The Polish Prince and the Girl from Suffern
How did a working-class girl from Suffern meet a man with Polish royal lineage going back four centuries? Anthony Stanislas Albert Radziwill, a prince, like his father and grandfather before him. This is where fairy tales come in handy because the real story is somewhat dull. We met at work.
In fact, we met over a murder. In March 1990, Lyle and Erik Menendez were charged with killing their parents with shotguns while they were watching television. Almost everyone in the news business flew to Los Angeles to cover the story. I went to a suite at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills—Primetime Live's makeshift office—and met Anthony.
We had both been at ABC for three years. Anthony was working for Primetime with Sam Donaldson and Diane Sawyer, and I had just started with Peter Jennings Reporting.
By this time, I had adopted some things—a wry sense of humor and a brown suede miniskirt, for instance, and the bravado gained by a bit of travel. I was just back from six weeks in Southeast Asia. I have seen some things now, I was hoping to suggest in my manner. I know some things, too. We couldn't have come from two points further apart, Anthony and I, but I walked into the suite flush with the slippery confidence of youth and an award-winning documentary under my belt.
"Hi, Carole, come in." Shelley Ross, the producer, shot sparks from her high heels when she moved around the room. "This is Anthony," she said. "You'll be working with him." He stood and reached for my hand. He wore pressed jeans and a button-down shirt, and he held on for a moment before letting go. "It's nice to meet you."
He was unremarkably handsome. By that I mean he had a face you might linger on, possibly remember but not place. He had a straight nose, wavy thick hair, and a strong jaw. A receding hairline from his father, his mother's cheekbones. His eyes were serious if you didn't know him, playful if you did. He turned himself into a British lord, a French diplomat, in a wink, to get you. He had a subtle, deceptive sense of humor that hummed continuously below the surface. His eyes and his smile betrayed him—if you knew to look.
Someone told me later in the secondhand way someone always did: John Kennedy's cousin. Jackie Onassis's nephew. His mother, Jackie's sister, Lee Radziwill. He carried it effortlessly, the weight of this name, while I was struggling to escape weightlessness. Image above: Anthony and Carole Radziwill, St. Tropez, 1992.