CNN Founder Ted Turner Says He Has Lewy Body Dementia
By Paige Gawley
CNN founder Ted Turner is opening up about living with Lewy body dementia.
The 79-year-old media mogul spoke to Ted Koppel in a new interview set to air this Sunday on CBS Sunday Morning about how the progressive brain disorder has affected him.
“It’s a mild case of what people have as Alzheimer’s," Turner says, after revealing that he was initially misdiagnosed with manic depression. "It’s similar to that. But not nearly as bad. Alzheimer’s is fatal.”
“Thank goodness I don’t have that," he adds. "But, I also have got, let’s -- the one that’s -- I can’t remember the name of it... dementia. I can’t remember what my disease is.”
Turner shares that he's tired, exhausted and forgetful as a result of the disease, which, the Mayo Clinic notes, is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's disease dementia. Its symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic, can also include movement disorders, sleep difficulties and depression.
During the interview, Turner also discusses what he makes of the news today and why he didn't ever run for office -- something, he says, had much to do with his third wife, actress Jane Fonda, who he was married to from 1991 to 2001.
“Well, the closest I came to running for office was when I was married to Jane Fonda. And when I discussed it with her -- she was married to one politician,” Turner tells Koppel of Fonda's second husband, Tom Hayden. “And she said, you know, ‘If you run for, for office, you run alone.’”
In the HBO documentary, Jane Fonda in Five Acts, the 80-year-old actress opens up about her 10-year marriage to Turner.
“In his heart, Ted is not a wealthy, powerful, privileged person, he’s a little boy who likes to play and has wild brilliance. And that is what I was attracted too,” Fonda reveals, adding why the two worked together. “I learned a lot with all the men in my life, but I learned the most with Ted. His vision is macro and I’m micro, so we were a great partnership.”
Ultimately, “as we moved through our decade together, I became more of a feminist,” Fonda says of what drove them apart. “None of my marriages were democratic because I was too worried about pleasing.”
In the film, she also visits her ex-husband at his ranch in Montana -- the location of his CBS Sunday Morning interview -- where she says he “looks great” upon seeing him. “Getting old is hard, isn’t it?” she quips with a laugh.
Since splitting from Turner in 2001, Fonda has yet to remarry. Back in May, ET caught up with the Book Club star, who discussed dating while being famous. See what she had to say in the video below: