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Roy Horn to discuss tiger attack

LAS VEGAS -- Roy Horn has not spoken publicly about the incident in which a 380-pound white tiger named Montecore almost mauled him to death.

So when NBC airs the special "Siegfried & Roy: The Miracle" Sept. 15, viewers will hear Horn for the first time and see his battle to regain his motor skills after the tiger attack -- and subsequent debilitating stroke -- left him in a wheelchair.

"That's been the remarkable part of this thing," said Jason Raff, the show's executive producer and director. "He really let us in to see the good days and bad days. I believe they gave us an unprecedented look."

In his own words, Raff said, Horn will try to answer what happened that terrifying night during a live performance at the Mirage hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

He'll be interviewed by Maria Shriver, in one of her first television assignments since November 2003, when, as the wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger, she became California's first lady.

Raff said in an interview that he would not reveal what Horn had to say.

"That I'm going to save for the special," Raff said. "That's his thing. He wants to say it himself."

But viewers shouldn't expect the definitive account.

"We will offer a very thorough look," Raff said. "Will we answer every question? No. We will not answer every question."

As Shriver said in an interview, "No one is 100 percent sure what happened that night."

The special probably will not include the closely guarded footage of the accident on Oct. 3, which was taped by Feld Entertainment, the company that produced the wildly popular Siegfried & Roy show.

Feld officials have refused to turn over the video to investigators from the Agriculture Department, the federal agency responsible for looking into such incidents. They have said it "would quickly end up in the hands of media who would then sensationalize this horrible tragedy."

The special -- which was produced by the network's entertainment division, not by its news staff -- includes interviews with some of the 1,500 audience members and show staff who saw the attack, as well as the paramedics who treated Horn.

The tiger bit Horn in the neck and dragged him off stage. One of the show's employees beat the animal off Horn by hitting it with a fire extinguisher. Horn is said to have lost a tremendous amount of blood.

The more dramatic moments of the special are expected to include audiotapes of the 911 calls and conversations between hospital staff members and paramedics as Horn was being rushed to the emergency room. It was his 59th birthday.

Horn underwent repeated operations after he arrived at University Medical Center. He gave doctors permission to disclose his medical information for the special, Raff said.

"He was very close to dying, from what the doctors said," Raff said. "The first three days were truly touch and go. We are going to let the doctors tell what happened."

The program was filmed over several months, mostly in Las Vegas, where Horn and Shriver, a longtime friend of Horn's, visit the caged tiger. There are also scenes at a Denver rehabilitation clinic for stroke victims. Raff said Horn has gone through "grueling therapy."

Shriver said Horn is doing remarkably better, but it's not clear if he'll ever perform again.

There is no talk for now of reviving the Siegfried & Roy show, which debuted in 1990, though Siegfried & Roy are involved in NBC's new animated show "Father of the Pride."

FCC plans a fine for Super Bowl


The Federal Communications Commission is preparing to levy a $550,000 fine against CBS-owned stations for Janet Jackson's Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction."

The broadcast watchdog will announce the fine in the next week or two, several reports said. All five commissioners are expected to approve the fine.

The FCC action would impose the maximum fine -- $27,500 -- on each of the 20 local stations that CBS owns. As fines are issued against holders of broadcast licenses for a given city, the action would not include the 200 or so CBS affiliates owned by others. CBS has said it will fight any fine resulting from the broadcast.

KNIGHT RIDDER

Globe on NECN


Here's what's happening on "Around the Globe" today on NECN:
* 9:30 a.m.: "Talk of New England" -- Don MacGillis of the editorial page discusses the state of US military recruitment.
* 12:30 p.m.: "Globe at Home" -- Millie Downing, who writes the Miss Conduct column in the Boston Globe Magazine, offers tipping advice.
* 4 p.m.: "Around the Globe"
* 6:30 p.m.: "New England Business Day"
* 8 p.m.: "NewsNight" Schedule is subject to change.

On Boston.com


Noon: Globe Child Caring columnist Barbara Meltz answers parenting questions.

Talk of the dial


11 a.m. WBIX-AM (1060) -- "Money Life." Guest: Roger S. Conrad, editor of Roger Conrad's Utility Forecaster.

Other radio highlights

9 a.m. WCRB-FM (102.5) -- Mozart's Symphony No. 25, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in D minor; Crusell's Clarinet Concerto No. 1.

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