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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Murdoch Takes a Hit; Interview With Tom Arnold
Aired July 19, 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 world's biggest media mogul under attack. Literally and figuratively, Rupert Murdoch in the hot seat.
RUPERT MURDOCH, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, NEWS CORPORATION: People I trusted let me down and I think they behaved disgracefully and betrayed me and the company and me, and it's for them to pay.
MORGAN: And I'll set the record straight about the lies of one of British Member of Parliament told about me.
Also, if all you know about Tom Arnold is his marriage to Roseanne Barr, you don't know the half of it.
TOM ARNOLD, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: Jenny Craig hired myself and my ex- wife -- offered us $10 million to lose 20 pounds. Who could not lose 20 pounds for $10 million? I can think of two fat (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
MORGAN: He tells his side of the story and tonight he sits down with me for candid conversation about his battle with addiction, his dark childhood secret. And his friendship with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
That's Tom Arnold and this is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. A dramatic day for Rupert Murdoch. Hours of tough questioning coming to a sudden halt with this.
Murdoch splattered with a shaving cream pie, thrown by a man who identified himself on Twitter as comedian and activist as Johnny Marbles. Murdoch's wife, Wendi Deng, leaping to his defense as you see here with a swift right hook.
And when the hearing resumed, more questions for Murdoch and his son James about the phone hacking scandal.
Then an accusation that I have to address. Member of Parliament Louise Mensch accused me not once but twice of boasting in a book that I've gotten scoops when I hacked a phone as editor of the "Daily Mirror," a paper not owned by Rupert Murdoch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOUISE MENSCH, BRITISH CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORTS COMMITTEE: Piers Morgan, now a celebrity anchor on CNN, said openly in his book, clearly which was published before this whole controversy broke, that he had hacked phones. He said that he won scoop of the year for a story about Ulrika Johnson and Sven Goran Eriksson. He actually gave a tutorial on how one accesses voicemail by country in a set default code, and clearly from the account that he gives, he did it routinely as editor of "The Daily Mirror."
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Absolutely wrong, Mrs. Mensch. I want to be really clear about this. I've never hacked a phone, never told anyone else to hack a phone or publish any stories based on the hacking of a phone.
Here's what I actually said in my book "The Insider." And I quote directly, "Apparently if you don't change the standard security code every phone comes with, then anyone can call your number and if you don't answer, tap in the standard four-digit code to hear all your messages. I'll change mine just in case. But it makes me wonder how many public figures and celebrities are aware of this little trick."
Mrs. Mensch clearly hadn't read the book. Earlier we were both at Wolf Blitzer on "THE SITUATION ROOM" and I confronted her directly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S THE SITUATION ROOM: All right, what evidence do you have to make that kind of accusation against Piers Morgan.
MENSCH: Well, I said what I said in the committee, Wolf, but I'm afraid right now I'm going to say that I can't comment about it outside of the committee room. Because as Mr. Morgan will know, inside parliament, when I speak in a select committee of parliament, I am protected by absolute parliamentary privilege. To repeat something outside of parliament doesn't give me that cloak of privilege.
BLITZER: I understand the legal ground.
Piers Morgan is joining us on the phone right now. I want to give him a chance to respond to that very direct allegation you made against him and his reputation.
Piers, go ahead and respond and tell Mrs. Mensch what you think.
MORGAN: Well, I'm amused by her cowardice in refusing to repeat that allegation. Now she's not in parliament and covered by privilege. What she did today was a deliberate, in my view, an outrageous attempt to smear my name, CNN's name, "The Daily Mirror's" name.
And I think her now to have the breathtaking gall to just sit here calmly and say, I can't possibly repeat that because I haven't got privilege, is an outrage.
And I call on you, Miss Mensch now, to repeat it, show some balls, repeat what you said about me and then maybe go and buy a copy of my book "The Insider" and see where in that book these claims that you made today in a televised committee, watched all over the world, where that claim is in that book? Because it isn't there.
BLITZER: All right, Mrs. Mensch, do you want to respond to that?
MENSCH: As I've just said, I made the claims in the select committee. And people will look at them.
MORGAN: Yes, it's not in the book, though, Mrs. Mensch, is it? So why don't we just figure on exactly what you said.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: For more on today's hearing, I want to bring in CNN producer Jonathan Wald who's not only in the room, he was seated right behind Rupert Murdoch when all the action took place.
I must point out, Jonathan, you're not the Jonathan Wald that produces my show. You are a CNN producer called Jonathan Wald. Very confusing for the pair of you.
And you had an amazing ringside seat to this. I mean quite extraordinary scenes when the protester attacked Rupert Murdoch. What was it like for you being so close to that?
JONATHAN WALD, CNN PRODUCER: Well, it was -- it was very dramatic. At first I wasn't sure what he was doing, this gentleman appeared from the back of the room. He didn't seem threatening. I thought perhaps he was trying to make his way outside of the room.
Next thing I know, he was speaking to Rupert Murdoch with the intonation of someone scolding a naughty child, and he said, you're a greedy billionaire, and then he took out of a plastic bag that he was holding by his side, this polystyrene plate filled with -- well, what I found out later was shaving foam.
I found out because it went everywhere, including me, and it was clearly shaving foam, and plunged it squarely in his face, prompting an almighty reaction, particularly from Rupert Murdoch's wife, Wendi Deng.
MORGAN: I mean, got to say, Wendi moved faster than a Navy SEAL there. Just took out this guy with a right hook. Pretty impressive.
WALD: Yes. No, she was faster than any of the security apparatus there in that room. She was closest, but nonetheless, she struck him with a right hand, and then she took the plate, which the attacker used to strike Rupert Murdoch and hit him back with it, giving him a taste of his own medicine.
And as we left the room, we were all asked to leave, that is the members of the press and members of the public so that the session could be suspended. She was sitting next to Rupert Murdoch, and she was -- I think about that time she had recognized that nothing really -- that no real damage had been done. It was shocking, but no real injury, and she was sitting next to him smiling and was pleased with the speed and the effectiveness of her reaction.
MORGAN: Jonathan, what do we know about the attacker?
WALD: Well, right after the attack took place, I started speaking to the police who were running around. All they were telling me was that this was a live incident and they are looking into it urgently. They have since said that it was a 26-year-old who they arrested on suspicion of assault.
But he has tweeted -- in fact, he tweeted just before the incident under the name of Johnny Marbles, a -- he's listed as an activist and a comedian. And he tweeted, "It's a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before, splat." And that was just moments before he threw the shaving foam pie into Rupert Murdoch's face.
And I've seen some of his YouTube clips and it certainly looks exactly like the individual that I saw carry out this attack earlier today.
MORGAN: Well, Mr. Marbles may have had his day, but of course he's probably ensures all the headlines tomorrow will be about Wendi Deng's right hook and less about the Murdochs getting grilled, which may not be what his objective was.
Jonathan Wald, thank you very much.
Now I want to turn to Vicky Ward, best-selling author, contributing editor of "Vanity Fair," who's worked for several Murdoch newspapers. James Fallows, international correspondent for the "Atlantic," and CNN's Richard Quest back in London.
Let's me start with you, James Fallows. Obviously a massive day for the Murdoch family and indeed for News Corporation. What's your overview? How did they do?
JAMES FALLOWS, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTIC: I think it -- miraculously, the pie may have saved the whole day for the Murdoch family. Because, of course, as you just pointed out that it will dominate the headlines. We have this riveting spectacle of Wendi trying to step in to defend her husband, and we have Rupert Murdoch in the role of the person who has been wronged, rather than any other role.
I think that changed what was a very, very difficult beginning for both of the Murdochs in the first hour of the hearing. When Rupert Murdoch seemed sometimes confused, he was slow in answering the question, often and in an almost touching way, James Murdoch would try to intervene to supply information his father didn't have. And MPs would say no, with respect, we'd like to hear from Mr. Murdoch Senior.
So I think the pie changed the whole dramatic narrative of the day. MORGAN: Yes, Richard Quest, I mean, very dramatic scenes. Would you agree with that, that it's the pie what won it?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: No, I actually don't think I would agree on that. I think the pie incident will be seen for what it is which was a disgraceful, appalling breach of parliamentary regulations and will be dealt with as such.
And that fundamentally, people will turn back. The pie will be a side bar, and it may have made the headlines tomorrow, but the answers that were given by the Murdochs in the hearings, will be what people will focus on in the longer term.
And don't forget one other crucial point. There are the police inquiries, the Independent Police Complaints Commission. You've also then got this massive judicial inquiry that has still got to get under way, along with any further inquiries that will come from this committee.
So long and short, the pie might be the froth, if you like, but I think that people will concentrate on what was said.
MORGAN: And from what you saw, Richard, I mean, where would you say that the Murdochs were at their weakest today?
QUEST: Clearly on the fundamental question which never got answered. Why did you not know? I mean, they danced around it. We got into some incredible detail about payments to X and payments to Y. And what did you know and who signed this contract.
It was very detailed. It was parliamentary process perhaps at its best and its worst. But we never got to the answer, why didn't you know? And particularly with Mrs. Brooks, again and again, it was brought to her, but we never really fundamentally understood how did these people who should have or perhaps might have known failed to know? And that I think is still very much a question to be answered, probably by the judicial inquiry.
MORGAN: Let me turn to you, Vicky Ward, you're a personal friend of the Murdochs.
VICKY WARD, AUTHOR, VANITY FAIR CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
MORGAN: And we spoke yesterday. You movingly spoke about Rupert seeing this is a very difficult day. He started off by saying it's the most humble day of his life.
MORGAN: Have you had any reaction from the family since the end of the hearing today?
WARD: Yes. Well, I got an email from a friend of Wendi's, going she had slapped him. So I did email Wendi back, go, girl, or go for it, Wendi. You know, I think that the feeling was that Rupert was very fragile, very contrite at the beginning, and that he started to get more resilient, more rambunctious towards the end. He came out strongly I noticed about the telegraph which is an important point here. That two years ago, the British public seemed quite content to let -- when the "Daily Telegraph" broke a very big story about the abuses on MPs' expenses and they obtained this information by paying for it -- with paying for stolen documents.
And I think what he was trying to point out was that he had created a culture that was there to expose the establishment. And clearly what we saw today was the beginning of a process which needs to draw a line between exposing, you know, and making a democracy transparent which is good. And tampering with the law and doing illegal things and bribing police, which is clearly very, very bad.
But it was apparent that he wasn't --
MORGAN: Let me bring in -- let me bring in James Fallows on that point. I mean what was interesting to me, I thought, watching it was I saw people observing the Murdochs seemed to be a bit mumbling and wasn't really focused. This reminded me a lot of the old meetings I had with him even 16 years ago.
He took a bit of time to warm up. When he warmed up, he was more the Murdoch of old. I expect early on he was very anxious and conscious of not saying the wrong thing and that's why he was taking time to answer.
But what was interesting to me was when he made it clear that he didn't feel the buck stopped with him. I mean is that a position that is acceptable for a guy who's chairman and CEO of News Corporation?
FALLOWS: I think it's quite a surprising position, and there is a difference between your reaction to this and I think that of most of the European public because most of us have never done business with Rupert Murdoch and know what he's like inside. And so the first impression of his being very cautious and seeming sometimes worse than cautious, of unsure of what he was saying, that was a surprise given the view of Murdoch as this very, very controlling media figure. Probably the single most influential media figure in the world.
And then finally his saying that he wasn't accepting responsibility. I think, and especially to an American audience, that would be a jarring thing to hear, because the normal way to deal with these things is to say that finally as the captain of the ship, as the head of the enterprise, as the commander of a unit, one does take responsibility. And so I think that was quite a jarring note, at least to an American public.
MORGAN: Yes, but I found it quite amusing. People commenting on the repeated banging of his first. And that's what he's done all his life.
MORGAN: And by the way, from my experience, it can convey both displeasure and pleasure. So I wouldn't read too much into that.
Richard Quest, the stock price of News Corporation rose by 6 percent today. Huge amount of money that has come back into the company as a result of these hearings. Clearly the markets didn't feel there was any more damage today, if anything, a bit of the stabilizing of the ship. Would you see it that way?
QUEST: Yes, I most certainly would. Absolutely. Initially when we went into the day, there was the prospect of -- there was this rumor of a board meeting and perhaps Murdoch would retire or resign, and the stock price rose, and we all interpreted this stock price as being Murdoch's out, new man in, investors love it.
By the end of the day, they got a flash that News Corp is by no means over, and anybody who had written it off had better certainly watch out for their own back.
MORGAN: And finally, Richard, I mean greatest scandal in British history from your experience?
QUEST: Oh, no, no, no, no. No. It's a good scandal. It's a grade A scandal, but it doesn't come -- in my humble opinion, it doesn't come close to the electorate, the MPs' expenses scandal. This was elected politicians basically rocking the public. Here we have a private company up to no good.
MORGAN: Yes. And for many of those Members of Parliament, clearly a bit of payback I should think.
Anyway, Vicky Ward, James Fallows and Richard Quest, thank you all very much.
WARD: Thanks, Piers.
FALLOWS: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up, my candid conversation with funny man Tom Arnold. He tells all on his roller coaster life and dark childhood secret.
MORGAN: Here with my special guest, Tom Arnold.
Tom, you've got a new DVD out. "Tom Arnold: That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It." What does that mean?
ARNOLD: Well, I tell a lot of stories in my standup act that, you know, or my points of view of different things. And I think it's just a play on that. You know I talk about I have a certain amount -- something about relationships, maybe some Hollywood stories, about people that you know, friends of mine, most of them, and I think that's what it is.
MORGAN: I mean it's a remarkably candid thing to watch. I mean, you are -- you've have had quite a life. To put it mildly, haven't you?
ARNOLD: Well, I think if you do standup, the kind of standup I like, you've got to tell the truth and you know hopefully you've had some interesting things. The saddest things, the most painful things, are oftentimes the funniest. So yes, I -- you know before I did the special, I did some specials in '91, '92, '93, with Judd Apatow. My first HBO specials.
And I wanted to do some more so I spent two years going in front of audiences, finding out what they knew about me. I hoped that they didn't know everything, you know?
ARNOLD: But they did. They do. Even young people. So I felt like I had to address it in this special and then maybe I can move on from it finally.
MORGAN: It's interesting when you say that the saddest stuff is often the most comic in terms of its potential. Is there anything about your life that you can't joke about?
ARNOLD: Well, I can't think of anything. There are things that are better than others. You know, I think if -- it's hard to find a way to make child abuse funny. You know, sexual abuse. You know, but I think there's probably a way. I think someone could do it.
Since it happened to me, you know, I own it a little bit. I can -- I can direct people where I want, and you know nothing is off- limits.
MORGAN: Let's just play a little clip from the DVD.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARNOLD: America has got the fattest poor people on the planet. I tell you, our poor people weigh 400 pounds, they smoke four packs of cigarettes a day. I'm not too worried. You know what I'm saying? You go to Africa, their poor people look hungry. But we're Americans, damn it.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ARNOLD: Yes. I'm from Iowa.
MORGAN: You are, but you're also -- I mean you are considerably smaller than I thought you might be.
ARNOLD: I'm working on it. Yes, people would think I'm shorter and fatter.
MORGAN: You're in good shape (INAUDIBLE)
ARNOLD: They always say that. I'm 6'2", you know, 240. They think I'm 300 pounds, 5'6".
MORGAN: I mean have you had sort of an ongoing battle with --
ARNOLD: My gosh --
MORGAN: Your weight, the way you look, everything?
ARNOLD: My battle with food and my weight is the core of every -- of my alcoholism, of everything. You know my self-esteem is tied to that. And so it's been a battle since I was a kid.
MORGAN: And how are you feeling these days about the way you look?
ARNOLD: I need to lose some weight. I need -- I've lost some weight, but I need to lose more.
MORGAN: You don't look bad.
ARNOLD: I've never been happy. I thought I was fat when I was thin. You know when I was a kid, I was afraid to take my shirt off in front of other kids. And so -- and when you come from a farming area, that's hard. You know? You get a farmer tan. But I think I'm still -- my self-esteem is caught up in it.
MORGAN: You worked as a young guy in a meatpacking plant in Iowa.
MORGAN: Did you remember that experience well?
ARNOLD: I remember working at Hormel very well. The good things, I had a lot of friends there. They still work there. It was hard work. It was a good job. I had insurance. And I really -- you know, it was best job in Ottumwa, Iowa, to get at that time.
It also was a place without windows. There is a lot of death. We killed 5,000 hogs a day. That can get on -- you know, it can get on your nerves a little bit.
MORGAN: Were you a good hog slayer?
ARNOLD: I was. My nickname was gunner. People get very upset out here when I tell them that but they don't realize where the meat comes from. We try to do it in a humane way, but it's tough. It's a rough business.
MORGAN: Ever wondered if your life hadn't taken its deviation into standup, do you ever wonder if you could -- if you would still be there now?
ARNOLD: You know, when I don't feel -- you know I got fired from Hormel. Got arrested for public nudity in an old folks' home. MORGAN: What?
ARNOLD: So -- yes, it was first --
MORGAN: Wait, wait, wait. Rewind here. Rewind. Slow down. You did what?
ARNOLD: Well, me, Mike, and Mo, who are still buddies of mine to this day, there's nothing to do in Ottumwa, Iowa, after 10:00. I called in sick to work. You know they had a strike system. The union. Three strikes you're out. So I always had two and then one would expire.
I called in sick for work and the party ended at 10:00, and I said, on the way back, I was staying at Indian Hills Community College. On the way back there, let's streak. The only thing that's open were the diner and Jefferson Square Manor.
We went to the diner, there wasn't anybody there. It didn't satisfy us. So we knew the nurses at Jefferson Square Manor. It wasn't for the people. They're already asleep. And we came running through there and the nurses called the police, and I got arrested. Handcuffed behind my back. You know in the middle of main street in December, a cold December day.
MORGAN: What was that moment like?
ARNOLD: Terrifying. Because I said, I hope this is funny one day. I was powerless, you know, you're handcuffed. People are driving by, people I've known my whole life. And I said I pray that this is funny one day, and here it's sort of funny. We're talking about it. My dad had to come bail me out of jail naked.
MORGAN: Hard to explain to your father what you've done.
ARNOLD: Especially my father, Jack. He -- very upright citizen, people love him, you know, at my hometown. And he had a son, his oldest son was crazy. So I put him through a lot of misery.
MORGAN: The naked hog slayer.
ARNOLD: Yes. Yes. Exactly.
MORGAN: Standup fame had saved you from all of this. When was the moment that you realized this could be a career and not just a bit of fun for you?
ARNOLD: The first time I got offered a paying job, $15, I was in University of Iowa and I had some standup. You know they had an open mike night where you could come and tell jokes or you know read a poem or whatever. And I signed up for it. And I loved the response I was getting. And then someone said, well, I live in Minneapolis, come up there and I'll give you a job. And so I packed my stuff in a trash bag and got on a bus. Showed -- I had 100 bucks, showed up there, went to the club, thought, well, I've got a full-time job, you know, this is awesome. And they said, no, no, no, it's one night for $15.
And I got scared, and I went -- it was a bartender down the street. I did whatever I could to support it, but getting that $15 changed my life.
MORGAN: You are obviously inexorably linked to Roseanne Barr. And it would be --
ARNOLD: Wow. How is that -- yes.
MORGAN: I mean is that a good thing or not a good thing for you?
ARNOLD: You know, but people have to understand, I haven't talked to her, you know, face to face in almost 18 years. I'm very happy for her, you know, I'm happy that she has a new show. I hope people watch it. I want her to succeed. You know I'm grateful to her. I talk about that in my standup.
And you know, but it's so long ago that it seems odd. She did e- mail me in December, started e-mailing me. Out of the blue. Random. I hadn't heard from her in many years. And I showed Ashley, my wife. And she let write her back. And every other e-mail was really mean.
ARNOLD: It reminded me, she can't help it. She can't help it. And you know my thing is, I got to be a stepfather for five years because of her. That is the best thing that's ever happened to me, until now. Ashley and I are planning our family. You know, and that taught me a lot. It got me sober, you know, and this is all under her watch. You know if I hadn't had somebody in my corner like her, I'd be dead.
MORGAN: I mean, see, I know she watches the show a lot because she tweets about it a lot.
ARNOLD: She'll be watching today.
MORGAN: Yes, exactly. And what would you say to her if she's watching?
ARNOLD: I'd say good luck with your show. You know, I've said thank you to her many times. And I just hope she's -- it seems like her life is altogether now, I'm very happy, if you care. And I'm glad things worked out the way they did.
MORGAN: Do you think she'll be pleased that you're happy?
ARNOLD: Part of her, no. But I think that deep down I'm sure.
MORGAN: Let me take a little break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about --
ARNOLD: We aren't going to talk about Roseanne, are we, today? I'm kidding. I'm kidding.
MORGAN: It's too late. I'll tell you the genie is out of the bottle. Sorry. We are going to talk Arnold Schwarzenegger after the break, your friend.
ARNOLD: good guy, good guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARNOLD: All right, buddy. It's going to be great. You know what? We're going to catch some terrorists. We're going to beat the crap out of them. You'll get to feel a hell of a lot better. All right. Watch your head now, watch your head. OK. All right. Women. Can't live with them, can't kill them.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was one of Tom Arnold's biggest role in the blockbuster movie "True Lies." Rather impressive remarks there I think, Tom, don't feel your old friend Arnold Schwarzenegger?
ARNOLD: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: I've got to task you --
ARNOLD: He's a good man. He's a good man.
MORGAN: Well, look. You're great friends with him I know. And I know he's been -- he's been hinting there might be a -- a remake of "True Lies", which is that -- that great film, which was a huge hit.
Tell me about Arnold. Obviously he's -- he's been through a pretty shattering few months. I -- I've known him -- not as well as you, certainly. But for a -- I've always liked him very much. What do you make of what's been going on?
ARNOLD: Well, you have to understand he grew up in a -- much like me in a small town in -- in Austria in his case. And I think that's what we bond on. You know, he -- he respects that coming from somewhere and doing something. You know, he's very charitable, you know? He's a -- this has been tough. Because our relationship is based on a lot of humor.
And you know to find humor in all this has been hard. You know, I'm just his friend unconditionally just like he's been for me at the worst times of my life. And so anything I can do for him. And you know, I love Maria and the kids obviously, you know? And hopefully this thing gets better for him.
MORGAN: Were you -- were you as shocked as everybody else?
ARNOLD: Yes. Yes. You know, I mean, he -- obviously people don't share -- people don't share a lot of things with me. You know, if they're using drugs, or they're getting wasted, or -- or that, they don't necessarily share it with me. And I -- and I kind of appreciate that.
You know, if he'd have told me, you know, I'd have been there for him. You just -- I just have a -- we have an unconditional friendship.
MORGAN: Do you speak to him a lot about this?
ARNOLD: About what?
MORGAN: About what's been going on?
ARNOLD: Well, we see each other. You -- you say how are you, you know? And --
MORGAN: I mean, you said yourself. I mean, in your own life the saddest stuff often makes the most comic material. At what point can you crack a joke about this?
ARNOLD: Well, the only joke that I can crack is that he can no longer make fun of the women that I've been with. You know? All right. But you know, he -- he knows. You got to make a joke one day. And you know, this happened. And -- and people are close to him like Jim Cameron. You figure out what do we say? What do we -- you know?
And you know, he's got a pretty thick skin.
MORGAN: There is this talk of the remake of "True Lies". Is that a go, or is it -- but might it happen?
ARNOLD: I think it's a go. I had -- it may not be the next movie he does. But you know, we'll eventually do it. And --
MORGAN: You've been talking about it?
ARNOLD: Absolutely we've been talking about it.
ARNOLD: Plus it's great fun. Will you do True -- are you still talking about that? It's been 17 years, and I still -- I'm not giving up on it, you know? And I love -- if you work with people that you -- that you love like Jamie Lee Curtis, Jim Cameron, you -- obviously you want to do that again, and again, and again.
And that's -- you know, for 17 years I've been talking about it. And we're still talking about it. And that's good enough for me now. MORGAN: But as people get very judgmental when these scandals break, most cause they don't know the person concerned. The -- what kind of man is Arnold Schwarzenegger?
ARNOLD: I think Arnold is a great man. I think, you know, everybody makes mistakes. We're human beings. I'm -- I'm not saying that anything he did is a mistake. But, you know, he's a great man. He's very -- you know, I learned a lot about myself. You know, being of service to other people. You know, with the inner city games that he started.
You know, he always said, "My movie work is -- is equally important with my service work. You know, my charity work. And if people don't realize that, then they can't be a part of me." You know, he's going around and, you know, he's working on the environment with Jim Cameron, and -- and doing things that are a little bit bigger outside of the movie business.
The movie business is his job, and he does enjoy the hell out of it. But, you know, there's other things that he cares about. And he -- he's done an amazing job.
MORGAN: As a standup comedian, did you like making movies? Or is the process torture. Cause on a -- on a stage you walk out. There's loads of people. You get instant reaction from an audience. And you walk off an hour and a half later with a big check in your pocket.
Movies, you know, it's three months filming. It's six months editing, promotion, and all the rest of it. And out it comes. And it might just bomb over night. I mean, it's like a -- it's a torturous process, isn't it?
ARNOLD: It is torturous, and it's monotonous. You know, you do things -- some directors have you do them 20 or 30 times in a row. And you know, if you're an actor that started in comedy, that's rough. Cause you -- you know, you wear out. But at the end, you know, if you're working with great people -- I just did a movie with Dax Shepard and Bradley Cooper, and you know, and Kristen Bell.
You every day was something different with those guys, and fun. And I see the joy that somebody like Bradley Cooper has to be there. And I'm thinking, well he could do whatever he wants right now. You know, why -- he's just so happy to be there, and be in the moment. And I want to get some of that. Cause I've done about 100 movies. And I want it still to be fun for me.
MORGAN: You've made 100 movies?
MORGAN: Which is your favorite?
ARNOLD: Well, I mean, I loved "True Lies" --
MORGAN: Yes. ARNOLD: -- because of what it did personally. And -- and it was great professionally. And a movie called "Happy Endings." I loved that.
ARNOLD: It's a smaller movie.
MORGAN: I remember it.
ARNOLD: Don Roos directed, and --
MORGAN: And the biggest turkey? The one you don't like to talk about in civilized company?
ARNOLD: I think there was one. I can't remember the name. People will ask me this. That the -- the financiers' girlfriend played the lead. And I just -- I took it. It was a job, you know? I -- I don't turn down much obviously. But it was a job. And -- and it was rough. It was rough for her, to put her in that position.
ARNOLD: And I can relate to that, you know? So, yes. That was rough. I can't remember the name.
MORGAN: We'll be on a little break. When we come back I want to talk to you about alcohol, cocaine abuse. It's doing to be a cheery section.
ARNOLD: Let's party.
MORGAN: Back now with my special guest, Tom Arnold. Tom, I mean, you -- you've been there. You've done it. You've sniffed it. You've drunk it. You've lead the party life.
ARNOLD: Sniffed it.
MORGAN: There wasn't much you --
ARNOLD: -- a drug addict. They never sniff anything. No I did -- I have done -- I have a lot of war stories. I have done -- you know, I took everything. Alcohol, drugs, street drugs, you know, to the -- to the max. I mean, there's nothing that I'm not addicted to, you know? Whether it be work, or you know, food is a big issue all the time.
MORGAN: You and Charlie Sheen go back a -- a long way. I mean, when you were at your peak apparently, who -- who could out party the other? ARNOLD: Well, Charlie is a private partier, you know? At least from what I can tell he kind of keeps -- he -- he holes up in his cave. That's at least the impression I get. I can't imagine anybody doing more drugs than -- than I did and living. And you know, especially with cocaine. And you know, your resistance to these -- these drugs --
MORGAN: I mean, the -- there's recreational drug taking, and there's addiction. I mean --
MORGAN: -- at your worst, what are we talking in terms of consumption?
ARNOLD: I was about a half ounce a day --
ARNOLD: -- of cocaine. That's crazy. And I'm so grateful to be alive. And I don't know why I am.
MORGAN: Did you remember how that made you feel?
ARNOLD: Well, I will tell you this. The first time I tried cocaine, it made me feel great. It was in probably 1984. And then every time after that I tried to get that feeling of the first time. And I was chasing it. And at the end in 1989, every time I -- I did cocaine I felt paranoid, depressed. And I -- I lied to myself and said, "Well, I'll get back to that place you were a few years ago."
But it doesn't happen. Your brain chemistry changes. Cocaine, alcohol, all those drugs, and it didn't give me what I was looking for.
MORGAN: Do you -- do you drink at all now?
ARNOLD: No. I haven't had a drink since 1988.
MORGAN: Literally nothing at all?
MORGAN: And do you ever get tempted?
ARNOLD: I -- I watch people sometimes, normal people. And they are having a couple of drinks. I watch my wife and her friends, and I wonder what that's like. But I know what's that like. I have 100 drinks. I mean, literally 20 drinks, get wasted, black out, get in a fight. Do all that stuff. I know where it goes.
I remember -- it's like fresh. It's horrible. And then waking up the next day. And the shame, and the guilt. I -- that's what exactly would happen. I know. I tried to -- I went to my first 12 step meeting in 1986. It took me until 1989. It -- you know, sober. So I know. I've tried every way possible drinking just beer, wine, whatever.
It doesn't work for me.
MORGAN: Did you have any regrets about it, or is it something that happened to you, that you're just pleased you moved on that was for a long time probably quite a bit fun?
ARNOLD: I have regrets about the way I acted, you know, when I was using drugs and alcohol. And I had a lot of amends to make to people. People I was in relationships in the past, you know, in Iowa and the Midwest. And you know, I -- I was -- I used some very top notch women. Some great -- and they helped -- they helped me a lot. And I wasn't a good boyfriend.
MORGAN: You had a very tough upbringing in terms of you suffered this child abuse from a -- a male babysitter. Your mother was married I think seven times. Clearly a pretty chaotic domestic scenario there. How much of what went on then do you think determined how you became in your earlier adulthood?
ARNOLD: Well, relationships wise, if your mom leaves when you're four, you know, anything is possible. So you know that. In the back of your mind, you've got -- subconsciously, you know that if things start going bad in a relationship, she's leaving. Because if my mom left, I mean, anybody could leave.
So I -- my first three marriages lasted four years. My mom left when I was four. I mean, it's something I've really looked at and worked on with Ashley.
And you know, I don't want to -- all my chips are on the table this time. I think I always held a little something back. And that was a detriment to those relationships. And also the -- the women I was with. And so I'm not doing that with Ashley now. And -- and hopefully for -- for the best.
MORGAN: What happened to the abuser.
ARNOLD: Well, after I got sober, you know, you -- you spin through things, and you work on things. And I started really dealing with it 20 -- 21 years ago. And I -- I located him. He had moved from Ottumwa to Des Moines. I found out where he worked. He ran a business. He was a big church leader.
Because they don't quit by the way. They -- they say that if they do one, they do 240 kids.
I went back to my old neighborhood. He had done it to his brothers. You know, he had done to a bunch of the kids. A lot of kids -- boys don't like to talk about it. Because they -- they think it's -- mistakenly think it's a homosexual thing.
It's obviously not. You're a victim of this man. And so I went. I found him. I worked with my therapist. I wanted to confront him, but I didn't to kill him, or beat the -- you know, get arrested again. Because the guy hurt me enough, right? So I found him. Showed up where he worked. You know, he's like, "Oh, my gosh." And I -- right in front of everybody.
And I gave him back the pain and shame he caused me as a kid.
MORGAN: What did you do?
ARNOLD: I just -- I just said what I had to say. He came towards me and put his finger on my chest and said, "Your memories are wrong." Which tells me he's been confronted before. "Where did you come up with that?" He hadn't seen me in many years.
And I -- you know, I -- first I was scared. I will tell you that.
I felt like the four year old. But I remembered, "Oh, my God. He -- he was more violent than I thought." And he would take me in this back room to play the game, you know? The reason I didn't tell my father is -- is because he gave me a candy bar at the end. You know, like a big candy bar. And my dad didn't want me eating sugar, because of my -- you know, look at me.
And so -- plus I didn't know what it was. I didn't know what he -- you don't know what sex is if you're a kid. So I confronted him. And -- and -- and then, you know, as he came towards me, and I -- I realized wait, I'm -- I'm a grown man now. I'm not that kid. And I grabbed his arm. And then I went back home. And -- and I --
MORGAN: Did you hit him?
ARNOLD: No. I didn't hit him. I just -- you know. But I -- I went right immediately to the governor of Iowa's office. It was down the road. And I said you got to do something about this guy. He's about to adopt another boy, which I had found out.
And he says, "Tom, you're not here. You can't tell me -- that's a federal offense you're asking me to do." And he goes, "Get out of here. Go back to California." I said, "Yes, but I'm worried about this kid. He's growing his own victims." "Whatever. Go back to California."
Got a call a couple days later from my brother. He said that the adoption had fallen through, some kind of paperwork thing.
So he never -- I don't know what the governor did, but I appreciate it. And so I said, "What about the kids in his neighborhood now?" So I had my farm hands six blocks around his house put up posters of the guy, his name, his face, his crimes, kid high on every -- on every --
ARNOLD: -- you know, pole.
MORGAN: And did it bring you any kind of closure?
ARNOLD: Absolutely. Because I -- up till then, and I didn't want to admit it, every time I went back to Ottumwa and I was at the mall or something, I was like I am going to see this guy. And he's got a secret over me. And he's got some kind of weird power over me.
And so I didn't want that to happen in front of people. And I didn't want it to have someone I was beholding to, because he, you know, raped me when I was a kid. I didn't want that to be -- you know, he had already done -- so by confronting him, and exposing him -- you know, I went on Oprah.
And -- and she said, "Don't say the name." I go, "OK. I'm not going to say the name, but let's call him blank." And I said the name right in the camera, because I wanted everybody to know, you know?
And so I think I did -- I did the best I could do. And I'm not ashamed. I mean, how could I be? But I was before that. I will tell you that. I was.
MORGAN: Of course. Going to have a break and come back after. And talk about how you got yourself back on your feet, how you cleaned yourself up, and why. And a bit more Charlie Sheen.
You can never have enough Charlie Sheen.
MORGAN: Back with Tom Arnold. Tom, you've been sober, as you said, for two decades. And more than that, you've become an activist in this area for other Hollywood types who fall off the rails, haven't you? I mean, including Charlie Sheen.
ARNOLD: Well, everybody that's sober reaches out and does service work. Or, you know, someone is in trouble. It just so happens that I work in Hollywood. So a lot of that is with my friends. People have reached out to me, obviously. I wouldn't be sober if it wasn't for the friends I have. And -- and you know, in the beginning.
And then even now. So I think that -- you know, people talk about Hollywood being a bad place for drugs and alcohol. It's also a great place for recovery. There's a -- there's a lot of recovery here, and a lot of meetings, and a lot of help. And you know, it feels good to help people.
Obviously, it's a selfish thing. I help them. I feel good about myself. You know, that's a good thing. And it always comes back, you know, when you need it the most. When you're down on yourself. And you say, "Wait a minute. But I actually did some nice things." Okay. I might be okay.
MORGAN: When you see someone like Charlie going through what he's been through the last few months, what's been your -- your view watching from afar?
ARNOLD: Well, you know, I love Charlie. He's a -- he's a really -- as you know, I saw you interview him. A very sweet guy. I reached out to help him, because at the time he said, "No one is calling." What -- whatever. And I thought he might be in that scary place where you feel like you've been abandoned by the world.
So I called because I -- I wanted him not to be able to say that. Plus, if you know Charlie, he reached out to a lot of other people when he was rolling in sobriety, and helped other people, including, you know, people he worked with on the -- the show. So I said, "Well, if he's the kind of guy that always helps people, well, maybe I'll just let him know I'm here. And he knows where I am.
MORGAN: But I -- I was told that -- that you got a reaction from someone close to Charlie when you were trying to do this originally.
ARNOLD: Well, I tried to do it way back in -- in '88 or so -- '89. And I said, you know what? I had just gotten out of rehab in -- in 1990. And I -- I want everybody to be sober. You come out of there fired up, you know? Thirty days of sobriety, and I know everything. So I knew that Charlie was struggling with stuff. And -- and I'd heard some stories and seen him.
And so I called his agent and said, "I need you to help. We'll do an intervention." And he's like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. I could lose too much money." Cause interventions don't go well sometimes. "I'm not going to risk losing -- we make way too much from him." So nobody would help me on it.
MORGAN: I mean, there in a nutshell is the immorality of Hollywood, isn't it?
ARNOLD: That's the immorality of -- of everywhere. You know, it's Hollywood absolutely. I'm sure it's like that on Wall Street.
MORGAN: But particularly Hollywood, because there are so many people whose own lives and careers and incomes depend on the celebrity.
ARNOLD: Well, maybe so. But if I -- if I called -- I know 20 guys that if I called and said, "We're -- we're going to intervene on some kid in the middle of, you know, the inner city they'd be -- drop everything right now. The -- you know, no questions asked. And if obviously it was Charlie it would be even easier to get people to help.
But like I say, they don't always go well. Sometimes people hate me. I've done interventions on people that just hate me for five years, and then maybe get it down the line. And so, you know, it's a risk. But I do an intervention on a director and it goes bad, he's never going to hire me, you know? You know, he doesn't want to be -- think I'm going to spy on him, or tell that he's using or whatever, which I would never do.
I just want them to know there's an option out there, and people do care about them.
MORGAN: And you were partying just as hard as -- as Charlie.
ARNOLD: Oh, yes.
MORGAN: What -- what was the catalyst to stop for you? What in the end made you stop?
ARNOLD: I -- there was a night. I lived in Benedict Canyon, where I live now, and I -- I was trying to get in the gate. And I was so messed up. And I couldn't remember the code. It turned out it was my birth date. But I -- I was driving up and down the canyons. And -- and finally, you know, I see my ex wife come down the driveway. Get out of the car to let me in.
I think, "She's going to hit me." She always hits -- you know? She's going to be crabby. I deserve it. I'm a scumbag. And she came up, and she gave me a hug. And said, "I just want you to come home." And that broke through all of my craziness, and all the disease. And you know, I was suddenly very -- felt very sober. A moment of clarity.
And I said, "Okay, I got to tell you a story. And I lied the whole time. I've been using drugs." I can't stop. You know, we were about to get married. I can't stop. I'll be -- I thought I could stop at the bachelor party. I -- I said, "I'll be using at the wedding. I'll be using forever. I cannot stop."
So I surrendered that. And it felt good. But then she's like, "Well, you can't live here." So I got in the cab, and I checked myself in.
MORGAN: Going to have a little break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about marriage.
ARNOLD: Oh, good.
MORGAN: How you finally cracked it.
(BEGNI VIDEO CLIP)
ARNOLD: -- is the celebrity divorce. They always have this list. Mel Gibson's ex wife got 650 million dollars. Tiger Woods' wife got whatever. And at the end of that list it always says, "Tom Arnold got 50 million from Roseanne Barr." I think you guys are witness to the -- I didn't take a dime from that woman.
Listen, I'm in San Bernardino staying at the Hilton this weekend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: But that is true. You didn't take any --
ARNOLD: No. MORGAN: -- any money.
MORGAN: Did it -- did it annoy you though, this perception --
ARNOLD: Yes. And it still -- it still does, you know? And people when they write it as if it were fact. And all they got to do is look it up. It's public record. But it's funny. And you know, I think she likes to talk about it, and whatever. You know? What I took from that marriage -- a lot of things better than money. So I'm grateful.
MORGAN: I mean, you've obviously made a lot of money over the years. Have you managed to, despite all the partying and the extravagances and so on, have you retained enough to be pretty comfortable the rest of your life?
ARNOLD: Well, if I'd have continued partying, obviously I wouldn't have anything. So I have to work. No, I absolutely have to work. And maybe that's the best thing for me. You know, I don't have that F-you money that people talk about. I actually have to get up and work.
MORGAN: You've got a very impressive watch, I've noticed.
ARNOLD: Yes. I know. They gave that to me.
ARNOLD: -- very nice. Very nice. So I appreciate that.
MORGAN: One of the -- one of the perks of the job.
ARNOLD: There are -- there are a lot of great perks like that.
MORGAN: You -- you've got a successful marriage now. One that's working, and making you happy. What did you learn about marriage, and how to make it work?
ARNOLD: For me, you know, I didn't have a template, you know? Because my parents were not married. So --
MORGAN: -- was probably the last role model you could ever want.
MORGAN: Somebody that got married seven times. ARNOLD: And that's the thing. And I always didn't want to be like -- I didn't want to be an alcoholic, or get married a bunch. I wanted to be like my dad. He's a solid citizen. Been married -- his second marriage 40 some years. But I was on the path of being my mother obviously. I was -- I am an alcoholic. And I was getting married a bunch.
What I've learned is Ashley -- she likes me. You know, she likes me a lot. We have a great time.
MORGAN: Always s a good start I think.
ARNOLD: That is a good start. But it's -- you know, it wasn't always there with me. I felt like they would like me if I could show off. And -- and then I didn't have to work on the relationship. I'll go make movies in Canada for a year, and then show up. Things go very bad when you do that.
And you know, I have to work on my marriage. It's right after my sobriety every day.
MORGAN: Great to meet you.
ARNOLD: Thank you, buddy.
MORGAN: It's been a real pleasure.
ARNOLD: Thank you.
MORGAN: That's all from a fascinating interview with Tom Arnold.
And now, "AC360."