LARRY KING IS MIFFED. NO, PRESIDENT Clinton didn’t cancel an appearance on King’s CNN talk show. Neither did Kermit the Frog. It’s worse. The broadcaster’s ex-ladyfriend, Rama Fox, a minister in the Los Angeles-based Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, merely said in the July issue of Washingtonian magazine that she dumped him. You know, as opposed to him dumping her. Though Fox, 53, proffered no details and was not even directly quoted, that’s not the kind of thing, it seems, that King wants people thinking. So in a lawsuit he filed in L.A. two weeks ago, King, 60, claims that the woman he once lovingly called Pony slandered him with her depiction of their relationship’s denouement, acting out of “malice, hatred and ill will.” What the world needs to understand, says King’s attorney, Mark A. Barondess, is that “Larry terminated the relationship.” And King is serious about demanding redress: He wants the court to restore his good name—and to retrieve $50,000 he says he lent Fox in 1991. He also wants her to return, among other things, a pair of his shoes, a set of suspenders, a tuxedo and a pair of pants. “Isn’t it silly?” says Fox. “It’s like being in junior high, right?”
The two go back almost that far. They met when Fox was a contestant in a Florida beauty pageant that King judged in 1968. Since dating then, they have remained close through five of his six marriages and two of hers. Fox and King split up a few months ago, after she told a supermarket tabloid that King might be bothered by her association with the Movement, a group that claims 3,000 participants and preaches what it calls “soul transcendence.”
King was, as it happens, displeased by the interview—and was probably also irked by Fox’s involvement in a suit he had brought against his most recent ex-wife, Julie Alexander. Last October, King, who reportedly makes upwards of $2 million a year, sued Julie, claiming she had violated an agreement not to discuss their marriage. To King’s apparent chagrin, Fox agreed to testify on behalf of Julie. Says Fox: “I wanted to stand up for the truth for Julie.”
What that truth is, however, the public won’t know; the night before the suit’s expected May 17 trial, Larry and Julie agreed to settle out of court.
Though King seems too angry to care, his latest suit may, ironically, wind up exposing even more of those private matters he has guarded so zealously. “It’s absurd,” says Fox’s attorney, Gregory Murphy. “Larry is shooting himself in the head just to get blood on somebody else.”