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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Mel Gibson Speaks; Madonna and Child; Faith and Hollywood

Aired October 12, 2006 - 23:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Another scary, shocking incident involving Angelina Jolie and the paparazzi overseas.
I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And the anti-Democrat campaign ad that`s so nasty, so over the top, Republicans won`t even put it on TV.

I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, mad Mel speaks. Tonight, for the first time, Mel Gibson opens up about his drunk driving arrest...

MEL GIBSON, ACTOR: I`m sort of viewing it now as kind of a blessing.

HAMMER: ... his rage-filled anti-Semitic rant...

GIBSON: You should see me choking the toaster in the morning.

HAMMER: And what he reveals will shock you.

DIANE SAWYER, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": Wait a minute. You talked to your kids while you are swiping down more to get through it?

HAMMER: Plus, is Mel`s alcohol abuse a legitimate excuse for his drunken tirade?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks the tough Mel Gibson questions everyone wants answers to.

Getting jokes out of Jesus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Jesus. We`re going to cast out those demons that are keeping her from getting a husband.

HAMMER: Tonight, the very funny lady who`s becoming a big star with her Christian comedy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I read the bible, and Eve did not have a job. You know?

HAMMER: Her controversial mission to o bring prayer to Hollywood.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the celebrity showdown of faith and the famous.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Hi there. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

And get ready for Mel Gibson, unplugged. In an extraordinary interview, Mel Gibson is speaking out for the very first time about his drunk driving arrest, his anti-Semitic tirade, and he reveals the unbelievable thing he did when he had to explain all this to his family.

ANDERSON: That`s right, A.J. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has extensive coverage tonight, including whether alcohol is a good excuse for what he did.

Judge for yourself as you listen to Mel tell what really happened the night his world got turned upside down.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GIBSON: That`s not who I am. You know?

ANDERSON: An embarrassed and embattled Mel Gibson in a no-holds- barred interview with "Good Morning America`s" Diane Sawyer, talking for the first time about the night that changed his life and damaged his career, his arrest last July on drunk driving charges and the anti-Semitic tirade that followed.

GIBSON: I`m ashamed that that came out of my mouth.

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes coast to coast with the reaction to this powerful interview, and the big question, is anyone ready to forgive mad Mel?

KEN JACOBSON, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: There`s a lot of work I think that he needs to do.

ANDERSON: In his "Good Morning America" interview, Gibson talked in detail about the night of his arrest, when he went drinking at this Malibu restaurant. He says the drinking continued even after he got in the car.

SAWYER: Were you drinking from the open bottle of tequila in the car?

GIBSON: I had a couple of slugs, yes.

SAWYER: So how drunk were you?

GIBSON: It`s not a question of how drunk you are or -- you`re -- you`re impaired.

ANDERSON: Impaired enough to get pulled over for suspicion of DUI. A handwritten arrest report obtained by TMZ.com showed the world the comments that will forever haunt Gibson.

He said to the arresting deputy, "F`ing Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

Sawyer asked Gibson if he blames alcohol for those shocking comments.

SAWYER: People say alcohol just liberates you to say what you really feel. It`s what you really feel, it`s not changing.

GIBSON: Well, that`s patently false, I think, because it`s like alcohol loosens your tongue and makes you act, say, and behave in a way that is not you.

ANDERSON: But was it really just the alcohol talking?

Sawyer pressed him.

SAWYER: Somebody said, "I do not believe tequila can turn an unbiased person into a raging anti-Semite. Alcohol removes inhibitions in vino veritas.

GIBSON: Well, they don`t know what they`re talking about, it`s a simple as that.

SAWYER: But if it`s not in you, is it going to come out?

GIBSON: It has to -- it has to have some kind of place somewhere, and you have to ask, where is it coming from? Where is it coming from?"

ANDERSON: Regardless of where they came from, Gibson`s comments continue to make him the object of scorn and even ridicule, as he was on this radio station billboard.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking, has his interview changed anything?

JACOBSON: It`s a beginning of a step forward.

ANDERSON: In New York City, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tracked down Ken Jacobson of the Jewish advocacy group the Anti-Defamation League. He says Gibson is off to a good start in repairing the damage, but still has a way to go.

JACOBSON: I would have been a lot happier and more comfortable he had said, look, surely when one is on alcohol, one does things that one wouldn`t ordinarily do, but clearly there`s some problem here, too. He ended up acknowledging it later on, but it would have been better had it come directly from him rather than Diane Sawyer having to get it out of him.

ANDERSON: But in Hollywood, publicist Howard Bragman tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Gibson`s interview won`t change a thing.

HOWARD BRAGMAN, CELEBRITY PUBLICIST: We weren`t talking about one incident with Mel. We`re talking about a history of anti-Semitism and homophobia. So this was really the straw that broke the camel`s back for him, and one cathartic interview is not going to change it and everybody`s going to go "Oh, he`s OK again." There still remain a great many people in Hollywood who will choose never to work with Mel Gibson again.

ANDERSON: Nevertheless, Gibson says he`s trying to see the whole thing as a blessing, a much-needed boost to a lifelong struggle with alcohol.

GIBSON: Some people need a big tap on the shoulder. In my case, public humiliation on a global scale seems to be what was required.

ANDERSON: The question is, if such public humiliation is something a movie star like Mel can recover from.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Now, what aired on "Good Morning America" this morning was only the first part of Diane Sawyer`s interview with Mel Gibson. Part two airs tomorrow, and Sawyer is promising to get into what exactly made Gibson say those disturbing and offensive things about Jews.

HAMMER: Let`s not forget that it was the entertainment news Web site TMZ.com that truly blew the lid off of what Gibson said after he was arrested.

With us tonight from Glendale, California, Harvey Levin, managing editor of TMZ.com.

You know, I was just thinking about it, Harvey. This whole thing could have been simple embarrassment over a drunk driving arrest had those police documents not been leaked out. The whole anti-Semitic tirade was documented in the police report, and it shouldn`t have gotten out, but it did. It was leaked to TMZ.com; we`re looking at it right now.

I know there`s some major new developments today related to the leak. What happened?

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: Well, A.J., we found out that the deputy who actually made the arrest, James Mee, had his house searched by L.A. County sheriff`s deputies last month.

They got a search warrant. They seized his computer. They seized documents, phone records and other items. And the sheriff`s department believes that Mee is the leak to TMZ that got us this four pages of arrest reports. And so obviously he`s under a cloud of suspicion with the sheriff`s department right now.

HAMMER: He`s under a cloud of suspicion. And I know you`re under a lot of pressure to reveal who actually leaked that police report to TMZ. Is it possible that the courts could intervene here and, you know, make you tell them who did it?

LEVIN: No. I mean -- well, they could try but it ain`t going to work. But I doubt they will even try. And as a matter of fact, I spoke with somebody at the sheriff`s department today that are connected with them and they laughed about that.

I mean, they`re not going to get that from us. And I think the bigger issue is that there are two investigations going on in the sheriff`s department.

Who gave TMZ the documents, but also what`s the deal with the sheriff`s department lying to TMZ and other media outlets that this arrest occurred without incident, that I was told that he never made those anti- Semitic comments when I called the sheriff`s department, right up until the time we published? So, you know, what about that? And I`m told, well, you know, they made some progress but they haven`t really done anything with that investigation because they`re focusing on the leak right now.

So I think that`s a little bit troubling.

HAMMER: Well, don`t let that go, Harvey. You stay after them for that.

Let`s talk about what happened this morning with Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America."

Of course we heard Mel admit that his words were anti-Semitic. Gee, big shocker. He said he`s ashamed and alcohol is not a good enough excuse.

Do you buy it? Is he -- is he contrite here?

LEVIN: Well, look, I mean, I thought this was kind of a blown opportunity, personally. I mean, I watched it and I didn`t see an apology there.

I mean, yes, he said, you know, "I was drunk, but I don`t know where those words came from. It wasn`t from me. It wasn`t what I feel."

And, you know, he had a .12 blood alcohol level, which is not out-of- your-mind drunk. And most people I think believe that when you say things like that, it is coming from somewhere inside you. And if he`s saying the words are anti-Semitic, and if it`s coming from inside him, therefore the equation is he`s anti-Semitic or he`s got some problem with it and he should get help for that.

And he wouldn`t own up to that, and it just felt tepid to me.

HAMMER: Yes, that`s a subject that`s been of a great deal of debate ever since this happened, and it`s something we`ll be getting into a little later on in the show.

I`ve got to tell you that I`ve watched the thing a couple of times today, and I felt like he was just kind of blase. I don`t feel like he seized any opportunity, and he kind of played it off like -- it almost felt like he was saying not such a big deal, even though his words were saying something different.

I only have a few seconds here.

LEVIN: Yes, I think it was a big deal in his life because of the publicity, but in terms of the mea culpa, where you have a flat-out mea culpa, it didn`t happen here.

HAMMER: Yes. There was almost like a holier than thou attitude going on. So we`ll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

Harvey Levin, managing editor from TMZ.com.

Appreciate it.

LEVIN: See you.

ANDERSON: Now we want to know what you think about it. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day". Mel Gibson: Do you believe he is an anti-Semite?

Vote at CNN.com/showbiztonight. Send us an e-mail, showbiztonight@cnn.com.

HAMMER: Well, we are just getting started on this Mel Gibson stuff. Coming up at 31 past the hour, we are asking one of Hollywood`s top publicity experts, is Mel Gibson`s career ruined, or is it possible that he can bounce back if he does the right amount of career rehab?

Also, at 43 past the hour, as I mentioned, the alcohol excuse is something that`s been the subject of much debate. Is it a legitimate excuse for Mel Gibson`s anti-Semitic rant?

That`s what we`ll be getting into a little later on on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s more mad Mel.

ANDERSON: The very funny lady who is becoming a big star with her Christian comedy -- her controversial mission to bring prayer to Hollywood.

HAMMER: Also coming up, another scary overseas run-in with the paparazzi for Angelina Jolie. Who`s to blame this time? And did anybody get hurt this time around?

That`s coming up.

We`ve also got this...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democrats (INAUDIBLE). The first was this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: We have seen some dirty political ads, but this anti- Democrat campaign spot is so shocking, so nasty, so over the top, that not even Republicans would put it on TV.

That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

Well, it`s time now for another story that made us say, "That`s ridiculous!"

Let`s sample some of the fine fair at the North Carolina State Fair, shall we?

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting deep fried Coca-Cola. All right. The recipe goes like this: mix funnel cake batter with Coke instead of water, and pour it into a deep fat fryer, sprinkle the whole mess with powdered sugar and some pure Coke syrup.

All right. Then you shove it into a cup. You top it with some whipped cream and cherries. You kiss your arteries goodbye and you enjoy.

This treat is making -- keeping all those cardiologists in business. It makes cotton candy look like health food, doesn`t it?

Deep fried Coke? We say, "That`s ridiculous!"

HAMMER: Well, Madonna is with child, again. Tonight, Madonna can now call a one-year-old motherless boy from Malawi in Africa her son, and only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is in the poverty-stricken African country as the court papers were signed by the young boy`s father, handing over his son to the music star.

ITN`s Martin Geissler reports for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN GEISSLER, REPORTER, ITN (voice over): There`s no disguising her delight. Madonna, a mother once again. The singer`s links with Malawi go back to no more than a year, but now they`re going to last a lifetime.

This is Davie Banda, taken from a rural orphanage to become the new son of arguably the most famous woman on earth. Today his natural father confirmed it. We traveled into the bush to meet Yohane Banda as he arrived home from court, where he had just seen his baby handed over to a superstar he`s never heard of.

(on camera): And you had to sign papers?

YOHANE BANDA, DAVIE`S FATHER: Yes.

GEISSLER: Yes? OK. And now it`s finished? She has adopted your son?

(voice over): But he told me he`s convinced he`s done the right thing.

BANDA (through translator): I`m not aware of Madonna. I don`t know who she is. All I know is that she will give my son a good life.

GEISSLER: The boy was brought to this orphanage at just 7 days old. His mother had died after childbirth. This family couldn`t afford to raise him. They thought he stood a better chance here. Little did they know how right they were.

Madonna, who is building her own orphanage here, will be subject to the same rules as anyone adopting a foreign child. The checks and reports will continue when she brings her new son back to Britain. She is expected to fly out of Malawi in the next 24 hours with a young boy who is about to begin a life no one else in his country can even dream of.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: That was ITN`s Martin Geissler reporting for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Now, of course Madonna also has two other kids, Rocco and Lourdes.

Now, we think that Madonna`s move is a great one, but you`ve got to hear this. This is an absolutely revolting, completely out of line editorial written by Andrea Peyser in today`s "New York Post".

The headline of this thing is, "Shameless Star Buys an African Souvenir." An African souvenir. I want to read to you a couple of the lowlights from this particular editorial.

Andrea writes, "Madonna, the sluttish, egomaniacal mother of the century, has topped even her most revolting self. Madonna has traveled far beyond her bra-bearing, intercourse-simulating, loser antics to grab attention."

Nice, Andrea.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asked Andrea Peyser to join us so she could defend what she wrote. She declined.

ANDERSON: How anybody can possibly say providing a motherless child with a mother and supportive family is wrong is beyond me.

But moving on now, we have been telling you about Mel Gibson speaking out about his anti-Semitic rant. Some people also said his movie "The Passion of the Christ" was anti-Semitic as well.

"Passion" was a big hit though, even though many in Hollywood thought religious-based films didn`t stand a chance. Now religious entertainment has gotten so big that FOX has even created FOX Faith, a division for Christian films.

Kerri Pomarolli is one of the most successful Christian entertainers in Hollywood. She`s also the author of "If I`m Waiting on God, Then What am I Doing in a Christian Chatroom?"

Kerri Pomarolli joins me now.

Hi, Kerri. Welcome.

KERRI POMAROLLI, CHRISTIAN COMEDIAN: Hey. How are you?

ANDERSON: Doing well, thanks.

Good to be here.

ANDERSON: Now, you know, just a short time ago, Kerri, you saw the Mel Gibson interview with Diane Sawyer. He talked about having to apologize repeatedly to fans, friends, family for his behavior.

You know, what do you think about it? Will people accept his apology and forgive him? Do you think people are going to buy it?

POMAROLLI: You know, it`s my job to come on your show as a Christian and walk the walk that I`m called to walk, which is, we have to forgive if somebody asks for repentance. Now, each person out there in Hollywood and the world can make their own decision whether they want to forgive Mel for the hurtful comments that he made, but I`m personally going to make the decision that he seemed very repentive on TV. And I hope that we can find it in our hearts to forgive him, because I do.

ANDERSON: He`s clearly trying to rehabilitate his image. He does want to continue to be successful in the industry, make more movies, be able to release them. Kerri, what do you think about the Hollywood community? I know you`re planning to forgive him, but do you think the Hollywood community as a whole will embrace him again?

POMAROLLI: You know, there`s been people like Jodie Foster and Patrick Swayze and some other friends of Mel`s that have actually come out and supported him. I mean, I know that Hollywood in general, we love to tear people down and then build them back up. We love drama; we love a good story.

And so, I`m going to be interested to see what happens. But, I mean, I`ve seen the cycle many times. We all have in Hollywood before. You know, basically when somebody makes a mistake, Hollywood can be a very embracing community. And I hope that they don`t make any exception when it comes to Mel Gibson.

ANDERSON: OK. I want to talk about faith-based entertainment. Despite the enormous success, Kerri, of "Passion of the Christ," "The Chronicles of Narnia"...

POMAROLLI: Right.

ANDERSON: ... television shows like "Seventh Heaven"...

POMAROLLI: Right.

ANDERSON: ... clearly there is an appetite out there for faith-based entertainment. But despite all of that, do you think Hollywood is doing enough?

POMAROLLI: Well, you know, we`re very trendy right now. Christianity is very in. We`re like the new Kabbalah. So I`m just waiting for Madonna to make a movie about us.

And -- no, I do think that the tide is turning. I mean, when we had a meeting of all the Christians in Hollywood, there was four people that showed up. And that was, you know, kind of fun, and I married one of them.

But the thing is, as a comedian, it`s my job to go out and be who I am. And I`m a Christian. And now I have seen the tide turning since I have started doing comedy, that basically now studios are coming and saying we want to talk about your book, we want to talk about your message, because, look, here`s the thing, 80 percent of our country is professing to have some sort of Christian faith.

We`re not buying booze, we`re not buying drugs. We`re buying movie tickets and video rentals. And I think Hollywood is finally starting to go, hmm, this is an interesting thing to tap into. Let`s see what we can do. You know?

So I think it`s kind of fun and exciting, and I love -- I love being on the ride.

ANDERSON: I love that you say you married one of the four people at that meeting. But Kerri...

POMAROLLI: I did. Well, I was in -- I was in ministry, though. I was doing JFK Jews for Kerri, and I was dating all of these really good looking Jewish boys with 401k plans. But, you know, when I gave them a bible, and they were like, "I only bought part one," I was like, you know, for the sake of reading both parts of the bible, I`m going to marry the other Christian guy in Hollywood. And he`s also a comedian, so it`s great for my act.

ANDERSON: Well, Kerri, it`s inspiring that you`re not afraid to share your beliefs and to encourage others.

Kerri Pomarolli, thanks so much for being here and sharing your insight, your perspective.

POMAROLLI: Thank you.

ANDERSON: And her book, "If I`m Waiting on God, Then Why am I in a Christian Chatroom ?" is in stores now.

HAMMER: Still to come, we have much more on Mel Gibson speaking out about his drunk driving arrest and anti-Semitic rant. Coming up, we ask a major star who battled the bottle himself, is alcohol really is a legit excuse for Mel`s mad behavior?

ANDERSON: And another scary overseas run-in with the paparazzi for Angelina Jolie. Who`s to blame this time? And did anyone get hurt?

Plus, we`ve got this...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (SINGING): Kumbaya, my lord, Kumbaya.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, we`ve certainly seen some pretty dirty political ads in the past, but this antidemocratic campaign spot is so shocking, so nasty, so over the top, not even Republicans want it on TV. And that is still to come.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Bono is launching a new program to fight AIDS in Africa, and he went shopping in Chicago with Oprah Winfrey today to get the word out. The project is called Red. It`s marketing products from Converse, Gap, Armani and others, with some of the proceeds going to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.

Bono sat down with Oprah today and he said that he`s counting on her audience to join the fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BONO, U2: A hundred and fifty thousand Africans die of a preventable, treatable disease every month. They don`t have to, and we think (INAUDIBLE) will just not have it. They`ll do the right thing.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: They`re not going to have it. They`re not going to have it. We`re going to do the right thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: More about Bono`s Red campaign tomorrow on "Oprah".

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is all over this Mel Gibson story. Mel speaking out on his anti-Semitic rant and drunk driving arrest.

Coming up, can his career bounce back, and is alcohol a legit excuse for what he did?

HAMMER: And another scary overseas run-in with the paparazzi for Angelina Jolie. Who`s to blame this time? And did anyone get hurt?

That is coming up.

HAMMER: An anti-Democrat campaign spot so shocking, so nasty, so over the top that not even Republicans would put it on TV. You don`t want to miss this.

Stay with us. That`s coming right up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And this is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

HAMMER: Still to come tonight, Brooke, as we`re hearing Mel Gibson speaking out for the very first time about his drunk-driving arrest and that anti-Semitic tirade, he continues to stress he`s not anti-Semitic; it was the booze talking. Which is an excuse not sitting well with a lot of people.

Actor Stephen Baldwin`s a guy who has battled the bottle in the past. He`ll join us in just a few to give us some perspective on that excuse.

ANDERSON: That`s right, A.J.

Also, talk about dirty, over-the-top political ads. There`s now an anti-Democrat campaign spot, A.J., that is so nasty, so shocking, even Republicans are saying, I`m not touching that one with a 10-foot pole.

HAMMER: Which is wild.

ANDERSON: We`re going to have it coming up.

HAMMER: But first tonight, Brooke, now more about our continuing coverage of Mel Gibson`s first interview since being arrested for DUI and going off an anti-Semitic rant.

Now after being released from jail that morning, the last thing you would expect Gibson to do is to go home and throw back a couple of cold ones. But that`s exactly what Gibson told ABC`s Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning, America."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEL GIBSON, ACTOR: I just went home, and some of my kids were there and, you know, I talked to them for a little bit. And it was a little - little rough that morning. So I chased it down with a few cold ones, you know? (INAUDIBLE)

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That morning?

GIBSON: Oh, yes. It was kind of unbearable to face.

SAWYER: But wait a minute: you talked to your kids while you were slugging down more to get through it?

GIBSON: You`re not operating well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well not only that, Gibson says that he has a problem with anger. Shocking.

But this one is - is one interview that may or may not help his rehabilitation.

We`re wondering about that tonight. So joining us to sort that out from Hollywood, Howard Bragman, who`s the founder of Fifteen Minutes public relations agency.

Howard, it`s good to see you.

HOWARD BRAGMAN, FOUNDER, FIFTEEN MINUTES PR FIRM: Hey, A.J. Good to be back. Thanks.

HAMMER: You`re welcome.

So he goes on "Good Morning America," and he says he`s not anti- Semitic. He does say he has a problem with alcohol, and he makes his grand apology more or less.

Could this possibly be enough?

BRAGMAN: I - I`m not buying it, A.J., and I think a lot of people aren`t. This wasn`t one moment; this was - this was the cult of - really, the end of a number of anti-Semitic moment sin his life. He`s said things before; his father`s a Holocaust denier. There are a lot of people who feel "Passion of the Christ" was a very anti-Semitic movie.

And - and for those of us that believe that, this incident really just affirmed all that. So I don`t one interview`s going to clean up that act.

HAMMER: Now Gibson did say - he said the anti-Semitic statements are not a reflection of who he is.

I - I want to watch this one particular clip from that interview this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAWYER: "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Are those anti-Semitic words?

GIBSON: Oh yes. Yes. Absolutely. It sounds horrible. And I`m ashamed of that -- that came out of my mouth. And I`m not that - that`s not who I am, you know?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Back to your point: not the first time that he`s dealt with being accused of being an anti-Semite.

So - so sorry really is just not enough here. There has to be something much deeper and grander from Mel Gibson. This one interview`s not going to cut it.

BRAGMAN: No. There needs to be a program. He really needs to acknowledge that he`s had some issues with anti-Semitism, as opposed to saying it`s just the alcohol speaking. And - and that`s the only way he`s going to get a true rehabilitation.

HAMMER: Howard, a word came up this morning that I think everybody watching at the time was shocked to hear. He - he did it give it context. But Mel Gibson told Diane Sawyer he thinks this whole experience was actually a blessing.

Let`s take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIBSON: .a way for me. I`m sort of viewing it now as a kind of a blessing, because.

SAWYER: A blessing?

GIBSON: Yes. Well firstly - I got stopped before I did any real damage to anyone else. Thank God for that. I didn`t hurt myself, you know? I didn`t leave my kids fatherless. That`s good. That`s a blessing, OK?

The other thing is, sometimes you need a cold bucket of water in the face to sort of snap to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: So Howard, I`m listening to this and watching this this morning, and I`m thinking, Wow, what savvy media guru put those words in his mouth? Because that`s a clich' if I`ve heard one.

I - I believe that he may feel that way. But it sounds like a lot of spin to me.

BRAGMAN: It sounds like a lot of spin to me and - and a lot of people. And I don`t - I`m frankly not buying it.

And I don`t think a lot of people in the entertainment industry are going to buy it. I mean, Mel has his fans. I`m not worried about Mel making a living or - or his career, to be honest. Because like his last movie, he`ll just go make them outside the studio system and make more money.

But at the same time, there - there`s got to be a rehab effort. He lives in this town. He - he deals with - with the entertainment community everyday, which is very Jewish and - and - at many levels. And I don`t think people are comfortable yet dealing with Mel Gibson and saying, I want him to star in my movie. He`s not there yet.

HAMMER: So exactly what does he - what does he do, Howard? Because you mentioned a few things he should do within the Jewish community. But it really is - it`s a much bigger picture than that.

If he were your client - and knowing you, I`m - I`m thinking you might not even take him on as a client. But if you did, what - what would you have him do?

BRAGMAN: You know, he`s got to acknowledge the kind of home he grew up in. His father was an - is an acknowledged Holocaust denier. He`s got to talk about that. He`s got to do a little psychoanalysis of himself, and hit that cathartic moment where he says, I was raised in this home. I was raised with ideas that were warped and wrong. And - and say things like, I love my father, but I - but I respectfully disagree with him on these issues. And it takes a lot to overcome by upbringing.

He`s got to acknowledge that, as opposed to just saying, It`s the alcohol. I think there`s very few people that believe that what comes out of your mouth when you`re drunk is anything but the truth.

HAMMER: We`re going to watch it unfold as the days progress, and as we see Part 2 coming up of this particular interview.

I have to tell you, we know Hollywood`s all about the bottom line, so we may get quicker forgiveness to Mel Gibson than - than we could possibly expect.

Howard Bragman, thanks for joining us tonight.

BRAGMAN: Thanks a lot, A.J.

ANDERSON: All right. It looks like there may have been another incident involving Angelina Jolie and the paparazzi in India, where she is shooting scenes for a movie about the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl.

Police are investigating whether a car that Jolie was riding in hit a motorcycle rider. The 19-year-old biker says Jolie`s car was swarmed by paparazzi at the time. He was knocked down on his bike, but wasn`t seriously hurt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I do not actually know if it was her car. But I saw it being chased by lots of reporters in their vehicles. One of them was even sitting backwards on his bike. So I guess it was them.

I saw Mike (ph), Jolie`s bodyguard, in the car.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Just last weekend, one of Jolie`s bodyguards was caught on tape manhandling a photographer as he tried to take pictures of Angelina and Brad Pitt at their hotel. You see it right here - he goes for the neck - there it is.

OK, it`s dueling break-up songs for Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. The video for Simpson`s song "I Belong To Me" is out now.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Simpson`s record label says the song is all about making a fresh start. And her former husband, Nick Lachey, seems to be singing a similar tune. His new single is called "I Can`t Hate You Anymore."

And this morning on "The View" he talked about making his own fresh start.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK LACHEY, SINGER: I think when you go through something like a divorce is, you know, there`s a different stages. And - and - and for me, I - I definitely went through an angrier stage and - and - and kind of got to the end of it, where I just decided, This is ridiculous, you know? I`m not going to remain this bitter person anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)

LACHEY: Trying to move on. Yes.

So it`s a - that`s kind of what this song`s about, is it`s about I`m not going to - I`m not going to be filled with that hate anymore. It`s time to - to move on, and move on to other things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Nick also said that a number of factors went into his divorce, including the "Newlyweds" reality show on MTV. But they did the best they could, and he doesn`t want to live with any regrets.

HAMMER: The weekend is almost here. Don`t panic; SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right here as well. Seven nights a week - you can find us every single night of the week. TV`s most provocative entertainment show is on your weekends, as well as Monday through Friday, 11 p.m. Eastern, 8 o`clock Pacific.

Well, a man gets thrown in jail for a ticket that`s more than 20 years old. It`s a story that made us say, "That`s Ridiculous!" It`s coming up next.

ANDERSON: Plus, is alcohol an excuse for Mel Gibson`s anti-Semitic tirade? We`re talking to another star who has dealt with the pressure of substance abuse while in the public eye. That`s coming up.

We`ll also have this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Makes me want to sit around a campfire. Madeleine Albright singing with terrorists? It`s an anti-Democratic ad that`s so outrageous even the GOP won`t show it. And that is shocking.

We`re going to show you what all the fuss is about, coming up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A.J. is at desk with tracking (ph) after the break. Roll it, and effect black.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

Well, it`s time now for another story that made us say, "That`s Ridiculous!"

We`re all for not breaking the law. But tossing a man in jail for a 20-year-old ticket? Come on.

All right. Listen to this: a 60-year-old visiting his elderly mom in Wisconsin was tossed in the slammer for 17 hours. A background check during a routine traffic stop turned an arrest warrant for a 1984 ticket. Now the man said he never even knew about the ticket for failure to display boat registration numbers. He claims it was sent to them after he had moved.

Lock a guy up for a long-ago ticket that he wasn`t even aware of? Now "That`s Ridiculous!"

HAMMER: Now more on our coverage of Mel Gibson`s dramatic interview with Diane Sawyer.

Mel Gibson basically said that it was the alcohol that set him off into his anti-Semitic tirade. He said it`s a bad excuse. But the question, can alcohol really be used in - as an excuse.

Joining me tonight from Washington is the author of the book "The Unusual Suspect," our friend, actor Stephen Baldwin.

It`s nice to see you, Stephen.

STEPHEN BALDWIN, ACTOR: Hey, A.J. How you doing, bro?

HAMMER: I`m good, man.

As we got rolling here, let`s take a look at a clip from Mel Gibson`s interview this morning with Diane Sawyer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIBSON: Alcohol loosens your tongue and makes you act, say and behave in a way that is not you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: All right, Stephen. I - I think you`re a good guy to give us some perspective on all of this, because you`ve battled drugs and alcohol in your life. You entered a 12-step program. You`ve been sober for 16 years, something you`ve written about in your book.

Do you buy Mel`s claim that it was the booze talking, and it doesn`t mean that he`s anti-Semitic because these things were coming out of him?

BALDWIN: Well, I`ll - I`ll just say this, A.J.: You know, anti- Semitic is a really strong term. This is a guy who`s been working in Hollywood for many years. He`s done a lot of really great things for the industry.

I don`t think the man hates Jews. And I - I actually - you know, I - I`ve been places, A.J., where I don`t remember three days that - that pass. You know, I - I`ve woken up on a Monday and didn`t know what happened from Friday night, you know? So for me, it`s not an excuse, obviously. It was a - it was a - an unfortunate situation. He`s obviously very embarrassed.

But in fact, you can absolutely have no idea what`s coming out of your mouth and - and - and have serious regrets, as a result.

HAMMER: Well - well certainly regrets, Stephen. But - but what about the basic idea that people are floating around - and a lot of people say, if he didn`t have that stuff in him somewhere - if that stuff wasn`t, you know, maybe hidden under a rock inside of him, then why all of a sudden would it be coming out of him?

BALDWIN: Well, you - A.J., honestly, I`m more about trying to look at the positive side of - of who this guy is.

Unfortunately, this is the focus of everybody right now, while at the same time his new film is being considered by some insiders to be potentially his greatest work. It`s just sad that people - I`m not saying it was right. I`m saying it would be interesting if the forgiveness thing could kick in a little bit more quicker, and let`s focus on the positive. The guy said he`s sorry; he - he`s obviously embarrassed.

I think it was because of the alcohol, to be quite honest. Hey, some people aren`t going to buy that. And I understand that.

HAMMER: Well, to - to - to that point, Stephen - you know, Gibson has said that people who don`t have the problem, who haven`t dealt with alcoholism, don`t understand it.

BALDWIN: That`s true.

HAMMER: You`ve been there yourself. So you say it`s true.

BALDWIN: Absolutely.

HAMMER: It`s actually harder for people without that experience of substance abuse to understand what it`s all about?

BALDWIN: Right. But let`s not get away from a point that you just made, that`s - that`s very valid. Somewhere deep inside, you know, underneath it all, what`s going on -- listen, the guy made a mistake. I think it`s more important that he go in his personal life and - and find the solution to whatever that issue is.

He shouldn`t air his laundry out in public anymore. He`s got a wife; he`s got a - kids. Doesn`t need to be going back on the media to have somebody spin it in another way to make him look more embarrassed down the road. The guy said he`s sorry. Let`s - let`s forgive the guy, and let`s focus on the contributions he can continue to make to this amazing industry in the future.

HAMMER: You know, somebody once said to me, Alcoholism is the only disease that you get yelled at for having.

BALDWIN: I - I got a better one: alcohol is the only disease known to man and science that tells the person that has it that they don`t have it.

HAMMER: So all that being said, should we - should we have sympathy for Mel at this point?

BALDWIN: Well, I have sympathy for him. I really do.

I - I think the guy`s a huge talent. He`s - he`s a - forget about me and born again Christian and "Passion of the Christ." Forget about all that. I`ve been loving Mel Gibson`s movies since I was a little kid, and - and here`s this next film that he did that I think is really going to be amazing. It`s going to be a beautiful of art. Probably - you know, again, insiders are saying, possibly his greatest piece of work to date. That`s saying a lot.

Unfortunately, he had this mishap. I - obviously, the guy definitely didn`t mean what he said. I think it was the alcohol talking. I.

HAMMER: Real - real quickly, I just want to ask you a quick question that I - you could possibly relate to.

BALDWIN: Sure.

HAMMER: He - he made it real clear today that alcohol is a demon form, and how quickly he - he was able to fall off the wagon by somebody just putting a shot in front of him.

Is it - is it really that instantaneous?

BALDWIN: Well, yes. I mean, if - if you`re not in whatever kind of daily routine that you need to be - to keep your - your mental alertness and awareness where it needs to be, so that when that moment of opportunity comes, and - I - I could tell you stories of - of friends of mine, who, sober eight, 10, 15 years, all of a sudden, boom, just they - they were tired, they weren`t focused, they weren`t paying attention, and then something crossed their path. And for that nanosecond, they went, Ah, what the heck. You know what I mean?

HAMMER: Stephen, I - I appreciate you giving us some important perspective on this.

Stephen Baldwin, thanks for joining us tonight.

BALDWIN: Thank you, A.J.

ANDERSON: A filmmaker who`s known for spoof movies like "Scary Movie 3" has created an anti-Democratic ad that is so outrageous, so over the top, not even the GOP will release it.

Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You can bet the real Madeleine Albright thinks this is anything but bright: a Republican- inspired Internet video showing an Albright look-alike serving cookies to terrorists.

(SINGING)

MOOS: A suicide bomber set off on a mission.

The video is called...

DAVID ZUCKER, FILM MAKER: "Basketball Diplomacy."

MOOS: ... because it starts with something that really did happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madeleine Albright gave North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il a basketball signed by Michael Jordan.

MOOS: Sort of like when Donald Rumsfeld gave Saddam Hussein gold cowboy spurs as a gift.

Kim Jong-Il is a huge basketball fan. Here`s the real toast back in the year 2000.

The "Basketball Diplomacy" video is the creation of film maker David Zucker, best known for slapstick comedies like "Naked Gun 2 1/2" and "Scary Movie 3."

Were Republicans scared of this video? Zucker did it at the request of the Republican National Committee, but now he says the RNC won`t release it.

ZUCKER: They may have been a little appalled.

MOOS (on camera): Appalled? Maybe. But analysts say there is no downside for the Republicans to have this thing circulating unofficially.

The Republican National Committee clammed up when we asked about the video: no comment.

(voice-over): It shows Albright helping to paint Osama bin Laden`s cave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact remains, there is evil in the world.

MOOS: Not that Bush foes haven`t used Osama.

OSAMA BIN LADEN (dubbed over): Give it up for George W. Bush, the best friend international jihad ever had.

MOOS: This was put out by an individual, not the Democratic Party.

As for using impersonators, Will Ferrell played a bumbling President Bush in 2004.

WILL FERRELL, ACTOR: Oh my God.

MOOS: Now it`s Madeline Albright`s turn to get beaten up on. Last month, she was portrayed as a shrew in the movie "The Path to 9/11."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are regional factors involved here.

MOOS: For the record, Albright is considered to be more gregarious than shrewish.

JAMIE RUBIN, FORMER STATE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: She`s got a pretty good sense of humor, but I don`t think she would laugh, nor should the American people laugh at this phony attempt to divert blame for what has happened on Bush`s watch.

MOOS: Albright`s office notes that during the two terms of the Clinton administration, there were no nuclear weapons tests by North Korea.

"President Bush chose a different path, and the results are evident for all to see."

Also evident for all to see, in the Zucker video, is Albright`s skirt splitting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Evil needs to be confronted.

ZUCKER: I could do a non-apology apology, where they say, I`m sorry if anyone took offense.

MOOS: At the very least, he could offer Ambassador Albright cookies and kumbaya.

(SINGING)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And that was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Well, Richie Havens was one of the most outspoken celebrities against the Vietnam War back in the 1960s. Tonight, nearly 40 years later, he`s still singing about the same anti-war message.

I had the chance to sit down with the famous folk singer, who was, by the way, the very first performer at Woodstock back in 1969. Richie told me that he`s still fired up about bringing the troops home. This time around, of course, it`s the war in Iraq. And it`s the same anger that he; Peter, Paul and Mary; Joan Baez; and Bob Dylan felt back in the day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHIE HAVENS, SINGER: The common thing is definitely bring the soldiers on. That`s the common thing, you know? And - and there`s a good reason for it. It was because, you know, in the beginning, everybody was still talking about proof. And we still haven`t been provided with anything.

But it is happening. So, you know, like the past - in the past, they used that against us as well, as a group, as a whole group, by saying we didn`t like soldiers, you know?

But you have to imagine, we didn`t - could not have possibly not liked soldiers. They were our parents, our brothers, our sisters and people - guys we knew who didn`t want to go.

HAMMER: I`ve - I`ve never understood that mentality of, Well, if you don`t support the war, you don`t support our troops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: This is a theme that`s on Richie`s current album. It`s fantastic. It`s called "Grace Of the Sun." And Richie`s also out on tour at the moment. Check out his Web site, richiehavens.com. All the info`s right there.

ANDERSON: Last night, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." It was this: "Eating Disorders: Is the fashion industry to blame?" Seventy-nine percent of you say "yes"; 21 percent of you say "no."

Here`s some of the e-mails we received.

Devon from California says, "The fashion industry is sending the wrong message to all women. Everyone should be made to feel equal, no matter your size."

Faye from New Mexico writes, "You can`t blame the fashion industry because it is peer pressure. You have a mind of your own!"

We appreciate your e-mails.

Stay with us. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: We`ve been asking you to vote on tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Mel Gibson: Do you believe he is an anti- Semite?" Keep voting at cnn.com/showbiztonight. Write to us, showbiztonight@cnn.com. We`re going to read some of your thoughts tomorrow.

HAMMER: Here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.

As we get into the weekend, "Deliver Us From Evil." It`s a startling documentary that tells the story of one of the most notorious pedophiles in the Catholic Church molestation scandal. The people behind this controversial film tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also tomorrow, the SHOWBIZ weight watch continues. From Paula Abdul to "Reba" star Scarlett Pomers, stars who have battled eating disorders themselves are trying to help others.

We`ll get into all of that tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you so much for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: Have a great night, everybody. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

Glenn Beck is coming up next. Stay tuned, right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News.

END

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