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Sara`s Shocking Split!; Whitney Waves Goodbye; Jen and Vince Together; That`s Ridiculous!; Madonna Adoption Battle; McCartney-Mills Divorce; Wrongfully Imprisoned; Rx for Rehab;

Aired October 18, 2006 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CNN CO-HOST: Shocking new allegations of mistreatment in the Paul McCartney-Heather Mills split.
I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CO-HOST: And the stunning story of a man who spent 19 years in prison for a crime he didn`t commit. A new documentary from one of O.J. Simpson`s former attorneys.

I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT celebrity divorce shockers. Tonight, one of country`s biggest stars breaks her silence about her marriage.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I thought anything like this would, would happen in my life -- no.


HAMMER: her alarming accusations of disgusting pornography, chilling abuse and alleged adultery with a nanny.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would never do something like this.


HAMMER: Plus, startling new developments in the Whitney Houston-Bobby Brown split.

And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, got to ask -- should stars just keep all this divorce dirty laundry to themselves?

"Prescription for Rehab." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s revealing look at stars battling drugs and alcohol. Tonight, a shocking story of a star playing a drug dealer on the big screen and dealing with the real-life heroin addiction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes I`d try to hide it from certain people.


HAMMER: Tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special series, "Prescription for Rehab."

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

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

And Sara Evans may have danced away from "Dancing with the Stars," but she cannot get away from the nightmare that has become her life.

ANDERSON: A.J., there are new developments tonight in the shocking split of the country music superstar from her husband, a divorce battle filled with startling claims of cheating, abuse, pornography, and even an affair with a nanny. Tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the very latest on Sara`s story.


SARA EVANS, COUNTRY SINGER: I think right now I`m just in shock.

ANDERSON (voice-over): That`s an understatement. Shocking is the best way to describe the turmoil surrounding Country Singer Sara Evans. She made her first appearance on ABC`s "Dancing with the Stars" after announcing she was quitting the celebrity dance show to deal with the very public end of her marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our friend, Sara Evans, has left the competition for personal reasons.

EVANS: Things drastically went downhill, you know, 100 miles an hour.

ANDERSON: So down hill that her storybook 13-year marriage to Republican Activist Craig Schelske is now in shambles with very public charges of verbal abuse, porn addiction, and adultery. Her husband is firing back, and so is the former nanny and friend Sara accuses of sleeping with her husband.

ALISON CLINTON, NANNY: The allegations are so false. It just doesn`t make any sense.

ANDERSON: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is bringing you the latest on the she said-he said-she said battle involving one of Nashville`s biggest stars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dancing the pasadoga (ph) Sara Evans.

ANDERSON: Sara Evans, the platinum selling country superstar, was one of the breakout celebrity dancers on "Dancing with the Stars," the number one show in America.

But in her interview with "Dancing with the Stars" Host Tom Bergeron, seen by millions, Evans says she only found out hours before a recent show about the allegations that brought down her marriage. She says it was a struggle to go through with the show.

EVANS: As an entertainer, you -- we just have that ability to just sort of flip the switch, turn it on, do the dance, and, you know, make it through the day. That`s what I was hoping was going to happen throughout the entire life of the show.

ANDERSON: But she says it was too much for her. She filed for divorce from her husband, accusing him of, among other things, adultery, watching pornography and verbal abuse. She says she ultimately decided to leave the show to focus on her children.

EVANS: I just needed to, you know, take care of my children. And I knew that -- and I knew that nothing in my career, no television show, nothing was more important than that.

ANDERSON: "People" magazine named Sara Evans one of their 25 hottest country stars in their special country issue. "People`s" Julie Dam points out to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Evans seems to carefully avoid repeating the racy allegations against her husband during her TV appearance.

JULIE DAM, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Everything was already down in the papers and everything. She probably didn`t feel like she really wanted to address things specifically.

CLINTON: It just -- it hurt so bad.

ANDERSON: Sarah`s former nanny, Alison Clinton, whom Evans has accused of sleeping with her husband, is even offering to take a lie detector test to prove her innocence.

CLINTON: I love Sara. She`s my very best friend. You know, I would never do something like this. And Craig wouldn`t do something like this.

ANDERSON: Evans` husband is also taking a stand. In a statement, he says, quote, "I cannot explain why Sara is waging a false media campaign, but I intend to defend myself in court and protect my children as best I can."

These charges and countercharges are a sad turn of events for the country superstar.

Just last year SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with Sara, her husband and their young children on the road. They seemed to be the perfect American family, and Sara seemed to be an unbelievably happy wife and mother.

EVANS: Craig and I are madly in love. I believe the most important thing in America, you know, that we can do for our country and for our families is to, you know, keep our marriages together, keep our families intact.

ANDERSON: Such devotion to traditional family values is what helped Sara become a platinum-selling country superstar. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT traveled to Dixie, Atlanta, to be exact, see how Sara`s troubles are playing down south.

WILEY ROSE, D.J., KICKS 101.5: She`s country as corn, she`s American as apple pie.

ANDERSON: Wiley Rose is a deejay for Atlantic country music station Kicks 101.5. She says Sara`s fans are supporting her during this tough ordeal.

ROSE: Country listeners, in general, are very dedicated to the people that they hold in high regard. And Sara Evans has always been a great mom, a great wife, a conservative Republican in their eyes. So for her to come forth and put something that is totally against the grain has been actually good listen for her.

ANDERSON: It`s that kind of fan support that Sara Evans will need to draw from in this difficult time in her very public life.

EVANS: I`m worried about everybody involved. I`m worried about my husband. I`m worried about his family. I`m worried about my family.


ANDERSON (on camera): The allegations are getting even more shocking. Alison Clinton, the former nanny, Sara is accusing of having an affair with her husband, is telling ABC News that Sara Evans suffered what Clinton is calling a, quote, "Exhaustion breakdown." We can expect to hear more about that in the coming days.

Now coming up at 31 past the hour, shocking new details in another high-profile celebrity split. What Heather Mills is alleging Paul McCartney did to her. That`s at 31 past the hour.

HAMMER: Even more shocking celeb split news, Whitney Houston says I want a divorce with somebody. Yes, she has made it official. After filing for separation last month, Whitney has now filed official divorce papers in a California court seeking a split from her husband of 14 years, Bobby brown. She is also looking for custody of their 13-year-old daughter.

Whitney and Bobby`s marriage has really been a roller coaster ride with a bunch of episodes of drugs and alcohol abuse. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT did call Whitney`s publicist. No comment from her.

We are hearing Whitney is working on a big comeback album with legendary record producer Clive Davis.

ANDERSON: Well, Whitney and Bobby may be splitting, but one of the hottest couples is not only denying they are over, but threatening to take legal action to prove it.

In an extraordinary move, Vince Vaughn is threatening to sue newspapers who are reporting that he and Jennifer Aniston are over. The disputed rumor of the Jen-Vince breakup is the cover story of the upcoming new issue of "People" magazine, which hits newsstands Friday.

But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got your first look with "People" magazine`s Julie Jordan, who is with us in Hollywood.

Hi Julie.


ANDERSON: OK, so, Vince Vaughn now saying, no way, absolutely not, hands down, that he and Jen are not over. He is saying it`s impossible. And Jen`s denying it, too. In fact, she even went on "Oprah" and did so.

And Julie, I want to take a listen now to what she told Oprah.



OPRAH WINFREY, HOST "OPRAH": Are you broken up?




WINFREY: And for -- that`s great.


WINFREY: And I know that, for the most part, you know, you live in this world where people say things about you all the time that are not true.


WINFREY: And you normally just ignore it.



ANDERSON: Here`s what gets me, Julie. They`re denying a split. But these are two people who never really confirmed they were a couple in the first place. So what`s going on here? Are they speaking out of both sides of their mouth?

JORDAN: Well, I think it`s more along the lines they just want to be seen as a real couple. There was all the speculation and frenzy when they did "The Break Up." And it was kind of a little bit of intrigue that leant to the publicity of the film, you know, not really confirming they were a couple, like you said.

But now, with the tabloid frenzy attacking kind of their character, the nature of their relationship, the fact that they`re taking such a stance, that Vince is coming out saying he`ll sue publications that say there was infidelity, that Jennifer`s going on "Oprah." She came to "People," saying, you know, they`re not engaged, they`re still together. Everything`s good. It just shows how serious the relationship has become, and if anything, what the future may hold for them.

ANDERSON: "People" magazine covers the fact also that Vince, through his lawyers, has made the point that he has never been unfaithful. Julie, what has "People" found out about where these split rumors and unfaithful rumors, about where they`re coming from?

JORDAN: Well they`ve spent a lot of time apart, that`s the first thing.


JORDAN: He`s working in London on a film. She`s been in L.A. working on a short film. She`s about to head to New York for a play.

So the distance itself has lent to speculation that there was problems in paradise and that they weren`t together and in fact were cooling off.

And then you see Vince in London saying goodbye to a married producer of a play that he is working on. And of course everyone in the tabloid world is going to assume that he is cheating on Jennifer or that he in fact is having a new relationship. That`s where he drew the line and said, this isn`t the case, I want to set the record straight. He and Jennifer are still together, and that just the physical distance is keeping them apart, but that`s it for now.

ANDERSON: OK. Very quickly, I want to get to one more couple that "People" magazine is talking about right now. Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards. In the middle of a nasty divorce, all of a sudden they are playing, as "People" puts it, they`re calling a cease-fire?

JORDAN: Yes, they are playing nice, which is great. Denise has reached out to Charlie`s girlfriend, really wants her to feel comfortable. They`re kind of going out as a family unit. They know that it`s important to put all their past issues behind them for the sake of their children. And, you know, it`s kind of nice to see.

ANDERSON: It`s very nice to see. Well, thank you for keeping us in the loop the with these couples and the drama that inevitably surrounds them.

"People" magazine`s Julie Jordan, thanks so much.

And that issue of "people" magazine hits newsstands on Friday.

HAMMER: All right, so what do you think about all of these juicy and sometimes graphic details about celebrity relationships? That`s what we`re asking for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Star Splits: Should they keep their dirty laundry to themselves? Get online to vote at or send us an e-mail at

And remember SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show that lets you express your opinion on video. We just want you to look right into your video camera or your web cam and send us a little piece of your mind by a video e-mail. It`s very easy. Just go to our Web site, That`s where you learn how to do it. All you have to do is click, attach and send. Keep in mind, the video`s got to be less than 30 seconds. You can watch for your video e-mails only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And we would like to congratulate Cory Nabess from Vancouver, Canada. He has the distinction of being the very first SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewer to send of a video e-mail. And he did it to last night`s "Question of the Day," which was all about the worldwide going on over Madonna adopting an African baby boy.

The question was, Adoption Controversy: Is Madonna being treated unfairly? And it looks like Cory`s got Madonna`s back.


CORY NABESS, VANCOUVER, CANADA: Hi there. I think Madonna is being treated unfairly. I think she should be allowed to adopt as many children as she wants, 100 for that matter. As long as those kids are being fed, clothed, getting an education, and they`re being loved, who cares? Maybe let`s start a giant wave and more kids will get adopted. Let it go.


HAMMER: Well done, Cory. Remember, you can get your 30 seconds of fame, too. Just send us your video e-mail by heading over to That`s where you`ll find out everything you might need to know on how to do it.

ANDERSON: Coming up, an elementary school has banned one of our favorite schoolyard games, tag. Why we think that`s absolutely ridiculous, next.

HAMMER: Also, shocking new allegations in the Paul McCartney-Heather Mills breakup. Did Paul mistreat her? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT heads to London to get answers. We`ve also got this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If this man is entirely innocent, is it still your position that he is entitled to no relief at all? And she said, yes, that`s our position.


ANDERSON: The absolutely stunning story of a man who spent 19 years in prison for rape, a crime he didn`t commit. That`s part of a new documentary from one of the famous attorneys who defended O.J. Simpson. That`s still to come.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Wednesday night. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And it`s time now for a story that made us say, "that`s ridiculous!"

The game of tag. It`s one of the pure, simple joys of childhood, right? Well, not in one town. There`s an elementary school in Attleboro, Massachusetts, which is a suburb of Boston, that has banned tag.

Say it`s not so! Not only tag, but touch football, and any other recess games that involve chases. Apparently the school is concerned about getting sued if kids get into accidents. And it looks like they`re not alone. There are schools in Washington, Wyoming and South Carolina that have always nixed this kind of stuff, too.

But, you know, recess, it`s supposed to be fun. First it was dodge ball, now it`s tag. What`s next, kick ball? Jacks? Tossing tag, we say, "That`s Ridiculous!"

ANDERSON: Yes, let the kids be kids.

All right, now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your very first look at Madonna with her newly adopted baby boy. Here are the "People" magazine pictures of Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie, with little 1-year-old David. He is now in England, after leaving Malawi a few days ago.

Madonna has come under fire from some adoption and human rights groups. They say she was able to fast track the adoption process because she is a celebrity, and they want the adoption reversed. The baby`s father is now blasting those critics saying, since he OK`d it, they should back off.

Read more about Madonna`s adoption in this week`s "People" magazine. It`s on newsstands Friday.

HAMMER: Well, it wasn`t long after Madrid imposed its controversial ban on super skinny models that big-time designer Isaac Mizrahi gave us a piece of his mind about the ban.

We`d run into him at a show, and he said he`s all for the ban. Isaac`s a guy who has certainly dressed just as many celebrity A-listers as he has every day people.

His new show, "Isaac," on the Style Network, is getting a little one on one time with the stars in between fittings.

Isaac Mizrahi, joining us in New York.

It`s nice to see you.

ISAAC MIZRAHI, DESIGNER: How are you? Good to see you too.

HAMMER: So, it was funny, we ran into you right after this ban on the super skinny models, and you said, that`s great, the super skinny models got to go. Why? Why do they have to get out?

MIZRAHI: Well, you know, honestly, I don`t necessarily think that they have to go. I just think there has to be like a broader spectrum of bodies that are interesting.

I don`t think just because someone is necessarily thin or small, they are pretty. You know what I mean? They have to, like, sort of be present in their own bodies. I mean, there are girls that I know who are super skinny, who eat like truck drivers. It`s just that they have -- no seriously, they have really, really great metabolisms and they digest food right away. And then, you know, some of them you can tell they are starving themselves.

HAMMER: Yes, I mean, can we throw that still up one more time, Charles, because certainly young women who look like this...

MIZRAHI: No, that`s not good.

HAMMER: ... I mean, you see her ribs poking through, and we`re told that that is normal, she does not have an eating disorder.

And the thing is, Isaac, there has been a quick reaction from different sides, from the fashion industry, with some designers saying, hey, you know what, this is our art. We like to dress these girls in our clothes because our clothes hang well on them. They drape well. Don`t point your finger at us about eating disorders.

MIZRAHI: Well, wait a second. I mean, there`s -- there`s like women that clothes look well on. And then there are women that are just too thin, and it`s creepy. You know what I mean? You just, you can see when they walk down the street, their expression is off. It`s slightly off because they haven`t eaten anything in days. You know what I mean? There is nothing inside of them because they just need the nourishment. Do you know what I mean?

HAMMER: And putting those models in the public eye, it send a terrible message, doesn`t it?

MIZRAHI: Right. It really does. And you know, and like their skin is bad, and yes, in the public eye, that`s a really bad message.

It`s a very, very fine line. It`s like, I know there are people out there who really like skinny, skinny models. And then all of a sudden it crosses the line and it`s not good. Well, then you have to consider the really skinny, skinny models. You have to really consider the levels. It`s all a balance, you know.

HAMMER: It is all a balance. And it`s not all just models that we see going super skinny. It`s Hollywood stars, too.

On your show, "Isaac," you talk to a lot, and you`re hanging with the celebs, and the big-time stars in Hollywood. Do they talk to you at all about the pressures they feel to stay thin? Because it is an ever present thing in Hollywood.

MIZRAHI: Well, I have to say, I think that the pressures that the starlets feel in Hollywood isn`t a pressure that comes down from like, you know, the powers that be in Hollywood. It`s like Steven Spielberg`s office issues something saying you`ve got to be skinny girls. I mean, that doesn`t happen. I think now it`s those girls who see each other, like, they say, uh-oh, like Sienna is skinny, I better skinny.


MIZRAHI: Or like Nicole got really thin, I better take off a few pounds. You know, I mean, like it`s an insanity that`s working sort of the girls themselves.

HAMMER: Yes, it`s a vicious cycle.

MIZRAHI: It`s a vicious cycle. Yes.

HAMMER: Also on your show, not only are you dressing celebrities, you`re dressing every day women.

MIZRAHI: That`s right.

HAMMER: Do you feel a responsibility as a fashion designer to dress for all shapes and sizes, to design for all shapes and sizes?

MIZRAHI: I feel a big responsibility to sort of be as democratic as I can. You know, that`s who I am, though, you see. I`m not like, you know, kind of affecting something because I`m doing a show. This is always who I`ve been. I have, like, you know, thin girls on the runway. I have big girls on the runway. I have like, you know, friends who are really big stars that have friends who are just ordinary people, and I treat them because that`s what I -- I like to be treated that way, so I treat them the same as I would anybody.

HAMMER: Well, the one sense I`ve always had of you, and it comes clear on this show, is you like to make women and people feel good about themselves. The best of luck with the show.

MIZRAHI: Thank you very much.

HAMMER: Good to see you, Isaac.

HAMMER: And Isaac`s new show is called, guess what? "Isaac." It premieres on October 23rd on the Style Network.

Well, the startling thing that Mel Gibson told Amy Grant about his controversial movie, "Passion of the Christ," is coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, shocking new allegations in the Paul McCartney- Heather Mills breakup. Did Paul mistreat her? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT heads to London to get answers.

Plus we`ve got this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If this man is entirely innocent, is it still your position that he is entitled to no relief at all? And she said, yes, that`s our position.


HAMMER: Unbelievable. An absolutely stunning story of a man who spent 19 years in prison for rape, a crime he didn`t commit. It`s part of the new documentary from one of the famous attorneys who defended O.J. Simpson. That`s coming up.


ANDERSON: Will Lindsay Lohan be giving up dancing on furniture for dusting furniture? The 20-year-old starlet tells "In Style" magazine she`s got an ambitious 10-year plan that includes some domestic down time. "I want to get married before I`m 30. And have a house. And make the kind of record I want. And I`d like to win an Oscar before then. Owning a house will make me very proud. I need a place to be home, to feel it`s mine. I`m pretty practical. I`m a very domestic person."

Lindsay also says her favorite mistake so far, falling in love for the first time, and abusing the relationship. Read more in "In Style" on newsstands Friday.

HAMMER: "Prescription for Rehab." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s revealing look at stars battling drugs and alcohol. It`s our special week-long series, and it continues, coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, shocking new allegations in the Paul McCartney- Heather Mills breakup. Did Paul mistreat Heather? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT heads to London to get the answer.

Plus, we`ve also got this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If this man is entirely innocent, is it still your position that he is entitled to no relief at all? And she said, yes, that`s our position.


HAMMER: This is going to rattle your cage. The absolutely stunning story of a man who spent 19 years in prison for rape -- a crime he did not commit. It`s part of a new documentary from one of the attorneys who defended O.J. Simpson. That`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

RICHELLE CAREY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, I`m Richelle Carey. Thanks for checking in for your headline prime newsbreak.

October`s U.S. military death toll in Iraq is now at 68, after 10 troops died Tuesday and one died Wednesday. The White House says President Bush grieves the loss, but has no plans to withdraw.

New Orleans police are investigating a particularly grisly crime. They found a dismembered woman while searching a French Quarter apartment above a voodoo shop. The woman`s boyfriend had committed suicide a short time earlier. A note found on his body led them to that apartment.

The family of a 19-year-old who was mistakenly identified as a classmate who died in a car accident plans to sue Grant County, Indiana`s coroner. The crash drew national attention when relatives learned the identities of Whitney Cerak and Laura VanRyn had been mixed up.

And the government says the benefits of eating seafood outweigh the risks of consuming contaminants. Critics say the report, though, should have specified good dish and bad dish.

That`s the news for now. Keep it here. Thank you very much for watching. I`m Richelle Carey.


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. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, the number of people who are serving time for crimes they didn`t commit would absolutely astound you. There is a great new film which documents wrongly accused men, who serve these massive prison sentences before DNA evidence cleared their names.

And we`re going to introduce you to one former prisoner and the man that gave him his freedom back, coming up in a bit. I is amazing.


Also, a well-known successful actor is opening up about -- to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT -- about battling addiction to drugs and alcohol for a decade. Also, A.J., about being high on the set of a film while working, and how his mother contributed to his problem. It`s a very revealing interview. And that`s coming up in our special, "Prescription for Rehab" series.

HAMMER: What a story.

ANDERSON: But, first, the divorce of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills is getting even nastier, if you can believe it. A British tabloid is reporting that Mills filed court papers that say McCartney physically abused her throughout their marriage.

And if this is any indication of things to come, the battle could get a lot worse before it gets better.

CNN`s Paula Hancock is in London for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


PAULA HANCOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was described as a lavish wedding held in a 17th century castle in Ireland. Thanking Well wishers who camped out at the castle gates, former Beatle, Paul McCartney and Heather Mills looked happy and in love.

But four years later they are in the process of a bitter divorce. A divorce which is fast becoming one of the most acrimonious and high-profile in years. And a court date hasn`t even been set yet.

British Tabloid, "The Daily Mail," says it received leaked court papers allegedly filed by Heather Mills, fighting unreasonable conduct and mistreatment by Paul McCartney.

The law firm for Mills says it will not comment on leaked or allegedly leaked documents, but their client stands by everything that has been filed in court on her behalf and intends to prove its truth in due course, should this be necessary.

And McCartney`s lawyers say McCartney would "very much like to respond in public and in detail to the allegations," but he recognizes on advice that "the only correct forum for his response is in the current divorce proceedings. Our client will be defending these allegations vigorously and appropriately."

But could this alleged leak have any impact on the divorce itself?

BARBARA SIMPSON, DIVORCE LAWYER: It`s about two people, and when there`s that level of (UNINTELIGIBLE) being banded around against them, and there`s one way of stopping it, then that way is settlement. So really, it puts pressure on the person who feels worse about it.

HANCOCK: When the couple initially announced their separation in May of this year, they suggested they wanted amicable proceedings for the sake of their 3-year-old daughter, Beatrice. But that hasn`t happened. In an echo of the bitter fight between Britain`s Prince Charles and Princess Diana, McCartney and Mills have hired the same divorce lawyers as the royal couple.

And there`s a lot at stake. McCartney stands to lose a substantial part of his $1.5 billion fortune.


ANDERSON: We will, of course, keep you updated on this story. That was CNN`s Paula Hancock for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Imagine serving a long prison sentence for a crime you didn`t commit. I`m talking about 19, 22, 23 years. All the while knowing you`re innocent. Well, amazingly, this happens all the time.

And now a chilling new documentary called, "After Innocence," reveals what that nightmare was like for seven men who were wrongfully imprisoned and what happened after they were found to be innocent and then released.

One of those men is Dennis Maher. He spent 19 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Dennis, joining us tonight from Boston.

With me here in New York, attorney Barry Scheck. You recognize him. He, of course, was one of the members of the O.J. Simpson defense team, and is the co-founder of the excellence Innocent Project, which uses DNA evidence to help free innocent prisoners.

Gentlemen, I think you both for being here.

Dennis, I got to tell you. Seeing what goes on, something that people I think know happens, but they`re not aware to what extent. It just made me so angry.

And let me set up your case. It was 1984, you were convicted of rape, assault with intent to rape and assault and battery. You go to prison as an innocent man. 2003, you were finally exonerated after an amazing 19 years serving in prison. What was it like being robbed of so much of your adult life?

DENNIS MAHER, 19 YEARS WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED: Well, you figure I was in the military. I was a sergeant in the Army. So I had planned on doing 20 years in the Army and retiring at 37 and starting a second career. So I lost all that. And I lost the time to spend with my parents. You know, my father died just last November, and I got to spend two years with him while I was out.

HAMMER: And it was such...

MAHER: So I gave him a grandson.

HAMMER: ... such an incredibly long haul -- I`m sorry. Go ahead.

MAHER: And he never got to see his granddaughter, but...

HAMMER: It cannot...


HAMMER: It cannot have been easy. And knowing all the while, this is something you didn`t do. And I know for 16 years you worked as your own attorney unsuccessfully trying to get yourself free. Finally, you got the help you need from the "Innocence Project," and Barry Scheck, who really spearheaded that for you. And I know this project does not take on all cases.

What, in particular, made you take Dennis`s?

BARRY SCHECK, ATTORNEY: Well, we just take cases where DNA can prove people innocent. But in 90 percent of the cases there is no DNA. So we also try to work on the causes of wrongful conviction, which we can do something about.

Dennis`s case involved mistaken eyewitness identification. And there are things we can do about that.

But, you know, there but for the grace of God go any of us, I mean, Dennis was in the United States military when he was mistakenly identified by these witnesses. And frankly, there is a lot we can do to fix that whole system.

HAMMER: And hopefully this will wake a lot of people up. It is just astounding to see the extent to which this goes on.

And in the film, Dennis, we get a sense of the difficulty of being in prison knowing that you`re innocent. You mention a couple of the things -- really, what was the hardest part for you of being wrongfully imprisoned for such a long time -- 19 years?

MAHER: Losing freedom. You know, I served my country. I was supposed to be a defender of freedom. And then they took it away from me over nothing.

One of the biggest things that has helped me readjust, though, is I got an apology. I got one of the few apologies that any exhonoree has ever gotten. The D.A. who prosecuted me in 1984 apologized to me.

HAMMER: Yes, and we saw that you were able to give this guy a hug, which was astounding to me and really shows a lot about your character.

But you bring up a very good point. And in particular, Barry, I was struck by the story of Nick Yaress (ph). He had served, what was it, 23 years, wrongfully accused of a crime until you guys got to work with him.

Now, he had said, had he been paroled, had he been convicted of the crime and had he done the crime and been paroled, he would have gotten all kinds of assistance, and he probably, you know, would have gotten job training and so on.

When you`re wrongfully convicted, and then you`re sprung because of, say, the "Innocence Project," generally speaking, you don`t get an apology, you don`t get any financial assistance, and you don`t get any kind of job training.

SCHECK: Well, 21 states in this country don`t have any statute that help compensate the wrongfully convicted. And even the 21 states that do, many of them are wholly inadequate. The problem we have is when people like Dennis or Nick Yaress (ph) get out of prison, you know, there is no immediate medical care that they are entitled to, dental care, you know, shelter. And it`s an extraordinarily difficult process trying to get adjusted to the life that you missed.

You know, and in Nick`s case, it`s really extraordinary because he was on death row in Pennsylvania. And to this day there is a problem because there is a DNA profile that was found on the evidence at that crime scene; and for bureaucratic reasons, they won`t run that in the data bank to try to find the real perpetrator.

And we`ve had 184 post-conviction DNA exonerations. Over the third of the time we`re able to find the person who really committed the crime. But they won`t do that in Nick`s case, which is rather upsetting.

HAMMER: Well, it`s shameful. And as I said, this film will certainly open up a lot of people`s eyes.

Barry Scheck and Dennis Maher, I appreciate you both joining us tonight. It`s really something everybody needs to see.

For more information on the "Innocence Project" in your area, go to The documentary is called, "After Innocence." It will debut tomorrow on Showtime. Don`t miss it.

ANDERSON: Should there be a national holiday on a day when a lot of people have a hangover? There`s a petition out there that made us say, "That`s Ridiculous!" and that`s next.

HAMMER: Amy Grant`s revelation about the startling conversation she had with Mel Gibson. Amy Grant`s coming up, in the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

We`ll also have this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`d be, you know, sitting there shivering and throwing up. And, you know, you`re just a mess. She`d feel bad and she`d be like, well, here, I`ll give you a little bit, so you`re not that bad.


ANDERSON: Our special series, "Prescription for Rehab" continues. Jason Mewes opens up about his 10-year battle with drugs and alcohol and how his mother contributed to it. That`s coming up. Stay with us.


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

Time now for another story that made us say, "That`s Ridiculous!"

There is actually a push to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday. Yes, there is a petition going on at, and a group of people are going to give it to the governor. They argue that more than 20 million people go to a Super Bowl party every year and that everybody should just have Monday off from work! What do you guys think about that?

Yes, well, sounds like kind of a hail Mary pass to me. A national holiday for post Super Bowl hangovers? Now "That`s Ridiculous!"

ANDERSON: Now continuing our special series, "Prescription for Rehab." That was the case with Jason Mewes. We know Jason from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. But what many people didn`t know is that he struggled with drugs and alcohol for almost a decade before finally breaking free.


JASON: Sometimes I`d try to hide it from certain people. But, yes, you know, but now, it`s just coming out more. And now that I`m sober, I can really talk about it.

ANDERSON (voice-over): For Jason Mewes, who launched his career in the 1994 independent film, "Clerks," it has been a long trip back from the depths of despair and drug addiction.

His character, Jay, the fast-talking, pot smoking foul mouthed sidekick that Kevin Smith, Silent Bob, has become a cult-like figure.

JAY, "JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK": Now, I feel good today, Silent Bob. We`re going to make some money. And you know what we`re going to do? We`re going to have a party.

ANDERSON: Jay, who had recurring roles in almost all of Smith`s films, was often seen dealing drugs if he wasn`t smoking them.

But, sadly, Jason Mewes was turning into a carbon copy of his onscreen character, Jay.

Jason told me about his nightmarish wakeup call after nearly 10 years of his life ruled by drugs and alcohol.

MEWES: I woke up, we lost -- this girl I was dating, we were living in Huntington Beach. We didn`t pay the rent. We didn`t pay the electric. We used to light candles to see at night. And we left a candle on the arm of the chair -- of the couch. And we fell asleep and woke up and it was -- you know, it was on fire, and the girl I was dating went and got a bucket of water. But -- and I didn`t even -- the funny part is I really didn`t even wake up from it because I was so high.

ANDERSON: Let`s take you back to the beginning, right after the release of "Clerks."

MEWES: I was 21. I remember it was my 21st birthday the first time I did dope. But I was hanging out with this dude and he started dating this girl and she had a best friend. And, you know, we were always, all four of us were always together. And her and -- me and the other girl started dating. So all four of us were hanging out all the time. And they were doing dope.

ANDERSON: Until then, Mewes hated thought of trying drugs because his mother, who died of AIDS, got it from sharing needles. But once Jason started, he couldn`t stop.

(On camera): You were hooked pretty quickly.

MEWES: Yes, yes. I mean, I was doing it weekends and stuff, but it didn`t get to like every day we were sick and stuff.

ANDERSON (voice-over): And incredibly, Jason`s mother, hooked on drugs herself, would leave bottles of the highly addictive painkiller, oxycontin, lying around.

(On camera): So you had access?

MEWES: I had access to them, yes. And every once in a while, like she wouldn`t -- I`d sit there and you get pretty -- you get physically sick, pretty bad. And you know, she would go one day like, no, no, no, I want you to stop and deal with it and stuff.

But, yes, like after like two days I`d be, you know, sitting there shivering and throwing up, and, you know, you`re just a mess. She`d feel bad and she`d be like, well, here, I`ll give you a little bit so you`re not that bad, to try to get you feeling a little better, but you need to stop and stuff.

ANDERSON: But Jason did not stop. And it got worse. In fact, during the height of Jason`s career, s he was making movies like "Dogma," "Mallrats," and "Chasing Amy," he was privately battling his drug demons.

(On camera): You said you had drugs brought to you? How did you get them when you were in situations where you thought you needed them and you were on a movie set or you were working in some way, shape or form?

MEWES: Well, really it was only "Dogma" that I did it on the set. Like "Mallrats," I didn`t. "Amy" was only one day, so I went there high and it was like one night and it lasted all night. But "Dogma" was the one that I was doing it throughout pretty much.

But I mean, usually I`d get it the night before and bring it with me. And there was just -- there`s probably only a couple times that, you know, during lunch or whatever, I`d, you know, run to the corner or the store or something, and I`d have someone meet me there.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Fast forward to 2004, and Kevin Smith`s film, "Jersey Girl," starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Jason wanted a part in the film, but was a wanted man in New Jersey for violating probation on a heroin possession charge dating back to 2000.

MEYES: He had told me before that, that he wrote the one character for me. And I was like, yes, but if I get sober, you know, can I do it? And he was like, you know what? They are not going to let you do it, even if you got sober because you have the warrant. Kevin`s family wasn`t talking to me. A lot of my friends stopped answering my calls and all that. It was sort of an eye-opener, though. I was like, all right, I`m not going to be able to work. I have no friends pretty much. I`m in a house with no heat and electric.

ANDERSON: But it was Kevin Smith who would shuttle Jason in and out of rehab. The last time was more than three years ago, and Jason has been sober and drug free ever since.

Kevin told me he feels like a father to Jason, a very proud father.

KEVIN SMITH, HELPED JASON MEWES THROUGH RECOVERY: See, he`s like my first kid, to be honest with you. I mean, we have a very tight relationship, friendship. But at the same time, like it`s a paternal relationship, to some degree. It was like raising Jason, like raising a son, you know. So much so that, when I had my own kid, I was like this is a cake walk. You know, this guy, he gave me a run for my money.


ANDERSON: Now Jason has been working a lot. He has at least six movies that are going to be coming out. And he told me that he`s feeling good and he`s hoping for marriage and kids in his future.

HAMMER: With 25 million albums sold, Amy Grant is far and away Christian music`s biggest star. Her career has spanned more than three decades. And now we have a chance to look back with a brand new live CD and DVD called "Time Again."

Amy stopped by the SHOBIZ TONIGHT studios, and we got to talking about religion. I asked her why she thinks there is such an appetite these days for faith-based entertainment.


AMY GRANT, CHRISTIAN MUSICIAN: Not everybody, but the majority of Americans have access to a lot of entertainment, to a lot of toys, and I think at the end of the day people say, gosh, I finally got a great body, I purchased new breasts, I got a big-screen TV, and I still feel a little empty on the inside.

HAMMER: So people are crying out for the spiritual...


GRANT: Yes. I just think they go, hey, guess what? I feel the same as I did before I got the flat screen. And I think they go, OK, what`s the next -- what`s the next thing to reach for?

HAMMER: If that`s the case and that`s what`s motivating Hollywood now, do you think it`s being done enough?

GRANT: Well, I don`t think that`s hat`s motivating Hollywood. I mean, I think Mel Gibson was motivated -- I was at a screening of the movie, and I asked him, I said why now...

HAMMER: The "Passion of the Christ."

GRANT: "Passion of the Christ." Yes, this was a couple of years ago, obviously. And I said, wow, I mean, did something in your life happen? And I hope I`m not talking out of school, quoting him, but he said it in a crowd of people. And he said, you know, I was standing at a window on about -- I thought he said like a fourth or fifth floor, and he said, you know, I`ve experienced a lot in life. And he said, reasons to not jump out. And he said, making this movie was one of them.

HAMMER: Really?


HAMMER: That`s a pretty strong statement from Mel Gibson.

GRANT: It is a strong statement.

HAMMER: That`s interesting because we hear -- or certainly have heard over the years from different factions that Hollywood has been devoid of Christian values. Do you have that sense or feeling or do you think Hollywood kind of does what it does?

GRANT: I`m the worst person to ask, because I`m so -- I`m really an old hippy. I mean, given any amount of time, I would choose a hike over the movies any day of the week.

HAMMER: What about your kids, because you`re living in Nashville, so you`re away from the -- Nashville, certainly is an entertainment center in this country, but it`s not New York, it`s not Hollywood. And maybe it`s easier to stay grounded. You have four kids and a stepchild as well.

GRANT: Right.

HAMMER: Are you -- what about them? Are they immersed in the pop culture? Will you let them watch the MTV or the things that are out there now? Do you sort of...

GRANT: Sure, yes.

HAMMER: ... shield them from that and stuff at all?

GRANT: Well, I think when -- the little one I do. The youngest is five and the others are teenagers. And, I don`t know, you know, some things I kind of go, oh, that`s so hard core, you know, unedited rap is a little abrasive. I just don`t want them to get numb to things that they ought not be numb to.

I think I have enough faith in their life experience so far that I think that they might be curious about something, but I think that they -- they all have really good heads on their shoulders.

HAMMER: Well, it`s also, you know, it`s additionally challenging, obviously, growing up as the children of famous parents. So how do you keep them grounded?

GRANT: You`re touching all of my -- will my children need future therapy issues. You know, who knows what`s going on in their head. I don`t. You know, I just try to be myself and be normal with them.

HAMMER: I mean, are you having, like the big backyard barbeques with all the big stars of Nashville hanging out at the house? I mean, you know, it`s Vince Gill and Amy Grant, come on.

GRANT: We have people over. Sometimes I think they care and sometimes they don`t.


GRANT: And I think they are more interested in mom, can I have my friends over?

HAMMER: So they`re pretty much normal kids.

GRANT: I will say that they -- I hadn`t thought about it. But like in a concert situation, I think that they -- because we usually go backstage, they see people, and I think that they see famous people as being normal. Because there is not that wooh.

HAMMER: It`s been a heart of their life.

GRANT: It`s been a part of their lives. I just think they go, hey everybody wakes up and puts their pants on like everybody else.


HAMMER: Amy Grant`s got a pretty good grasp on things. Amy`s new CD is a live one. She`s got a DVD too, "Time Again" is the name of it. Amy Grant live. It`s in stores now.

ANDERSON: Last night we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." It was this, Adoption Controversy: Is Madonna being treated unfairly?

Almost split right down the middle. 48 percent of you say yes, she is; 52 percent of you say, no, she isn`t.

Here`s some of the e-mails we received. Joyce from Missouri writes, "It`s great that she adopted a child. It`s nobody`s business other than hers. Leave her alone so she can enjoy her family."

Lisa from Ohio says, "Madonna`s actions are a slap in the face to all the couples who follow the rules and have to wait years to adopt a child."

We appreciate your e-mails. Stay with us. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, coming right back.


ANDERSON: We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." It is this, Star Splits: Should they keep their dirty laundry to themselves?

Keep on voting, Write to us. Here`s the address, We`re going to read some of your thoughts tomorrow.

And, remember, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show that lets you express your opinion on video. So just look into your camera or your web cam and send us a piece of your mind by a video e-mail.

It`s real easy. Head to our Web site,, and you can learn how to do it. All you have to do is click, attach and send. Remember, your videos have to be 30 seconds or less. And then just watch for your video e-mail, one with your face, only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: I`m going to go home and do mine right now. That wouldn`t make any sense, would it?


HAMMER: Well, that`s it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

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

Glenn Beck is next right after the latest news.


GLENN BECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Coming up, Madonna`s got a new fashion accessory. It`s an African baby. It`s outrageous, but what would you expect from Hollywood.

I`m Glenn Beck. We`ll see you back here in a minute.


CAREY: Hello, everybody, I`m Richelle Carey. Thanks for checking in for your Headline Prime newsbreak.

The Homeland Security Department is downplaying a possible terror threat against seven U.S. football stadiums this Sunday. The dirty bomb threat comes from a Web site. The Homeland Security officials says that post something not credible.

There will be a little bit more in Social Security checks next year because of a 3.3 percent cost of living adjustment. That amounts to an extra $33 to the average monthly checks millions of Americans receive.

And major league baseball has cut a deal to put team logos on caskets and urns. A company called Eternal Image will offer them for sale starting next season to fans of Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, Cubs and the Dodgers.

That`s the news for now. Keep it here. Thanks for watching. I`m Richelle Carey.



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