Bidding Lea Heuy To Cambodia's Controversial King


Cambodia's former King Norodom Sihanouk died of an heart attack in China. (Photo: Wikipedia)

The former King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk died in China Monday after suffering a heart attack. The World's Mary Kay Magistad reported on Sihanouk for seven years during his reign. She tells Anchor Marco Werman that the king was both revered and reviled.

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Sihanouk helped lead Cambodia to Independence from France and he formed friendships with Mao Zedong and North Korean leader Kim Il Sung and had alliances with the Khmer Rouge which eventually led to disastrous consequences for his family.

Magistad said Sihanouk was "charming and highly entertaining" and he often held four hour news conferences where he would read poetry. She said the former king saw himself as a Shakespearean character – someone who was larger than life at a time when Southeast Asian Politics really mattered."

"In his spare time, when he should have been governing the country in the 1960s, he would make films with a North Korean film crew because Kim Il Sung was one of his good friends, and he would write love songs, and he would play the saxophone and then he would execute political opponents and then he would make films of the executions and show them in theaters around the country so other people think about opposing him."