Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Was a .38-packing Johnny Carson ready to shoot Frank Gifford for bopping his wife?

In a new tell-all, Johnny Carson's lawyer, Henry Bushkin (often referred to by Carson on his show as "Bombastic Bushkin") claimed that in 1970 he and a private investigator accompanied Carson while he broke into an apartment in Manhattan that his then-wife Joanne was secretly renting and found framed photos of Frank Gifford "all over."
     Bushkin claimed that under Carson's raincoat, "I was shocked to see that Johnny was carrying a .38 revolver in a holster on his hip."
     Bushkin wrote he later joined a already-drunk Carson at a bar, hard at work fashioning jokes about his discovery: "“Why Frank Gifford? What’s that a-?-hole 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."
     Joanne Carson, who is 81 and now lives on Sunset Blvd. (paging Gloria Swanson!) in Bel-Air says it never happened, that the apartment belonged to her secretary but had some of her things in it, and that Carson, an ex-Navy man, was terrified of guns.
Frank Gifford in a 1962 Lucky Strike print ad
     Yesterday, on the Today Show, Kathie Lee Gifford told cohost Hoda Kotb that she asked Frank about the accusation, and he said: "I can't remember! Maybe!" Then, on the air, she denied the report and told the New York Post later, from her home in Greenwich, CT, "It's not true. It was a long time ago and it never happened."
     In 1988 Carson fired Bushkin after accusing him of bad investments and sued him for $16 million dollars for repayment of a failed real estate development loan note.

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