Ricki Lake, Betty White, ESPN trailblazers dish secrets in new books


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It’s been an overstuffed week for juicy personal revelations. While Arnold Schwarzenegger came clean about an out-of-wedlock child, famous TV faces such as Ricki Lake and Betty White made their own disclosures to promote new or in-the-works books about themselves.

Chat show veteran Lake and CNN anchor Don Lemon went public with little-known personal details, including childhood abuse. Lemon, whose memoir, ‘Transparent,’ hits shelves soon, also came out as gay and in interviews this week has encouraged others in the public eye to do the same.


Lake, a Daytime Emmy winner for ‘The Ricki Lake Show,’ plans to write a memoir that’s due to be published next spring. In it, she’ll likely discuss her acting career in such films as ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Cry-Baby,’ her struggles with her weight and her childhood molestation by a family friend. The 42-year-old actress is expected to be back on TV with another syndicated talk show next fall.

On a lighter note, beloved octogenarian White said that ‘Golden Girls’ costar Bea Arthur never liked her. (How is that even possible?) Otherwise, White’s new tome, ‘If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t),’ covers mostly chipper and chatty ground, with nary a scandal in sight. It’s the first in a two-book deal she has with Putnam.

Though the description didn’t come from the TV host himself, Keith Olbermann takes it on the chin in a new book from a couple of entertainment writers that traces the early frat-party days of ESPN. ‘Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN,’ written by Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales and journalist/former TV exec James Andrew Miller, calls Olbermann ‘brilliant, combustible and allergic to authority.’ His former colleagues describe him in the 700-plus-page oral history as self-centered, egomaniacal and money-grubbing during his stint in the nascent days of the cable channel’s now-famous ‘SportsCenter.’

The much buzzed-about ‘Those Guys’ excerpt ran in GQ magazine, though other salacious tidbits are starting to leak elsewhere in advance of the book’s May 24 release. (Examples: ESPN hosted lots of drug- and alcohol-fueled company parties in the ‘80s, sexual harassment at the channel was common — and ignored — as were workplace couplings.)

What say you, Show Trackers? Have you had enough dirty laundry lately. or are you already surfing to Amazon to stock up on your beach reading?


CNN anchor Don Lemon encourages others to come out of the closet

Betty White’s golden touch

— T.L. Stanley