The former news anchor, TV host, and legendary journalist Barbara Walters opened up about her regrets in life, including not having a bigger family.
Barbara Walters is one of the most important names when it comes to journalism. She received numerous awards during her impressive career, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Emmy Awards.
She created a whole new “personality journalism,” adding a personal touch to her interviews, which granted her a wide range of interviews with influential people, from Fidel Castro to Dalai Lama to Margareth Tatcher, and the list goes on.
Walters’ unique personality and trademark interview style made her the first female co-host in an American news program and the first female co-anchor of a network evening news program.
As the number of accolades that the journalist collects, and in her own words in an interview with Piers Morgan for CNN, her career was beyond anything she could ever expect.
In terms of personal life, however, Walters regrets a few things, one of which is not having more children or a bigger family.
Her regret isn’t from a lack of trying, though. The 92-years-old had three miscarriages, and at age 39, she decided to adopt a girl they named Jackie with her second husband, Lee Guber.
In 2014 at the ABC News Special, she spoke candidly about being too busy focused on her career that she wished she could have spent more time with her daughter:
“You know, on your deathbed, are you going to say, ‘I wish I spent more time in the office?’ No. You’ll say, ‘I wish I spent more time with my family.’”
Despite “not being very good at marriage,” as she described herself, she always dreamed of having children. Walters and her then-husband Lee Guber, whom she was married to from 1963 until 1976, decided to take the parenthood road and have kids.
Before considering adoption, Walters and Guber went through sad and painful losses. But it seemed that it was “no coincidence” that the couple shouldn’t have a biological daughter. So life presented a surprising reason for them to become parents.
One evening, the couple went for dinner with friends that they had rarely seen. Guber and Walters mentioned they were considering adopting a child, so were their friends. After that dinner, according to Guber, their hearts set on adopting a baby girl.
Jackie Dena Guber, named after Walters’ mentally disabled sister, who passed away in 1985, went through her own set of struggles while growing up with a celebrity parent.
Perhaps, her ability to deal with her mother’s absence was exploring an unknown yet tricky world well beyond her teenage reality at the time.
Rebelliousness is something common that many teens experience to channel their emotions and energy while growing up. Dena Guber famously ran away from home several times, causing a lot of pain to her parents, especially her mother.
She ran away from home as a way of escapism. Later on, Dena Guber revealed she didn’t fit into her mother’s world, and at the time, running away felt good to her, as she thought it would solve her problems.
The runaway abused drugs in an attempt to escape the spotlight. At 15, Jackie disappeared for a whole month and got back home after hitching a ride with a man, who contacted Walters to inform the whereabouts of her 15-years-old daughter.
The former journalist picked her daughter and sent her to a rehab facility in Idaho, where she stayed for three years. During this period, she graduated from high school and her father Lee passed away from cancer.
Years later, as a reformed drug addict, Dena Guber founded an intervention program for young women and clinical therapy to help them treat addiction issues, called New Horizons. The program, however, shut down in 2008 after many years of success.
In 2003, Dena Guber spoke candidly about her experience of drug abuse as a teen. Shesaid
she used different types of drugs such as marijuana and methamphetamines:
“'But it didn’t take away the issues that I had. They got bigger and bigger. I was more and more isolated from my mom’s world.”
Dena Guber tried her whole life to stay away from the spotlight; that’s why she adopted her father’s name instead of Walters. In her effort to make her life private, it’s hard to find information about her.
She married twice. Her first marriage to Mark Danforth lasted ten years, but she continued using his last name for years. Consequently, the media knew her as Jackie Danforth.
Walters’ only daughter stepped into the spotlight in 2019 amid her mother’s health woes -- she hasn’t been seen since 2013 when her DUI arrest in Florida made headlines. They released her on $1,000 bail.
A close source revealed that mother and daughter are extremely close now since Walters’ health is deteriorating fast. The same source noted that they talk about the past, specifically about what went wrong in their relationship and how they came to find comfort in each other.
Barbara Walters’ health, at 92 years old isn’t stable. The former news anchor has been struggling with dementia in the last few years, which made her disappear from the spotlight.
Sadly, news stories about Barbara Walters remain few and far between these days. Fans continue to wish her the best despite her advanced age and serious health issues. We, at Amo Mama, continue to wish Barbara Walters all the best as well!
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