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Miss USA Given Second Chance; Celebrities Cause Controversy; Professional Wrestlers Entertain U.S. Troops

Aired December 19, 2006 - 23:00:00   ET


BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT picks the finalist for the most controversial celebrity of 2006. I`m Brooke Anderson in New York.
SIBILA VARGAS: And is Victoria Beckham, Posh Spice, playing an alien in a Tom Cruise movie about Scientology? Huh? I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

ANDERSON: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, a shocking second chance for Miss USA.


DONALD TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": Tara is going to be given a second chance.


ANDERSON: Tonight Donald Trump surprises everybody by telling Tara Conner, you`re not fired.


TARA CONNER, MISS USA: You`ll never know how much I appreciate Mr. Trump for saving me on this one.


ANDERSON: Tonight, Tara`s shocking admission about her drinking. Why the Donald let her keep her tiara. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT lets you hear the entire dramatic and tearful confession of the beauty queen, in her own words. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the amazing story of saving Miss USA.

Tonight, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive, doing battle outside the ring. WWE wrestlers putting their lives on the line to support the troops in Iraq. Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the dramatic footage of a frightening attack. Two WWE superstars share their startling story in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

VARGAS: Hello, everyone. I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood, in for A.J. Hammer.

ANDERSON: Hi there, I`m Brooke Anderson in New York. And we just had to say, wow. Whoever -- who would have that Donald Trump would say, you`re not fired? In a decision that shocked just about everyone, Trump today told Miss USA, Tara Conner, she can keep her crown. I was right there for the big announcement, including Conner`s dramatic tearful confession that she was indeed troubled, would be going into rehab, and she would be getting a second chance.


CONNER: OK, I want to start off by saying that walking into this tower this morning, in no way did I think that it would be possible for a second chance to be given to me. I`ve had a very big blessing bestowed upon me. And you`ll never know how much I appreciate Mr. Trump for saving me on this one.

ANDERSON (voice-over): You could almost hear the gasps of shock in the room when Donald Trump, who co-owns the Miss USA contest, announced at a news conference that Tara Conner would not be fired. And that was just the first of the shockers to come.

CONNER: And I guess one of the good things about having some kind of little troubles here and there is you`re able to reach out to far more people. I want to apologize to my family, if I brought any disgrace upon you, but know that, thank god, thank god I had the chance to make it right. So, Mr. Trump, I want to thank you. You`ll never know what this means to me. And I swear I will not let you down.

ANDERSON: It could have come right out of prime time television, scandalous allegations, a beauty queen`s tearful apology, and a billionaire boss offering a second chance.

TRUMP: I`ve always been a believer in second chances. I`ve always been. Tara is a good person. Tara has tried hard. Tara is going to be given a second chance.

ANDERSON: And then bombshell, Tara Conner will be going into rehab.

TRUMP: She has agreed to go into rehab. She knows that if she makes even the slightest mistake, from here on, she will be immediately replaced.

ANDERSON: Trump`s startling announcement came after days of reports that Miss USA was misbehaving big time. "New York Daily News" reporter Joe Piazza tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the allegations of misconduct include excessive partying and underage drinking.

JO PIAZZA, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": The press conference was totally surreal. I think that we were all expecting Tara to lose her crown, and then for Donald to get up there and say he was giving her a second chance, I mean, it really kind of looks like the girl could just cry and cry on command.

CONNER: So, Mr. Trump, I want to thank you.

ANDERSON: Neither Trump nor Conner would talk about specific allegations, other than admitting she had some drinks at a night club before her 21st birthday on Monday.

CONNER: Yes, I went out. I had a couple of nights where, yes, I did drink, and that was stupid. It was underage and strictly prohibited.

ANDERSON: And while she plans to go into rehab --

CONNER: I wouldn`t say that I`m an alcoholic. I think that that would be pushing the envelope just a little.

PIAZZA: Well they refused to talk about any of the allegations, except for the drinking, and the Donald said that she would be going into rehab.

ANDERSON (on camera): Trump did say that going forward there will be drug testing for Tara Conner, who comes from a very small town in Kentucky.

Is drug testing something normal that happens with Miss USA?

PAULA SHUGART, PRESIDENT, MISS UNIVERSE ORGANIZATION: No, it is not something normal that happens. We have not had a drug testing policy.

ANDERSON: Tara Conner seemed to have strayed from her small town roots almost as soon as she arrived in New York and was given access to trendy nightclubs and their owners.

TRUMP: She was telling me that she got caught up in the whirlwind that`s New York.

ANDERSON: This was a close call for Tara Conner, who escaped the fate of Oxana Federovaz (ph), who won the Miss Universe pageant in 2002, but was stripped of her title after she violated her contract. In fact, it was Donald Trump who fired her.

TRUMP: I fired Oxana Federova, who was Miss Universe because, quite simply, she did a terrible job. In the case of Tara, I saw not only a beautiful young woman, that was obvious, I saw somebody that had a good heart, that really, really tried.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Which is why Trump says Tara can serve out her reign as Miss USA, which ends in four months.

CONNER: Thank god, thank god I have the chance to make it right.


ANDERSON: Don`t go anywhere because we are just getting started on this amazing Miss USA controversy. You`ve just heard some of Tara Conner`s emotional, tearful reaction to hearing she was being spared. But wait until you hear the whole thing, Tara Conner in her own words at 31 past the hour, right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

So, the Donald may have forgiven Miss USA, but has the crown been tarnished for good? And should Tara Conner half been fired?

Tonight, only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you two former Miss USAs, Miss USA 1995 and she was also on "Dancing with the Stars," Shanna Moakler, and Miss USA 1991 and star of "NBC`s Passions," Kelli McCarty, both joining us tonight from Hollywood.

Thank you for being here.

SHANNA MOAKLER, FORMER MISS USA 1991: Thank you for having us.

ANDERSON: Kelli, as you just heard, Tara Conner admitted to drinking under age. Of course, I was right there when Donald Trump gave her the second chance.

A lot of people were surprised. Were you surprised? Do you think maybe she should have been fired?

KELLI MCCARTY, ACTRESS: I`m really glad that Trump gave Tara a second chance. I do believe that everyone deserves that and she`s a 20-year-old, straight out of Kentucky. She`s in New York and exposed to so much at once.

I think that she deserves a little bit of a break. She does hold the title of Miss USA, which takes a lot of responsibility, but I think that she`s going to be able to now step back and reevaluate some of her actions and I think she`ll be just fine.

ANDERSON: Shanna, what do you think about it? Do you think she should have been fired?

MOAKLER: I think Trump does everything in great fashion, great style. So I wasn`t surprised. I think it`s wonderful and I`m actually really happy for her.

I think she was doing what every normal woman and man her age normally do, but she did have a title and it brings so much responsibility and she was being put in the spotlight.

I think if she wasn`t appreciating her rein, I think she will now and I think Trump has also made quite an example out of her. So future Miss USAs will take the job more responsibly, more seriously.

ANDERSON: Kelli, when you were Miss USA, did stuff like this, the things that were alleged, did they go on behind the scenes or was it just unthinkable?

MCCARTY: I think it was pretty unthinkable. It was understood, when we took the crown, that there was no drinking, there was no smoking, there was no drug use. You were there, you won, you signed up to do a job and with that comes a lot of responsibility.

So I would have -- first of all, I never had the opportunity to really go out, because my schedule was that crazy. I was on the road like 90 percent of the year.

So I didn`t have the opportunity anyway and even if I did have a day off, I was home sleeping, resting up for the next trip.

MOAKLER: I lived with a shop-around that we had to check in with and we had curfews and we had to leave notes if we were ever to leave the apartment. So it was very strict.

ANDERSON: So it was stricter back then.



MOAKLER: And Kelli made a great point earlier, too, saying that, you know, when we reined, there wasn`t the Internet, there wasn`t paparazzi like there is today." And the Trump organization really has come in and really modernized the Miss USA pageant and really made it bigger and exposed it so much more.

ANDERSON: Yes, because Trump wasn`t co-owner when you two were Miss USA.

MOAKLER: Correct.


ANDERSON: Shanna, you`ve been high profile for a while since you were Miss USA. You have posed for "Playboy." You`ve done a couple of big reality shows.

Can you understand why Tara Conner might have gotten swept up in the party scene, in that lifestyle?

MOAKLER: I absolutely can. One of the things that pageants do is they give women opportunities. Working with the Trump organization is a huge opportunity. I think that`s where some people got angry, like she wasn`t appreciating the opportunity that she had.

But what people don`t understand is that a lot of these women do come from small towns. They`re moved into the Trump Plaza. They get a makeover. They start going to parties, hanging out with celebrities, and it can get overwhelming.

I think if she got lost in her rein and in her responsibilities, I definitely don`t think that she`s going to have any problems now.

ANDERSON: I want to talk about the fact that a lot of people look at pageants and say they`re old-fashioned.

Kelli, we asked our viewers, in our question of the day, if they thought pageants were outdated. An overwhelming number, 94 percent, said they are.

What do you say to that? Do you agree? Should they get with the times?

MCCARTY: Well, I do believe that Trump has made huge advances and really revamped the entire show. I think that if they did a survey across the country, though the Midwest, the south, you`d get a very different answer.

Traveling across the United States, pageants are still very, very popular and I think it`s great. It gives young women something to work hard for and set goals for themselves.

So there`s certainly a place for them and as far as Miss USA 2006, I think that it will be something that she will learn from and grow from and if she can use this on her next trip out to talk to kids and...

ANDERSON: Use it as a role model.

MCCARTY: Use it as a positive, absolutely.

MOAKLER: Hopefully, she can get the help that she needs. She will probably bounce back, you`re right. You can make her a star. If she can get over this embarrassment.

ANDERSON: Shanna Moakler, Kelli McCarty, thanks so much, both of you, for your unique perspectives.

VARGAS: So what do you think? It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Miss USA, should she have been fired? Go to Send us an e-mail at We`ll read some of your e-mails tomorrow.

ANDERSON: Well, this year sure has been a controversial one. This Miss USA stuff, Tom Cruise, Michael Richards, racist rants. We could go on and on and on, but there can only be one celebrity who is the most controversial. Tune in tomorrow for the event of the year, as SHOWBIZ TONIGHT picks the most controversial celebrity of 2006.

And coming up next, the top five finalists for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most controversial celebrity of the year. Will your favorite stars make the cut? That`s coming up.

VARGAS: And, Brooke, the guys that did this could be the biggest jerks of the year. They absolutely ripped a Frosty the Snowman to shreds. That`s next. We`ve also got this.


BEYONCE KNOWLES, SINGER: Some people are naturally thin. Some people are naturally curvy. And it`s fine that we`re all different.


ANDERSON: You know, I couldn`t agree more with Beyonce. Our very own A.J. Hammer goes one-on-one with the dream girl star. Lots more on losing weight for dream girls. Plus, how the media won`t stop asking about her personal life. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Welcome back everyone to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in New York. Time now for the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT video of the day. Well, Frosty the Snowman was a jolly, happy soul, until he got slashed. Oh no. Listen to this, a couple of terrible grinches were arrested in Cincinnati, Ohio, accused of stabbing a 12-foot Frosty the Snowman. They didn`t care about his corn cobb pipe or his button nose or his two eyes made out of coal, apparently. Luckily, the owner had a camera in his yard, because Frosty had fallen victim to two previous attacks. You know what, we think Rudolph should kick their butt.

This year Hollywood`s biggest stars seem to have come unhinged, involved in so many controversies, we could hardly keep up with them, Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, the list goes on and on and on, right? But which one was the most controversial? We can tell you tonight that after going through a very long list, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has narrowed it down to five finalists.


ANDERSON (voice-over): As we prepare to turn the page on 2006, we can look back on a year when celebrities gained some friends, gained children, and wives, shed their husbands, lost their jobs and lost their minds.

BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: Is it possible to time travel space?

ANDERSON: All in spectacular -- can you believe they said that -- fashion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 2006 has been a great year for celebrity scandal.

ANDERSON: Only a small group of celebrities stood out above the rest as the most controversial of the year. And only one celebrity in that group will be SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most controversial celebrity of 2006. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you the five nominees, in alphabetical order.

First up, Tom Cruise.

PIAZZA: Tom cruise just really seemed to lose his marbles in 2006.

ANDERSON: Everyone spent 2006 talking about how this mighty star has fallen since his couch-jumping, psychiatry bashingn antics. But he and new love Katie Holmes had a baby and kept her hidden for four months, prompting a chorus of where`s Suri questions.

FRANGELINA, L.A. COMEDY DUO: I started to feel like we were never going to see that child or that wedding happen. It took him longer to get his children to Boston than "War of the Worlds."

ANDERSON: And then TomKat became official when Tom and Katie got married in a lavish wedding in an Italian castle, not that it helped him any.

PIAZZA: People still think he`s a little bit out there.

ANDERSON: Our next nominee for most controversial celeb of 2006, Mel Gibson.

FRANGELINA: And everybody was really angry and shocked. Yes. We were, like, Mad Max lost his mind? What?

ANDERSON: His arrest for DUI and the anti-Semitic comments he hurled at the arresting officer sparked a national outrage that led some to call for a Mel movie boycott.

BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": I don`t think I want to see anymore Mel Gibson movies.

ANDERSON: Nevertheless, Mel`s latest movie, "Apocalypto," opened at number one.

FRANGELINA: We were like, you know what Mel, we`re angry. We may not go see your next film -- which we did -- but we thought about not going.

We really did.

We were going to be very punitive, but that was the only one showing at the time we were there.

ANDERSON: And keeping up the trend of intolerant rants is our next nominee. Michael Richards N-Word breakdown at an L.A. comedy club sparked everything from celebrity threats, issued right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT --

TYRESE GIBSON, ACTOR/MODEL: He is horrible. Yes, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) him. He is stupid. I would bust him in the mouth if I ever seen him.

ANDERSON: -- to a more civil national discussion on the use of the N- word.

PIAZZA: It started a national discussion on where the line is.

FRANGELINA: We should have been harder on Mel, because now Michael thought that he could lose his mind. We left the crazy racist door open, and out came Michael Richards.

ANDERSON: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s fourth nominee for most controversial celebrity for 2006, the one, the only, Anna Nicole Smith.

PIAZZA: With Anna Nicole, she is almost too trashy for us to even enjoy watching her.

ANDERSON: Her year began with a surreal appearance at the Supreme Court, in a battle over her late husband`s fortune. He was 90 when he died.

Then continued with the tragic and mysterious death of her son. And it`s ending with an addictively trashy soap opera of a paternity battle over her newborn daughter, and her attorney, turned lover, and her ex- boyfriend, claiming to be the father.

FRANGELINA: Shouldn`t somebody, like an assistant or somebody, at least be able to flip through her calendar and figure this out?

Yes, you were with Larry on Tuesday.

You know what I mean?

ANDERSON: And the final nominee for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most controversial celebrity of the year, Britney Spears. From her mishaps with her baby boy`s car seat, to her home video appearance on YouTube, to her train wreck divorce from Kevin Federline, to her pantiless partying with Paris Hilton, Britney Spears was definitely a talked-about figure in 2006.

FRANGELINA: I do not want to see Britney`s monkey ever again in 2007.

I have seen Britney`s (INAUDIBLE) more than my own.

ANDERSON: All worthy nominees, but only one can be SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most controversial celebrity of 2006.


ANDERSON: And then there was one. There can only be one celebrity who`s the most controversial. Tune in tomorrow for the event of the year, as SHOWBIZ TONIGHT picks the most controversial celebrity of 2006, 11:00 P.M. Eastern.

Sibila, you know Britney Spears has been slammed for her pantiless partying, her mommy skills --

VARGAS: The hits just keep coming and coming. You have to wonder what is she going to do next, right?

ANDERSON: Exactly, what is she thinking, half the time. Well now, Sibila, people are peeved about her pet parenting. We`re going to explain next.

VARGAS: And a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive, WWE wrestlers putting their lives on the line to support the troops in Iraq. Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the dramatic footage of a frightening attack.

We have also got this.


CONNER: And I plan on walking out of this the best Miss USA that you`ve ever seen.


ANDERSON: Miss USA saved, more of Tara Conner`s emotional, tearful reaction to hearing she wasn`t being fired by Donald Trump. We`ll have that in a bit.


VARGAS: Well, as we told you, Britney Spears is one of our finalists for the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most controversial celebrity of 2006. People have been questioning her pantiless partying, her mommy skills, and now her pet parenting. That`s right, the readers of "New York Dog" and "Hollywood Dog Magazines" have named Brit the worst celebrity dog owner of 2006. They dog her because she gave her three Chihuahuas away after she married Kevin Federline.

Joining Brit on the worst dog owner list, Paris Hilton for treating her dog like accessories, Serena Williams, for denying owning her pit bull when her dog bit someone, and Courtney Love right behind her.

ANDERSON: Beyonce Knowles on her weight and her personal life, in the revealing interview you will see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

VARGAS: And a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive, WWE wrestlers putting their lives on the line to support the troops in Iraq. Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the dramatic footage of a frightening attack.

We`ve also got this.


CONNER: And I plan on walking out of this the best Miss USA that you`ve ever seen.


ANDERSON: Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you Tara Conner`s emotional, tearful reaction to hearing she was being spared in its entirety. Miss USA in her own words -- all of them.



ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m Brooke Anderson in New York. A.J. has the night off.

VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

ANDERSON: Sibila, tonight, we have a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive: WWE wrestlers putting their lives on the line to support the troops in Iraq. Only we have dramatic footage of a frightening attack. We`re going to have that coming up, and their startling stories.

VARGAS: Very inspiring as well.

And also tonight, Beyonce - one-one-one with the starlet. She`s dazzling in "Dreamgirls," and she`s talking about weight issues. She`s also talking about the love of her life in Jay-Z. She says he is her rock. And she`s also talking about the pressures of being, you know, in the spotlight in Hollywood. It`s not that easy, Brooke.

ANDERSON: I`m sure it`s not.

But first, Sibila, it`s the story every body is talking about: Miss USA misbehavior, and a press conference that had the whole SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom riveted. Donald Trump, who owns the Miss USA pageant, gave a dramatic announcement today about Miss USA Tara Conner. You know, there have been reports of wild partying, underage drinking - even, allegedly, drugs.

Trump said that he expected to fire Conner, but after talking to her, he realized she made some big mistakes, but he wants to give her a second chance and send her to rehab.

Then Miss USA stepped up to the podium, and - well, we just have to show you the whole thing. Watch this.


TARA CONNER, MISS USA: OK. I want to start off by saying that walking into this (INAUDIBLE) this morning, in no way did I think that it would possible for a second chance to be given to me.

I`ve had a very big blessing bestowed upon me. And you`ll never know how much I appreciate Mr. Trump for saving me on this one. It truly takes someone with a wonderful heart - a heart of gold, and a blessed soul, to say something that (ph) - he doesn`t have to keep me around. You heard about the other things he could have said. You know, "You`re fired!," and I think that`s what every one expected, especially me.

But he`s a very, very compassionate person, and obviously I`ve learned that today. And I`m so happy that I`m being given this opportunity because, I know that when I do my job, I`m very passionate about it. But I guess one of the good things about having some kind of little troubles here and there is you`re able to reach out to far more people.

And I`m willing to do whatever it takes, not only given a chance to have time to better myself, but to better me as a Miss USA. And I plan on walking out of this the best Miss USA that you`ve ever seen. And I promise you that.

And I want to thank all the people that have behind me. I want to apologize to my family if I`ve put any disgrace upon you. But know that, thank God - thank God I had the chance to make it right.

So Mr. Trump, I want to thank you. You`ll never know what this means to me. And I swear I`ll not let you down.

And I want to thank - I want to thank Miss Paula Shugard (ph) at the Miss Universe Organization, because they`ve had to put up with me. And, you know, we`ve - we`ve had some - some battles. But they are - they`re right, you know? I`ve learned so much from this woman. It`s - she`s amazing. And I`m so happy to have her.

And I`m so happy to have my mother, because she has made me the person that I am, and tries to notice that I do have a very solid heart, and that when I love, I love dearly.

I love this job; I love the people that I work for, and I work with. And I love all the causes that I - have put forth so much effort here, especially in New York. And even after this reign is over, I want to continue to work with these causes. I don`t want to let this part go of my life.

I`ve wanted this since I was 13 years old. And you know what? I almost let it get away. But this time, it`s not going to happen. So I want to thank you for hearing me out.

I want to thank all of the people who have been behind me. And I want to Mr. Trump and I want to thank Miss Paula Shugard and the Miss Universe organization for doing what they said they would do. Because their goal is to empower women and to make us the best women that we can possibly be. And I have learned so much in this eight months that I have been Miss USA.

And I have so much more to learn that I`m - I`m oping (ph), and I have an open heart. I`m willing it with open arms. And I can`t wait just to get back to work and just do my job.

So thank you all for coming out. Thank you, Mr. Trump, again, and thank you Miss Paula.


ANDERSON: This whole situation made all of us at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wonder, What in the world is going on with this party-girl phenomenon?

Who better to answer that question than Anna David, a former celebrity journalist and a self-described recovering party girl herself. She literally wrote the book on this subject, and it`s aptly titled - what else? - "Party Girl."

Anna, thanks for being here.

ANNA DAVID, AUTHOR, "PARTY GIRL": Thanks for having me.

ANDERSON: Of course.

Now Tara Conner - we just heard from her. You know, a young girl from a small town in Kentucky.

You yourself were a party girl. You yourself got caught up in the scene.

Tell us how easy it can be for that to happen.

DAVID: Well, it`s really easy for that to happen, and especially, I think, when you`re in the public eye.

And that kind of bad behavior is a little bit encouraged, because in a sense it`s rewarded. You get on the cover of all these magazines; a whole lot of people have heard of Tara Conner that would not have heard of her had all this bad behavior not taken place.

And, you know, you see in Hollywood with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan that bad behavior gets a lot of press today. And so, there really aren`t that many repercussions, usually, for girls who are going wild and crazy.

ANDERSON: Yes, and you mentioned Lindsay and Paris Hilton. Also, you`ve got Britney Spears. You see them out partying, carrying on. It looks so glamorous, I`m sure, to a lot of people who may be influenced, possibly, by these types of celebrities and their actions.

But it`s really not, is it? Are they just being a bad influence?

DAVID: I - I think it`s hard to say.

I mean, we only know these stories secondhand, thirdhand. I think some of the things - you know, some of those girls - you know, they`re hospitalized three and four times a year. It`s probably not as glamorous as it might seem.

You know, when one of the girls is going around and not wearing any underwear - I don`t know; that`s not glamorous to me. And I was out there being crazy. I never did any thing like that.

You know, I don`t know how glamorous it is. It certainly does appear a certain way, but I think the real story is quite different. We`re not inside their heads, knowing exactly how it feels.

ANDERSON: Very true.

You know, we were all young, did some dumb things that, you know, one point or another - some things maybe we weren`t too proud of. But the difference is, you know, we`re not in the spotlight. We don`t have cameras following us around.

Should we be cutting these girls a break, cutting them some slack?

DAVID: I think it depends.

I mean, I think that in some cases, the behavior is just what anybody - you know, lots of girls are - you know, and boys are underage and drinking. And it`s just really not that big a deal.

But some of the behavior is, like I said, really sort of out-of- control and aberrant behavior. And so I think that it`s hard to know because the media, we all blow it up and to be such a big story than it might be.

But I think some of the behavior is worth looking at. And I think that in Hollywood, you know, it`s more important that a star shows up and makes a movie than that a star is in the right frame of mind, is sane, is healthy. And I think things like alcoholism and drug addiction can absolutely flourish in Hollywood, where it`s sort of, you know, brushed under the rug because, you know, we`ve got movies to make; we`ve got entertainment to produce.

ANDERSON: Right. Well, they`re very serious problems that definitely should be spotlighted.

And, you know, we see the stars partying, not just on Friday or Saturday night, but every single night of the week it seems.

Anna, what is it like to do that night after night? Is it this surreal world you just get caught up in?

DAVID: It`s exhausting.

I mean, I know...

ANDERSON: Exhausting.

DAVID: Really.


DAVID: I feel exhausted. And I stopped doing that six years ago.

You know, and I was really shocked when I cleaned up myself up and I started going out and seeing that, like, not every body was running to the bar first thing when they got to a party. You know, that there are lots of people that aren`t doing that. But when you`re in the world, you don`t see it, because every one you`re around is doing the exact same thing as you, and it seems really, really normal. I can promise you that.

ANDERSON: And you probably felt a little more rested after you got away from that scene.

DAVID: Yes, I am so much better-rested today.

ANDERSON: All right. Anna David, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

DAVID: Thanks for having me.

ANDERSON: And Anna`s book, "Party Girl," is due out June of 2007.

VARGAS: Well, now we want to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Miss USA: Should she have been fired?"

Vote at Send us at e-mail at We`ll read some of your e-mails tomorrow.

ANDERSON: Sibila, it`s a story that`s all over the Internet: is Victoria Beckham starring as an alien bride with Tom Cruise in a Scientology movie?

VARGAS: I got to tell you, Brooke, when I first heard about this story, I was, like, No way! But then I thought, I don`t know; Tom Cruise, I don`t know.

ANDERSON: Yes, you never know.


ANDERSON: And the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Truth Squad is on the case now.

VARGAS: Also ahead, WWE stars go to Iraq to entertain the troops, and get caught in a very close call. We`ll show you the amazing video and hear about the wrestlers, Shelton Benjamin and Edge.

We`ll also have this:


BEYONCE, ENTERTAINER: Some people are naturally thin; some people are naturally curvy. And it`s fine to - that we`re all different.


ANDERSON: You got to love Beyonce speaking out on body image and losing 20 pounds for her role in "Dreamgirls." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is one-one- one with Beyonce. That`s straight ahead.


ANDERSON: It`s time now to call out the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Truth Squad. Now this is where we set the record straight on the juiciest Hollywood rumors.

Tonight, is Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham, starring as an alien bride in a Tom Cruise Scientology movie? We`re not making this up, people. Cruise reportedly picked Posh because of her - quote - "comic genius."

Well, Beckham`s publicist isn`t laughing. He says - quote - "Totally false. There is no movie. It`s totally bogus. It`s a totally bogus, made-up story. It doesn`t exist. David, Victoria, Tom and Katie are the best of friends, but they aren`t doing any films together. We have never even heard of this project."

We get the point. David is Victoria`s husband.

So case closed: no Posh posing as an alien for Tom Cruise.

VARGAS: Woo! Thank goodness

Well, Beyonce isn`t her making her movie debut in "Dreamgirls." But when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s A.J. Hammer sat down with the Grammy Award-wining singer, she told him that playing the role of Deena Jones felt like her very first movie role, because it was the first time she played a flawed character.

Beyonce also opened up about dealing with the media, every one`s fascination with her, and her boyfriend, Jay-Z, who she relies on in life to keep her grounded.


A.J. HAMMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And people are so endlessly fascinated with every aspect of your life.


HAMMER: Your relationship with Jay-Z, with how much you`re weighing or what you`re doing and all - and all of that.

Does it ever get to the point where it`s just tiresome, and you kind of want to leave it all behind?

BEYONCE: Yes, it does. I mean, never to the point where I - I want to give up. I feel like, you know, you really know a lot about yourself when people test you. And, you know, if you`re strong when - when there`s, you know, negativity and when there`s scrutiny. Without that, you never can test yourself.

And it`s a part of my job, and I can`t do anything about it. So I have to - either I`m going to fall under the pressure and, you know, go to drugs or alcohol or give up or be depressed, or I`m going to say, this is not personal. This is my life, and I`m blessed and I`m fortunate to do what I love. And that`s what I choose to do.


HAMMER: Every body who sees this movie is going to say, "Dreamgirls," dream job. You get to work with a cast. You get to belt out those tunes.


HAMMER: Best part about it for you?

BEYONCE: Learning so much. I learned so much from - from watching Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx and Jennifer and working with one of the best directors ever.

I love that I was able to play a real person, a flawed character for the first time. I feel like it`s my first movie.

HAMMER: You got to go for a couple of different looks and see how they worked out for you, too.


HAMMER: Are you going to go back to any of that hair? Because...


HAMMER: ...there`s one particular Afro in - that I thought was just great (ph).

BEYONCE: Thank you.

I - I was able to wear any hairstyle you could ever imagine, from Afros to really short, asymmetrical dos to long to dark. I mean, it was such a variety of different looks. It was really excited for me, because, you know, I - I also lost 20 pounds for the movie, because I didn`t want to recognize myself at all. And it worked.

So all the sacrifice and - and, you know, me having to be strong...

HAMMER: Go off your regular dietary needs.

BEYONCE: Absolutely. It was - it all paid off.

HAMMER: Well, and - and you bring that up, and it`s interesting, because so much has been made of the fact that you lost all that weight. And you seem to have a real healthy attitude...


HAMMER: ...about body image, and about how much more important it is to feel good inside, as opposed to how you look on the outside.

But that`s a tough thing for a lot of young girls. They - they feel like they can`t have one with the - without the other. What do you - what do you say to them?

BEYONCE: Well, you have to have a support system, and you have to have a - a group of friends that, you know, love you. And you have to love yourself.

And, you know, every one has their own personal body weight that - that is their natural body weight, and that looks good on them. And you have to accept that. Some people are naturally thin; some people are naturally curvy.

And it`s fine to - that we`re all different.

HAMMER: It`s just tough though. So much easier said than done sometimes.

BEYONCE: It definitely is.

HAMMER: Yes. But you obviously have the right people around you.

BEYONCE: Yes. You have to have self-esteem.


VARGAS: Pretty good role model. "Dreamgirls" opens in theaters everywhere on December 25.

ANDERSON: Tonight, imagine the world`s biggest wrestling stars coming under attack in Iraq.

World Wrestling Entertainment traveled to Iraq for the fourth consecutive year, and this time they got a taste of what U.S. soldiers go through every single day when a mortar round landed only a few hundred yards away from their ring.

With me here tonight in New York, the WWE`s Shelton Benjamin and Edge.

Welcome to you both. Thanks for being here.


ANDERSON: OK. You guys were in Baghdad at Camp Victory. A mortar lands - what? - 300 yards away from the wrestling ring that was set up where you guys wanted to perform.

I cannot imagine this. Edge, did it really bring it home how dangerous the situation really was?

EDGE, PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER: Pretty sobering reality. because up until that point, it was actually fun.

You know, we were having coffee and - and eating breakfast and dinner and watching news with the - with these guys and girls over there. And you kind of forget where you are. And then all of a sudden, you realize you`re not in Boise, Idaho; you`re in Baghdad. And whether it was flying in and - and going in stealth mode and turning all the lights out and having to be completely quiet once we hit the airspace so we wouldn`t get attacked, to the mortar going after, there was definitely instances where you went, OK, we`re - we`re not in Kansas anymore.

ANDERSON: Yes, we`re watching the video right now.

Shelton, did every one just immediately react? Did the soldiers protect - what did they do? Did they tell you what to do?

SHELTON BENJAMIN, PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER: Basically, it was one of those things when - I mean, mind you, we work with pyro all the time, so we`re used to explosions. But in this particular case, what I got...

ANDERSON: Not this kind of explosion, yes.

BENJAMIN: Right. While our guys were kind of looking around, going, What`s going on? The soldiers were like, Get down, grabbing guys and throwing them on their (INAUDIBLE), and covering - literally covering them with their own bodies to protect them. So I mean...

ANDERSON: Probably went into autopilot...

BENJAMIN: Exactly.

ANDERSON: protect every body.

BENJAMIN: I mean...

ANDERSON: Well, you guys were clearly there to support the troops. But we all know - you know, there`s been a turn in - in America about how people feel about the war. A lot of people disagree with the war. Still support the troops, but don`t support the war.

Shelton, do the troops feel that? Are they frustrated by that in any way?

BENJAMIN: I think the troops are definitely frustrated by the fact that what`s being portrayed of what`s going on over there, because the media tends to show mostly the negative things. And they`re doing a lot of positive things.

I`ve never heard a troop - a soldier complain about any thing, the conditions or any thing. To them, it`s their job, and they take it very seriously, much like you or I would take our jobs. And they want to do a good job.

So for them, it`s a little disheartening when they see that the only thing America seems to be interested in is the bad.

ANDERSON: Yes. It`s pretty sobering. It`s pretty - pretty hard to hear that for them, I`m sure.


ANDERSON: Edge, we all know fighting, wrestling in the ring is fake. Shocker. We`re sorry.

But being over there, this was not fake. And a lot of people talk about how they never feel safe when they go over there - journalists, people who are visiting, people who are there for the troops.

Did you ever feel safe? Did you have a constant fear in the back of your mind?

EDGE: You know what? This was my first year going, because this year this fake industry had a broken neck. So I - I missed out on the first trip because of that.

So this year, I got to go, and felt safe the entire time, until we went in stealth mode. You know, they announced, we have to be quiet so we don`t get attacked. It`s like, Oh, OK. And when the mortar went off.

But other that - I - I mean, we were just sitting there watching CNN with the troops at dinnertime and - and really just getting to know people. I sat down with about a 22-year-old guy, and he said it was the - the sixth time he had been blown up. And I was...


EDGE: ...woah! What - what do you - and he had this huge smile on his face and...


EDGE: ...great positive attitude.


EDGE: And that`s the thing: he wasn`t complaining at all. And - and I think once you go over there and experience it and see what they`re actually doing, I think you get a different perspective for what they are doing, and you would support them more. Because they literally are building a country from the ground up.

ANDERSON: What an amazing story for that guy to go through it so many times and to keep that positive frame of mind.

Shelton, do you feel a - a deeper personal connection, very quickly? I - I know you`ve been three times now.


I actually felt a deeper connection with them ever since my first trip. I - pretty much my own personal little tribute to the troops is I wear a yellow ribbon on my uniform. So every time I perform, I`m showing my support for the troops. Because, like I said, I`ve been three times, and I mean, what these guys go through is really unbelievable.


BENJAMIN: And they`re doing an unbelievable good job. And like I said, I personally felt guilty that I got to come home, and they still have to say and defend our country.

ANDERSON: Well, I`m sure they appreciate what you both did. Hope that broken neck is all healed up now.

EDGE: It`s better now.

ANDERSON: So Edge, Shelton Benjamin, thank you both for being here. We appreciate it.

And a special "Monday Night Raw," "WWE Tribute to the Troops: Christmas in Baghdad," airs on the USA Network Christmas Day.

VARGAS: Well, last night, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Miss USA Controversy: Are beauty pageants outdated?"

Check this out: 94 percent of you say yes; only 6 percent of you say no.

Now here are some of the e-mails we got:

Madel from New York writes, "Beauty pageants are definitely outdated. They exploit women by exposing their bodies for the sake of public entertainment."

Marilyn from California writes, "Proper behavior can never be outdated. From what I see in the world, there isn`t enough of proper behavior."

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back.


VARGAS: And we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Miss USA: Should she have been fired?"

Keep voting at Or write us at We`ll read some of your e-mails tomorrow.

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

It`s really easy. Head to our Web site,, to learn just how to do it. Then check out your video e-mails, only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: It is time to see what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Tomorrow, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT names the most controversial celebrity of 2006. It has been quite a year. From racial rants to pantyless partying, Bahamas drama to couch-jumping craziness. But who will be named the most controversial star? Tune into SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow to find out.

Thanks for watching, everyone. That is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in New York. A.J. Hammer has the night off.

VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. Good night, everyone.

"GLENN BECK" is next, right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News.


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