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Dixie Chicks Perform Anti-Bush Song; Meet the Woman Behind NBC Show "Medium"; DVD Release Sparks "Facts of Life" Reunion; P.R. for the Stars is Tough

Aired May 9, 2006 - 19:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CNN ANCHOR: A psychic who catches criminals shows how you two can see dead people. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: And a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special event bringing together the cast of "The Facts of Life" for a reunion. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the stars sounding off on President Bush. The Dixie Chicks out in public for the first time performing their controversial song and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is there. Tonight what the Dixie Chicks reveal to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and why so many music stars are hopping on board the bash Bush bandwagon.

Celebrity scandals, so many these days we can hardly keep up. But who are the people behind the stars? The gatekeeper, the spinmeister. Tonight their secrets revealed.


She`ll say it would be good if you didn`t mention the NRA in this interview.


HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT pulls back the curtain and shows you how the wizards of damage control save face for the most famous faces in Hollywood.

Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York City.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson, in Hollywood. A.J. boy, are the Dixie Chicks ticked about President Bush -- and frankly, they don`t really care who knows about it anymore, right?

HAMMER: That`s right. And as a matter of fact, last night I was at an event in New York City where the Dixie Chicks performed their controversial new single, "Not Ready to Make Nice" for the very first time in front of a live audience. I had the chance to speak with them about something that we`re seeing plenty of these days -- music with messages. And the messages are aimed squarely at President Bush.


MUSIC PLAYING: I`m not ready to make nice. I`m not ready to back down. Still mad as hell

HAMMER: Yes they certainly are. The Dixie Chicks gave a live performance of "Not Ready to Make Nice", their musical response to the backlash they suffered when they publicly criticized President Bush before the Iraq war in 2003. The group faced boycotts and even death threats. And as lead singer Natalie Maines passionately sang, the Dixie Chicks haven`t forgotten a thing

When I caught up with the Dixie Chicks at the "Time" magazine party for the 100 most influential people, they weren`t angry or gloating, just grateful.

EMILY ROBISON, DIXIE CHICKS: We got caught at a very bad time in our country and I`m just glad it`s changed.

HAMMER: Things certainly have changed. 2003 the Dixie Chicks found out the hard way that President Bush was off limits for criticism as his popularity soared in the days before the Iraqi invasion. But now that President Bush`s approval ratings are dropping, the number of music acts that are criticizing his war leadership, are increasing.

BRIAN HIATT, ROLLING STONE: Popular music reflects culture. It always reflects the culture and I think right now you`re seeing popular music reflect their culture -- reflect an America which a lot of people are not very happy with the president.

HAMMER: Pearl Jam takes a distinctly anti-Bush stance in their new song "Worldwide Suicide."

While Neil Young has released an entire album of anti-war songs, including one called bluntly enough "Lets Impeach the President." When I talked to the Dixie Chicks they had plenty to say about this new trend.

We have a lot of albums out there from yours to Pearl Jam to Neil Young of course Why do you think it is so much more acceptable that the protest songs and the albums where people are just speaking their minds are out there?

NATALIE MAINES, DIXIE CHICKS: All the people who have done that, I know several of them and they`re not doing it to be trendy. They would have done it any way.

HAMMER: Neil Young told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas as much, when he spoke with her about his new anti-war and anti-Bush music.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ANCHOR: Are you concerned that some might think you`re unpatriotic?

NEIL YOUNG, MUSICIAN: Oh no. I`m not concerned about that in the least. I feel like I`m exercising my right of free speech which is what our boys are fighting for the Iraqi people to have. And I think if we take it away from the people here in the United States that we`re taking a step really in the wrong direction.

HAMMER: And Jon Bon Jovi had plenty to say about the musical climate when I talked to him about it.

JON BON JOVI, MUSICIAN: Is the tide turning in America? Is it going back the other way? Depends on who you ask. Sure it`s easy now to stand up and say this administration is wrong. It doesn`t make you the better man for doing it, it`s just another opinion.

HAMMER: Of course President Bush still has his fans in the music world including Kid Rock.

KID ROCK, MUSICIAN: I like Dubwa because Dubwa slapped my hand like this in the White House. He gave me a pound like we were on seven mile and (INAUDIBLE) back in Detroit. I was like, that`s just cool, man. You know.

HAMMER: All kidding aside, Rock made clear he`s not one of the musicians who wants the U.S. to pull troops out of Iraq.

ROCK: If we withdraw the troops now we just screw over a bunch of people, it would be complete chaos.

HAMMER: And with pro-war and anti-war voices being heard in the world of music, the Dixie Chicks are just glad that musicians can freely express their views without fear of being Dixie Chicked.

ROBISON: I`m glad that there`s not this whole state of fear in our country any more and that people are able to speak out for whatever reason. You know that there is a dialogue now.


HAMMER: And there is more anti-war music on the way. "Newsweek" reports that Merle Haggard, Dashboard Confessional and Paul Simon are all working on CD`s that take on the war and the president.

And tonight, Richard Dreyfuss is setting the record straight about what he said about President Bush. And he told me today that despite all those reports that you may have heard, he is not actually calling for the president`s impeachment. Dreyfuss told me today exactly what he did mean.


RICHARD DREYFUSS, ACTOR: Actually I`m not calling for the impeachment of President Bush and that was everything that`s wrong with the media. What I called for was a debate about the appropriateness of the senate beginning hearings on impeachment charges.

HAMMER: This is important --

DREYFUSS: Which is about the checks and balances of this system because unless we issue some kind of cultural minority report on the past eight years we will hand off, endorse, to every future presidency whether they are liberal or conservative, a swollen executive power. Which is not something I want to give to my kids.


HAMMER: Smart, smart man with so many good things to say that really make you think. He also told me that he thinks that America is making a mistake by not putting a lot of emphasis on teaching civics to our children. It`s basically not being done any more. And of course he still has some acting to do. Richard Dreyfuss stars in the new movie "Poseidon" and that will open up on Friday.

Well tonight, someone who says she can communicate with the dead and she`s going to tell us exactly how she does it, that`s if she`s able. Allison Dubois is one of the best-known psychic mediums out there. In fact, the NBC show "Medium" is based on her life. Patricia Arquette who plays her on the series. She helps police solve violent crimes -- by talking to the dead victims. Allison Dubois also has a new book out it`s called, "We are Their Heaven" and she joins me now.

It`s nice to see you here in New York.

ALLISON DUBOIS, PSYCHIC MEDIUM: Thank you for having me.

HAMMER: Appreciate you coming by. You got to explain this to me. What goes on? You communicate with the dead but how does that work? What do you experience?

DUBOIS: I really like the show because it does show people through my eyes what the -- how I experience it. What I see. What I hear. What I feel. Sometimes I smell cigar smoke from somebody`s dad who had passed and that`s how I know he smoked cigars. So they reach us in different ways.

HAMMER: But do you see suddenly a flash -- like when does it happen? Does this happen while you`re sleeping, does it happen when somebody hands you a picture -- for people who may not have seen "Medium."

DUBOIS: Sure, sure. Well it`s not, the show, the thing that`s very different about the show and my real life is I get it while I`m awake. I think they open it with her asleep because most people get information in their sleep because their defenses are down, they`re easier to access. Their mom or dad can come visit them without having to fight the distractions people have at work or in their daily life. So I think that`s the big difference between the show and real life.

HAMMER: Okay, so but if I want information let`s say on my grandmother would I have given you a picture and that would suddenly set off a chain of events in your head?

DUBOIS: I never do it with pictures. I was trained in the laboratory where scientists studied me for four years, and we weren`t given anything more than the first name of the living person that wanted to hear from the deceased. So off of that living name we start writing impressions, names, cause of passing, things of that nature connected to the living person. I`d write three to nine pages of notes before the person sat down with me. I`d read my notes to them then and then I`d allow them to respond. But I wanted it to be almost clinical in a way because they were more blown away by it having known that I couldn`t have --

HAMMER: Well sure, there`s obviously skepticism that goes along with it.

DUBOIS: Sure. Of course.

HAMMER: So all this just comes to you from a name, that`s amazing.

DUBOIS: All from a name.

HAMMER: And you mention science, you`ve made what some people might think is a rather startling claim that you think this is actually genetic and possibly you`ve passed this down to your three daughters?

DUBOIS: Yes I believe it is genetic. My 89-year-old grandmother`s always known when people were going to die. And she would dream it. I get it while I`m awake. She got it while she was asleep. I have passed it to my three daughters and I`m doing a study this summer actually with Dr. Linda Rusick on mitochondrial DNA of mediums. So I`m going to donate some blood.

HAMMER: What have you seen one of your daughter`s do that suggests to you that they also have this gift?

DUBOIS: Well my youngest daughter when she was three my father passed away. And it`s just this year that she realizes that he`s not really with us in the living sense of you know when he was alive fully. I took her to see Disney Princesses on Ice and I took her out to eat afterwards. And my cell phone rang, it was my mom. She said I bought a new car I`m going to bring it by. I said great. So I hung up then I looked at Sophia and I said grandma`s going to bring her new car by and she looked at me and she said it`s silver. And I said why do you say its silver baby? And she said because my head tells me its silver, which is something little mediums say. So I`m driving home going please don`t let it be silver, please don`t let it be silver. We pulled up it was a big silver sport utility.

HAMMER: So you may have three little mediums. I have to ask you quickly, you do deal so much with death. We know death as a tragedy. Everybody who`s watching right now has had experience losing a loved one and it`s such a difficult thing. But I`m wondering through your experience of having dealt with so much death and tragedy what can you tell people that might comfort them?

DUBOIS: I think the thing that I find the most comforting especially after losing my own father is that they look like they looked when they were the happiest in life. Whether it be when they had their first child or when they got married or when they were in the service or when they were a little boy growing up with their brother that they haven`t seen for 50 years because their younger brother died in a drowning accident. So I think the thing that I really like that comforts me is whatever picture you`re really drawn to of the person that died is how they look now. The one that you can look at and visualize them as being. I find that very comforting.

HAMMER: That is something to take comfort in. Allison Dubois, thank you so much for joining us tonight and it`s a pleasure to meet you. "Medium" airs Monday nights on NBC. Allison`s book is called, "We Are Their Heaven, Why the Dead Never Leave Us" and it`s in stores now.

ANDERSON: Okay coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT -- Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner tour New Orleans, plus Marlo Thomas is here with the words that can change the world. And we`ll also have this -


I trust her judgment especially when I`m not in a place to make good judgments for myself.


HAMMER: When there`s a celebrity scandal their phone rings first. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes behind the scenes with Hollywood publicists to find out what they do and how they get it done. That`s coming up.

ANDERSON: And it`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special event. We`re bringing together the cast of "The Facts of Life" for a reunion. We`ll also have this.

Take the good and take the bad. You remember that song. All that is still ahead.

But first tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" great American pop culture quiz. Which actress was originally cast to play Michael Douglas` daughter in the 1997 thriller "The Game?" Natalie Portman, Angelina Jolie, Jodie Foster, Gwyneth Paltrow. Think about it. We`ll be right back with your answer.


ANDERSON: So again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" great American pop culture quiz -- which actress was originally cast to play Michael Douglas` daughter in the 1997 thriller "The Game"? The answer is C, Jodie Foster.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. It`s time now for a little story that made us say today -- "that`s ridiculous." You know these days. I don`t really need to tell you this. The price of gas absolutely out of control at nearly 3 bucks a gallon throughout the entire nation. So can you imagine how pumped up people in Indiana were when they saw this sign saying that gas was being sold for the low, low price of .02. That`s right.

There`s a Shell station that discovered this mistake this morning. But not before a bunch of customers took advantage of the situation. And who wouldn`t really? A real ethical dilemma there. One guy actually filled up his truck for seven cents. One very honest woman however showed clerks what was going on, she paid the difference. The station is now trying to figure out if it can go back and charge people who got the bargain price. That`s ridiculous. But if the gas companies would just take some of those big fat profits that they`re making Brooke and give it back to the people maybe we wouldn`t be in this mess.

ANDERSON: But, maybe not. But you know unfortunately the gas station really doesn`t have any recourse here A.J. Because if the company is at fault there`s not much they can do. And apparently it was a computer glitch is being blamed for the whole thing.

All right, moving on to Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner and Cicely Tyson. They are using their star power to bring attention back to New Orleans, where life is still far from comfortable for many people. The movie stars toured a building torn to its shell by hurricane Katrina. They talked with children who had lost their homes in the storm. The kids put on a show for their famous guests, singing and dancing for them. Garner says the response to rebuilding New Orleans should be moving faster. Still, she says, there are signs of hope.


REESE WITHERSPOON, ACTRESS: It`s just so much worse than you even can imagine and it seems like you know we were saying on the bus where are the dumpsters? Where are the people out there cleaning up? Where is this -- you know if that happened in Los Angeles, in Bel Air, believe me there would be houses now. They would be standing. They would be clean and the grass would be growing.


ANDERSON: The New Orleans school is in part of the city inundated with five feet of water after Katrina hit last August. About 1.2 million people younger than 18 are living in areas rendered disaster zones by Katrina.

HAMMER: Well Marlo Thomas is certainly no stranger to giving to those in need and now, she`s doing it once again. We`ve all had those moments in our life when someone says something and the story just kind of stays with you. Well Marlo Thomas, the words and people that have meant the most to her, this inspired a best-selling book, and now a sequel called -- "The Right Words at the Right Time Volume Two, Your Turn" -- a book that`s filled with inspiring essays from everyday people. Marlo Thomas joining me tonight in New York. It`s a pleasure to have you back on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: And this book was basically inspired by one of those stories that you heard along the way.

THOMAS: Yes, right.

HAMMER: That never left you.

THOMAS: Well the first book was all about celebrities that I asked "The Right Words at the Right Time" because I`ve had the right words from my dad who told me to run my own race. And after that book came out regular people kept coming up to me on the street and at the airports and writing me letters saying I`ve got right words. And I was on the radio, NPR, and a woman called in and she said, "I have right words." She said my son was in a terrible accident. My 16-year-old son and I was sitting there waiting to see how he was going to be and a doctor came out and said to me, you know, there`s a lot worse things than just letting go. And just scared her you know terribly. And she sat there just terrified.

And then another doctor came out about an hour later and he said look, your son may never be the same but life is so precious. And so she sat there trying to think okay, what words will I hang on to through this night? And she decided to hang on to life is precious. And her son made it. He`s in a wheelchair and he`s got his challenges but he`s graduated from college, he`s got his masters and he`s doing great in life. And she was so glad that those are the words she hung on to.

And that so inspired me that I said you know, when I do the sequel it`s not going to be with celebrities it`s going to be with every day people. Because I think every day people have stories they want to tell. Celebrities get asked to tell stories but everyday people don`t get a chance really. And so they`re dying to tell their stories. And these stories are very strong because of that.

HAMMER: And filled with stories from everyday people that we can all relate to. One thing that stuck out to me in a story called 40. I found this particularly inspiring. The author writes as time goes on I realize that age is just a number and it is never too late to reach a dream. How many of us as we get older can`t relate to that? What`s the story behind that one?

THOMAS: It`s a great story. She was a woman who was 29 years old and she was working as a genetic counselor in the hospital. And she said to this surgeon one day, she said, you know if I had my life to live over I`d be a doctor. And he said well you can still be a doctor. She said oh, no, I`m 29 years old. By the time I study, get through school, go to my residency and become a doctor, I`ll be 40 years old. And he said well you`re going to be 40 any way. You know I said, oh, that`s so great, you know. It`s so true.

HAMMER: It`s never too late.

THOMAS: It`s never too late to do it.

HAMMER: Another really inspiring story and something that a lot of people deal with is going on with their life after they`ve lost a loved one. I want to read that quote for you here. "There were times when I thought I`d never be able to go on without him then one day I heard Dick`s voice in my head. Come on honey, you`re just getting started."

THOMAS: It`s a great story. It`s a woman Cynthia Harris from Minneapolis. She was married to this wonderful guy for 43 years. They had six little boys. And they traveled a lot because his job moved him around. And every time they moved it was hard. She had to find schools for the kids and friends and so forth. And she`d be a little down and her husband would say oh don`t worry, honey, you`re just getting started.

And when one of the boys would make the baseball team he`d say, "Hey, look at you, you`re just getting started." And when one of the kids didn`t make the team, he`d say ah, don`t worry about it, you`re just getting started. Any way, he died and she was just devastated. She was so lonely without him. She`d lost her best pal and lover. And about six months after he died she woke up one morning and she heard a little voice in her head that said, come on honey, you`re just getting started. And it really moved me because it`s true, we carry the words of people that we love long after they`re gone.


THOMAS: I have so many words of my mom and dad in my head. And I think we all do.

HAMMER: I think we all do and thank you for putting them all together in here. Really it`s so nice and the fact that it doesn`t have to have a celebrity`s name attached to it to be so inspiring. Marlo I thank you for sharing this with us.

THOMAS: And the money will go to St. Jude`s.

HAMMER: That is correct. The latest book again is called "The Right Words at the Right Time, Volume II, your Turn." It`s in bookstores. Now I`m going to say it again, all the proceeds for the book benefits St. Jude`s children`s research hospital.

ANDERSON: What an inspiration. Coming up, Britney`s big news. Find out why Britney Spears was celebrating in New York.

HAMMER: And it`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special event, if the words Blair, Jo, Natalie and Tootie mean anything to you, you`ll want to stay right where you are, because we are bringing together the cast of "The Facts of Life" for a reunion. We`ll also have this --


It`s a tough business. It`s not for pansies.


ANDERSON: Who does Rosie O`Donnell call when it really hits the fan? Her publicist, of course. Coming up we`re getting an inside look at how Hollywood publicists become masters in public relations disasters. But first we want to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Celebrity gossip. Is it your guilty pleasure? It is for so many people. Vote at Send us an email


HAMMER: Coming up tomorrow -- are you dating your best friend`s ex? Denise Richards is not the only one who has done it. Is this taboo or just following your heart? We`re going to look into it tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: It`s the sweet smell of success for Britney Spears. Can you smell it? Britney was in New York yesterday celebrating the fact that apparently, ten million people want to smell like her. More than ten million bottles of her three perfumes have been sold, and Britney and the Elizabeth Arden Company celebrated with a giant cake in the shape of Britney`s `Fantasy` perfume. And dancers from the Broadway Dance Center performed, that`s where Britney studied before she became the huge pop star that she is today.

HAMMER: So is Vince Vaughn getting ready to be a father? We`re going to hear what Vince had to say on the topic, coming up. We`ll also have this --


I trust her judgment especially when I`m not in a place to make good judgments for myself.


ANDERSON: When there`s a celebrity scandal their phones ring first. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes behind the scenes with Hollywood publicists to find out what they do and how they get it done. That`s next.

HAMMER: Everybody`s excited it`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special event, we`re bringing together the cast of "The Facts of Life" for a reunion. We`ll take the good and take the bad. And that`s still ahead. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Tuesday night is coming right back.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. I`m Susan Hendricks with your headline prime newsbreak now. The United Nations Security Council plans to offer Iran a choice of incentives or sanctions over its nuclear program. Representatives from the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France have been working up the details. Iran has defied Security Council demands for an end to its nuclear (INAUDIBLE) program.

Well no end in sight to the wild fires in Florida. Authorities say dozens of brush fires are burning and have charred nearly 25,000 acres. Officials are intermittently shutting down parts of interstate 95 as thick smoke cuts visibility for drivers causing accidents.

And you may have heard claims that green tea can reduce the risk of heart disease. Well now the FDA says there is no credible scientific evidence to back that up. Some green tea makers have petitioned the FDA to be able to put the claims on their labels. That petition was denied. And that is the news for now. I`m Susan Hendricks.


A.J. HAMMER, CNN CO-HOST: Welcome back to "Showbiz Tonight." Its 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CO-HOST: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news hour.

HAMMER: You want to talk provocative, the excitement, here`s a clich, for you. The excitement in my studio is palpable. Guys, you excited around here?

I mean listen to the crew because we have a one-of-a-kind "Facts of Life" reunion. The cast of the show right here. It was such a wonderful television series that went on for years and made you laugh and made you cry.

ANDERSON: There should be shows like that. There should be shows like that today, A.J.

HAMMER: It had emotion but made you laugh. It just - it was beautiful.

ANDERSON: It had everything.

HAMMER: I`m welling up thinking about it.

So, that`s coming up in a few moments. Do not go anywhere.

But first, tonight -- dealing with dish -- soothing the scandals, from the breakups, like Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, Nick and Jessica, to Tom Cruise`s wild couch-jumping and going off on psychiatry.

What do Hollywood heavy-hitters really do in times of crisis? Well, they pick up the phone, they grab the BLACKBERRY, send an email, or perhaps scream at the top of their lungs "Where`s my publicist?"

Here`s Kyra Phillips For "Showbiz Tonight," with an inside look at the celebrity must-have for every season, the perfect P.R. person.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Image maker, gatekeeper, spinmeister, damage control expert, for the rich and famous, a high-powered publicist rivals the hottest couture.

Well paid, well connected and, well, always just a few feet away. A publicist can go from polite to pit-bull at break neck speed.

TED CASABLANCA, GOSSIP COLUMNIST, E! ENTERTAINMENT: I love publicists. A lot of people hate them in town. But I think they are great. I mean, they give us some of the best material to work with. Brad and Angelina are just friends. I love the lines that come from this crowd. It`s really good stuff.

PHILLIPS: Always guiding, sometimes chiding, we`ve seen what happens when a good one gets away.

After Tom Cruise replaced veteran publicist, Pat Kingsley, with his sister, we watched in disbelief as that famed Cruise control morphed into couch control before our very eyes.

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "OPRAH": Have you ever felt this way before?

PETER CASTRO, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: The lesson that Tom Cruise taught the world is don`t fire a top notch publicist because, when you do that, then you become a rudderless raft. And that`s what happened to him.

CINDY BERGER, PUBLICIST, PMK, HBH: I graduated college and I was laying in a friend`s pool reading "Cosmopolitan" magazine, drinking a can of TAB. And there was an article about celebrity publicist. And I thought, my God, that`s what I want to do. That`s it.

PHILLIPS: She`s a powerhouse in the world of showbiz. Managing director of one of the most prestigious publicity firms in Hollywood, PMK, HBH.

Chances are you know a few of Cindy Berger`s famous clientele.

BERGER: It`s important, make no doubt, if you`re an entertainer, to have a publicist.

ROSIE O`DONNELL, HOST, "ROSIE O`DONNELL" SHOW: She`ll say "it would be good if you didn`t mention the NRA in this interview," you know. Or something like, try not to say President Bush is immoral.

PHILLIPS: February 13, 9:30 a.m., the 100th episode of Martha. I

BERGER: I left at 7:25.

PHILLIPS: Cindy is in place, awaiting the arrival of her long-time client Rosie O`Donnell.

O`DONNELL: The crew is here for my publicist, not for me. It`s all right. I used to be a very well known entertainer.

PHILLIPS: From the car, Rosie`s entourage heads to the makeup room. Soon a sound check.

O`DONNELL: Rosie, Rosie, check.

PHILLIPS: A cappuccino; a knock on the door.

O`DONNELL: Who is that?


O`DONNELL: Martha. You didn`t come see me in Fiddler, you big wench.

STEWART: I know.

BERGER: It`s not a precise science.

O`DONNELL: She`s, like, 63 and she wears leather pants, and looks better than I ever have. It`s frightening.

She takes care of me because she loves me and I trust her judgment, especially when I`m not in a place to make good judgments for myself. You know, I`m a very emotional person.

CASTRO: I don`t understand why anyone would want to do this job. Because they`re getting called at 4:00 in the morning from their client saying, you know, "Where`s my limo?"

And then, of course, worst is when their clients going, you know, just mental and do something and are involved in a scandal or end up in jail. And you go, "Oh man, now, what do I do?"

BERGER: It`s a tough business. It`s not for pansies.

PHILLIPS: Michael, Russell, Courtney, Pewee, Wynonna, Whitney, Hugh, what do these celebrities and Martha and Rosie have in common? Scandal.

O`DONNELL: I will say nothing else.

PHILLIPS: And in the world of publicity scandal is never a good thing.

BERGER: Damage control is coming up with an effective campaign and executing it properly.

PHILLIPS: And no one knows damage control like Allan Mayer. In Hollywood, he`s considered a master in disaster, a certified crisis specialist who`s helped the likes of Halle Berry and Tommy Lee.

ALLAN MAYER, PUBLICIST, SITRICK AND COMPANY: If you don`t tell your own story, someone else is going to tell it for you, and chances are, you won`t like the way it comes out.

PHILLIPS: Case in point: Rosie O`Donnell. In 2002, after six years on the air, the beloved talk show host said good-bye to her show and her cutie-patooti persona.

O`DONNELL: I remember "Newsweek" saying the "queen of nice." And I remember on the show, holding it up, saying, "Wait until this turns and we get the queen of fried rice, you know, the queen of lice. This is going to bite me in the ass one day, folks. Make no mistake." You know, and it did.

PHILLIPS: Exactly one year later, in the fall of 2003, Rosie was not only out of the closet, but standing smack in the middle of scandal. Publishers of her now defunct "Rosie" magazine had slapped O`Donnell with a $100 million breach of contract suit. And the case quickly turned nasty.

CASTRO: Here was Rosie O`Donnell, who was beloved, and all of a sudden, the next thing you know, it`s like she`s turned into the Tasmanian Devil.


O`DONNELL: What did I do? I`m fat. I yell. And I sometimes say the "f" word.


It was the worst thing that`s happened to me in my public life. I remember we pulled up the first day and I said to Cindy, "What the hell are all these trucks doing here?"

BERGER: It was a nightmare. I didn`t think any of us thought that we were going to be walking up the steps of a courthouse.

MAYER: Unfortunately, silence is taken as somehow an admission of guilt. So you have to figure out a way to always respond.

BERGER: The plan was never to have her go through the back door. That was the only way to handle it.

O`DONNELL: Like, when we get out of the car, she`s like, "OK, we`re going to get out. We`re going to stop at the first group of microphones."


O`DONNELL: Good morning, everyone.

(voice-over): "Try to smile, Ro. Please don`t say anything mean."

(on camera): "Every clip that`s run of you has been mean."

But I was so angry that I couldn`t be happy.

PHILLIPS: On November 12, 2003, a judge ruled there was no winner. Neither the publishers, nor the former talk queen received a cent.

BERGER: It was emotionally draining. It was exhausting.

PHILLIPS: Two years later it`s barely a blip. Now Rosie`s moved on to writing her own blog.

O`DONNELL: I can be at home and say whatever I`m thinking of, whatever`s on my mind, and hit Send.

PHILLIPS: That and her future role, co-hosting the "View" will keep Cindy working overtime.

O`DONNELL: And then, you know, she fields the calls afterwards. She`s like, "Did you say something about Star Jones on your blog?" I`m like, "Probably. Go look it up."


HAMMER: That was CNN`s Kyra Phillips for "Showbiz Tonight." And you can see more as part of the special, "CNN Presents: Chasing Angelina, Paparazzi and Obsession." The paparazzi set its sights on Angelina Jolie, and you go along for the ride. That is this Saturday and Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern, only on CNN.

ANDERSON: Speaking of Angelina Jolie, we all know she is now with Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston`s ex. And Jennifer is now with Vince Vaughn, although they`re generally very tight-lipped about their relationship.

Vince Vaughn sat down with Oprah Winfrey to talk about his new movie, "The Breakup," which also stars Jennifer Aniston. And what do you know, the subject of their relationship came up -- big surprise.

He jokes about the $8 million wedding that Oprah was rumored to be planning for Jennifer and him, and also talked about whether fatherhood is in his future. Take a look.


BRAD PITT, ACTOR: At some point I would like to have kids, yes, at some point I would. I have always liked kids a lot, but, no plans for the future. First we have to have the $8 million wedding.

WINFREY: Which I`m working on.

PITT: How`s that doing? Good.



ANDERSON: Oprah also asked Vince if he And Jennifer have talked about having kids together. You can hear the answer on tomorrow`s Oprah.

HAMMER: Well, coming up, why would Broadway bigwigs be concerned about a high school musical; concerned enough to try to have it shut down? The ridiculous story, still ahead. We also have this:


BLAIR: Well, look at the bright side.

JO: What bright side?

BLAIR: We`ll just get out the Ouija Board, and find out who Mrs. Garrett`s next boyfriend will be.


ANDERSON: You`ve got to love this, the "Showbiz Tonight" special event, the "Facts of Life" cast reunites. It`s the exclusive interview you`ll see only here on "Showbiz Tonight".

HAMMER: Also ahead, Nicole Kidman`s stunning revelation. Find out how she feels about ex-husband Tom Cruise. It`s a surprising confession you`re not going to want to miss. And that`s next on "Showbiz Tonight."


Welcome back to "Showbiz Tonight," for Tuesday night, TV`s most provocative entertainment news hour on. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

It`s time now for another little story today that made us say "that`s ridiculous." A New York City high school production of the musical "Chicago" ordered to close, even before the very first curtain came up,

Listen to this. It seems the high school is just a little too close to Broadway. Apparently, the theater where the great white-way version of "Chicago" is playing, signed a deal banning any performances within 75 miles of New York City. That`s nuts. That`s ridiculous. These are kids.

Broadway head honchos did the right thing. They reconsidered. And now they say that the high school show, and all that jazz that comes along with it, Brooke, can go on.

Thank goodness they did the right thing because I`d be out there protesting right now.

ANDERSON: It`s good they relented. You know, A.J., those student performers, word is, they rehearsed for four months for this show. So it`s nice to see that their hard work will pay off. The curtain will rise like it should.

HAMMER: I don`t think it`s going to take away from the business of "Chicago" on Broadway, Brooke.

ANDERSON: No, I don`t think so.

HAMMER: All right, we`re going to move on. Can we cue the music, Danny? I`ve been waiting to hear this all day long. Everybody knows it. I feel sacrilegious to talk while the singing is going on.

A whole generation, of course, grew up to this theme song, the theme to the "Facts of Life," NBC`s extraordinarily popular show from the 1980s.

Well, Mrs. Garret and the girls from Eastland Academy are making their DVD debut. And I say not a moment too soon. The first and second seasons came out today in honor of that: a special "Showbiz Tonight" reunion, right here, right now.

Lisa Whelchel played Blair, is right here; along with Mindy Cohn, Natalie, of course; and Nancy McKeon, who played Jo.

Welcome to "Showbiz Tonight," ladies. And, of course, as we`re playing the theme song, a little known piece of trivia, of course, who wrote the theme song to "Facts of Life"?


HAMMER: Alan Thicke.

LISA WHELCHEL, ACTRESS: And Albert, who was the producer, yes.

COHN: Oh, I didn`t know that.

WHELCHEL: Yes, he did.

HAMMER: But people aren`t aware that the "Growing Pains" dad, Alan Thicke, also a song writer.

COHN: Yes.

HAMMER: So the excitement around here, I mentioned it before, has been palpable today.

WHELCHEL: Thank you, crew.

HAMMER: Well, you`ve been waiting in the green room.


UNIDENTIFIED CREW MEMBER: All five of us here are just so excited.

WHELCHEL: We`re taking you out for drinks.

HAMMER: Well, you`ve been enjoying your lovely fruit plate. I`m sure the entire staff of the show have been coming up to you in the green room to say hello. Our executive producer, over the moon that you guys are on.

COHN: Sweet.

HAMMER: No, and I`m not just saying this.

MCKEON: That was the free cheese we loved.

HAMMER: We offer a nice cheese plate here on "Showbiz Tonight".

MCKEON: Free cheese, that`s, you know...

WHELCHEL: We commented when we walked in. We actually did. We commented and said, "Wow, this is so nice."

HAMMER: Well, we`re here to please with the cheese.

Anyway, now that we have you here - and who knows better than you - you`ve certainly had some distance since you guys did the show. But why are people always so attached to this particular program? It ran on NBC forever.

WHELCHEL: I think it has to do with the friends from childhood. I mean, there`s just something about your best friends from childhood. It doesn`t matter where you go or what happens in your life, you remember them very fondly. And although we were on television, we were in everyone`s living rooms for nine years. They grew up with us. And I do think they really do consider us friends.

HAMMER: And the emotion and the -- as I was talking about before - because that`s what I remember the most. We laughed lot, but also it was serious stuff going on.

MCKEON: We did. You know, that was the great thing about the show, is it was -- we told stories in an easy manner. But we did tackle subject for the day that were things that needed to be talked about, especially for young people our age, whether it be cancer or divorce, coming from a broken home, suicide, trying to find out who you are in the world and what you`re about. And we tried to do that with humor and it was fun.

HAMMER: And all the while you guys were trying to figure yourself out, I guess. You know, you certainly were growing up in everybody`s living room as child stars or teenage stars. And it was tough because you were under a lot of scrutiny. It was hard at sometimes, there were issues that whatever newspaper or magazines might bring up. And that still goes on today. I mean, it must amaze you to see that it still goes on.

WHELCHEL: I think it`s just puberty and the big hair.

COHN: Yes, I think we got off lucky in the `80s. You know, the relentless pursuit of people who are on TV and in the film industry now, I feel very blessed that we did not have that kind of exposure.

HAMMER: So you feel it was easier back then?

WHELCHEL: Oh, absolutely.

COHN: Oh, it definitely was. I mean, we were not chased around. And we had free time and...

MCKEON: We hid behind our hair.

WHELCHEL: It was that easy. We didn`t need a bush.

COHN: What a place to hide.

OK. I do think it`s actually a little harder to have some sense of private life now than it was back then.

HAMMER: Do you feel you weren`t picked on as much back then as perhaps now if you were doing this kind of a show?

WHELCHEL: No, I don`t think so. And one of the really greats things is because we were kids. I think they honored that. I think the press and the media, and I know the executives in the industry honored the fact that we were kids. And so they backed off a bit.

HAMMER: A bunch of stars came out of your star. I cannot talk to you without talking about George Clooney.

I had Juliana Margolies, among other things, started with George in New York. So she knew George ten years ago. And I got her perspective on him ten years ago. And all she could do was glow about how he inspired her and what a wonderful guy he was.

And you guys worked with him 20-some odd years ago when he was the handy man on your show. I believe it was, like, 1985, when he was on for a couple of seasons.

What were your memories of him back then? Did you know he was going to go on to the stardom that he achieved?

MCKEON: You know, I don`t think anybody knows that. We were just playing around at the time. He was doing the first "E.R." the half-hour "E.R." at the time. So we were next door to him for a while, while they did that particular show and that didn`t work our.

HAMMER: They were shooting that right there.

MCKEON: So he came on. So we had known him beforehand. And, you know, it was great. It was like having a big brother added to the show. He`s funny and fun, and good, and a practical joker, and was -- you know, he and McKenzie Aston, they were such welcome additions for us. It kind of broke up the estrogen factor. And we laughed a lot.

HAMMER: And then he wins an Oscar this year. Were you cheering? Did you see that moment?

WHELCHEL: We all get time with the Oscar. It`s a timeshare Oscar.

HAMMER: Well, you`re part of why he won it, obviously.

MCKEON: He`s generous that way. I think we gave him the roots.

HAMMER: The roots -- and you`re not talking about the hair now. This is now...

MCKEON: No. Well, we did have the same hair coincidently, he and I, for quite sometime. And I`m sad about that. But I think we have grown apart now. We`ve morphed into two people.

HAMMER: Well, we`re excited that the DVD is out because now we can watch the show as often as we want, whenever we want.

People are curious what you are up to now. It`s sort of a where are they now thing. So let me shoot it around the bench here.

WHELCHEL: All right. I`m a mom of three teenagers. I have a passion for moms, so I started a ministry called Mom Time Ministries. And I have written about ten books, all just practical encouragement for moms. And the latest one is called "Taking Care of the Me in Mommy." And that pretty much sums up my heart.

HAMMER: And your children are...

WHELCHEL: 13, 14, 16.

HAMMER: And are they going to be watching the DVD?

WHELCHEL: Oh, you know what? They already watched the videos. We had the whole library at home. And they have actually grown up with it. And I remember when they discovered, preteens they discovered it. And I think they would have loved it whether their mom was on it or not.

HAMMER: Mindy?

COHN: Just living a very simple life in L.A.; very happy, still acting, producing a little.

HAMMER: It is possible to live a simple life in L.A.?

COHN: I`m trying.

HAMMER: Excellent.

COHN: I think it is working.

MCKEON: Scooby-doo. Scooby-doo.

COHN: Oh, Scooby-doo. Yes, that`s my big claim to fame actually. "Facts of Life" poofed. I`m the voice of Velma on Scooby-doo.

MCKEON: Thank you. I think that`s awesome.

HAMMER: You know what happened?

COHN: Everyone in my family did a jig when I hooked that job.

MCKEON: It`s hard to do.

HAMMER: But, you know, I now have to ask you to do the voice.

COHN: Oh, no.

HAMMER: Now, that you bring it up.

COHN: OK, well it`s CNN. All right. Well, don`t look at my face because I get so -- you need the glasses and...

HAMMER: Take a shot of Nancy while they do it.

MCKEON: Go, go, go. I love cartoons. Come on.

COHN: Hey, gang, I think we have a clue.

HAMMER: Right there.

NATALIE: OK, thank you. OK.

WHELCHEL: That was good.

MCKEON: No, that really wasn`t bad. I love that.

HAMMER: And Nancy?

MCKEON: I think you`ve made it when you go to cartoons.

I love that. The "Animaniacs" once mentioned me. Little Dot wanted me to play her in the movie of the week. And I just thought that was the greatest thing in the world.

HAMMER: That`s really cool.

I have just enough time to find out exactly what you`re up to?

MCKEON: You know, I`m directing. And I have a movie coming out in July for Hallmark, called "Wild Hearts."

HAMMER: I appreciate it.

WHELCHEL: And you have that adorable 2-year-old and a wonderful husband.

MCKEON: And an amazing 2-year-old, who`s my heart.

HAMMER: Which always comes first. Which always comes first.

Ladies, thank you so much for being here.

COHN: Thank you.

WHELCHEL: It was a pleasure.

HAMMER: It was so much fun having you guys here.

MCKEON: Thank you.

HAMMER: And of course, the complete first and second seasons of "Facts of Life" DVD, in stores right now.

ANDERSON: I`m going to have to get the DVD.

OK, last night we asked you to vote online on our "Showbiz Tonight" question of the day. M:i:III Falls Short: Did Tom Cruise`s publicity blitz backfire?

Very one side here, 88 percent of you said yes, the publicity blitz did backfire, 12 percent of you said no it didn`t. Here are some of the e- mails we received.

Gail, from Alabama, writes: "Tom Cruise`s behavior over the last year has certainly affected my choices about movies. I will not see any movie he is in."

But A.M., from Florida, said: "Tom Cruise is a terrific actor. `M:i:III` is a great movie. Leave the poor guy alone."

Thank you for your e-mails. Stay with us. "Showbiz Tonight" will be right back.


ANDERSON: We`ve been asking you to vote on tonight`s "Showbiz Tonight" question of the day, Celebrity Gossip: Is it your guilty pleasure? Don`t be embarrassed. Keep voting. Write to us, We`re going to read some of your e- mails tomorrow.

HAMMER: It`s time to see what`s coming up on "Showbiz Tonight." Here`s your Showbiz marquis. Tomorrow, dating your best friend`s ex. Well, Denise Richards, not the only one who`s done it. Is this taboo or is it just following your heart? "Showbiz Tonight" investigates.

Also tomorrow, stars under the lens. No matter how far away they go, they can`t seem to escape the glaring eye of the paparazzi. That`s on "Showbiz Tonight." We`re going to take an insider`s look at the drastic measures these photographers take to get that money shot.

And that`s it for "Showbiz Tonight." Thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Have a great night, everybody. Stay tuned for more from CNN "Headline News."

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Good to see you. I`m Susan Hendricks. Here`s your "Headline Prime Business Update" now.

Congressional republicans have reached a deal on a new $70 billion tax cut bill. The measure would extend one of President Bush`s big tax breaks by two years. It`ll reduce 15 percent tax rate for capital gains and dividends. The bill would also keep 15 million middle income families from being hit by the Alternative Minimum tax, which is aimed at the wealthy. The bill now needs full Senate and House approval.

Senators from both parties say the Bush administration is stalling over improving gas mileage standards for cars. Some lawmakers are dismissing the administration`s claim of a bold increase in small truck and SUV requirements. That increase is less than 2 miles a gallon over four years.

And get ready for the next generation of Sony Playstations. The company says it is launching two versions of the new PS3 here in the U.S. And that`s in November.

Those are the business headlines. Thanks for tuning in. I`m Susan Hendricks.


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