Was Johnny Carson A Pistol-Packing Jealous Husband?
A new book depicts Johnny Carson as a jealous husband who was packing a pistol when he broke into his second wife's apartment and found it filled with photos of the alleged "other man"—football great Frank Gifford.
These shocking revelations are in the new tell-all book, Johnny Carson written by his longtime lawyer, Henry Bushkin.
"Johnny Got His Gun!" says the headline in today's New York Post.
Johnny Carson and his second wife, Joanne, lived in an apartment at the posh U.N. Plaza. But according to the new book, she kept a secret apartment where she allegedly had trysts with football legend Frank Gifford in an east side neighborhood.
At the time, Gifford was married to his first wife, Maxine. His current wife, TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford, made light of the story on the Today show.
Kathie Lee said, "He said, 'Do you believe this?' And I said, 'Well, tell me. It was a long time ago. Did you have an affair with her?' He goes, 'I can't remember.' It's not true, that particular one. Although, the man is capable of it, as you know."
Bushkin writes that Carson took him, security expert Arthur Cassell, and two other men along to break into the apartment he thought Joanne was renting on the sly in 1970.
"I have reason to believe my wife is cheating on me," Carson said, according to Bushkin. "I also have an idea who the S.O.B. is that she's shacking up with."
They broke in and saw photos of Gifford all over the walls, Bushkin said, and the King of Late Night fell to pieces.
"Carson leaned against the living room wall and began to weep," Bushkin writes.
When Johnny Carson's raincoat fell open, his lawyer says he was shocked to see Johnny carrying a .38 revolver in a holster on his hip.
Incredibly, Carson was able to joke about the heartbreaking situation while drowning his sorrows at a bar with his on-air sidekick, Ed McMahon.
"Why Frank Gifford? What's that (blank) got that I don't have? That guy plays three positions on the field. I could never get Joanne to go for more than two."
And there was a glimpse into Carson's lonely soul as Bushkin recalls him saying, "Joanne has broken my heart to the extent I ever had one."
Joanne Carson is now 81 years old, living off Sunset Boulevard in a gated Bel Air mansion. INSIDE EDITION spoke with her assistant, who tells us that she and Joanne read this book last night. Joanne denies having an affair with Frank Gifford and maintains they were just friends. And as for that "secret" apartment, Joanne claims it belonged to her secretary.
Joanne also insists that Johnny, who died in 2005, was terrifed of guns and never would have carried one.