PASADENA, Calif. — Three years after an extortion scandal that led him to bare his infidelities, David Letterman said he sees a psychiatrist once a week to try to be the person he believed he was.
The late-night talk show host gave an extraordinary interview to Oprah Winfrey in which he talked about his feud with her and Jay Leno, and about his efforts to make amends for his affairs with “Late Show” staff members that became public in 2009.
“For a long time I thought I was a decent guy,” Letterman said. “But yet, thinking I was a decent guy, I was still capable of behavior that wasn’t coincidental to leading a decent life. That’s what I’m working on. I wanna be a good person.”
The interview aired Sunday on Winfrey’s OWN network and will be repeated Jan. 20.
Letterman said his wife, Regina, has forgiven him, and he tries every day to regain her trust. He said he still hasn’t forgiven himself.
Letterman said he went through depression that he described as a sinkhole that he thought he wouldn’t come out of. But with medication, he said, he pulled through and told Winfrey he now has compassion for others who have gone through depression.
Winfrey interviewed Letterman for “Oprah’s Next Chapter” at Indiana’s Ball State University, after being interviewed by Letterman before students at the CBS comic’s alma mater.
Letterman said he believed their feud began when he called to ask Winfrey to appear on “Late Show” when he was going to do some shows in Chicago and Winfrey would not agree to appear.
Winfrey said she declined because she had been on Letterman’s show before and there were drunk people in the audience who made it uncomfortable.
Despite Letterman’s often withering comments about his NBC rival Leno, he said they were friends before Leno was picked over Letterman to be “Tonight” show host. Letterman believes they are still friends.
“He is the funniest guy I’ve ever known,” Letterman said.
Depardieu says he’s still French
PARIS – Actor Gerard Depardieu denied in an interview aired Monday that he accepted a Russian passport to escape the taxman in France, and said that while he may also seek Belgian nationality, he is still French.
Depardieu’s first public remarks since acquiring a Russian passport on Saturday suggest that his threat last month to turn in his French passport was a bluff, or the indignant reaction of a wounded man.
“If I’d wanted to escape the taxman, as the French press says, I would have done it a long time ago,” he said.
Depardieu, 64, is one of France’s best known actors. He has been at the center of a heated debate over tax exiles as France’s Socialist government looks to fill state coffers with a hefty tax on the rich. Depardieu drew scorn for his recent decision to move to Belgium, where taxes are less steep for the well-off.
Then, over the weekend, Depardieu showed up in Russia to accept a passport delivered personally by President Vladimir Putin.
A Broadway return and a debut
NEW YORK – The Divine Miss M is returning to Broadway and actress Maura Tierney is making her Broadway debut.
Bette Midler will star in John Logan’s new play, “I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers” in the spring, marking the first time she has been on Broadway in 30 years.
Midler will play the legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers in the one-character play by Logan, who wrote the screenplay for the James Bond movie “Skyfall.”
Maura Tierney will play Tom Hanks’ wife in Nora Ephron’s play “Lucky Guy.”
Producers said Monday that the Emmy-nominated star of such TV shows as “ER” and “The Good Wife” has joined the cast of Ephron’s last play, which begins previews March 1.
Hanks will play Mike McAlary, a gutsy New York City newspaper columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing that a Haitian immigrant had been sodomized by police in 1997.