logo
Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Roy Cohn Once Claimed He Proposed to Barbara Walters despite Rumors of His Sexuality

Camila Santiago
Sep 28, 2021
09:00 A.M.
Share this pen
FacebookFacebookTwitterTwitterLinkedInLinkedInEmailEmail

The TV pioneer and news anchor Barbara Walters spoke candidly about her personal life in a well-detailed autobiography, including Roy Cohn’s wed proposal.

Advertisement

In more than five decades of being the interviewer and asking people questions about their personal lives, Walters decided it was her turn to speak frankly about her life.

In her memoir named “Audition,” debuted in 2008 with over 600 pages, Walters opened up about many of her traumas, life struggles, love affairs, and personal stories.

Left: Barbara Walters speaks at the The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum presents An Evening with Barbara Walters at Harvard University on October 7, 2014 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Right: The American lawyer Roy Cohn, New York, New York, December 12, 1979. | Source: Getty Images

Left: Barbara Walters speaks at the The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum presents An Evening with Barbara Walters at Harvard University on October 7, 2014 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Right: The American lawyer Roy Cohn, New York, New York, December 12, 1979. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Barbara Walters is known for her exceptional talent and competence, but she's also known for being the first female anchor and co-host to achieve a position dominated by men.

Throughout her career of 50 years, she collects interviews with highly important figures, such as Henry Ford, Richard Nixon, Prince Philip, Jimmy Carter, and Fidel Castro.

She won a Daytime Emmy in 1975 and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1989. In 1997 she created her morning talk show "The View."

View of the desk on the set of the 'Today' show during filming, New York, New York, 1966. Pictured are, from left, author Harry Golden (1902 - 1981), and broadcast journalists Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters. | Source: Getty Images

View of the desk on the set of the 'Today' show during filming, New York, New York, 1966. Pictured are, from left, author Harry Golden (1902 - 1981), and broadcast journalists Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

The Boston-born journalist started her career as a writer and researcher at Today. She met a few influential people, including a close friend, Roy Cohn.

Cohn was one of the associated attorneys of Senator Joseph McCarthy's hearings in the ‘50s. The two had met at the Miami Latin Quarter, introduced by her father, Lou Walters.

Her father said that his daughter always wanted to meet him, Walters, however, politely shook his hand and said at his face, she never wanted to meet him.

5th May 1976: Promotional portrait of television journalist Barbara Walters on the set of the Today Show, New York City. | Source: Getty Images

5th May 1976: Promotional portrait of television journalist Barbara Walters on the set of the Today Show, New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

The “standup girl all the way, very independent but very soft,” as described by Cohn and the attorney, became close friends. Cohn described Walters as “one of a kind,” and compared her with Richard Nixon, whom he also knew.

He described them with a “non-glamorous approach and a crisp factuality.” On an evening in 1963, Cohn claimed to have proposed to her after spending an hour with her on the phone. Walters declined his proposal as she was already engaged to Lee Guber:

“I was talking to her on the telephone for an hour. I told her I'd marry her. She said she couldn't marry me, because she and Guber had already given a present to the judge.”

Advertisement
American broadcast journalists Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs (right) stand with a dishwasher on the 'Today' show set, New York, New York, 1966. | Source: Getty Images

American broadcast journalists Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs (right) stand with a dishwasher on the 'Today' show set, New York, New York, 1966. | Source: Getty Images

Despite not having a political side but she knew enough to detest McCarthy’s henchman and against all odds, Cohn and Walters became and remained good friends until Cohn died of AIDS.

Advertisement

Cohn’s admiration had him compared Walters not only to Nixon but also to his own mother -- they were both strong women but never got along well.

Their friendship got closer when the attorney helped her father when he had troubled with the law. Walters’ father had failed to attend a New York court date because the family was in Las Vegas at the time. Because of that, an arrest warrant was issued but Cohn, somehow got the warrant dismissed.

Attorney Roy M. Cohn poses for a portait in 1964. | Source: Getty Images

Attorney Roy M. Cohn poses for a portait in 1964. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

The attorney liked to say that he and Walters were more than friends. But Walters said that she was his claim of heterosexuality, even though he never admitted being homosexual nor having AIDS:

“He was a very complicated man. He died, alone, up to his ears in debt. He had been disbarred and he was hated. And I might have thought the same way, but he did something when my father was in trouble, [and] I never forgot that."

As a complicated man who “died alone,” he was detested by many. But the event with her father brought them together and when asked about Cohn’s “nice side,” "The View" host said that she wouldn’t describe him as “nice,” instead, as a smart and polite man.

Advertisement
American broadcast journalist Barbara Walters sits at home with her husband, businessman and theatre producer Lee Guber (1920 - 1988), New York, 1966. | Source: Getty Images

American broadcast journalist Barbara Walters sits at home with her husband, businessman and theatre producer Lee Guber (1920 - 1988), New York, 1966. | Source: Getty Images

As for the men she did have romances with, not to mention the four she married, Walters was mostly surrounded by powerful, influential and charismatic men.

Advertisement

She was an acclaimed and respected journalist -- still is -- and she admitted that she didn’t like the ups and downs of the show business, in spite of being a frontwoman and anchor with decades of experience.

Because she achieve such a position of respect and power, she shared that most people think she came from a rich family and had always been successful.

: Barbara Walters, American broadcast news anchor and television host poses for photographers at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium during the Emmy Award ceremonies for 1993. Walters was awarded an Emmy for 'Outstanding Information Special.' | Source: Getty Images

: Barbara Walters, American broadcast news anchor and television host poses for photographers at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium during the Emmy Award ceremonies for 1993. Walters was awarded an Emmy for 'Outstanding Information Special.' | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

She wrote in her memoir that her real story is far less than glamourous and she had a difficult and lonely childhood. Walters struggled with jealousy of the attention her older and mentally disabled sister received from their parents.

Apart from childhood, she struggled and blamed herself for her personal issues, such as feeling unable to make any of her marriages to work and that her daughter had a troubled teenagehood:

“It's not that I want people to see the wounds, but I thought, let them see there's a whole person here, not just for my sake, but because I think none of us have it all.”

Advertisement
American broadcast journalist Barbara Walters reviews a script as an unidentified man threads a projector at NBC Studios, New York, New York, 1966. | Source: Getty Images

American broadcast journalist Barbara Walters reviews a script as an unidentified man threads a projector at NBC Studios, New York, New York, 1966. | Source: Getty Images

Walters admitted feeling guilty for not being supportive or present to her adoptive daughter with her second husband, Guber. In her book, she devotes an entire chapter to Jackie Walters Danforth and titles it "The Hardest Chapter to Write."

As the name already suggests, the journalist almost left the hardest, yet the most important chapter, at least to herself, out of the book but her editor insisted. Her daughter Jackie was a “terrible adolescent” who would often disappear for days, went out with the “wrong people,” and did drugs.

Advertisement

The most heartbreaking part of the book, which she never read after writing it, is there to help other parents going through a similar situation with their teen children. She never thought that being a celebrity would take its toll on her daughter because she never thought of herself being one.

Television personality Barbara Walters speaks onstage during The 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcasted on HLN held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 23, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Television personality Barbara Walters speaks onstage during The 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcasted on HLN held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 23, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Walters decided to send her daughter to an alternative school for three years, and something obviously took hold. Fortunately, Jackie was given an opportunity to change, and she did.

As an adult, her life took a path that it’s completely different from her old teen days. Jackie and her mother are extremely close and she founded a camp for troubled teen girls in Maine.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
info

The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on news.AmoMama.com, or available through news.AmoMama.com is for general information purposes only. news.AmoMama.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

Related posts

Grandparents Kick Pregnant Teen Out in the Cold, Years Later They Ask For Her Help — Story of the Day

March 12, 2022

Sons Who Leave Sick Mother Alone Find Out She Left All Inheritance to Her Tenants – Story of the Day

January 30, 2022

Bride Doesn’t Want Her Dad in Wheelchair to Walk Her Down the Aisle until She Sees Him on TV — Story of the Day

May 17, 2022

Demi Moore Felt 'Betrayed' by Mom's Lie about Biological Dad Yet Later Forgave Her & Became Her Caregiver

May 17, 2022