#SharedSecrets: Episode 17

The Secret to Finding Your Fortitude After Loss with Carole Radziwill


One may think that a reality television star wouldn’t have many secrets left to share. But despite being part of the cast of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” my guest in this episode of Shared Secrets has a vulnerable and quiet side that stems from a heartbreaking story of loss and resilience.

I first met Carole Radziwill when I was writing “Fortytude,” and I quickly found that Carole was the perfect fit for the book. She was smart, witty and more vulnerable than I could have imagined, given that most of what I knew of her at the time came via her Housewives fame.

Carole came from a working-class home in Upstate New York, and she calls her romance with Anthony Radziwill—cousin and best friend of John F. Kennedy Jr.—her “Cinderella story.” The two met and started dating while they were both working as journalists at ABC, married in 1994, and stayed together until his death from cancer in 1999. He died just a month after the plane-crash deaths John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife and her sister.

In the podcast, Carole and I discuss the fact that while Anthony had battled cancer for 10 years before his death, he and Carole rarely spoke of it—even to each other. Carole also shares how family secrets can weigh heavy on the souls of those charged with keeping quiet; how secrets can both bind us and drive us apart; and how grief, loss and vulnerability can ultimately be the source of one’s fortitude.

More about Carole: Carole Radziwill is a journalist and author. Her first book, What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love, traces her life from a child growing up in Upstate New York, to her start in journalism at ABC News, through her marriage to fellow ABC News producer Anthony Radziwill and his battle with cancer. Her story has been featured on Oprah, 20/20, Charlie Rose, Larry King Live and Good Morning America. It was also chronicled in Newsweek, People and Vogue magazines.