The odd couple: Larry Flynt (center) and Jerry Falwell (right) began their unlikeliest of friendships after this episode of “Larry King Live” on Jan. 10, 1997.
Anyone who has seen “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” or anyone who knows about the famous Supreme Court battle between Flynt and the late Rev. Jerry Falwell over the First Amendment, would probably be shocked to know that the two former enemies became friends after appearing together on “Larry King Live” 10 years ago.
Soon after that episode, I was in my office in Beverly Hills, and out of nowhere my secretary buzzes me, saying, “Jerry Falwell is here to see you.” I was shocked, but I said, “Send him in.” We talked for two hours, with the latest issues of Hustler neatly stacked on my desk in front of him. He suggested that we go around the country debating, and I agreed. We went to colleges, debating moral issues and 1st Amendment issues—what’s “proper,” what’s not and why.
In the years that followed and up until his death, he’d come to see me every time he was in California. We’d have interesting philosophical conversations. We’d exchange personal Christmas cards. He’d show me pictures of his grandchildren. I was with him in Florida once when he complained about his health and his weight, so I suggested that he go on a diet that had worked for me. I faxed a copy to his wife when I got back home.