tonight on "nightline," marriage regret. demi and ashton. kim kardashian. they're not alone. nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce. tonight, the surprising number of women who say they just knew it would end before they walked down the aisle. and why so many go through with it anyway. plus, coffee mate. he's the wacky, witty, happy host who for decades has brightening the american morning. tonight, abc's katie couric tracks regis as his morning reign comes to an end. and terrified of toto.
a paralyzing fear that makes a tough guy whimper. >> you are not a coward. >> tonight, extreme animal phobias, from snakes to spiders, and the humans struggling to face their fright. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," november 17th, 2011. >> good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. we begin tonight with marriage and regret. the actress demi moore today announced she plans to divorce her much younger husband, ashton kutcher. they've been married six years. some marriages don't make it nearly that long. exhibit a, kim kardashian and her 72-day union. the authors of a new book say, don't be shocked. 30% of divorced women put on their white dress and march down the aisle even though they had a sinking feeling it wasn't going to work. the question tonight is, why do
they do it? here's abc's andrea canning. >> reporter: it was billed at kim's fairy tale wedding. it cost a reported $10 million. a custom dress by vera wang. $15,000 wedding cake, six feet tale. and that multimillion dollar deal signed with e entertainment to make it a television spectacular not to be missed. >> you may be seated. >> reporter: but in the end, it all added up to a fizzled fairy tale that lasted just 72 days. was it a hoax? was it a scam? shockingly, kim says no. it was really just a big mistake. "i married for love," she told her fans. "i want a family and babies and a real life so badly that maybe i rushed into something too soon. i believed in love and the dream of what i wanted so badly." >> she was more in love with the idea of getting married rather
than who the groom was. >> reporter: authors anne milford and jennifer gauvain say 30% of women knew they were marrying the wrong man on their wedding day. >> on the day, they're going, oh, my gosh, what am i doing? >> reporter: they should know. they penned the book "how not to marry the wrong guy." >> it doesn't matter who the groom is. if you are more caught up in the party planning, details that might be a sign that you are married the wrong guy. >> reporter: they say while kardashian may be famous, her distorted vision of marriage is part of a new trend. where did kim go wrong? >> she ignored her gut feeling. >> reporter: they've uncoverered the top reason women forgo their intuition and say i do when they are really thinking i don't. rationale number one, i don't want to waste the time i have invested in this relationship. number two, all my friends are getting married. i don't want to be alone. number three, he'll change after
we get married. and number four, it's too embarrassing or expensive to call it off. but they say the biggest blind spot of all is wedding planner fever. take 31-year-old divorcee christine. how did you feel walking down this aisle on the day of your wedding? >> though it was everything i had dreamed about, there was something missing. that day, i still felt an emptiness. >> reporter: she admits she got a little caught up in the $42 billion a year wedding industry that we all know so well. elaborate proposals -- >> are you kidding me? >> i want to spend the rest of my life with you. >> reporter: over the top affairs. popular reality shows like "the bachelorette" and televised royal weddings only add to the fantasy. was blinded by the cake, by the limo, by the white dress. i wasn't seeing the big picture. >> reporter: she felt can receiving the wedding would be too disappointing to others. how do you feel when you are taking such important vows
before god -- >> right. >> reporter: that you know really aren't in your heart? >> i don't know if i -- i don't think i was thinking clearly. >> reporter: she hoped the relationship would improve after they were married. but within four and a half months, she had filed for divorce. >> this wasn't the husband i pictured. >> shouldn't have walked down that aisle. >> reporter: christine zika says she married the wrong man in 2002. what do you think of this dress? >> i enjoyed the day. >> reporter: the dress more than the man? >> probably. that's the reason why it is still here and the man isn't. >> reporter: at the time, she was 31, going on 32. and felt the pressure to tie the knot as soon as possible. did you love him in the right way? >> i think not. i loved him because he was there and i -- and he was going to be able to give me the things that i wanted at that time. >> reporter: within seven months, they were separated. within two years, they were
divorced. >> it was all the reasons i knew i shouldn't have married him in the first place. >> a lot of women say, i can always get a divorce. and they underestimate how painful an experience that is, even if you are the one who serves the papers. >> reporter: milford herself averted a divorce disaster when she was 29 by calling off her own wedding five months into the engagement. >> i put on a dress, i looked in the mirror and i felt like i was in a costume. i knew it wasn't going to work. >> reporter: but most women don't have the courage to jump on the horse, like julia roberts in "runaway bride." it's not just women. remember matthew mcconaughey in "the wedding planner?" >> you are trying to dump me on the day of my wedding? >> reporter: men go through with weddings they show they shouldn't. their rationale? >> i don't want to disappointmedispoimenappoint this woman or her family. >> reporter: their best advice
is simple. >> save yourself a lot of headache and heart ache and trouble -- >> and attorney fees. >> and money. and call it off beforehand. don't say i do when you want to say i don't. >> reporter: as for living happily ever after, there is always act two. anne eventually found mr. right. they've been married 18 years now. our other brides found true love, too. as the old adage goes, if it first you don't succeed, try, try again. for "nightline," i'm andrea canning in st. louis. >> all's well that ends well. just just ahead, his name means king, but regis is giving up his reign. abc's katie couric gets the scoop. we know a place where tossing and turning
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with cynthia mcfadden. >> well, tomorrow marks the end of an era. before there was oprah, before there was phil donna mu, there was regis. regis has been a fixture in living rooms for over half a century, logging nearly 17,000 hours on the air. but tomorrow is his final morning on the set of the show that he created. my colleague here at abc, katie couric has been spending quality time with regis. katie, what was it like? what did you learn about regis? >> reporter: well, you know, he is this warm and wonderful offcamera as he is on camera. he's very authentic and very real. and yet i think there's some deep-seeded insecurity. as a young man, he was very unsure of himself. he didn't have a lot of self-confidence. and his parents were very disaproving of the notion of him going into show business. nonetheless, he's been in showbiz for more than 50 years.
his first job was as an nbc page in 1956. he wanted to be a singer like his idol bing crosby or late night tv host like johnny carson, but luckily for us, he became our morning cup of regis. >> "live with regis and kelly." >> reporter: in 28 years, be have been snakes -- >> it's hurting my arm. >> reporter: and shots. >> oh! >> reporter: the ma'carena. and milking. pies and pet cures. >> not too close. >> you're making me nervous! >> reporter: and for nearly three decades, regis' routine, both on and off the air, has been virtually the same. >> i've got a show to do. >> reporter: a preview of the day's tape package by 8:30. a newspaper delivery at 8:40 by
goldie. >> 7,000 a week. for what? >> reporter: and he gets the rundown by michael gelman. >> oh, gelman just walked in. he's never been this early. i guess he heard katie was here. what time is it? >> 30 seconds! >> reporter: then at 9:00 a.m. sharp, ready or not, "live" goes live. >> regis philbin and kelly ripa. >> the amount of tribute being paid to you backstage is crazy. >> knock on my dorn this morning. katie couric with a little cup of coffee. >> at your apartment? >> yeah. >> she did not sleep over last night? >> reporter: unvarnished, unrehearsed and unscripted. >> by the way, how are your hemorrhoids? are you all right? if you hate reality television today, you sort of have to blame reg and myself for that. we were the first ones that i
know of that ever got paid to talk about their lives for a living. >> do i see popcorn? >> reporter: yeah. we're going to take a little trip down memory lane here. >> oh, i hate memory lane. ♪ the memories >> reporter: the last big good-bye on "live" was when kathie lee left. and this is quite touching, i think. ♪ now you're on your way ♪ forget it all ♪ but please recall ♪ i love you so much >> reporter: that was so sweet. >> it was kind of nice. saying good-bye is tough. it's going to be tough for me. you know? >> reporter: are you looking forward to it? >> not really. >>. >> reporter: dreading it? >> kind of. and it's tomorrow morning, isn't it? >> reporter: it is. fans looking for their philbin fix after tomorrow will be able to find him at a series of nightclub dates he scheduled this winter. but mornings will never quite be
the same. for him or for us. the definition of maestro is a master of an art. and regis philbin made his unique brand of television an art form all its own. ♪ it's just the thought of you >> reporter: okay, regis, finish these sentences. i hope to be remembered most for? >> 17,000 hours in front of a television camera. is that enough for you? >> reporter: that works. what i'll miss most after all these years is? >> oh, the excitement of walking out, you know, hearing some applause and knowing that the audience is there and they're on your side and they want to be entertained and you can do that for them. nice to know. ♪
>> well, but it's not over yet. not only did you do an hour special with regis tonight, "good morning america" this morning and now "nightline" -- you're going back for more? >> reporter: that's right. regis has not seen the last of me. he's going to take out a tro at this point. but i'm going to be in the audience tomorrow morning to watch him say good-bye and i think it's going to be very emotional. he assures me he's not going to cry. i bet him ten bucks that he would and i'll let you know who wins. when you watch tomorrow, you can know if i'm ten bucks richer or poorer. >> i'm going to give you my box of kleenex. >> reporter: exactly. i'll cry even if he doesn't. >> exactly. thank you so much, katie. well, next, why would this macho man be afraid of this sweet little puppy? we'll explain. i heard they found energy here. it's good. we need the jobs. [customer:] we need to protect the environment. [worker:] we could do both. is that possible? [announcer:] at conocophillips, we're helping power america's economy with cleaner, affordable natural gas.
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there's fear of heights, there's fear of flying. there's fear of water, fear of the dark. personally? i'm afraid of snakes, which makes good sense, of course. but puppies? no way. but for some, yes way. here's abc's t.j. winick. >> reporter: marvin cruz is a mountain of a man. with a secret just as big. >> oh, hell [ bleep ] no. >> reporter: he's terrified of pit bulls. >> i'm a coward. >> you're not a coward. >> reporter: terrified. the scene where marvin breaks down and somebodies at just the sight of this puppy has gone viral on youtube. >> there were probably three days worth of comments. a lot of them were just insulting. how can a big guy cry over a little puppy. but they don't know what i went through. >> reporter: it's a real anxiety disorder that affects millions of americans. most common animal phobia? insects. snakes.
>> oh, okay. >> reporter: and cats. they're all fair game on "my extreme animal phobia," a new animal planet reality series. each episode is a five-day live-in course of intense therapy. on this episode, we learn marvin was just 5 when he witnessed something that would haunt him for 42 years. >> this pit bull came in the backyard and growling, going crazy. attack my neighbor. arms, legs, chest, everywhere. >> reporter: marvin was afraid just to go outside. >> my wife took them to the park. i'm at home, i won't go to parks. sad, you know? >> reporter: in the park, marvin is forced to confront years of self-torment through a technique called exposure therapy. >> ultimately, to overcome anxiety, you have to face it. i think you should pet the dog. >> reporter: there to coach him, the star of the show, dr. robin
zasio. slowly, marvin realizes it's not fear he's experiencing, but guilt. >> he was able to see he was angry at himself for not closing that gate and taking responsibility for the harm that came to his friend. >> reporter: i wanted to see what exposure therapy is all about. while i may not have a full-blown animal phobia, like my boyhood hero indiana jones -- >> why did it have to be snakes? >> reporter: snakes and i just don't get along. >> stephen derek has a little surprise for us. >> reporter: that surprise? not so little. a 15-foot long, 154-pound burmese python. >> see if you can hold her tail. doing great. i can feel you shaking. does that feel as bad as you envisioned? >> reporter: yep. >> really? >> you know -- all right, maybe not. >> maybe not. you're smiling. you are overcoming your animal phobia. >> reporter: i'm not going to kiss it. >> you can do it. come on, t.j.
look at that. >> reporter: for marvin cruz, his final exposure is climbing inside a cage with two fully grown pit bulls. >> wow. oh, my god. i can't believe this. >> reporter: he's now able to see their behavior for what it is. playful. not a threat. would you have been able to come toll a park like this before you went through the exposure therapy? >> never in a million years. >> reporter: we wanted to see for ourselves just how effective the exposure therapy really was. >> hi, i'm marvin. >> reporter: proving there may be no extreme animal phobia that can't be tamed. for "nightline," this is t.j. winick in new york. >> no snake kisses. "my extreme animal phobia" airs on animal planet on friday. finally tonight, as scandal skwarms around jerry sandusky, another school puts another coach on leave.