“ASK DR. RUTH”

In a new documentary America’s favorite sex therapist shares her life story as a Holocaust survivor, a sniper for the Israel Defense Forces, a wife, and a mother before playing a major role in America’s sexual revolution.

Aired on March 28, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> DR. RUTH WESTHEIMER, BEST KNOWN AS AMERICA'S MOST FAMOUS SEX THERAPIST, AS AN AMERICAN ICON AND AMERICAN SUCCESS STORY.

SHE GAINED MILLIONS OF FANS STARTING IN THE 1980s BY TALKING HONESTLY AND GRAPHICALLY ABOUT SEX EDUCATION ON RADIO AND TELEVISION WHEN NOBODY WAS SPEAKING OPENLY ABOUT IT.

AS IT TURNS OUT, THAT'S ONLY A SMALL PART OF HER DIVERSIFIED LIFE.

THE HOLOCAUST, ANOTHER.

A HULU ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY CALLED 'ASK DR. RUTH' CHRONICLES HER LIFE FROM HER EARLY TRAGEDIES TO HER SUCCESSFUL PRESENT LIFE, STILL GOING STRONG AT 90 YEARS YOUNG.

THIS TELEVISION PROGRAM CONTAINS EXPLICIT SEXUAL LANGUAGE.

THE HOST IS DR. RUTH K.

WESTHEIMER.

HELLO!

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS WOMAN.

SHE HAS A DEEP GERMAN ACCENT AND SHE TALKS ABOUT SEX AND I THINK WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING WITH HER.

IN THE EARLY '80s, PEOPLE DID NOT TALK ABOUT SEXUALITY.

YOU HAVE A CERTAIN LIST OF WORDS YOU CAN'T SAY.

WELL, WE SAID THEM.

LET HIM INSERT HIS PENIS VIINTO THE VAGINA FROM BEHIND.

IT IS INDEED A PLEASURE FOR US TO WELCOME DR. RUTH BACK TO 'METROFOCUS,' ALWAYS SO NICE TO SEE YOU.

THANK YOU, JACK, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

THE FIRST QUESTION FOR YOU IS, WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN THEY SAID TO YOU, WE WANT TO DO A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT YOUR LIFE?

FIRST I SAID NO.

REALLY?

I SAID, ENOUGH ALREADY.

WHY?

I SAID THEY'VE ALREADY COMBED THROUGH EVERYTHING ABOUT ME, I HAVE BOOKS ABOUT MY LIFE, I HAVE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

AND THEN I DECIDED, OKAY, I WILL DO IT.

AND NOW, JACK, MAY I TELL YOU A SECRET, I AM DELIGHTED.

SO THE FILM, 'ASK DR. RUTH,' I HAVE TO TELL YOU A SECRET, THEY JUST HAD IN 'THE LOS ANGELES TIMES' A WONDERFUL ARTICLE, THEY SAID 'ASK DR. RUTH' FOR 2019 IS WHAT THE PRELIMINARY 'RUTH BADER GINSBURG' WAS FOR 2018.

THAT PLEASES ME NO END.

YOU SHOULD BE PLEASED BECAUSE IT IS INDEED THAT.

A COUPLE OF THINGS PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU, I WANT THEM TO WATCH THE FILM BECAUSE THE FILM IS FABULOUS AND THERE ARE THINGS THERE THAT EVEN PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT THEY KNEW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU.

PEOPLE MIGHT BE ASTONISHED TO KNOW THAT YOU TRAVELED TO A 17-YEAR-OLD TO WHAT WAS THEN PALESTINE AND YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH THE HAGGANAH.

YOU SAY IT VERY NICELY.

I DON'T MAKE A BIG TO-DO OVER IT.

YOU HAVE NOT IN THE PAST.

BUT THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

I WAS A SNIPER.

I CAN PUT FIVE BULLETS IN THE RED CIRCLE.

I WAS FORTUNATE, I NEVER KILLED ANYBODY, BUT I WAS A VERY GOOD SHARPSHOOTER.

AND WE SHOW IN THE FILM THAT HERE I'M 90 1/2, I CAN STILL PUT AN STEN GUN TOGETHER WITH MY EYES CLOSED.

IN THE FILM IT SHOWS VERY WELL, WHEN I'M HOLDING THAT STEN GUN AND I'M SHOWING THAT I CAN STILL USE IT, AT ONE MOMENT I SAY, ENOUGH, WHO KNOWS HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE KILLED WITH THAT PARTICULAR GUN?

SO I DON'T TOUCH A GUN ANYMORE.

BUT I WANTED PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT EVEN THOUGH I'M 4'7', EVEN THOUGH I GREW UP IN AN ORPHANAGE, I WENT ON A KIBBUTZ, I AM VERY MUCH OF A ZIONIST, I STILL GO EVERY YEAR, BUT I'M VERY HAPPY TO LIVE IN NEW YORK.

AND WE'RE VERY HAPPY TO HAVE YOU HERE.

WHAT HAPPENED TO ME COULD ONLY HAPPEN IN NEW YORK.

THERE ARE THINGS EVEN ABOUT MY THREE MARRIAGES, THERE ARE THINGS THAT PEOPLE DID NOT KNOW, BECAUSE I CONCENTRATED ON EDUCATING, ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS AND ABOUT SEXUALITY.

BECAUSE YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A TEACHER, YOU STILL TEACH, YOU'RE TEACHING AT COLUMBIA.

AND AT HUNTER.

YOU TAUGHT AT YALE WHERE I TEACH NOW.

AND PRINCETON.

WE'LL LEAVE THE PRINCETON PEOPLE OUT OF THE CONVERSATION.

[ LAUGHTER ]

NO, I HAD A GOOD TIME.

I KNOW.

AS A TEACHER, YOU WERE ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE BACK IN THE '80s TO STEP UP AND START TALKING ABOUT AIDS AND TO RECOGNIZE IT FOR WHAT WE REALIZED IT WAS BUT AT A LATER STAGE, A CRISIS.

IT WAS.

A HUMAN HEALTH CRISIS.

WHY DID YOU FEEL SO COMFORTABLE COMING FORWARD AND DOING THAT?

WE DIDN'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT IT.

BUT ONE THING THAT I KNEW, I'M 4'7', I KNEW I HAVE TO STAND UP TO BE COUNTED ABOUT THE RESPECT FOR HOMOSEXUALITY, BECAUSE THAT'S FROM MY BACKGROUND, THAT I HAVE TO SAY EVERYBODY HAS TO BE RESPECTED.

AND THEN I WAS HORRIFIED THAT WE DIDN'T KNOW ENOUGH.

SO I HAD TO TALK ABOUT HOW CAREFUL YOU HAVE TO BE, TO USE CONDOMS, AND IT WASN'T POPULAR.

AND ONE SCENE IN THE MOVIE, I GOT ARRESTED, A CITIZEN ARREST BECAUSE I TALKED ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY, BECAUSE OF MY BACKGROUND AS A NAZI VICTIM, HAVING LOST MY ENTIRE FAMILY TO THE NAZIS DURING WORLD WAR II, THAT I DID NOT LIKE.

NOW I'M GOING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING THAT'S NOT IN THE FILM.

WHEN THE STATE TROOPER BROUGHT ME BACK TO THE MOTEL THAT EVENING AFTER THE LECTURE, FIRST OF ALL, I MADE THE LECTURE SO RIVETING, THE GUY WHO ARRESTED ME FORGOT TO ARREST ME DURING THE LECTURE, HE WAS SITTING THERE --

WAITING 'TIL THE END.

AT THE END HE CAME.

THE TROOPER SAID, HE WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE ME TO THE AIRPORT THE NEXT MORNING, THE TROOPER SAID, DO YOU WANT ME TO STAY HERE OVERNIGHT?

I SAID, YES.

IT WAS IN A MOTEL.

THERE WERE TWO BEDROOMS.

I CALLED HIS WIFE.

I SAID, I'M KEEPING HIM OVERNIGHT, TOMORROW MORNING YOU'LL GET HIM BACK.

BECAUSE I WAS A LITTLE SHOOK UP.

I DIDN'T WANT HIM TO COME TO THE AIRPORT TO DO THAT AGAIN.

THAT HAD TO DO WITH MY COMING OUT OF NAZI GERMANY.

SO THERE ARE THINGS IN THE MOVIE THAT I'M DELIGHTED BECAUSE IT ALSO SHOWS ME AS AN INDEDUCATOR MAINLY.

IT'S A FABULOUS FILM.

I THINK THE JOB THAT THE PEOPLE AT HULU DID IS MARVELOUS.

YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN A STORYTELLER.

HULU IS WONDERFUL.

AND I NEED TO GET AN ACADEMY NOMINATION.

WE'RE GOING TO PUSH THAT FOR YOU.

IT'S A FABULOUS FILM.

IT SHOWS EVEN PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY KNEW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU, THEY'LL LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT YOU.

IT IS ALWAYS SUCH A PLEASURE TO SPEND SOME TIME CHATTING WITH YOU.

SEE YOU AGAIN.

IN NEW YORK?

WE'LL FOLLOW YOU.

AT THE MOVIES.

INDEED.

A REMINDER, THE DOCUMENTARY 'ASK DR. RUTH' WILL PREMIER ON HULU IN THE SPRING.

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