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Larry King, who I’ve always admired for his ability to dig beneath the surface of a subject.
“But people appreciate more how you’re doing when they know what you’ve been through,” he said.
He did so to make me the strong person I am today, so that I could help other women to escape their abusers and also have the chance to start their lives over. I thought I could just wake up one morning and say, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
Today I’m starting over.” I didn’t realize all of the difficulties that life presents us on a daily basis, and that starting over isn’t something that we do once in a lifetime; it’s something we do on a continuous basis, by learning from our mistakes, until we eventually become the people we will be.
The truth is that I didn’t want to author that first book.
My ex-manager, Jack Gordon, made me publish the book and speak out against my will in its pages, just as he forced me to marry him in 1989, and made me make so many career moves that were contrary to my wishes and beliefs.
And I did not think people would believe my story or relate to it.
I was the subject of sensational tabloid reports and late night jokes for too many years to want to open myself up to ridicule once again.
Twenty long years have passed since I wrote my first autobiography, La Toya.
Because I was ashamed that I let it happen to me, I tried to pretend it didn’t.
And then, on March 4, 2003, I was an invited guest on Larry King Live after a self-imposed seven-year hiatus from the spotlight in America.
Every day was a blessing, and I couldn’t wait to wake up each morning to hear my sister Rebbie singing Mandy Patinkin’s version of the song “When the Red Robin Comes Bobbin Along.” Even though my more famous siblings’ performances were already filling arenas at that point, nothing made me happier than hearing Rebbie croon that special song just for me. My brothers’ fame, as well as the Jehovah’s Witness religion with which Mother raised us, meant that we were isolated when I was growing up.
This was especially true of Rebbie, Michael and I, who were the most devout.