Paris Hilton to do her first post-jail interview with CNN's Larry King
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 06/25/2007
NBC and ABC both passed on the first post-prison interview with Paris Hilton, apparently causing the honor to fall into the lap of CNN's Larry King.
King has announced that he will conduct an interview with The Simple Life star Wednesday night in his Larry King Live studio, Daily Varietyreported Monday. Hilton will be the CNN talk-show guru's guest for the entire hour, bumping Sicko film director Michael Moore from his previously scheduled appearance.
"I am thrilled that Larry King has asked me to appear on his program to discuss my experience in jail, what I have learned, how I have grown and anything else he wants to talk about," said Hilton through her publicist, according to Variety.
King's post-jail interview announcement comes on the heels of earlier reports that NBC and ABC had both been -- in violation of what has traditionally been a journalistic no-no for serious American news organizations -- attempting to use cash to woo Hilton for a sit-down with their reporters.
Last Thursday, The New York Post reported that NBC had agreed to pay Hilton up to $1 million for an interview Today co-host Meredith Vieira. NBC -- which recently landed an exclusive interview with Britian's Prince William and Prince Harry after paying a reported $2 million for the American broadcast rights to an upcoming Princess Diana memorial concert -- later denied the report and insisted it doesn't pay for interviews.
"NBC News does not pay for interviews," NBC News spokeswoman Allison Gollust, who wouldn't confirm or deny "any interview would take place," told The New York Times in a report published Friday. "Never have, never will."
The news of Hilton's NBC deal reportedly "infuriated" ABC executives, who had considered themselves the "front-runner" due to The View co-host Barbara Walters' relationship with Hilton's mother Kathy. According to The Times, ABC News had offered Hilton $100,000, however in order to get around the news organization's policy of not paying for interviews, the payment would technically have been for access to photos and personal videos that would be utilized in the interview.
According to Variety, the negative publicity generated by The Post's report sent the Hilton family scrambling back to ABC however the network's news division -- presumably also concerned about the bad publicity the interview talks had generated -- decided that it was no longer interested and publicly announced that it had rejected Hilton's interview offer.
"As always with Larry, there are no ground rules and no compensation for this interview whatsoever," King's spokeswoman Bridget Leininger told Variety.
The interview will air Wednesday, June 27 at 9PM ET on CNN's Larry King Live.