Thursday, June 4, 2009 | 7 a.m.
*Check out this story with accompanying photos at VegasDeLuxe.com.*
At the end of this month, Marie Osmond will celebrate her first anniversary of living in Las Vegas, and she’s loving it here. The Flamingo headliner is getting ready to start filming her new daily TV talk show here in August for the new fall season. Her life is as busy as can be, but even with being a full-time single working mom to eight children, Marie still found time to write a new book. In addition to her myriad business enterprises, she’s also entering the home furnishings business.
Somehow, miraculously, Marie found time to sit for a one-on-one exclusive interview with me to bring me up-to-date with everything that’s going on in her jam-packed world.
Marie Osmond: I love it here in Las Vegas. I have lived here now almost a full year. I have met the most wonderful people who have become kind of a support system to me because I don’t have any family here, so with the children we are the entire family. It is wonderful, and the schools have worked out well for the children. Really the biggest thing when Donny and I were thinking about coming here to do the show was my children. I am always a mother first. What kind of environment it would be? What kind of schools? But you get away for 10 to 15 minutes from the Strip, and I feel like I am in a mini version of Orange County. Las Vegas is quite a normal place when you are away from the Strip. In Utah, I used the mountains to tell if I was north, south, east or west. Now I just use the Strip.
Robin Leach: Before we talk about your brand new book, let’s just chat about the first one -- about the misery from motherhood called post-partum depression.
MO: The reason I wrote it was because nobody talked about it. Our mothers suffered with it. I was sitting in a no-hotel motel. I gave my keys and my credit card and said take care of my kids to the nanny. I said I have to figure out what is going on with me because I am not a depressed person. Whether it is post-partum, depression is depression is depression. It feels the same. So really it was one of those books that actually started people talking about it. I was the first celebrity to start talking about it, and then you had a lot of other celebrities talking about it like Brooke Shields.
I talked about a lot of ways to see it, how to detect it. A lot of women just shove it down and don’t deal with it, so that is what that book is about. I think depression is depression -- you can feel depression whether you are a man or a woman. What is terrible is you are told motherhood is the greatest time in your life, and you don’t feel that way. It is denying everything in you as a female, so when you understand the chemical reason, when you understand the hormonal reason.
I remember one woman when she said I wish this book would have come out a year earlier before her daughter committed suicide from the depression. Many others said they finally understood what their daughter or daughter-in-law was going through. We just thought she was being a jerk. It was an awareness book. It was really one of those first awareness books. You know me, Robin. I am an honest woman. I felt like there needed to be some honesty shed on the subject.
After that, I went out and started doing some speaking tours, and I’m a crazy humor person. I saw these women who were so depressed laugh; they felt better. That led to my second book. Really how I get through my life is humor. I find joy no matter where I am. So the new book is titled You Might As Well Laugh About It Now. I have been quoted as saying tragedy + time = humor. If you are going to laugh about it in the future, you might as well laugh about it now.
RL: So what is the worst thing that happened that you decided laughter is the best medicine to cure?
MO: When I had the big hit with my first book, they asked me to do an autobiography. I told them I couldn’t because I am only half dead. I have another 50 years to go before I write that one! This new book happened because my house in Utah burned down. I lost 30 years of journals, all my life stories, all my Donny and Marie memorabilia, all the people I worked with, my mother’s things. I sat there in this pile of destroyed possessions and I thought, “What is all this about?” I thought there is always a blessing somewhere, right?! Before I forget a lot of these great stories, I asked my executive writer to help me jot them down.
So we would sit, and really I was doing a compilation of stories for my children to have. She loved them so much, she sent them to my book publisher. I didn’t even realize it was happening. … It has been on The New York Times bestseller list, and now I learned today that because so many copies have sold, it will be printed in paperback! I am thrilled, and they asked me to write a second book of story memories.
RL: So out of a personal tragedy came something really good.
MO: Men and women love this book. That is surprising. How you tie in different things and find the humor in it, like I wrote about passing out on Dancing With the Stars. I wrote about the spray tan thing, and I said how I would lay in the sheets in my girlfriend’s bedroom and it looked like I had Cheetos in the bed because they were so orange from the spray tan. I am crazy. I wrote about everything from my house burning down to celebrities that I worked with who really taught me great lessons. … I have been in this business 45 years.
RL: Does it feel like 45 years?
MO: No, it feels like three lives. Three different lives. My childhood, my midyears. … I was just with Don Marrandino, the president of the Flamingo, and we were looking for Strip locations for the new talk show, for facilities, and he said if I didn’t know you better, I would swear you were on something. I said, “No, this is me! I thrive on life. I thrive on doing what makes you happy.” We will start it in mid-August. We will be on five days a week but shoot it in four days with one day of two shows.
RL: So with the TV show in the afternoons, then the Flamingo show with Donny at night, how are you going to juggle eight children and two shows in your two little hands?
MO: I have it all organized. I came from a big family, and we all worked. It is a matter of being organized and scheduling. When I say four days a week, I look at it that still gives me three days left over for something else! To be honest, I have four out of the house now, so really it is my four little ones, and they come to the show every night. They are all in the dressing room reading, doing homework, studying while I’m downstairs onstage. … It is a third Donny, a third Marie and a third together. So I even get a little break in there to be with the kids.
RL: The formula works so well. It is so well received. You must be pleased with the response of the audiences here in Vegas.
MO: We are so happy. You never know what people are going to think, you know? Like the meet and greet we do after the show. We designated a certain time after the show to sign and take pictures, and my gosh last night we had someone from the Philippines, someone from Australia, two groups from England. We walk away after and go, “My gosh, we are so blessed.”
RL: Do you ever think way out in the future as to what the two of you may be doing?
MO: This may be it for us. He wants to continue doing things, and I want to continue doing things, so this may be it at the end of another 18 months. Donny wants to do things, and I want to do things, but for two years, it is fun to designate that time and say this is what I want to do for a while. But Donny will be on my first TV show. He has no options. I said I am your only sister, and I tell you what to do. No, he can do whatever he wants. He is wonderful.
RL: Have you had any time in this busy life of yours with TV, books and shows to do anything socially here?
MO: I go to a lot of baseball games, soccer games.
RL: Other than the kids?
MO: No, not really.
RL: Do you think about dating again?
MO: Not really.
RL: I know you were badly burned in that last marriage … I mean really badly … does that cloud your future as far as dating is concerned? Or do you want to go through the rest of your life as a single mom?
MO: I think there is time for each. Right now I’ve got my children, and they need me. I didn’t have all of my children to have someone else raise them. We are very close; we have our quality time, which is essential. Remember when I was my kids’ age I was doing Donny and Marie. I was gone 16 to 17 hours a day. When I had quality time with my father and mother, it was really special for me. … So my children are very fun. They are very eclectic; they are very passionate about what they do.
RL: So you are content with being single status for now?
MO: For now I am, yeah. There are times and seasons. You hear about these women who want to do it all. I believe you can do it all. I just don’t think you can do it all at once.
RL: Do you think of yourself more as a businesswoman than an entertainer?
MO: I have some beautiful condos in Mazatlan. Do you want to check them out? I am in the process of building four high-rises in Mazatlan. It is beautiful. It is green. They are right on the ocean.
RL: So you are a real estate mogul, as well?
MO: I think you need to be balanced like legs on a chair. I try really hard to do that with my work, my financial side, even my social side. I have dated … my mother side, what I love, my children … that everybody gets equal opportunity. That is really important to me.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter HERE.