In this TIME interview, the Duchess of York discusses her new book and television show, and says her 'addiction to approval' is what led to a major lapse in judgment when she was recorded on tape accepting cash for access to her husband.
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false.
1 The name of Sarah Ferguson's TV show is Finding Sarah.
2 Sarah Ferguson feels she's been badly treated by the tabloids.
3 Sarah Ferguson called the man who tricked her the fake sheik.
4 Sarah Ferguson felt there was something wrong with this man.
5 It was Sarah's daughter who really took the suitcase with money.
6 Sarah is considering remarrying Andrew.
7 Beatrice paid $132,000 for the hat she was wearing at the Royal wedding.
8 Sarah talks about sport at the end of the interview.
Hi, I’m Belinda Luscombe. I’m Editor-at-large of Time Magazine. Today I have the privilege of asking 10 Questions of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Few people have led an interesting a life as the Duchess has, or have seen the kind of wild swings in popularity and fame she’s experienced. And she’s written some of it down in a book called Finding Sarah, which is also the name of her TV show. Duchess, thank you for talking to Time.
Not at all, thank you, Belinda.
So last time many people heard about you, it seemed like you were on tape accepting cash for access to your husband. Would you like to explain what you were thinking, how that came about?
Well, actually, it’s… you’re right to say it seemed like that, and it was last May. And, of course, that was then and that was, as I’ve said many, many times now, it was a big lapse of judgement. But it wasn’t for access to Andrew.
But it’s very nice of you to give me the opportunity of clearing that…
Well, I would like to…
… because the tabloids, you know, we mustn’t forget that it was tabloid journalism at its best. It was total sensationalism, cruelty.
Do you think you get a harder time from the tabloids than other famous people get?
I’m in a microscope. I mean, I have my whole life as a microscope, therefore some people weigh into it, some people weigh out. And, you know, it was just a very, very seriously cruel act which, which broke my heart.
You talk in the book a lot about, and you mention it there, you know, that you had a massive lapse in judgement, which anybody can have. But it did involve somebody giving you money, did alarm bells not go off?
I think, Belinda, this is not a tabloid interview, so don’t make it, don’t take it down that road. We’ve discussed it.
No, but I’m wanting to see why… I mean, most people…
We’ve discussed it, I don’t want to discuss it…
… with a suitcase full of money.
No, no. It wasn’t a suitcase full of money, and I think we’re gonna drop it right now. Thank you.
You cannot answer, waved on, but when you found out that this fake sheik as you call him.
I didn’t call him a fake sheik. He is called the fake sheik ‘cos somebody else, the press, called him that. The, the… he is a journalist. He is a… whatever he is, and he came to me by a friend who had been my friend for fifteen years, who introduced me to him as his, as her father’s best friend. He told me about the divorce of his family and that his children were so sad. In fact, he had no children, and I’m a very good mother. I am also a philanthropist and a humanitarian, and when someone tells me that they’ve got children that are brokenhearted because of a divorce, I spent nearly three hours talking to him about his children that didn’t exist. My instinct was that I couldn’t understand why he was so upset and nervous. So I asked him why his leg was twitching, and his eyes moved strangely, and he said he was so upset about his children. In fact, my instinct should have been then and there to walk away. My instinct, I overrode my instinct due to, as Dr Phil says, my addiction to people-pleasing. I did not accept a suitcase full of money in order for it to be, you know, for my own good. It was in order for me to fulfill that addiction which is to make sure everybody is paid, my debts were paid, and everything was cleared. It wasn’t a suitcase full of money and you oughtn’t to say that. You should know better as an editor-at-large.
So you were at… I think when you got the phone call, actually it was your daughter who got the phone call saying it was a…
I, I can’t, I really would rather if we were going to talk about the book, we’re going to talk about the book, and the future and my going forward. I think I’ve addressed your questions, and I don’t wish to go forward on those.
Okay, all right. One of the big things of the book, and I think it must come out too is your family, the affection you have for your daughters and the real affection and admiration you still have for Andrew.
And he for me.
And he for you, indeed.
Let us remember that there’s two sides to every story.
Absolutely. And that becomes… you write glowingly about him and you talk about how close you are. Have you ever considered getting remarried?
No, I don’t. I think our fairy tale will end in the way where we are right now. He’s the oak and I’m the cypress like Kahlil Gibran said in the Prophet. And we, we grow to the light, and we both encourage each other to, to, with honour and respect for each other to grow. And I think that’s exciting.
Have you got to meet Catherine at all yet?
Not at all.
I’d like to hear what advice you had for her.
Wouldn’t dare to, too busy. And I, and if it was about mothering, yes, I’d love to give advice. But about anything else I don’t think I’m in a position to.
So speaking of mothering, your daughter got a taste of, you know, being in the tabloid eye… with her, the hat that she wore to the wedding. Did you give her advice about that?
No, I was in Thailand. I’m proud of my daughters so the fact that Beatrice turned the disaster into triumph by selling it for $132,000 for Unicef and Children in Crises is the most extraordinary achievement. And it was all her idea.
The book and the TV show is like a journey of self-discovery. It’s like finding Sarah, and the Duchess a journey, what have you discovered, what have you discovered about yourself?
It’s not about me, really. It’s about me talking and learning about what it is to let the mind’s thoughts rule you in your day. Are you going to change it and become more positive, are you going to change it and not believe it? Or are you going to indulge into believing the negative thoughts that come into your head? So I will’ve… I’ve learnt this Dr Phil tells me, so are you gonna sit on the bleachers or are you going to be in the center of the playground in the football field? And I’ve decided to be in the center of the football field.
Even though that comes at some cost?
Whatever! It is what it is. As the media can be a powerful tool or a vicious weapon, both are the same really, depends how you use it.
Okay, well, thank you very much…
… Duchess for your time.
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