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Showbiz Tonight for August 26, 2005, CNNHN

Aired August 26, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET


KARYN BRYANT, HOST: I`m Karyn Bryant. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.

BRYANT (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, crashing the MTV Video Music Awards. She`s not on the guest list, but Hurricane Katrina makes a mess in Florida. Tonight, will the show go on? What about the parties?

And the burning question. Will the stars have to go without hair dryers and champagne on ice? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the answers.

Tonight, new information about Russell Crowe`s alleged phone-throwing incident. The civil case is settled, but there`s outrage that the most serious charges could be lowered. Tonight`s "SHOWBIZ In-Depth." Would Crowe be getting the same treatment if he was an average Joe?

Robert Redford, one on one. The legendary actor and director sits down with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. His new movie with J. Lo and Morgan Freeman. His strong opinions on everything from celebrity activism to the paparazzi.

KYRA SEDGWICK, ACTRESS: Hi. I`m Kyra Sedgwick. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


BRYANT: Hello. I`m Karyn Bryant. A.J. Hammer is off tonight.

Tonight, the Katrina factor is threatening to suck the wind out of one of the biggest star-studded events of the year, the MTV Video Music Awards. It`s down in Miami, and Hurricane Katrina has come and gone, but the aftermath is disrupting the lives of millions and has the stars and party planners of the VMAs doing their own damage control.

David Haffenreffer is here live with the story.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Imagine being one of those party planners, biting their nails.

Sunday is MTV`s biggest night as celebs and VIPs descend on Miami to party all weekend long. The latest is that Mother Nature won`t steal the show.


DIDDY, RAP PRODUCER: We live baby at 8 p.m., and it`s definitely going down.

HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): On MTV`s "TRL" this afternoon, Diddy, remember he dropped the "P" in his name, did his best to assure everyone that the video music awards show he`s hosting Sunday is still, as he said, going down. And that MTV isn`t going to let Katrina crash its VMA party.

In fact, Diddy, ever the showman, says the hurricane will only add to the drama.

DIDDY: You wouldn`t appreciate what you`re going to see unless you have, like, a hurricane, and then the hurricane stops. Then you have the MTV Awards.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very good. You know...

HAFFENREFFER: In Miami today SHOWBIZ TONIGHT made its way through the hurricane debris and tracked down the VMA show`s executive producer, Sally Farttini.

SALLY FARTTINI, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER VMAS: The show will go on. We had a little bit of a scramble yesterday, but we`re -- the show will go on. Our talent is arriving. We`re rehearsing. We`re -- we had to re-juggle a little bit the schedule to accommodate everybody and get people in just from a loss of some time yesterday, but we`re in rebuild mode.

HAFFENREFFER: But despite MTV`s optimism it`s clear that, while Hurricane Katrina battered the Miami-Dade area, it`s also battered MTV`s plans for one of the biggest events on cable TV and raised questions about the future of the VMAs in south Florida.

Last year was MTV`s first VMA show in the sun-kissed beauty of Miami, and it was a wet and wild affair. Celebrities arrived in yachts instead of limos. And the show drew 10.3 million viewers. MTV says it was the year`s most watched cable program among viewers between 12 and 34.

MTV was hoping for a repeat of last year`s success, but Katrina threatened to change all of that. The hurricane`s heavy winds and rains forced MTV to cancel concerts, pool parties, and cocktail gatherings leading up to Sunday`s show.

The airport closings messed up arrival plans for the performers, media, and MTV staff coming to town for the VMAs. It even forced MTV to take down the signature moon man it had placed atop the Surfcomber hotel, which had been renamed Hotel MTV.

FARTTINI: The MTV hotel did have to shut things down for a couple of days. We hope that they`re going to be able to open up again for this weekend`s activities.

HAFFENREFFER: Despite the problems it looks like the all-star line-up MTV was promoting for this year`s VMAs remains intact. Green Day, Usher, and Mariah Carey were among the music superstars scheduled to attend the awards show. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT contacted each of their camps, and they all said the same thing, they`re still going.

Beavis and Butthead are making their long-awaited return to MTV this weekend to present an award at the VMAs, but SHOWBIZ TONIGHT couldn`t get much of a comment from them.



HAFFENREFFER: Of course, when there are awards shows, there are parties, and this weekend`s bashes with Mariah Carey, Jessica Alba, Kanye West, and other superstars remain unaffected by the storm.

BRIAN GORDON, MARKETER/EVENT PLANNER: We were well aware of the inherent risks of doing something in late August. So pretty much everything we did already had a pretty strong rain contingency built in. I don`t think we necessarily had a full hurricane contingency built in.

HAFFENREFFER: So with Katrina no longer a danger to south Florida, it seems MTV dodged a bullet this time. But has this whole experience made MTV wary of holding its biggest event in Miami, right in the middle of hurricane season?

FARTTINI: It`s really too soon to say. We kind of go year by year with this show, and we still love the city here, and you know, we love the environment, and the talent really loves to come to Miami. So you know, we won`t hold it against anybody.


HAFFENREFFER: And that of course is good news for the city of Miami.

I spoke with the folks at "Ocean Drive" magazine in Miami earlier today. They told me their party with actor Jamie Foxx is moving full steam ahead and that even celebrity phone calls have increased for more tickets even after the storm took place. So things are a go.

BRYANT: OK. Good news. Thank you very much, David Haffenreffer.

Well, Jennifer Aniston has something new to worry about tonight, a big security scare. Police in Los Angeles say a trespasser managed to walk right into her house. Her staff told police they found the guy just wandering around the living room. When they confronted him, he said he was looking for Jennifer.

Aniston wasn`t home at the time. She is in Chicago shooting her new movie. Police later found the man walking outside Aniston`s house, and he has been charged with trespassing.

And tonight the Russell Crowe arrest. Could he be getting special treatment?

Now, Crowe has just settled with the New York hotel worker he allegedly threw a phone at, and now the Manhattan D.A. is reportedly considering a plea deal, dropping the felony charge to a misdemeanor.

Tonight`s "SHOWBIZ In-Depth," is Russell Crowe getting a special form of celebrity justice? Well, that`s what Leslie Crocker Snyder believes. She is a former judge and current candidate for Manhattan district attorney. She joins us now live in New York.

And live from Glendale, California, speaking of celebrity justice, "Celebrity Justice`s" Harvey Levin. Harvey is also an attorney.

Now, Leslie, I`m going to start with you. In the case of O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake, Michael Jackson, we have seen celebrities get off. Do you think in this case with the felony being reduced, this is a case of celebrity favoritism?

LESLIE CROCKER SNYDER, FORMER JUDGE: Well, it`s always tempting to say that it is. And frankly, someone in Russell Crowe`s position is in a position to pay someone off civilly, and then the person is much less interested in prosecuting.

Here there`s supposedly a videotape. And remember, we haven`t seen the evidence. And probably the D.A.`s office could pursue it fully. It might be a case where a misdemeanor`s appropriate; it might not. But we do know that celebrities generally do get treated better.

BRYANT: Harvey, I want to go to you, because this -- this could happen. It could be turned into a misdemeanor, which I personal believe it probably is. This doesn`t seem -- you know, you throw a phone at a guy, the real felony, honestly, is the rates that the hotels charge to make a phone call, if you ask me.


BRYANT: Is this really a felony anyway?

LEVIN: This is not a felony. I mean, this -- look, he threw a telephone. He was absolutely wrong to do it. Fine. Say it`s criminal. But it doesn`t make Russell Crowe a felon. You know, part of the justice system is paying people of. I mean, that`s what it is. You know, if somebody...

SNYDER: Now, wait a minute, Harvey.

LEVIN: No, no, no. Let me just make my point. Let me just make my point.

You know, if it`s murder, it`s one thing. But if somebody is assaulted and they end up getting a lot of money and the D.A. says, "Look, we have lots of other felonies, serious felonies to prosecute, we`re not going to make this as big a deal, given that the person has owned up," it`s perfectly appropriate to make this a misdemeanor. This is not a felony case. This makes a lot of sense if the D.A. does drop it down.

SNYDER: Well, you know what? We don`t know enough about it to say that for sure. It might very well be a misdemeanor.

But we can know one thing. The fact that it`s Russell Crowe and he can pay the person off means it`s far more likely that he`s going to get a misdemeanor than someone else, like an ordinary person.

LEVIN: But you know what?

SNYDER: And also we don`t pay people off in the criminal justice system, or we shouldn`t. Harvey, you know that.

LEVIN: No, you know what? That`s wrong. That`s absolutely wrong. That if somebody does something, and it`s not rape and it`s not murder and it`s a relatively minor thing, and they end up giving somebody satisfaction, it happens all the time. It happens all the time in prosecutors` offices.

SNYDER: Well, absolutely...

LEVIN: The person has been made whole.

SNYDER: People take pleas, but they don`t necessarily get paid off. This guy was hit with a telephone, and he apparently received a cut. I don`t know how bad it was, and of course, that would be relevant.

But you don`t pay people off on a regular basis, and there aren`t that many violent felonies going on in New York. The New York County D.A.`s are only trying 1.2 cases per year. They`ve got a lot of time on their hands.

LEVIN: Leslie, this is not the biggest...

BRYANT: I want to move on to the idea that the D.A. is considering the fact that the civil case has been resolved at the same time that they`re still mulling over the criminal case. What do you think on that Leslie? Is that normal, for D.A.`s to allow them to go on concurrently?

SNYDER: There`s nothing wrong with that. I mean, a civil suit at the same time is certainly possible.

What you want to have the D.A. do is treat the case appropriately. Now if you recall what happened at arraignment, the D.A. claimed this was a very serious felony. Now, it certainly doesn`t sound like the most serious felony in the world; I agree with Harvey there. But they took one position.

And also Crowe was rushed through arraignment. He didn`t have to stay in a cell; he was arraigned really quickly. I mean, this is celebrity justice. It`s better quality justice...

LEVIN: That`s a great name for a show.

SNYDER: ... in the system. Yes.

BRYANT: Harvey, what do you think the D.A. should do in this case?

LEVIN: Well, I think the D.A. was wrong going into this. I don`t think this was ever a serious felony. I agree with Leslie.

I think what the D.A. should do is drop this down to a misdemeanor. I think that, to some extent, the victim has been made whole here, and the D.A. should consider that in all of this. It`s not a payoff; it`s making the victim whole.

SNYDER: But the whole point is...

LEVIN: Russell Crowe has owned up to this thing. He should plead out to a misdemeanor, and we should be done with it.

SNYDER: So it`s OK, then, that Russell Crowe takes a phone, he throws it at this poor employee because he`s frustrated he can`t make this phone call. He gives him a gash under his eye. He says, here`s 100,000 bucks or whatever it is...

LEVIN: And -- and...

BRYANT: Here`s the thing, guys. We`ve got to wrap it up. Leslie...

LEVIN: ... pleads guilty to a misdemeanor, Leslie.

BRYANT: I don`t think it`s OK But I don`t think it`s a felony. I don`t think this means this guy should get seven years in jail and can`t work in America anymore.

SNYDER: I don`t think so. No, it`s not the worst case at all.

BRYANT: I thank you both for joining us, Leslie Crocker Snyder and Harvey Levin.

SNYDER: Bye, Harvey.

BRYANT: Thanks for joining us.

And now we want to hear from you. Pick a side. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Russell Crowe settlement: should the criminal charges now be dropped? You can vote at You can also send us e-mail at We`ll read some of your thoughts later on in the show.

Well, Lance Armstrong is up in arms over new allegations that he`s had a little chemical help on the bicycle. His strong reaction is coming up.

Plus, the legendary Robert Redford weighs in on the paparazzi and how he thinks they`ve changed Hollywood for anyone just getting started. My one-on-one with Robert Redford is still ahead.

And what`s in a name? P. Diddy finally found a name he likes. Or did he? We`re celebrity name dropping. That`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Now it is time for tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." On the first episode of "The Sopranos" Tony introduces himself to Dr. Melfi as what? Is it a dockworker, a waste management consultant, a union leader, or the owner of the Bada Bing? We`ll be right back with the answer.


BRYANT: Once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." On the first episode of "The Sopranos" Tony introduces himself to Dr. Melfi as what? The answer is B, a waste management consultant.

Well, tonight Hollywood legend Robert Redford is speaking out about everything from the paparazzi to celebrities who get involved with hot issues. In a "SHOWBIZ Sit-down" with me, Redford spoke about a wide range of topics.

He is currently co-starring with Jennifer Lopez and Morgan Freeman in the upcoming movie "An Unfinished Life." Set in Wyoming, the movie is a story about a fractured family coming to terms with heartbreak and forgiveness.

I chatted with Redford for quite awhile and learned that he has a lot to say about the world around him.


BRYANT: You are very active with environmental issues still, yes?


BRYANT: Can you talk about that for a minute? Because especially too, seeing this film and seeing you out in the woods, and Wyoming is so beautiful, I thought this looked like a man who`s probably very happy to go to work every day.

REDFORD: I was, yes. That`s true. I mean, I love the environment. I feel horrible about how this administration is treating the environment.

It`s sad, and I think that the large part of the American public is very concerned about protecting the environment. It doesn`t get a lot of attention in the media. Too busy focused on what I would think are shallower issues like the girl that disappeared and hasn`t been found or Jackson or whatever.

I don`t know that those issues are going to have anything to do with our lives we`re going to lead, but the environment will. So therefore, it`s a big issue for me, has been for a long time.

I care about the environment because I`ve lived in it and can appreciate it. It hasn`t gotten the attention. So basically, the role that I try to play is to bring it to the attention of the people.

BRYANT: On our show, we were talking the other day about celebrities speaking out about political causes, and some people said celebrities shouldn`t do it, they should keep it to themselves.

Other people think, hey, you`ve got a forum, Mr. Redford, a lot of people will here you; they`ll recognize your face.

Do you worry at all? What are your thoughts about celebrities specifically getting into the role of an activist?

REDFORD: Well, first of all, I don`t think being an actor means you give up citizenship papers. OK? So I know when I first started speaking out in the early `70s I would always get these counterarguments: "What does he know? He`s an actor." So that hounded me for years until Reagan got elected.

BRYANT: There you go.

REDFORD: But there`s that issue. You are an American just like others. You have a right to speak out just like anybody else.

However, because you`re known, because you`re a public figure, your speaking out carries a lot more responsibility to know what you`re talking about. And I feel very strongly about that.

So I spent a lot of years digging into the issues firsthand to really understand both points of view, understand what the real issue was on the deepest level. So if I spoke about it, I could say this is what I really feel, what I believe from genuine experience. And I`ve covered the ground.

But I do think that actors, whether they`re actors, artists, musicians, what have you, they have every right to speak their mind. But they also have almost an obligation to make sure they know what they`re talking about.

BRYANT: What do you think of when you look at the media coverage from the paparazzi -- you`re talking about a Jessica Simpson, who`s hounded. They never did that to you in the same way. I mean, times have really changed. What do you think of sort of the situation in Hollywood and the obsession with celebrity?

REDFORD: It happened to me.

BRYANT: But to that level where you`re chased? Yes.

REDFORD: No. Because the times were different. First of all, there wasn`t much information. We weren`t -- didn`t have the technology technology-driven world we live in now then. There was no video. There was no cable. There were only -- there were three networks.

So therefore, you didn`t have that kind of constant exposure, where all these news channels have to compete for attention. That didn`t exist. So that`s a different situation. I can`t speak to that because it was different.

But I did get -- go through that and was rounded and spied on, all that stuff.

But now it`s more extreme, because the situation is more extreme. So I think young people coming into the business are coming in with a mindset that says this is how you have to be. And this is the way it is, and therefore you have to be with it, which means you have to be out there doing things. And furthermore, like always, there`s probably been some people that says, you know, any publicity is good publicity.


BRYANT: Redford`s film, "An Unfinished Life," hits theaters September 9.

Well, tonight Lance Armstrong is coming out swinging after new allegations that he`s taken performance-enhancing drugs. The seven-time winner of the Tour De France is furious about a new report in a French newspaper. It says his blood samples from 1999 have tested positive for an illegal blood booster.

Armstrong has the harshest words tonight for the French laboratory that did the testing, saying it violated protocol and did the test without anyone there to observe.

But on "LARRY KING LIVE," Armstrong said it`s the lab`s word against his.


LANCE ARMSTRONG, TOUR DE FRANCE WINNER: It is absolutely a case of he said/she said. What else can it be? Do you think I`m going to trust some guy in a French lab to open my samples and say they`re positive and announce that to the world and not give me the chance to defend myself? That`s ludicrous. There`s no way you can do that.


BRYANT: And Armstrong said it again, that he has never, ever doped. And I don`t think he`s a Rafael Palmiero type.

He said he is disappointed that the cloud of suspicion is still following him. He`s considering legal action against the French lab or the newspaper but he says he hasn`t decided for sure.

Well, Armstrong isn`t taking the doping allegations lying down. And neither is Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show." In tonight`s "Laughter Dark" Stewart has a few words for the accusers and some proof that Lance Armstrong doesn`t need any drugs to win a race.


JON STEWART, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL`S "THE DAILY SHOW": And I just want to say one thing to the Tour De France, to the French.

Lance Armstrong won the race seven times in a row. After having cancer of, I believe, the ball. Spreading to the brain, the thing. I don`t care if you found out that Lance Armstrong has a jet engine in his anus, which by the way, I`ve drawn a picture of. I don`t know if you can see that. That would be the -- I don`t know if you can see that.


BRYANT: Oh, Jon Stewart, you kill me every time.

Well, Ashlee Simpson is on the big screen this weekend. Will she one- up her big sister? We`ll get a review of "Undiscovered" and other new films. That`s coming up in "People" magazine`s "Picks and Pans."

Plus it`s the dramatic confrontation you haven`t seen before, when Whitney Houston was asked about a drug problem on a popular radio show. That is ahead on our special report on Whitney`s life and career.


BRYANT: Time now for the "SHOWBIZ Guide," where throughout the week we help you decide where to spend your dollars on movies, music, DVDs, and more. Tonight "People magazine`s Picks and Pans," new movies.

This week we`re discovering "Undiscovered," we`re going deep into "The Cave" and finding out what`s so grim about "The Brothers Grimm."

Joining us in New York City is "People" magazine movie critic Leah Rozen.

And Leah, I know in the summer you don`t always get the best movies at the end of August.

LEAH ROZEN, MOVIE CRITIC, "PEOPLE": No, we are scraping the bottom of the barrel here. A lot of these have been sitting in the can for awhile. They`re sort of putting them out there now, hoping somebody will go.

Let`s start with probably the best of this bunch, Terry Gilliam`s "Brothers Grimm."

BRYANT: OK. Because that has Matt Damon.

ROZEN: Terry Gilliam is a terrific director. From Monty Python, he did "Brazil." Matt Damon is in it, Heath Ledger. Not a great movie, though. I mean, sort of -- it`s one of those movies the nice part is it gets better as it goes along. When it first starts out you think, "Oh, man. Who is this meant for, kids, adults, what?"

BRYANT: And it`s sort of an adventure?

ROZEN: Some humor, some fantasy. They`re essentially con men who back in olden days tell people they can take care of witches and spells and demons, but they`re really con men. Some of that machinery is sort of fun, but in the end it`s kind of a muddle. This, again, if you waited till DVD, you won`t be totally unhappy.

BRYANT: OK. Let`s talk about "Undiscovered." Ashlee Simpson is in this picture.

ROZEN: She`s the supporting character. This is a romance. I think it`s supposed to be a romantic comedy. I failed to see the comedy.

It`s a young New York model, a young L.A. rocker. You know, they`re meant for each other. But it takes them the entire movie to figure that out.

Ashlee Simpson, let`s say she seems slightly more talented as an actress than her sister.

BRYANT: That ain`t saying too much, though.

ROZEN: Not saying a lot.

BRYANT: OK. Moving right along, then, let`s talk about "The Cave." This is an action-adventure thriller scary movie.

ROZEN: This is so generic you could write the script yourself. A bunch of deep sea underwater divers have to go under a big, big cave deep, deep down. And there`s a demon there.

BRYANT: Of course there is.

ROZEN: Creatures. And you know, you just go, "I`ve seen this. I couldn`t care less." They have not in any way established characters. A bunch of attractive actors stuck deep in the water.

BRYANT: So if I just want some air-conditioning, I`ll go to "The Brothers Grimm."

ROZEN: If you have to.

BRYANT: If I must. Leah Rozen, thank you, from "People" magazine.

And for more of "People`s Picks and Pans," you can pick up a copy of "People" magazine on newsstands today.

Well, Chris Farley was definitely one of the funniest guys to ever hit "SNL," and today some of his famous friends came out as the late comedian was honored in Hollywood. That`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Plus, Bobby Brown gets candid about his wife`s drug use. That`s ahead in our special report on Whitney Houston and her wild life with Bobby.

And hey diddy Diddy, this cat just cannot stop fiddling with his name. And he is not the only offender in Hollywood. Why can`t stars pick a name and just stick with it? You`ll definitely want to stick around for this one. It`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


SOPHIA CHOI, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues in just a minute. I`m Sophia Choi with your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."

Hurricane Katrina is being blamed for seven deaths in southern Florida. It`s now over the Gulf of Mexico, but forecasters say it`s headed for Mississippi or Louisiana.

The Food and Drug Administration is delaying a decision on the sales of the morning after birth control pill. Plan B is taken within three days of unprotected sex to reduce the risk of pregnancy.

In a ruling that could affect the Catholic Church nationwide, a federal judge has ruled on a case out of Spokane, Washington, saying that all parish property can be liquidated to pay victims of sexual abuse by priests.

And brothers Satish and Deepak Kalpoe have been arrested again in the case of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway. The prosecutor says the brothers are suspected of acting together with other people in raping and killing the 18-year-old girl.

That`s the news for now. I`m Sophia Choi. Now back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

BRYANT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 31 minutes past the hour. I`m Karyn Bryant. A.J. Hammer is off tonight. And you are watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

Now, still to come in this half-hour, we`re going to go in-depth -- serious investigative journalism here -- talking about Diddy and all the name diddling and doodling. We`re going to find out why he does it, what effect it has on his career, if anything, and basically what people think of it.

Also, we`re going to take a look at Whitney Houston. This is somebody, fan or not - you`ve got to understand that this is a woman who sold millions of records and has kind of let her career go into a spiral. And it`s just a fascinating story of what happened to somebody with so much promise and success. So we`ll be taking a look at Whitney Houston. That`s coming up.

But first, we`re going to get to tonight`s "Hot Headlines" from SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer -- David?


Tonight, a security scare at Jennifer Aniston`s house in Malibu. A man has been arrested for trespassing after walking into her house and telling an employee that he was, quote, "looking for Jennifer," unquote. Aniston wasn`t there at the time. She`s in Chicago filming the movie "The Break-up" with Vince Vaughn.

Eminem is being sued for a traffic accident that he wasn`t anywhere near. A truck driver is suing the rapper and a tour bus company for an accident involving Eminem`s bus on the Anger Management tour. Eminem was not on the bus. The accident involved seven vehicles in Missouri back in July. Eleven people were hurt, including seven on the tour bus. Eminem recently cancelled his European tour and is in treatment now for dependency to sleep medication.

And it`s one of the oldest adages in the business, MTV saying that the show must go on. On MTV`s "TRL" today, Diddy assured the nation that the "Video Music Awards" will go ahead as scheduled Sunday in Miami, despite Hurricane Katrina.

Diddy is hosting the awards. MTV had to cancel all of the outdoor pre-show activities today, but the network says tomorrow`s events will be held, weather permitting, of course.

And those are your "Hot Headlines." Karyn, back to you.

BRYANT: All right. Thank you very much, David Haffenreffer.

Well, when Diddy hosts the "VMAs" this weekend, it will be his first major performance since recently dropping the P. from his name, so Diddy, P. Diddy. He was Puff Daddy. I don`t know why the guy won`t just make up his mind. And we also want to know why other celebrities can`t just pick a name and stick with it.

Here is CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Never has the 16th letter of the alphabet been so insulted.

DIDDY, HIP-HOP PRODUCER: Enough is enough with the P. getting in the way. You know, just call me Diddy.

MOOS: Easy for him to say.

(on-screen): Who is this guy? What`s his name?


MOOS: And what was his next oldest name?


MOOS: And then he became?


MOOS: And now he`s?


MOOS (voice-over): Looks like the P. isn`t going gently into the night. It`s tough keeping up with celebrity name dropping.

JENNIFER LOPEZ, MUSICIAN-ACTRESS (singing): I`m still, I`m still Jenny from the block.

MOOS: First, Jennifer Lopez opted for J. Lo, then backed off it. And what about Snoop Dogg?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t like rap, and I don`t like him, and I forget his name.

MOOS: His mom supposedly nicknamed him after the Peanuts character because of his long Snoopy-shaped face. First it was Snoop Doggy Dogg.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Snoop Doggy Dogg, you need to get a jobby job.

MOOS: Then Doggy became a plain old Dogg, always with two Gs.

SNOOP DOGG, HIP-HOP ARTIST (singing): ... it`s kind of hard being Snoop D-O-double-G.

MOOS: Seems like G is getting better treatment than P.


MOOS (on-screen): Diddy.


MOOS: Did he?


MOOS (voice-over): He did.

DIDDY: Diddy. It`s simple, you know what I`m saying? Five letters, one word, period.

MOOS: Lately, another one-word wonder has been using her Kabbalah name, Esther. Perhaps the king of name changers is Prince. When he recorded this song, he was known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that a guy or a woman?

MOOS: He adopted this unpronounceable symbol, combining the male and female signs, to get around a contract dispute. And when the contract was no longer a problem...

PRINCE, MUSICIAN: I will now go back to using my name instead of the symbol I adopted as a means to free myself.

MOOS: So he`s back to Prince, though not everyone recognized him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said that she thought Michael Jackson.

MOOS (on-screen): Oh, Michael -- do you think this is Michael Jackson? Well, that`s close. It`s not really. Prince wouldn`t like us to call him Michael Jackson.

(voice-over): And we wouldn`t want to shortchange this guy.



MOOS (on-screen): You`re excited.

(voice-over): It`s not that he`s changed his nickname. It`s just that the way some folks pronounce "Fitty Cent" is an automatic laugh inducer.

AMY POEHLER, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Members of 50 Cent`s entourage -- is that funny? Maybe we should just stop the joke right here.

Actually, Tina, you know, I think I know how that fight started. "Hey, that seat is 50 Cents`!"

TINA FEY, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": I only have a dollar.

MOOS: These French guys weren`t up on Diddy`s name change.




MOOS (voice-over): You know why he dropped the P.?


MOOS: So he could get closer to his fans. Are you feeling closer?


MOOS: A French guy named Raphael followed Diddy`s lead with his own nickname.


MOOS (voice-over): Raffi?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I dropped the "R" because to get closer to my friend. My name is Affi.


MOOS (voice-over): Diddy will learn that there are worse things than being called by the wrong nickname.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re this international mongrel now. I mean, you have so much...

DIDDY: Mongrel? Mogul. Mongrel?


MOOS: Serves you right for diddling with your P., Diddy.


MOOS (on-screen): Diddy.


BRYANT: That is fantastic. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos reporting for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And I`ve got to tell you. I saw him at a concert the other night. He answered to Sean Combs. So I don`t know what to tell you.

Well, as we reported earlier, a plea deal is in the works to reduce the charges against Russell Crowe for the incident in which Crowe allegedly threw a phone at a hotel worker. Now, the deal would charge Crowe with a misdemeanor instead of a felony, which would allow him to continue working in the United States.

Crowe has just settled the civil case, agreeing to pay an undisclosed amount to the hotel clerk. And that leads us to the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Russell Crowe settlement: Should the criminal charges now be dropped? You can keep voting at, and write us at Your e-mails are coming up at 54 past the hour.

Well, it is a new honor for the late Chris Farley in Hollywood. We hear what his famous friends had to say about the occasion. That`s next.

Plus, Whitney Houston`s husband, Bobby Brown, opens up about her drug use, plus the dramatic confrontation between Whitney and a radio host. That is ahead in an in-depth look at Whitney`s life and career.

And the star of one of the most popular dancing movies in recent history is back on the dance floor. Patrick Swayze tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT whether he had the time of his life this time around. That`s coming up.


BRYANT: Tonight, Hollywood is remembering a popular comedian who died too young. Chris Farley was a rising star when he died of a drug overdose back in 1997. He was just 33 years old.

Today, family and friends gathered on the Walk of Fame, where he was honored with a posthumous star. Some of his old colleagues spoke to the crowd about a man they really miss.


CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN: He was one of the funniest guys to ever, ever live. I think every fat comedian owes him $80 bucks that`s working today.

ADAM SANDLER, COMEDIAN: He was the -- he was the funniest guy -- all of us agree on that. He was the funniest of all of us and the sweetest of all of us.

TOM ARNOLD, ATTENDED CEREMONY: I know he wishes he was here so he could upstage us, which he would, by doing -- taking his shirt off or doing something crazy.


BRYANT: Yes, he really was terrific. Farley was a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" for five years. And he was starting to build his movie career when he died.

Well, tonight, we bring you the often bizarre story that is the life of singer Whitney Houston in a special "People in the News." Now, the last episode of the reality series starring Whitney`s husband, Bobby Brown, aired last night. It was a series that revealed the strange life he and Whitney now live.

But once upon a time, Whitney was on top of the world, until her addictions seemed to get the best of her. Here`s CNN`s Paula Zahn for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


PAULA ZAHN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Valentine`s Day, 1985, Whitney Houston`s love affair with the public began.

MICHAEL MUSTO, "THE VILLAGE VOICE": Whitney`s first record was huge from the get-go, but it got bigger and bigger. It kept snowballing.

PETER CASTRO, EXEC. EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: People fell in love with the wholesomeness, the beauty.

ZAHN: One year, one Grammy, and 18 million albums later...

CASTRO: Let`s see how that second one does.

ZAHN: Album number two.

WENDY WILLIAMS, RADIO HOST, WBLS-FM: Everybody loved Whitney when she came out. Do you remember the album cover? It was sex appeal, but girl next door, appealing to black, white, and everyone in between. And the world loved her.

ZAHN: Except, perhaps, the critics. And as Whitney`s sophomore title rocketed to number one, the press scoffed at the pop star`s sound.

MUSTO: I remember having arguments with critics who would say, "Well, she doesn`t sound black." But I understood their point, that she had sung gospel, and now the gospel had been smoothed over and she was miss Middle- of-the-Road R&B.

ZAHN: But in 1989, those middle-of-the-road rumblings dramatically changed lanes, as a squeaky clean princess met a notorious bad boy.

WILLIAMS: Bobby Brown, are you kidding me? He`s humping around. He`s "My Prerogative." Bobby was a mess from the beginning of New Edition. He always wanted to be the breakout star at all costs. And I think Whitney dug it.

ZAHN: On July 19th, 1992, Whitney and Bobby swapped rings, and the world scratched its head.

WILLIAMS: I think that Bobby was the person who co-signed on her wanting to get out of the box of being the good girl.

ZAHN: But hold that thought. Four months later, a blockbuster big screen debut. "The Bodyguard" grossed more than $400 million. Its soundtrack sold 33 million copies.




ZAHN: And that single? Well, like a bullet, it hit number one and stayed there for 14 record-breaking weeks.

PASTOR BUSTER SOARIES, FAMILY FRIEND: When she did "Bodyguard" and she had the number-one record and the number-one movie, it`s almost impossible to prepare for a moment that`s unprecedented. And unless you`re surrounded by and saturated with an unusual support system, you`re going to make a mistake.


ZAHN: In the coming years, step by step, we followed Whitney Houston`s meteoric rise. But by the late `90s, a dramatic turn of events. Amid Bobby`s multiple mug shots, Whitney began a string of missed appearances and cancellations. Soon, buzz began to build regarding the state of Mrs. Bobby Brown.

CASTRO: We started to get the hard evidence of Whitney Houston perhaps sliding into a world of dependency. It was around 2000. A string of things happened which were calamitous for her.

ZAHN: In January of 2000, a pot bust in Hawaii. March 2000, an Oscar rehearsal goes up in flames.

MUSTO: She was missing cues. She was screwing up. And then come show time, we all turned it on, and that`s not Whitney Houston. That`s Faith Hill.

ZAHN: Headlines reached a fever pitch one year later, when the skeletal superstar emerged at a Michael Jackson tribute.

CASTRO: It was like, if there`s any doubt before that Whitney Houston was having problems with substances, look no further. This is the ultimate proof.

ZAHN: In December 2002, an infamous interview with ABC.

WHITNEY HOUSTON, SINGER: First of all, let`s get one thing straight. Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let`s get that straight, OK?

We don`t do crack. We don`t do that. Crack is whack.

WILLIAMS: And approximately two weeks after Diane Sawyer, I did my radio interview that became a light bulb moment in my career.

So, Whitney, as far as you stand with drug use, is there drug use going on at this present time?

HOUSTON: Who are you talking to?

WILLIAMS: To you, Whitney, you.

HOUSTON: No, you`re not talking to me. I`m a mother. Only my mother has privy to that information. You talk to your child about that. Don`t ask me no questions like I`m a child.

WILLIAMS: The conversation lasted for 28 minutes and had lots of peaks and valleys.

What would you say the biggest issue is in you all`s marriage?

HOUSTON: You people. You (bleep) people like to run your (bleep) mouth.



WILLIAMS: But most of all what I got from the conversation was a woman still in the grip, in the struggle.

ZAHN: Then December 7, 2003, the 40-year-old diva dialed 911.

HOUSTON: Fulton County 911, what`s the address of the emergency?

HOUSTON: Ma`am, I`m at -- what`s the address here?

CASTRO: She was very excited and said that her husband, Bobby Brown, had hit her with an open hand and she had a cut lip and bruised cheek.

ZAHN: A domestic dispute Bobby Brown claims was overplayed.

BOBBY BROWN, SINGER: Me and her were playing. And she took it wrong. I took it wrong, and then the 911 people took it wrong.

ZAHN: Three months later, an announcement that took no one by surprise.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Whitney Houston checks into rehab. The singer`s publicist announced...

ZAHN: But just days later, Whitney walked. Finally, in March 2005, intervention by way of an unmarked police car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whitney Houston did not voluntarily admit herself into a rehabilitation facility.

CASTRO: Well, sources tell "People" magazine that it was Sissy that got a court order for Whitney`s second rehab and just said, "Get yourself cleaned out. This cannot go on."

BROWN: I`m working on a year and a half of sobriety. And my wife is -- she`s working on her year. So we`re really doing good, and I`m proud of her.

ZAHN: In June 2005, the embattled superstar emerged from rehab. Just as the world got its first look at her husband`s reality, on Bravo`s "Being Bobby Brown." Shot over the course of six months, it`s an eye-opening look at Whitney`s life before her latest intervention.

MUSTO: The buzz around the show is, it`s a train wreck, which makes you want to watch it. That`s what a reality show should be.

HOUSTON: I`m ready to get down with the get-down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some good, good lovin`.

ZAHN: But what about the icon at the heart of Bobby Brown`s now 14- year reality? Can she, will she, ever return as pop`s greatest love of all?

WILLIAMS: Can Whitney come back? Not the way that we knew her.

CASTRO: I don`t think that Whitney Houston will ever hit those notes again. But you know what? A Whitney Houston that`s half of the original is still better than most people out there now.

BROWN: I think anything that she does from this point on in her life is going to be historical. She`s a very talented and very focused woman right now. And like I say, I`m very proud of her.

Honey, I am extremely proud of you, and I love you dearly.


BRYANT: That was Paula Zahn reporting for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And you can pick up a copy of "People" magazine. It is on newsstands now.

Well, there is still time for you to sound off in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Russell Crowe settlement: Should the criminal charges now be dropped? You can vote at or write us at We`ll read some of your e-mails live, next.

But first, the "Entertainment Weekly" must list. Five things "EW" says you`ve got to do this week.

Strike up the band and shine those dancing shoes. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers` new DVD is in stores and is ready to dance into your heart. Then upgrade your movie ticket from coach to first class by checking out Wes Craven`s thriller "Red Eye." Flying this sky is not so friendly.

And who says lowbrow, low-budget comedy can`t be highly hilarious? MTV proudly says it can, in "The Andy Milonakis Show." Then, check out Green Day`s new video, "Wake Me Up when September Ends." The mini-epic is a wake-up call to the war`s effects on young people at home and on the front-line.

Finally, "EW" says grab some tissues, buy a new bookmark, and get ready to hear some amazing stories, because Oprah`s back. Daytime`s queen of the couch is gearing up for her 20th season. For more "EW" must lists, pick up your copy of "Entertainment Weekly" on newsstands now.


BRYANT: Patrick Swayze is well known for his role in "Dirty Dancing," and now he has another dance movie out. Swayze and his wife have been married for 30 years. And for more than half of that time, they`ve been working on "One Last Dance." The film is finally out on DVD, and the couple told us about one of the scariest challenges for them, getting their bodies back into camera-ready shape.

"One Last Dance" is available on DVD now.

Well, we have been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Russell Crowe`s settlement: Should the criminal charges now be dropped?

Well, let`s take a look at how the vote is going so far: 48 percent of you say yes, they should be dropped; 52 percent of you say no, they shouldn`t. So it`s almost a dead heat.

We`ve gotten some e-mails. Diana from New York writes, "He should still face charges. It`s not OK to send a message that you can assault someone if you cough up tons of money."

And Julian from Texas writes, "I don`t think it`s such a big deal like others make it. It`s just because he is a celebrity."

Well, you can, of course, keep voting at

And it is time to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Monday. Marquee Guy, take it away.

MARQUEE GUY: We are up, up, and away to the "VMAs." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is packing an umbrella and heading to Miami for MTV`s "Video Music Awards." A hurricane may have come to town, but the show must go on. And we`re hanging with the waves, and we`re also hanging with the stars, big stars.

We`re walking on sunshine, Monday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. This is the Marquee Guy saying good-bye to a great guy, James Tucci (ph). We`ll miss you, James. But you can always call me M. Diddy.

BRYANT: All right. Well, that does do it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We are going to miss you, James Tucci (ph). He`s known as "Tooch" around the set here. And he`s a great guy. So if you live in San Francisco, look out for him.

Well, I`m Karyn Bryant. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.


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