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Barbara Walters' Affair with Married Senator Almost Ruined Her Career after His Wife Found Out

Lois Oladejo
May 12, 2022
08:20 P.M.
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Renowned TV star Barbara Walters was married four times to three men, and her marriages played out before the public eye, including a scandalous affair with late Senator Edward Brooke.


Barbara Walters will always go down in history as a pivotal star in journalism. The star channeled a remarkable career that spawned the long-running daytime show, "The View." 

Walters is also known for other shows like "The Today Show" and her romantic life. She has been married four times and had a relationship that almost cost her her sterling career. 


Barbara Walters attends the Hollywood Reporter's 2016 35 Most Powerful People in Media at Four Seasons Restaurant | Source: Getty Images


These days Barbara Walters has retired to the sidelines, watching other prestigious women like herself anchor and tackle sensitive topics on 'The View." However, Walters explored TV in her heydays, and her romantic life did not take the back seat.

The "20/20" personality was married four times. First was to Robert Henry Katz, a retired Navy Lieutenant, and businessman. The pair tied the knot in June 1955, before Walters' TV career saw tremendous progress.

She was 26 years old when she married the former Naval officer, but the union did not last. Two years into their marriage, the couple filed for divorce, and by 1968, it was annulled. 


American broadcast journalist Barbara Walters and her husband, businessman and theatre producer Lee Guber, relax at home, New York, 1966. | Source: Getty Images

The next time the iconic journalist decided to exchange vows was in 1963, and it was to entertainment executive Lee Guber. During her marriage to the theatrical producer, Walters had snagged a stint on "The Today Show" in her early years. 


The two were married for 13 years, within which they tried to have children. After they struggled to have children, Lee Guber looked into adoption. They became parents to an infant, Jacqueline Dena Guber, in 1968. Once speaking about her mom, Jacqueline shared:

"She used to say that some mothers have babies from their tummies, and some have it from the heart. 'And you came from my heart.'"


TV personality Barbara Walters attends the New York Public Library Lunch 2016: A New York State of Mind | Source: Getty Images


In the throes of her failed marriages, Barbara could not have gotten more controversial. However, the star started an affair with a politician and senator Edward Brooke. In her memoir titled "Audition," Walters described Brooke:

"[He was] the most fascinating, sexiest man I ever met."

Brooke and Walters enjoyed a romantic love life, and according to her, she never saw the need to capitalize on him being African American. She recalled how Brooke did not talk much about his color or even raise issues surrounding race, despite his interest in politics. 

Senator Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts closeup as a new "Rockefeller" for President committee is announced. | Source: Getty Images


Walters also loved how he was in control. It was new to her, and it fascinated her. The couple kept it discreet through their affair, with Walters often seeing her daughter at her cousin's home when she had a date with Brooke. 

The couple spent a lot of time together, including breaks from work. She noted that Brooke had a warm relationship with her daughter, although Jacqueline held some grudge against him.

Despite being fascinated by the politicians, Walters saw other men. She opened up about an affair with John Diebold. According to her, Diebold was thoughtful and dependable, which contrasts with Brooke.

TV journalist Barbara Walters is interviewed after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award during the 30th annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards | Source: Getty Images


Through it all, she continued seeing Brooke, who was a married man. But, as their relationship intensified, people noticed that there was something less professional between them.

The now-92-year-old and Brooke had a shared passion for politics, and the pair never ran out of topics to discuss. This further took their affair to the next level. With time, Walters wanted more, and she resented the "sneaking around."  


Barbara Walters speaks at the The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum presents An Evening with Barbara Walters at Harvard University on October 7, 2014 | Source: Getty Images


While it was clear that Walters did not want to sneak around anymore, Brooke also seemed to be getting fed up with the clandestine affair. She noted how they would attend parties, and Brooke would openly offer to take her home.

This constantly raised eyebrows among socialites. Ultimately his wife, who had also been suspecting all along, became fully aware of the affair.

Walters stated in her memoir that Brooke's wife knew he had numerous affairs but sensed it ran deeper with her. At a point, she and Brooke reached a point where he did something shocking.

American politician Senator Edward Brooke and his wife, Remigia laugh from their seats during Republican National Convention at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, August 8, 1968. | Source: Getty Images


Not minding how it could affect his career and hers, Brooke went home to his wife and asked for a divorce. His decision left his wife furious, and she tackled him vehemently. 

Brooke's wife hired a detective who smoked Walters out, and with time she got the tabloids involved. Before the story of her alleged affair leaked, Walters got a hint that her career might be ruined at NBC. 

She picked the cue for her, and while she told Brooke she was no longer interested, he had also become apprehensive that his career was on the line. As a result, the pair inadvertently agreed never to see each other again. 



Barbara Walters attends TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 Most Influential People In The World at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

After ending things with Brooke, Walters moved on with her love life, meeting another special man, Alan Greenspan. However, Walters's sensational romance did not stop there. 


At the same time, she had a relationship with Alan Greenberg, the chairman of Bear Stearns. Walters's housekeeper had been confused by the two men, and she often received messages by asking about their tones. Barbara shared

"When they gave me the message, I could only ask, which one talked louder? Alan Greenberg ... talked in a normal tone of voice. Alan Greenspan was very soft-spoken. He almost whispered. And that's how I would know whether it was Greenspan or Greenberg."

Entertainment executive Merv Adelson and TV journalist Barbara Walters at the "Presumed Innocent" Westwood Premiere on July 25, 1990 at the Mann Bruin Theatre in Westwood, California. | Source: Getty Images


She married neither of the two Alans, but her first two marriages were not the end of her marital life. When Jacqueline was eight years old, Walters and Lee split up and headed for the divorce court. She would get married for the third time in 1981 to TV executive Merv Adelson.

It was clear that Walters was headed for a significant peak in her career by this time. In the year she landed her gig on '20/20," she and Adelson called off their marriage.

They would later tie the knot again in 1986, but their rekindled love did not stand the test of time like the first marriage. The two finalized their second divorce in 1992. Through their marriage fiasco, Walters did not blame Adelson.