Easily — in a conversation with Kathy Freston, the wife of Tom Freston, president-CEO of Viacom.
“The One” (Miramax) is Kathy’s no holds-barred insight into adult emotional problems. She bares her own past and, naturally, also discusses her present relationship with Tom — and she talks about it happily because their eight-year marriage (her first, his second) is terrif.
I didn’t ask for a comment by Tom because he and his 16-year-old son Gil were visiting with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile. He is its head of state and spiritual leader as well.
Kathy said, “I’m the one who should have been there with them and the holiest man in the world. (Tom and Gil visited along with Steve Crisman who is shooting a docu on the Dalai Lama).
Kathy’s exhortations for spiritual guidance highlight her book. She has visited India five times and admits that those visits “have made me feel humble — they made me open my heart.”
Tom Freston, as front-paged in Variety March 23, has been in Mumbai, the start of his lengthy India visit to expand the company’s presence there with plans to produce films. He is no stranger to India, having had his own, import-export clothing business there for many years.
“He feels like he’s home when he returns to India,” Kathy told me. “He had a house in New Delhi and one in Kabul.”
Tom had planned to also visit Kabul, Afghanistan, and show it to son Gil after this first visit to India. However, the current unrest made him change those travel plans. But travel they will — heading on to Asia before returning home.
Plans to introduce Kathy’s book to the showbiz community include a reception hosted by Arianna Huffington and Jim and Elizabeth Wiatt at Huffington’s house in L.A.
N.Y. book parties will be hosted by Wendi and Rupert Murdoch, others by Carole Bayer Sager and Bob Daly, Barbara Guggenheim and Bert Fields.
Kathy is planning more CDs on relationships. She also has a private practice on the subject with clients ($100) an hour.
I asked Kathy if Tom takes her advice. “Sometimes,” she laughed “I have a different insight.”
She’s a vegetarian. He is not.