?

BARKLEY: Anybody who wants to have a baby, who's trying, we should do everything to support them, make it economic feasible, and do everything in our power. Having a kid -- my daughter, I have one kid, she's the best thing ever happened to me in my life. And anybody who wants to have a baby, we should do everything in our power to give them the opportunity, make it affordable, and things like that.

But, like I say, if I'm agreeing with Trump, Tuberville, and Gaetz, you know Alabama got it wrong.

KING: Well, the problem in Alabama now is that many of the fertility clinics have put the procedures on hold, IVF.


KING: So, all of these parents that are in limbo, that for many of them, this is the only way that they could have a child. Just think about that for just a second. And I think many people struggle when you say that an embryo is a human, or is a child, because they don't have heartbeats, they are not fully formed, and I've heard woman after woman say to me, you know, I had four embryos implanted, none of them took.


KING: Or I had two embryos implanted, only one of them took. So, there's no guarantee that the embryos will become children, that's why people are struggling.

BARKLEY: Well, I understand that totally, but like, we should never criminalize -- well, first of all, I want to say something before I get started. I'm pro-choice. I want to make that clear. I'm pro- choice, but I disagree with the ruling for the simple fact, we should make it possible, and affordable. I know I'm being redundant, repeating myself, but it's just a bad ruling.

And it's really unfortunate, not just in this situation, it's just really unfortunate how these politicians are taking away, so many women's reproductive rights.

KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: It's not up to me as a man. Even if I was in politics, it's not up to me to make the decision on whether women have babies or not. That's just -- that's not what our political system was about. The thing that bothers me the most, the politicians start using all these divisive issues as wedges to make -- to divide and conquer. I've always said that --

KING: And it's working, though, Charles. Well, what we know is that the former president always makes news. We were texting about this over the weekend, Charles and I, when he says, please don't text me early in the morning. I can't help it.

The former president raised a lot of eyebrows with these comments while talking to listen to the audience, a black conservative conference. He said this.


TRUMP: I got indicted a second time, and a third time, and a fourth time. And a lot of people said that that's why the black people like me, because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against. And they actually viewed me as I'm being discriminated against.

My -- the mug shot, we've all seen the mug shot. And you know who embraced it more than anybody else, the black population. It's incredible. You see black people walking around with my mug shot, you know, they do shirts.


KING: When you heard that, what did you think? Big sigh. Big sigh.

BARKLEY: First of all, I'm just going to say this. If I see a black person walking around with Trump mugs, I'm going to punch him in the face.

KING: Charles --

BARKLEY: I know, Gayle.

KING: Charles --

BARKLEY: Gayle, Gayle, Gayle --

KING: You really can't say that because, A, you don't mean that.

BARKLEY: Oh, I mean that sincerely. I'm going to just tell you something --

KING: And then you will be arrested for assault. And then, what?

BARKLEY: I'm going to bail myself out and go celebrate. If I --

KING: Don't encourage him. Don't encourage him. OK. Go ahead.

BARKLEY: Seriously --

KING: Continue.

BARKLEY: First of all, if I was at that at that --

KING: At that conference.

BARKLEY: I would have got up and walked out. That was an insult to all black people. Well, he basically just saying -- and first of all, black -- to compare black history where we've been discriminated against to his plight --

KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: Well, first of all, he's a billionaire. And they're prosecuting him for stuff he did wrong. They prosecuted him for stuff he did wrong. And for him to compare --

KING: It's still in the court system, Charles. We have to wait. It's still in the court system. But continue, continue, continue.

BARKLEY: Well, they -- some of the stuff is true. They did storm the capital. They did say that the election was stolen. Those aren't lies, Gayle.

KING: Yes, yes, yes.

BARKLEY: Those are facts.

KING: They did say that. They did say that.

BARKLEY: OK. But to compare, I would have got up and walked out, because it's not a fair comparison. You know, he's a billionaire. He's had a great life. He's been president of the United States. To insult black people who have been discriminated against all these years, to put them in the same category, I was just offended.

KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: I mean, I really was.

KING: Well, some people question, A, if he is a billionaire, there's always conversation about that. But I think people thought --

BARKLEY: What do you think when you hear it?

KING: Well, I just thought it was insulting. I thought it was insulting to people of color that to paint the black community with one brush, and you really can't compare his indictment.


I thought -- because he says -- I know it's so hard to verbalize it, because it made me so angry and I was so insulted by his words. Because he's implying that because black people have criminal problems.

BARKLEY: That's exactly right.

KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: That's what he meant.

KING: Yes, yes.

BARKLEY: He said something, but that's what he meant.

KING: I do believe that. I do believe that's exactly what he meant. And then somebody tried to spin it to me and said, no, what he was saying is that he feels sympathetic to black people who have been falsely accused like he. I don't believe that that -- I do not believe that is what he was saying.

BARKLEY: Well, let me -- listen, you know, I don't like to speak for all black people, but I'm going to right now.

KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: We don't feel sympathetic to his plight. We do not. We do -- and you know, Gayle --

KING: You don't speak for all black people.

BARKLEY: I don't like doing that, but I am in this particular case. We don't feel his plight. But I really just feel bad because we need adults in the room. You know, we got the immigrant problem. We got inflation. We got the situation in Hawaii. Like, I want to solve real problems. I don't want to talk about all this extracurricular stuff behind the scenes. I want somebody to get it and say, hey, you know what, I want to do what's great for the American people.

KING: But you know what, Charles, while you say you don't speak for all black people, there is a contingent of people that say that the black vote -- that Donald Trump is getting more black vote this time than he did last time. I know you've heard that.

BARKLEY: Well, I think there's a couple of reasons. Number one, I don't like using the term black people, poor people. America's discriminate -- America -- number one, black people in this category, America discriminates against poor people, whether you're white or black. If you're poor, you discriminate. All these politicians --

KING: It's more of a class issue, you say.

BARKLEY: It's 100 percent more of a class issue. That's what bothers me. But as a guy, I've only voted Republican one time of my life. I voted for John Kasich the president. I have voted Democratic my entire life. And I'm starting to question that. That don't mean I'm going to vote Republican, but I'm starting to question, like, I always vote Democratic because I'm like, you know what's got a better chance to happen poor people.

But the one thing I know about poor people, they're always poor. And in a Democratic Party, us, as black people, we voted for them. First of all, actually, black people used to be Republicans until the Civil Rights Act.

KING: That's exactly right.

BARKLEY: Back in the day. Most people even know that.

KING: That's exactly right. Yes.

BARKLEY: But we both pretty much been Democratic for the last X amount of years. But we never hold them accountable. And they only come around every four years and say, vote for us.

KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: They take all our votes for granted. That's why black people are leaving the Democratic Party. That's not me and they're going to the Republican Party. They're becoming disinterested. They're like, I'm not going to vote.

KING: When Donald Trump says that, you know, black people can relate to them, or he relates to black people because, you know, been falsely accused or arrested, have you ever been arrested?

BARKLEY: A few times.

KING: A few.

BARKLEY: And you know what? I'm not proud of that fact, because I was wrong.

KING: For what for?

BARKLEY: For fighting, for fighting. When I was young, I was stupid. I got to fighting a lot. Because instead of walking away like an adult, I was a stupid kid. And you know, and kids -- I tell kids, then, man, walk away.

KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: Let them call you names. Fighting --

KING: But you didn't do that.

BARKLEY: Because I was young and stupid.

KING: And stupid. BARKLEY: But as I've gotten older, I'm like, hey, if people say something to you, walk away. I was young and dumb and stupid. And I was like, hey, you know what? If you challenge me, I'm going to fight you. If you say something to me, I have to fight you. But now, I'm a grown man. If you say something to me, like, hey, you don't like me. I get it. I walked the other direction.

KING: Yes. But if you see somebody, a black person with a Donald Trump --

BARKLEY: I'm going to punch him right in the eye.

KING: You're going to punch him in the face.

BARKLEY: Gayle, I promise you.

KING: I would bail you out. I would bail you out.

BARKLEY: You're not going to be my first call.

KING: OK. That's good. We'll be right back with renowned presidential historian and Biden whisperer, Jon Meacham will join us right after the break.

Who is your first call?

BARKLEY: That's a good question.

KING: Your lawyer?




KING: How are you feeling about the 2024 election?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a bit terrified.


KING: Because?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of the difference between democracy and not democracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really worried about people who want to legislate against other people living their lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel so bad for the next generation that we've left a disaster. It's a hot mess. Maybe we need to go back to kindergarten, and we need to learn how to compromise.

BARKLEY: This is the best answer we've ever had on the show.

KING: Yes, it is. What issues concern you most is you get ready to vote in 2024?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The migrant crisis, especially in this city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For me, one of the biggest things is getting back to government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my gosh, the preservation of democracy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think abortion is a big one, women's rights, a lot of things that, you know, what's happening in Israel. There's --

KING: Who's calling us?

BARKLEY: I'm on television. Quit calling me.


KING: Charles always gets a phone call. Our first guest is a presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, thank you very much, we're talking about Jon Meacham. He's written many, many popular books, including New York Times bestsellers. I don't think you know -- you don't know how to write it -- you don't know how to write anything but bestsellers, Jon Meacham.


JON MEACHAM, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Oh, I can do that. I could pull that.

KING: Hold that thought. On Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and George H. W. Bush, just to name a few. He's also an informal adviser to President Joe Biden, who will be giving the State of the Union address coming up very soon.

Something tells me that you may have a hand in that, Mr. Meacham.

MEACHAM: Just a hand. Just a hand. I help -- President Biden's my friend. I help him when I can.

BARKLEY: When you see the public, the people who vote say terrified --

KING: Nervous.

BARKLEY: -- nervous, and things like that, like, you should be excited for an election. But you hear that from the public, what's the first thing going through your mind?

MEACHAM: This is like 1860, it's that elemental. That was a presidential election where we had to decide what was our -- not just what was our difference about policy, what do we want to pursue about this or that, but what was our common understanding of human identity. It's that fundamental.

And what Donald Trump has brought us is this elemental struggle between the rule of the strong versus the rule of law. And for all of our failings -- KING: People keep saying democracy is at stake. We heard that a lot.

MEACHAM: It is. And democracy's not just a form of government, right? It' s a way of seeing each other. If we don't see other as equal, as equal standing in dignity, then we can dominate each other. And the point of the United States, the first nation ever founded fully on an idea, written by a boring white guy like me, Jefferson --

KING: That's how you described yourself.

MEACHAM: But seriously --

KING: Mr. Boring, white, guy. You said that.

MEACHAM: But it was for -- we've been out of compliance with the Declaration of Independence longer than we'd been in compliance with it. But people who look like me are the ones who set the standard. We went out and said, this is the idea we are going to live up to. And we're going to seek to love up it.

And if you get into a struggle where if you lose and you just say, well, we going change the rules, or I did it so therefore it's OK, then we not seeing each other as equals anymore. We're seeing each other as reflexive rivals or enemies, and that's the climate that we're in. We don't have to be. We choose to be in this.

KING: Do you think we choose this, Jon? I mean --

MEACHAM: Absolutely.

KING: -- you see, people on both sides are unhappy. People on those sides were unhappy with Joe Biden. People the other side are unhappy with Donald Trump. People say, we don't have really two good candidates to choose from.

MEACHAM: Well --

KING: That's how most Americans feel.

MEACHAM: It is, but we've been unhappy since the third chapter of Genesis, right, since we got kicked out of the garden.

KING: Have we been this unhappy, though?

MEACHAM: I think -- well, let's think of it this way. In my world, we have a debate about, were we founded in 1619 or 1776? I think neither. The United States of America, as we understand it today, was founded in 1965. The first integrated electorate in the United States was in 1968.

20 minutes ago, historically, the Immigration and Nationality Act that took -- helped change the country, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. We're 55 years old or so. And so, the notion that we were unhappy because of the choices. Sure, I mean, we would all love to have Lincoln running against Kennedy and you're not really going to lose, right? But that's not reality. And reality is this is where we are. The choice is very stark. I personally, I'm not a Democrat, I'm not Republican, I've voted for presidents of both parties. But I honestly believe that there's a patriotic imperative to vote for President Biden against Former President Trump. I really do.

BARKLEY: Are you concerned about his age?

KING: But you're also a friend to Joe Biden's too. So, does that make you a little --

MEACHAM: I am, but I believe this -- so, take it for what it's worth. That's why I said that.


MEACHAM: Take it for what it was.

KING: OK. Go ahead, Charles.

BARKLEY: But are you concerned about his age?

MEACHAM: I'm concerned about my age in particular. No, the older I get.


MEACHAM: No, but I'm not. But I understand that you can't tell half the country that they're just wrong to worry about something. So, he's got to show us and not just tell us. I consider and tell you that I've talked to him and I never had any doubts about his capacity and his thing, but why would you believe me? For the same reason you just said? So, he has got a show us. He can't just stand for re-election, he got run for it.

KING: Yes. But there are so many people, Jon, who are concerned about his energy, his vitality.


KING: Are those not legitimate concerns in your opinion?

MEACHAM: I think -- let me be very clear. Of course, they're legitimate concern.


MEACHAM: Of course, they're subjects -- you know, he's 81 years old. The presidency is like an iceberg in general. You see a little bit of it, but imagine the cares and concerns that they have that we had no idea about. It's incredibly difficult.

What I can just tell you from my own peripheral experience is that I'm not worried about his ability to do the job. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't be. And you have to watch him and decide.


BARKLEY: So, my concern -- and, well, let me rephrase it. Everybody's concern, if President Biden was to win again, as bad as things were last time, we talked about the insurrection, whatever, and he was saying the election was stolen.


BARKLEY: Like, what's going to happen?

MEACHAM: It's a great worrisome question. And I, by the way, wouldn't be as -- wouldn't have said what I said about the need to put the ideas of the country ahead of any policy disputes, which I said a second ago, if not for the lies about election.

In many ways, for all of -- whatever we may disagree about -- with Trump, in many ways, at least he was a recognizable American political character in -- through the 2020 election, an extreme version, but, you know, you sort of knew you could find him on the GPS.

You can't -- could not do that when people are storming the Capitol, which, you know, in my business, it's a bad thing. It's against the business model to say something is unprecedented because we're all precedent. That was unprecedented.

KING: What did you make of Mitch McConnell's decision to step down as Senate Majority Leader, that he's going to do it in November --


KING: -- remain in the Senate?

MEACHAM: And Mitch McConnell, agree or disagree, is, I would argue, the most powerful Senate leader in American history, if you think about it. He just changed jurisprudence with the Supreme Court for at least two generations.

KING: Yes.

MEACHAM: Right. He's just an immensely powerful figure. And I do think -- and it's amazing that this is where we are given his essential partisanship, but he was a dealmaker of a kind, right? President Biden could deal with him.

And what's happening to the Senate is what has already happened to the House, right, it's just -- it is becoming ever more polarized.

BARKLEY: Thank you.

KING: Yes. I just don't think that's hard. Thank you.

MEACHAM: Thank you.

KING: We know you have to catch a plane. We thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you so much.

MEACHAM: Thank you.

KING: Coming up next, "Daily Show" correspondent Dulce Sloan. She is here. We'll talk to her about the state of politics. And the return of Jon Stewart. He's back. You don't want to miss what she's got to say.

You're watching "King Charles." We will be right back.




DULCE SLOAN, ACTRESS, COMEDIAN, AND AUTHOR "HELLO FRIENDS!": We need more than just the same show with an older yet familiar face.

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": You mean, you -- you're talking -- the two candidates. You're talking about the --

SLOAN: Yes. Yes, I mean, they already had this job. Now, these old white dudes got to come back and reclaim it? Like, come on, sir, go do something new. We're so desperate. Like, let someone else run the show.

STEWART: We're talking about the election, right?

SLOAN: I said what I said.


KING: I know, I like that part.


KING: I love that line. I said what I said. We were so excited to talk to our next guest. The hilarious and talented, as you see there. Daily Show correspondent, we're talking about Dulce Sloan, she's with us. She's also by the way, a standup comedian and now she's the author of a new book, "Hello Friends!", I love this title. "Stories of Dating, Destiny and Day Jobs."

Hello Ms. Sloan.

SLOAN: Hello, Ms. Gayle.

KING: So, what's it like having Jon Stewart back? And do you want that job?

SLOAN: Here's the thing --

KING: Hamana-hamana-hamana.

SLOAN: Listen.

KING: Listen.

SLOAN: Certain people do things very well.

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: And certain people can do things and certain people do things very well.

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: I can do the job.

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: Jon Stewart's great at the job.

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: So, I think especially now with just how wild everything is, I think people do need a voice that they know. Like if we'd have already had a permanent host beforehand, that would have been a huge thing to try to tackle with the selection cycle.

But I think we're in the opportunity where we were to have Jon come back in such a -- I mean, he got his second term. We're going to see if Biden's going to get his second term. So, we're going to figure out who's -- which all white man's doing what.

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: I think is what we're trying to figure out this year.

KING: What a time for Jon to come back. And, you know, I've watched last week, last Monday, and he talked -- I was very touched when he closed with the death of his dog Dipper. And I love that he shared that with the audience because it was such a vulnerable moment for him. Any of us who has had a dog or lost a dog knows that kind of pain. I was very touched by that. What was the reaction at your place when he was doing it?

SLOAN: I am a cat person.



KING: You don't say.

BARKLEY: You do know that's not a real pet, right?

SLOAN: Listen, I'm not going to let an old black man talk to me about cats.


SLOAN: So --

BARKLEY: OK. I'm just telling you. SLOAN: I already know a man of a certain age, a black man of a certain age doesn't do cats. They don't trust cats. I don't know what --

BARKLEY: Do not trust cats.

SLOAN: Listen, what did I say your social security number, Mr. Barkley?

BARKLEY: No, no. I'm going to tell you.

SLOAN: I can't -- listen, a cat has never sent anybody to jail.

BARKLEY: That's a good point.

SLOAN: See. Look at God. Oh, say it.

KING: A dog has never sent anybody to -- what do you mean?

SLOAN: K9 units, Ms. Gayle.

KING: Oh, oh, oh. See, I've never --


KING: -- I've never been arrested. He's been arrested. So, I don't know that.



KING: I don't know that part of the line.

SLOAN: I've never been arrested, but I've seen the truck go by.

KING: OK. OK. You're right.

SLOAN: When a drug sniffing dog in the airport.

KING: OK. You're right.

SLOAN: Cats don't care how many drugs you bring on a plane.

KING: OK. OK. Fair enough.

SLOAN: Dogs are snitches.

BARKLEY: All right. OK. So, being a comedian --


BARKLEY: -- we're in a very interesting time.

KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: You know, they're trying to counsel people now. KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: How much do you concern yourself with, what like -- because you -- it's a crazy time. You can offend people now.

SLOAN: The last comedian that got canceled just hosted SNL.


BARKLEY: That's a good point. Good point.

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: So --

BARKLEY: But he was out in the wilderness for a while.

SLOAN: No, he wasn't. He was fine. He was working.

BARKLEY: OK. So, what do you --

SLOAN: Comics are loving -- listen, the number of comics that were like, yo, I got to get canceled. Because all the same --

KING: You don't worry about getting --

SLOAN: -- everybody knows who you are. I'm --

KING: You don't worry about getting canceled?

SLOAN: No, I'm a black --


SLOAN: I'm a black woman in America. I can say whatever I want to anybody. What you going to do, be mad? All I did was tell the truth. No one's coming for us like that. Also, like -- literally, comics are, like, because if you're not a well-known comic.

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: If someone sees something you said and then they post it or something, you get canceled. Now, no -- like, you had maybe 5,000 followers on your social media.

KING: Yes, yes, yes.

SLOAN: If somebody writes an article about something you said at a show, you can get 100,000, 200,000 -- you can go viral and have a million followers overnight.

KING: Dulce, if I didn't know better, I would say you're trying to get canceled.

SLOAN: I'm not trying to get canceled. I'm trying to work.


SLOAN: What I'm saying is, is that canceling doesn't do what it's supposed to do.

KING: Supposed to do. Mm-hmm.

BARKLEY: Really?

SLOAN: Because every comedian that got canceled is working. Aziz Ansari is working. Louis C.K. is working. They're out on the road doing shows. People -- it's like it doesn't work. At the whole point of canceling somebody was to take their money or the -- you sit down for a year or two and then you get back up again and then you go on the road. Because the whole point of canceling was to stop somebody from abusing their power.

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: But all we seem to want to do is cancel people who are rich. There's a night manager at a pet boy who's terrorizing his whole staff and you all ain't worried about him.

BARKLEY: That's a good point.

SLOAN: So, that's what you're not doing. We're not trying to come for people who are really abusing their power --

KING: Abusing their power.

SLOAN: -- and hurting people. People on the internet want to see rich people fall. Because if the goal was to stop somebody from abusing their position, then we would be coming for everybody who was mistreating their employees.

BARKLEY: So, tell us about the book.

SLOAN: Yes. So, I got tricked.

BARKLEY: You got tricked?

SLOAN: I told Ms. Gayle about this. My manager tricked me into writing a book because he called me one day. He was like, what if you write a book? And I was like, that sounds very difficult.

KING: Because you didn't think you could write a book, you said.

SLOAN: I didn't want -- I didn't think I could. I kind of didn't want to because I don't know if you see all the pages in a book, Mr. Charles Barkley, but you got to put words on those.

KING: I love -- Charles, she was saying about dating, because she gives all of the people she's dated names. Like, one was The Mechanic. One was Doll Eyes. One was Baby Shug.

SLOAN: Oh, no don't -- I didn't date doll eyes. That's one of the guys from the show. I don't want to mess up his marriage. KING: OK, Baby Shug, but they all have very interesting names.

SLOAN: Yes, Baby Shug, The Mechanic, The Dummy.

KING: The Dummy, Dumb and Dumber, you talked about them.

SLOAN: Yes, Dummy. Yes, he was -- I mean, he had his purposes. Sorry.

KING: But you say --

SLOAN: Sometimes I have a flashback and stuff like that.

KING: But now, despite all -- after all the dating, you say that you don't want a man with -- not potential. What do you say you said you wanted to be potential?


KING: I like this --

SLOAN: Because I am successful --

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: -- using my credits.

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: And I just bought a house in L.A. and --

BARKLEY: Congratulations.

KING: Congrats.

SLOAN: Thank you so much. And I have --

KING: Is that your first house?

SLOAN: It is my first house.

KING: Feels very grown up, doesn't it?

SLOAN: It's crazy.

KING: Yes.

SLOAN: You just get somebody's money and they give you keys. It's nuts. I'm like, oh, I own all of this? This is weird. And so, I got -- I bought a house. I bought a car. I take care of my family. My mother's retired. And I retired her. I take care of her. And so, I can't deal with the man who has potential.


SLOAN: You have to have somebody who's fully potenched (ph), right?

KING: Which means? Which means?

SLOAN: Which means you got to be able to pay half the bills in this house. And if you can't pay half the bills in this house, then sir, your drawers can't live here. Because then you're just another dependent. I got to feed you, my mama, my brother, the dog. I don't have time. No, that sounds crazy.

BARKLEY: I think she's right on that too.

KING: No, I do too.

BARKLEY: I told you, John Thompson's always said, he said, you know, this player's got potential. Potential gets you fired.


BARKLEY: Yes, potential gets you fired. But I had this same conversation with my daughter when she started dating. I said, you know the difference between a career and a job, right? She said -- I said, don't bring nobody home that's got no job. Bring somebody home that's got a career.

SLOAN: Exactly.

KING: We have so much more ahead, including a candid conversation with former basketball star, Charles knows him. His name is Rex Chapman. About his public struggles with addiction. His powerful story of redemption. We'll be right back.



KING: Charles has made it clear very many times here on the show that he doesn't like social media. Although you've just got on Instagram, so maybe that's changing. Just got on Instagram two weeks ago. But our next guest is a huge star online.

Some of you watched -- watching -- may only know Rex Chapman from Twitter, where he's got more than a million followers by sharing videos and positive messages. We like that. If you're a sports fan, then you know him as that high flying sharpshooter who starred at Kentucky and had more than his share of great moments in the NBA.

But in 2014, Rex Chapman was booked for stealing products from an Apple store and ordered from an Apple store in order to pawn them for drug money after blowing through nearly -- listen to this number, $50 million that he made in the league.


He details his struggles to beat his drug and gambling addictions in his new memoir. I love this title, it's called, "It's Hard for Me to Live with Me". Rex Chapman, we are really glad you're here. Welcome. Welcome, welcome, welcome.


KING: It was only $40 million?

CHAPMAN: Yes, yes.

BARKLEY: Stop giving the man that's a --



KING: $40 million. OK. I stand corrected.

BARKLEY: You know how much I like you and admire you and respect you because I talk about all the time, you know, my brother didn't make it out the other end of the spectrum. He died at a very young age dealing with addiction issues. And I'm just so proud of you because I think what you're doing is important. You know, we talked about this on -- man Ernie's (ph) podcast. And it was the most response we ever got for a podcast --

KING: With Rex.

BARKLEY: -- with Rex because he opens up. What made you want to open up in this book?

CHAPMAN: You know, I'm glad you brought up your brother. Your brother, we've talked about him before.


CHAPMAN: You know, I should acknowledge this first. I feel conflicted sitting here being celebrated for failing spectacularly in life.

KING: Why?

CHAPMAN: And just know though, my family is so happy I'm healthy and clean. But this book drops a big emotional bomb back in their lives. It's reopening old wounds. My ex -wife, you know, she's the best.

KING: She's a saint after reading your book.

CHAPMAN: She's a saint.

KING: Yes.

CHAPMAN: She raised our kids.

KING: Bridget, yes.

CHAPMAN: Bridget. I played with our kids. I love and respect her more than I ever did when we were --

KING: But she did the heavy lifting.

CHAPMAN: She did the heavy lifting. So, as I say that, just know, you know, this is on my parents, my sister who basically came to my rescue and saved my life. Got me into rehab. My folks. It's just a tough day. But I felt like this was something that, you know, you go through things and --

BARKLEY: But everybody's going through stuff, Rex. You can help so many people because I think -- I learned it from my brother because I've had a bunch of conversations with other people who were having issues. They're like, thank you for sharing, because it is painful.


KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: You know, because I -- my mom never got over my brother dying.


BARKLEY: She never got over him dying. But, man, what you're doing, going around speaking. Writing this book. Man, you're going to help so many people, because you're not in this by yourself. Like you talk about your family.

KING: Yes.

CHAPMAN: But like there's other people around in New York, everywhere around the country, around the world, they got stuff going on. And here in -- you can make it out the other end and try to use it in a positive way. I admire you, brother.

KING: But Rex, I want to talk about how you opened the book. Because you opened the book at your arrest at the Apple store. You were arrested at stealing stuff from the Apple store where you had gone back repeatedly. It wasn't just one thing. And by stuff, you know, they had a bin of products and stuff, and you would take them, and then you would take them to the pawn shop.

You had done that for seven to eight months. And you had somebody who had made $40 million at one point. How did this happen to you? And when we talk about drugs, we should say it was prescriptive drugs. You thought of it as medicine. You said in the book, you didn't really see it as drugs.

CHAPMAN: Yes, I -- look, I was always an addict. I was a basketball addict first. That was my first love. It was my only love, Chuck, you know how that is.

BARKLEY: Oh, yes.

CHAPMAN: You got to work so hard. You don't just get there by accident. And for a lot of people, to become great, you guys, to become great at anything, you got to sacrifice a little bit of sanity. And keep going back the next day. Keep getting your head beat in. So, I had that already built in. I also grew up going to the racetrack with my dad. I'm a huge thorough -- I liked basketball. I love horse racing. BARKLEY: Yes.

CHAPMAN: And so, sitting down with him, filling out a racing form --

KING: The forms.

CHAPMAN: Reading the form, something that we did. Something we also kept from my mom you know. So, there was a little dishonesty going on there, made it kind of, you know, exciting, I guess.

KING: The thrill of that.

CHAPMAN: The thrill of that.

KING: Take us to you in the Apple store. You're stealing stuff out of the Apple store, Rex.

CHAPMAN: Yes, you know --

KING: What are you thinking in this moment?

CHAPMAN: You know, we had a chance to talk a little bit beforehand and this takes me to a really hard place. You know, normally in this story, we kind of gloss past that, you know. It happened and then the recovery. No, the Apple store, I'm -- I still -- I get emotional about it because I can't believe it was me. You know, you knew me.


CHAPMAN: Before those drugs, I would have never, never done something like that. That's what I have to believe because if I don't believe that, then it's just morally I'm a bad guy.

KING: Yes.


KING: Charles, what did you think when he was arrested? Because it made national news. The video was all over the place.

BARKLEY: Oh, I felt --

KING: What did you think when you saw that?

BARKLEY: I felt sadness because -- and honestly, I'm different. I'll get an example. When I got home one night and my money was missing. I went out with my friends in Alabama and my money was missing.


And about -- it was about 1:00, 2:00 in the morning. About 6:00 in the morning, my mother beating on my door, screaming. I said, what's wrong? She says, Darryl. I said, he had -- he overdosed, didn't he? She's like, how did you know that?

KING: How did you know that? BARKLEY: I said, because my money was gone. So, I was sympathetic. Because I used to, like -- I say -- I used to shake my brother all the time, dude, why can't you stop doing drugs? Because you're a different person. John Lucas, who was a great mentor for my brother and friend, he's like, hey, let me spend some time with your brother.

Because when you have an addiction, nothing matters. Because I bought my mother and grandmother matching Rolexes. My brother stole them and pawned them. I called the police chief and I said, come get his ass right now. Because -- and I know -- like to piggyback on Rex's point, I know my brother would not have stolen my mom's and grandmother's Rolex unless he was under the influence.


BARKLEY: You're not yourself. And that was the hardest thing for me to learn. Like, dude, you can't stop doing this.

KING: Because you're not yourself.

CHAPMAN: You know, when I was in --

KING: And you write this, Rex. You said, never underestimate the ability of an addict to rationalize destructive behavior. Which sounds like what he said about his brother and what you did that day in the Apple store.

CHAPMAN: Exactly. And, you know, we've seen videos. This OxyContin and heroin and fentanyl that we have, they're monsters. The OxyContin is a monster. That they would give it to someone for an appendicitis is beyond me, but I was in love within a couple of days. And you know, we've seen these videos on TV before where you see people stopped at stoplights or cars are stopped and they're just sort of out of it from heroin or painkillers or opioids.

That's what it's like. You're just in a fog. You can function a little bit. But the genius of it and also the horror of it is that it doesn't smell like weed. You don't smell like alcohol, but you get it -- you get your high and nobody would ever really know it, but every -- a lot of people walking around with pockets full of pills.

BARKLEY: What was the turning point?

CHAPMAN: For what?

BARKLEY: For -- what -- you were, like, I got to get my crap together.

KING: When you said, enough, yes.

BARKLEY: I've had enough.

KING: Yes.

BARKLEY: I'm letting my family down.

KING: Yes. BARKLEY: There had to be a turning --

CHAPMAN: Yes, it was when I was arrested, you know.

KING: At the Apple store.

CHAPMAN: No, I wasn't arrested at the Apple Store. So, here's another really awful thing that I did.

KING: But they were leading you away in handcuffs.

CHAPMAN: Yes. I -- so, the police came to my house, my apartment and -- in Scottsdale, and they knocked on the door and I saw the police were there. And I did just something despicable and asked my son to tell him I wasn't there. I -- to Zeke. You know Zeke.


KING: You asked him to lie.

CHAPMAN: And he did it.

KING: Yes.

CHAPMAN: He did it.

KING: Because you're his dad.

CHAPMAN: And then he left and went to class. I came out, got in the car, and six cars approached me, and that's where they took me in. And still, I didn't know what was going on. I thought it was a license thing, an issue thing, or an insurance thing that I'd had for years. I couldn't get my license, photo radar in Scottsdale.


CHAPMAN: So, finally once I got there, they gave me a phone -- my phone to get a number out of. I didn't know any numbers. And Charles, and my best friend Josh, and so many people are texting saying, we love you. We don't know what's happened. I didn't even know what had happened at that time. Then they take me in and put me in a room. And I've seen enough "Law & Orders" to know that I needed a lawyer.

KING: A never good guess.


KING: Yes, I mean, and then they showed all the video. They've --

CHAPMAN: No, I didn't -- I'd never watched it just until the other day.

KING: You've never watched it?

CHAPMAN: I -- yes, KING: Because they said we have all the video.

CHAPMAN: I just saw a little now.

KING: Yes.

CHAPMAN: It's hard to watch.

BARKLEY: You know -- man, you're getting me emotional. Because I was, like -- I was texting. You're like, yo man.

CHAPMAN: You were.

BARKLEY: Hang in there. Because I -- man, I know he's a good dude.

KING: Yes, you said that.

BARKLEY: I do. I said, yo man, you're a good dude, man. Hang in there. Because, man, I'm telling you something, when you and your family are going through this stuff, like, it's nothing -- like, I would just -- I'm like, yo man, hang in there.


BARKLEY: But, man, I -- listen, I'm going to say it over again. I'm so proud of you. And you got to keep using your platform because there's just so many people out there who are struggling. And they need to know that they're not alone because, you know, that's the one thing John Lucas and his group taught me, like, you know, man, there's a lot of people out here on drugs.


KING: What's your life like today?

CHAPMAN: It's -- I'm as good as I've been in, you know -- really, I'm as functioning as an adult as I've ever been in my whole life over the last eight or nine years. I've been --

KING: You don't have urgence to use --

CHAPMAN: No, I don't --

KING: -- any of those?

CHAPMAN: No. You know, it was --

KING: OxyContin like any other --

CHAPMAN: No, I've never -- not since I left rehab in 2014. The hardest thing to do was learning to sit in my bad emotions.


You know, in the past, every time I got an argument, every time I had a bad game, whatever it was, I'm going to go to the track. I'm going to go to the -- I'm going to take a pill. I was self-medicating. And I had no ability, no coping skills until I was about 45.

KING: I'm so glad you're OK. I really, really enjoyed your book.

BARKLEY: I'm glad you're OK. And I love you sharing your story, man. You're going to help a lot of people, brother.

KING: We'll be right back.