JOY BEHAR SHOW –
Main Guest: Bette Midler
Where is Baby Lisa; Michael Jackson Death Trial; Interview With Bette Midler
Aired October 25, 2011 – 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOY BEHAR, HOST: It`s been three weeks since 11-month-old Lisa Irwin vanished from her Kansas City, Missouri home. Now, there are conflicting reports about whether the parents are cooperating with the police. And the cops are saying that they want the parents to submit to separate interviews to answer some, as they say, tough questions.
With me now to discuss this case is Bill Stanton, private investigator working with the Irwin family on the Baby Lisa case. Ok. So who hired you, Bill?
BILL STANTON, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well, you know, it sounds so TV – – a mysterious wealthy benefactor and she`s been identified as a woman. And she is my friend, I know her.
BEHAR: Oh, you know who she is.
STANTON: Yes. I know who she is. I`m friends with her and coincidentally she is friends with a family member who I happen to know. I wouldn`t say we were necessarily friends but I was introduced to that person through her years ago.
BEHAR: So she has donated $100,000.
STANTON: Well, more than that.
BEHAR: More than that.
STANTON: A lot more than that.
BEHAR: So that pays your salary —
BEHAR: And your — Tacopina`s salary —
BEHAR: Not his?
STANTON: No. Joe, is different thing.
STANTON: Because it was specific. She called me up. She said get to the bottom of this. And her and I had a discussion I said well, at that stage, I didn`t know who was guilty, who was innocent and I`m not going to go to defend potentially baby killers. Let`s face it, you know, statistically, it`s the mother or the father in these cases.
BEHAR: That`s true.
STANTON: So I said I want to go out, I`ll find the truth. And I`m going to find that baby.
STANTON: She said, “I`m good with that.”
BEHAR: Ok. So what have you found so far?
STANTON: Well, the first thing I did is I went to the family and I gave them my provisos. I gave them my conditions. I said, I`m not here for you, I`m here for the truth. If the truth leads me to you as being the guilty party, I`m going to come for you. I`m going to report you. And they didn`t blink. They said, absolutely; vet us and then let`s go — let`s get on to the work. And that impressed me.
BEHAR: So that makes you think they`re innocent?
STANTON: No, it`s not only based on that. There are things that I`ve done that I can`t go into now and I have both my professional and personal opinion. Sometimes they`re in conflict. But right now, I am definitely leaning that this crime was committed from outside the home.
And until I hear otherwise; until I`m given compelling facts and evidence, I don`t think they had anything to do with it. Now, you know, they could be a wild card.
BEHAR: Why aren`t you in Kansas City right now?
STANTON: Well, I`m going back out there.
BEHAR: You are?
BEHAR: But I mean the police are going to start talking to the parents separately.
BEHAR: What do you think they`re going to accomplish there?
STANTON: I mean they`re looking for inconsistencies; you know there are different interview techniques.
STANTON: And I can`t speak to — if they should or shouldn`t go. I`m not a defense attorney. That`s more Joe`s side of the house. I mean, what I`m doing, all hands on deck, hands off their investigation, trying to stay away from them. The stuff that I`m doing is separate and apart.
BEHAR: Ok. So tell me about this surveillance video. On the one hand I was reading that they saw a guy on surveillance video walking in the area in the middle of the night. I don`t know who that was. And no one knows who he is. And then the eyewitnesses say they saw a man walking around there with a baby in diapers.
BEHAR: Tell me about that.
STANTON: Joy this is really interesting. Because the video in and of itself, it`s a guy — let`s face it, he could have gone to the bathroom in the woods and walked out. What`s really compelling is that you have three separate witnesses all corroborating the same general description.
BEHAR: They saw this guy.
STANTON: They see a guy, thin build, complected (ph) with what they believe is a small infant walking. You have one like two miles from the home, then another three and then another four in a linear fashion. To me, this is chilling. Who walks around with a baby at 12:00, at 2:30, at 4:00 a.m.
BEHAR: Right. Somebody who might have kidnapped that baby.
STANTON: Exactly. Exactly.
BEHAR: So why would someone do that? How would they know there`s a baby in that house?
STANTON: Well, there`s three potential motives: there`s profit, trafficking, you know, with the baby —
BEHAR: God forbid. Oh, my God.
STANTON: There`s coveting where you have an emotionally disturbed person or someone where you`ve seen —
STANTON: They just want their own child and then there`s revenge, or payback, something like that. Where I`m going to make them feel pain, whether it`s overt or covert.
BEHAR: Those are the three reasons?
STANTON: Yes. In my analytic —
BEHAR: Or just a perversion?
STANTON: Or just an anomaly, someone went to break into a house and instead of stealing jewelry, which obviously they didn`t have, they took a child. It`s compelling and it`s chilling.
But if someone knew there — you go to the timeline, it`s very, very interesting. And it reads like a movie script where the husband, it was his first day of working late.
STANTON: You know, the wife didn`t know what time he was coming home. All this was going —
BEHAR: She was hammered. Come on.
STANTON: She was not — to my best analytic — if you`re going to say that.
BEHAR: She admitted that she had 10 glasses of wine.
STANTON: She said that and she made — how do I say this? I`m watching my words. You can`t have it both ways. She was hammered —
STANTON: So, let`s say she was blasted. Ten glasses of wine she passed out.
BEHAR: Ok. And sleeping pills and antidepressants.
STANTON: Ok. Now, you`re out. Right? You`re out like a light.
BEHAR: Right. Right.
STANTON: So the last we have her going to bed on the timeline was 10:30, where the friend is leaving. She sees the lights go out. Friend`s next door, at 11:30 she goes in. She sees the lights are still out.
BEHAR: That`s right.
STANTON: So we can fairly assume nothing happened up until 11:30, right? She`s passed out.
STANTON: We know she`s in bed with her children.
BEHAR: Right. So that makes it look like she`s not guilty of anything.
STANTON: Why does she wake up in this drunken stupor, you`re going to tell me she accidentally shakes the kid?
BEHAR: No. I`m not saying that.
STANTON: No, but I`m saying those are some theories. You can`t have it both way, if she`s that drunk on all these pills and everything, how does she do anything?
BEHAR: You know what, Bill? I think that the drunken state that we`re talking about actually helps her?
STANTON: I think it`s a net neutral. I think it could potentially have saved her life. Because say she got up and she heard something. The theory, if it was from someone outside the home, this tragedy could have been a lot worse because you have two other children and the mother in the house.
BEHAR: Ok. What about this cadaver dog and the smell that he found, this dog?
STANTON: I`m not going to talk bad about the KCPD or the FBI. I think they`re doing a fantastic job. They`re running down every lead.
STANTON: I`m just — I go back to the timeline, Joy. I don`t see it. Let`s say — let`s go with the theory of the mother woke up and grabbed the kid and did something by accident — because I don`t — if it was anything, it wasn`t premeditated —
STANTON: — and she shook the kid and the kid died. Or let`s say it was SIDS or let`s say overmedication. So she wakes up whatever incident happens to the kid in the crib, so what does she do on Godfather 3, the scream silent at the end. She doesn`t wake the kids up and she`s pacing back and forth.
What does she do with this expired baby? She puts it down at the foot of the bed where here children are sleeping, then concocts how am I going to rid of this kid and doesn`t call anyone, does it all on her own. Then tell me how she did this.
BEHAR: What was it they said? That the cadaver dog could have been smelling like a dirty diaper — that`s the same sort of scent that they pick up.
STANTON: That`s exactly right. That`s exactly —
And when you evacuate and that baby already more than likely had that and the diapers and, you know, Joe`s explanation makes a lot of sense to me from a neutral position.
BEHAR: What do you make of this thing that she didn`t want go in the backyard to find the baby because she was afraid of what she would find? What do you think of that?
STANTON: I think doing these interviews is a double-edged sword. Doing these interviews keeps the story alive, keeps eyeballs on it where a potential witness could say something. But on the other hand, you guys are great at interviewing. She`s not trained. She`s speaking from her heart and she may misspeak like most of us would in that situation.
So, I didn`t want to go back there, lord knows what I would see. My friend`s a grandmother, I wouldn`t look. In my estimation, that`s what that was. So what — I mean what`s she saying —
BEHAR: Does that seem like a natural attitude. I mean I know I`m trying to picture God forbid the baby is missing I would start screaming for the police immediately.
STANTON: So what`s the implication is that I killed my child. I don`t want to see what I did.
STANTON: And then where would she be then?
BEHAR: Where is this baby?
STANTON: That`s exactly right. I am perfectly willing to hear an explanation, because if I get information implicating them, I would want them arrested. But someone tell me then how did she do this? Are we to believe a 25-year-old, not extremely sophisticated person, who`s a stay-at- home mom, is totally stumping the FBI, Kansas City, myself and my team, and essentially the brainpower of America. I just don`t see that happening.
BEHAR: Well, not that it`s on — we`ve never heard of this before. Do you remember the case of Susan Smith? She totally stumped the police if I recall. It can be done. I`m not saying she`s guilty of anything.
STANTON: Right. I know you`re not. You`re being very open-minded.
BEHAR: I`m being neutral on this. I`m neutral.
STANTON: As am I.
BEHAR: But what about the fact that the family`s lawyer allowed GMA cameras in the home? I thought that was a little weird. Quickly answer that one. Why do that?
STANTON: You know, that`s opening up the camera. It`s keeping the story alive, getting eyeballs on it.
BEHAR: Fine. But I mean they could have interviewed the parents. Why do they have to come into the house? Doesn`t that sort of upset the DNA and all that stuff?
STANTON: Yes, well, the crime scene was de-taped. The cops let them open up the house. That`s a lawyer question.
BEHAR: All right. Listen, Bill. It`s nice to have you here.
STANTON: Same here.
BEHAR: It`s a good interview with you. I like you.
STANTON: Thank you.
BEHAR: Thanks. We`ll be right back.
Come again. Talk about it.
BEHAR: The defense of the Conrad Murray involuntary manslaughter trial started presenting their case yesterday. And the way it`s going so far, you would think Michael Jackson was the one on trial.
Here to talk about the court proceedings are criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos and former prosecutor, Rikki Klieman.
Ok Mark, the defense is putting Michael Jackson`s character on trial. Years ago you defended him on child molestations charges. Are you having deja vu all over again Mark?
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there is something to be said for that. It`s one of the reasons obviously that I have a conflict of interest in this case. This is, I think, they telegraphed all along, this is where they were headed. They are going to try to — without offending people — try to insinuate that this was his own doing, so to speak, and I think that`s about what they`re left and that`s all they`re left to do at this point.
BEHAR: But you know why Rikki, you`ve worked as a prosecutor and a defense attorney, right? So they have some kind of strategy here. But to me, blaming the victim is not a good strategy in this type of situation, is it?
RIKKI KLIEMAN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, it`s not really a question of blaming the victim. It`s that we have to understand what Michael`s world was. Mark Geragos understands what Michael — Michael`s world was. This is a world where people will do what Michael wants.
KLIEMAN: And what Michael wanted was Michael desperately wanted to sleep.
KLIEMAN: And he was going to go from doctor to doctor, from nurse to doctor, to this person to that person until somebody would agree to give him Propofol.
BEHAR: Right. And he wasn`t going to stop.
KLIEMAN: No, he was not going to stop.
BEHAR: So but still that does not really preclude the fact that this guy gave him the Propofol under the weirdest conditions.
KLIEMAN: No absolutely. And it`s why the prosecution still, I believe, will win.
KLIEMAN: The prosecution simply has to say, look, even if Michael Jackson was begging for it, Conrad Murray is the doctor and Michael Jackson, according to the nurse-practitioner today —
KLIEMAN: She said she had a conversation with him about not using Propofol and Michael Jackson said, “I`ll be safe, don`t worry, because the doctor will monitor it.” And the prosecution has that fact that the doctor wasn`t monitoring it.
Ok now, Mark, what would you do to get him off the hook, Conrad Murray?
GERAGOS: Well I think — I think that their — I think their basic plan now is to focus in like a laser on the causation. I think it`s a done deal, as far as his gross negligence, I don`t think there`s any question. I don`t think the defense is going to spend any time on his gross negligence.
What they`re going to focus on, and to argue in closing is, we — they haven`t proved beyond a reasonable doubt that his gross negligence caused the death. It was this, it was another drug, it wasn`t the fact that he wasn`t attending to him. They can`t prove that it was the Propofol directly and that`s where they`re going to focus in on. And they`re going to use one of the jury instructions which gives them a little bit of help for that.
GERAGOS: I don`t think that this is ever going to be an acquittal. The best they`re hoping for right now I think is a hung jury.
BEHAR: Really and then what happens if it`s a hung jury?
KLIEMAN: Well, it`s an interesting question, and I — I`d be curious how Mark answers this as well because Mark practices in California. If it`s a hung jury, usually what that means to a defense lawyer besides the fact that, of course, their client gets another shot at it.
KLIEMAN: Is the fact that perhaps they could work out a plea bargain. But here, it`s a four-year count. There is — there is no room for maneuvering here. And what I`d ask Mark is simply the question of knowing that DA`s office in Los Angeles — they don`t care, they`ll retry it. They don`t care what the cost is —
KLIEMAN: They retry celebrity cases over and over and over again.
BEHAR: Oh say it isn`t so, Mark.
GERAGOS: Yes, remember Phil Spector — Phil Spector was a hung jury.
BEHAR: Please tell me they`re not going to this again.
GERAGOS: Well, they did it with Phil Spector. Phil Spector was a hung jury. They could do this again in a heartbeat. They — remember when you`re a prosecutor, you`ve got no budget. So you do whatever you want.
BEHAR: Do you think he`ll take the stand on his own behalf?
BEHAR: Should he?
GERAGOS: No way.
BEHAR: He shouldn`t?
GERAGOS: Are you kidding me? No way.
BEHAR: You mentioned before about Cherilyn Lee this nurse.
BEHAR: That told Jackson that the anesthetics shouldn`t be used at home and he rejected her advice. Doesn`t that help Conrad Murray, that point?
KLIEMAN: Well, again he`s — he`s shopping. You can`t give an informed consent the way — that`s which is what the defense is trying to say. Hey, look, Michael Jackson was already warned.
KLIEMAN: He was already told that this could possibly kill him and he went ahead against the nurse`s advice and found a doctor who would do this.
KLIEMAN: Well, that`s interesting. But it still doesn`t solve the problem for the defense.
BEHAR: Yes, yes I see.
Now, Mark, here`s another point. This morning, the judge ruled that the defense couldn`t bring up Michael Jackson`s contract with the — for the concert. Now if he was trying to get sleep in order to meet the terms of that contract, isn`t that important?
GERAGOS: Yes, it is. And that`s why the judge cut it out. The defense got pasteurized, if you will excuse the pun this morning. Judge Pasture has basically excluded almost all of what the defense wants to put in here and he`s done it under the inherent powers that the judge has here and that`s what he does and the defense has to live with it.
That`s why they`re — if you watched any of what they`re doing with Phillips and the AEG guy this afternoon, it`s almost painful because they`re not able to bring out what they wanted to bring out.
BEHAR: Yes. You know I`ve been watching it somewhat this trial. And I noticed that when the prosecution was bringing witnesses up, they would – – they would drag it out. But now the defense people, the witnesses are when asked — like speed dating, one after another. I mean what does this mean? Does it mean that the defense feels that he`s going to get off?
KLIEMAN: No. I think —
BEHAR: So they`re not paying — they`re not giving the time? What does that mean?
KLIEMAN: No, no, no first of all I got to say this. Ed Chernoff, who is the defense attorney —
KLIEMAN: The lead in this case is an extraordinarily good lawyer. And he`s dealt the cards as they are.
KLIEMAN: These are the facts of the case. So what he`s doing as a defense lawyer is exactly what he should do. He`s bringing up witnesses for discreet purposes and only one fact or one theory and that`s all that he needs from them to be able to argue reasonable doubt.
The problem he has from the prosecution`s point of view is really simple.
KLIEMAN: For every good witness the defense has, they get to be cross-examined, that`s the rule. And when you cross-examine as the prosecution, you can get good facts for your side, too.
BEHAR: Oh I see ok well, that`s —
GERAGOS: And that`s precisely why the defense won`t call one of the kids because whatever nugget you might get, you`re going to lose — the burden that you`re going to endure on cross-examination is going to be awful.
BEHAR: They shouldn`t call the kids up.
KLIEMAN: No, oh no, no, no.
BEHAR: I mean I don`t think the family would like that. It think it`s a terrible idea.
KLIEMAN: I don`t think the jurors would like that.
BEHAR: Haven`t those kids been traumatized, Mark? I mean, the whole fact about that —
GERAGOS: Yes. Yes.
BEHAR: Dragging the oxygen back up and down the stairs for the guy and all of that stuff. It`s just — that`s a bad story.
GERAGOS: Well, you know I took a — I took a shot at your network the other day because I thought that having the autopsy photo broadcast was a – – was a bad thing for those kids, too, and then some 14-karat jerk-off —
BEHAR: This network? HLN did that?
GERAGOS: Yes. And then some jerk-off tweeted it directly to the kids which I thought was awful.
BEHAR: Oh, God.
GERAGOS: There should be certain lines that don`t get crossed.
KLIEMAN: Well, one other thing, Joy — I`m going to sing your praises here — is that the last time I was here with you, you made sure that that photo was not shown.
BEHAR: Yes. That`s why I`m thinking, I didn`t do it.
GERAGOS: Well, kudos to Joy.
BEHAR: Yes. I don`t like that. That`s gross.
Ok. We`ll continue this in just a minute.
BEHAR: I`m back with Mark Geragos and Rikki Klieman and we`re talking about the Michael Jackson trial.
Let me ask you, both of you, the Jacksons showed up in court today. Is that bad news for the defense? They all came. You know, I read even that Janet Jackson canceled some concerts just to be there.
KLIEMAN: Can`t be good news for the defense. Janet Jackson is a big star and after the passing of Michael, is certainly the biggest star in that family. And these things are not lost on Los Angeles jurors.
BEHAR: Do you agree with that, Mark?
GERAGOS: Yes. You know, part of the whole movement, the victims` rights movement, is they say one of the things that they do is put the family in there. Make sure the family is and make sure the jurors understand that there is an impact to what they`re doing. So yes, it`s a constant reminder. It`s a subtext.
BEHAR: That`s interesting though to me.
KLIEMAN: Well, Mark would also have the husband or wife of his client there, the children; everybody would be sitting behind the client to also humanize the client.
BEHAR: I know but doesn`t that kind of —
GERAGOS: That`s exactly right.
BEHAR: It kind of distort the case a little bit, doesn`t it?
KLIEMAN: Well, they have families.
GERAGOS: Of course they do.
BEHAR: Ok. But what if the alleged perpetrator — is not guilty.
GERAGOS: Not me personally — I would never do this but I have had clients and I`ve seen lawyers say send him home to his friends and family and point to the gallery and it turned out it was the lawyer`s family, not the client`s. That`s one of the techniques that`s used.
BEHAR: But I mean I`m just saying, you know, and I will repeat it. What if the alleged perp is not guilty? Now you`ve sort of distorted the whole court case by putting these people there, haven`t you? Shouldn`t it be cleaner than that?
GERAGOS: Right. Exactly. It should be cleaner but you`re investigating the underbelly of the criminal justice system. Look, the fact is this system is geared towards the prosecution. The deck is stacked towards the prosecution. And virtually the last 20 years has been nothing but giving the prosecution even a greater arsenal and this is one of the —
BEHAR: And yet you`re innocent until proven guilty so the system doesn`t seem to be stacked towards the prosecution.
KLIEMAN: The prosecution should never go —
GERAGOS: Well, innocent until proven guilty. I don`t know. Rikki, maybe you disagree, but innocent until proven guilty in my experience is not the case. You`re usually presumed guilty and it`s an uphill battle.
KLIEMAN: Well, unfortunately, I think that is true in terms of the case of what human rights, civil rights, and certainly constitutional rights should be about, Mark. I think you`re exactly right.
BEHAR: But look at the Casey Anthony trial. You just had to raise a little reasonable doubt and she got off, basically.
KLIEMAN: Well, that was sort of —
GERAGOS: Yes. But remember, that jury was sequestered also, and the prosecution for whatever you want to say about it did not exactly present a compelling case.
KLIEMAN: And the prosecution, as you and I have discussed Mark, it certainly overcharged that case and it was very hard to look at her and say that this was a death case.
KLIEMAN: But you know, in a situation like this, where you have a beloved icon — Michael Jackson was certainly bigger than life probably; as the king of pop, one of the greatest entertainers of our time. And so the idea that he at the age of 50 is gone, immediately the prejudice against this defendant, because people want to blame someone.
BEHAR: That`s right. If he was just “Joe the Plumber”, it wouldn`t be the same kind of case. Thank you all very much.
We`ll be right back.
BEHAR: Bette Midler is known for a lot of things. For her music and for her movies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETTE MIDLER, ACTRESS/SINGER: OK, Elise, the time has come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: For her great concerts.
BEHAR: But more than anything else, Bette Midler is known for her subtle, understand, lady-like sense of fashion.
I`m happy to welcome the one and only, Bette Midler.
MIDLER: Thank you. I`m wearing black.
BEHAR: You`re wearing black. Me, too. You`re demure today.
MIDLER: We are.
BEHAR: Before we get to the costume, because I know you`re auctioning off 40 years of costumes that you wore.
MIDLER: Yes. And sets and memorabilia.
BEHAR: And furniture I see in here too.
MIDLER: And furniture. Yes.
BEHAR: And all sorts of stuff.
BEHAR: We are going to get to that. But before that, I heard you have a herniated disc.
MIDLER: I do.
BEHAR: How did you — is it bad and where is it?
MIDLER: I have it — it`s in my neck, 4 and 5, between C-4 and C-5, as they say. And it`s quite painful. When it first happened to me, I couldn`t raise my arm above this. Get that shot. I mean, it was horrible. I really thought I was going to have to have the operation, but have an operation, but I went to my husband`s doctor and —
BEHAR: What do you call him, the count?
MIDLER: The baron.
BEHAR: The baron.
MIDLER: He`s a sweet guy. He is the greatest. But he`s had a lot of work done. He`s had a lot of back work done, because he has had — he had a herniated disc. So he has had back work done, so he took me to his surgeon and his surgeon said, well, I can do this for you, but your voice would be different. So at first, I said, yes, yes, fine. And then I realized, oh. Oh. Can you imagine?
BEHAR: You`re a singer.
MIDLER: I`m a singer, and what am I if I`m not a singer? Who am I?
BEHAR: You`re an actress?
MIDLER: Yes. I know that, but truly people come to hear me sing.
BEHAR: I know.
MIDLER: I gave up on that, and I had a couple of epidurals, and I feel much better. Much, much better. But the epidural, they only last a couple of — a few weeks.
BEHAR: Did you fall?
MIDLER: No, I didn`t fall. I was doing a Fosse class.
BEHAR: Oh, Fosse, Fosse, Fosse?
MIDLER: Fosse, Fosse, Fosse, Twyla, Twyla, Twyla.
BEHAR: Yes. One of the great scenes from —
MIDLER: I`m still quoting it, from “Birdcage.”
MIDLER: I felt this twinge and I thought, oh, this will recover because I`ve had twinges all my life. And then I went to boot camp, and the twinge got a little worse. And I thought, oh, this will clear up. It never cleared up. And four weeks after — four weeks of boot camp, I was practically — I was a basket case.
BEHAR: So what can we learn from this?
MIDLER: Well, you should exercise, but you should exercise appropriately. And maybe Fosse isn`t really — maybe Fosse isn`t your choreographer.
BEHAR: Definitely not mine. And they are saying that yoga now, they are saying that yoga doesn`t even help you mentally or spiritually. I hated it anyway.
MIDLER: Well, you know what, I didn`t mind yoga, but I have gotten injuries from yoga. I`m not a fan. I`m not a total fan. Sometimes I do it. I do like the stretching. I think everyone should stretch. You do have to stretch. And I like to do things that get your heart rate up. I really love that, aerobics, I love that, any kind of aerobics, and I love dance. I love, love, love to dance. I think that`s what women want, they want to dance.
BEHAR: They do. But you know.
MIDLER: But not you.
BEHAR: No, I love to dance also in my living room, in the privacy of my own living room, not in a class with everyone watching me.
MIDLER: Oh, these are privates (ph) —
BEHAR: Not that they`re watching me.
MIDLER: I go to private class. I had a girl in. I didn`t just go to the class. Oh my God, are you nuts?
MIDLER: I wish I had, I was such a fan. And Gwen Burdon (ph), oh my God, I worshiped her. She was a genius.
BEHAR: Is she alive?
MIDLER: She passed. She passed. But she was an inspiration.
BEHAR: OK. So the back injury prevented you–
MIDLER: Neck injury.
MIDLER: People say, how`s your back? I say, my back is fine but my neck sucks.
BEHAR: OK. So I read, I read somewhere, in (inaudible) or something, that you couldn`t do this Phil Spector movie because of the neck injury. What a drag.
MIDLER: Well, my dear–
BEHAR: Are you nuts?
MIDLER: First of all, it was a drag. I was laying in the trailer, literally laying in the trailer weeping. It was really, really hard. It was hard. And I could see that — I could see that it wasn`t going to get any better unless I really did stop and take care of it. So I did that. I had to say goodbye. It was a nice group of people, too.
BEHAR: What was the part?
MIDLER: I was playing Linda Baden.
BEHAR: I have her on this show all the time.
MIDLER: She is divine. I was playing her.
BEHAR: Really? You don`t look anything like her.
MIDLER: Linda Baden, Kenney Baden, Linda Kenney Baden. I get a little — because I`m old now.
BEHAR: So who`s playing her now?
MIDLER: Helen Mirren.
BEHAR: Stop that.
MIDLER: Swear to God.
BEHAR: From Bette Midler to Helen Mirren.
BEHAR: Oh my God.
MIDLER: What do you mean, oh, my God?
BEHAR: Helen Mirren and Linda Baden and Bette Midler, the whole picture —
MIDLER: You`d be amazed at what a wig can do, what a hairdo can do. I think they hired me actually because they saw me with my hair in a way that Linda wears her hair. I think that`s why they hired me. Because — and I met her subsequently. I`ve had, you know, I`ve been to the house. I saw the photographs, I met the husband, who I adore, and we`ve been to dinner. I really liked her. So that was great. I made a new friend.
BEHAR: OK. Now let`s talk about the New York restoration project.
BEHAR: Which you are into, preserving New York City parks. What about this thing that`s going on down in Zuccotti Park?
MIDLER: I think it`s fascinating.
BEHAR: Do you think — they`re squatting basically there overnight. Are they messing it up, or do you think they should?
MIDLER: The thing about land is that it can always be rehabilitated. Land is just land. Parks can fall to pieces and be brought back to their former glory. Look at Central Park, which was a pit in the early `80s until those women got together and decided they would not stand for it.
BEHAR: Yes. And you`ve cleaned up a lot personally–
MIDLER: Personally, I have personally, and I have personally taken bags out of the trees. I have personally swept — I pick — I go walk down — and I`m on the Upper East Side, can you imagine. I am personally picking up things. And I don`t know where it comes from, because I have never actually seen anybody do it. But I think they sit in their cars and go like that, and then the garbage lands and they pretend they didn`t do it.
BEHAR: That`s right.
MIDLER: Because I`ve never seen anybody do it actually, I`ve only seen the plop on the sidewalks.
BEHAR: But people are protesting down there, they are saying there are no toilets.
MIDLER: Which is a good thing. You mean the families?
BEHAR: The families around Zuccotti Park don`t like it.
MIDLER: Well, they should chip in and buy some toilets. Toilets are cheap. Port-a-potties are cheap. Excuse me, I`m sorry, let`s not get into that. I don`t want to be nailed because I said port-a-potty. I will send the port-a-potty down.
BEHAR: Don`t put me in this with you.
MIDLER: Don`t put this — don`t (ph) put me in this with you!
BEHAR: Let me tell you, Sigmund Freud did not want to come to the United States and live because there were no pissoirs here, port-a-potties.
MIDLER: You know, my husband says the same thing all the time. There are no public toilets. There are no public toilets.
BEHAR: Where was he born?
MIDLER: My husband is German.
BEHAR: Oh, sure.
MIDLER: Born in Germany and he lived a long time in England too. There`s no public toilets. Because all over Europe, they have them. But I think they think that there`s — the element is so dangerous that you`ll go into the potty and you won`t come out. You`ll like live in it.
BEHAR: You`ll just live in there.
But they had to —
MIDLER: What they do is, after you`re done, the whole thing is a shower, that`s why you can`t stay in it. Because they turn —
BEHAR: Really, you do your business and then it cleans it.
MIDLER: You do your business and then if you don`t get out, you`re wet from head to toe.
BEHAR: Why don`t they just put — never mind.
MIDLER: You know what, it`s very interesting, because they put one in ten years ago, 13 years ago right down there by Wall Street.
BEHAR: Oh, they did.
MIDLER: They did. And it was a resounding flop.
MIDLER: I think nobody wanted to go into it. People were afraid someone was waiting for them in there. I don`t know.
BEHAR: Hedge funders don`t pee?
MIDLER: They have private toilets. They have keys to their — don`t you know that?
BEHAR: I don`t know that. I don`t do down there.
MIDLER: The agents (ph) have keys.
BEHAR: I don`t go down to Wall Street. There`s no reason for me to go down there.
MIDLER: You don`t? But it`s fascinating. There is so much history down there.
BEHAR: But now I`ll go down because of–
MIDLER: Wait a minute, I have to talk to you about this Fulton Fish Market that used to be down there and all those brilliant parks that are down there and Battery Park and Hudson River Park, all that area is extraordinary. You should walk down there.
BEHAR: I`ve been there. I grew up in Brooklyn. I`m been to the Fulton Fish Market. You grew up in Hawaii, so to you, the Fulton is so exotic. It`s so exotic. To me, it`s just a bunch of fish.
Now, you know, the thing about these protests — I want to talk to you —
MIDLER: I know you are going to — I am going to get the crap kicked out of me, I am.
BEHAR: No, we are of a certain age, shall we say, so we remember–
MIDLER: I`m much younger than you.
BEHAR: — the `60s protests.
MIDLER: Yes. And we did it all the time. And it was like something that you did. You did it because you were a citizen and you had something to say and you wanted to support your point of view.
BEHAR: But they`re sort of doing the same things, saying things about this group, some of the right wing, saying they`re unwashed and they are druggies.
MIDLER: It`s so shocking that they`re saying this. It`s like they took a book, a page out of like 1969, it`s like so old school that they would say such a thing. I mean, close to 50 years have passed, get a new line.
BEHAR: Get a new line.
MIDLER: Than dirty hippie.
BEHAR: But I used to feel like this generation, the new generation since we came up, like they didn`t want to protest. Now I`m so happy.
MIDLER: I`m thrilled, I`m thrilled, I have to say. Now, you may or may not agree with their politics, but the point is that they have organized themselves — organized themselves and they are saying things that have to be said.
BEHAR: That`s right.
MIDLER: People don`t just go form a group and not say something that has to be said. They`re not just talking about fashion, they are talking about the way you live and policies that have affected everybody, that everyone wants and all these things that people want — a lot of people want to sweep under the rug. It`s time to take out the rug and show the light of day.
BEHAR: And what about this other business, talking about politics now, Rick Perry now is saying that — because you`re from Hawaii — he`s now saying he`s not sure — basically he`s not sure where President Obama was born.
MIDLER: I don`t think Rick Perry is sure where he was born. Rick Perry is so — Rick Perry is a really odd duck. It`s like so — that piece of business was put to rest. He showed them the birth certificate. I mean, it was most — they reduced him to that indignity, something that no president, no sitting president has ever had to do, and I for one was completely ashamed to be an American at that time. I thought it was absolutely disgusting.
BEHAR: Even Karl Rove — even Karl Rove is reprimanding Rick Perry at this point.
MIDLER: Even Karl — well, Rick Perry has executed more people than anyone has executed down there.
BEHAR: In Texas.
MIDLER: And he also presided over the worst wildfires in the history of wildfires in our country. And then he cut the firefighters. He cut the firefighters.
BEHAR: He also doesn`t believe basically in climate change. He`s going to burn up before he admits there`s no climate change.
MIDLER: How about that drought they`ve got going down there?
BEHAR: I know, how about that?
MIDLER: How about the wildfires? There`s over a million acres burning.
BEHAR: I know. It`s a mess. You must feel bad about that because you`re such an environmentalist.
MIDLER: Sometimes I get so–
BEHAR: When we come back, we are going to have much more with Bette Midler, so don`t go away.
MIDLER: No, I don`t want anymore.
BEHAR: Yes, you do.
You know you want it.
BEHAR: That was a look at Bette Midler in the movie “The Rose,” which got her an Oscar nomination. That was a hard, a tough role.
MIDLER: That was so much fun.
BEHAR: Was it your first?
MIDLER: Not tough at all. That was the first–
BEHAR: It wasn`t tough?
MIDLER: No, it was the greatest experience I ever had up until that time. It is fantastic. Just thrilling.
BEHAR: You weren`t scared at all? It was a big part.
MIDLER: It was a part I was born to play.
BEHAR: You were.
MIDLER: I was. And I resisted it for a long time, because I thought, I don`t know, maybe it`s too close to — you know, people kept saying, well, it`s Janis, and I kept saying, well, no, it`s not Janis, because if I had said it is Janis, then I never could have done it. So I sort of made it up on my own. I sort of like made my peace with it and I sort of like – – I had been on the road — you know, by that time I had been on the road 12 or 13 years, so — and I had seen all that happen. I had seen people come, rise to the top and then self-destruct. So I knew the road pretty well.
BEHAR: I mean, we are seeing so much of that nowadays.
MIDLER: So many.
BEHAR: Amy Winehouse.
MIDLER: I`m broken-hearted over Amy Winehouse.
BEHAR: That was terrible.
MIDLER: I was broken-hearted.
BEHAR: She seemed to be on the mend also, and then she just–
MIDLER: You know, I think that — it`s very interesting, there`s certain kinds of drug abuse that you simply cannot — she was a tiny little thing and her little body just couldn`t take it. She just couldn`t — you see these big strong strapping guys — who go — look at Keith! Look at Keith Richards. Did you read his book?
MIDLER: Keith Richards.
BEHAR: He`s a tiny little thing.
MIDLER: He`s a tiny — now, he`s a tiny little thing. Then he was a little bit taller. But I mean, he, look what he lived through. But he survived it all.
BEHAR: But look at Michael Jackson, we are talking about him all the time now with the Conrad Murray trial. He didn`t make it.
MIDLER: You know, I can`t watch that trial. I can`t watch it.
BEHAR: Why not?
MIDLER: You know what, he`s gone. Nothing is going to bring him back. What`s the use? What`s the point?
BEHAR: I know.
MIDLER: And I must say Michael Jackson had a say in that, too. Michael Jackson was right in there collaborating with the doctor.
BEHAR: Well, we found out just today I think or yesterday that he was asking for Propofol from a nurse. So he wanted to sleep. The poor guy couldn`t sleep.
MIDLER: I know exactly how it feels. I`m in menopause, I haven`t slept in years. Oh my God, I can`t talk about it, but–
BEHAR: I know. You will never sleep again. Once you hit 50, you do not sleep.
MIDLER: And I have like a whole thing that I do, I have like a thing, you know, my ritual. I was in Morocco on my birthday last year, and I was desperate to sleep. So I said to the people who were at the hotel, what do you do to sleep? And they said lemon verbana tea. So we got lemon verbana tea. You get it at Calustian (ph) on 27th street, big packet, you brew it, and that will put you to sleep. It won`t keep you asleep for more than four hours, but it will put you to sleep. I couldn`t even get to sleep.
MIDLER: So now at least I can.
BEHAR: I think it`s a terrible thing when you can`t fall asleep. He was in terrible psychic pain.
MIDLER: I know, I know.
BEHAR: OK, now, speaking of your career, over the past 40 years, you have saved all these wonderful costumes, shoes and jewelry which you have brought. Now, are you a hoarder?
MIDLER: You know, I`m embarrassed to say — I don`t like to call myself that, but I think I must have been.
BEHAR: You have hoarder tendencies.
MIDLER: My mother — my mother was a hoarder. They weren`t like — they — well, I don`t want to diss my parents because I love my parents, but they did tend not to give things away. And my mother bought — my mother was one of the first Salvation Army people. She went to Salvation Army when I was in 7th grade and she never returned. I mean, I went — everything I wore was from the Salvation Army.
BEHAR: Oh, really?
MIDLER: Yes. Remember Barbra Streisand`s song, look, there goes my old fur coat? That was my life. And I mean, that was how I was brought up, and I was terribly mortified about it. But as it turns out, in my personal life, I have nothing in my house, I have nothing, I don`t collect. But my costumes, I`m so attached to them.
BEHAR: Let`s look at what you brought. Tell me about the mermaid costume.
MIDLER: Well, I`ve been doing this character since the early `80s. She is a kind of a foulmouthed disco — she is a disco queen. She only sings disco music, she rides around in a wheelchair because obviously she`s a fish out of water, she can`t walk. And her whole thing is that she is in show business, and is going to stay in show business, she has some friends that she does this act with. And it`s always a disco act, and it`s always utterly ridiculous, and we always do patterns on the floor, and sometimes we play musical instruments. And she — that was from my last show, “Show Girl Must Go On.”
BEHAR: Yes, I saw it.
MIDLER: And that was probably the last time I will ever do that character.
BEHAR: Doesn`t Lady Gaga have —
MIDLER: She tried. And I gave her hell. But she was very contrite. I was only teasing, really.
BEHAR: — wasn`t it an homage?
MIDLER: I felt it was.
BEHAR: It`s an homage.
MIDLER: I was actually thrilled. I mean, what — I was thrilled, I was thrilled, because she`s actually — she`s a really sweet girl. And she`s very talented.
BEHAR: She`s a nice girl. She`s a nice Italian girl.
MIDLER: She is. What can you say?
BEHAR: So do you want her to bid on that?
MIDLER: I wish. I told — I`ve been going around town saying that if she wants the whole act, I can give her the chorus kids, I can give her the wheelchair. She can buy the chorus kids, she can buy the wheelchair, and she can buy the actual music if that`s what she wants.
BEHAR: I think you would sell these more readily if they were in a 26 petite. I can`t believe you were such a skinny bitch in those days.
MIDLER: I was so tiny.
BEHAR: You were tiny.
MIDLER: In fact, I pulled a dress from the auction because I couldn`t believe how small I was when I wore it. I was —
MIDLER: I have to have this, I can`t believe I was ever this thin.
BEHAR: But you`re always thin to me. Except one period you had where you buffed up a little bit.
MIDLER: Well, not buffed up. Chubbed up.
BEHAR: Well, you chubbed up. And you were on the Johnny Carson Show, I remember this, and you sang a song called “Fat as I Am.”
MIDLER: “Fat as I am.”
BEHAR: Love it.
MIDLER: Who wants to see a diva fat as I am?
BEHAR: OK. We`ll be right back with a little more with Bette Midler.
MIDLER: Just a little more?
BEHAR: Yes, sorry to say.
BEHAR: I`m back with the Divine Miss M.
MIDLER: And look at you.
BEHAR: And she`s showing me pieces that she`s collected over her career, which are now being auctioned off. OK. Oh, it`s quite stunning.
MIDLER: Well, you know, you really do have to work it, hon. You can`t just let it get into your mouth, I mean, you have to just —
BEHAR: I`ve heard that before.
MIDLER: And, you know, it`s quite becoming, it`s a good color for you. Good color for you.
BEHAR: OK. So tell me about this other one. You have a —
MIDLER: Which one?
BEHAR: You have one designed by Bob Mackey.
MIDLER: This one over here, the short one is a Bob Mackey one. He called it the bird of paradise, and it really was a bird because these are — the sleeves are feathers, and they`re wings, and then there was kind of like a parrot head dress that seems to have found — it`s gone to (inaudible), we can`t find that part. But the dress is really interesting because it lights so brilliantly. And I really looked like I was on fire when I came out. And I was dating a guitar player at the time. Yes, I was.
BEHAR: Is he still alive?
MIDLER: He is still alive. He managed to survive. And although we don`t talk about him in my house. And —
BEHAR: What about the black and white one? How do you breathe in that dress?
MIDLER: That dress is one of my favorite dresses, of course. It`s a Bob Demara (ph) designed it. It was the cover of Bathhouse Betty. It`s kind of an homage to Mae West, because I stood on a bunch of apple boxes like she used to do. You know, she was only this big.
BEHAR: She was tiny.
MIDLER: She was tiny. And I also wore it during the Divine Miss Millennium, which was the show that turned from 1999 to the next century.
BEHAR: And who were you dating then?
MIDLER: I was married then.
BEHAR: Oh. So here you have a head dress and shoes. Where is that?
MIDLER: I have a head dress.
MIDLER: These are shoes — you know, these are actually quite iconic. Cher gave these to me when I first came to town, first came to L.A. in about 19 — I guess — and — you couldn`t walk in them. You just couldn`t walk in them.
MIDLER: They`ve come back. As my mother said many years ago, never throw anything away because in 20 years, it will be back.
BEHAR: She`s right. She`s absolutely right.
MIDLER: So they`re back. And I`m proud of them. And they`re my daughter`s favorite, but she decided to let me let them go.
BEHAR: Sophie, how is the girl doing?
MIDLER: She`s darling. She`s fabulous.
BEHAR: Is she married yet?
MIDLER: She`s not married not yet.
BEHAR: Is she going to be married? Do you care?
MIDLER: I — let`s not talk about it, OK, Joy?
BEHAR: I`m sorry. OK. Here`s a question from Facebook. Are you really retiring?
MIDLER: I`m not retiring. I never said I was retiring. I said I was selling my mementos.
BEHAR: That`s right. Here`s a good question. Ask her if she was drunk when she had sex with Geraldo. He wrote about that.
MIDLER: He did?
BEHAR: He wrote about that in his book. Or you did, one of you did.
MIDLER: He did? I didn`t write about sex with Geraldo. Ew.
BEHAR: But is it true, Bette? Did you have sex with Geraldo?
MIDLER: I had sex with him, but I don`t think I would write about it. It was nothing to write home about. There was nothing to write about.
BEHAR: The ultimate diss. Geraldo, the ultimate diss.
MIDLER: He was cute in those days, though.
BEHAR: He was adorable.
MIDLER: He was cute.
BEHAR: All right, listen, Bette–
BEHAR: Well, whatever. Listen, send the feathers to him. This is — I love this thing.
MIDLER: It does wonders for you.
BEHAR: It makes everybody look more fabulous.
MIDLER: You know, I think you should wear that — you should make that a signature.
BEHAR: I think I`ll wear this to bed tonight.
MIDLER: Please. Like, bid on it, please.
BEHAR: OK. Fine. Bette Midler`s auction presented by Julien`s Auctions of Beverly Hills takes place on November 12th. The auction benefits the New York restoration project, a really good benefit. Go to juliensauctions.com for details. Thank you for watching. Good night, everybody.