Published July 16, 2008
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 15, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
HANNITY: Earlier tonight, we sat down for a cable exclusive interview with Christopher Ciccone. He is the author of the brand-new book, "Life with My Sister Madonna." Take a look.
HANNITY: I don't know what it would be like to have to wipe off your sister's, you know, sweat from her naked body, but that's part of the stuff you reveal in this book.
CHRISTOPHER CICCONE, AUTHOR, "LIFE WITH MY SISTER MADONNA": It is. It is. It's one of the things a brother does for...
HANNITY: Not — I love my sisters dearly. If they're watching, never going to happen.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: He does that for me after the show, though.
CICCONE: He doesn't.
HANNITY: You really need help. That's not true, by the way. The thought is really making me ill.
CICCONE: If I picture it now, it's going to stay in my head.
HANNITY: First of all, look, your sister is this, you know, monumental icon figure. You say about her that she's, you think, beginning to crack under the pressure, struggling to maintain this choreographed, mythical image of herself.
What do you mean by that, she's cracking up?
CICCONE: I don't mean she's cracking up. What I'm saying is that — is that there's a circle of things happening around her right now that she can't control. She's turning 50, her husband, and the book.
CICCONE: And when you live in a world that's been so choreographed and so managed for so long, this kind of pressure and lack of control will make you a little bit off kilter. I don't believe she's going crazy. But what I mean to say is that it's not easy for her.
HANNITY: I started to read a little bit about the religion that's so important in her life.
HANNITY: The Kabbalah. And part of it is to sort of eliminate one's ego. Now, if I think of the quintessential public figure with the biggest ego and a narcissist, I think of your sister. Is that true or false?
CICCONE: Well, it's neither true nor false. How's that for an answer?
It's — there's a delicate balance with Kabbalah. And you can — you can use it as a weapon. You can use it to justify bad behavior. Or you can use the tools they give you to make your life better. And I've studied it myself, and I don't go to classes anymore, because it got too cultish in Los Angeles. And — but it is useful for me.
HANNITY: For example, if the goal is to get rid of one's ego or to eliminate it, it seems like the antithesis of the life that she's been leading, No. 1. And I'll never forget one night I was — she did a movie years ago where she just followed herself around with a camera. I forget what it was.
CICCONE: I think I might have I missed that one.
HANNITY: I'm sure you know which one. All right. And there's Warren Beatty.
CICCONE: Oh, you mean "Truth or Dare."
HANNITY: OK. And Warren Beatty, I remember this distinctly. He says, you know...
CICCONE: She can't live her life off camera.
HANNITY: Yes, well, why would we ever want to do anything off camera? You know, almost mocking her...
CICCONE: Yes. Well...
HANNITY: ... for her narcissism.
CICCONE: She was, and that was a particular talent of Warren's. I mean, you know, he was one of the favorite people of mine to have around. He was very political. I don't know if a lot of people...
HANNITY: He's a left-wing — he's worse than him.
COLMES: That's not possible, Sean.
HANNITY: Yes, it is.
COLMES: Anyway, Chris, good to have you on the show.
Let me ask you a question. Why did you write the book?
CICCONE: I wrote this book to redefine myself. I spent my youth and all of my working life, working for the most famous woman in the world. And the stuff that I experienced, this is stuff that you're not going to read in any other — any other unauthorized biography or any other magazine. And when I got a chance to step back and look at it, I thought of the incredible adventure we've been on, and it had to be written.
COLMES: And you knew she wasn't going to like it, right?
CICCONE: I knew she wasn't going to like it, because she wasn't in any part involved in it and couldn't control it. But her deepest, darkest — you know — thoughts about what this book would be isn't in the book. I mean, I'm not — I did not write a book to...
COLMES: So you didn't do it in consultation with her, with her blessing or permission?
CICCONE: Absolutely not.
COLMES: And the fact that some people say it's out of revenge because she dissed you — but you say that's not really true?
CICCONE: No. I'm not taking revenge on her. I'm telling my story. And she happens to be intertwined with that completely.
COLMES: What's your relationship like at the moment? Are you...
CICCONE: I sent her an e-mail about three weeks ago, when she was expressing a great deal of concern about the book to my father, who she's involved in this whole thing. Because she couldn't get to me, she went to him. So it was — she — she ended up being at the center of all this.
And it was unfortunate, and — but I chose to respond. I wasn't going to respond, but I chose to respond to her. I sent her an e-mail saying, you know, I would — "I love you, and I'm not going to — I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you. So you know, calm down and leave Dad alone, you know."
COLMES: Is there anything in here that you view as damaging?
CICCONE: If you consider — if you consider reminding someone that they're a human being damaging, then yes.
COLMES: What do you mean by that?
CICCONE: I mean — I mean, all my intention was, and what I think I've written, is to give her fans a look behind the curtain and to give people who don't know her a great story to read. So there's nothing damaging. There's no smoking gun. There's no body buried in the backyard. But there are lots of little ones.
COLMES: And coming up, we ask Madonna's brother what he thinks about the recent rumors involving A-Rod and his sister. The answer may surprise you. That and much more, coming up.
COLMES: Here's more from our cable exclusive interview with the author of the new book, "Life with My Sister Madonna," Christopher Ciccone.
COLMES: Let's talk about some things going on right now. Do you think she's having an affair with A-Rod?
CICCONE: I don't.
COLMES: You don't? What's going on there?
CICCONE: I — I think that he was curious about Kabbalah. And if you're curious about Kabbalah, then the one authority on that is her.
COLMES: He seems kind of smitten.
CICCONE: He does, and frankly, I don't think he's her type, to be honest. But you know.
COLMES: She has a type?
CICCONE: She has a type depending on the need, you know. What that need right now is her husband, I'm sure, and her family. And I doubt — I really doubt that that's happening.
COLMES: And the state of her marriage?
CICCONE: Is probably difficult all the time. To have everyone telling you that you're about to get a divorce is — you know, it can have an effect on a person. It's like someone telling you you're ugly all the time, and then sometimes you think — at some point you think, maybe I am ugly.
COLMES: You keep getting asked all the time, what's it like being her brother? I guess everybody wants — and that's the ever age-old question. How can anybody ever know what it's like being Madonna or even being someone close to her?
CICCONE: Well, you can know from reading that book.
COLMES: I set you up for that plug.
CICCONE: You did, and I thank you for it. It's, you know — it's an honest portrayal, and I — you know, I regret none of the life that I had with her.
COLMES: She was not the waif coming to Times Square with $35 in her pocket. That's part of the myth, right?
CICCONE: I love this. I love this. It's — it's evolved into that — that mythology. And it's a great part of the myth and, you know, I was — I was a little bit, you know, hesitant to sort of debunk it. But, you know, if I'm going to tell the truth, I plan on telling the truth and not just part of it.
COLMES: I guess there are people, though, who besides the fact that she would like to maintain a carefully constructed character that she has created and invented...
COLMES: ... are there members of the public who would like to believe the myth as well, because it feeds into our need for fantasy?
CICCONE: Yes. It does. And I haven't destroyed her. I haven't — I haven't knocked her off her pedestal. I just simply helped her back down to the floor, you know.
COLMES: We started off talking about — Sean was asking about kind of a crisis point or transition point in her life. Where do you see it going from here?
CICCONE: You mean a crisis point now?
CICCONE: From here? I'm hopeful — I'm hopeful that she'll expand into the music world, honestly, and instead of — and instead of repeating the past musically and creatively, I'm hoping that she'll take the money and the time that she has and experiment and explore some new things.
HANNITY: Hey, Chris, your dad is a conservative.
CICCONE: He is.
HANNITY: He — and you grew up in a Catholic household. You talk about her still being a Catholic.
HANNITY: In her heart, or a Catholic girl.
CICCONE: I don't think that goes away. It's still in me.
HANNITY: Well, let me ask you, because I guess this goes to if I had a complaint about your sister as an outsider. Here you have all these young ...
CICCONE: Join the crowd.
HANNITY: Well, OK. I didn't write a book, though.
CICCONE: I'm not complaining. That's not what I meant.
HANNITY: These young girls, they used to dress like her, talk like her, emulate her. And then she has these stage shows where she's simulating masturbation on stage ...
CICCONE: Well, I'm partly responsible for that, but...
HANNITY: Her overt sexuality.
HANNITY: Do you think — did you find that appropriate, especially knowing that these were young kids that she was influencing?
CICCONE: At that point, you're talking about "Blonde Ambition," those kids have grown up.
HANNITY: There were a lot of young kids still there. "Like a Virgin," I remember seeing these young kids, 12 years old, dressing like Madonna.
CICCONE: Look, I had two reactions at that point in the show every night, when she came to the bed scene for "Like a Virgin." I would either laugh at it or cringe. You know, it was difficult for me to watch sometimes.
HANNITY: But in this sense, do you think it's appropriate? Here's A-Rod, a married man. He just had a new baby. Supposedly, they're studying the Kabbalah late at night in his — in her apartment. Wait a minute, wait a minute...
HANNITY: I don't buy it. Now I don't know for sure, but it doesn't seem — I'm not really sure, with his history, if I believe it.
CICCONE: It is his history...
HANNITY: And her history.
CICCONE: Well, look, she's married to a man that I believe she loves. She has three children. First of all, if she was going to have an affair it wouldn't be in her New York apartment with everyone standing outside. It just wouldn't be.
HANNITY: You don't think she's ever cheated on Guy Ritchie?
CICCONE: No, I don't.
CICCONE: Because I believe she's committed to the marriage and her family.
HANNITY: And her — what is there about...
CICCONE: I mean, we all grow and change. I don't think she's the same person she was, you know, when she was rolling around on the floor in the cake in the MTV Awards way back in '85.
HANNITY: Only a couple years ago she was kissing other women on stage.
CICCONE: Kissing other women.
HANNITY: On stage. Forget about whether or not you think...
CICCONE: It's a show; it's a show. It's a performance.
HANNITY: Anything for attention.
CICCONE: Yes, OK. Yes, that is fair enough.
HANNITY: All right, Christopher. Thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.
CICCONE: Thank you. Glad to be here.
HANNITY: All right. Do you believe it on the A-Rod thing?
COLMES: I have no idea. Do you?
HANNITY: Do you think it's appropriate to be studying Kabbalah with — when you're both married, at night?
COLMES: I have no idea what they're doing. Do you? Do you believe her brother?
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