The juicy reveal published in ABC newswoman Barbara Walters' memoir "Audition" earlier this month - her secret relationship with a former politician - is, apparently, no longer on the table for discussion.
The broadcast pioneer yesterday spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Free Library about "Audition," which shot to the No. 1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list in one week.
Before the public talk, Walters' publicist asked media to refrain from asking about her once-taboo affair with former Massachussetts Sen. Edward Brooke, now 88, some 30 years ago.
Brooke, the first black senator to be elected since Reconstruction, and Walters, the first female newscaster to co-anchor the evening news, kept their relationship secret during their time together.
She talked about the affair just last week when Walters, 78, told the Boston Herald in a phone interview: "The idea of an African-American and a white woman would have been enough to destroy my career and that's why it had to be kept secret."
Walters did discuss the affair May 6 on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," according to the Associated Press, telling the host that a friend shook her back to reality.
"He said, 'This is going to come out. This is going to ruin your career,' " she told the O. The pal then reminded Walters that Brooke was up for re-election a year later. " 'This is going to ruin him. You've got to break this off.' "
Any whiff of questions about Star Jones, Walters former co-host on "The View," also were verboten.
Walters told Oprah about having to lie regarding Jones' gastric bypass surgery - resulting in a dramatic weight loss - by saying that her former colleague did Pilates.
The petite Walters, who said her former husband Lee Guber has roots in this "beautiful city," told The Daily News that she would refrain from any cheesesteaks while in town because "I'm trying to lose weight."
Walters' sitdown with Cuban leader Fidel Castro stands out for the television journalist.
"We spent 10 days with him," she said. While Walters sat shotgun, Castro drove the two around in his jeep in the Cuban mountains, she said. "I was sitting next to him holding his gun and hard candies . . . that would not be possible today. You don't have that kind of time with heads of state."
Today, the news-gathering industry is a different place, she said.
"Everybody's a journalist. Everybody has a blog," she said. "With YouTube, there's no such thing as privacy."
Walters called "Audition" a personal story about her relationship with her disabled sister, her father, "who made and lost fortunes" and "of my own career, which had great ups and great failures." *