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Video: Anderson Cooper Holds Back Tears When Talking About Brother's Suicide

September 20, 2011 (3:26 am) GMT
The host of syndicated talk show 'Anderson' got choked up after his mother Gloria Vanderbilt told him that he was the reason she didn't jump over after his brother Carter.

After being unable to stop his giggles over Gerard Depardieu's pissing on plane incident, showed yet another of his sides before the camera. During a Monday (September 19) episode of "Anderson", the CNN anchor had to fight back tears when hearing his mother Gloria Vanderbilt recalled the day his brother Carter took his own life.

In the rare interview, the 44-year-old opened the subject by asking Gloria, "Do you still think about that day?" To the question, his 87-year-old mother replied, "All the time, I still run through it. There was a moment when...he did not jump. He was sitting on the wall thirteen floors up, on the balcony. With one foot on there and one foot hanging down, he kept looking down."

"And I kept begging him and then when he went, he went like an athlete, and hung over the wall like this," the former fashion designer continued. "I said, 'Carter, come back,' and for a minute I thought he was going to come back, but he didn't. He let go. There was a moment when I thought I was going to jump after him. But then I thought of you and it stopped me from doing that."

The admission got Anderson choked up while trying to ask Gloria another question. After his mother said, "There is this word 'closure' that they talk spoke so much about today, but there's never closure on something that happens like that," he regained his composure and told her, "When I hear people use that word, it's like a TV word."

While Gloria said, "You never get over it, but you learn to live with it," Anderson told her that he sees her as an inspiration. "You have survived so many things," he pointed out. "This custody battle when you were 10 years old, the loss of your father when you were an infant, the loss of Carter, of my dad, your husband and so many others."

The journalist further explained, "It hasn't made you tough. It hasn't hardened you. You're still open to experience and open to new loss and open to new heartbreak and to new love." At the end of the interview, he invited Judy Collins to sing "Amazing Grace", the song she sang at Carter's funeral.

Carter Vanderbilt Cooper committed suicide at the age of 23 in 1988. At the time, he jumped to his death from the 14th floor terrace of their family's New York penthouse apartment.

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