Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed “King of All Media,” stepped away from his normal, and sometimes outrageous, talk show routine on Sunday to speak to television personality Anderson Cooper about more serious topics.
60-year old Stern began the interview by jumping immediately into the deep end of the pool when he asked Cooper if the suicide of his brother, Carter Cooper, still shapes his life.
“Absolutely,” the 46-year old journalist said. “It forms everything. It may not be the first thing [I think of in the morning], but there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about it.”
Carter Cooper took a fatal jump from their mother’s 14th-floor Manhattan penthouse in 1988 when he was 23 years old. Anderson was 21-years old at the time.
“I think he had this impulse that he could not contain,” Cooper told Stern. “He had woken up from a nap and was disoriented and ran to her room and said, ‘What’s going on, what’s going on?’ Then he ran to his room on the second floor and went out onto the ledge.”
With no drugs or alcohol in his system, Cooper’s family still doesn’t fully understand why it happened.
“With suicide, we like to think that it’s this clear thing, and it’s not – and that’s the horrible thing about suicide. The family members are left for their entire lives wondering why. Sometimes there isn’t any why.”
During the interview on Sunday, Cooper also announced that he doesn’t expect to get any money from his mother, railroad heiress-turned-designer Gloria Vanderbilt, who is said to be worth $200 million.
“Who has inherited a lot of money that has gone on to do things in their own life?” Cooper asked. “From the time I was growing up, if I felt that there was some pot of gold waiting for me, I don’t know that I would’ve been so motivated.”
Currently Cooper brings in $11 million a year through his contact with The Cable News Network (CNN). “I’m doing fine on my own, I don’t need any [money],” he said.
In fact, Cooper added that he never really paid attention to his privileged upbringing, which was due in part to his grandfather, Wyatt Emory Cooper.
“My dad grew up really poor in Mississippi. … I paid attention to that because I thought that’s a healthier thing to pay attention to than like some statue of a great-great-great-grandfather who has no connection to my life.”
Cooper also spoke to Stern in the interview about CNN and Fox ratings, his career as a child model, and his boyfriend of 5 years, Benjamin Maisani.
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