Russ Einhorn/Star Max
Liane Bonin
December 09, 1999 AT 05:00 AM EST

If the promos for Tuesday night’s edition of ”60 Minutes II” were to be believed, Jodie Foster was breaking an 18-year silence about John Hinckley, the man who attempted to assassinate President Reagan to impress her in 1982. But viewers who bought the hype of CBS’ commercials — which included menacing photos of Hinckley — may have been disappointed. Not only was the entire subject skimmed over with a few short questions, Foster herself says she revealed nothing new during the segment. ”I certainly have talked about this many times in the last 18 years,” Foster says. ”And I don’t really expand on it any more than I ever have. I think his question was, ‘Was this an awful time in your life?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, it was a really awful time in my life,’ and I don’t think it was much beyond that.”

What’s more, CBS neglected to explain that Foster had discussed the entire matter in a 1982 story in Esquire magazine. ”I wrote an article called ‘Why Me,”’ says Foster. ”I said, if you have any questions, please refer to this article, because I pretty much go into everything that I feel about this event that I can talk about. Obviously, none of these feelings are secret, because I wrote them down 18 years ago.”

So why the pre-airing buzz? ”They’re trying to promote their show, so I think they look for the most scandalous, tabloid-like thing to put out there so that people will watch,” shrugs Foster. ”I really can’t explain it any other way.” Hey, you try going up against ”Will & Grace.”

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