A new book by Henry Bushkin, the attorney for late-night legend Johnny Carson, includes a story about how the TV host broke into his wife’s apartment to find evidence of an affair, according to an excerpt on EW.com. Carson allegedly found photos of football great Frank Gifford, causing him to "weep."
The incident relates to Carson’s second wife, Joanne Copeland, whom he married months after divorcing his first wife, Jody. Carson had found out that Joanne had "secretly leased an apartment within blocks of their UN Plaza home, which she used for clandestine rendezvous with her lover," Bushkin notes. Once inside, Carson and Bushkin found several photographs of Gifford, who later married "Today" co-host Kathie Lee Gifford.
"For the first time I realized her noontime buddy was Frank Gifford, the former New York Giants football great. One of the pictures showed Frank and Joanne at a restaurant table against some tropical resort-like background," Bushkin writes. "Crushed by the overwhelming amount of evidence, Carson leaned against the living room wall and began to weep. It was a painfully uncomfortable moment."
Later, Carson bemoaned the evidence and made jokes about it, Bushkin writes.
"’Why Frank Gifford?’ he asked. ‘What’s that a–hole got that I don’t have?’ I wasn’t sure where he was going with this but maybe nowhere good. The mood appeared to be swinging back. ‘That guy plays three positions on the field,’ he said. ‘I could never get Joanne to go for more than two.’ His deadpan timing was perfect," Bushkin writes.
Carson and Joanne Copeland divorced in 1972.
The book, "Johnny Carson," will be published Oct. 15.