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CNN Larry King Live

Body Parts Found in Chicago; The Latest on Heath Ledger; Interview with Ricki Lake; Ringo Starr Performs His New Single

Aired January 25, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Heath Ledger on his way to his final resting place. But troubling questions about his death remain unanswered.
Why did the woman who found his body call Mary-Kate Olsen three times before dialing 911?

And then Ricki Lake.

From plus sized to petite -- how did she do it?

The mother of two lets us in on it and her newest baby.

Plus, Ringo Starr.


RINGO STARR (SINGING): Liverpool, I left you, but I never let you down.


KING: The former Beatle has got a new hit song. Everybody's talking about it. A command performance of "Liverpool 8" all of it in a studio concert next on "LARRY KING LIVE."

KING: Good evening.

Before we do anything else, we have a breaking story out of Chicago. Chicago police tell CNN that a badly decomposed body was found frozen to the ground near train tracks in Southwest Chicago on Friday. The body appears to be a female with reddish blonde hair.

Now you all know that Stacey Ann Peterson has been missing for a long, long time.

So let's check in on the possibility here.

Susan Roesgen is our CNN reporter.

And also on the phone with us is Kyle Toutges, who is Stacy's uncle.

What do we know -- Susan?

SUSAN ROESGEN, GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm at the scene, Larry. It's snowing pretty heavily here. It's an industrial area. There's not a lot of businesses out here. But apparently this afternoon, what we have been able to confirm with the Chicago police is that an environmental surveyor in this area near a canal discovered the remains of a badly decomposed body actually frozen to the ground near train tracks here in the Southwest area of Chicago.

The body, as you mentioned, appears to be that of a woman with reddish blonde hair.

They have taken the remains to the Chicago medical examiner's office. They're going to have an autopsy tomorrow. There have been several different reports about this, Larry. One by "The Chicago Tribune" this evening reports that the remains may have been those of a child, in which case, of course, it is not Stacy Peterson. But another tantalizing report -- at this point, unconfirmed, Larry -- by a local television station is that a blue garbage can was found near the remains and that could be a telling clue to this whole case, if you remember that.

KING: Why?

ROESGEN: Well, the blue garbage can -- one wonders whether that could be a reference to what they assumed at one point could have been a blue barrel or a blue plastic bin. A friend of Drew Peterson's went to the police and said in late December that he had helped Drew Peterson carry a very heavy blue plastic bin or barrel out of the Peterson home. Again, this would have been after Stacy Peterson disappeared. And the friend reported that that barrel or bin was warm to the touch. And he told the media and the police that he was very afraid that he had just assisted Drew Peterson in carrying out his wife's body.

That was reported in December. She's been missing since October 28th. This actually would have been just after she was reported missing. Again, that's unconfirmed. We have not had from the Chicago police yet confirmation that anything blue was found in the area.


ROESGEN: But if there has been a blue barrel or something, that could mean that it is Stacey Peterson.

KING: All right, Stacey's uncle, Kyle Toutges, is on the phone.

First, Kyle, this is so preliminary, but what do you make of this?

KYLE TOUTGES, STACY PETERSON'S UNCLE: It's really disturbing. I mean we don't know for sure if it has anything to do with the case yet or not, I mean -- but it's so disturbing to find out that there was a body found, no matter who it was, you know?

But if it's a family member, it makes it that much worse, of course.

KING: Is it kind of a mixed emotion in that you certainly want Stacy to be found alive.


KING: But you also want some -- some finish to this.

TOUTGES: Correct. Right.

KING: So you go back and forget.

TOUTGES: Exactly. Yes. It's totally up and down. Our family is a wreck.

KING: Now, Drew Peterson's attorney spoke with Nancy Grace on "HEADLINE NEWS" by telephone tonight and he denies that the remains are those of Stacy.


KING: How would he know?

TOUTGES: That's what I don't get. Why -- that's a very unreliable source to me.

KING: What do you make of that Susan?

ROESGEN: Again, nothing has been actually confirmed. You know, the police have been looking -- have been searching the Petersons' home, any place where Peterson might have been. There have been several rumors since Stacy disappeared on October 28th. Everyone has been looking for her.

They have said -- the authorities have said they've gone from sort of a rescue mission, trying to find her alive, to a recovery.

KING: Yes.

ROESGEN: So that is the painful thing, I'm sure, for the family.

KING: Well, Stacy you'll -- rather, you'll stay on top of this all night.

ROESGEN: Yes, I will.

KING: As I know you will.

And we'll keep in touch with you and we hope for the best, sir.

TOUTGES: Thank you.

KING: When we come back, we'll get the latest on Heath Ledger. Some disturbing questions have surfaced.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Joining us to discuss the more information that keeps recurring on the death of Heath Ledger, here in Los Angeles, Jann Carl, the weekend anchor for "Entertainment Tonight". And Galina Espinoza, the senior editor for "People" magazine. The magazine's February 4th cover story is "Heath Ledger's Tragic Death" -- on the stands now. There you see its cover.

And in New York, A.J. Hammer, the host of "HEADLINE NEWS' SHOWBIZ TONIGHT".

Reports now the father was in New York, the body was moved to the funeral home in Manhattan and is on the way to Los Angeles.

What did -- what do you know Jann?

JANN CARL, ANCHOR, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT": You know, what we do know is that the -- everything is private. That the spokesperson for Heath's family has said anything that we have been hearing has not been confirmed by the family. They want to keep it private. They're doing everything they can -- and they're doing a pretty good job of it, I would say.

So there is -- there is speculation, there is supposition. Right now, nothing has been confirmed by the family and the family is handling all of the arrangements.

GALINA ESPINOZA, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE": And, in fact, although we know the body left the Manhattan funeral home this afternoon, we don't know where it went. We don't know. Some have said to Los Angeles, some have said Australia -- that he might be buried in his hometown of Perth.

KING: One -- forgive me.

So what?

He's gone.

If he wasn't murdered, why is it our business?

ESPINOZA: I think so many people connected to him through his roles. And I know that everyone we've talked to him about him -- especially in the Hollywood community -- has expressed such incredible sadness at his loss, because he was considered not only an incredible actor, but an incredible human being.

So that makes it seem doubly tragic. And I know there's a lot of concern about his young daughter. So there's really a lot of emotional connection to this story and people want to see him laid to rest and want to go through it to the end.

KING: A.J. in New York, we know the masseuse who couldn't wake him called Mary-Kate Olsen three times before dialing 911. The masseuse then called Mary-Kate another time after the paramedics arrived.

What Is Mary-Kate Olsen's, to your knowledge, involvement here?

A.J. HAMMER, CNN'S "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Well, it's really interesting and there's been a lot of speculation as to exactly why the masseuse would have called Mary-Kate Olsen, Larry. And, as you mentioned, there were three phone calls placed after the masseuse discovered Heath Ledger unresponsive in his bedroom to Mary-Kate Olsen.

Now, a lot of speculation is to the fact that -- well, there are a couple of things. Number one, in a time of panic, you never know exactly how to respond. Also, Also, in situations where celebrities are involved, it is often the first instinct of whoever is involved at the other end to not get the police involved right away, because of the obvious repercussions of it getting around and word getting out right away.

But right now, we do know that Heath Ledger and Mary-Kate Olsen have been friends. There have been different reports and speculation as to whether or not they have been dating. Apparently, they became friendly in the summer of 2006 while Heath was staying at a hotel in Los Angeles. And they were friendly. And the masseuse was aware that they were friends, picked up Keith's phone and that's who she called. And Mary-Kate had arranged, apparently, for security to come over there.

KING: Did Mary-Kate issue a statement?

HAMMER: Mary-Kate has issued a statement at this point. It's the first time we're actually hearing from her. And this is what she told CNN and "SHOW BIZ TONIGHT". She said: "Heath was a friend. His death is a tragic loss. My thoughts are with his family during this very difficult time."

And there's also been some reporting, Larry, that perhaps police were interested in speaking with Mary-Kate Olsen as part of their investigation. At this point, they say they don't have any interest in speaking with her. That may change. But at this time, Larry, it's not a criminal investigation. So they may not be crossing all the Ts and dotting all the Is as far as the public's interest in this case is concerned.

KING: Jann, do you understand the interest?

CARL: You know, I do, when you look at past examples. When someone dies very young, I think there's a great deal of interest in -- especially, as we said, someone who leaves behind such a young child, someone who became bigger than life. I mean an Academy Award nominated actor. "Brokeback Mountain" really was such a phenomenal film and so different. And it touched all of us in different ways.

I do understand the grief. I understand the sadness. And I understand, to some degree, the interest. But I find that -- I think most people, yes, they would just like to see him laid to rest and then perhaps just let his family have their time to grieve.

KING: Wouldn't Australia be logical, Galina? ESPINOZA: I think it would be. I mean his family is there. And they have spoken so movingly. They actually wrote several statements in an Australian newspaper that were just heart-breaking to read. And they were very personal. And I think what's important to remember is that yes, the world knew him as this is Oscar nominated actor, but he was, first and foremost, a brother, a son, a father.

You know, his mother, in her statement, called him "my darling boy" and she promised that they would always take care of Matilda, his young daughter. His sister referred to him by her pet nickname for him, which was "Roast." We don't the -- what the meaning behind that is. But then his dad also called him "Beef." So there was clearly a family joke there.

So it was really a portrait of a very personal, connected family.

KING: Do we know anything about where a service might be, A.J.?

HAMMER: There's only speculation. Again, as Jann and Galina have pointed out, the family is doing -- and I think a quite remarkable job, Larry, at keeping of this very private, not issuing any statements. There were rumors that there was going to be visitation at the Upper East Side, New York funeral home where Heath's body was until late today.

I was over there earlier today and cameras were there all day long from CNN. If anybody was coming in and out for visitation, they did it through some secret entrance, because nobody was spotted going in or out.

So right now there's talk of a possible memorial service in Los Angeles. But, again, nothing has been confirm at this point.

KING: Do you know anything about something out here, Jann?

CARL: The only thing that I've heard mentioned is that the SAG Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, are on Sunday and that there was going to be some mention of him there, you know, in that kind of a forum. But I have heard nothing else.

KING: Of course, now anyone can schedule a memorial service.

CARL: Certainly.

KING: The funeral could be anywhere, but you and I could put on a memorial service, right?

CARL: Right.

ESPINOZA: And given how beloved Heath is in Hollywood, I think that it's very likely that a lot of his high profile friends will want to pay tribute to him in some way.

KING: It's not going away, though, is it?

ESPINOZA: I don't think until this feels over, when he's finally laid to rest and people feel like they have closure and then can move on.

CARL: Yes, but I think, also, that there are some answers. People are very curious about the toxicology results, to find out what really happened. He was a young, healthy man. I think and...

KING: You wonder why...

CARL: Why it happened, yes.

KING: he died.


KING: Thanks, Jann Carl, Galina Espinoza.

And the new issue of "People" is on the stand now.

And the ever, always present A.J. Hammer.

When we come back, Ricki Lake will join us. She's producing a compelling documentary about home birth. It's revealing, too.

Don't go away.


RICKI LAKE: My midwife reminded me of all the reasons to be home and what I wanted to avoid and the gift I was giving my baby.

And I was like yes, you know?

And I got through that contraction and drew him one step closer.



KING: Now, one of my favorite people, Ricki Lake, the actress and former talk show host. She starred in the original version, by the way, of the movie "Hairspray." Her new documentary -- we'll talk about that in a while and show you some clips, too, is "The Business of Being Born."

What are your thoughts on Heath Ledger?

RICKI LAKE: You're one of my favorites, by the way.

KING: Oh, thank you.

LAKE: Heath Ledger -- I mean I think -- I was a huge fan of his. I think they were a beautiful family. I think it's beyond tragic to lose someone at such a young age. You know, and I also -- I feel for the family. I feel like we should leave them alone in this time of grief.

KING: Now, how did you -- your own personal life has been in the public eye -- weight issues, sexual abuse.

How did you find the strength to get through that?

LAKE: I mean, you know, I think we are implicated as public figures. You know, there's a certain -- there's a line that we go to and I think I've been incredibly candid and I think that's partially why my talk show is successful and ran for as long as it did.

But I think, you know, there's a line like in a situation like this where we -- we should not be so interested in seeing pictures of Michelle Williams with her baby. I mean I don't want to watch all that, but yet we buy the magazine covers. I mean I'm the one that gets a subscription in the mail. So I think we're all implicated. But I want to also put myself in their shoes and think gosh, it's incredibly private.

KING: But, Ricki, you could have become a Lindsay Lohan or a Britney Spears, right?

LAKE: I guess I could have. I was young...

KING: On the way to the same kind of story.

LAKE: I mean I was 18 when I got famous. "Hairspray" was my first movie. I mean I guess I could have. But I think I had -- I don't know. I wanted a future. I wanted to do something beyond my first film and I didn't partake in all that partying. I was a very young 18, also. I was, you know, very late in exploring and being -- meeting guys and stuff like that. I was on the young side.

KING: Let's discuss the weight.

Were you always overweight?

LAKE: I was overweight probably in my late -- I'd say like my 9- years-old, 10-years-old is when I started to gain weight. And I think I attribute it to the sexual abuse that I had, that happened to me at an earlier age, at six or seven.

KING: Where did you grow up?

LAKE: In Westchester County.

KING: New York?

LAKE: Yes. A normal, two family upbringing. I had a sister.

KING: How did you lose the weight?

LAKE: I lost the weight just by diet and exercise. In my early 20s, I lost over 100 pounds. So it seems like this is something that's been a part of my life. I've been in the public eye for a long time -- two decades. So I was 200 pounds when did I "Hairspray," I was 260 pounds when did I "China Beach." So in that time frame, 200 pounds was cute for me. Two-sixty wasn't cute anymore and I couldn't get jobs. And so I felt like -- I think I got that this business is all about having a gimmick and having something different about you. And by changing my physicality, that was the one thing I could control. And I starved myself and I lost over 100 pounds.

And then, this time around, I started February 2nd and I had this documentary that I had made and been working on for three years and it was about to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last April. And had I nine weeks to get myself in great shape.

I wanted to reinvent myself and show myself in a new light. And I lost 35 pounds in nine weeks by really going on a...

KING: How?

LAKE: Just going on a major like, you know, strict food plan and working out. And it was fast. I mean it felt like -- it felt like there was a connection between what I was trying to say in this film about, you know, learning to love my body and having my baby on my own terms. It's all like a connection. And I felt like I was, in some ways, purging. And I think it was healing for me. I can't really explain why this time around I lost the last of the weight. But it's been -- it's been almost a year and I've kept it off.

KING: Are you nervous about getting it back?

LAKE: I think if something tragic happens -- I mean I think I'm an emotional eater, just like everybody else. And I think, you know, people are noticing now. I can't say never, but I hope not. I mean it's been a work. It's work. I workout consistently.

KING: Do you have desires every day?

LAKE: Yes. Yes. I didn't have anything in the Green Room at all. I was looking. Yes, I like chocolate. I like -- you know, but it's all in moderation. I think it's being consistent. I think it's being conscious of what you put in your body. You know, there's no magic pill. There's no secret. It's hard work and being consistent. And it's paid off. I mean it's amazing how that got me on the cover of magazines. And for me, I had an agenda. I wanted to get the word out about this movie.

KING: You were fat when you were doing the talk show, weren't you?

LAKE: I was -- well, I was fat. I mean I think in the closet I had anywhere from a size six to a size 20. And we had, you know, depending -- because I got pregnant during two -- you know, during two years of the show. So I would go up and I would go down. And everyone saw it. Everyone saw the bad hairdos and -- you know, but I guess it's -- it's part of the job, you know?

KING: We have an e-mail question from Anna in Worcester, Massachusetts: "Hi, Ricki. What advice would you give a 38-year-old woman who can't seem to lose any weight, no matter how hard she tries? By the way, you look fabulous" she adds. LAKE: Oh, thank you. I mean I don't really think I have the secret. I mean I think it's -- any diet works. I've done them all. Jenny Craig works. If you stick to it, they all work. But it's just you have to eat that food or stick to that plan. Weight Watchers is a great program that all of my friends have been successful with.

For me, you know, I did this organic food program where I had food delivered. It was 1,200 calories. And then I would up my calories if I worked out. But I was just conscious and aware of what I put in my body and how I took care of it.

KING: You said earlier you thought the sexual abuse led to overeating.

LAKE: I think so. I mean I had...

KING: What's the relation?

LAKE: Well, I think, for me -- and I've been in therapy for a long period of time. And even during the course of my talk show, my executive producer wanted me to go to therapy because he felt it would make me a better host, to be more in touch with what was going on with me. I think the weight, it was a protective barrier for me. I wanted to keep myself attractive -- unattractive to men. You know, food was a comfort for me. I mean I think I equate it to that, but maybe there's other issues, as well.

I was probably predisposed. I think it probably ran in my family. But it's something that I've kept off. And it's great that -- I mean I'm glad that I'm an example of someone who can do it and keep it off, because, honestly, if I can lose the weight, anybody can.

KING: Have you ever confronted your abuser?

LAKE: No. I think he's dead.

KING: Did you ever when he was alive?

LAKE: No. I told. No, I wouldn't say I confronted -- I was a very little girl. I was seven. And I remember -- I mean I have visuals of just that moment where I finally told my parents and they confronted him. And I have like -- you know, I peeked over the bench as they confronted him.

But this was a long time ago and this -- this was before McMartin, you know? And so it was not talked about. We just kind of -- it happened...

KING: How do you feel about it?

Do you hate him?

LAKE: You know, I have sort of no feelings about him. I mean I wish it didn't happen to me. And I have to say, it didn't affect me as much until my children, my sons were the age I was. The idea of them being violated in the way that I was at that age, that's what makes me crazy, you know?

But I'm very vigilant about them. I'm a little borderline paranoid. I don't want them ever, you know, going off with some strange like coach or something. You know, it's like I'm very protective of them. And I think we know a lot more now. I don't think my parents did anything. You know, it's like that was a time when we were free to do whatever we wanted and riding Big Wheels all day, you know?

KING: Tell me about the documentary.

LAKE: The documentary is called "The Business of Being Born." It's basically -- it's more me than anything else. You know, I did I my talk show for 11 years and I think this was something I wanted to do. I wanted to do something that was pro-woman.

KING: What do you mean by the business of being born?

LAKE: Well, it's very much a business. If you look at the money that we spend for birth in this country, you know, there are decisions being made about women and C-section rates and, you know -- for fear of malpractice, for reasons that are other than being in the best interests of the mother and baby.

KING: So we're seeing birth?

But what do we see in the documentary?

LAKE: Well, that's me -- that's me in labor. That's me probably an hour before I gave birth. It's not the prettiest picture of me. But I think there's images of birth in this film -- not only mine, but other women.

KING: You show births?

LAKE: Yes. We show my birth -- the birth of my second son in my bathtub. It's a very small part of the film. But I think these images of women giving birth on their own terms is so important for women to see. You know, we look at birth and we fear it. And we think that it's something that we need to be saved from or it's an emergency -- a potential emergency.

And, really, it's very natural. And I think in the technology that's been created with women being able to carry children at 50 years of age or premature babies that are able to live earlier gestation, I think it's amazing. Great strides have been made. But I think we've lost natural birth in the process.

And so this message is about women's getting -- women getting empowered and educated when it comes to birth.

KING: Why a bathtub?

LAKE: I had done a lot of research about water. And Michele Odonte (ph) is in the film. He's a doctor from France. I had studied. I had done all the research. And I felt like that was the safest place for me and for my baby. And I have to say, for me, physically, it was so gentle on my body. And for my baby, which you've seen the film, he was alert. He was clean. There was nothing gross.

KING: Was a doctor there?

LAKE: I had a midwife. I had a midwife. And so this -- I'm very pro-midwifery. I think midwives are underrated. They are undervalued and...

KING: Was this your second baby?

LAKE: This is my second baby. I had a midwife with my first, as well.

KING: All right.

But what was the big difference in water and not in water?

LAKE: Well, I was in the hospital. The first one was in a hospital setting.

KING: A standard birth?

LAKE: Pretty typical. I mean, especially if you look at like what happens today. A lot of births are given -- you're given intervention to move you long because they need that bed filled with other women.

KING: Yes.

LAKE: You know, they don't want you to labor on your own for as long as it takes.

KING: But what was the big difference between the tub and...

LAKE: I think the respect that was given to me at home. I mean I remember giving birth. You know, in the movie you see that I pull my baby out. She says reach down and pull out your baby. And I do.

And he's skin to skin. He's completely alert. There was no drugs, no intervention.

I got into my bed. He was in my arms for a couple of hours. And then at a certain point, my midwife asked permission to take the baby and weigh him and check him over.

And I felt like the respect that was given to me to ask permission, as opposed to in a hospital, where you, as a mom, have to ask permission to see your baby, you know?

KING: The documentary is "The Business of Being Born." It's being shown right now.

LAKE: It is. And it's coming out on Netflix next month.

KING: And we'll be right back with more of Ricki Lake and then Ringo Starr. Don't go away.


LAKE: I understand that you do an amazing dance to get women.

Do you want to see it, ladies?

And what did that do for you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not a doggone thing.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should be on that council, not her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know I should, Penny. Hey, I'm going to the hop tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me come. We'll lie and say we're going to the library to study.



KING: What do you think when you see yourself like that.

LAKE: I love it. I love it. It was such a great summer. I made that movie with John Waters and Divine. I didn't know who they were. It was just like being plucked out of nowhere, not unlike Nicki Bloski (ph), who kind of was working in an ice cream parlor and got famous. It's the same kind of thing. I look back at it and I'm so grateful that John Waters picked me for whatever reason.

He's still a dear friend. He just texted me because we have an article in "Newsweek" on the documentary. He was like, I'm proud. He's so proud.

KING: What did you think of the new "Hairspray."

LAKE: I loved it. I think I'm far enough away from it. It's 20 years ago that I made that movie. I'm glad I'm doing the things I'm doing with my life.

KING: Do you ever think Travolta would play the part you played?

LAKE: No Divine, he played Divine's part. Nicki Bloski played my part. That would have been a really interesting choice. KING: What did you think of him?

LAKE: I thought he was great. I'm glad they went a totally different direction from Divine. I think I'm so partial to the original and a little protective of it, but I thought they did a great job. I had a cameo in it and I sang on the sound track and I was really glad to be a part of it.

KING: We also remember "Serial Mom." That was a funny movie

LAKE: That was a favorite of yours, right? Oh, it was great, Kathleen Turner and Sam Waterston. It was a really -- every John Waters movie is so unique because it becomes like a family. "Cry Baby" with Johnny Depp -- I played Johnny Depp's sister. You live with these people for four months. They become your family. And it's like an experience that stays with you forever.

KING: Don't you act anymore?

LAKE: I do. I did a Lifetime movie for breast cancer this year and I did a feature called "Park." I've mad a commitment when I had kids that I didn't want to do anything to up root them or leave them for a long period of time. But I'm certainly looking to do more acting. I feel like now that I'm kind of reinventing myself and showing myself a different way -- I'm about to be 40 at the end of the year -- hopefully there's opportunities out there for me now.

KING: Are the kids close to their father?

LAKE: Very. He was here. The minute Ringo Starr -- I heard he was here, I called up. You've got to bring them over. So we're big Beatles fans.

KING: You're divorced.

LAKE: I am divorced. But we a very good friends. We co-parent. I think we're an example of a positive divorce. You know, it's not ideal, it's not what we planned to do, but it really works out.

KING: Are you dating?

LAKE: I'm dating. But there's nothing to tell.

KING: Nothing jumping out.

LAKE: Nothing jumping out. If you know anybody, you know, I'm looking.

KING: Back with more moments Ricki Lake. The documentary is "The Business of Being Born." Don't go away.


KING: We're with Ricki Lake. Let's tie up some loose ends. What, in essence, are you saying about birth in America? LAKE: I think birth in America is in crisis. If you look at the numbers, if you look at the fact that we have the second worst infant mortality rate in the developed world, and the maternal death rate in this country is on rise, and yet C-Sections, women -- one in three women are getting a C-Section here in this country.

We need to look at this and realize that there's something wrong, inherently in the system. I'm not anti-hospital. I'm not anti- doctor. I'm just -- the system is not working.

KING: C-Section is wrong?

LAKE: C-Section is necessary when necessary. I think that so many women are being told that that's safer for them. It's, you know, safer for the baby. Yes, in some instances, high risk situations with twins, with breach, yes. I'm not anti-C-Section. But I think a lot of women are being told that an elective C-Section is the way to go. I think with malpractice being what it is, and this litigious society that we live in, that everybody wants a perfect baby. When the perfect baby doesn't happen, we want someone to blame.

I think these doctors, their hands are tied. Their malpractice insurance is through the roof. They need to do a certain number of births. I get it. I get it that everyone is struggling. Obstetricians are not wanting to deliver babies anymore because they don't want to take the risk.

KING: They get a lot of malpractice suits.

LAKE: Absolutely. I think midwives are really -- I want to shed some light and change the stereotypes and hopefully give them an opportunity to work more -- integrating in the system with doctors.

KING: When someone has been abused, at no matter what age, do you think about it a lot?

LAKE: Do I think about when others are abused?

KING: Yes, when you read in the paper of it?

LAKE: Yes, I think I'm a compassionate person. I think that's why I really enjoy doing my show. I care about people. I care especially about the everyday person. I'm not interested in -- like you doing celebrities. That wasn't my forte. I much prefer talking to real people about real issues. Certainly, I think things affect me.

I'm a mother so -- the environment. Big issues, politically where we are; I'm very concerned, and I think I want to do my part.

KING: Do you ever wonder about the abuser, why he is an abuser?

LAKE: Yes, I think a lot of times they lack a father in their lives. You can look at -- I don't know a lot about this, and I'm not an expert. Birth is more my -- I know my own history and what happened to me. I don't think -- talking about it in my 20s and coming out with that, I realized I was not alone. You look at -- one in four women or one in three women have been abused in some way during their lifetime and men too it happens.

I think it's nice to be more conscious of it today than we were back when I was abused.

KING: Miss the talk show?

LAKE: No, I don't.

KING: How many years did you do it.

LAKE: I did it for 11 years. I did over 2,000 shows. I loved every minute of it. I loved that platform. I loved that I got to be heard. I was 23 years old and they were listening to me about what I had to say about whatever issue. But I think in this way, I loved making this film. I believe it's my sort of message. And I prefer that.

KING: Garth's baby, right.

LAKE: His concept. He picked me. He definitely gets the credit for picking me.

KING: Why did it go off.

LAKE: I think my contract was up, for one. I wanted to leave New York. I love New York. I'm a New Yorker at heart, but I think I wanted to move my family out west and try something new. You know, the talk show, syndication is not what it was. I think it ran its course. It was amazingly successful. It went off the air with really very, very respectable ratings. I'm also glad to phase into something else.

KING: You wouldn't want to try it again?

LAKE: I wouldn't say I wouldn't ever want to. Never say never. Ever year someone pops up and wants to do a talk show with me again. I think I'm good at it. There's a knack. And obviously, you're pretty good at it, too. But I think -- I think that might be an opportunity down the road. For now, I want to continue making pro social films.

KING: Do you get lots of offers?

LAKE: I do. I don't want to be patting myself on the back. It's not like my phone is ringing off the hook. I think this is an exciting time in my career. It's certainly the most exciting time I remember.

KING: Somebody told me to ask you about your relationship with singer John Mayer.

LAKE: There is no relationship. I met him and he was real cute. That's it.

KING: How did that start?

LAKE: I met him at a party. It's amazing the media kind of gets in -- like they see you somewhere. Literally, I am more intimate with you right now than I was with him, seriously. Now we'll be an item. Tell your wife, I just shook your hand.

KING: You met him and you liked him?

LAKE: Whatever. I liked meeting him. I like meeting a lot of people. And he liked me.

KING: Did someone print this?

LAKE: I think, yes, it became like a news item and people picked up on it. I guess a lot of people follow his romantic life. I've never ever been involved with a famous person ever in my life.

KING: We've got about a minute. What do you think of Britney Spears.

LAKE: I think it's incredibly sad. She was on my show a couple times, but with her first single. I remember she did 16 years old. I think I did "Regis and Kelly" once with her, Regis and Kathie Lee. I think of those children. When I look at her, I feel for those little boys and I hope she can rise to the occasion to be the mother she needs to be.

KING: Do you think she can straighten it out?

LAKE: I don't know. I feel like we, the media, following every move of hers does not help the situation. I don't know what the answer is. I mean, I don't know. Thank goodness I don't have that kind of attention on me.

KING: Thanks, Ricki.

LAKE: Thank you. It's a pleasure.

LAKE: You look wonderful. Ricki Lake, the actress, former TV talk show host and the star of a new documentary "The Business of Being Born." Ricki Lake, always good to see her. Snoop Dogg is going to be one of our guests next week. Right now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Wow, for schizzle. Larry, thanks very much. Coming up at the top of the hour on 360, we're following the breaking news out of Chicago. Police there say a woman's body has been found and tonight, there's a lot of speculation it could be that of Stacey Peterson. She, of course, is the young woman who disappeared back in October. Since then, her husband, Drew Peterson, has become a suspect but he has maintained his innocence and said his wife ran off with another man.

We're moving reporters to the site of the discovery and we will bring you all the latest. We're also going to dig deep into politics tonight, one day before the Democrats face off in South Carolina. All that and more, Larry, at the top of the hour.

KING: That's Anderson Cooper, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. What's your favorite Beatles song? That's the quick vote on our website, Head there now and vote. When we come back, we'll talk to Ringo Starr. He's also going to perform his new single right here in our studio. Don't go away.


KING: We've got a great finish to the show tonight. Ringo Starr is going to perform with his band, "Liverpool 8," the title number from his new album. We'll talk with Ringo in this segment, along with the co-producer of the album, Dave Stewart. Give me a little history of this, Ringo; "Liverpool 8" means?

RINGO STARR, SINGER: That's where I come from in Liverpool. That's the area code. So you would write to me "Liverpool 8." Like here you would write 90210. So that's the code, the zip.

KING: What a hip thing. Dave, what's your role in this?

DAVE STEWART, PRODUCER: Well, I first approached Ringo to play drums on a track I had recorded with George Harrison in my kitchen and he agreed. When I was there, he said, hey, play a guitar on my record. And we started a friendship and a collaboration and that brought us here today.

KING: I know that Liverpool is now the cultural city of Europe, so named for this year.

STARR: For 2008, yes.

KING: What was special about it?

STARR: Liverpool is a special city for me because I was born there and brought up there and my family are there. But also, later on, musically, because it's a port and in all our neighborhoods, there was on every street 10 guys in the Merchant Navy, who would come to America and bring all the American music back to us, including great country music.

So it's a musical city. There's a lot of artists in Liverpool, sculptures. It's always been vibrant.

KING: What is it like to go back there?

STARR: It was great. It was great to perform there. But it was great to go back to see the family, you know, and be part of this huge celebration.

KING: How did being a member of the Beatles shape you as a solo artist? Now you're a group artist. Now, of course, the group -- two members are gone. You're a solo artist.

STARR: I am the drummer, so I was always in the band. I never sort of went for a solo career. (INAUDIBLE) I had solo spots, where I would have my half hour, say. And then, you know, with the Beatles, it was just great to participate in the whole deal.

KING: Paul McCartney told us that the drummer is the key to the band.

STARR: Well, he's right.

KING: It's the driving force, isn't it?

STARR: The drums are there to hold it together, to play the deep part. And so it gives them a chance to fly really. That's how I've always looked at it.

KING: What is it like playing with him, Dave?

STEWART: I think he's incredibly underestimated.

STARR: Not anymore.

STEWART: Not anymore. -- as a drummer who really respects the song and therefore he plays, you know, for the singer and the song, as opposed to just laying down a beat. A lot of records now, they just put the rhythm down first and somebody else comes in and does something. But he's a real player player that is following the song.

STARR: Part of that, Larry, is because when I came into music and my step-dad, who was really cool, introduced me to Glenn Miller and Billy Daniels, those acts he was into -- and they were always at a swing thing and the voices. You don't need a lot of drums when the singer can sing, you know.

KING: Do you think you and Paul might ever work together?

STARR: There's nothing to stop it. But we're not planning anything. This is the weirdest question, because you've always got to give some hint. I was asked this a while ago and I said 50/50. And they said oh, they're getting back together. And we're not really doing any of that. It's like he's touring. I'm touring America this summer. So --

KING: A couple there things then we'll break and hear you play the song. But what happened with Regis and Kelly?

STARR: Nothing to do with Regis, because we love Regis, peace and love. His producer felt that he was going to give us limited time to play the song and we did the best we could. And it still wasn't short enough for him. And the song has a story, so we wrote the song. We wanted to do the song.

And anyway, there was no -- there's never -- there was no compromise, so we had to leave.

KING: I want to show the audience something. See this little bracelet I'm wearing, which Ringo was kind enough to give to me? It says Ringo, Liverpool 8. This is not a bracelet. This is the album.

STARR: Can I show them how it works? KING: Yes.

STARR: Can you get it off? I can do it.

KING: You take this out --

STARR: -- and guess what? It's a USB, right into your computer.

KING: You plug this into your computer and you've got an album.

STARR: And a documentary and footage there of the electric press kit and the artwork.

KING: This could mean --

STARR: Yes, you're out of business, Larry.

KING: I mean, a wrist brand, it's come to this.


KING: We've got an email question from Haleen (ph) in Collegeville, Pennsylvania; "you look terrific and much younger than your 67 years. What do you do to stay in shape?"

STARR: Well, I work out. I have a trainer. and I watch what I eat. That's it really. And I'm in love with a beautiful girl, so it keeps me young.

KING: That ain't bad. Dave, thank you. Ringo, thank you. We're going to take a break. Still to come, Ringo and Dave Stewart perform the title song "Liverpool 8," in its entirety, no cuts. You don't want to miss it. Don't go away.


KING: Welcome back. As promised, here's Ringo Starr with Dave Stewart performing the title song from the new album "Liverpool 8."


KING: To get the latest on what's happening with our show, check out You can email upcoming guests or download our current podcast, Elizabeth Hasselbeck. It's all at

Next week, Snoop Dogg will be here.


KING: How did you get the name?

SNOOP DOGG, RAPPER: My mom. When I was young, I used to watch the Peanuts, Charlie Brown and Snoopy. I watched them so much she started calling me Snoopy.

KING: And he was a dog. DOGG: He was a dog. He was a bad dog.

KING: We're going to have a great interview.

DOGG: Yes, sir.

KING: Edyth, Roscoe.

DOGG: Big L, Big Snoop.

KING: Chicken and waffles.

DOGG: Oh boy.


KING: Anderson Cooper and "AC 360" is next. Good night.