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Barbara Walters' Ex Babysat Adopted Daughter While She Worked — She Later Regretted Focusing On Her Career

Oyin Balogun
Jun 05, 2022
04:30 P.M.
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Barbara Walters amassed incredible fame and fortune in the entertainment industry. Sadly, the time put into her career deprived her of spending time with her family, and she regretted it. Continue reading to know what she said about it.


Barbara Walters is one of the biggest names in journalism. With a career on television lasting over six decades, the star has been privileged to interview some of the world's most famous, influential, and controversial people.

Unlike other journalists, Walters added a personal touch to her interviews, and although she is retired, her impact remains as relevant as ever.

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


Seeing Walters with many achievements in entertainment is no surprise, as she was always one to put on hold other personal issues, especially love matters, while pursuing her career.

Due to her focus on work, Walters was the last woman in her social circle to tie the knot. She walked down the aisle at 26 with Rob Katz, the son of a wealthy baby cap manufacturer.

Unfortunately, the union was short-lived, lasting for less than a year. The separation ended bitterly, and the onscreen icon never spoke about her ex-husband again because she considered him a "taboo subject."

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


Following her divorce, Walters crossed paths with Sociologist and Producer Lee Guber. Guber had been previously married with children at the time, yet he was seen as the most eligible bachelor due to his good looks and personality.

Although many women wished to have Guber, Walters was the one who captured his heart, as she perfectly fit into his preference for being attractive and intellectual.

Soon, the pair started dating, but the journalist was too busy with her career and in no hurry to marry Guber.

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


The pair were involved in an on-and-off romance for the next five years until the sociologist could no longer take "no" for an answer.

One night at about 11 p.m., Guber went over to Walters's house and insisted on getting a "yes" to his proposal.

The producer got the answer he needed, and two weeks later, on December 9, 1963, Walters and Guber exchanged wedding vows. Here are more details about the journalist's personal life, including motherhood.


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 marriage, having children is the next thing for many women, and Walters was no exception. Despite being busy with her career, the television yearned to have kids with her husband.

However, the odds were not in her favor, as every pregnancy ended with a miscarriage. Walters told NBC News:

"I had several miscarriages. And when I did, they were never reported. And I would take a couple of days off then and go back to work."

Barbara Walters and her daughter, Jacqueline Guber, at the American Museum of the Moving Image Salute to Barbara Walters on March 19, 1992, in New York City | Source: Getty Images


Eventually, after being married for five years, Walters and her husband decided to adopt a daughter, Jacqueline, who was born in June 1968.

Surprisingly, the television personality did not take any maternity leave despite adopting a newborn. Instead, Walters juggled motherhood with work, which was not an easy feat for working moms.

Barbara Walters at the "Gigi" Broadway Opening Night at Neil Simon Theatre on April 8, 2015, in New York City | Source: Getty Images


For Walters, motherhood was everything. She loved Jacqueline very much and never lied to her about being her adoptive mother. The broadcast journalist once explained:

"When she was a little girl, I said, 'Well, there are two ways that a Mommy can have a baby."

Then, Jacqueline confirmed Walters's words thus: "She used to say that some mothers have babies from their tummies, and some have it from their heart. And you came from my heart."


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


Although being a mom and a career woman was not easy for Walters, she had all the help from her husband. Unlike many men, Guber was an active father and husband who knew how important his life's work was to her.

With that mindset and without ego, he did not mind babysitting and doing the house chores. Guber once confessed:

"I enjoy those things. I teach her to stand on her head and hold her upside down, wrestle with her and throw her around, go for walks and go swimming with her."

Barbara Walters signs copies of her book "Audition: A Memoir at Barnes & Noble," Lincoln Square on May 6, 2008 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


Indeed, the sociologist understood that Walters had to work. But, according to the broadcast journalist, Guber did all those selfless acts because he was masculine, independent, devoted, caring, and secure.

But despite having a support system in the form of her husband, Walters felt guilty about one thing — not spending time with her daughter. In her words:

"My guilt is that I can't be with my daughter as much as I want to be."


TV journalist Barbara Walters and daughter, Jacqueline Guber, attend the Sixth Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on January 7, 1990 at 20th Century Fox Studios in Century City, California. | Source: Getty Images


Guber and Walters's little family appeared ideal, but sadly, their union began to crumble slowly. The ex-couple had separate bank accounts and investments, to the surprise of their friends.

Also, their work and life schedules did not match. For example, Walters focused on her career while Guber looked after their daughter. In addition, the journalist went to work during the day while her ex-husband worked at night.

So, they struggled to spend time together, which affected their relationship. Eventually, after eight years, Guber moved out of Walters' house, and four years later, the pair divorced. Guber and Walters remained friends, but seeing his daughter was most important to the former.



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

Following her divorce from Guber, Walters did what she had been doing — trying to balance motherhood and her career — and she enjoyed it.


She spent time with Jacqueline, who was almost a teenager, doing fun stuff like biking, shopping, and going to the theatre.

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


Walters hated leaving her daughter behind when she had to work, and at some point, she finally realized that she did not want to devote herself to work for the rest of her life. The journalist once revealed:

"I don't want to go around forever, sticking microphones in people's noses."

Then in 2013, Walter announced that she would be completely ending her career in the summer of 2014. According to the icon, she had thought about her retirement for a long time.

Barbara Walters is seen walking in Soho on October 22, 2015 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


Eight years have passed since Walters walked away from journalism, and looking back, she wished she had spent more time with her family, especially Jackie. In her words:

"I wish I had spent more time with my Jackie."

Nevertheless, she is grateful for the stellar career she enjoyed and the little time spent with her daughter and will not have it any other way.