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Interview With Jane Fonda; Future of the British Crown

Aired April 7, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Tonight, one of America's most controversial actresses, the woman some call Hanoi Jane, bears her soul.

And the very rich and sometimes rowdy princes of England's royal family.


ZAHN: The future of the British crown rests on two young princes coming of age.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love him. And he said hi and he shook my hand.


ZAHN: Life full of splendor and sorrow and scandals all their own.

And working it out with Jane Fonda.

JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: Here we go now.

ZAHN: A mother's suicide.

J. FONDA: Like children do, I kept wondering, well, was it my fault?

ZAHN: A husband's demands.

(on camera): You had to bring other women into your sex life to please him?

J. FONDA: Sometimes, yes.

ZAHN: Tonight, the Jane Fonda you never knew.


ZAHN: Well, it is this Saturday that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles are going to admit their -- quote -- "manifold sins and wickedness" at their wedding. They'll say a prayer of confession from 1662. They could be hoping the public penitence will help their approval ratings at the same time. A new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll shows Prince Charles' popularity evenly split in America. But Camilla is disliked by almost a 2-1 margin. Still, most Americans, 56 percent, feel they deserve to be together. And this royal wedding will be another turning point for Charles' sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

They were raised in splendor and in sorrow, nearly all of it in the public eye. Here is Richard Quest with tonight's "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS," William and Harry.


ZAHN (voice-over): September 1997, millions of people around the world tuned in to see the funeral of Diana, princess of Wales. For both princes, their mother's passing was a step towards manhood. But they were still schoolboys and the decisions their mother made in life, particularly when it came to education, still held firm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was actually Diana who was the driving force for them both to go to Eton. And I think it was her that wanted him to have more of an education based upon mixing with many, many other children.

ZAHN: By all accounts, the princes thrived at Eton, an exclusive academy similar to an elite American prep school. William left Eton in June of 2000 and, like other teenagers, decided to go on a gap year before university to Chile as part of a charity project. He had his mother's good looks and, wherever he went, admirers would follow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love him. And he said hi and he shook my hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember being on a trip to Canada, actually, when Prince William went on a walkabout and screaming girls were amazing. It was as if the Beatles had turned up.

ZAHN: After his gap year, William went to St. Andrews University in Scotland to study art history and geography. The university made every effort to ensure a private life for the prince. The media also kept a gentleman's agreement made after Diana's death to give the princes privacy, allowing them space and time to grow up.

Now at 22, William is in his final year at St. Andrews and royal watchers are speculating about his future.

SIMON PERRY, "PEOPLE": I understand he's going to do some volunteer type work before he goes into the army early next year is my guess. Probably do a short service commissioner of about three years and then the royal jobs will start.

ZAHN: Speculation also swirls about William's love life. He has repeatedly been spotted with his flat mate Kate Middleton.

PERRY: That's a serious relationship as anyone could have at age 22. And we shouldn't get carried away. I mean, they're only 22. ZAHN: If William is the heir, Harry is the spare, waiting in the wings, unlikely to ever succeed the crown, but having to be there just in case. He has turned into the mischievous rogue.

ANNE-MARIE O'NEILL, "PEOPLE": He's very attractive to women, has a lot of friends, and just seems like someone that you would have a really good time with.

ZAHN: But Harry was having too much of a good time. There were stories of his underaged drinking at Eton. When he was caught smoking marijuana, the media called him "Harry Pothead." Charles acted quickly.

O'NEILL: Instead of hauling him out in public for a thrashing, he basically lined up a visit for Harry to a rehab center, where Harry went in quietly and toured the rehab center with a former addict and also sat with a group of addicts and listened to their stories.

ZAHN: This past winter, Harry sparked public outrage when he wore a Nazi uniform to a costume party. Though the prince issued a written public apology, the damage was already done.

PERRY: Unfortunately for him, that picture is going to be published periodically right throughout his life and he's never going to escape it.

ZAHN: Now a military career beckons for the prince who has no ready-made job. When he graduated Eton in 2003, the palace announced that he planned to attend Sandhurst, Britain's top military academy after his gap year. Just before graduation, he commanded the cadet core honor guard at Eton.

During his gap year visit to Australia, Harry tried to avoid the media spotlight, but cameras were everywhere. It was a sign that the freedom from the paparazzi, which both William and Harry enjoyed, could be coming to an end.

As the princes reach adulthood, they have also had to come to terms with their father's relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. William broke the ice in 1998, when he casually, but deliberately dropped in on his father while Camilla was visiting. When Charles announced his plans to marry Camilla, the boys offered up their blessings.

KITTY KELLEY, AUTHOR, "THE ROYALS: They know that Camilla Parker Bowles is a nonnegotiable factor in their father's life. She is very good for their father. They care about their father. And so, if she makes him happy, she makes them happy.

QUESTION: With this being the last holiday, the last time you'll be together before the wedding, I was wondering whether, William and Harry, you're planning any kind of appropriate send-off for your father?

PRINCE HARRY: That's been and done. Yes, you missed that. ZAHN: At a recent ski vacation in Switzerland, the bond between Charles and his grown sons was clear to see. So too was his blatant contempt for the press.

PRINCE CHARLES: Bloody people. I can't bear that man. He's so awful. He really is.

ZAHN: At this photo-op, Prince William appeared to take the lead, guiding the senior prince through the motions.

PRINCE CHARLES: Hmm, what do we do?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Try to keep smiling.

ZAHN: But Prince Charles has repeatedly said when his mother passes on, he fully plans to become king. William will simply have to wait. That wait could be a long time.

BRIAN HOEY, BIOGRAPHER, "PRINCE WILLIAM": And if the queen has inherited the longevity genes of her mother, who, of course, died at the age of 101, she is going to reign for another 20, 25 years. Charles is going to be approaching 80 when he becomes king.

ZAHN: Prince William and Harry have been born into their respective roles. Both have come of age in an atmosphere very different from previous royal adolescents, a degree of privacy punctuated by moments of intense media coverage and speculation, divorce, death, drugs and dating, the life of the modern princes.

And if the natural order follows through, one will be king. The other will spend his life watching. That is the nature of royal duty.


ZAHN: But if the queen's subjects, at least some of them, get their way, there might be no throne at all. This week, an anti- monarchy group launched a campaign to abolish the British crown, hoping Camilla's unpopularity will help bring down the royal family.

You can see Charles tie the knot a second time when CNN brings you live coverage of the royal wedding. It will get under way first thing Saturday morning, 6:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Well, whether you follow movies, politics or celebrities, you would be surprised at what you don't know about Jane Fonda.


J. FONDA: One night, he brought someone into our bed and I discovered that he liked to do that. So, hey, honey, whatever you want.


ZAHN: Still ahead, a revealing interview. Jane Fonda bears her life's secrets. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Still ahead, Jane Fonda in her own words on her beauty, her battle with bulimia and a husband who invited other women into their bed.

But, first, some incredible pictures, satellite photos from space. Watch as the cameras zooms into Rome and the Vatican. We have heard so much about the millions of mourners filling the streets, waiting up to 24 hours in some cases to pay their final respects to the pope. Look at this. There is nothing that shows it better than this, just a mass of humanity. Pope John Paul's funeral is tomorrow.

Time now, though, at 12 minutes past the hour, to check in with Erica Hill of Headline News.

Weren't those amazing pictures?

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They were absolutely incredible, Paula.

And that actually gets us right into our first story, as we talk about the public viewing of Pope John Paul II that all those people were waiting for. That is now over, the doors of St. Peter's Basilica closed, as Vatican officials prepare for Friday morning's funeral mass. Metal detectors have been installed in St. Peter's Square. About 15,000 security forces will be deployed. First aid teams are also preparing for the expected huge crowds. Some four million people have already crowded into Rome for the event.

Now, we do need to warn you for this next story. It involves some very graphic testimony today at the Michael Jackson trial. That is where a former security guard at Neverland Ranch told jurors he saw Jackson perform oral sex on a boy who was about 9 or 10 and says he didn't tell anyone about the incident at the time because he didn't think anyone would believe him. The defense says the former guard is just a disgruntled employee who is making up lies.

A sheriff's report finds an unlocked door to a judge's chambers and an inadequate surveillance contributed to last month's shooting spree at the Atlanta courthouse. Brian Nichols is accused of killing a judge, a court reporter and a sheriff's deputy at the courthouse, then killing a federal agent while he was on the run. The judge overseeing Nichols' case ordered a portion of the sheriff's report be released to the public today.

And the painkiller Bextra has been taken off the market. Drugmaker Pfizer suspended sales at the request of the FDA. In addition to possible risks of heart attack and stroke, government regulators cited a risk of life-threatening skin reactions. The FDA also wants Celebrex and Vioxx to carry stronger heart risk warnings.

And that is the latest from Headline News -- Paula, back to you.

ZAHN: Thanks so much, Erica. See you in about an half-hour or so, at least for those of you counting. Sometimes, it's 32 minutes. What can I tell you?

Time for you to vote now for the person of the day. Go to and make your picks. Tonight's choices, the mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, for trying to keep things under control while the city is flooded with millions of pilgrims paying their respects to Pope John Paul II, also, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, the pope's personal secretary, at his side up to the final moments and whose task it is to carry out the pope's last wishes, and photographer Arturo Mari. For almost 27 years, he photographed the pope's life, every trip, every meeting, every day.

Again, go to to vote. We'll have the results for you at the end of the hour.

But, coming up next, a life of secrets, sex and a desperate search for love. And after, my, well, let's say to put it mildly, interesting conversation with Jane Fonda, how a performance for the pope changed this man's life forever.


ZAHN: She's back and once again raising eyebrows.

Jane Fonda, who put her movie career on hold 15 years ago to marry CNN founder Ted Turner, now, with that relationship over, she is reemerging in about the most provocative way possible. Her new book tells all about her mother's suicide, her sex life and much more.


ZAHN (voice-over): Jane Fonda is back, back on the bookshelves, back in the headlines, and back on the big screen after a 15-year absence.


J. FONDA: Please help me be a boater person.


ZAHN: You can't help but notice on screen and off that Fonda is having the time of her life.

(on camera): Is this a good time of your life?

J. FONDA: It is the best. Isn't that nice?

ZAHN: It is nice.

J. FONDA: At 67.

ZAHN: Yes. You have got it all. You have got beauty. You have got grace. You have got talent. You've been tremendously successful financially. And yet, at your core, you were a pretty empty vessel for many years, weren't you?

J. FONDA: Yes. And I think that that's really why I decided to write my book.

ZAHN (voice-over): "My Life So Far" is a no-holds-barred memoir. Her revelations are provocative. Her honesty is bold. Jane Fonda reveals 67 years of inner turmoil and family drama, a troubled, suicidal mother and a cold, distant father.

J. FONDA: I mean, he never beat us or, you know, he never did any of the thins that some fathers do. He just couldn't make himself emotionally accessible. You know, sometimes, you can't be a hero to a nation and be a perfect family man. You can't always be all things to all people. And he did the best he could.


J. FONDA: I think that maybe you and I should have the kind of relationship that we're supposed to have.

HENRY FONDA, ACTOR: What kind of relationship is that?

J. FONDA: Well you know, like a like a father and a daughter.

H. FONDA: And just in the nick of time, huh?


ZAHN (on camera): When you made "On Golden Pond" with your father, the parts you were playing explored a very treacherous relationship between a father and daughter. Did that help the two of you grow together in any way?

J. FONDA: It was such a gift for me to be able to produce a movie for my father that got him his Oscar five months before he died and to be able to play his daughter in a movie in a relationship that so closely paralleled our real-life relationship.

The fact that he asked me to get his Oscar when he won it, because he was too sick, was very profound for me. There wasn't the complete closure in real life, as there was in the movie, but, you know, we still made that movie together.

ZAHN: What did making that movie do to your soul?

J. FONDA: I was able to say to my father before he die, I love you and I know that you did your best. And I forgive you for everything. And your wife, Shirley, who has taken such good care of you, will be in the family always.

And then I had to get out quickly because it made him cry. And I know he didn't want me to see him cry. So, I didn't want to stay around. And my stepmother came home shortly after and he was still crying. And I don't whether it was because I touched something in him that he wasn't able to handle and he began to cry, or whether -- and whether nobody had ever said those kinds of closure words to him. I don't know what it was that caused him, because he never cried.

ZAHN: He did ever tell you that he loved you? J. FONDA: I don't think so, no. No. He didn't know how. Isn't that sad?

ZAHN (voice-over): Fonda's need to hear those three precious words created a lifelong affliction with what she calls a disease to please.

J. FONDA: I had to be perfect in order to be loved. And if I wasn't perfect, I would be -- I would end up alone.

ZAHN (on camera): Who expected you to be perfect?

J. FONDA: I think my father did. And I don't think that he meant to or realized or -- you know, I just think that, down through the generations of Fonda men, there was a tendency to not like women who weren't really thin.

ZAHN (voice-over): And that, she says, launched her 30-year battle with eating disorders. Beginning in prep school at age 15, Fonda says she alternated between long stretches of anorexic starvation and frequent bouts of bulimia, binging and purging as many as eight times a day.

J. FONDA: There were times when it was really bad, but nobody knew. And then a point came in my -- in my 40s, I now had a lot of people and projects dependent on me. And I had to opt for life and light. And I opted for life and light. And I went cold turkey. It was very hard.

ZAHN (on camera): Was that the impetus for your fitness empire?

J. FONDA: Yes, in a way, it was. It replaced the control that you feel binging and purging with compulsive exercise. And it was compulsive in the beginning, until I started to make peace with myself and my body. And we're not supposed to be perfect.

ZAHN: There is such an irony, that you, as a woman who struggled with bulimia for some 30 years, would launch a fitness empire.

J. FONDA: You teach what you need to learn.


J. FONDA: Here we go now. We're going to step apart together.


ZAHN (voice-over): But underneath those tight leotards and signature leg-warmers, a woman still consumed with self-doubt and desperate to please, especially when it came to men.

Fonda's first husband was Roger Vadim, the avant-garde French film director who married and transformed Henry Fonda's 28-year-old American daughter her into the on-screen sex kitten "Barbarella."

J. FONDA: He was a very, very fascinating, utterly charming human being, with whom I learned so much.

ZAHN: They had an unusual and, frankly, pretty shocking arrangement. They shared their bed with other women. Fonda not only allowed these women in, but in many cases soliciting them herself.

J. FONDA: This man was not a monster. This man didn't force me to do anything. I did whatever I did voluntarily because I wanted him to love me. And I didn't think I was good enough.

ZAHN (on camera): You felt, in order to make him happy, you had to bring other women into your sex life to please him?

J. FONDA: Sometimes, yes. It was not like it was like all the time, but, yes, yes, I did.

ZAHN: He didn't ask you to do that?

J. FONDA: No, no.

ZAHN: well, what made you think of doing that?

J. FONDA: Well, he -- one night, he brought someone into our bed. And I discovered that he liked to do that. And so, hey, honey, whatever you want. You know, I'm an actress. I grew up turning myself into a pretzel to please my father, whatever he wanted me to be.

ZAHN: Did you ever like having other women in the bed?

J. FONDA: I don't know. I don't know. That's the -- that's the weird thing, because I would numb myself. I would drink to numb what was basically anger, you know, anger. And I would deny it. And, of course, under the bell jar of denial, the only thing that blooms is rage. And so there was a rage that I would stuff. And...

ZAHN: And yet, in the book, you describe, after the end of an evening of sex with a complete stranger invited into your home, you sometimes would sit and have coffee.

J. FONDA: The next day. And so, I often would get to know them. And when we could sit woman to woman over coffee in the morning and talk on that level, a humanity was brought into it. And, often, we would become friends. And I remain friends with some.

ZAHN (voice-over): Her marriage to Vadim ended after 7 1/2 years. But what didn't end, Fonda says, was her willingness to become whomever the man she was with wanted.

Political activist Tom Hayden would be the next man in her life. And it was during their relationship that the controversy of Fonda's life, the one that more than 30 years later still plagues, her happened.

J. FONDA: That image betrayed me and what was in my heart, because it looked like I was callous toward soldiers. And that wasn't the truth. And I regret that more than -- you know, than anything. ZAHN: When we come back, what you haven't heard about Hanoi Jane and Jane's marriage to one of the richest men in the world, Ted Turner.


ZAHN: "Hanoi Jane," that label will not go away. In fact, Jane Fonda thinks she will take it with her to her grave. It still haunts her, three decades after being photographed with North Vietnamese soldiers who were killing Americans.

Now, as she renews her movie career and tells her life story in a new book, many Americans still believe she has a lot of explaining to do.


(voice-over): The year was 1972. The war in Vietnam into its ninth year. Fonda and her boyfriend at the time, Tom Hayden, had been protesting the war, going to U.S. military bases, and meeting with Vietnam veterans. In July, Fonda took her protest to Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam and visited an antiaircraft gun site used to shoot down American planes. "Hanoi Jane" was born.

FONDA: It was a terrible lapse of judgment, and I wasn't posing. I was -- someone led me there and I sat down, and I had just finished singing a song, and I was laughing and applauding, and many photographs were taken. Suddenly, I realized -- I, who represented the GI movement at rallies and made "Coming Home" and worked -- you know, opened the GI office in Washington to process complaints from active duty servicemen and women -- that I was going to look like their enemy, which was the farthest thing from the truth, just -- it just killed me.

ZAHN: Why a lapse in judgment? What did you...

FONDA: I don't know. I think -- it was my last day in Vietnam, and I was overcome, frankly, with emotion and, and -- there were a whole lot of journalists, and I should have known that was a signal, because I never saw a lot of journalists all in one place. And I got up to go back to the car and that's where I realized, I said, please, you know, destroy those pictures. And the rest is history, and I'll carry it to my grave.

ZAHN: Do you understand today why people viewed you as a traitor?

FONDA: I certainly understand why that image would look that way, which is why it's so painful, because it's so far from the truth. And I think the -- I get a lot of letters from veterans who say that they understand now and they forgive me and they mean the world me, those letters. And I'm sorry that so many are stuck back then and that they -- that the hostility is directed to me, instead of to the men responsible for their being there and who lied to us. I went to North Vietnam at a time when we were being lied to by President Nixon, and men were dying as a result. ZAHN: So, if you were able to deliver an apology that you thought more encompassed what you felt were acknowledgements of the mistakes you made what would you say?

FONDA: That image of me was not intentional. I was not intentionally sitting on a gun and aiming or, you know, laughing, because I was against American soldiers. That's what the image conveys; that's not what was in my heart.

ZAHN: Fonda won an Academy Award for her role in "Coming Home," the story of an army wife who worked at a veteran's hospital while her husband was fighting in Vietnam. It is there that she finds comfort and solace, Fonda's way of making a kind of peace with the trauma of Vietnam.

The subject of Vietnam is one that you can't help but talk about with Fonda when you sit down with her. But her new book, "My Life So Far," tackles much more: her battles with bulimia, her three failed marriages, and one thing she never talked about before publicly, her mother's suicide.

FONDA: I wasn't angry but I, you know, like children do, I kept wondering, well, was it my fault? Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I could have done something that might have made it different. The outcome for her, you know, you always think it is your fault. And I discovered that she had been a victim of sexual abuse. And, you know, the minute I knew that, I knew everything that I needed to know.

ZAHN (voice-over): That experience has informed her life. Fonda has spent the last 10 years studying sexual abuse. She has also become an outspoken campaign violence against women and founded the Georgia Campaign for adolescent pregnancy prevention.

Atlanta has become Fonda's home base. She lives near her daughter Vanessa, an unlikely retreat for a Hollywood legend. But it has been home since 1991 when she retired from acting to devote herself full time to life with her third husband, Ted Turner.

(on camera) It, in many ways was the most unlikely pairing of any of the adult relationships you had. Why did it work?

FONDA: Well, he was the only person that had apologized more than I had.

ZAHN: Many were surprised when Jane Fonda married the outspoken, opinionated, flamboyant founder of CNN, billionaire Ted Turner. But Fonda calls him the man on the white horse who rescued her after the devastating end of her marriage to Tom Hayden.

FONDA: He called me the day that my divorce from Tom was announced. The phone rang and it was him, booming, you know the way he is, is it true? I was having a nervous breakdown, so I couldn't talk above a whisper. He asked me on a date. I couldn't believe it. I was no more ready to -- I couldn't even -- I said call me back in three months and he did. We were a perfect duo. You know, he's a great lover and he's divinely handsome and he's very funny and he's totally fascinating, and endlessly teaching me.

ZAHN: And he was the first man whoever told you he needed you?

FONDA: Yes, yes.

ZAHN: And how much of yourself did you to give up to make that relationship work? By then you weren't acting anymore. You had taken on a lot of activist causes. But you were living a distinctly different life than you had led for many, many years.

FONDA: Yes. It was what I wanted to do at that point. I wanted to see if I was capable of really giving myself to a relationship, and I was able to finally overcome my fear of intimacy and really know what it meant to show up. The problem was that he couldn't, and I decided that I would rather be alone than to be in a relationship where we couldn't both show up.

That was real scary for me, because I had never done anything like that in my life and it was like unchartered territory. But I knew was right, and the moment that I made that decision, I knew it was right. And the moment that I made that decision, I sort of reinhabited myself.

ZAHN (voice-over): When up with thing ends, another begins. For Fonda, the end of her marriage led to a return to Hollywood. The 67- year-old actress calls this time in her life, act three, time to enjoy her family, support her causes, and renew her priorities.

FONDA: I want for there to be people who love me and who I have said, I love you, and who are going to remain behind after I go and will be stronger for my having been there.


ZAHN: But in spite of that new self-actualization, to give you an idea of how bitter people remain about Fonda's Vietnam trip, we did a web search for the phrase "Hanoi Jane" and got 77,000 hits.

There are so many incredible stories about Pope John Paul's ability to touch lives. We found one that may border on a miracle.


POPE JOHN PAUL II: You are truly courageous young man, courageous young man.


ZAHN: Coming up, that courageous young man looks back.


ZAHN: Still ahead tonight, a man whose music inspired the pope and led to a life changing encounter.

And don't forget to go to and vote for our person of the day. Tonight's candidates, Rome's mayor for coping with the massive crowds, millions of folks descending upon Rome, the pope's secretary, one of only two people mentioned by name in his last will and testament, or the man who documented John Paul's papacy, through a lens, the pope's photographer, photographing him every day of the week.

Right now, though, 41 minutes past the hour, let's check in with Erica Hill one more time at Headline News.

Hi, Erica.

HILL: Hi, Paula. Good to see you again.

Iraq's new president is vowing to help create a democratic government that will represent the nation's diverse population. Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani took the oath of office today as well as his two vice presidents. The three have nominated a Shiite leader for prime minister.

Two people are dead after a man went on a shooting rampage from southern Delaware to northern Maryland. At least four people were wounded in those attacks. A 22-year-old suspect is being held by Maryland state police. He is scheduled to have a court appearance tomorrow. Police say the man opened fire at a Delaware apartment complex and nearby shopping mall, then shot at people as he drove to Maryland.

A high school football coach is in critical condition after being shot in the chest at his school in Canton, Texas. Authorities have taken the father of a ninth grader near custody. They say he was carrying a list of five possible targets. The father that is.

A Florida senator now admits in an anonymous memo about the Terri Schiavo case came from an aid in his office. Republican Mel Martinez says it was written without his knowledge and the staffer who did it has now resigned. The memo urged lawmakers to intervene in the dispute because, quote, "the pro-life base will be excited." Democrats said the memo is proof Republicans were urged using the family tragedy, rather, for political gain.

Well, if your plans for the summer include hitting the road, you may want to stack up on cash. The Federal Energy Information Administration says gas will likely cost an extra 38 cents a gallon compared to a year ago. That's about $2.28 a gallon from April to September.

And that's the latest, somewhat painful news on that last story from Headline News. Paula, back to you.

ZAHN: You got that right, Erica. In fact, some of the latest polling that's been done showed just how mad Americans are about those figures. Like we said earlier this week, we'll just have to start jogging. HILL: I think so.

ZAHN: Thanks, Erica. See you tomorrow.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is straight ahead at 9.

Hi, Larry. Who is with you tonight?


Someone once said I don't jog because I want to be sick when I die. Anyway, former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman is with us. He was a cousin of the late Princess Grace of Monaco. He will head a delegation -- or will be part of the delegation to Prince Rainier's funeral.

And then we'll meet the mother of a fiance of the late Nicole Dufresne, the tragic case of that young girl who was shot and killed in a mugging attempt a couple of months ago in New York.

That's all ahead at 9, Paula. And now back to Miss Paula Zahn and PAULA ZAHN NOW.

ZAHN: Well, thank you. You even got the name of the show right. I so appreciate that, Lar.

KING: Go get them.

ZAHN: See you in 15 minutes.

In just a minute, a musician remembers the day his song touched the pope's heart.





ZAHN: And you're back with a live picture of St. Peter's Square in Rome. Just over six hours away from the start of CNN's live coverage of Pope John Paul's funeral. CNN will bring you the entire funeral service. Our coverage gets under way at 3 a.m. Eastern Time.

You no doubt have seen millions loved Pope John Paul II. But he has an even more special place in the heart of Tony Melendez. And that feeling apparently was mutual. Tony touched the pope's heart in 1987, and it changed his life.


TONY MELENDEZ, MUSICIAN (singing): I give you all my love this day and every day...

ZAHN (voice-over): Guitarist Tony Melendez was born without arms, and one of his feet was deformed.

MELENDEZ: My dad came in with sunglasses, you know, hiding the tears. And right away, she says, you know, "What's wrong? What's wrong? Bring me -- why don't you bring me Tony. Let me see him."

You know, they brought me finally and put me in her arms and she slowly took this little blanket off, and the tears started coming down. But Ma -- you know, Mama loves me very much. She let me live. And I lived.

ZAHN (on camera): When did you realize you had a special gift musically?

MELENDEZ: Early on I was able to, like, sing harmonies because I was part of choirs and it kind of came natural. When I was a little kid, I tried to play the guitar. My dad had one. And he told me to go clean my feet before he put it on the floor. But early on music was always a big part of my life.

ZAHN (voice-over: Tony loved music. So he taught himself how to play the guitar with his feet. He was soon writing songs.

(on camera) But what you really wanted to do was become a Catholic priest. And you were told you would never be able to administer communion, because you didn't have hands. How devastating a blow is that for you?

MELENDEZ: I thought I needed a collar, you know, the seminary in order to be able to, you know, give a little bit of your life to Jesus, you know, and help him. But I have come to realize all you need is a heart.

ZAHN (voice-over): And Tony poured his heart and soul into his music and lyrics. Performing for church groups gave him the connection to God that he so much wanted.

It wasn't too long before his songs and his faith were noticed.

(on camera) Tony, take us back to that day that you got a call telling you that you are the performer picked to play for the pope.

MELENDEZ: I was totally shocked, because I went to an audition and, like they say, don't call us, we'll call you. Next thing I know I'm singing that song entitled "Never Be the Same." I sang that to the pope, you're the gift given from the youth of Los Angeles to the pope.

ZAHN (voice-over): September 15, 1987, Tony sang for Pope John Paul II and an audience of thousands. From that day on he would never be the same.

MELENDEZ: He jumps off the stage. He kissed me. I remember right before the kiss his hand kind of reaching up, come a little closer because I was on a platform about four feet high. Move the guitar out of the way, knelt down, we touched with a kiss, and he said those words to me. POPE JOHN PAUL II: Tony, you are -- you are truly a courageous young man. Courageous young man. You are giving hope to all of us. My wish to you is to continue of giving this hope all the people.

MELENDEZ: From that moment on, when he kissed me, I was going to be different somehow. And I shared this before. He passed on a little bit of his notoriety somehow with a kiss. And one other thing, responsibility to the young people, to God, to church.

And he said to me, you know, "My wish for you that you continue giving hope to the world." If I can be hope in today's world, I feel very honored to be hope today.

(singing) They're holding hands in heaven.

ZAHN: Tony Melendez believes everything happens for a reason. He was born with a deformity because he believes it was God's plan. He also believes it was God's plan for him to perform three times for the pope, including a special appearance at the Vatican in 1989.

MELENDEZ: He starts leaving and saying good-bye to the people, which takes forever because there's many that want to see him. And I was sitting down, as I am now, finishing up a song, and then all of a sudden I had these two arms embracing me. And I am in the pope's chest, my face is. Close enough to hear his heart beat, almost.

ZAHN (on camera): Wonderful.

MELENDEZ: And his words to me that day, "Oh, my friend from Los Angeles," you know, remembering that first time we met. Truly, you know, I was excited. He remembered.

ZAHN (voice-over): Today, Tony just wishes he could have said one final good-bye to the pope, who remembered.

MELENDEZ: When I heard that he passed away, I didn't cry right away. As soon as I heard something on the radio, and he was sharing to the young people, and he said those words of I love you! When I heard that again, that's when the tears started coming, because he really does love people. He's just amazing. Very well loved.

(singing) There were people in my life who left great memories like John Paul II and his amazing legacy. He touched the hearts of many as he traveled to foreign lands, bringing peace to the world with the blessing of his hand. They're holding hands in heaven with joyful tears in their eyes. They're holding hands in heaven for the loved ones left behind.


ZAHN: And what a gift Tony Melendez is.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: All right. I know you're sitting on the edge of the chair. Who is our person of the day? The choices again: Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni; John Paul's loyal personal secretary, Archbishop Dziwisz; and the pope's photographer, Arturo Mari. Tonight's winner, Stanislaw Dziwisz.


ZAHN (voice-over): When Pope John Paul II fell, bleeding from an assassin's bullet in 1981, Monsignor Stanislaw Dziwisz caught him in his arms. And when the pope died last Saturday, he was holding the hand of Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz.

He was the pope's personal secretary. Karol Wojtyla, when he was still in Poland ordained Dziwisz as a priest. At the Vatican, Dziwisz was the pope's gatekeeper, his right hand man. He slept steps away from the pope's bedroom and stood at the pontiff's shoulder during mass.

In recent years as the pope's health waned, analysts say Dziwisz's voice carried more and more weight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside the Vatican when Dziwisz spoke, the assumption was he spoke for the pope.

ZAHN: The archbishop is one of only two people the pope mentions by name in his last will and testament. The other is the former chief rabbi of Rome.

In addition to profusely thanking Dziwisz for his years of service, John Paul made one final request, that the archbishop oversee the burning of his personal notes and the disposal of his everyday personal goods.

He was, in the words of scripture, a good and faithful servant in life and in death. And for that, our viewers have made Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz our person of the day.


ZAHN: Reminder, our coverage of the pope's funeral gets under way at 3 a.m. Eastern.

Thanks for joining us tonight. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.


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