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Young Female Celebs Hurt The Cause of Feminism; Anderson Interviews Janice Dickinson; Wesley Snipes Charged With Intent to Defraud IRS and Tax Laws

Aired December 8, 2006 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: Wesley Snipes flies back to the United States and the second he gets off the plane, Uncle Sam arrests him. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: ANCHOR: And the supermodel who never holds back. Janice Dickinson on the fight to ban super skinny models. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Hollywood girls gone wild and women getting angry. Tonight the radical idea that young stars like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are hurting feminism. Why some think their sleazy pantyless partying is setting women back decades. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the controversial debate.

Mommy`s mad with Jessica. Tonight, why Jessica Simpson`s mom is furious with her superstar daughter. She`s even reportedly calling her embarrassing and unprofessional, ouch. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates why Jessica`s mom is so mad at her daughter dearest.

Welcome to Friday night. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: Hi there everybody. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And in just a moment, an absolutely outrageous idea that Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are hurting the cause of feminism.

HAMMER: Well certainly you have heard all about them tearing up the town night after night, each story more unbelievable than the next. So here is something else to make you shake your head in disbelief. Former Vice President Al Gore coming to the rescue of Lindsay? Yes, it is just the latest chapter in the still unfolding story of the Hollywood girls gone wild.


HAMMER (voice-over): Once again, Hollywood`s A-list party girls are leaving the entire nation wondering, just what the heck are they doing?

HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: Lindsay Lohan is a train wreck.

HAMMER: This time it`s Lindsay Lohan, reportedly saying in a rambling, typo laden e-mail, that she wants to shape up the media and her image, and that`s she`s getting help from none other than former Vice President Al Gore.

LEVIN: Well she ran into Gore at a party, a "GQ" party and she says that he offered to help her combat the media and resurrect her public image.

HAMMER: Huh, Al Gore and Lindsay Lohan? The "New York Post" published an excerpt of Lindsay`s reported letter to friends and representatives. It reads, "I am willing to do anything I need to get my life the way it should be. Al Gore will help me. He came up to me last night and said he would be very happy to have a conversation with me.

LEVIN: Well, to Lindsay Lohan`s credit, I think most of her friends don`t know who Al Gore is. So I think it puts her on the MENSA chart.

HAMMER: Gore`s people tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the two only chatted briefly. They didn`t say anything about the two of them saving the world. It wasn`t that long ago that Lindsay Lohan joined new drinking buds Paris Hilton and Britney Spears on the A list club scene and between`s Lindsay`s reported letter, Britney`s pantyless partying and Paris Hilton being well, Paris Hilton, each of them is becoming famous, not for their talent, but for their headline making heard partying and occasionally hard drinking ways.

LEVIN: Individually, they are fascinating people, partly because they are celebrities and partly because they are train wrecks. Together there is a synergy that makes it just too delicious not to watch. And now the stars are talking to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, giving us their take on the young Hollywood girls gone wild.

BETTE MIDLER, ACTRESS: I don`t have anything against those girls. I just think it`s maybe too much money and too much time.

HAMMER: I spoke with Bette Midler about the new generation of A-list Hollywood partiers.

(on camera): Perhaps if the young starlets of today want to go out and party, leave them alone, let them do it. If you are 20-years-old, you should be entitled to go out and play.

MIDLER: I think so, absolutely. But wear your underwear.

HAMMER: Wear your underwear.

MIDLER: Because you never know.

HAMMER: What is it though, with all you`ve been through, with as long as you`ve been at it, that is the single thing that really has enabled you to stay Grounded?

(voice-over): George Clooney suggested to me that the only reason we didn`t see him on the gossip party pages, was because he didn`t get famous until later in life.

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: I would imagine if I was 20-years-old I would have been, you know, shooting crack into my forehead. I wouldn`t have been too good at this. I don`t think that -- I don`t know how people handle it when they are really young, that kind of fame. So, I was in a better place to do it, I think.

HAMMER: Rob Lowe, whose year as young star makes him an expert, tells me he agrees that one`s 20s are a dangerous time for fame.

ROB LOWE, ACTOR: I think anybody in their 20s, you know, is going through a stage in life where they want to get wild and they want to have a good time. And I think everybody probably does it, but it`s just tough when you`re doing it in public eye. You know, and hopefully you come out the other end of it.

HAMMER: But right now Lindsay, Paris and Britney have yet to come out the other end of their party-hearty 20-something years and an entire generation is looking up to them. As Ali Lohan tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson, when asked about her big sister Lindsay.

ANDERSON: She`s a huge inspiration to you, isn`t she?

ALI LOHAN, SINGER: Yes, I definitely want to follow in her footsteps.

HAMMER: But given the antics of Lohan and some of her famous friends, some might find that to be a questionable goal for America`s young.


ANDERSON: So, here`s a radical idea for you, could it be that all this late night, pantyless partying by Britney and the wild-child antics of her pals Paris and Lindsay, is actually a big step back for the women`s movement and feminism? Famous feminist author and culture critic Camille Paglia thinks so. Listen to what she told "US Weekly."

Paglia says, "These girls are lowering themselves to the level of back street floozies. It angers me because I fought a bitter fight to get feminism back on track and be pro-sex at the same time. This is degrading the entire pro-sex wing of feminism."

All right, with us tonight from New York is Carol Jenkins, the president of the Women`s Media Center and also Gloria Feldt, author of "The War on Choice."

Welcome to you both.

Hi there. OK, Gloria, I`m going to start with you. Do you agree with Camille that Paris and Britney and Lindsay are all just squandering it away?

GLORIA FELDT, AUTHOR, "THE WAR ON CHOICE": Well, I hardly ever agree with Camille, but I have to say, I think she`s got a point this time. You know, you do have to cut these young women a little slack, and you wouldn`t probably be hearing this kind of criticism if they were guys, quite frankly.

But the truth of the matter is that these young women are squandering an opportunity. They are role models. Whether they`re good role models or bad role models, they are role models and the young women -- the girls and the young women are looking up to them and they`re doing what they do. They need to think about that opportunity that they have.

ANDERSON: Carol, what`s your take on it? Britney, Lindsay, Paris, bad for feminism?

CAROL JENKINS, PRESIDENT, WOMEN`S MEDIA CENTER: You know, I think they have strong, feminist traits, and Gloria and I, because we are with the Women`s Media Center, usually agree on everything, including the solution to all of this, which is more serious women`s voices in news. But look, Britney has an iron clad prenup. That`s a feminist act. Lindsay, Jane Fonda has worked with her in the latest movie, praises her craft. And as far as I can tell, Paris Hilton has a great day job, as well as a wonderful night life.

So, these are all wonderful feminist traits. I think we have to realize that the truth of the matter is that these are teenagers. They are kids. When they were supposed to be doing all of this, they were working from sun up until midnight. I might add, supporting an army of adults, and now that they are in their 20s, they are reliving their teens.

ANDERSON: That`s a good point. They do support a lot of people. They so have a lot of responsibility. Gloria, Camille Paglia also said she`s appalled by what these women are doing because Camille says that they are cheapening their own image and, quote, obliterating all sexual mystery and glamour, the heart of the star system. Do you buy into that?

FELDT: Well, you know, I actually decided I should ask a few young women their age what they think about it. I mean normal young women, who are college students, and young women out there in the working world. And to a person they all said, you know, I think they cause women to be trivialized, I think that they cause women not to be as respected as we would like to be.

So, again, it`s the business of understanding that they have an opportunity to be role models, and for Britney, who during her teen years played on the abstinence card, and now is flaunting sexuality in a way that is quite negative in many respects. I think it would be a good idea if they sort of held up the mirror to themselves. And they need to have fun, they need to have the opportunity to have fun, but girls just want to have fun, and they get in trouble.

ANDERSON: Well Carol, let me ask you this, Gloria spoke about this a minute go, is there is a double standard going on here? I mean, we saw Danny Devito making headlines after appearing on the "View" drunk after a night partying with George Clooney. And everybody`s opinion, what everybody`s saying, their reaction is kind of like, you know what, good old boys just having a good time. Aside from Lindsay, who is under 21, what is wrong with these girls just wanting to have fun?

JENKINS: Well, I would say they probably do need some guidance and if Al Gore is going to step in and do that, I say terrific, the more adult supervision they have, and role models, the better. But look, not one time when Mel Gibson or Danny Devito had their incidents did anybody say all men were horrible, they are setting a bad example for men, the world is going to the dogs. The feminist movement is not affected by these three young women. I think it`s the media that really has to step back.

FELDT: But the young women, Carol, are affected by the young women. I think that`s the point I would like to make.

JENKINS: That`s true.

ANDERSON: Carol, talk about this for a second, isn`t feminism all about women being empowered, taking control and doing what they want to do, living their lives how they want to, even if everyone doesn`t agree with how they are doing?

JENKINS: Precisely, it`s all about having the option of doing what you think you want to do. And some of that is not going to be, you know, A-list, perfect behavior. It`s the option to make your choices. It`s the option for equality. Not about dominance, I want to point out. Many people interpret feminism as to say, we want to take over the world, we want to dominate men. It`s not about that at all. It`s about equality. If women want to work, they should be compensated in exactly the same way the men are.

If they want to stay home, I think that`s wonderful. Let them stay home. But the choice has to be there.

ANDERSON: Gloria, your thoughts?

FELDT: I think for men and women, and I`m beginning to now sound like -- sound like I`m of the generation that I am of, but I think for men and women there is also responsibility that goes along with that freedom and when young women are in this opportunity land that these three young women are in, my goodness, how fantastic it is if they would take this opportunity and actually use it to demonstrate perhaps some more positive behavior, perhaps doing something for the good of the world, as well as enjoying themselves, which I certainly believe they should take that opportunity to do too.

ANDERSON: Great point.

JENKINS: Yes, but don`t you think it`s the media, Gloria. I mean the media has to step back, don`t you think? They`re almost bordering on the obscene following these young girls.

ANDERSON: This is a much bigger issue obviously. Carol Jenkins, Gloria Feldt, we`re going to have to end it there. But thank you both for your insight. We appreciate it.

FELDT: Thank you.

JENKINS: Thanks so much.

HAMMER: Well, what do you think about all this? Let us know. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Here what is we`re asking, Britney, Lindsay and Paris, are they setting back feminism? What`s your opinion? Your vote counts at You can e-mail us at

You can also send us video e-mail. All you have to do is look into your video camera or your webcam. Send us a piece of your mind through video e-mail. We`re the only entertainment news show doing this. So simple to do, go to the Web site, We`ll teach you how to do it right there. Then check out your video e-mails, only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

So Wesley Snipes flies back into the United States and the second he gets off the plane, Uncle Sam hauls him off to court. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there. And that`s coming up. We`ve also got this.


DELTA BURKE, DESIGNING WOMEN: I mean, they`ll forgive if you maybe murdered somebody and you didn`t mean to, but don`t you be a little plump.


ANDERSON: Former Designing Women star Delta Burke really knows what it feels like to have people talk about your weight over and over. Her emotional story of how she get got through it. I go one on one with Delta in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: And why is Jessica Simpson`s mom so furious with her superstar daughter? She`s even reportedly calling Jessica embarrassing and unprofessional, ouch.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And it is time now for a story that made us say, that`s ridiculous.

Look at this, one Florida police department is apparently really getting into the holiday spirit. So much so they have officers dressing up as elves. These elves not giving out presents, however, they`re giving out speeding tickets. They are clocking lead foots on their radar gun and then they are radioing a motorcycle cop ahead to pull them over. In fact, over a two-hour period, a stunning 150 tickets were written. I`m all for catching the speeders, but cops disguised as elves, we say bah humbug, that`s ridiculous.

ANDERSON: Just this week another big move to crack down on super skinny models. As the Italian fashion industry came up with a plan to make sure sickly models are kept off the runway. Well, we can`t wait to hear what Janice Dickinson has to say about that.

The often outrageous, and always outspoken, Janice claims to be one of the world`s first super models. And she has a new Christmas special called "Christmas With Dickinson." It debuts next week on Oxygen. And Janice is with us tonight. Good to see you.

JANICE DICKINSON, MODEL: What do you mean claims? You know, you weren`t in a skirt in your pappy`s sack when I was sloping down runways.

ANDERSON: Well, I stand corrected. You are, according to yourself, the world`s first supermodel.

DICKINSON: Well, I was smart enough to coin the term, but there were others. There was the great Cheryl Tiegs and Iman.

ANDERSON: That`s right.


ANDERSON: You were right along there with everybody. Well, I want to talk to you very quickly about this super thin model controversy around the world. We see models sometimes and we think, you know what, they need to go the hospital. We want to put them on a stretcher, take them to the hospital. What do you think about it, and Italy`s plan to hopefully help them and ban them from the runways. Good idea, bad idea? What do you think?

DICKINSON: First of all, being that I -- (SPEAKING IN ITALIAN).

It means, I lived in Italy for two years. I used to arrive in Italy during the collections and playboys would be at the airport dangling packets of cocaine, Rolex watches, bouquets of red rose. It`s a really dangerous place for a girl, a young girl in this industry, to be working, in Europe, in any case, because it`s a way different mentality. What do I think about what`s going on? Honestly, and I`ll probably get my hand smacked, I blame the agents, being an agent myself now.

ANDERSON: Yes, let me talk about that, you have your own modeling agency now, which is the focus on the reality show on Oxygen, the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. So, it`s up to you. When you`re casting models, do you see girls sometimes and you think that girl needs a burger. I`m not hiring her, she`s not unhealthy. She might need serious help.

DICKINSON: I`m never am one to promote fast food, being that I`ve been really ...

ANDERSON: You know what I meant about that.

DICKINSON: The last 900 years of my life just watching what I eat, diet, nutrition. I do see some young girls that are way too underfed and I really -- I just want to reach out and beg parents just to keep their eye on their children and make sure that kids are fed. I blame that magazines, I blame the agents that are promote --

ANDERSON: Emaciated looks.

DICKINSON: Yes, being -- what`s really how to hit it ...

ANDERSON: The pressures.

DICKINSON: You can`t ever be too rich or too thin. Well that`s a load of crap. These girls need to be -- the young girls today need to be watched. I have a 12-year-old daughter. I certainly watch her diet. But in this industry, I blame the agents once again. Because I don`t take girls that are under 18. I want them to finish high school. I really believe that a high school education is important. And you don`t have enough time to run off and make movies like Lindsay or go offer ...

ANDERSON: You need to focus.

DICKINSON: You have to finish high school. You have to finish high school and then come see me.

ANDERSON: You, yourself, have been very open about your obsession with your own looks. Janice, you wrote a book and it`s called "Everything About Me is Fake and I`m Perfect."

DICKINSON: I did that because -- I locked on that title because I was doing -- on the talk show circuit and I noticed all these young girls in the front row wanting breast implants, and I thought, you know, no. No, I waited until I was 32-years-old to get fake breasts. Can you say breasts on TV.

ANDERSON: Of course you can. Can we not just all age gracefully?

DICKINSON: No, no, let me finish. I waited until I was finished lactating. I waited until I was 50 to get a face lift. I wasn`t promoting plastic surgery. I was saying, wait until ...

ANDERSON: You are mature enough to handle it.

DICKINSON: Yes, you are emotional enough and you are certainly spiritually ...

ANDERSON: Well let`s talk about some girls who don`t need plastic surgery to look young, to look a certain age, because they are young, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton. As you know, a lot has been made of them lately, going out partying every single night. You`ve been there, you`ve done that. Should people just leave them alone, let them have their fun? What do you think?

DICKINSON: Sweetie, I was there and I`ve done that when I was single and I didn`t have children. Britney Spears needs to stay home right now with those babies in the nursery, and hang out with a nanny, or her parents should just huddle around her.

I believe she has post partum blues at the moment. She just had a baby a month or two ago, and she is out partying. She`s still lactating. I don`t understand how can she be squirting around Las Vegas when she should be in the nursery in Malibu. OK, Britney, I told you to dump the hick, now I want you to stay home in with your children.

ANDERSON: It`s all about the lactation.

DICKINSON: It`s all about the squirts.

ANDERSON: Thank you so much. And you can catch her upcoming special, "Christmas With the Dickinsons," on Wednesday, and "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency" in January, and they are both on the Oxygen Network.

Coming up, Brad Pitt gets the birthday gift of his dreams from Angelina Jolie. Find out what that is next.

ANDERSON: Also Wesley whisked away. Coming up, the second Wesley Snipes gets off a plane, Uncle Sam arrests him and hauls him into court. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there. We`ve also got this.


BURKE: I bought into it and began the starving and not eating for seven days and the drugs and everything, trying to stay thin.


ANDERSON: Former Designing Women star Delta Burke really knows what it feels like to have people talk about your weight, over and over, all day long. She tells me her emotional story of how she got through it in the interview you`ll see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Coming up Monday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Barbara Walters, I go one on with Barbara to talk all about the most fascinating people of 2006. As we wind the year down, who made this list? And how did they do it? Barbara Walters is going to fill us in Monday night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: Angelina Jolie got Brad Pitt the birthday gift of his dreams. She brought him to Falling Water, a spectacular home that world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed. It`s about 50 miles outside of Pittsburgh. The museum said Brad talked a good game about architecture and always wanted to check Falling Water out after taking an architecture course in college. Brad and Angie then had a private birthday party there. He`s going to be 43 on December 18th. Oh and one other thing, Jolie was quoted as saying, quote, he is so hard to buy for. But, I guess she made the right choice.

HAMMER: Still to come, a very special look at the life of John Lennon, on this the 26th anniversary of his death. Plus, would Yoko Ono ever forgive the cold-blooded killer who pulled the trigger? We`ve also got this.


BURKE: I mean, they will forgive if you maybe murdered somebody and you didn`t mean to, but don`t you be a little plump.


ANDERSON: Former Designing Women star Delta Burke really knows what it feels like to have people talk about her weight, over and over, all day long. Delta tells me about her emotional story of how she got through it in the interview you`ll see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: And why in the world is Jessica Simpson`s mom so furious with her superstar daughter? She`s even reportedly calling her daughter embarrassing and unprofessional. That`s next. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT coming right back.



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

ANDERSON: And I am Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. You are watching TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

HAMMER: You know, Brooke, I was always under the impression the Jessica Simpson family was one big happy family. With the...


HAMMER: ...parents involved with the kids` business, Ashlee and Jessica. And now mom apparently thinks Jessica is unprofessional and she`s not working hard enough. What the heck is going on there? We`re going to fill you in in just a couple of minutes. I`m just flabbergasted.


Also, former "Designing Women" star Delta Burke has suffered a lot at the hands of Hollywood in terms of her weight. She really knows, A.J., how it feels to be scrutinized about how she looks. I sat down with her and she was very candid about the toll the criticism took, and how she got through it. That`s coming up.

HAMMER: We`ll look forward to that.

But first tonight, Wesley Snipes has surrendered to tax-fraud charges, and he`s out on $1 million bond. Snipes was in court in Florida two months after he was charged with fraudulently claiming nearly $12 million in tax refunds. He`s also charged with not filing returns for several years. Both his attorney and Snipes himself say it`s -- well, not his fault.


WESLEY SNIPES, ACTOR: I want to say -- I thank that everybody, all of the fans out there, who are showing support. I look forward to clearing my name and resolving this issue post haste.

BILLY MARTIN, WESLEY SNIPES` ATTORNEY: Mr. Snipes has been charged here with the intent to defraud the IRS and tax laws. We believe the evidence in the case will show that he has been the victim of unscrupulous tax advice. And this trial we help to vindicate him. We look forward to him having his day in court.


HAMMER: Snipes flew to Florida from Namibia, where he`s shooting a movie. He`s going back there, but he has to return to the United States in January.

The question is, How much trouble is Snipes really in?

Well, to help us that figure that out, joining me tonight, Harvey Levin, managing of, from the TMZ newsroom.

So Harvey, Wesley Snipes has got to be pretty worried. I mean, you look at what happened to Richard Hatch, the guy from "Survivor." I know it`s a slightly different case -- that was tax evasion, not tox -- tax fraud. He was only convicted on charged involving about $1 million. He got five years as a sentence.

So I`m thinking, if Snipes is convicted, he might be facing a lot of time in jail.

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: Yes, I mean, he`s got to be one worried guy right now. I mean, we`re talking about $12 million in this case of money allegedly fraudulently withheld from the federal government. They don`t take kindly to this, and if he`s convicted, he can almost assuredly know that he will spend time in prison.

HAMMER: Serious, serious charges.

But what I don`t understand -- as I mentioned a moment ago -- the judge is letting him leave to go back to Namibia to work on the movie that he was working on. Here`s a guy, Harvey -- he`s accused of cheating the government out of 12 million bucks -- I mean, come on. It -- it kind of seems like special treatment here.

LEVIN: I -- you know, you can certainly make the argument, A.J. I mean, I guess in Snipes` defense here, he came from Namibia voluntarily to surrender himself. So he could have stayed there if he wanted. He`s coming back saying, Look, I want to finish a movie. I have roots here, in the United States. I have a home in the United States. I work here. So I`m really not a flight risk. So I guess the judge made the -- the call there. And I think you could argue it either way.

HAMMER: So you think if it wasn`t a movie star, the same treatment might have followed?

LEVIN: You know, I mean, I think it really depends judge by judge. But this one certainly doesn`t shock me.

HAMMER: All right.

I want to move on to another story, then, that I`m simply fascinated by. You`re following this Jessica Simpson story. Apparently, Jessica`s...

LEVIN: Jessica who?

HAMMER: Yes. Jessica`s mom apparently very angry about how Jessica flubbed her lines. She did a song at the Kennedy Center Honors for Dolly Parton.

First I want to take a look at exactly what happened.



JESSICA SIMPSON, ENTERTAINER: Dolly, that made me so nervous.




HAMMER: You had Jessica looking a little uncomfortable there. She was apparently looking off the stage at cue cards in her little wrecked version of "9 to 5."

It became kind of a verbal smackdown by her mom, Tina, I understand.

LEVIN: And you know what`s so interesting about this, A.J.? It`s like an intervention in public between mother and daughter. I mean, the mother is basically saying, Hey, you`re a slacker, Jessica. You didn`t practice. You didn`t learn your lines. You had to read off of cue cards. You flubbed it. You embarrassed yourself. Either, you know, buckle up and do it right, or get out of the business.

But she`s saying it publicly, and it kinds of reminds me, if you remember back to the summer, of the guy from Morgan Creek Production, sending Lindsay Lohan a letter saying, You`re going -- we`re seeing you on TMZ every night at the these parties, honey, and you`re showing up late at work the next day, and we don`t like it.

So all of this stuff is getting played out publicly.

HAMMER: Yes, and -- it`s a sort of public meltdown that we`re seeing from Jessica. Because certainly since she and Nick Lachey broke up, she released a CD. That didn`t do so well. She had this little incident. Her movie "Employee of the Month" didn`t do so well.

Are you hearing that, you know, there`s a real meltdown going on for her?

LEVIN: Yes, I mean, it seems that way. She`s having a more private meltdown than Lindsay Lohan, certainly. But she`s having problems nonetheless. There`s no doubt about it. That`s what we`re hearing, you know, from all circles out here. It just has not been a great time for her.

HAMMER: Well, I hope she gets to figure it out, and she and mom can start getting along.

Harvey Levin, managing editor of, we appreciate you joining us.

LEVIN: Bye, A.J.

HAMMER: So yelling "Fire!" is supposed to be a good way to clear a place out, right? How come people were trying to get into a mall on fire in Ohio? You`ll want to hear this. It`s coming up next.

We`ll also have this:


DELTA BURKE, ACTRESS: I bought into it, and began this starving and not eating for seven days. And, you know, the drugs and everything, trying to stay thin, and...


ANDERSON: Delta Burke gets real about the pressure to be thin in Hollywood, and how she finally stopped all the madness. That`s next in the "SHOWBIZ Weight Watch."

HAMMER: And a solemn anniversary: tonight marks 26 years since John Lennon was murdered. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has a look back at his life, music and influence. That`s coming up.

ANDERSON: First, tonight`s "`Entertainment Weekly` Great American Pop Culture Quiz": "Who was the first rap star to win an Oscar for Best Original Song?" Was it Eminem, Queen Latifah, Ice T or Eve?

Think about it. We`re coming right back with your answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And sound. Roll X for the promo. And dissolve sound now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fade up, go 3 music under, stand by, Brooke. Open her mike. Dissolve L.A. Go.

ANDERSON: Thanks, Charles.

So again, tonight`s "`Entertainment Weekly` Great American Pop Culture Quiz": "Who was the first rap star to win an Oscar for Best Original Song?" Was it Eminem, Queen Latifah, Ice T or Eve? The answer is A, Eminem. He won in 2003 for his song "Lose Yourself" from the movie "8 Mile." I love that song.

And at last year`s Oscars, 36 Mafia won Best Song for "It`s Hard Out Here for a Pimp."

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

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

I love this story. You know, we all get a little nuts around the holiday season. This is particularly unbelievable. There was an electrical fire at a Dillard`s store in Ohio. Well, the shoppers didn`t want to leave the store. Talk about being desperate to get all the hot toys.

Firefighters actually had to block the door while they worked because more shoppers wanted to come in.

Staying to do some more holiday shopping after a fire breaks out? Now "That`s Ridiculous!," a bit stupid.

Switching gears now, today marks a very solemn anniversary: it was 26 years ago tonight the world was shocked to hear the news John Lennon was shot dead outside the home he shared with Yoko Ono here in New York City.

And as they do every year, fans gathering at Strawberry Fields at New York City`s Central Park to remember the former Beatle. For an entire generation, this day, 26 years ago, was in many ways, the day the music died.

Here`s a look back in a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special.



HAMMER (voice-over): John Lennon, one of the greatest musicians of all time, a cultural icon, was used to people asking him for autographs. Mark David Chapman, a Beatles fan, had been pestering him for days. He asked for Lennon`s autograph earlier in the day. Lennon complied.

But several hours later, on that fateful night, Chapman waited outside John and Yoko`s home. And this time, instead of a pen, he had a gun.


HAMMER: It was a moment in time almost every one would refer to: where were you when John Lennon was shot? And just after 10:50 p.m. on the night of December 8, fans came to the Dakota, where it happened -- stunned, shocked, heartbroken.

VOICE OF DISTRAUGHT FAN CALLING INTO NYC RADIO SHOW: How could -- I mean, like, John Lennon be killed (ph). I mean, I was -- I remember saying that before. I remember saying that John Lennon was shot. I remember saying this when Martin Luther King was shot. I remember saying this when Bobby Kennedy was shot.

HAMMER (on camera): It was an unusually warm night for December. John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono were returning here to the Dakota. As they stepped toward this archway, Chapman pulled a .38 caliber revolver and fired five shots.

(voice-over): The former Beatle tried to run, but fell to the floor. His wife stood by screaming. Lennon was bleeding profusely by the time emergency workers arrived and rushed him to the hospital. Doctors were unable to revive him.

It was too late. John Lennon was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m.


HAMMER: The new spread through New York City immediately. Fans gathered at Roosevelt Hospital to say goodbye to John Lennon, and to come to grips with his sudden and violent death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will stay until the sunrise at the foot of his hospital and pray for his soul.

HAMMER: Many were there as his body was taken away to the morgue. News reports would later give the name of the man who killed their hero. But reports would not give a reason why Mark Chapman, the 25-year-old unemployed security guard, killed John Lennon.

JEFF GILES, "NEWSWEEK" MAGAZINE: The fact that he was a pacifist, that he was, you know -- you know, staunchly anti-war by the time he was killed -- yes, the irony was just unbelievable. Every thing was about trying not to hurt people. And for him to be killed so brutally is just, you know -- made it all the more shocking. I`m sure a lot of his fans never have gotten over it.

HAMMER: Earlier that day, John and Yoko met with photographer Annie Leibovitz. They did a photo shoot for "Rolling Stone" magazine. They were celebrating John and Yoko`s No. 1 record, "Double Fantasy." This picture came out of that shoot.

JOE LEVY, "ROLLING STONE" MAGAZINE: This photo is exceptionally intimate. You`re inside a couple`s bedroom. You`re in their bed. You`re seeing what their marriage was about, and you`re seeing an expression of how much he felt that he needed Yoko.

HAMMER: The American Society of Magazine Editors recently named this the best magazine cover of all time.

LEVY: It`s very hard to divorce that photograph from the circumstances. This picture is also remembered because of what happened later that evening. It`s very hard to think of that photo of John and Yoko and not think, And that`s when we lost you.


HAMMER: Without question, John Lennon gave the world some of the most memorable music of our time. He and fellow Beatle Paul McCartney are widely considered the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

GILES: What John to the band, obviously, was his acerbic sense of humor, his resistance. He was the one that was kind of looking at it all from afar and saying, What are you doing? Are we being packaged? What does fame mean? He was really one of the first people that understood what it meant to be famous and what it didn`t.


GILES: You know, McCartney was a fantastic showman. He was incredibly charming, incredibly cute. And between this sort of sweet and the sour, you really got what was the -- I think the most successful song- writing team in history.

ED SULLIVAN, TALK SHOW HOST: Ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles!



HAMMER: It really all started with this: the Beatles` appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964. This performance set off a mania in the United States.


HAMMER: John and Paul wrote most of the Beatles songs -- songs that have sold more than 250 million records over the years, and inspired countless artists around the world.

TOM PETTY, INFLUENCE BY THE BEATLES: Everybody was inspired by Beatles music. I mean, everything that came after them was clearly, you know, influenced by them.

HAMMER: John Lennon was 40 years old when he died. At the time, he was almost as rich as the royal family. Some estimates say his assets approached a half a billion dollars, maybe even more.

But in death, Lennon continues to be big business. His estate made $22 million in 2004.


HAMMER: During his last two years as a member of the Beatles, Lennon was spending much of his time with Yoko Ono, publicly protesting the Vietnam War, and advocating peace. The two held what were called "bed- ins."

LEVY: He was in the Beatles, the most powerful musical group -- the most powerful musical group in the world. He understood the value of how he could reach a massive audience. The Beatles, after all, reached a bigger audience than anyone else. And he began to understand the value of peace. He began to understand the value of his using his music as an advertisement for peace.

HAMMER: This is footage from the documentary "Imagine." John and Yoko are just married and holding their second "bed-in." It was in this hotel room where the pair recorded "Give Peace a Chance," a song which would go on to become an international anthem for the anti-war movement.


LEVY: He was literally at that point in his life making commercials for peace.

GILES: He knew he this fame, he knew he had this power, and he wanted to use it for something. Now that`s something you hear celebrities say all the time now, as if they`ve just figured out, when John Lennon figured it out 40 years ago.

HAMMER: In life, and in death, John Lennon is a legend. His music will never be forgotten.

LEVY: Take away John Lennon, take away the Beatles, and what do you have? Some pretty tunes. Some good-looking people. But you don`t have rock `n roll. Take them away, and maybe music -- well, it`s just less important.



HAMMER: Lennon`s widow, Yoko Ono, is calling for December 8 to be a worldwide day of forgiveness. Now she says she doesn`t know if she herself is ready to forgive the man who pulled the trigger, Mark David Chapman.

ANDERSON: Time now for the "SHOWBIZ Weight Watch," where we cover issues of Hollywood and body image like nobody else.

Tonight, Delta Burke gets candid about standing up to the pressure to be thin, how she has faced it and how she has overcome it. Delta stars in the new TV movie for the holidays called "The Year Without a Santa Claus." We also know her from "Designing Women," of course. And as a writer, her first book was called "Delta Style: Eve Wasn`t a Size 6, and Neither Am I."

When we sat down to talk, I asked her about unrealistic pressures put on women, especially when they`re on TV.


BURKE: And I dealt with that so much, that you had to be so thin. But it`s a lot worse now, even more pressure to be a Size 0, and -- which is ridiculous, a Size 0. What is that about?

And you look at any magazine, and -- and the fashions, they`re for -- you know, 90 percent of the women are not built like that. And the real women of America are not being heard; they`re not being accommodated in everything.

And when I would do a -- the book was sharing my story and -- and the depression, the frustration of dealing with that. And you feel dismissed in society, and -- I mean, they`ll forgive if you maybe murdered somebody and you didn`t mean to. But don`t you be a little plump, because that is just not forgiven here.

ANDERSON: Something really wrong with that...


ANDERSON: Yes, you had a really difficult time. You were under such scrutiny...


ANDERSON: ...your weight was. You know, when "Designing Women" was in its heyday, and this was happening to you, looking back now, do you ever wish you had said, To heck with all of you; you cannot do this to me.

BURKE: Yes, but I wish I`d been able to do that in my 20s, you know? I was beautiful and I was thin enough, and I was womanly. And I bought into what they said I should look like, which was not my body shape, and was more the body shape of the look of the 50s, you know? But I bought into it, and began the starving and not eating for seven days, and, you know, the drugs and everything, trying to stay thin.

And -- and -- you know, so when it was all going on on "Designing Women," I didn`t have the self-confidence at all to say that. I never did. I -- since then, I`m a lot better than I was, you know? But then that`s getting older, and it`s like, I just don`t care anymore.

But at the time, it was just devastating. And -- and why does it matter so much what I look like instead of what my soul was like?


BURKE: You know?


BURKE: Am I a good person?


BURKE: Am I doing good things?


ANDERSON: She has really bounced back from a very trying time, and has since become an inspiration and a role model to so many people.

You can see Delta Burke in "The Year Without a Santa Claus" Monday on NBC.

Last night, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." And it was this: "Super-Skinny Models: Should the government regulate the fashion industry?" Thirty-five percent of you said yes; 65 percent of you said no.

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

Draylen from Arkansas writes, "If the government stepped in, it would be against what American is all about."

J. from Massachusetts thinks, "The government should not have a hand in this. Our government has more pressing matters to contend with."

We appreciate your e-mails.

Stay with us; SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.


HAMMER: Tired of celebs stealing the spotlight? Well, we want to hear from you. So send your opinions on video to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Go to for details, and watch, when you could see your video e-mail on the most provocative entertainment news show on television. It`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, every night, at 11 p.m. Eastern, right here, on Headline News Prime.



ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, as you start your weekend. I am Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

We have been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." And it is this: "Britney, Lindsay and Paris: Are they setting back feminism?"

Keep voting at And send us an e-mail. Here`s the address: We`re going to read some of your thoughts tomorrow.

And don`t forget, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show that lets you express your opinion on video. So just take a look into your video camera or your webcam and send us a piece of your mind via video e- mail. It`s really easy. Head to our Web site,, and you can learn how to do it.

Then all you have to do is check out your video e-mails right here, only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: And here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT:

On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT this weekend, Britney behaving badly. Britney Spears finally admits she might be going overboard with the partying. But is that enough? Will Britney be able to rework her image and make the comeback? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates tomorrow and Sunday.

And coming up Monday, I go one-on-one with Barbara Walters to talk about the most fascinating people of 2006. Who made the list? Barbara Walters fills us in Monday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Have a great weekend. I am A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I am Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. "GLENN BECK" is coming up next, right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News.


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