Exclusive! How Chopper Bob Became Chopper Zoey. Famed Reporter's Transition from Man To Woman
It’s the dawn of a new day as Zoey Tur slips into pantyhose and puts on makeup.
She told INSIDE EDITION, “It’s difficult to get ready. It is complicated. When you’re a guy you don’t need any of this.”
Wearing a dress, well, that's a whole other story.
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Until recently, Zoey Tur was Bob Tur, the ruggedly handsome news helicopter pilot, famous across America for his coverage of the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase in 1994 and the L.A. riots.
INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret has known Bob Tur for 25 years. He said, "So, I have to be honest, it takes some getting used to seeing him for the first time as a woman."
Zoey told Moret, “Trying to erase 53 years of being a macho aggressive guy to trying to be a woman and this is greatest challenge of my life.”
Zoey says she felt she had a feminine side as far back as her sixth birthday party. For most of his life, Bob suppressed his feminine urges. He got married, had children, and became a pilot earning fame reporting on the news.
Moret said, “By most accounts you were great at being a guy. You were doing macho things. You were a maverick helicopter pilot. You were successful. You were a husband. You were a father. You were a tough dude.”
“I was, yeah. I was in dozens of fights. Broken nose. It was an act, I was portraying a part,” she said.
Bob's wife, Marika says she never had a clue her husband was secretly yearning to be a woman.
Marika told INSIDE EDITION, “He was a man on a mission, someone who knew what he wanted to do and get what he wanted. Very macho. Almost dismissive of women.”
In 2007 Bob's marriage fell apart.
Marika said, “He was angry, very angry forever. If the source of all his anger and the things terrible about our marriage were that he wanted to be a woman, I wish he would have done it a long time ago. It would have been a lot better.”
Bob Tur finally decided to make the transition only a year ago. He went to Thailand where sex change surgery is less expensive.
Zoey said, “At this point I said to myself, This would be a good time to run. If you have any doubts, this would be a good time to run.”
“Did you have any doubts?” Moret asked.
“No,” she replied.
Bob underwent both sex reassignment surgery and a facial feminization procedure. The person that emerged was a woman named Zoey.
Zoey said, “Seventy percent of time I’m perceived as female, thirty percent of the time it is like [shows an awkward stare] and I look at them and say, ‘Pick one.’”
Today, Zoey is learning a new way of living.
She stopped by Sephora for a makeup lesson. From foundation to concealer, lipstick and the finishing touch, mascara.
Since her return to the United States, she has been undergoing laser hair removal to achieve a more feminine look and feel.
Zoey says men treat her differently now that she is a woman.
She says her college aged son, Jamie, has taken the transition well. But her daughter, Katy, an NBC network news correspondent, is very upset.
Zoey said, “My daughter said, ‘Transitioning. You know, it is bad enough being 30, but you wanna be a 54-year-old woman?’ She saw her father a certain way. This hero pilot. Bob Tur was legendary and she liked that. She has trouble with that and she should. She has to meet and understand who I am.”
Every day is a new revelation for Zoey and she is open to fashion advice from other women.
She is looking to meet a nice guy. She'd like to get married again and she also wants to make amends with her ex-wife, Marika.
INSIDE EDITION captured the first time Marika will be seeing her ex-husband as a woman and she was very nervous about it. It turned out well. Hug and best wishes from both sides.
Zoey said, “I love her and care about her.”
Marika replied, “I just want her to be happy.”