Kitty Kelley to Write Oprah Biography

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," December 13, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Today's "Big Talker": Salacious author Kitty Kelley is taking a stab at a brand-new book project that will no doubt cause a major media frenzy. Kelley is probably best known for controversial biographies on Jackie O, Elizabeth Taylor, Nancy Reagan and President Bush, just to name a few.

Her new target: media queen Oprah Winfrey. But can Kitty Kelley dig her claws into one of the most influential television personalities and actually get away with it? With me now is Arthel Neville, an old friend of this network and this show and a correspondent for "Geraldo at Large."

So, I would imagine since Oprah has more money than the Lord above...


GIBSON: ...and has so many lawyers that the lawyers are at work on this now trying to kill it before it even gets started. What do you know about it?

NEVILLE: What you have to make sure you remember, too, is that not only is Oprah well-lawyered, as they say, people love Oprah. She has a very, very, very loyal following. And they don't want to hear anything about her. They don't want to hear anything bad.

And you know what, for a second, John, allow me to go back to sixth grade. Who died and left Kitty Kelley in charge? You know, I mean, listen, I know that there is this insatiable thirst for everything celebrity, and that's fine. We all like to read about certain things, aspects of their lives. Some people live vicariously through them. But you can't touch Oprah Winfrey. Leave Oprah alone. Do you want to talk about what Oprah's getting Gayle for Christmas?

GIBSON: No, I don't.


GIBSON: You know what this is going to be about.


GIBSON: Stedman and Gayle.

NEVILLE: We know about Gayle. Turn to her satellite radio show and you can hear all about Gayle. What else does she have to say that we don't know?

GIBSON: I don't know. But Kitty Kelley usually finds it.

NEVILLE: Is it all true?

GIBSON: I don't know. But she publishes it.

NEVILLE: Yes, and apparently — look, there is obviously a market for it. The woman had four consecutive New York Times best sellers, No. 1, you know. But I think what goes on behind — because this is probably where she's going to try to go — what goes on behind people's bedroom doors inside of their private home is nobody's business. And to that I say to Kitty Kelley, boo!

GIBSON: Do you think that this is the kind of story, if Kitty Kelley digs up the usual kind of stuff that she does on all of her biography projects, that this is a story the public will embrace or reject?

NEVILLE: There are going to be aspects of the public where people, they just want to know. They can't help themselves. It's like watching road kill. But I go back to what I said initially, John. Oprah Winfrey has loyal, loyal fans. And they're not going to buy this trash. And really, what's the point? What is the point? I think Kitty Kelley can make money doing some things that are more...

GIBSON: Arthel, are you saying Oprah should be untouchable?

NEVILLE: I'm not saying that Oprah should be untouchable. Oprah Winfrey is now — she's a human being like everyone else. OK, you know, we all make mistakes. I'm saying Kitty Kelley does not belong in Oprah Winfrey's business as it pertains to her relationship with Stedman and whatever her relationship is with Gayle. Gayle is her best friend. Leave it at that.

GIBSON: Arthel Neville, a correspondent for "Geraldo at Large." Arthel, it's always good to see you. Thanks a lot. Maybe Kitty's listening.

NEVILLE: Maybe so.

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