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Arnold Schwarzenegger`s Secret Love Child; Interview With Chaz Bono
Aired May 17, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: All right. Here we go.
Apparently, Arnold Schwarzenegger has a love child. Did he think a kid would remain hidden forever?
And Chaz Bono is here. How Sonny & Cher`s daughter became their son.
And an underage teen drinking update. Parents, if you`re letting your graduates consume alcohol, you might be hauled off to jail.
Let`s get started.
Tonight, there`s breaking news. Arnold Schwarzenegger admits that he fathered a child at least 10 years ago with a member of his household staff.
Now, we`re not surprised that a politician is cheating. We`re hearing about this all the time these days. So take a look at this.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: If I did behave inappropriately, you know, I want to just say that I`m sorry.
WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman.
How profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual affair with another man.
JOHN EDWARDS (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I made a very serious mistake.
TED HAGGARD, FMR. PASTOR: I haven`t had sex with a man in Denver.
I did some things that were contrary to the things that I believe.
MARK SANFORD (R), FMR. SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: I wanted generally to apologize to every one of you all for letting you down.
SCHWARZENEGGER: We both love each other very much, and we`re taking it one day at a time.
PINSKY: Wow. What really concerns me is your kids are watching this, and this is now becoming sort of a normative phenomenon. Even today, we`re watching the head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, being charged with attempted rape.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I`m just saying, what is up with these guys? OK? That`s what everyone is asking themselves.
Now, these kinds of men in positions of power, the kind of person that seeks out these sorts of positions have certain liabilities about them already. And it causes them to think that perhaps they are sort of exceptional or entitled or not going to get caught. Or if they do, they`re sort of special, so it doesn`t really matter.
The fact is, all the people you`re watching in the media and reading about in the magazines every day are no different than you. And when they cheat, it has rippling effects on not just themselves and their partner, but who they cheated with and the people in their lives and their children.
It`s literally -- I remember back in the days watching President Clinton, thinking to myself, how could he do this? It`s such an attack on his family. It`s a direct assault, an impulsive, and an assault on their family.
It`s hard to get our heads around, and yet we`re hearing about it over and over begin. And I say enough. I think it`s something we shouldn`t dismiss and excuse.
The former governor says -- this is the allegations -- he fathered a secret love child more than a decade ago. The mistress was allegedly a staff member who worked and lived with the Schwarzeneggers for somewhere around 20 years.
Now, she told everyone that her husband was the father of the child. According to the "L.A. Times," the baby revelation is what triggered the Schwarzenegger split. Maria posted this telling clip on YouTube before they announced their separation.
Have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA SHRIVER, FMR. FIRST LADY OF CALIFORNIA: And I`d like to hear from other people who are in transition. How did you find your transition -- personal, professional, emotional, spiritual, financial? How did you get through it?
What were the three things that enabled you to get through your transition? What did you -- after you transitioned, what do you wish you would have known?
I wrote a book a long time ago, "Ten Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Went Out Into the Real World." Tell me some things you wish you would have known before you transitioned. I think it will help me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Boy. Poor Maria. I think it`s rather euphemistic of her to call this time in her life a transition. Her husband has been unfaithful. She lost her parents.
Her children are moving away. I mean, in a good way, and they`re going off to college and things. But that`s a lot to deal with.
Here`s my guests today to talk about this. I`ve got Rosa Blasi, who was cheated on by her ex, a former professional athlete. Vikki Ziegler, she is a family law attorney and author of the book "Your Premarital Survival Guide." And Michelle Golland, clinical psychologist.
Rosa, we`ll start with you. Why do you think powerful men think they can get away with this?
ROSA BLASI, CHEATED ON BY EX: I think when you`re given that kind of power and responsibility, not -- this is my theory, I haven`t done a conclusive study -- not so much excites you. And so what ends up exciting you are the dangerous, the shiny newness.
You mentioned narcissism, you mentioned entitlement. I think entitlement goggles are far more dangerous than any beer goggles. And that is -- I think that`s the crux of it.
PINSKY: Michelle, do you agree?
MICHELLE GOLLAND, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I absolutely agree. It`s about entitlement, about power, and it`s about seeking the danger that that gives them. And these are men that get a big rush out of things in their life that the mundaneness of a marriage or a solid marriage isn`t -- doesn`t give them that.
PINSKY: Vikki Ziegler, is that what you find in some of the cases that you`re working with?
VIKKI ZIEGLER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Yes. Unfortunately, Dr. Drew, I think certain people in power, people that are in the public eye, believe that they are untouchable. They won`t get caught, and that the law, perhaps, does not apply to them.
And they are sadly mistaken, as we are seeing in this case unfold before our eyes. You can`t hide a love child. Ultimately, this child will know and now knows that Arnold Schwarzenegger is -- that is his father, or her father. It`s a major problem, and we need to teach America that this is not OK. These are not role models.
PINSKY: And you guys, Rosa, Michelle, what do we tell people who are out there watching and go, oh, surprise, powerful men cheat. Oh, people -- men with lots of money cheat, as though our expectation is that a guy -- behind that is a weird expectation that a man would become powerful and get a lot of money in order to access more and varied sexual partners.
Rosa, you reacted to that. What do you say to that?
BLASI: To what?
PINSKY: What I`m saying, that there are people out there who believe that the reason men become powerful and make money is so they can do this.
Get a picture of Dave over there shaking his head up. He`s shaking his head vigorously. That`s what he believes.
GOLLAND: But what I know as a relationship expert, Dr. Drew, is that 50 percent men of cheat, 40-something percent of women cheat. And so it`s about access.
I don`t care if you are rich and powerful. You`re still going to cheat if you want to cheat. I mean, I don`t care if you work at McDonald`s or you`re, you know, a psychologist. It doesn`t matter. If you`re going to cheat, it`s not just about money and power.
PINSKY: So is it only cheaters that become powerful and successful? Is that why they become powerful and successful? And then the flip side of this, what`s with the women that go for these guys? Don`t they know better?
BLASI: Well --
PINSKY: Well, no. You didn`t cheat with him, you had a marriage. That`s what I`m saying. I`m talking about the women that cheat with the guys.
BLASI: He had a double life. I mean, everybody`s going to jump to the "I wonder if she knew" thing.
I find more compelling is, lately, the people that are being cheated on in the press are incredibly successful women. The women behind the man who is cheating are successful, intelligent in their own rights. They`re not -- you know.
GOLLAND: Well, often, that can be part of the dynamic that they are also --
PINSKY: Hold on. I`m going to ask Vikki Ziegler if she finds that to be true in the case that she`s dealing with.
ZIEGLER: You know what? I think it`s about people having a moral compass.
I don`t care how much money you have. You have no entitlement to hurt somebody else.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "I love and respect my wife" at one point. Well, last time, I didn`t see infidelity in that component of that sentence.
And I think, Dr. Drew, the real question really becomes here, are you preparing to get married and are you committed to stay in a happy, monogamous relationship or not? And times are tough when people are married for a long time and children come into the mix. But if you have to work at it.
And if you don`t work at it, get divorced. That`s why it`s a $60 billion a year industry. But don`t cheat.
I also think cheating is a symptom, not the cause. There`s something going on with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I don`t know what it is, but I don`t blame Maria Shriver. I blame his problems on why he`s cheating.
PINSKY: OK. I completely agree with you. And it is something we`re going to continue to explore.
This is -- these are amazing developments in a story that unraveled just this last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Arnold`s and Maria`s split now makes a lot more sense. Coming up, we`re talking to someone who was the other woman in an adulterous affair. You won`t believe what she has to say about powerful men who cheat.
And later, little Chastity Bono shined bright and seemed destined for leading lady status. but Sonny & Cher`s little girl is now a full-grown boy. How did Cher react? Chaz will tell us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHWARZENEGGER: Maria is an extraordinary wife and a great partner. And she`s my partner. She`s the best first lady that this state ever had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: We`re talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger`s shocking admission that he has fathered a secret love child at least 10 years ago, an admission that apparently forced the breakup of his marriage to Maria Shriver.
My guests continue to be Rosa Blasi, who was married to an NFL athlete who cheated on her; Michelle Golland, a clinical psychologist; and Vikki Ziegler remains with us, a family law attorney.
Joining us now here at the table is Sarah Symonds. She is a reformed mistress and the author of the book "Having an Affair: A Handbook for the Other Woman."
All right, Sarah. You`re going to bring us that point of view. So how did the baby`s mother live this lie for a decade while living and working with and around the Schwarzeneggers for something like 20 years?
SARAH SYMONDS, AUTHOR, "HAVING AN AFFAIR": Good evening, Dr. Drew. Thanks for having me on.
Well, as the world`s foremost infidelity analyst, as soon as I heard that Arnold and Maria were splitting up, I knew it would be down to infidelity. I predicted it.
The fact there is a secret child is a little bit shocking, but the most shocking thing to me is that he did keep it a secret for 10 years. That takes a lot of time, and the whole time that he was in power in California. We have to wonder, what else did he keep a secret?
PINSKY: Very interesting.
Maria Shriver released a statement. Here it is. She says, "This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal."
Sarah, I`m going to go back to you. Does the other woman worry about the impact her relationship is on the wife`s children, the children of his man? And by the same token, how does she manage this half brother of the other siblings?
SYMONDS: Well, first of all, my respect totally goes out to Maria Shriver for actually leaving him or separating. So many wives stay, and that just means he`s going to do it again and again. So respect to her.
As the other woman, I can honestly say that we`re not the married ones, so we take the man`s lead. It doesn`t make it right. But when he`s willing and able to break his marital vows, it`s really not plausible that we`re going to be worried about them.
I never really understand why the other woman or the mistress wants to have a secret child though. I think that`s very selfish for all concerned, especially the child.
But what it does tell us is that he must have had a whole team of people around him for the past 10 years, you know, managing her, managing her emotions, paying her off. Now, did that mean that he was paying her to stay quiet, come out of his private finances, his family finance finances? Did it come out of state finances?
And as I said, a cheat is a cheat. So, if Arnold was cheating and lying and covering up for that long, you have to wonder if he was cheating the whole state of California as well.
PINSKY: Rosa, you were cheated on. Tell people your story a little bit and respond to Sarah`s statement.
BLASI: Well, my story is that I ended up writing a book through HarperCollins called "Jock Itch: The Misadventures of a Retired Jersey Chaser," because I learned the hard way that a guy who`s even not a big franchise player still is going to behave in the classic way that most athletes do, the majority of athletes do.
To direct to her question, she`s bringing up a good point. If you`re a cheater in love, are you a cheater in life? And the question becomes, what else is there?
I think that`s a valid point. I can`t believe I`m agreeing with the other woman, but that`s a pretty valid point that she brings up. Yes, I mean, it does -- it does beg the question.
PINSKY: Well, let me ask Vikki Ziegler, who deals more on the legal side of this.
Are these guys that cheat or practice infidelity, are they also cheating on their taxes and doing other nefarious things?
ZIEGLER: Well, one can go hand in hand. And I hate to generalize. It does happen often. But I think it`s something that they`re not being fulfilled within themselves.
And I think the message really is that people, men in particular, people in power, they need help. So the assistance from a professional like yourself, Dr. Drew, or a life coach, isn`t a bad thing.
And I think a lot of times men are raised that it`s not a good thing to go get therapy and go get help to deal with their issues instead of going out and cheating on their wives, on their taxes, on their business partners. So I think that`s one of the messages that I`d like to send out to your viewers, to say it`s OK to get help.
And I think the other problem that most of these gentlemen in the public eye, celebrities, athletes and the like, they have a lot of attention thrown at them, and there are temptations. And they need to look within themselves to remember where they came from, remember how they were raised, and think about what the consequences are before they do something to their spouse and their children.
PINSKY: Right. And think about what the impact of the behavior is on their kids.
Arnold`s son, Arnold and Maria`s son, Patrick, who I think changed his name to Maria`s last name now -- he obviously had a lot of resentments here -- he twittered something today. He said, "Some days you feel like s---. Some days you want to quit and just be normal for a bit, yet I love my family `till death do us part."
Also, their daughter, Katherine, she tweeted something. She tweeted, "This is definitely not easy, but I appreciate your love and support. As I begin to heal and move forward in life, I will always love my family."
And to your point, Vikki, Michelle and I would absolutely agree with you that even if there has been a transgression, relationships can be salvaged and treatment does work. And they`ve all used the word "heal" in here repeatedly. And I would say you wouldn`t heal from any other illness without the help of a professional. Here`s a perfect opportunity to get help and assistance to make sure the healing is effective and complete.
Michelle, you agree?
GOLLAND: Right. I think one of the issues that I want to make sure is looked at is the fact, Dr. Drew, that, as parents, we are not only modeling to our children what it means to be a mother and a father, but a husband and wife.
PINSKY: A relationship. Any relationship, yes.
GOLLAND: Exactly. But how, you know, my husband is treating me is a direct correlation of how my daughter believes she should be treated.
And so we have to value marriage. And I think what everyone keeps saying is it`s a symptom. I absolutely agree. Infidelity is a symptom of a marriage.
PINSKY: Of what?
GOLLAND: Of a marriage that is not working, of a marriage that something is happening, whether it`s too much distance, that there`s not enough connection, or someone has a drug and alcohol issue.
PINSKY: Or there`s something wrong with the guy.
GOLLAND: Yes. And I have to say, I`m going to say, women cheat, too.
PINSKY: Yes, they do. But usually -- let`s be clear, usually when they`re not getting their emotional needs met. Men cheat when they are sex addicts, when they think they can get away with it or they`re entitled to it. Right?
BLASI: Well, my ex-husband cheated on our wedding night after we consummated our marriage.
PINSKY: But that`s bizarre. That`s, like, bizarre.
BLASI: You know what? That`s the exact symptom of the guy (ph).
PINSKY: Vikki, your point? Go ahead.
ZIEGLER: Well, that`s lack of conscience. I mean, that`s just horrific to go through something like that.
But also, fathering a child out of wedlock, aren`t you using protection? Aren`t you thinking about the consequences? Clearly not. But that`s one of the things also that I think people that are watching the show need to think about.
You know, it`s not just the consequence that you may get caught, your children may find out, your wife. You have a child now to raise, and look at how they feel, and now they have to integrate to this other family of four. That`s really important here.
GOLLAND: Consequences apply.
PINSKY: Yes, Vikki.
GOLLAND: You don`t think consequences apply.
PINSKY: But I will say this -- that it`s equivalent to me to somebody leaving a crack pipe or a joint out or something. And that doesn`t happen the first time you smoke crack. That happens when you`re far along in your crack.
Sarah, I want to address that to you. One, he evidently did not use a condom or practice birth control. That seems reckless. Would you agree?
SYMONDS: Absolutely. But I have to say, going back to something you said earlier, Dr. Drew, these guys are so narcissistic and have such huge egos, they think they`re not dealing with the real world.
And yes, I did have an affair with a high-profile politician, and they`re not careful. And as the other woman, actually, we should be careful. But you have to wonder if this other woman had an agenda. She`s going to get paid for life having his child.
I`m sure that Arnold, when he was having an affair with her, didn`t imagine for one minute there was going to be a baby as a product of it. So we have to wonder how manipulative this other woman was.
But I will just say, it`s very convenient that this affair comes out and this love child comes out just after he gets out of power. It has to make me wonder if he had some kind of deal to keep her quiet for the 10 years. And if that`s the case, boy is she going to want to talk now. And it won`t be pretty.
So he`s got scorned women -- an unhappy scorned wife, and a mistress who has been kept a secret for 10 years. You can expect the story to run and run and the details to get more juicy and more juicy.
PINSKY: Well, I think you`re right. It`s appropriate that we hold some accountability to the women involved with this as well, the ones that are doing the cheating.
BLASI: I salute her for not coming out right away and getting her 15 minutes in a "Vanity Fair" article.
PINSKY: OK. But the fact is, enough already. For crying out loud, enough. I mean, really, how many more years are we going to report these stories about these guys?
And digest this material with your kids. Tell them about how you want them to behave as young men and young women, how you absolutely find this unacceptable behavior regardless of their position in life.
It`s up to us as parents to digest what is now becoming a normative background noise in our culture. We have got to get through to our kids about this.
Thank you Rosa.
Thank you to Michelle.
Thank you, Sarah.
Thank you, Vikki.
Now, we`ve all heard the phrase "Once a cheater, always a cheater." I`m going to talk about that and tell you whether that`s true, and answer more of your questions about infidelity when we come back.
PINSKY: Revelations about Arnold Schwarzenegger`s secret child have a lot of you sounding off about cheaters generally. So let`s go to the phones.
Kerry in California, you`re up.
KERRY, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
This is why I`ve decided all politicians, Democrats or Republicans, are the same. If you cheat at home with who you have as the most trusted, close relationship, I believe you will cheat at work. I`m sick of all of this.
PINSKY: And then I`ve got -- I agree with you -- Lisa in Missouri.
What do you think?
LISA, MISSOURI: I just want to say that Arnold is not the first man to father a child with a woman other than this wife. So because of his celebrity status, political career, and who his wife is, the media makes it a big deal.
PINSKY: Well, but -- you`re right, but I`ll talk about it in a minute.
Let`s talk to Brandy first.
Brandy in Nebraska, what`s up?
BRANDY, NEBRASKA: Dr. Drew --
BRANDY: -- I just think that we need to hold politicians accountable for their personal morality issues as they are reflected in their political decisions, Democrat or Republican.
And then, finally, Mary in Colorado.
Talk to me.
MARY, COLORADO: I just want to say that Arnold and Maria must work together to continue to raise their children as a team. Adults usually recover just fine. It`s the children who suffer lasting effects of situations like this.
PINSKY: Well, as usual, lots of great, great comments from you guys. And I absolutely agree, it is the kids that we have to be worried about. And why these guys aren`t thinking about their kids when they do these things, it`s almost more than I can imagine, but there you go.
And as far as making a big deal about this in the press, these are our leaders, OK? It`s not just celebrities here. I`ve made the case many times that celebrities, per se, are people that aren`t necessarily healthy.
We`re selecting these people to lead us. And our kids are seeing this. Yes, I agree, they need to lead us not just in terms of the political process, but also in terms of character and substance.
I would want that. I want my kids to see that in our leaders.
All right. Let`s go to Facebook.
Dan asks, "What are the chances of a couple staying together when there has been infidelity?"
And those are kind of hard numbers to come by, but I can tell you, in my experience, that mostly I`m dealing with that problem in people who have sex addiction, where one or the other partner has sex addiction. And you`d be probably surprised to find out that most of those couples stay together. And provided that they participate in treatment, they stay together rather successfully, and things can be restored and be good. I mean, there can be a healthy relationship restored.
I`m saddened by these stories when things hit a final breakup, when things finally hit the last straw, why they didn`t get help long ago. If any of you are struggling with this, and you have access and resource to help, mental health services work and can really help you. Please take advantage of that.
All right. Another Facebook. It`s Pamela. She asks, "Is there truth to the comment, `Once a cheater, always a cheater?`"
And, boy, that is really an interesting question, Pamela. I would say, generally speaking, that is actually rather true, particularly if there`s a lifelong pattern of cheating.
There is sort of personality characteristics, narcissists and sociopaths, that either feel entitled or really don`t appreciate other people`s feelings, or don`t appreciate the impact their behavior has on others. And as such, it`s kind of easy for them to keep doing these things and satisfying their own needs and impulses in the moment.
Be careful. Yes, people cheat when they`re young. That`s sort of a more -- and then grow out of it. That happens when people are in their early 20s and things. But if there`s a lifelong pattern here, boy, watch out.
When we come back, she used to be Chastity. Now he`s Chaz. Sonny & Cher`s only child is here, Chaz Bono. That`s up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Cute little Chastity Bono, the darling of Sonny & Cher`s weekly farewell on Network TV. She was the star of the stage during the show wrap up every Sunday, but her path was winding. One self- discovery after another. Straight ahead, becoming Chaz. Sonny & Cher`s little daughter becomes their big boy.
And later, remember that story we brought you about parents supervising teen drinking? Some of you have thought, hey, no big deal. Think again. Adults who allow it are paying the price. I have a lot to say about this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): All right. Now, Chaz Bono`s transformation from woman to man is an amazing and inspirational story. This appearance today coincides with an update to another transgender story we had covered. Justice for the alleged assailant of a transgendered teen, Christy Lee Polis. The teens allegedly involved have been charged with assault and a hate crime. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Yes. Just watching this again, I mean, just brings back all the emotions I had when we first reported on this. It`s -- come on. To me, this goes to the bullying issue, and I`ve just -- I`m sort of fed up with so much today. I`m fed up with the bullying, too. There`s no excuse for this. Thank God it`s being looked at as a hate crime because that`s precisely what it is.
OK. Now, Chaz, my guest, was born Chastity Sun Bono. She is undergoing gender transition to become a man, and Chaz courageously has lived his ordeal with his girlfriend, Jennifer Elia, at his side in the new documentary "Becoming Chaz." Now, this was a controversial decision on many levels with his mother, Cher and the LBGT Community for starters. Chaz`s book is called "Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man." Chaz, welcome to the show.
CHAZ BONO, "TRANSITION" THE STORY OF HOW I BECAME A MAN": Thank you.
PINSKY: Let me just ask the simple question, why write such a personal book?
BONO: Well, because, you know, I didn`t have the opportunity to do this privately. And so, if I`m going to do something and people are going to know about it, I want to get my story out there my way.
PINSKY: If -- I mean, you seem pretty happy right now.
BONO: I`m very happy.
PINSKY: Yes, which is a nice thing to see. If you could distill down your message to, say, one little nugget, what would it be?
BONO: I guess, if I really were to distill it down to one thing, I really want to try to get people thinking about what it means to be transgender a little bit differently. I think, you know, people are still so scared of it, and it`s still labeled as a mental disorder in the DSM. And I really try to talk about looking at gender as really having two components to it, having the physical sex of the body, but also the gender identity being like the sex of the brain. And for most people, those two things align perfectly.
BONO: But for transgender people, they don`t, and that`s really all it`s about. And we go through transition to try to match how we feel on the inside and how we look on the outside.
PINSKY: Well, it`s interesting that would be your primary message, because in watching your documentary, one of the things that jumped out at me was something your mom said. And she`s been a good supporter in this process.
PINSKY: She said, I love being a woman, and if I woke up one day something different and I felt inside like this woman that I love being, I would want to kill myself.
PINSKY: Pretty powerful statement.
BONO: It is very powerful.
PINSKY: Were you the one who got her to see that?
BONO: No. You know what, she came up with that, and it`s really funny because --
PINSKY: You`re getting emotional thinking about it?
BONO: No, no.
BONO: When I do college lectures, I usually start out with that. Like, think about what your life would be like if you woke up tomorrow in the body of the opposite sex feeling exactly like you do now. So, I thought it was, you know, two minds thinking alike.
PINSKY: Yes. Apple doesn`t fall too far from the tree.
BONO: Exactly. Totally.
PINSKY: Now, you were involved in a gay relationship before you made the transition, right? You were with a --
BONO: I mean, technically, yes, but, I mean, I was -- after her as being transgender and that this is something that I probably will do at some point. And I really don`t think Jen ever looked at me as a woman really.
PINSKY: Well, but another interesting thing to me, this is one of the most interesting parts about your documentary, was Jen had to deal with this transition, too.
BONO: Sure. Absolutely.
PINSKY: And one of the things she said is, you know, one of the reasons I`m gay is I don`t like that testosterone thing, that whole feeling.
BONO: She considers herself bi, and she`s been with men and women throughout her life, but she hadn`t been in a relationship, a long-term relationship with a man for a while. So, yes, there`s a definite, you know, mentally I felt male, but when you add testosterone, totally different dynamic. Testosterone, estrogen-based relationship versus testosterone-estrogen-based relationship --
PINSKY: Talk about that. I don`t think people really understand that. When I talk to transgender female to male, this is a very important topic because it helps us understand the differences between men and women, is it? What was it like versus now testosterone-estrogen?
BONO: It was less combative, you know, it was less -- less, you know?
PINSKY: Do you think about sex a lot more now?
PINSKY: A lot more.
BONO: A lot more.
PINSKY: Like, how many times in a minute?
BONO: like a man does.
BONO: That`s been the one really clear thing.
PINSKY: I would tell you that one of the things that sometimes transgender tell me is they will go to their male friends and go, I`m so sorry, I didn`t know.
BONO: You really don`t, and that was, you know, for me, it`s been hard to tell how much of changes in me are purely chemical versus finally feeling complete -- you know, comfortable in my body. But the one thing that is all testosterone that I can see clearly is sex drive before testosterone, sex drive now really different.
PINSKY: I think people have lots of curiosity about how you conduct a relationship now. Let`s talk a little bit about having sex with a female partner. Is it the same as it used to be?
BONO: I think it is. It`s more often.
PINSKY: Is it the same -- without being too graphic, same technique?
BONO: Sure, yes.
PINSKY: Nothing`s changed really between you two technically?
BONO: Technically, not really. I mean, you know, testosterone does change your genitals a little bit.
BONO: So, you know, maybe minor technique, but no, basically it`s the same relationship, but I feel like I`m a better lover, a better partner. All of that because I`m comfortable in my body. And so, I can be much more present in that way. And also, now that after I had the top surgery, I was always so uncomfortable about my breasts. Again, now, I feel like there`s an intimacy there that didn`t exist before.
PINSKY: Here`s a clip from "Becoming Chaz" with you as a young girl. Take a look this. There you are with the post-top surgery.
PINSKY: See that there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHER, SINGER: It`s hard because when she was young, she was just like the cutest girl and I made clothes for her and, you know, she was just my little girl. And then, later, I thought, you know, she`s just a real tomboy.
BONO: When I was a kid, my childhood was at my dad`s house and my mom`s house. And it was more fun at dad`s house because he allowed me to be a boy at his house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And here`s our own very special guest.
CHER: Tonight, and every night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our little girl, Chastity. Say good night. Now`s the time.
BONO: Good night, everybody. God bless you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: What do you think when you see those images?
BONO: I don`t really think anything, to be honest with you. I mean, I think they are part of my past, but the weird thing is I don`t have memory of them, so I don`t --
PINSKY: You don`t feel connected.
BONO: Yes. I don`t really feel that connected to them.
PINSKY: Is there a painful part of this story? I only have a few seconds left. Something very painful to have gone through? I`ll tell you what, let`s hold that.
BONO: OK. We`ll hold that.
PINSKY: I`ll start with that when we come back for the next segment. There`s a lot more, obviously, to cover here. We`re also going to talk to Chaz about the physical transition of becoming a man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): "Becoming Chaz." It is, perhaps, the greatest transformation a person can undergo. Gender transition. How does it impact physical health? What are the mental, biological and emotional hurdles? And how does the person cope with the family`s reaction?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BONO: Everything is changing. There`s so much clarity coming, and I`m sure there will be more things that I discover that I just didn`t realize until I -- when my hormones starts to feel comfortable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you feeling?
BONO: Pretty good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty good?
You know, I definitely feel like I`m still in the oven right now, but I`m not looking at like when I grow a beard or lose my hair, God forbid, or, you know, have bottom surgery or whatever, that it`s done. I mean, changes will happen more rapidly for the next few years, and then, it will just be like everybody else`s life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can give you a mirror if you want to see.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice and flat, huh?
BONO: Looks beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): We are back with Chaz Bono, author of "Transition: The Story of How I Became a man," which is in stores now. Now, before the break, I asked you a question I want to follow through on, which was what was the most painful part of this journey?
BONO: Probably the most painful part was the time from when I really discovered that I was transgender, and I was just paralyzed with fear to do anything about it.
PINSKY How old were you when that happened?
BONO: I was in my early 30s.
PINSKY: So, it wasn`t like something when you were a little kid?
BONO: No. I mean, as a little kid, it was really clear, like, I want to be a boy. I feel like a boy. And then -- and then, you know, I got confused and thought I was a lesbian, and it took me a while to really kind of unravel and be like, OK, I`m actually transgender.
PINSKY: So, that must have been a painful process, too.
BONO: Yes. So -- no, it was. And so, I mean, so, I started to figure it out and then -- but I wasn`t sober yet. And --
PINSKY: You think some of your using was suppressing some of those feelings?
BONO: I do think so. I think part -- I mean, really, the thing that got me started was a combination of a chronic pain issue, and then, after my partner died of cancer. And then, my dad died and it kind of just snowballed into it.
PINSKY: You were an opiate addict.
BONO: Oh, yes.
PINSKY: Pain medication.
BONO: Pain medication.
PINSKY: What was your bottom?
BONO: You know, it wasn`t really that dramatic. I had been seeing a therapist and really kind of half ass trying to wean off.
BONO: And finally, it was just after it was the new year of 2004 and I went into my therapist`s office, and for the first time, I was really honest. And I was like, I don`t know why I come here. I really don`t want to -- I just want to be left alone to use my drugs. I wish everybody would just leave me alone. And when I finally, like, articulated it out loud, and I really saw where I had gone to. And I had my moment of clarity there.
PINSKY: And then you got sober, and then, through that process, you started seeing the transgender issues more clearly?
BONO: More clearly, yes. And when I got out of treatment, I thought, OK, this will be the first thing I do, and then, I was still really afraid. I was really afraid of what other people were going to think of me.
PINSKY: At that point, was your mother accepting?
PINSKY: Let me ask this. I`ve heard rumors that she is not as completely accepting of all the surgeries and things. Is that true?
BONO: No, I think it`s been a process for her and not always an easy one. She`s always, you know, been there for me, but it`s hard. I mean, it`s a really hard thing for a parent to go through having their child transition. And so, as time has gone on, I think, she`s gotten better and better, and I think at her core, she understands it, but it`s been painful for her, I think.
PINSKY: And you`ve been on hormonal therapy for how long now?
BONO: Just over two years.
PINSKY: Two years, and you had the breast removal.
PINSKY: Are there other surgeries planned?
BONO: I`m not planning anything at this point. I`m kind of waiting to see what happens and what unfolds.
PINSKY: In the documentary, you sort of briefly survey the various surgeries that are available.
PINSKY: You want to talk about that a little bit?
BONO: Sure. We can talk about it.
PINSKY: You know, and there`s not that much available for female to male transitions.
BONO: Yes. There`s not that much available. I mean, there`s metoidioplasty which is, you know, kind of using what you already have. You`ll end up with a functioning penis, but it will be very small in size. And then, as far as I know, there`s two different really ways of doing a faloplasty. One, using the stomach area and you won`t have erotic sensation.
PINSKY: No feeling.
BONO: Right. And then, there`s the one where they take your forearm and that has, you know, certain really big risks to that area and hand use. And so, I know guys who -- and I`ve gotten letters recently. I love my faloplasty. It`s great. I`m so happy with it. And I think that`s great for people who are happy with it, and that`s awesome. I`m kind of just waiting to see what unfolds in the next few years and see if they come up with anything new.
PINSKY: Do you make this decision with Jennifer?
PINSKY: So she`s participating with you?
BONO: Yes. And she, actually, really doesn`t want me -- she doesn`t want to go through anymore surgeries.
PINSKY: She`s had enough.
BONO: She has, but I think -- I think, I mean, I know she`ll support me if I do it, but it wouldn`t be her first choice.
PINSKY: Is this something you can openly discuss with your mom? Will she be a support in making these kinds of decisions or is that just sort of overwhelming for her?
BONO: You know, I don`t know. I don`t even think about it. I`m 42 years old, so I don`t really talk about those kinds of things with my mom anymore.
PINSKY: Fair enough. Do you sponsor?
BONO: Yes, definitely.
PINSKY: Quick question.
PINSKY: Female sponsor or male sponsor?
BONO: Actually, I have a female sponsor.
BONO: I`ve kept my sponsor. She`s been with me for so many years.
BONO: And, it is a little odd now, though, I have to say not with her, but she does a step group that I go to once a month. And it`s all women. So, that`s kind of a little strange now.
PINSKY: And then, part of the story in the documentary is Jen struggling with her alcoholism.
PINSKY: Is she sober now?
BONO: She is sober now. Yes. And it`s been -- when we met, she was sober. And she`s gone back and forth since we`ve been together a few times. And it`s -- that`s, for me, been the biggest challenge. And --
PINSKY: Her sobriety.
BONO: Her sobriety in our relationship. I know she`s had other issues with me, but that`s been, you know, what`s hard -- what`s been hard for me, and I really had to start working another program to deal with that. And that actually really helped me be able to transition in a strange way.
PINSKY: That`s a very powerful program.
BONO: Because I really got the understanding of whatever anybody else thinks of me is really none of my business. And that helped me so much be able to transition.
PINSKY: Good for you.
PINSKY: That`s a very important, powerful message I`ve never heard from a transgendered person That L&I can be very important part of the recovery. Interesting.
PINSKY: Do you and Jen talk about getting married?
BONO: Yes, we do. And I think we probably will. We got engaged about two years ago. And then, all of this happened, and then, she started drinking. And so, we kind of put everything on hold and --
PINSKY: In California, can you do that?
PINSKY: You can do it in California?
BONO: Yes, because I`m legally male now. I`m legally male, so -- yes.
PINSKY: This is awesome. People that get all phony about this issue --
BONO: I know. And that`s been the other issue for us really is that we`re such strong supporters of marriage equality that it feels weird for us to be able to get married when a lot of our friends can`t get married.
PINSKY: Yes. That is -- yes. And especially when the Supreme Court has rung in when a concerted opinion about these issues.
PINSKY: Well, what`s ahead for Chaz? What`s next?
BONO: Man, a little bit of a break.
BONO: And then I don`t know. Regroup and keep moving ahead.
PINSKY: Let me ask you one more thing. Do you sponsor other people?
BONO: I do.
PINSKY: Does your transgender -- did you work with people that have - -
BONO: I had a -- I did have a trans sponsor.
BONO: I mean, right, sorry, sponsee, who unfortunately relapsed, but I do sponsor a guy now who I`ve sponsored for about two years. And, you know, it`s been amazing. He came to me right before I started transitioning and asked me to be his sponsor because he didn`t -- he was a gay man and he didn`t want to be distracted by a male sponsor.
PINSKY: Wow, interesting.
BONO: And so I was, like, he said, I`d love to have a lesbian sponsor. And I said, OK. And, you know, after a couple weeks of feeling really comfortable with him, I said, dude, I just got to tell you something, if you really want a lesbian sponsor, I`m not the person for you because I`m starting my transition. My sponsee has gone through the whole thing with me and has been amazingly supportive.
PINSKY: Wonderful. Well, listen, it really is a pleasure.
BONO: Thank you.
PINSKY: I hope you help other young people that are going through this because you really have a lovely way about you. You seem very at ease with this, very happy.
BONO: I am. Thank you.
PINSKY: Yes. And you can be of real service to others that may be suffering. So, thank you for joining me. I do appreciate it.
PINSKY: All right. The book is called "Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man." It is out now, and the documentary "Becoming Chaz" can be seen on O.W.N.
Next, underage drinking and the adults who are going to pay the price for it.
JOY BEHAR, HOST OF "JOY BEHAR SHOW": Drew, you know who you should have on your couch? Arnold Schwarzenegger. You`d have to hide the women and crazy glue his zipper shut, but still, we`ll talk about it on my show tonight. So, check it out.
PINSKY: Joy, you`re really becoming kind of kind to me. It`s sort of making me feel unsettled. But, yes, Arnold, certainly, I`m not interested in treating him, but I will be delighted to have him here. And yes, I`ll keep the young ladies away. Don`t worry.
OK. Now, just last week, we discussed the dangers of underage drinking. Now, even when parents supervise it, in the vast majority of states, it is illegal. So, I applaud local law enforcement agencies with a zero tolerance policy. This past weekend in Kansas, they arrested six minors for underage drinking. Officers smelled alcohol in their car. Police then went to the party where the teens had come from and arrested an additional minor and the adult who was hosting the party. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AVIS LOWE, M.A.D.D.: I was glad to read that the host got in trouble, too, because it just shouldn`t be happening. I mean, that`s endorsing that it`s OK, and it`s not OK.
MATTHEW BREGEL, OVERLAND POLICE DEPT.: We`ve seen too many occasions where people have left parties and have had something to drink and have caused some serious accidents, accidents even involving death. So, the legal drinking age is 21 for a reason, and, you know, it`s -- we`re going to enforce those rules.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: I mean, that`s the point. The legal drinking age is 21 for a reason, to protect young people. And here`s the facts. If you disagree with that, here are simply the facts. If you, an adult, host these children at a party using alcohol and there is unwanted sexual contact, there`s a pregnancy, there`s an STD pass, there`s an assault, there`s an accident, any of those things, you are now responsible for. You`re responsible for it.
Really? That`s something you want to take responsibility for? And when you look at teens, when you look at every unwanted health outcome, you`ll find alcohol. That`s OK to contribute to that? Just stick with the facts, guys. Don`t get blinded by whether kids should or should not be drinking. There`s a reason the drinking age is 21. Kudos to the Overland Park Police Department in Kansas.
Now, I also want to say a big thank you to Chaz Bono for being here and being so open. He`s a real great feel about. He`s very comfortable in his skin which is nice to see. It took a lot of courage to speak up and help, not just educate us, but help people who may be struggling with similar phenomenon. Now, Chaz and Cher may be names we all recognize, but as I`m always pointing out, just because they`re celebrity does not mean they`re different than any other parent and child who face struggles in their relationship and these all too common issues.
And then, of course, one last comment about powerful men who cheat. This is my last comment. Cut it out. Cut it out, already. I`m sick of this. And by the way, if you want to screw around, either "A" do it when you`re married or "B" don`t -- excuse me, do it when you`re younger or just don`t get married. Why get married? You take a vow in front of God and everybody, does that mean nothing anymore?
It`s okay to screw around, just don`t get married. And for God`s sake, then don`t have kids. Because all your lovely choices have profound effect on them and their wellbeing. They feel responsible for your transgressions. You make them experience profound emotional pain. Is really that OK? That`s OK, dad? I don`t know. Guys, think about it, please, and discuss this with your kids.
Thank you for watching, and I will see you next time.