By People Staff
April 15, 1991 12:00 PM

Was Deborah Norville indiscreet when she allowed herself to be photographed nursing her baby (PEOPLE, March 25)? Some readers thought she—and, by extension, we—were being tasteless indeed, while others couldn’t imagine what the fuss was about. As for the various problems facing the once-juvenile stars of Diff’rent Strokes, most correspondents sympathized with the young celebrities, but a few were simply disgusted.


It is so sad what has happened to these three young people. But what is hard to understand is what happened to all the money that Dana Plato made. I hope the parents of the child stars of today are taking steps to prevent this from happening to their children.

Ginger Gault

Darien, Ga.

“Tragic” stars? Give me a break! Holding up a video store, facing manslaughter charges and not being able to get acting jobs are not tragic—these are self-inflicted problems. Cancer is tragic, not a bunch of has-beens who can’t hack it in the real world. This trio should be grateful that they had good-paying jobs and get on with life. And grow up already!

Kelly Marrapodi



If there hadn’t been a caption saying that Deborah Norville was nursing, your average Joe Schmoe wouldn’t have had a clue as to what she was doing. The photograph of mother and child was tasteful, and it certainly didn’t show “anything.” People in this country seem to thrive on Madonna‘s metal-cone bras, but they giggle at innocent celebrity-mother-infant bonding. Grow up, America.

Marianne McGee

Brockton, Mass.

Oh, Deborah, so glad “Mommy’s restaurant is open.” Unfortunately, I don’t wish to dine there while reading PEOPLE. Keep it private, please!

Pam Samuelson

Princeton, Minn.

As a veteran breast-feeder of three children, I cannot believe the big deal being made out of the beautiful picture of Deborah Norville. I only wish I had such a sensitive portrait of me with each of my kids. I didn’t much like Deborah before, but if she loses her job over this, I’ll never watch NBC again.

Diane Alvey

Mission Viejo, Calif.

I hope Deborah Norville gets her wish to move out to the country. In fact, I hope she moves out of the country, as far away from the Today show as she can get. And she can take Bryant Gumbel with her. Just leave Joe and Willard behind.

Maribeth Custenborder

Boise, Idaho

The issue showing Deborah Norville nursing was your most tasteless trick so far to make Deborah popular with the female audience. Was it meant to prove that career women can also be “real women”? All of us working mothers know we are capable of feeding our young. But we don’t take pictures for the whole world to see just to prove our femininity.

Name Withheld

Taylor Springs, Ill.

More power to Deborah Norville and a smack with a rolled-up newspaper to NBC.

Cheryl A. Jann

Del City, Okla.


During the gulf war, we were shocked at the stories of Iraqis torturing Kuwaiti civilians. We were certain that American men would never commit such atrocities. Now, after seeing a videotape of the L.A. police beating a suspect, it becomes clear that we can be as sadistic as anyone else.

Joseph Gastman

Albuquerque, N. Mex.

When police conduct themselves in the same manner as a criminal committing a brutal crime, then they are one and the same. For Police Chief Daryl Gates to justify this conduct with such an inappropriate word as “aberration” is insane.

Mary McCauley



Your story about Nick Esasky and his vertigo really hit home for me. I have been out of work for a month now. I have been to numerous doctors, and no one knows what is wrong. I am 32 years old and thought I was going insane. Your article brought tears to my eyes, for now I know I am not the only person going through this and there may be a light at the end of this tunnel for me.

Anthony C. Anziano

West Springfield, Mass.

Unfortunately, Nick Esasky’s story of a long, frustrating search for a correct evaluation of his vertigo is not an uncommon one. Because the study of malfunctions of the human balance system is a relatively new field, vestibular (inner-ear) disorders are frequently misdiagnosed. The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) was formed in 1983 to serve as a support network for people coping with chronic vertigo and imbalance. For more information contact: VEDA, 1015 NW 22 Ave., D230, Portland, Oreg. 97210-3079.

Joanne Graham

Corvallis, Oreg.