This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 7, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, now, you get the inside story of what really goes on in Hollywood from a man who says his mother gave him the value that made him a success, and a giant success he is.
Sam Haskell, the former worldwide head of television for the William Morris Agency. His clients are as famous as they get -- Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, George Clooney, and many other stars.
Joining us live is Sam Haskell, author of the new book "Promises I Made to my Mother."
In reading this book, you are not a typical Hollywood guy.
SAM HASKELL, AUTHOR, "PROMISES I MADE TO MY MOTHER": No, I'm not.
VAN SUSTEREN: You're from Mississippi.
HASKELL: And it's what worked for me, being from the south and having a mom who taught me what it means to be real and to be consistent in a world of inconsistency. And those inconsistent elements were drawn toe, because I was honest and forthright and told the truth.
VAN SUSTEREN: You went all the way to the top in Hollywood, and reading the book let us know all of the inspirational things about your mother.
And then your father -- tell them what happened after her funeral. They were divorced?
HASKELL: Well, my parents were divorced in the later years of their marriage. And my father was the kind of personality who made me and my brother's choose. And he did not want us to have a relationship with our mother. And so I chose my mother.
And the day of her funeral he sent word to me that he was going to sue me because I was the executor of her estate for some of the percentages of the property she had inherited from her parents and for half the house, which, you know.
And I just couldn't believe it. And it was pretty devastating. It took three years to settle. And we countersued, because he had gone in contempt of court and hadn't paid child support or spousal support.
And we are ultimately won the case, but it was just a horrible thing to have to go through.
And I did not want to share all of this, but my editors finally said, "If you are going to be real about everything, you have got to be real about your father. You have to be real about William Morris. You have to be real."
And, you know what? That's what my mother would have wanted me to do.
VAN SUSTEREN: And from a real tough beginning to go all the way to the top, even some of the problems with William Morris, especially for those of us --
But let me ask you some of the things about Hollywood.
VAN SUSTEREN: Miss California is in the news, and you are on the Miss America board.
HASKELL: I am.
VAN SUSTEREN: I was for about three weeks.
HASKELL: I know. I'm sorry we didn't cross paths that way, but I know that you were.
VAN SUSTEREN: Miss California is not Miss America, but she is Miss Universe, I guess.
HASKELL: That's in the Miss USA Universe franchise, and that's completely different from us, because we're all about scholarship and talent and community service.
I am sorry for this child. I really am sorry for her, because she gave her opinion, and she has been just completely decimated for it. I am not even sure if she had given a different opinion if these pictures would have ever emerged. But I really feel bad for her.
At the Miss America program, we encourage our girls to have opinions. We want them to have an opinion. They are not going to be voted down or voted off because they have an opinion that does not match the judges. Our judges know that they are just to judge them for having an opinion.
VAN SUSTEREN: It is interesting, because as I read through your book, the most interesting thing is all the promises on Mother's Day. It is a good book to buy. Anyone who has a mother, this is a good book, or a wife who is a mother, or a sister, this is the perfect book for Mother's Day, "Promises I Made to my Mother."
Lots of good lessons, and it shows how you can learn lessons that make you a success in Hollywood. Thank you, Sam.
HASKELL: Thank you, Greta.
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