More to the point – the lost interviews with a star whose showbiz name was partially inspired by the Tracy Lord character played by Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story. Depending on your generation, Traci Lords is someone who you knew for the first time when watching an episode of Gilmore Girls, Melrose Place, Highlander: The Series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Tales from the Crypt, MacGyver or Will & Grace. The first time that I knew about her was from a Hong Kong movie called Black Mask 2: City of Masks (a tongue-in-cheek allusion to the first sequel of The Crow – City of Angels).
As for the missing interviews, I tracked them down in the furthest reaches of the net. Good luck finding a video upload of the one hosted by Larry King. This was my longest article before I realized that the King interview may, one day, be uploaded on YouTube. Henceforth, I truncated the transcript so that it reads more like a best of compilation. I acknowledge that this article is more to do with myself being an editor than a writer. In particular, you will appreciate the transition from the transcript of the online Q&A session to the transcript of the interview. Let’s just say, for now, that she contradicts herself in an unintentionally funny way that’s worthy of traditional sitcoms (sitcomic timing).
20/11/97 (Thursday). She was 29 years old.
NBC Live Transcript:
NBC Live: Welcome, Traci, to the NBC Live Studio at Yahoo! Chat. Thank you for joining us this evening!
Traci: Hello everyone. I’m really pleased to be here to answer some of your questions. So let’s begin!
NBC Live:What attracted you to “Profiler”?
Traci: Profiler is the best one-hour drama on television. The writing is remarkable, and it has a solid cast of actors.
CyberFan_5: Describe how your character Jill and the serial killer Jack will work together. Are they going to be romantically involved?
Traci: I think Jack and Jill will have an intimate relationship, but whether or not it will be sexual…I don’t know yet.
bizbuzz101: Do you have any advice for up and coming actors and actresses?
Traci: The best advice I can give anyone that is up and coming, is that to make sure that this is what you want to do. Because, this can be a long and painful process.
Paul_Heusen: Just how “bad” is your character going to be?
Traci: Define bad. I don’t think that Sharon is bad per se. I think that she’s a product of her environment, and somewhere deep inside, she’s actually a very fragile, sweet soul. But she is led very far astray, and she does become a monster.
Schnick_345: What’s the most challenging part of acting, in your opinion?
Traci: To put yourself into places where you don’t necessarily want to go, and to look at things that you personally are against, without judgment.
Sophi102: How do you research your character?
Traci: With Sharon, I certainly didn’t go out and commit any murders. 🙂 To me, the key to Sharon was vulnerability. A key word is confinement, because she’s been in prison for so long. She hates cells, prisons and small confined spaces. I find that sitting in a closet helps. Other than that, I just focused on what could drive a person to do the hideous things that she does.
Sacramento_raider: What happened to your band you were in?
Traci: I have my second album about halfway finished now, and it’s on Radioactive Records. The first single will be released in March, the album will follow suit in May.
Kwazy4u: Do you have a preference of television or movies in the future?
Traci: My preference is for well-written material in whatever media that lies.
Scratchy_1: What’s the favorite actor you have ever worked with and why?
Traci: Hmmmm….I liked working with Johnny Depp, because it was the first feature film after his series, 21 Jump Street. I was fascinated with his ability to change his image as a person and an actor.
Callisto_rose: Did you enjoy working on the Roseanne set?
Traci: I loved it! Roseanne and John Goodman are right up there with Johnny Depp, as far as I feel with working with them. They are masters of their craft – probably the most talented cast as a whole that I’ve worked with.
Jim_Acabee: Given a choice, would you rather act, direct, write or produce?
Traci: It’s like comparing apples and oranges. I would opt for the fruit salad…that way you could do it all! Producing is something I would end up doing more of, because in that position, you have so much more control of the final outcome than in acting, writing or even directing.
Jeff_fincher: Do you ever get to go to a coffee shop and NOT be recognized?
Traci: I am a master of disguises. 🙂
Dita_parlo: I’m a gay teen, and I saw you perform at a Pride festival a couple years ago. You were great! Do you have any messages for teens like me trying to survive high school life?
Traci: Sexuality is a huge issue, whether you’re gay or straight…especially when growing up. Probably the best advice I could give is to be as responsible with your body as you possibly can, and let it all unfold. When you are a teenager, you don’t know who you are yet. So give yourself the time to discover that.
Downliner: Is that song from the Mortal Kombat soundtrack really yours? Do you have plans on doing some more music? By the way, that song rocked!!
Traci: Yes! Yes, yes, yes! That song I wrote with Ben Watkins and it is on my first album, 1000 Fires, on Radioactive Records. It was my first hit single. That soundtrack gave me my first double platinum record. I’m working on my second album presently, due out early next year.
RocketMan_01: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Traci: In a beautiful relationship with a couple of kids. Someplace green outside of L.A. Writing, producing, directing my own stuff. 🙂
Jens_Aspman: I’ve read somewhere that you just have produced a movie called Extramarital. When is it released?
Traci: Probably next summer. It was the first film that I have produced. So as I said earlier, I’m moving in that direction.
NBC Live: Back to your next album…
Questing_Beast: Is the second album going to be Techno/Dance oriented as well, or are you changing things?
Traci: The second album is going to be different. It will still be techno/dance-oriented, but I’m recording with more live instruments and gearing it for live performances. So that will be the biggest difference. I’m strongly emphasizing vocals and lyrics that are more personal on the second album.
MEISTER: Have you wanted to make a horror movie like Scream or Nightmare on Elm Street?
Traci: I never really have, because I’m scared of scary things. That’s one of the hardest parts of working on Profiler. I’m a chicken at heart, but it’s reassuring to me that I’m living with a killer (on the show), so hopefully I’m safer. 🙂
Jim_Acabee: What animated cartoon show would you like to appear on?
Traci: The Simpsons. I would love to see what I would look like in cartoon form. Perhaps as a deranged Jessica Rabbit. 🙂
NBC Live: More on “Profiler”…..
Pokey_7: Are you going to be on every episode or just occasionally on Profiler?
Traci: I’m a series regular, so basically I’m on every episode. There may be an episode here or there when I’m on the run. So maybe there will be one show here or there (where I’m not on).
P_Mikey: How do you stay in such great shape??
Traci: I kill myself in the gym, five times a week!
Country_type: Hi there. If you could play a lead in a classic film remake, and
could choose the film and part, which film and part would you choose?
Traci: Veronica Lake in Gulliver’s Travels.
King_Koffee: Will you be touring for this Dance/Techno stuff? Who would you like to tour with most?
Traci: Yes, I will be touring for my second album. My fantasy would be to tour with The Cure and Portishead – fellow trippy artists!
Fakkel: What is, in your own opinion, your greatest talent?
Traci: My greatest talent is probably my personal intuition. The only time I really mess up is when I don’t listen to my gut.
K_Krow: Do you have plans for music videos?
Traci: Absolutely! With my last album, I had two music videos, and with this one, I plan to have at least that many. You can check those last two videos out on the Radioactive Records website.
big_MELODY: What musical artists do you like, and who influenced you musically?
Traci: I love a French artist named Mylene Farmer. Blondie influenced me tremendously, because Debbie Harry is a wonderfully talented artist and singer. I am influenced by DJs in clubs, because I think that is an incredible art on its own.
Creekhouse: You and I are about the same age…what do you expect to find at your 20th high school reunion?
Traci: Actually, I’ve got quite a ways to go! I don’t foresee myself at that reunion. I took my GED when I was 16 years old, and haven’t looked back since.
King_Koffee: Like most big-time Hollywood stars, have you adopted a charity yet? If so, what is it?
Traci: I’ve been working with my charity for almost 10 years now, and it’s called Children of the Night. It’s for runaway and abused children; it’s run out of Van Nuys, California.
NBC Live: How did you get the part on Profiler?
Traci: While I was starring in Extramarital, the audition for Profiler came in. I read the material and felt strongly attached to it. I met the producers, Kim Moses and Ian Sanders. I read for it and I ended up getting the role. Like every other actor, I auditioned and crossed my fingers!
Curley_uk: Who would your ideal leading man be?
Traci: WOW! There’s a question….hmmm….I would like to work with Tom Cruise. Maybe not for the reasons that are obvious – such as his talent, or looks, or mega star status. But he seems like a sweet spirit and that fascinates me.
Cali_Guy111: What do you like to do for fun on all your time off from everything and the work??
Traci: I like to work out at the gym a lot. I like to read. I love to cook. I love hanging out with my friends in coffee shops, unnoticed and spending time with my family. Every now and then, I love writing along with singing.
RoboCop: The show bio states that you’re a parolee TURNED serial killer, what are you on parole for?
Traci: In the first episode this past Saturday, I just got out of jail. It never says in the script what she did, but I had a conversation with the producers, and I found out that it was mainly petty offenses: grand theft auto, fighting and larceny. My guess is that she got into a fight in a bar with a girl who didn’t walk away, so she accidentally killed someone in the fight.
RocketMan_01: Would you consider doing an unplugged concert on MTV?
Traci: I love the thought of guesting on MTV Unplugged, but not as much as Saturday Night Live!
Wed_md: Other than scripts, do you read much?
Traci: Constantly. I read anything that’s lying around. I particularly like Stephen King novels. Even though I’m afraid of scary things, I love being scared by him. I’m obsessed with children’s books – particularly, Dr. Seuss.
NBC Live: What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
Traci: How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I love Dr. Seuss books because there are all these underlying messages in them.
Jim_Acabee: What’s the most fun you ever had on a shoot?
Traci: During the filming of Cry-Baby, which John Waters directed and Universal released. It was a lot of fun, because it was set in the `50s, so we had all the `50s dancing and music. We had a wonderful cast with Depp, Ricki Lake and even Iggy Pop. It was like the ultimate prom. LOL!
Downliner: What’s your all-time favorite movie and why?
Traci: I love The Jungle Book, actually! Just because it’s so colourful and about survival. Second to that is The Lion King. My favourite live-action film is Marilyn Monroe’s The Seven Year Itch. I like a lot of older movies, because that was when studios did what they do best, stars were just stars, and movies were so beautifully written. It’s funny because I jump from new things to stuff from way in the past.
Jim_Acabee: Ever consider writing a children’s book yourself, and (if so) what would it be about?
Traci: YES! I would love to write a children’s book. It would be interesting to write one about religion, without it being directly about religion. So maybe a spiritual children’s book would be cool.
Jj_wylie: Would you consider acting in live dramatic theater?
Traci: It’s one of my goals. But it would have to be a part that I was completely dedicated to, and it would have to be in NY, not LA.
Bob_Chan: Have you ever thought about writing an autobiography? It would be a fascinating read.
Traci: I’ve been asked several times to write a book. My take on it is that the world knows enough about me, and I don’t want to air my dirty laundry in the form of a book. The thought of it absolutely horrifies me. Maybe someday when I’m old and gray, and on a rocking horse porch; maybe I’ll think about one then. But right now, no way.
The Larry King interview aired on July 14, 2003 (Monday) at 21:00 (Eastern Time). She was 35 years old.
KING: She’s back. After 12 years, Traci Lords returns to LARRY KING LIVE. The TV and film actress, author of a new memoir with a great title, Traci Lords: Underneath It All.
KING: Were you overdeveloped at 10?
LORDS: I was. It was — it was definitely a curse.
KING: What led to writing the book?
LORDS: There has been so much about me that has been said. So many, quote, unquote “True Hollywood Stories” that have been anything but true. I wanted to set the record straight. I deserved to do that. The reason that it’s taken me so long to have this conversation, and to write my autobiography, is because I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.
LORDS: First time I saw you, I was promoting Cry-Baby. Even then, as confident as I was, as proud of my work as I was, I was still struggling to try to figure out what does it all mean, and am I really OK? To have a healthy outlook on life is difficult. At 35, it’s taken me 17 years to get to the point where someone can ask me these kinds of questions without myself totally crawling out of my skin.
LORDS: I was a wild kid. I was angry at the world. I was very rebellious, and I wanted to show everybody. I think I was punishing myself, more than anything.
KING: Where was your mother in all this?
LORDS: I was a runaway. I ended up on the streets in Hollywood. You know, living under overpasses…
KING: What’d you get, lifts…
KING: …take hikes?
LORDS: Yes. I…
KING: How’d you get across the country?
LORDS: Exactly. I would — across the country?
KING: I mean, what’d you — hitchhike?
LORDS: We came to Ohio when I was about 11. Our whole family moved out here.
KING: How did you get to Hollywood?
LORDS: I first got…
KING: You ran away.
LORDS: … to Hollywood on a bus, a Greyhound bus, because I wanted to walk down the boulevard and see the sparkling sidewalks. It was a silly…
KING: We’ll pick it up in a minute. Traci Lords is our guest. What a story. The book is Underneath It All. Traci Lords. We’ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO SEGMENT: MAY, 1989 – TRACI WAS 21-YEARS-OLD)
KING: Do you remember why you started initially?
LORDS: I think I was just young and very rebellious, a lot like the character I’m playing in this film. She’s very young and she’s entrapped in this overdeveloped body. She uses her sexuality to embarrass people and to frighten them, at times. But in the film, you find out that she’s not nearly as secure with her sexuality as she pretends to be.
(CLIP FROM “CRY-BABY”)
LORDS: What I found attractive about this film was that I get to go back and play a kid. I never got to be one. She has a whole gang…
KING: That’s right. You never were a kid, were you.
LORDS: I never was a kid; so now it’s like reliving something that I never had.
(END VIDEO SEGMENT)
KING: How did you get…
LORDS: I was defiant, and I was looking for a job. I was 15 and I was pregnant. What am I going to do with this baby? Oh, my God, I can’t take care of a baby, I can’t even take care of myself. It was that consumed thing. I answered this ad for models. The boyfriend, my mother’s ex-boyfriend, actually took me there and convinced me.
KING: So this happened around the same time?
LORDS: Oh, it all happened at the same time. I was stoned for about three years, from 15 to 18, almost constantly. I was wild. I was suicidal. There were times when I thought I was having a good time, that it was fun, who cares, I’m going to be dead by the time I’m 21.
LORDS: I was fooling myself, and I was a little brat. On the inside, I was a scared, hurt little girl. I felt disconnected from my body, and I felt high a lot and I felt angry.
KING: Our guest is Traci Lords. The book is Traci Lords: Underneath It All. We’ll be right back.
KING: We’re back with Traci Lords. The drug scene, did you like it?
LORDS: I think that millions of heroin addicts can’t be wrong. There’s a reason that there are so many…
KING: It must be something…
LORDS: …because it does feel good.
LORDS: Heroin was not my drug of choice. It wasn’t really around, that I knew of, in the `80s. I guess it was, but that…
KING: Well, cocaine was the…
LORDS: Cocaine was, but my point is that drugs do give you a certain amount of numbness, and that was absolutely what I was looking for. It was a way to escape the reality that I was in, and my reality wasn’t all that pretty.
KING: Were you ever whacked out?
LORDS: Always. I was extremely suicidal. I was…
KING: Oh, really?
LORDS: …killing myself slowly. At the end of it all, in 1986, when the FBI actually raided my apartment, I was stoned on cocaine. I was 90 pounds, and I’m 5-foot-7. I was pretty much wasting away. That was, like, the end of it. Yes, so I was pretty bad off.
KING: Why the FBI raid?
LORDS: Because after three years, they had……I don’t know if it started from the initial reports that my mother made of me as a runaway or if they……how exactly they received the information that they did. I don’t know that I’ll ever know the answer to that. But I was finally — I was never arrested by the FBI. They broke down my front door. It was early in the morning. I was stoned on cocaine. I thought that there was an earthquake or something. You know, this is…
KING: What’d they do?
LORDS: They took me downtown to the federal building, I was taken up this freight elevator, and they questioned me. I was wearing a long T-shirt and nothing else.
KING: Is that what they were investigating?
LORDS: I didn’t get what was happening. My brain was pretty mushy. I thought Is this about the drugs? Why now? Why would they be trying to help me, stop me now? Why, after three years, does anybody even care? That was pretty much my attitude.
KING: Did you miss your mother?
KING: Did you call her?
KING: She wouldn’t tell…
LORDS: I would never speak to her. I would call her and hang up because sometimes I needed to hear her voice.
KING: How did she handle the knowledge of what you did when she found out?
LORDS: It was hard for me the first time I saw my mother after all of this, because I was so mortified. It was, like, sort of a crashing thing. The first words out of my mouth were, Look, I’m sorry. Then all of it came out. But it took me years to confront my mother and say Why didn’t you protect me when I was younger?
LORDS: Why did you let your ex-boyfriend do this to me? My mother said I had no idea. That was the hardest thing for me to hear and accept. I said How could you not know? She said I swear to you, I just didn’t know. We talked about that. That was one of the main things that happened to me.
KING: Was your mother ashamed of what you did for a living?
LORDS: I think my mother was more ashamed that she had allowed the things to happen. As far as…
KING: Mad at herself.
LORDS: What she was really mortified about was the fact that she hadn’t been there to protect me. I have to tell you, by her saying that to me, it gave our relationship a whole new shot.
KING: Is she living?
LORDS: Yes, she is.
KING: Are you close?
LORDS: We are as close as we could possibly be. We have a good relationship. There’s still stuff there that I don’t always get, you know?
KING: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
LORDS: I have three sisters.
KING: How do you get along with them?
LORDS: I get along with them well.
KING: Are they younger, older?
LORDS: They’ve all had their trials and tribulations, let me tell you.
KING: Where are you in the age…
LORDS: I’m No. 2. I have one older sister and two younger sisters.
KING: And they stayed with the mother, grew up normal…
LORDS: No, my older sister left home and had her own thing. She’s not a public person, so I don’t really speak about her. But she’s OK now. She went through her stuff in a different way. My younger sisters have been through it, too, but in different ways. They’ve had their own issues in their life. We did grow up in a difficult situation, what with my father’s alcoholic behavior and the violence in the house. So yes, whenever kids grow up in that kind of environment, there are real problems.
KING: Traci Lords. The book is Traci Lords: Underneath It all. You’re watching LARRY KING LIVE. We’ll be right back.
KING: We’re back with Traci Lords. The book is Traci Lords: Underneath it All. You mention suicide. In fact, I’m told you — suicide runs a lot through the book, right?
KING: Did you ever come close?
LORDS: I remember driving down the street not knowing how to drive and using both feet because I couldn’t figure out how to just use one. Being high on cocaine. Being distraught. A lot of it is inspired by the music that I listened to when I was involved in that part of my life, and thinking Isn’t that the truth?! It would be so much easier to drive off of a cliff.
KING: Ever sat down with pills? Ever come close?
KING: What stopped you?
LORDS: It didn’t stop me once. I od’d once and ended up in community hospital. I was always killing myself slowly anyway. That is what the drugs were about. I don’t think that I believed that I would live to be 21. I thought that it was, live fast, die young, big deal. It was just that kind of destructive attitude.
KING: Have you had what could be called since, normal relationships? Dated men…
LORDS: I was married when I was 21. I think when I was here last with you, I was married. I married Brooke — I met him via John Waters, the director of my movie. I met him in Baltimore. He was my first husband, we were married for about five years and we were still friends. We had a great relationship. After that, I had a boyfriend for several years and now I’m married to an amazing man named Jeff.
KING: What’s that like?
LORDS: I am a serial monogamist. My husband is an iron worker.
KING: An iron worker?
LORDS: That’s right.
KING: Where do you live?
LORDS: We live in Los Angeles.
KING: So he’s like a…
LORDS: So on the way here, I was checking out all the iron workers.
KING: He’s a blue — there’s a convention here.
LORDS: Is there?
KING: Yes. He’s a blue collar guy.
LORDS: Yes, he is.
KING: How did you meet?
LORDS: One of my best friends in the world, John Tierney, who I talk about in the last half of my book — he’s in the fun half of my book that I enjoy talking about. He used to own a restaurant on Beverly Boulevard called Muse. About eight years ago, when I was doing Profiler, I lived right around the corner. After work, I would go in, say hello to John, we would have dinner and Jeff was there.
LORDS: He was moonlighting as a bartender on Friday and Saturday nights to make some extra money. We always had a nice relationship. We would sit and chat. Here was this nice man. As he tells it now, I didn’t know he existed. He says I was so busy caught up with the bad boys. I was in my twenties and I wasn’t a bad girl any more but I was trying to figure out who I was, so Jeff was this nice guy that I kind of ignored for a while.
KING: What happened?
LORDS: I thought Here’s this great looking guy, and he must be gay. He wasn’t! Years later, I had gone up to Canada to do a show called First Wave and I had taken a break from guys. It was 2000. I came back home after being away for about a year. I walked back into the restaurant/bar two days before Christmas. Jeff was there. We started talking and it was just like Why haven’t I seen you before?
KING: And you got married?
LORDS: We started dating about three months later. He’s really loved and I’m lucky.
KING: Do you want children?
LORDS: Absolutely. It’s something we have been talking about a lot. It’s such an amazing head trip in many ways because it’s a huge job, I think, to raise a child and how do you protect them? Are they going to be OK? And will I be a good mother? And oh my God, what if it’s a girl, you know? All of those thoughts have gone through my head.
KING: How did you get out of drugs?
LORDS: It happened in 1986. It was in May – the same month that I turned 18. The FBI raided my apartment. That was…
KING: That led to it?
LORDS: Oh, that was it.
KING: You stopped cold?
LORDS: That was it. Let me tell you, the drugs are really……it was all intertwined. I wanted to get high because I was very stressed out, and something about having the feds sit outside my apartment kept me from copping any drugs. It was difficult. But all joking aside, it was the hardest thing I ever did.
KING: So you didn’t have to testify?
LORDS: I had to testify once. I was fortunate. I found a good attorney that helped me. You know Leslie Abramson.
KING: Leslie Abramson. Tough broad.
LORDS: There was a lot that was going on that really wasn’t right. I am very grateful now that it was ultimately them raiding my apartment. Whatever they did, however I feel about the way that they handled things, which they didn’t handle them very well in my opinion, I’m still glad that they did it, because ultimately it did save my life.
KING: How did you get into the straight world? What kind of — did you go right for acting jobs? What did you do?
LORDS: What I did was I really wanted to be an actress, and I was looking for another outlet to vent a lot of stuff. I was in therapy. I was doing a lot of time on the couch at that point, three or four times a week, trying to figure out how to stay alive. I started studying acting and sense memory at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in L.A. I remember that people thought Wow, you’re really good at playing this angry scene or this — or whatever. But it was just where I was at.
KING: So did you get a break?
LORDS: I did. It was Stephen Cannell that got me my first break on a series called Wiseguy with Ken Wahl.
KING: I like Ken.
LORDS: I had a huge crush on Ken.
KING: Who didn’t?
LORDS: I wrote about him in the book. When he heard about it, he called me up and he said Wow, you told. I said I’m sorry but it was such a huge thing for me, because he was the first guy that I was with after all that.
KING: Oh, really?
LORDS: Yes. He was a heartthrob. He was sexy. I thought that he was cool. It made me start to think differently about relationships. I didn’t want to be a one-night-stand girl. I wanted something more, so it was a challenging time in my life. I went on to do Married With Children and then Cry-Baby when I last saw you. I slowly started building my resume.
KING: You did Melrose Place.
KING: We’ll be back with our remaining moments with Traci Lords. Quite a lady.
Underneath It All is the book. Don’t go away.
KING: We’re back with Traci Lords, who has got her life straightened out. You work with that group, you said?
LORDS: Children of the Night, yes.
KING: And what do they do?
LORDS: Dr. Lois Lee is the founder of the organization. She has a house in Van Nuys. She helps the kids rehabilitate their lives. They’re claiming they’re sober. They have rules in the house. She puts them back into school so they can finish their education. They’re schooled there. Their health concerns are taken care of. They are fed. They’re protected. They’re treated as children. They’re between 12 and 16 years old.
LORDS: They’ve all read my book, which is wild. But the one thing that they have all said to me is, Wow, you’re OK now. That’s their dream. You know how some people aspire to go to Harvard, or When I grow up, I’m going to be a doctor. When I grow up, I’m going to be OK. That floors me that kids think that way, that they don’t get… just to start on some kind of a level-playing field. They do have an 800 number. I believe it’s 1-800-551-1300. that’s the hotline. It is all across the United States.
LORDS: That’s right. What she’s doing is amazing, because there’s a lot of organizations that help kids, but only for limited periods of time. That’s the problem. Funded by the state. It’s 30 days, you get a bed for 30 days.
LORDS: They end up back out on the streets. There’s no time limit at Children of the Night. It’s such a sensational organization.
KING: Do you know why young girls prostitute themselves?
LORDS: I have never met one that hasn’t been sexually abused by an uncle, father, boyfriend, anybody. They all have that in common. My story is so completely typical, by the book, profile. It’s scary.
KING: They were using you.
LORDS: Who are the good guys here? Is it the FBI that waited three years? They were telling me they were gathering evidence. Is it the news people who are saying this poor victim and then putting pictures of me half-naked victimizing me?
LORDS: It’s hard for me to tell what was what. So instead, what I did was I took it all on myself. It was all my fault again. So it took a long time for me to figure this out. OK, yes, these are the choices I made, this is why I did it, this is where I was at. There’s a lot to it.
KING: As you look back, do you regret a lot of things? Are you angry at yourself?
LORDS: I try not to even go there. I had somebody ask me yesterday, if you could just erase it all, and go back — my answer was, you can’t erase it all. You can’t go back, but you can look at it in a bunch of different ways. It’s like an onion, there is always another layer. There is always something else.
LORDS: Every time you hear people say – OK, I dealt with that. You never really deal with anything. You deal with it on layers. You’re doing different things. It sits in a different place then you get to revisit it constantly. That’s the one thing that I found out about life, that regrets are just a waste of time.
KING: Do you ever look at some of the things and say I did that?
KING: Did you ever find out what happened to your mother’s boyfriend?
LORDS: No. I still have fantasies about running into him in a dark alley.
KING: He might still be alive, right?
LORDS: He’s probably one of the only people that I have found it incredibly difficult to forgive.
LORDS: Because he did so much damage. He was never punished for that. I thought that what was incredibly unfair.
KING: Great seeing you this happy.
LORDS: Thank you.
KING: And let’s not wait another 12 years between visits.
LORDS: Very good.
KING: Traci Lords, the TV film actress, author of the memoir Traci Lords: Underneath It All. I’ll be back in a couple of minutes and tell you about tomorrow night. Don’t go away.
KING: Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Tomorrow night, a profile of John Walsh. You’ve seen him on a lot of our shows, discussing individual matters and cases. Now, you’re going to learn about the life of John Walsh himself, and Queen Noor will be with us on Wednesday. Aaron Brown, NEWSNIGHT, next. Thanks for joining us. From Traci Lords and yours truly, good night.
Editor’s note: I think that, as an actress, she should’ve been credited by her birth name i.e. Nora Louise Kurma.