Former first lady says Reagans repaid Bel Air home with interest
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Former first lady Nancy Reagan said Sunday she and her husband paid back the cost of their $2.5 million Bel Air home with interest to friends who had purchased it for them after the couple left the White House in 1989.
Appearing on CNN's "Larry King Live" in a show slated for broadcast on former President Ronald Reagan's 90th birthday on February 6, Mrs. Reagan said friends had only purchased the home because the couple's money was in a blind trust at the time and their finances were unclear.
"So it was always the intent to pay back the house?" King said.
"Always," Mrs. Reagan responded.
King followed up. "And the house was paid back with interest?"
"With interest," the former first lady agreed.
Said King, "I bet you most people thought it was a lifetime gift."
Mrs. Reagan responded. "They probably did."
Questions about the purchase of the Reagan's house resurfaced when criticism of some $190,000 in gifts to former President Clinton and Hillary Clinton arose last week.
Said King: "Without being willing to put any discomfort on anyone else, do you think you got a bad wrap on the gifts?"
"A little bit," Reagan responded.
"You wrote about it in your own book, you took a lot of hits for things that are now every day ... do you ever feel funny when you see things like that?" King said.
"A little," Mrs. Reagan said.
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