Q: Is it fair to describe you as a control freak?
A: Unfair. Because it’s not so. I mean, would I like to control things to get what I want all the time? Absolutely. Is it possible? Absolutely not. The reality is that I surround myself with very smart, very strong people—including my ex-wives. So the likelihood of controlling these people is not a real possibility. You can be a control freak only when you have weak people around you. And I don’t have that. That has never interested me.
Q: How do you feel about marriage in general?
A: I feel just fine about it.
Q: You’ve had some complicated experiences with it, shall we say. Why keep doing it?
A: You know, people get married for a whole bunch of reasons. Myself—I was very fortunate to be with four terrific women. And I’ve got six fabulous children. And I would not change one of those marriages. I learned from each of them. I grow from each of them. Each had its own issues and problems, but I wouldn’t change one of them.
Q: Do you have a favorite of your ex-wives?
A: I wouldn’t tell you if I did.
Q: But do you?
A: Next question.
Q: When you’re in the midst of one of these painful, public divorces,
how do you keep that from eating away at you?
A: I just try to turn it off. I deal with the issues that have to be dealt with, and the commotion around the edges—I just don’t let it interfere.
Q: You’re a studiously private man, and yet you appear in the tabloids all the time.:
A: Tell me how to get rid of that. This is probably the first interview I’ve given all year.
Q: Why are the tabloids drawn to you?
A: I was hoping you would tell me. I don’t have a clue.
Q: What’s your reaction when you see your name on the front page?
A: I don’t read it. I don’t read the good and I don’t read the bad. If there was a good story, somebody will tell me it was a nice story. If there was a bad story, somebody will tell me it was a bad story. I never got real satisfaction out of the good ones, and I used to get really annoyed with the bad ones, so I just stopped reading them all.
Q: I came across an old item that said that you didn’t attend your son Josh’s wedding
because he didn’t make his bride sign a prenup.
A: I did do that. The whole family, not just myself. His mother, myself, his other brothers and sisters all were very hurt that he was going to marry without a prenup. Because it was something that had been discussed amongst all the kids and me and their mother. And we all elected not to go to the wedding. None of us went. And in retrospect it was just a stupid, hurtful response to an issue that served no good. And it caused a lot of pain to my son for a period of time, and his wife. And now we’re back closer than ever, and I’m crazy about the wife, and they’ve got two fabulous children who I love dearly. He’s still married, he’s happy as a lark, and we were 100 percent wrong. I think I could have felt the way I felt and not made the grandstand issue that I did. Even if nobody else went, I should’ve gone, and I’m sorry that I didn’t.