Cooper told the anecdote on Thursday’s episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, while promoting his new book Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty, about his mother’s family.
On Colbert’s show, Cooper affectionately looked back on some of his mother’s eccentricities. Vanderbilt was an artist, heiress, socialite, and fashion designer whose life was marked by family tragedy and was often the subject of sensational headlines.
“She was great,” he told Colbert of Vanderbilt, who died in June 2019 aged 95. “... She was just kind of nutty. She would come up with ludicrous ideas.”
Cooper then recounted getting a call from his mother 10 years before her death, in which she told him: “Honey, there’s something I really need to talk to you about,” and “The most incredible thing happened: I went to the gynaecologist’s last week.”
The journalist then said his mother told him her gynaecologist had told her she could still bear a child at her age. Cooper, under the impression that Vanderbilt was considering having another child of her own, tried to gently talk her out of it – but she quickly told him he had the wrong idea.
When Cooper asked her to clarify, she said: “Well, you can get an egg anywhere nowadays. What I was thinking is, you get an egg, fertilise it with your sperm, and I’ll carry your child.”
Cooper said he was “stunned” and eventually told his mother: “You know, Mom, I love you, but even for you, that’s just bats*** crazy. That’s just nuts.”
Earlier in his conversation with Colbert, Cooper explained: “Sometimes people wonder how during interviews I stay stone-faced and listen to people say bats*** crazy things: I grew up with Gloria Vanderbilt.”
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