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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview With Linda Hogan; Interview With Bethenny Frankel
Aired June 28, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight, the woman who is taking down the Hulk.
LINDA HOGAN, AUTHOR, "WRESTLING THE HULK": I'm going to put the one, two, three down on the Hulkster.
MORGAN: Linda Hogan on her marriage to wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan, the lies, the cheating, the family tragedy and her new life with a much, much younger man.
And the hundred-million-dollar woman.
BETHENNY FRANKEL, AUTHOR, "A PLACE OF YES": I'm giving women a way to allow themselves to indulge, to drink, to eat, to be married and still fulfill their goals.
MORGAN: Bethenny Frankel stars in her own successful TV show. From "Forbes Celebrity 100 List" as she sold her Skinny Girl brand for a reported $100 million.
How did she get to the top of the business world?
FRANKEL: I wanted to be a business person. I wanted to go all the way. I wanted to be on the cover of "Forbes" magazine.
MORGAN: Tonight, Bethenny Frankel. How she made it big one Skinny Girl at a time.
FRANKEL: I really feel like if you take a sip of the margarita, you'll start to feel -- just be a little -- you know, you won't have any guilt.
MORGAN: Maybe we should go out on the town.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Linda Hogan knows all about the downside of marriage to a powerful man. She was married for 24 years to Hulk Hogan. She tells a story of that marriage in a new book called "Wrestling the Hulk." And Linda joins me now.
It's a fascinating book. And he's a fascinating character. You know? I mean my knowledge of the Hulk is even in Britain he was -- this guy was huge physically, on television, as a box office star.
You know how would you sum up marriage to the Hulk?
HOGAN: You know, well, we were married for 24 years, and you know, it was great. I mean honestly, I never dreamed that we would end up having the lifestyle that we did. When I met him, he was in the "Rocky 3" movie and I thought he was an actor playing a wrestler because in California back then wrestling wasn't even on TV, and I didn't know what it was.
I was like, you wrestle? Like what is that? So -- but, you know, soon after we started going out. We got married and I went on the road with him, and I learned. I realized what all was involved, and it was -- it's quite a job. I mean, especially working with the WWF. That was a huge empire that, you know, became even bigger, and it was rock and roll. It was like being married to a rock star.
MORGAN: Yes, and, of course, as the book details, his behavior became pretty similar to that of most rock stars. I mean, let's be brutally frank. You know you had to go through the infidelity, the lying, control issues and all the rest of it. Very similar to the kind of stuff you read about the average rock star.
I mean it's a very honest book you've written. Do you feel that the relationship basically floundered the moment you heard he'd been unfaithful to you?
HOGAN: Yes. I mean, honestly, I put my heart and soul into the marriage. We started out with, you know, nothing really. I met him, I didn't know what he did. He really wasn't famous. He had been in the "Rocky 3" movie and I thought that, wow, that's exciting, you know?
But I saw a good person in him in the beginning, and I still do today. I just think that with the men in those positions as like you're seeing in the news now with the politicians and all these celebrities that it just happens to them so easily. It's just -- it's there, it's in their face.
For the first time that he had an infidelity and admitted that to me, it was earth shattering to me.
MORGAN: Why did he tell you?
HOGAN: Well, in my opinion I think the reason that he had to tell me was because the woman that he was philandering with had filed a lawsuit against him, and it was probably about to be public, and I think that if he had me on his side, that they could roll it out as extortion like a lot of these celebrities do.
I knew differently. I knew that it wasn't, but I knew that he needed my support. We had two small children. We had just gotten done building our beautiful dream home in Florida, and you think at that moment, you know, OK, maybe it wasn't all his fault. Maybe a lot of it was her fault, and you try --
MORGAN: If you're honest when you'd seen other famous people get caught up in a scandal like that, and the woman stayed with the man, what was your view of women that did that before it happened to you?
HOGAN: Before, you know, I hadn't been in that position, so I just figured that publicly they were staying with their man because of usually politicians is what you heard. You know now it seems like it's so celebrity driven, but I really feel that it was just something that they would probably do because they were in the public eye until they could sort things out and come out with some kind of a public decision.
MORGAN: How had you always been in your head about if he ever admitted cheating on you? Have you'd gone through that thought in your head and thought, I would leave him?
HOGAN: Yes. I mean in -- well, you know, not normally. I mean I think we talked about that in the very beginning and I told him, I said, look, if marriage becomes a ball and chain thing let's just agree to disagree that, you know, we're going to go our different ways.
But it didn't happen that way. It was secretive and at that point that you realize that your husband has had an affair on you, whether it's one time, whether it's six times, whether it's one person or six people, the same process applies, and you feel duped. You feel your esteem is down, you don't know what to believe.
You don't know how much of what he was telling you all these months and years that up to this point that you found out, yes, you've had your suspicions, as I did, in prior years, but it all becomes very real. And you're like, wow, maybe my suspicions were right. Although I don't actually have proof --
MORGAN: How many other women do you think there probably were?
HOGAN: You know, just a rough guess I think there might have been three or four, but, you know, that's just my guess. And like they find out with, you know, Sandra Bullock and everybody that there's 30 and 40 behind the scenes, I think once a cheater, always a cheater.
Although I did think that, you know, because he was so good to me, he was a great father, I thought maybe this was just -- maybe he's going through the change or, you know, you tend to, as a mom and a wife, you tend to want to keep this together. This was an empire that we built together.
HOGAN: I wasn't so willing to just throw it down the toilet. And I thought you know I love my husband. I want to make this work. I don't know what happened. Maybe it's me. You start thinking of maybe he found someone smarter or thinner or prettier or, you know, richer or younger, I don't know.
You don't know, but everything -- you doubt everything about yourself, which is really unfair because --
MORGAN: Did you have days when you wish you were still with him?
HOGAN: Oh, yes. I mean up -- even until after I filed the divorce. I was scared to file for divorce. He's an icon. He's loved by millions of people and has been and still is. He's -- you know, he's done a lot of good things for the kids and been a role model for a lot of people.
He's a great father. He's a great -- he was a great husband. I don't know what caused him to make the decision to go elsewhere, but he did. That's a decision that he's going to have to deal with.
MORGAN: Does he regret it, do you think?
HOGAN: I think he does. I do.
MORGAN: Has he tried to win you back?
HOGAN: You know, because we were going through so much stuff with the divorce and then, of course, my son had that tragic accident, and there was just a lot on our plate to sort out, and I think that he had already moved on to a new girlfriend by the time I had filed for divorce.
I realized that he had already had a girlfriend, so I thought, well, you know, there's no room for me anymore, and I begged him, though, even so, I said it was Christmas and I said, please, you know, for the kids' sake for just -- 24 years, you know, put your ring on and please come home. Please? You know?
I'm willing to forget everything if you are, please, and he said I need more time. And I -- so the next morning I asked him again, I said, Terry, I love you. I don't want to throw this away. I'm sorry -- I thought I'm sorry for everything.
Whatever I've done to contribute to this, you know? Cheaters usually do blame their spouses for their actions.
MORGAN: Of course.
HOGAN: And I said I didn't even care, and he said again that he needed more time. And I realized at that point that his "I don't knows" meant no, and I said, well, then I guess I know what I have to do. So --
MORGAN: Even as you're telling that I can see you're sad about it.
MORGAN: You wished maybe in that moment when you were prepared to forgive him he --
HOGAN: And the door was closed, you know? I mean, and it was kind of sad but I mean, you know, yes, you think like, wow, you know, my marriage of 24 years is just -- it's gone, and I remember driving down the street looking at my hand on the steering wheel and I didn't have my ring on and I remember thinking to myself, it's just been so a part of me, you know, being a mom and a wife and just a house and we have parties and things.
Not seeing the ring there I felt like a loser. I was like loser, you know. I just felt like, wow, I can't even keep my marriage together, you know? What's wrong with me?
MORGAN: And is it 10 times worse when it has to be conducted in the public eye because you're with a famous guy?
HOGAN: It is. It really is. You know I never had a public platform. I was always happy being behind the scenes. I was just the wind beneath his wings. He was just so confident and so terrific at what he did that -- you know but there's a lot of cleanup behind the scenes that, you know, just being married to such a famous guy, my god, just to go to an awards show, the schedule, you know, and then you've got two teenagers, you know, and then a reality show, although it was fun doing the show.
It was just a lot of work on my behalf to keep everything glued together, make sure they got the right clothes, who's watching the dogs, who's going to take care of the house? You know, there's just so many things behind the scenes --
MORGAN: But now that you don't have that circus, I can tell probably part of you misses the circus. And it's one of those things, isn't it, when --
HOGAN: It is --
MORGAN: It's fun and it's exciting and it's all part of being with someone like Hulk Hogan. There aren't many of him to the (INAUDIBLE), are there?
HOGAN: It was phenomenal being married to him. I mean --
MORGAN: With all those issues.
HOGAN: And I never realized that that would happen to us. You know? But we had the American dream. You know I was the wife, we had the beautiful children. They were successful. We had a TV show, we had money, we had the house, boats, cars. It was just everything that you could dream of, and then, you know, when the marriage went out and the divorce started, you know, proceeding along and then my son's accident, and he went to jail and my daughter lived in Miami.
And he left -- I remember we took my son to court and that day they took him into custody, which was just so crazy because my dad is a policeman and I was like --
MORGAN: Hold your thought there because I want to have a break and come back and talk to you about what happened with your son.
HOGAN: OK. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
MORGAN: Back with my guest, Linda Hogan.
Linda, in the middle of all this awful stuff with Terry you had a hammer blow. And I want to go over the facts of it so that viewers who aren't familiar with it will know what happened.
It was the evening of August 26th, 2007. Your son Nick was traveling to a steakhouse in Terry's yellow Toyota Supra and he crashed into a tree in downtown Clearwater in Florida. The passenger, a friend of his, John Graziano, was ejected from the car, and the injuries he sustained are expected to leave him in a nursing home for the rest of his life. So a very serious incident.
You were in California when this happened. The pictures there really awful pictures. Nick was driving on a suspended license, reported to have been drinking, and in the book you detail getting back to Florida and trying to piece together really exactly what had happened here, and you rang Terry.
I mean, tell me about that conversation. Because obviously, this is an awful moment for both of you.
HOGAN: Yes. I mean, it was just shocking. I was in California when I got the news, and my husband called me from the crash site and said that Nick had been in an accident and his friend was in the car, and I said, is he OK? And he said, I don't know, they hit a tree.
Well, I just know from every other situation when that happens that it's not good. And I said, is he OK? And he said, I don't know. I said, is he dead or is he alive? And he said, I don't know. And at that moment I just fell to the floor. I was home alone and it was a couple of days after my birthday, and I just -- I mean, I was just numb.
I just fell to the floor, I couldn't even think straight, the thought of that. And I didn't know who the passenger was at that time. John was like a second son to me. He -- you know, we've known him for seven or eight years. He's just a good friend of Nick's, just a little car buddy. They like to just work on crank bolts and stuff on the cars in the garage over at the house. And they'd have sleepovers and whatnot. Just a nice kid.
It was jus an accident. It was a terrible accident. It was raining very hard. Florida gets driving rain. He had not taken that car out ever before to my knowledge and --
MORGAN: Do you blame Terry for the fact that he took the car out?
HOGAN: You know, I'm sure Terry trusted Nick, but he should have maybe thought a little bit more about the conditions, the fact that the boys were jet skiing all day and they were out in the hot sun. It was hot in August. It was, you know, sweltering heat, and I don't know if he really thought about the fact that it was raining. You know, Nick on a suspended license wasn't supposed to drive past dark and at the hour they left it would have been dark when he was driving home. So I still question that, but the fact that they hit the puddle, the car had very wide tires, and I think in my opinion of what happened is Nick was an excellent driver. He would do nothing to jeopardize his position with drifting and dodge.
MORGAN: But he shouldn't have been driving.
HOGAN: But he should not have been given the keys and allowed to drive himself.
MORGAN: He wasn't legally allowed to drive, right? On a suspended license.
HOGAN: He shouldn't have taken the car at that time, so he's responsible and he's -- you know, my husband is responsible and I mean if there was something that I could have done, if I could have been there to change that, absolutely.
MORGAN: Nick was charged with multiple violations. He pleaded no contest, he got eight months in jail. For any mother that's an awful moment when you son goes to jail. How did you deal with that?
HOGAN: It was actually shocking. I mean, I don't really know too many people that have been in jail. I don't think there's too much you can say about it when your son actually gets incarcerated and we're in the courtroom and I see them put cuffs on him and I'm thinking, oh, my god, he's a good boy, why is this happening. You know?
I wish that people could know Nick better and know the real Nick. I wish they realized what good friends he and John were and that it was not a street racing accident and it wasn't a reckless or negligent situation. The boys got --
MORGAN: What is John's condition now? Do you know?
HOGAN: John, I believe, is now out of the hospital and he's home. His mom takes care of him, and I don't really know what his actual condition is, but I know that he's not able to speak and -- or walk, and I live with that every day. Nick lives with that every day, and --
MORGAN: Do you have any contact with his family?
HOGAN: I don't. There was a situation where the media was just so blown up. We lived in Clearwater. It's a very small town and the situation like this with a celebrity was big news there, and we couldn't even go to the hospital. We couldn't go anywhere, to court.
It was just a circus sideshow for the PR, and I think they got tired of having that there. They just wanted to be private and stay to themselves and I don't blame them. So --
MORGAN: An awful situation, though. HOGAN: Yes. They didn't really like it when we came to the hospital and stuff. It was just too much of a sideshow, unfortunately.
MORGAN: And again the circus of fame that you just -- you can't turn it off once your --
MORGAN: -- in there. There's nothing you could do. You wanted to be respectful, I presume, but you just couldn't do it in a normal way.
HOGAN: Right. It was just impossible. So, you know, with that -- you know, I mean we live with that every day. Nick is trying to rebuild his life.
MORGAN: Yes, how is he getting on, Nick? I mean obviously an awful thing for him.
HOGAN: You know, it's hard because he's obviously lost his good friend. We've moved. He was in jail when he was 17, and when he came out six months or seven months later with the divorce going on at the same time, you know, I had moved out of the house and his dad wasn't there.
His dad had a girlfriend, and you know, I was barely at the house. I was kind of tossing around between houses that we had figuring out what -- where we were going to be, and you know, he had no home. He came home and it was just -- everything was just in an upheaval. So he was sort of displaced.
You know I just remember the day, and I talk about this in my book, that when we left the courtroom that I was leaving without my son, and that he was in there and that Brooke got in a car and drove back to Miami where she lived. She's filming her show with VH1.
I had my mom with me. And she was heading to the airport and I saw Terry get in the car with his girlfriend and they left. And I got in my car and I drove myself home, and when I -- I was crying so inconsolably on the way home just the shock of that. And I walked in the back door and it was dark and it was quiet. And I got to the kitchen and I saw the chair that Terry used to sit in and have his coffee in the morning.
And I saw a house that was a happy household that had love and animals and life that at that moment I realized it was never going to be that way again. That Nick was never going to come home and that Brooke wasn't coming home and Terry wasn't coming home and my mom wasn't there. And my dog had just been run over in the driveway a few months prior.
It was just too much emotion to bear at the moment, and I remember I couldn't even make it up to my bedroom. I left. I had my court clothes on. I got in my car and I was crying so hard that I was making a weird sound almost like some kind of an animal and wailing sound.
It was just such an inconsolable grief that I was suffering. I just couldn't go home, and I remember just driving south. I got to this bridge that's near our home, and I thought, my god, I don't want to kill myself but the thought did occur. I thought about my two kids, and I realized that at that point I didn't want to kill myself but I didn't know how to live either.
You know, I didn't know how to handle all this. God gives you a lot, he takes away a lot, but I was like all at once? It was just too much to bear, and you know, I got a phone call, and it kind of shook me out of my trance or my sadness that I was in and thank God. You know? And I was able to go home and try to get a handle on things, but, yes, it really was difficult to get through.
MORGAN: Let's take another break. When we come back I want to talk to you about how you did manage to get back on your feet in a surprising manner.
MORGAN: Back with Linda Hogan.
Linda, it's been a -- it's been a rough ride talking to you so far. The book does then take more surprising turns. First of all, another rough hit, I think, is just when your daughter, Brooke, calls you at 4:00 a.m. She's crying, and she tells you that one of her friends, Christiane, is now going out with Terry, your recently departed husband.
How did that make you feel?
HOGAN: Well, that was a blow. That was definitely a surprise. You know, although the last year that we had been in Miami we had brought -- we brought the VH1 show to Miami just for kind of a fresh change. They'll do that. And the whole year that we were down there, we were there really primarily to do the show and Brooke had a music deal down there.
So one of the girls that worked at the music place was her kind of right-hand girl, you know, would travel with her sometimes when I couldn't go and her name was Christiane. She would come over and spend the night even though she was, like, 33 or something at that time, or 32, a little older than Brooke.
But they've got along great. It was a good friend for Brooke, so she'd come over and spend the night and I'd got up and bring them hot chocolate, and here's some cereal and, you know, tell stories with them. And then I'd say, all right, good night. I'd give her a kiss good night, I give Brooke a kiss good night.
You know, I did have a weird sense that maybe something might be going on, and I asked Brooke, and she said, mom, no, don't be crazy. Christiane? Are you kidding? We're a good friend, no way. I'm like, OK. Took it out of my head. I'm like, what am I, crazy, you know? I must be crazy. Brooke called me and said, mom, you're never going to believe this, you were right, you were right, and I said what, what? She goes, are you sitting down? I was like, oh, god, what's wrong with you? And she just said dad was having an affair with Christiane, you were right.
And I said, how do you know that? She said, I found out through one of my friends and it's true. She gave me a letter. She talks all about how she's sorry and that this love affair they had couldn't be denied, blah, blah, blah, and I was like, are you kidding me?
MORGAN: That was like a final kick in the teeth for you.
HOGAN: Well, it was just -- you know, I had been through it once already, and, you know, once that I knew about. There were times that I had already thought maybe it was going on, but I wasn't a stranger to that. But the worst thing was dealing with poor Brooke because it was her friend, and to think that her dad could be --
MORGAN: Yes. I mean, yes. For one thing --
HOGAN: -- doing that behind her back.
HOGAN: Where she's confiding in this friend.
HOGAN: And the friend is telling her dad everything. And then, you know, me and Brooke would go on the road with this girl, and the girl would go back and tell everything to Terry. It was just almost like --
MORGAN: Double betrayal.
HOGAN: You know, living with the enemy, you know?
MORGAN: Yes, yes.
HOGAN: You don't know what to believe anymore. And so Brooke was very upset, and, you know, but the point is, is that she had a contract with VH1 as well as did her dad and they had to try to make amends and they make things work. So in her way maybe it was just easier for her just to, look, you know, mom, can't deal with you right now. I've got to deal with dad and do my show.
So we really didn't have a lot of communication that first year and I just -- I let her go. I let her find her space because I felt that she has to get through this her way and as far as mine, it was almost kind of like I knew it.
MORGAN: I mean --
HOGAN: It was kind of like, OK, I knew I wasn't that crazy.
MORGAN: This might -- well, this might be wrong of me but the bit in the book that I read is a bit like one of those "Rocky" films where you're just willing you to get off the ropes and do a better punching, and I can't think of any better way really -- and I know this might be wrong of me to think this -- that you begin dating a 19- year-old lad called Charlie.
Yes. I bet part of you was thinking exactly that, checkmate, right?
HOGAN: Yes. I mean, you know, girls do all different kind of things when their man wrongs them. You know, I mean, they'll throw eggs at their house or TP your house or whatever, you know?
MORGAN: I mean he's like a young Hulk, isn't he?
HOGAN: Yeah, he is. Actually, we started out being friends. I was -- it was the weekend before they took Nick into jail. And I was just walking on the beach with nick and saw this guy, and I said, God, that guy is hot. You know, it's been nine months since I filed for divorce. I have been pretty alone. And maybe he'd just be kind of fun to have over and have for some tea or Diet Coke.
MORGAN: Did you find being called a cougar in the tabloids or did you quite like it? :
HOGAN: Charlie was really smooth, too. He told me he was 23, OK. So I was --
MORGAN: Well, that's all right.
HOGAN: Then when I found out he was 19, I said, OK, as long as you're 19, not 17, we're good. You're legal.
MORGAN: How does Terry deal with Charlie?
HOGAN: He doesn't really like the idea.
MORGAN: Of course.
HOGAN: And to this day, Terry still won't speak to me. We can only talk to each other through our lawyers. And I don't know why. I'm sure that one of the reasons is that he doesn't want to have to be where we get chummy . And I'm like, so tell me, why did you really go with Christian. How was that? How long were you doing that?
I'm not going to do that to him. I don't even care. At this point, I'm over it, I have moved on. And I have a great life now. I knew I wasn't happy before, and I think that's one of the messages that I bring out to the book, is that rich or poor, you know, there are so many women out there that just -- that have this same scenario as I do, that have kids, that have been married a long time, that have to stop and realize the carpet has been pulled out from under their life and they're 50 years old and now they have to start over.
MORGAN: I think good on you. You're entitled -- after all you went through, you're entitled to a bit of happiness. And if it comes in the form of Charlie Hill -- how old is he now?:
HOGAN: He's going to be 23. It's a 29 year age gap. You know, people call and label me a cougar or MILF or whatever. I don't know. That's just part of it. But I don't see myself as that.
MORGAN: And the kids are OK with it.
HOGAN: My kids love him. He's just a good person.
MORGAN: It has ended happily.
HOGAN: It has. Yes, it has.
MORGAN: Linda, I'm pleased for you.
HOGAN: Thank you.
MORGAN: I really enjoyed meeting you.
We reached out to Hulk Hogan for comment on Linda's claims about the car accident and what she says were multiple infidelities during their marriage. He declined to comment. In his book, "My Life Outside the Ring," he says, and I quote, "Linda's suspicion -- scratch that, her belief I was cheating was like a hole way down in the hull of a ship. No matter what I did or said to try to patch that hole, the water would keep breaking through. As far as I am concerned, until our marriages was almost completely over, I never cheated on Linda."
Coming up, how Bethenny Frankel went from TV star to the top of the business world. My sit down with the 100 million dollar woman who created the Skinny Girl empire.
MORGAN: Tonight, the woman who is redefining having it all. Bethenny Frankel is unstoppable. The one-time "Real Housewives of New York" star has her own reality show now, "Bethany Ever After." She's a businesswoman with her own Skinny Girl brand. And she has a new book, "A Place of Yes: Ten Rules For Getting What You Want Out of Life."
And Bethenny joins me now. We have met before, Bethenny.
BETHENNY FRANKEL, SKINN GIRL CEO: We have, on "The Today Show."
MORGAN: I was doing a bit of hosting there. You came on and you were just showing me these cocktails that you had come up with. I was like whatever. These cocktails then became this, the cover of "Forbes Magazine," 100 million deal from the Skinny whatever -- what was it? :
FRANKEL: It was the Skinny Girl Margarita originally. Now it's a full line of cocktails and --
FRANKEL: It is unbelievable.
MORGAN: When you see that, what do you think?:
FRANKEL: I think it's legitimate. It's validating. I have always been a business person. I went onto reality TV as a business decision. I already had a platform. And this is where I wanted to end up.
I used to say, I want to be on the cover of "Forbes Magazine."
MORGAN: If I saw my head there, I wouldn't think all that. Do you know what I'd think? :
FRANKEL: What? :
MORGAN: Back of the net. It's a soccer phrase. It's an amazing achievement. I don't want to be patronizing about this, but, you know, a few years ago, you were a chef and you were doing a bit of this and a bit of that.
You may have dreamed of this, but a lot of people dream of this. To have some so fast to where you've got to is truly remarkable.
FRANKEL: It is. It's remarkable. And it really is about -- it is about coming from a place of yes. I have had so many people tell me no. So many people in business say it's not going to happen; this book isn't going to work.
It even still happens now, saying no. But you have to believe in your ideas. You're alone in your ideas, because you're the only one who knows what's possible.
I went all the way. I worked really, really hard. I have made good decisions. You make all the right moves. You don't come into the store and grab everything you can. You just make smart decisions and you stand for something.
MORGAN: The book is called "A Place of Yes." It has ten rules. And I want to quickly go through these, because I'm fascinated by this.
Number one, break the chain. What do you mean by that? :
FRANKEL: What it means is I don't have to be the type of parents that my parents were. I don't have to do what someone else told me that I was supposed to do.
It's more for other people also. Women and -- women have parents who think that they should marry young or live their life a certain way. Break the chain is living your own life. You have to decide the life that you want, not what people say you're supposed to want.
MORGAN: You couldn't have come from a much worse upbringing in terms of the parenting you received.
FRANKEL: I could have come from a worse upbringing there. I'm working right now with the Children's Health Fund about children who can't get proper health care. And Clorox is donating money for, you know, children to be able to get proper health care.
And I think about my child and if she weren't able to have proper health care. I mean, there are -- it could have been much worse.
MORGAN: It wasn't easy though, was it? :
FRANKEL: It wasn't easy. It was brutal.
MORGAN: In terms of this rule, break the chain, what is the key thing you need to do to break that cycle? Because I often see people on this show who have suffered some kind of neglect or lack of love or some form of abuse. And it definitely affects them. It's very, very hard to break that chain.
How do you do it? :
FRANKEL: You're right. First of all, it is difficult and it affects me and my life and my relationships now. It has come with me my whole life, the childhood that I had, the lack of parenting. It has. But I fight to intervene in my own life.
It's my nature to run from relationships, because I have never seen a good one. So instead I intervene and I stay in relationships and I work on my relationship with my husband and I go to therapy. So breaking the chain is just deciding the life that you want to have. It's about going forward.
It is about coming from a place of yes. I can have my life be whatever I want it to be.
MORGAN: Number two is find your truth. What do you mean by that? :
FRANKEL: Find your truth is about what you really want. I used to think that I really wanted a man to take care of me because it seemed like the easiest road. I could just marry someone and it would be easy and I wouldn't have to go through all of this.
But the actual truth was that I really didn't want that. I wanted to be a business person. I wanted to go all the way. I wanted to be on the cover of "Forbes Magazine." And I wanted all this.
And it was hard because I was in my 30s, and I was crying, and I didn't have a man. I didn't have any money. I didn't know where I was going to end up. And I didn't know the end of the story.
I didn't know I'd be talking to Piers Morgan right now on TV.
MORGAN: Act on it, is that part of the same thing? When you know what you want to do, do something?
FRANKEL: Well, it's go for yours. With Skinny Girl Margarita, everyone -- every liquor --
MORGAN: Do you actually like margaritas? :
FRANKEL: I love margaritas. That's the number one cocktail in the country for a reason. Every woman wants to drink it, but they file like it's staple gunning calories to their ass.
MORGAN: When you order one in a bar, there is a huge pressure on the barman now, given you're now the queen of margaritas. :
FRANKEL: When I order one in the bar, yes, it is. I describe it. Yes, but usually the bars now carry the bottle of Skinny Girl Margarita. So I don't have to worry about it.
But acting on it is going for it. Because when I came up with that idea, everyone said no and I decided to keep going. All the liquor companies said no. They weren't marketing to women. I said, you know what, I'm a woman. I want this. It solves a problem, like my entire brand. And I'm going to act on it.
I'm going to make it happen myself. You have to make things happen on your own.
MORGAN: Is dealing with rejection a key part of becoming successful in the sense of how you deal with it? :
FRANKEL: Dealing with rejection -- and I'm going to be totally honest -- dealing with rejection is a key part because you have to plow through it. And it also makes the success so much sweeter, because you remember the people that said no.
You do. And you get that little, you know what? If I had listened to you, I would never be here. It's just -- you never assume anyone is smarter than you. They could have a better job. They could be more wealthy. They could more knowledgeable.
Don't assume anyone is smarter than you. It could be your travel agent. It could be your doctor. Just find out for yourself.
MORGAN: Separate from the pack. I like this one, too.
FRANKEL: Well, to be perfectly honest, this came into my head when I was in the "Housewives." Bravo is a network about affluence. I was not affluent. I lived in a 700 square foot apartment. People were buying diamonds and getting facials. And that was what we were all supposed to do together.
Instead, I said, no, I'm single. I'm alone. I can't even pay my rent, much less buy diamonds. This is who I am. So I separated from the pack. I just -- I had to be who I was. And that's how I developed my relationship with my fans, instead of pretending that I had a house that was going to be foreclosed on.
MORGAN: We're going to have a short break. When we come back, we have three more of these rules I want to discuss with you. Then I want to get stuck into you about this whole skinny business. FRANKEL: OK.
MORGAN: Let's get back into these rules, Bethenny. Number eight, own it.
FRANKEL: Own it.
MORGAN: Is that as simple as if you have a great idea like you had, own the idea, make sure it's yours? :
FRANKEL: No, it's stand for something. It's stand for something. I can tell you exactly what my entire brand, what I'm doing with my life in one sentence.
MORGAN: Go on. What is it? :
FRANKEL: It's practical solutions for women. It's solving problems. And everything that I do adheres to that line. And that's what I stand for. And I'm not going to go do something that doesn't, you know, coincide with that.
MORGAN: Come together.
FRANKEL: Come together is about being in work or being in relationships and being in a situation that aren't normally comfortable for you. I'm with my husband who comes from a very traditional background. The family is very close. I don't have family.
But we come together and the sum is greater than its parts. Doing things together, me being hope to his parents and his way and him being open to my way.
Same thing at work, working with people you don't want to work with. You just have to sort of come together and the sum is greater than its parts.
MORGAN: The final one, celebrate, which a lot of people forget to do, actually.
FRANKEL: Well, celebrate. I have to do more of it. It doesn't mean -- look, I get invited to all these fancy parties. It's not about that. It's about taking a bath with my baby and my husband, a bubble bath on my birthday. It's about we dress up for pandas on Halloween.
It's just about making the most out of the little things.
MORGAN: Let's get to skinniness, the whole concept.
FRANKEL: Skinny girlness.
MORGAN: You're selling this multimillion dollar fortune on skinny. You want every woman to go, I want to be skinny.
FRANKEL: I want people --
MORGAN: Bethenny Frankel is a woman to get me to where I want to get to.
FRANKEL: I want people to feel good about their bodies and to be fit and to realize that you don't have to diet. You don't have to obsess.
MORGAN: You went through all that, didn't you? :
FRANKEL: I went through all that. And I was 25 pounds heavier. And I wouldn't allow myself to eat anything. I'm giving women a way to allow themselves to indulge, to drink, to eat, to be merry and still fulfill their goals.
MORGAN: Why not call it vibrant girl? The vibrant girl margarita? :
FRANKEL: I'm not loving it.
MORGAN: I know. You don't think it will make as much money. But I prefer it as a message, don't you? I don't want to be overcritical.
FRANKEL: No, you can criticize. I can take it.
MORGAN: You're a ballsy lady. I know that. I've met you before and I got it then. And I admire you hugely. To get where you got to is incredible. I just have a slight issue on a brand based around a word that you yourself slightly recoil from.
FRANKEL: And I understand that, which is why it is Skinny Girl. And people say it as one word now and don't really even think -- I have never really had people say to me that you're promoting skinny, because it's all shapes and sizes.
And if you look at my fan base, and if you come to one of my tours, this isn't a bunch of like robot size zero women at all. There are women size 12, you know, across the board.
It's more of a lifestyle. Seriously, maybe you should take a sip and you'll start to feel it. I really feel like if you take a sip of Skinny Girl margarita you'll start to feel -- you'll be a little -- you won't have any guilt.
MORGAN: Maybe we should go out on the town.
FRANKEL: I'm game.
MORGAN: Have a few Skinny margaritas. God knows, I could do with some. That's not really the point. FRANKEL: And being able to promote women living a lifestyle where they don't feel guilty --
MORGAN: Can a man order a Skinny Girl -- :
FRANKEL: A lot of men do. A lot of men do.
MORGAN: Pretty embarrassing, isn't it?
FRANKEL: I don't think so because --
MORGAN: Woo-hoo, can I have a Skinny Girl Margarita? :
FRANKEL: It doesn't have a lot of sugar.
MORGAN: Not like a hand pumped pint of --
FRANKEL: If you're comfortable with your sexuality, you will be comfortable ordering a Skinny Girl Margarita. You clearly are not.
MORGAN: Not convinced.
Certain bars in New York, if you put your hand up and say I want a Skinny Girl Margarita, you get thrown out.
FRANKEL: A lot of the men drink it. You know what? Selling the company is allowing me to give back. I'm getting to work with the Children's Health Fund and Clorox to give to children who can't get healthcare.
I mean, I'm now able to give back and do a lot of things. I couldn't pay my rent and now I can donate to charity. And now I can nourish children who we don't want to be skinny.
MORGAN: Very laudable. Let's have another break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about two relationship periods in your life. One when you were young with your parents, which was pretty dysfunctional, and the one you have now with your child and your husband, which seems pretty functional.
FRANKEL: OK. I'm ready.
MORGAN: Would you say so? :
FRANKEL: I would say it's functional.
MORGAN: Back with my special guest, Bethenny Frankel. You just smiled. I mean, I so far have this severe businesswoman --
FRANKEL: Really? :
MORGAN: -- running through this machine-like way you've developed into the Forbes cover girl. I like the lighter side of Bethenny Frankel. FRANKEL: Thank you. There's a big light side, yeah.
MORGAN: On the darker side, pulling you out of this abyss of laughter, it is interesting that when you study your story as to how you got here, I suspect one of the reasons you have this ferocious drive was this odd upbringing that you had.
You talked about it very frankly, I know. Your mother was pretty dysfunctional. She had her own problems with eating disorders and stuff, and alcohol.
Your father just sort of disappeared. You went to L.A. with him and then he just -- that was it and that was the end of your father- daughter relationship.
What kind of a fate, if you're honest with yourself, do you think it still has on you that you have to go through that? What do you fight? What are the demons that come with such an upbringing?:
FRANKEL: I have a difficult time trusting people. And more so -- actually I'm very trusting. I just don't like to let a lot of people in. I have walls up that are just very -- I don't like to let that many people in close.
And if someone does kind of do something distrustful, I really kind of cut them off. It's -- that's the way I've been. I think I've had to really, really work to be in a successful relationship. I mean, business is really easy for me.
Being in a successful relationship takes work. I want to be a good partner. I want to take care of my husband and make sure that he's getting everything he needs, because he chose someone like me.
MORGAN: Does it cause any difficulty, in a strange way, with your husband when you see him showering love on your daughter, that you never had that? Do you ever have that feeling?
FRANKEL: I just love how much my husband loves my daughter. It doesn't. I don't connect the two. I don't connect the past to the present. I did. From my stepfather John, I did get love. I think when I was younger, to the time that I was four, my real father did give me love.
The story goes that my mother wouldn't stay with him and took me away, and that's why he resented the whole situation. There are a million different stories.
MORGAN: Once you're a businesswoman and you've got the cover of "Forbes Magazine," then what do you do?
FRANKEL: You give back.
MORGAN: What's bigger than this? :
FRANKEL: What's bigger than that? I don't know. Maybe having your own talk show, being able to have a conversation with women that exceeds 140 characters on Twitter.
More geared towards woman. I want a bunch of women in the audience to talk about their issues, their money issues, their sex issues in their marriage.
MORGAN: Is there anything you don't think you can do if you put your mind to it?:
FRANKEL: No, there's not anything I don't think I could do. I don't think I could keep quiet for five minutes.
MORGAN: That I can believe. And who do you most admire out there? :
FRANKEL: Who do I most admire? That's a great question.
MORGAN: Who is the nearest thing to a role model in the business world perhaps that you've watched? :
FRANKEL: Well, I admire people like Warren Buffett that are donating so much money to charity, that they're being selfless about their money and the whole fund that he's created.
MORGAN: Would you do that? Would you donate 95 percent of all your money? : FRANKEL: Percentage-wise? I haven't thought percentages. I have a certain amount of money that I've decided that I'm putting aside every year. And I think that that will grow. And that's the goal.
MORGAN: Tens of millions? :
FRANKEL: Yeah. I want to give back a lot. But also I've given money before. I want to give in time, too. I want to get invested in something. I really do. Now I have a baby. And when she cries -- she has the best life and I realize she doesn't even have a reason to cry.
There are babies that are crying for real reasons. And really that is what is sticking out to me. That really is why I got involved. That is why I got involved in the Children's Health Fund with Clorox. Because it's children that can't get healthcare. And it does speak to me.
So I used to think that I wanted to do healthier food in children's schools. Now I want to do more with babies.
MORGAN: Well I've got huge admiration for you. It's an amazing thing you've achieved. Bethenny, nice to see you again.
FRANKEL: Nice to see you.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, I sit down with one of the most beautiful women in the world, Charlize Theron. You know she's smart. You know she's talented. Here's something you may not know. Her connection to the royal family. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tell me about you and Prince Harry.
CHARLIZE THERON, ACTRESS: He does great work in Africa. We're going to try to do something together. That's really what that was. It was unbelievable how that introduction turned into some crazy, crazy wildfire. Like it was -- yeah.
MORGAN: Early days -- :
THERON: I feel bad for him.
MORGAN: Do you? :
THERON: Yeah. I mean, it was just such an innocent introduction and to have people just kind of -- that must just really be horrible.
MORGAN: I don't think he's moaning. Trust me. Harry linked to Charlize Theron is not the worst, worst day of your life.
THERON: He's a lovely guy, by the way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's it for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.