Anderson Cooper Breaks Down in Emotional Interview With Whoopi Goldberg

Anderson Cooper Breaks Down in Emotional Interview With Whoopi Goldberg

Anderson Cooper, known for his hard-hitting journalism on CNN, recently showed a more vulnerable side during an emotional interview with Whoopi Goldberg. The interview, which took place on May 9 for Cooper’s podcast “All There Is,” centered around Goldberg’s memoir “Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother and Me.” The conversation delved into the grief both have experienced from losing their parents. Goldberg’s mother, Emma Johnson, passed away in June 2010 following a stroke, while Cooper’s mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, died in June 2019 from cancer.

During the interview, Cooper asked Goldberg how she copes with the absence of her mother and brother Clyde, who died in 2015. Goldberg’s heartfelt response, emphasizing the need to be there for her children and grandchildren, deeply moved Cooper. “The answer to that is because we have stuff we’ve got to get done, that’s why,” Goldberg said. “We’re not supposed to. This is not our time … We’ve got kids and grandkids, and they need to know us. That’s why. It’s my belief, you know?”

Upon hearing Goldberg’s reply, Cooper found himself breaking down in tears. He later shared the importance of feeling emotions to address the grief. “I find myself asking that question — why did you leave me?” Cooper added. “I also realize when I ask that, it’s very much like the 10-year-old me. It’s like the angry question of a hardhearted child — why did you all leave?”

The feelings of losing a parent are something both Cooper and Goldberg continue to grapple with. Cooper has previously spoken about the difficulty of witnessing his mother’s final moments. “Though I was holding her hand and her head when she took her last breath, it’s still a little hard for me to believe she’s gone,” he said in 2019. “Right now, things seem a lot less bright and magical without her.”

Goldberg also revealed during the interview that she once considered suicide after the deaths of her mother and brother. “There were three of us,” Goldberg said. “I once flirted with, I once flirted with thinking about leaving.” She explained that she ultimately decided against it because she didn’t want to pass that grief onto her daughter, Alex Martin. “And then I thought how — what a terrible thing that would be to do to my kid, to knowingly do to my kid, who actually likes me,” Goldberg continued. “She’s a really good person and a fine woman, and she’s raised, she and her husband have raised three fine, very bizarre children. And, why would you leave them with that? So, decided not to.”

Cooper, with tears in his eyes, expressed his relief that Goldberg chose not to end her life. “Yeah, me too. I think,” Goldberg responded. She went on to say that what helped her in the healing process was realizing that it’s not her time to die. “The answer to that is ’cause we have stuff we got to get done, that’s why,” Goldberg said. “And we’re not supposed to, this is not our time. It’s not our time. We got kids and grandkids, and they need to know us. They need to know us, that’s why. That’s my belief.”

In her memoir, Goldberg opens up about her family and how they impacted her life, particularly her mother and brother. Emma died on August 29, 2010, after suffering a stroke, and Clyde died in 2015 from a brain aneurysm. He was 65, and Emma was 78.

The interview with Goldberg is part of Cooper’s broader exploration of grief, a theme he has been delving into through his podcast “All There Is.” Cooper has experienced significant loss in his own life, including the deaths of his father, Wyatt, from a heart attack when Cooper was 10, and his older brother, Carter, who died by suicide in their early 20s. His mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, passed away at 95 in 2019.

Cooper has acknowledged how little he allowed himself to feel these losses and how much more feeling he still has to do. “For a long time, I chose not to be vulnerable, but I think I don’t want to do that anymore,” he said. Becoming a father has also influenced his perspective on vulnerability and grief. “What I’ve realized in the last couple of months is how little I allowed myself to grieve my dad’s and my brother’s deaths,” Cooper said. “I did what a lot of kids do: I buried it deep inside.”

The emotional interview with Goldberg highlights the importance of addressing grief and the healing process. Both Cooper and Goldberg have shown that even in the face of profound loss, there is a need to continue living for those who remain. Their conversation serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring impact of love and family.

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