Magazine | May 4, 2009, Issue

Larry King Live!

Transcript: April 12, 2010

LARRY KING: Tomorrow night! Ryan Seacrest and last year’s American Idol! From Edmund, Oklahoma, hello!

CALLER: Hi Larry. I just wanted to know if your guest has any regrets about his actions?

LARRY KING: Good question! Amadou! Regrets? You’re out there in the Gulf of Aden, you’re doing the pirate thing, and then suddenly, bam! You’re in custody on an American battleship.

AMADOU: Yes, well, this is the timeline the media prefers. But what they never talk about is how I became a pirate in the first place. They never want to talk about root causes, Larry.

LARRY KING: Root causes! Interesting. So you don’t think some people are just born pirates?

AMADOU: Oh, my, Larry, no. Not at all. This is what I talk about in my book. I have all of the scars and syndromes of a child who was raised in a failed state.

LARRY KING: Failed state, like New Jersey?

AMADOU: No. Somalia.

LARRY KING: Can’t get much failed-er than that! From Portland, Maine, hello!

CALLER: Larry, I was wondering how Amadou feels about his capture and incarceration, now that he’s out and on a book tour?

LARRY KING: How about it? Tough? Not tough? Was prison an okay experience?

AMADOU: Well, Larry, obviously prison was an unpleasant time for me and my family. You have to understand, growing up like I did, in a failed state, we sort of took our freedom for granted. So to be plucked from the deck of a container ship without so much as a warrant or due process or –

LARRY KING: Um, you were a pirate, though, right?

AMADOU: What are we playing now, Larry? “Gotcha”? I don’t want to get into semantics. I mean, what is a pirate, anyway? A pirate is simply someone who sees an economic opportunity in an unregulated environment and seizes it. In a way, I’m no different from the gang at Citigroup or AIG or any of those other organizations.

LARRY KING: But there was a trial, right?

AMADOU: If you can call it that. There was a jury and a lawyer and a judge, but I wasn’t able to call my key witnesses –

LARRY KING: Former vice president Dick Cheney?

AMADOU: Correct. I was going to put the whole system on trial.

#page#LARRY KING: Woulda been hot!

AMADOU: And I wasn’t allowed to live-blog it for the Huffington Post. So it’s hard to call that justice.

LARRY KING: A pirate blogger! Pirate dot org! The Web has changed everything!

AMADOU: As I say in my book, I’m not excusing my actions. I’m just providing a context for them. In my book I talk about how my four months in prison were a terrific reflection time, kind of a “me” time, where I could sit quietly after yoga class and journal a lot of my feelings. And it was there that I really connected to the anger I felt at people like Cheney and Halliburton and my dad and stuff. And so when I sat down to write my book, it all came pouring out.

LARRY KING: Suzanne Somers said the same thing to me last week!

AMADOU: She’s become a dear friend.

LARRY KING: So, now with the book and the movie, I’m guessing pirating is a yesterday thing?

AMADOU: Well, Larry, I’ve learned never to say never!

LARRY KING: I love it! It’s all about options! From Chino, California, hello!

CALLER: I’ve got two questions, Larry. Will Amadou ever write another book, and will he tell us his full name?

LARRY KING: How about it? Another book in you somewhere?

AMADOU: Well, I can’t really go into it right now, Larry. We’re having discussions, is all I can say. The next book, if it comes, will be more of a lifestyle kind of thing. Tips and fitness information and whatnot. The pirate lifestyle is something people are interested in.

LARRY KING: Like Martha Stewart! Who also went to jail. And Rachael Ray! Who, to my best understanding, has not yet been convicted of any crime, is that right?

AMADOU: I believe not.

LARRY KING: What about the name? We’re sticking with the one-name deal? I admit, it’s catchy.

AMADOU: Honestly, Larry, when you grow up poor like I did, sometimes you can’t really afford more than one name.

LARRY KING: Like Cher!

AMADOU: She really is an inspiration. I’m going to meet her next week when I’m in L.A. Sean Penn is throwing a thing for me.

LARRY KING: This weekend! Dog whisperer Cesar Millan! And Joyce DeWitt!


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