In an upcoming book, Johnny Carson’s private investigator reveals how he saved the talk show host’s life when a jealous Mafia heavy put a contract out on him.
Joseph Mullen describes working for Carson, Mike Wallace and Jerry Orbach in his memoir ‘P.I. Diaries’, due out on November 8.
In an exclusive interview, Mullen told DailyMail.com: ‘Carson thought he could do no wrong, that he was all-powerful, but I had to save his life when he spoke to the wrong woman at ‘Jilly’s Saloon’ in New York.
‘It was 1970 and ‘Jilly’s’ was popular with Frank Sinatra and big time members of the Mafia.
‘The woman’s boyfriend was in the mob and as soon as he saw what Carson was doing he contacted the head of the family in a fury.
‘Pretty soon there were some heavies outside with baseball bats and they made it clear Johnny’s head was going to be the ball.
‘His lawyer begged me for help. I had no-one to go there so I asked my close friend Congressman Mario Biaggi, a former NYPD officer, to see what he could do.
‘Mario had officers get round to ‘Jilly’s’ and give him an escort home. There was a contract put out on Carson’s life and he was holed up at home for three days, allegedly suffering from a cold.
‘Carson had to work hard to get the contract on his life removed. On top of apologizing to the woman’s mobster boyfriend, he also had to make a substantial donation to the head of the family.
‘Carson paid for the family head’s grandson to go all the way through private school.’
In ‘P.I. Diaries,’ Mullen details Carson’s bizarre behavior, seeing him use a wine bucket to relieve himself while sitting next to a shocked John Wayne and actress Phyllis Diller at New York’s ’21 Club’ in 1976.
‘John and Phyllis were left speechless. Carson couldn’t be bothered to get up from his table and use the restroom 40 feet away. He thought it was a funny thing to do.
‘Carson was not a nice person at all. He was cruel and thought he could do anything he wanted.
‘I’ve never trusted a person who said they didn’t like their mother and Carson would say terrible things about his. Who doesn’t like their mother?
‘But he was a client and I had a job to do. I did many investigations for him. Looking into people he was suspicious of. Some of my clients became close friends but Carson wasn’t one of them.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail – Cheyenne Roundtree