Larry King’s Guest Walks Off Set

By Chris Ariens 

History was made tonight on CNN. Not that anyone involved wanted it to turn out this way. King’s marquee guest was on the show for exactly 1 minute and 23 seconds. The guest was Dr. Jan Adams, the surgeon who on November 9 performed a breast reduction, tummy tuck and liposuction on Donda West, the mother of singer Kanye West. She died the next day.

King began tonight’s show by telling the audience that Dr. Adams was in the green room with his lawyer. King announced that Dr. Adams had received a letter from the West family threatening that if he went on the show “they would ask the California medical board to decertify him.”

After the first commercial break, Dr. Adams appeared on set only to tell King he wasn’t going to be on: “I am going to honor [the West family’s] wishes…I will not be on the show.” King tried to ask a few questions. But Dr. Adams got up, pulled out his IFB and walked off the set.

The show continued with a panel of guests including entertainment journalists, attorneys and medical professionals. It ended with King’s Senior EP Wendy Walker on the phone explaining what it took to get Dr. Adams to come on the show, only to have him walk off. “This has never happened. I’ve never seen a guest walk off. This has made Larry King history tonight,” Walker said.

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>Update: A TVNewser tipster remembers an incident in the fall of 1993 when “Art Garfunkel walked out of a Larry King Live interview when he didn’t like the direction that the interview was going. He stayed more than a minute, but he did walk out in the middle of the show.”

Click continued to read the transcript of the 1:23 interview…

LARRY KING, HOST: And we now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Dr. Jan Adams, the plastic surgeon who performed plastic surgery on the late Donda West. And I understand you want to say something.

DR. JAN ADAMS: Yes, Larry. What I really want to say is I want to thank you for this opportunity.

Basically, I had come here to talk about things in the press that are not accurate about me. But I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for the West family, and they’ve asked me not to go on.

And I’ve said from the very beginning, I don’t have a side in this.

They are my side. And so I’m going to respect their wishes. And I’m going to apologize to you, because I think I’m taking up your air time. But I will not be on the show, and I will not discuss any of that. I’m going to honor their wishes. OK?

KING: Meaning you won’t answer any questions about anything?

ADAMS: None, none.

KING: All right, then how will — will you ever answer questions? I mean, where does this go?

ADAMS: Well, I will talk with them…

KING: (inaudible) Mrs. West.

ADAMS: I will talk with them. When they are comfortable, then I will be comfortable. If they are never comfortable, then I will never be comfortable.

They are what’s important to me. I said that from the start, and that’s what I will continue to honor.

KING: Then just a few things having nothing to do with them. Don’t you want to speak out?


KING: You don’t want to?

ADAMS: No. I do not.

KING: All right. But you came here to speak out.

ADAMS: That’s correct. But I’m going to honor their wishes.


We will bring our panel back and take a break, and we will be right back. Thanks.