David Hasselhoff Talks New Reality Show, Drunken Video and 'Dancing With the Stars'

Filed under: Celeb Parents, Celeb News & Interviews

Hasselhoff

David Hasselhoff stars with his daughters Hayley, left, and Taylor-Ann in "The Hasselhoffs." Credit: Florian Seefried, Getty Images

Call him campy, but David Hasselhoff has experienced a long career filled with great successes -- from his soap opera roots to starring roles on "Knight Rider" and "Baywatch" to becoming a German pop sensation to judging "America's Got Talent" to a recent stint on "Dancing with the Stars."

He's also well-known for a video shot by his daughter, which showed a seriously intoxicated Hasselhoff bare-chested and sprawled on the floor unable to pick up the burger he's trying eat. At the time, Hasselhoff was going through a nasty divorce with his second wife. He eventually won custody of his daughters, Taylor-Ann, 20, and Hayley, 18. The trio lives together and stars in the new reality show "The Hasselhoffs" on A&E.

ParentDish caught up with "The Hoff" to talk about the series, the drunken video and his relationship with his daughters.

ParentDish: Why did you decide to do the show?

David Hasselhoff:
I was doing a show with Ryan Seacrest called "Tales of the Hoff" and it was a kind of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" look at my life. It was scripted and, after a year, E! decided they didn't want to do anything scripted. So we presented the project to A&E. They told me no, they wanted a reality show, and I really wasn't interested in doing that.

But then my daughters came to me and said they want to be singers and would I help them.

We went on vacation and it was tough, it was during the divorce, we had some press come out that was intrusive and not meant to come out. This was our time to get away from it all and we kind of bonded. They told me, "Dad, we really want to do this, can you help us? Can you help us get into the business?" I said I would do what I can. So I called A&E back and said, what if we were to do a show highlighting my daughters pursuing a music career? That was the template.

PD: So, basically, you're doing the show for your kids?
DH: Absolutely, 100 percent. Then I realized, wait a sec, this is good, this is my opportunity to set the record straight. Instead of running away from the cameras, I'm saying, hey, come on in! And so we're off and running with the show.

PD: A recent article in The New York Times suggests you make light of alcoholism on the show.
DH:
I read it and I totally disagreed with it. We don't make light of it. All the reviews that have come out have been good. I said for sure it's going to flop. I'm so used to getting terrible reviews and exploitative press written about me. The very first thing in the show we say is, hey, this tape was not me. It was private. It was shot by my daughter and sold and exploited and everyone put in on TV for ratings.

PD: As awful as it must have been at the time, at least now you've got nothing to hide.
DH: We just said, "Hey, this is what happens; it's part of what comes with being famous." When it came out, I was fighting for custody of my children. I didn't go on any talk shows and defend myself and everybody jumped on this tape like I killed somebody. I was drunk! And my daughter was trying to say, Dad, this is scaring me. What a great thing.

C'mon guys, get over it. It's, like, four years ago and millions of views later and parodies and it's become my signature. So I said, this is an opportunity to show this is not who we are. I'm still successful in this business. I have a lot of respect for it and the audience. I'm still standing, baby! And I've got a whole gigantic career ahead of me.

PD: How would you describe your relationship with your daughters?

DH: Fiercely loyal, incredibly honest. Just devastatingly heartwarming and intense. We're really tight. As much as the marriage fell apart, the relationship with my daughters has never wavered. We've only got stronger and they're even more volatile over defending me than I am about myself.

PD: Were you surprised you were the first contestant voted off of "Dancing with the Stars?"
DH: I'm never surprised by anything in Hollywood. I'm surprised NBC picked up the "Knight Rider." I was surprised we were knocked off first on "Dancing with the Stars." The producers were more surprised than anybody else, because they'd used me on all the promos.

They said it was one of those situations where everybody enjoyed it and expected me to move on, so they voted for the other underdogs and forgot to vote for me. I don't know. I went from David Hasselhoff in "Knight Rider" to "You were robbed!"

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.