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Meredith Vieira Covers More Magazine: Opens Up About Why She Finally Agreed to Host Her Own Talk Show, How She Escaped an Abusive Relationship, and Why She’s Not Afraid of Oversharing

From 60 Minutes to The View to Today, Meredith Vieira’s television career has been legendary, and she’s not stopping anytime soon. Now, as the host of her own talk show, The Meredith Vieira Show, she’s reinventing herself and letting it all hang out. In the December/January issue of More magazine, on newsstands Nov. 25, Vieira reflects on her career and opens up about taking risks, trusting her gut, and overcoming setbacks both personally (from escaping domestic violence to her brother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s) and professionally.

Via More:

On taking risks and doing The Meredith Vieira Show her own way:
“This is kind of the last thing I haven’t done. Getting too complacent can be dangerous. I always say to my kids, ‘You’ve got to take a chance’—even though I’m usually the last to do it.”

On the challenges of running her own talk show:
“It’s not like when I was with the other ladies of The View or the Today show team. You can’t let your energy drop. So even if you’re not feeling it, you gotta bring it.”

On knowing when to say no:
“For me, it has been about trusting my gut. We second-guess ourselves so much. We constantly see the brass ring, and it’s so enticing, but it’s dangerous. That constant grasping can lead to doing things that might go against your values.”

On staying in a physically abusive relationship in her early twenties:
“Back then, you didn’t hear about domestic violence. I didn’t think about shelters or a hotline. I loved this guy. So for the longest time I said, ‘Well, that happened, but it’s never gonna happen again.’”

Vieira finally broke away by accepting a new job in another city: “I saw my opportunity and took it.” But she never told her family about the abuse, even afterward, because “It would have broken my mother’s heart.”

On her surprising habit of oversharing on The View:
“I’ve always been a pretty open book, for better or worse. I would say the craziest things, and people would look at me like, ‘Oh my God, what are you talking about? I’d be screaming out, ‘I don’t wear underwear!’ It was like something was the matter with me. But I liked it. It was really, really fun.”

On not wearing underwear:
“I always thought, Why bother? If it’s pantyhose, it’s built in. And in the summer I wear leotards.”

On connecting with fans at Today:
“I love the plaza! Matt would say, ‘You need to go into a vat of Purell,’ because I’d hug everyone. That’s just who I am.”

On her relationship with Today co-anchor Matt Lauer:
“We were like an older sister and younger brother. It was like, ‘F you, a-hole’ or ‘You’re a loser.’ It was teasing.”

Al Roker on Vieira’s work ethic:
“With Meredith, what you see is what you get. She makes things look easy, and we all know that’s the mark of somebody who works hard.”

Birthday Bitches

Meredith Vieira is 58.

Joseph Bologna is 77.

Russ Tamblyn is 77.

Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary is 74.

James Burrows (“Cheers,””Taxi”) is 71.

Fred Ward (“The Right Stuff”) is 69.

Mike Nesmith of The Monkees is 69.

Davy Jones of The Monkees is 66.

Patti Smith is 65.

Jeff Lynne is 64.

Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Moesha”) is 56.

Suzy Bogguss is 55.

Patricia Kalember (“Sisters”) is 55.

Matt Lauer is 54.

Tracey Ullman is 52.

Sean Hannity (“Hannity and Colmes”) is 50.

Jay Kay of Jamiroquai is 42.

Byron McMackin of Pennywise is 42.

Meredith Monroe is 42.

Jason Behr is 38.

Tyrese is 33.

Eliza Dushku is 31.

Tim Lopez of Plain White T’s is 31.

Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville”) is 29.

Jamie Follese of Hot Chelle Rae is 20.

Meredith Vieira is proud to stand by her man

Meredith Vieira has been living her life for her husband Richard Cohen and her family rather than for the limelight, the fame and the fortune. The former Today Show co-host chatted it up with AARP to dish on how their family deals with Richard’s MS, their extraordinary marriage, family and more.

Check out the highlights from the interview below.

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