Barbara Walters Snags Rumored $5M Advance for Autobiography

ABC News diva Barbara Walters has finally found a new publisher for her autobiography -- snagging what is believed to be a $5 million advance from the Knopf imprint of Random House.

Walters insists her book will give readers a glimpse into her untold personal life, including growing up as the daughter of a nightclub entrepreneur.

"It's not a series of my television interviews; it's the story of my life, and it's a life that a lot of people don't know," Walters told The Post yesterday.

The deal comes as the former co-host of ABC's "20/20" has become embroiled in yet another dust-up over the bouncing of Star Jones as a co-host of her daytime talk show, "The View."

"I really don't want to say anything about Star at this time," said Walters. "I hope she finds another job."

Walters has a history of stirring things up, going back to 1974, when she jumped from NBC's "The Today Show," where she was a co-host, to ABC to become the first female co-anchor of "The ABC Evening News."

This latest book deal may be at least $1 million less than her payday after she bailed on an earlier deal to write her life story for Miramax Books.

At the time, publishing wags speculated that she bailed because she thought she could equal the whopping $8 million advance that Hillary Clinton snagged for her best-seller, "Living History," or the $8.5 million that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan earned for his memoirs.

Walters' agent and longtime friend Mort Janklow shot down that speculation. "It was never about the money," he said.

Walters insisted that her advance from Knopf was "in the same league" as the returned advance from Miramax.

"I can't say I never care about money; everybody does. But I wanted it to be a good and honest book. I'm not pumping out books every five years. This is it," she said.

When Harvey Weinstein left Miramax, the book imprint reverted to Hyperion, which is owned by Disney, the same company that owns ABC, Walters' employer.

The original Miramax deal was believed to be for around $6 million.

"The book is ours, and we're thrilled," said Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards, who would not disclose the size of the advance.