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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Golan Cipel

Aired November 30, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, exclusive, the other man in the sex scandal that forced New Jersey's ex-governor out of office. And out of the closet.

FORMER GOVERNOR JIM MCGREEVEY, NEW JERSEY: I engaged in adult consensual affair with another man.


KING: But Golan Cipel says that Jim McGreevey is a liar who sexually harassed him and now he tells all in his first nationwide TV interview. But first, when Shamu attacks, one of the Sea World's killer whales goes after its trainer as horrified parents and children look on. What happened? We'll ask renowned animal expert Jack Hanna and Sea World's animal ambassador. She knows that trainer and that whale. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. Joining us here in Los Angeles, Julie Scardina, the animal ambassador for Sea World and Bush Gardens, an expert in animal training and care. She's worked with a number of killer whales. And in Columbus, Ohio, our old friend Jack Hanna, host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures", which is seen in the United States and more than 60 other countries. He's director emeritus of the Columbus zoo and aquarium and he and my children will be with us on New Year's night, we'll be taping it next week, it will air New Year's night. All right Julie, what's the latest on Ken, the trainer that was hurt?

JULIE SCARDINA, SEA WORLD ANIMAL AMBASSADOR: Ken is actually doing really well. I talked to him about an hour and a half ago or so. And he was in good spirits. Feeling pretty good after he had to get a bone fixed in his foot. So he was in surgery this morning. But he was actually -- he kind of told me how he felt. And the fact that he's actually excited about kind of talking it through and making sure that we can make sure it doesn't happen again.

KING: What's the status of Kasatka the whale?

SCARDINA: Kasatka's life is exactly the same as it was yesterday.

KING: It's a he?

SCARDINA: No, actually Kasatka's a female. KING: Is she emotionally distraught over what she did?

SCARDINA: No, probably not. But we do have such close relationships with these whales that we -- you know we do look at all of these animals as family. And Kasatka has a really rich life. She's actually the dominant female of the group. Killer whales are a matriarchal society run by females. So she is the one who is kind of leading the --

KING: Not much different than the American females.

SCARDINA: There you go.

KING: But why did this happen and we'll get Jack's thoughts?

SCARDINA: You can never really delve too much into why in terms of why the whale did it. What we look at is we look for small signs that might have happened. Even Petey, talking to him just a little while ago --

KING: Petey is Ken?

SCARDINA: Yes, sorry. That he didn't really see anything that was unusual. He had done the rest of the show with her. He had just done a couple of behaviors which she did great. Fed her a really big handful, the rest of the bucket, got back in the water. And then, you know, as he was diving down, actually, he's the one guiding her down to the bottom of the pool. She kind of broke off from the behavior. And then just kind of came back at him and grabbed him. He was so good. I tell you, our trainers, we spend their entire careers going through -- much like a fighter pilot or an astronaut. We go through scenarios. We actually teach them, you know what things might happen and Ken is one of our most experienced trainers. He's excellent in the water. He's the most athletic person you know. He stayed calm, he stayed relaxed. He made sure Kasatka was relaxed and he ended up being able to get out of the water safely.

KING: Jack Hanna, what's your read on all of this?

JACK HANNA, DIR. EMERITUS, COLUMBUS ZOO: Well as Julie knows they're called killer whales, obviously, they're wild animals, as I've said many, many times, they're unpredictable. It's amazing to me that people like Julie, (INAUDIBLE), Chuck Tompkins, guys who have been working with these whales 30 something years, I always said they're unpredictable but the predictability that these folks have with these animals is phenomenal. Can you imagine even trying to predict what people do? We can't even do that and much less what these folks do with the killer whale is amazing. And of course, instinct might have taken over. I don't know, I'm not a whale trainer like Julie and these folks but I have done shows with them both at Sea World and in the wild.

And of course sometimes instinct might take over. Some animals show aggression different ways. Maybe the whale wanted to have a little fun with the trainer. Nobody knows as Julie said until the gentleman, I guess he may come out and talk to Julie and you folks and tell you what happened. I don't know. All know is that I've been with killer whales in the wild, also at Sea World. They're a phenomenal creature. What we have learned from these animals because of all of the interactions at Sea World, all the research is absolutely unbelievable Larry. And I just hope -- I know it will continue. What happens with this whale is obviously up to the Sea World folks. They'll do the right thing because they are the world's expert in this field.

KING: Do you know of any Jack, precursors, things that will cause a whale to do what they normally don't do?

HANNA: I don't know about whales that much, Larry. But for example, an elephant might be in musk. Maybe a whale is cycling, I don't know, maybe the male wants to show dominance. All these -- for example, somebody asked me about Siegfried and Roy, so and if you remember what happened there, I guess he fell over. And the first instinct for a tiger to do if anything goes below a great cat like that is obviously pounce on it. So we're talking about animals that are predators Larry, the top predators -- the killer whale, plus a tiger, plus an elephant, plus animals that are phenomenal creatures. But we must look at the value these animals have from the standpoint of Sea World, the Columbus Zoo, whatever it might be. What we do with these animals in teaching people as you well know, you have two young children. Back in the 1960s Larry, nobody really even cared much about whales. And now look what all of us have done the last 40 years to teach people about these animals and how we should appreciate them and what they are like in the wild.

KING: What does Ken think, Julie? What does he think happened?

SCARDINA: Well you know, it is kind of interesting that -- Kasatka has two calves that are in the area. And when he went to go down to the bottom to perform the next behavior, he did hear the calf vocalize. And that was basically immediately prior to when Kasatka broke off. So there is no way that we know for sure exactly what it was and again we're going to kind of address it from the standpoint of let's go back to the point where we know we can succeed. Let's relook at the situation. Let's retrain it, make sure --

KING: You have it on film.

SCARDINA: Well you know what, what you were watching is actually a different incident. What happened yesterday was a much more calm situation. She did pull him under but, again, Petey, Ken Peters, the trainer, was very, very controlled and relaxed, stayed with --

KING: You mean what we're seeing was worse than what happened?

SCARDINA: Yeah, that was a previous incident. That was kind of made public a couple of years ago.

KING: But that was worse than what happened yesterday?

SCARDINA: Well absolutely from the standpoint of visually, you know.

KING: What is Kasatka -- what is she like?

SCARDINA: Well, you know, like I said, you know she's the leader of the pod. When she's with us, though, the relationships, just like with all the whales are very, very strong. She's a very intelligent animal. She does like to know what's going on. You know, she knows which animals are in which pools. She was out in the front pool doing the show by herself along with Ken Peters. And, you know, it may just have been that she's like, hey, you know what, I'm not quite sure what's happening with my calf in the back. I better go check that out and in the process of feeling like that, you know, there might have been some display that went on.

KING: We'll be right back with more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. And then Golan Cipel, the former -- well, I don't know what to call him, friend, lover, of the governor of New Jersey. We'll find out his side of the story tonight. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't get why he would do that, bite the trainer. It looked like he was biting him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a tragedy. Because you just weren't sure what was going on until the rest of the trainers started tapping the water and you could see the panic coming over them. And then the nets coming ought and then you were, you know, instant reality this is really happening.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just didn't want to watch a guy die. I mean, I know wouldn't want Shamu to die. But I think they should have had something in place where, you know, if it is between him or Shamu, Shamu has got to go.


KING: We're back with Julie Scardina in Los Angeles. The animal ambassador for Sea World and Bush Gardens. And in Columbus, Ohio, Jack Hanna, the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures." Any thoughts of taking her out of the act, Julie?

SCARDINA: You know, she will be not doing -- participating in water work, meaning getting in the water with her for whatever period of time we think it is safe. You know we're going to go back, we're going to make sure that we take care of the trainers, we take care of the animals. That is number one priority as far as safety and health are concerned.

KING: Do they know their trainers, Jack?

HANNA: Oh, yeah, there's no doubt about that. You know I've watched elephants with trainers. I've watched the whales. There is no doubt. These are very, very -- I'll use the word intelligent, some people say that that's (INAUDIBLE). But these are phenomenal animals. When I'm interviewed, people ask me about the intelligence of animals, I always refer to the elephant, the killer whale, a dolphin. These are animals we are just tipping the iceberg, Larry. And that's why it is so important what Sea World is doing, what we're learning about communication, what we're learning about the breeding programs, all the whales, almost all the whales now in all the Sea Worlds were born in a Sea World. So it's very, very important that we continue this work. I'm sure the trainer would agree. The one lady made a statement there, well we should have wiped out Shamu before the trainer. You know these are things that happen in milliseconds. It's almost like a race car driver, Larry. Julie referred to this as athletes.

These guys are phenomenal athletes. There are Olympic swimmers and Olympic people that couldn't do what these trainers do. It's not just their ability to do the athleticism, but also that's the right word, but also what they do with their training sessions. And what you see there, Larry, is also when I film these animals out in the glacier bay, or in sweet Norway, wherever it might be, these are almost, a lot of the same behaviors we have. So you just don't know what the animal might have been thinking at that time. I mean we don't know what people are thinking when they do something a little bit off, really off kilt.

KING: But Julie they are in captivity. And isn't that abnormal to begin with?

SCARDINA: Well in terms of -- in terms of their life, it's different. You know, a city person living in the city is very different from a person living in the country. They are so well taken care of, and what's happening out in the wild right now, in just about any place you go, certainly isn't the best situation for the animals. Animals are barely surviving in many places out in the wild.

KING: Are you saying they're better off at Sea World?

SCARDINA: I'm not saying they're necessarily better off one place or another. Populations are declining in the wild. We're taking great care of them in captivity. They're educating people. It is a situation where you can say, yeah, it is different. These calves are growing up. They know us. They're learning from us. We're learning from them. And as Jack talked about all the different educational opportunities, people didn't even know about killer whales not that long ago. They were shooting them out in the wild. And here we have an opportunity to educate people, utilizing these animals that are getting the most pampered care that you have ever, you know, experienced, if you've ever had a dog that has a veterinarian on call 24 hours a day that has 10 trainers to take care of it every single day. Those animals are so well cared for and doing such a great job for our --

HANNA: Larry, it's like anybody asking about the entire zoological field or whatever park it is or Sea World or zoological park. You know what is the value. The value is basically invaluable, that's what it is. Because we don't have much time left, Larry. I'm out there, every continent of the world, Julie knows, of the years I've dedicated my life to this. We don't have that much time now to -- we have to learn as much as we can, as quick as we can to help these animals out in the wild. The wild, by the way Larry, I know we had the people debate on your show, the wild is not that beautiful a place that much anymore. We wish it were. And I hope it becomes that in the future with your kids. But that's what we have to do. We don't have much time to do it. So what we're finding out every day is so important.

KING: You think kids might be harmed Julie by seeing tape of a whale acting the way she acts?

SCARDINA: Well, again, the situation was very, very different it was actually much more calm. Petey was rubbing her down, relaxing her the entire time which is his experience was really the -- the experience and the training that Ken Peters received being a trainer for the last 16 years, is what helped the situation. Kasatka was actually calm at the surface. What people saw was a trainer, you know, certainly not in the most comfortable situation, but a trainer that was basically in control of that situation.

KING: Jack, thank you, we'll see you Monday for the taping.

HANNA: Thank you.

KING: We always do our semiannual event with Jack Hanna. Julie, great seeing you.

SCARDINA: Great seeing you, Larry. You too, Jack.

KING: I always look forward to go down to Sea World. Julie Scardina and Jack Hanna. When we come back, the man whose sexual harassment allegations forced politician James McGreevey out of the closet and out of the New Jersey governor's mansion. Don't go away.


MCGREEVEY: I realized, perhaps, sadly more about proximity to power than actual love.

KING: Feel betrayed?

MCGREEVEY: Yeah, but I also betrayed him.



KING: We're back on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Coming up, if you're out on bond, you can't carry a weapon.

So -- sorry, that's from last night.

Let's go to tonight's read, as we prepare it for this portion of the show. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JIM MCGREEVEY, NEW JERSEY: I engaged in adult consensual affair with another man.


KING: Who was that alleged other man in one of the biggest bombshells in recent American political history? Golan Cipel joined Jim McGreevey's campaign for New Jersey governor in 2001 after holding several government jobs in his native Israel. After McGreevey was elected, he hired Cipel as an aide.

Even before McGreevey's sensational resignation, there had been questions about Cipel's background, qualifications, and his status as an Israeli, not an American citizen.


KING: Why did you put Mrs. Cipel on the payroll?

MCGREEVEY: I wanted him close to me.

KING: So it was a selfish reason?

MCGREEVEY: Yeah. Sure.


KING: Cipel resigned his post in 2002 and was reportedly preparing a sexual harassment suit against McGreevey when the governor stepped down and came out in 2004.

While McGreevey says they were lovers, Cipel tells a very different story.

And we now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Golan Cipel, the -- who was named by the New Jersey governor as his lover, claims there was no -- he claims there was no gay affair between them.

Did you file a sexual harassment suit?

GOLAN CIPEL: No, eventually I decided not to file it.

KING: Why?

CIPEL: It was a difficult, difficult decision, Larry. But I had only two weeks or so to decide, and the statute of limitation was very, very short.

For me, the fact that McGreevey decided to resign was enough, to know that this man will never be in a position of power and will never be able to do what he did to me to other people.

KING: All right. Are you saying tonight, unequivocally, you had nothing to do with participating in this relationship? CIPEL: Absolutely. It was sexual harassment and sexual assault.

KING: And then the question has to be asked, are you gay?

CIPEL: No. And I said it very many times. You know, it is quite embarrassing because on one hand, you don't want to embarrass the gay community. It is a difficult question. On the other hand, I want to tell the truth.

But, Larry, the fact is that Jim McGreevey wants to turn it into a gay-straight issue, which it is not. The issue here is about sexual assault and sexual harassment.

KING: When you went to work for him, when you met him, did you think he was gay?

CIPEL: No, no. I didn't think -- I met a guy who was divorced. He spoke a lot about his ex-wife. He spoke about his new wife, Deena. And she was pregnant. I didn't suspect anything. I didn't have...

KING: Did you suspect about getting that kind of job without all those qualifications?

CIPEL: No. And you know, there is a lot of misunderstanding about my qualification, because the job I had was not the homeland security adviser, the homeland security czar. My job at the governor's office was counselor to the governor, and I had several portfolios. One of them was to be responsible in the governor's office on homeland security. And that was a technical job.

The fact is that McGreevey lied about it. He lied about it and he admits in his book he didn't know how to end it later. He lied more and more, like he always do. Eventually the media did not accept his story.

KING: Do you now believe that he hired you because he wanted to have a relationship with you?

CIPEL: Look, I can't answer that question.

KING: Do you believe it?

CIPEL: I do believe that he had a hidden agenda. And I do believe that when he saw me back in Israel, he thought about it. But at that time, I didn't see any signs.

KING: Here is a clip when James McGreevey was on LARRY KING LIVE back in September, after he had written his book. We were talking about your denials of any sexual involvement with him. Let's take a look at what he said.


KING: Now, what do you make of him in Israel the other day, when the book came out? Denying that he's gay, that he ever had -- that it was all forced. You forced yourself upon him. Is this he says/he says?

MCGREEVEY: There is no advantage to me telling a story except the truth. And I stand by every word in that book. It's the truth. And you know, I wish him his peace. But for him ironically -- this thing has been painful for my wife, my family. But for Golan Cipel, the irony is, Larry, I never would have come out.


KING: Did you meet him in Israel?


KING: He was on a state visit? Was he governor?

CIPEL: No. At that time, he was a mayor and he was of thinking running again for governor.

KING: I see. Did you like him?

CIPEL: You know, we were hosting this delegation. We were nice to everybody. Nothing in particular. Nothing that looks different. But as far as I concern, he looked like a normal guy and we had a very good conversation.

KING: At one point during a visit to the city, you were seated next to each other and he whispered something in your ear. What was it?

CIPEL: Right. During this trip, when McGreevey start to speak to me, he decided that he needs to convince me to come and join -- working with him in the campaign. And at one point, he was sitting next to me and whispering in my ear, he said, "what are you doing here? This is too -- this is too small for you. You should come to America. You'll do much better in America than you do in Israel."

And at that time, I didn't decide if that's what I want to do, and it looked very weird to me that someone who just know me such a short time would offer me a job working on the campaign. But that's what he did shortly after.

KING: Now on your Web site, which is, by the way, -- you do it Cipel -- the reverse, right?

CIPEL: Right.

KING: You talk about following him upstairs at his home that night. He started towards the den, when suddenly he turned very abruptly, pushed me extremely hard into his bedroom and toward his bed. I was in shock. I frozen in disbelief. I asked him what he was doing. Both of his hands were on my chest. He pushed me back onto the bed, jumped on top of me, trying to pin me to the bed and kiss me. We wrestled, and then he just stopped, got off the bed and was standing on one side of the room while I stood on the other. I was in total shock. I never imagined something like this could happen, and had never even prepared myself for the possibility. Why then didn't you just say, good-bye?

CIPEL: Well, Larry, that's actually a very good question. I think a lot of people are asking the same question. And I have to tell you that even for me, that was a very difficult question to answer to myself. But the fact is, and that is something I've learned during the past several years, is that victims of sexual harassment behave that way. It takes them a lot of time to recognize what happened to them. It takes them a lot of time to admit to themselves that that's what happened to them. You are in deep denial. It is a lot of embarrassment.

And here is a guy that you respect. Here is a guy who is a governor and a very powerful governor, who had security details around him. And you're very confused.

I mean, if you ask me before, Larry, what would you do if a man will attack you, I would say I would punch him in the face. But the fact is that I froze. The fact is that I didn't know how to act...

KING: But why didn't you quit?

CIPEL: Well, first, I -- McGreevey asked me not to speak about it. And I decided -- the whole story is that he tried to get me drunk, and then he kind of explained to me that he had too much to drink. And I felt, you know, maybe that's the problem. Maybe I'll just continue and ignore it. And that's all the excuse victims of sexual harassment use. I'll try to ignore it. Maybe he didn't know, maybe he didn't understand. But that's, of course, a mistake.

KING: Did it happen again a lot?

CIPEL: No. There was another incident when he exposed himself shortly after. It was in his house before he moved to the governor's mansion. And he used to meet with the aides in his private condo. I sat on one side of the room and he was in a hospital bed, because he broke his leg at that time. There was another aide, who was eating, someone who was very close to McGreevey and the wife and the new baby. The new baby was on the floor.

KING: So how he -- he exposed himself to you?

CIPEL: Yes. The wife went...

KING: They've left the room?

CIPEL: The wife went to the kitchen. McGreevey had a broken leg. He was in a hospital bed. The other aide left to the kitchen. McGreevey exposed himself and started to masturbate and was patting the bed and said, come sit next to me.

And of course, I was in shock. I said I'm leaving. And then the other aide came from the kitchen and heard me saying, "I'm leaving." He was going towards the governor, wanted to shake his hand and the governor was pulling him, trying to kiss him on the lips.

KING: The aide?

CIPEL: The aide. The other aide who was there.

KING: We'll take a break and we'll be right back. Don't go away.


KING: Do you think if you had announced early on in life that you were gay, you could have been the governor?

MCGREEVEY: No. I think I could have been -- I think I could have been elected governor, and if I had the courage to say, you know, God, this is who I am and, you know, prayed about it, thought about it and came to that conclusion. And if I had been, you know, told my wife and told the people around me and my family and then went to the state of New Jersey and said, hey, look, this is my reality, but I would have never had the courage to do that.



KING: We're back with Golan Cipel, who was involved in the James McGreevey story and the -- his leaving the governorship of New Jersey. By the way, one of our producers contacted that aide, and he said that never happened.

CIPEL: Right. He denied it. I mean, most of those aides and people who worked with McGreevey are still very close to him. And either they're afraid or they have jobs and would not put themselves at risk.

KING: Do your friends back in Israel believe you?

CIPEL: Yes, absolutely. Actually, I got a lot of good press. One of the leading newspapers, "Edeo Halenot," (ph) in a very important newspaper journalist by the name Yul Valkan (ph) which is -- I call him my Emile Zola, but a wonderful article. So I'm not concerned about Israel. Israelis take it very seriously. I'm concerned about what happened in America.

KING: And you've never had a gay relationship of any kind?

CIPEL: No, absolutely not. And you have to understand, Larry, I've been under scrutiny for so long by the media, by the Republicans, by the Democrats, and by McGreevey. Even in his book, he admits that he sent a private investigator to Israel. If they were to find anything about me related to corruption or anything bad, they would have done it and they would have written about it.

KING: When former Governor McGreevey was on this show, he told his own version of what he said was the first time the two of you were intimate. I want you to look and give me your reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KING: You came home with him, though, right?

MCGREEVEY: Yes. Crazy thing is, we never discussed being gay. We never talked about.

KING: Just happened one night?

MCGREEVEY: It happened. But then even when you continue it, it's just like, you're not admitting to...

KING: You never said, I'm gay, you're gay?


KING: Never used the word.

MCGREEVEY: No, you never use the word. The word is something that's...

KING: But you had relations?



KING: McGreevey said, Golan, that you were more of a teacher than the student when it came to love-making, that he feels you're gay but deeply closeted. Your thoughts?

CIPEL: Well, you know, in the book, when you read it, it is all about what McGreevey think or what he thought about. And when he sat next to me, when he speak about relationship, and then when you read it very thoroughly, he's talking about political relationship. But then he said, but in my mind I thought -- that doesn't really work. I think people need to read the book very, very thoroughly.

For example, in his book, he writes in page 255, he said, "Of course I thought that Golan at one point, I thought that Golan isn't gay." How does that works with those vivid descriptions of love- making? If McGreevey thought I'm not gay, how did he have a relationship with me?

In this clip, he speaks about not talking about it. Larry, did you ever have a relationship when you didn't talk with other person? That's not true. Doesn't exist.

KING: When he started saying all this, how did you react?

CIPEL: Now on television?

KING: No, when he came out and when he came out of the closet and then he discussed that you were his lover. How did you -- what did you do?

CIPEL: First, you need to know, I didn't know any of this. During the negotiation, we talked about sexual harassment. It took McGreevey a long time to admit to his lawyers that he sexually harassed me, and then he started to negotiate with me and offering money to...

KING: He offered you money?

CIPEL: Absolutely, he offered me money to go away. But they never, ever mention a love affair. So only towards the end of the negotiation, I got a telephone call from one of those people, who said to me, you know the governor is going to resign. And I thought at that time that if the governor is going to resign, that's the right thing to do, because he sexually harassed me and it's not just unethical, it is illegal.

KING: Why didn't you take the money?

CIPEL: My lawyer didn't negotiate with McGreevey's legal team. And we were ready to settle it, but I think for McGreevey, the most important thing was that they want to know what will be the assurances that I would never, ever speak. And we tried to convince him, my attorney tried to convince him that that's going to be the case. I don't know what happened.

KING: You had no intention of speaking.

CIPEL: No, I didn't have any intention to speak at all. Even before that. It happened...

KING: So if he had just said, I'm gay, I'm resigning, never mentioned you...

CIPEL: But that's not what happened. What happened was I filed a lawsuit against him, and then McGreevey start to negotiate -- and then eventually, when he realized that he's not going to -- he cannot win the negotiation, he decided to resign. That was the order of things.

KING: So when he said you were more of the teacher, how do you react to that?

CIPEL: I can't react to every -- we have to distinguish between McGreevey's attempt to sell books and the reality. The reality is that even if when you read the book, there is so many contradiction.

In the beginning of the book, he writes about talking to his wife and his wife asking him, "are you gay?" Towards the end of the book, he said, well, maybe she didn't really ask me that question.

When he's being asked about corruption, which he's been involved in, he said, well, my memory is not that good. So if your memory is not good, don't write a memoir. That's the problem.

So let's distinguish between writing books and selling books and reality.

KING: Just ahead, the job that Governor McGreevey gave Golan and the controversy about his qualifications. A lot more too when we come back.


KING: Are you taking all the blame?

MCGREEVEY: On this relationship?

KING: No, this whole story? Are you saying, I'm the wrongful one? I did wrong?

MCGREEVEY: I did wrong. I did wrong. What I did was wrong. I mean, I was married. I was governor of the state of New Jersey. How insane was it to be acting out and having a relationship?




MCGREEVEY: And so my truth is that I am a gay American. And I am blessed to live in the greatest nation, with a tradition of civil liberties, the greatest tradition of civil liberties in the world, and a country which provides so much to its people.


KING: By the way, you can get on to his Web site, It's c-e-e, right?

CIPEL: C-i-p-e-l, Golan...

KING: For any further information.

Our guest is Mr. Cipel. And we're discussing the matter with Jim McGreevey.

You mentioned in this conversation, sexual assault. Your lawsuit was sexual harassment. Is that the same?

CIPEL: Yes, it's the same.

KING: That's what I thought.

CIPEL: Harassment, we did file harassment also, because McGreevey was also interfering in my life in other ways. But the main thing was sexual harassment, sexual assault.

KING: You were grabbed?

CIPEL: Absolutely. He was using violence in the first incident and third incident in the car.

KING: Those -- there were three all together?

CIPEL: Yes. The third incident happened when we were driving to Washington in a very large white van. There were three state troopers who sat in the front. And McGreevey asked the security detail to take the seats out because he wanted to lie on the floor and had mattress. And they used it to the drill.

I sat in the back, and at one point I fell asleep. And we were driving to D.C., and at one point I saw the governor rubbing his penis against my foot. And, Larry, I can't describe to you in words what it feels. It's the most humiliating...

KING: Did you push him away?

CIPEL: What I did is I pushed one -- I pushed one of my legs out and then he grabbed the other one. And then I pushed the right one. And I was aiming it towards his face. And I was ready to hit him. I didn't care anymore for the state troopers. I didn't care where we are.

And it's a very, very difficult situation. You don't really know what to do. This is an absurd. We are driving in a state car to D.C. Three state troopers, and the governor is grabbing my leg, humping it like a dog. And the only thing...

KING: Why didn't you quit that day?

CIPEL: And that's what I did. After that I came, I met with the governor, and I said to him, I'm leaving. That's it. And his answer was very clear. You're not going anywhere. He start to yell at me, you're staying here until the day you die. And the phrase he used was "until you deep in the ground". And I started to realize this is like a John Grisham movie. You know, you see "The Firm". You got in a place which looks beautiful, everybody in suits, everybody very professional, everything looks great.

KING: He said after that trip, you had a great love-making session in a hotel.

CIPEL: No. That's not true because -- McGreevey doesn't have a good memory. He admits in the book, and that's the only part of the book that I agree with.

KING: What happened after -- when the trip ended?

CIPEL: Shortly after, I actually left Governor...

KING: You didn't spent that night with him?

CIPEL: What happened at that place was I asked for a room and the answer I got from the governor's office, that the aide has to be with the governor in the same room because the governor want to save taxpayers' money. And this is same person who spent so much money on helicopter and trips abroad.

I ask for separate room and that's what was promised to me. That didn't happen. And I had to lock myself in the bathroom, lock myself in the bathroom...

KING: In the governor's suite?

CIPEL: In the governor's suite, in the hotel because I was embarrassed...

KING: You slept in the bathroom.

CIPEL: I slept on the floor on a towel because I was afraid to stay with him in the same room.

KING: Let's take a look at the clip of what McGreevey had to say about your qualifications for the job he gave you. Watch.


KING: Was that a political kind of payoff?

MCGREEVEY: It was a political position. It was the office of the counselor of the governor, the governor's office. So it's a consultant role. Typically somebody that...

KING: Then he got to be security, right?

MCGREEVEY: He was involved in it, but Larry, he was never -- I mean, he was never head of security. I mean, that in the state of New Jersey is under the Attorney General's office and something called the Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force. He was never a member of it. But he did work on homeland security in terms of advising me. I mean, the point is, he should have never been on the payroll.


KING: Didn't you question why you were on the payroll?

CIPEL: No. I think, you know, in politics, especially between two countries like Israel and America, they are Americans who work in Israel in politics and there are Israelis that work in America.

And I want to tell you one thing that is very, very important. When I came to this country, I didn't come as a foreigner. I came as a new immigrant. And there are new immigrants in this country who work in the government, like there are lawyers and doctors.

KING: You worked for the Israeli consulate, right?

CIPEL: That's way before. But when I made a choice to come and work here, I decided that I'm going to be a new immigrant and I'm going stay in this country. But you know, when I decide to -- when I decide to work on the campaign, I didn't have an inspiration. When McGreevey called me to work on the campaign, he said come for one year, work on the campaign and then you can move on. And at the end of the campaign we had this conversation when he asked me to join his administration. And I asked him, you know, I'm not an American yet, and even if I start my immigration process, it's going to take a while. And he said, I'm the most powerful governor in the nation. I can appoint whoever I want, and if I want you to be my adviser, my counselor, that's it. And that was McGreevey's approach. KING: He said he was the most powerful governor in the nation?

CIPEL: Absolutely. He used to repeat it again and again and again.

KING: Time to get a break and we'll come back with more of this fascinating exclusive interview with Golan.

Right now, let's go to Amman, Jordan, where Anderson Cooper stands by to host "AC 360".

Is this wind-up night, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It is. It's our last night in Amman. The president has already gone back to the United States, Larry. We're going to be live from here tonight, where President Bush met with the prime minister of Iraq a day after he was apparently snubbed. Some said it was a snub, anyway. The White House denies that. We'll tell you what they said about Iraq today and how long troops may have to stay there.

Also, my one on one interview with former President Jimmy Carter on Iraq, the tensions in the Middle East and the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Plus, the latest on the pope's travel to Turkey.

A lot to talk about, Larry, ahead on 360 tonight.

KING: You betcha. That's "AC 360" at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific.

And when we come back, what Golan says happened after he left his government job. It sounds like something from out of a spy novel. That's part of his side of the story, when LARRY KING LIVE continues.


KING: Did you ever do anything wild while governor? Other than Golan?

MCGREEVEY: Larry, that was more than enough.

KING: So Golan was the only...


KING: ... sexual experience with a man while governor?




(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Golan Cipel thought he could slip away from New Jersey and the scandal enveloping the governor there, he was wrong. The Israeli-born former aide to James McGreevey, going home to a suburb outside of Tel Aviv, to his parents and to a mob of waiting cameras, making his first televised statements.

CIPEL (translated): I've had a very difficult time. I've come to Israel to be with my family at this time. I cannot expand on anything for legal reasons.


KING: Well, we're back with Golan, who said an extraordinary thing to me during the break. He said he does not think James McGreevey is gay. What?

CIPEL: No. I don't believe that. That's part of the spin.

KING: Spin to be gay? Why?

CIPEL: I believe that Jim McGreevey is bisexual. But, Larry, can you imagine this dramatic press conference when James McGreevey's coming out and saying that the truth is, I'm proud to be a bisexual American.

KING: And he's got a gay lover now that he's...?

CIPEL: ... I don't know about that. I do believe that he is attractive to men, but Jim McGreevey was attracted to men. I would never believe that story.

Even after what -- even the second I knew his secret and what happened with me, he still spoke about heterosexual sex. He spoke about prostitutes. For example, you know, McGreevey, and he used to brag about it, said to me once that he after the visit to Auschwitz, the death camp in Auschwitz, brought prostitutes to the hotel. He and another aide had sex with prostitutes in the hotel.

He said the same thing about having sex with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. Those were official visits. He had sex with prostitutes in New Jersey and denied it in certain points. And then in his book he said there was one prostitute, but he didn't know what to do with her, so he sent her to a vacation. That's a very poor excuse.

Something here is wrong. I mean, I think McGreevey had no choice. There was a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. He didn't know what to do. And his adviser told him come out first. If you come out first, you will be perceived as the victim. You control of the story. That's what he chose to do.

KING: What happened when you got back to Israel? What happened when you left?

CIPEL: When I left to Israel, I didn't plan to stay in Israel. The reason I went back to Israel is because I wanted to be with my family. You have to understand, Larry, my parents apartment in my hometown was surrounded by American journalists.

KING: Did they all know the story there?

CIPEL: Of course, of course. And I want to be with them. I want to control and manage this crisis there. If my family lived in Philadelphia or Chicago, that's where I would go. But the fact is my family lives in Israel and I wanted to be with them. I didn't plan to stay.

But shortly after I got a threat letter in Israel said watch your back, we know where you are and it is signed "Jim's Buddy." And Larry, my father was the one who brought me this letter, with shaking hands and said to me, "Golan, I'm afraid."

Even now before I got into this show, I got a message from my mother on my cell phone said, you know, you're going to be on Larry King, but what's going to happen after? And she's worried. And a lot of people in Israel are worried.

But the fact is I decided to speak and I decided to tell the truth. And I did speak with the FBI about it. I asked them if my life is in danger. They assured me that they believe it is not. But I did get threat letters. I saw people coming out of my building. My phones were tapped. In the course of those years, my life was a nightmare.

KING: We have an e-mail from Kathy in Newburg, New York. "Golan, what regrets if any do you for what became of the fate of the governor?"

CIPEL: What does she mean by fate?

KING: Do you feel you brought down the governor?

CIPEL: Look, I'm not seeking for revenge. I never did seek for revenge. The fact was that I wanted the governor to leave me alone. And we had the last telephone conversation and when I called him, and I said, "Governor, I'm asking you not to call me again. I don't want to do anything with you. Leave me alone. Let me live my life quietly."

And he started to get scared. McGreevey was always afraid I will turn to a loose canon. And I tried to manage it with him. I tried to make him feel like I'm not doing anything, I'm not putting him in danger. The minute he realized I'm not -- I'm asking him not to call again, that's where things start to get bad. I started to get the threat letters in the mail, I started to have telephone calls from a lot of people asking me what do you doing? Where are you? I moved to New York. I tried to hide. I didn't move to New York because I wanted to live there. I was escaping to New York.

KING: So when McGreevey says you were the one that tried to keep up the contact, that's false.

CIPEL: Absolutely. I mean, during those years, McGreevey would call me again from different cell phone and I would return calls because I tried to -- he always called, be nice. And McGreevey worked, I have to admit, almost in a mafia style.

KING: Got to get a break and we'll come back with our remaining moments. We'll ask Golan what he's going to do now. Don't go away.


KING: By the way, Golan was for five years an officer in the Israeli navy. We have a statement from former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey. "I stand behind the truth and accuracy of every word in this book. Golan and I had a consensual sexual relationship which lasted for months. The purpose of the book speaks to the need for honesty and transparency throughout our lives, and my only wish for Golan is that he finds peace and acceptance in his life."


CIPEL: Well, the reaction is once a lie, always a lie. McGreevey is a man who lied so many times.

KING: So the statement doesn't move you at all?

CIPEL: Oh, no. I heard the statement -- McGreevey is even boring in his statements. I honestly don't care about McGreevey or the book. I'm here to tell my story.

Those allegation as you see them on my Web site has been before the book and will be after the book. And the fact is that Jim McGreevey thinks he can write a book, then move on, maybe through get getting a job or maybe getting involved in the gay community, can get back to public life.

My point is, I'm asking the gay community, which I respect, not to embrace McGreevey. McGreevey is a man who chose violence, who is a man who committed sexual harassment to me and to others and he should not be part of that.

KING: What are you going to do with your life now?

CIPEL: I have a lot of plans and I have to tell you that I feel good. I'm moving on. I don't feel intimidated anymore. I'm not afraid to speak. I will continue to speak.

If it is giving lectures, if it is on television, I will continue to speak about this issue because I think it is a very, very important issue. Not just in America, in Israel, and all over the world. There's a problem here. Sexual harassment is not a disease that we cannot cure.

We have to fight and the way to fight against this is to speak, to fight against people like McGreevey, not to be afraid that they will write books or have press conferences or will use spin doctors to speak against them.

KING: You spoke well tonight. You're going back to Israel now, right? CIPEL: Absolutely. I would stay in America and come to visit. I have a lot of friends here. And I would come as often as possible. And I love this country.

KING: Look forward to seeing you again.

CIPEL: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

KING: My pleasure. Our guest has been Golan Cipel. And if you want to contact him, it's

Tomorrow night we're going to have a lot of laughs. Lewis Black joins us. He's angry at everything. Lewis Black, and if you want to e-mail questions to Lewis Black, go to

We're going to slash our way across the ocean now to Amman, Jordan. His wind-up night there for Anderson Cooper, who knows where he'll be tomorrow? "A.C. 360" is next -- Anderson?