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About (Late) Last Night: Camille and Kelsey Grammer take their divorce to the airwaves [video]

January 14, 2011 |  8:43 am


You know how the saying goes: If you can't say anything nice, then be sure to do it on national television. Late Thursday night, a sordid spectacle played out on the airwaves, as soon-to-be-exes Camille and Kelsey Grammer sat down for nationally televised interviews on, respectively, "Watch What Happens Live" and "The Late Show." The timing may just have been a strange coincidence, but nevertheless, the appearances came across like a pitched public relations battle.  

Camille's disintegrating marriage was the subject of Thursday night's "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," and afterward, she sat down with Bravo executive Andy Cohen for a chat. She did not hold back. 

In the interview, Camille was at least a touch more likable than she has seemed on the show -- though, as anyone who's actually watched "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" can attest, that's not saying much. She apologized for nasty allegations leveled at her castmates, and expressed dismay at some of her more egregiously entitled behavior (like complaining that a 3,500-square-foot New York City apartment would be too small for her).

Camille's appearance was not all mea culpa, however. She was also there to get back at Kelsey, who left her last year for Kayte Walsh, a 29-year-old flight attendant to whom he's now engaged. Cohen asked pointed questions about the breakup; namely, were they still having sex? Camille was coy, but strongly hinted that there was some dysfunction. "We tried...," she said.  Camille also implied that Kelsey liked to "experiment" in bed, but then, oddly, backpedaled from similar statements she'd made to Howard Stern earlier this week.  That thing about Kelsey being a cross-dresser?  Oh, that was "just a joke." You know how it is with Howard. I mean, who hasn't said those kinds of things about the father of their children? 


Across town, Kelsey Grammer visited "Late Night," ostensibly to plug "La Cage Aux Folles," the Broadway play in which he's currently starring.  But the appearance, like Camille's, played more like a personal PR gambit. Kelsey, who by now is a seasoned talk show vet, started out with an amusing story about "Macbeth."  Score one for Mr. Grammer.

Then, at Letterman's prompting, Kelsey delved right into the messy state of his personal life. "Now, I'm under the impression that your marriage is, uh, ending," Letterman asked, in the distinctive halting tone he reserves for awkward questions. "I'm sorry to hear that, or I'm not sorry to hear that?"

"You are respectfully considerate, yet pleased for the new developments in my life," Kelsey instructed him. Duly noted.

"It's a difficult time, regardless of circumstances, especially with kids," said Letterman, in a doozy of an understatement.

"The kids seem to be OK," Kelsey responded, before going on to poke fun at his son's lackadaisical reading habits (he's 6). To his credit, Kelsey didn't say anything negative about Camille, but the segment was still about as indelicate as it gets -- especially its conclusion. As the "Late Show" cut to a commercial, the cameras briefly showed Walsh (the soon-to-be Mrs. Kelsey Grammer), lounging happily with Camille and Kelsey's two children in the green room. This could hardly have been an accident. Indeed, it seems like someone at the "Late Show" is missing a sensitivity chip.  

So, readers, what's more declasse: dishing about your estranged husband's habits in bed, or allowing your new fiance to appear on television with your ex's kids?  I'm declaring it a tie.

-- Meredith Blake