10/08/2013 08:20 am ET Updated Oct 09, 2013

Johnny Carson Discovered Wife's Affair After Breaking Into Her Secret Apartment With A Gun

In his tell-all book, Henry Bushkin reveals the night he, Johnny Carson and a private eye broke into the secret apartment of Carson's second wife, Joanne Carson, in hopes of finding out whom she was "shacking up with" ... only to discover it was Frank Gifford.

An excerpt published in last week's Entertainment Weekly reveals Carson's distraught reaction to the discovery:

Carson leaned against the living room wall and began to weep. [...] I could see that Carson's raincoat had fallen open. I was shocked to see that Johnny was carrying a .38 revolver in a holster on his hip.

At the bar later that night, Carson mourned another failed attempt at marriage. “Joanne has broken my heart,” Carson told Bushkin, “to the extent I ever had one.” However, he vulgarly mourned his own role, drunkenly saying, "I [drink] every night and I chase all the p---y I can get."

Bushkin spent nearly two decades as Carson's lawyer, but he was never just that. When not working to provide legal aid, Bushkin wore the hats of "wingman, fixer [and] confidant" ... and now he's an author as well.

Throughout Johnny Carson, Bushkin depicts the 18 years he spent at the entertainer's side. And though it is shocking at times, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt claims the book is not just "dishy."

Of course, the depiction of the affair and other confessions come long after Carson and Bushkin had their infamous falling out in 1988. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt disputes the effect of the turmoil on the finished product, claiming this is a story only Bushkin can tell.

“[He] was as close as anyone could be to Carson," Eamon Dolan of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt told the New York Times, "And he uses that intimacy brilliantly to show what made Carson so vastly charming and yet so inscrutable.”



They said WHAT? #nofilter