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Anna Nicole Court Room Battle Continues; Britney in Rehab
Aired February 20, 2007 - 23:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: Two huge stories today. First, breaking Britney news -- has she finally checked herself into rehab? I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there for the Anna Nicole Smith courtroom showdown. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.
HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the stunning Anna Nicole Smith courtroom showdown, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the coast to coast fireworks. Tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there as all the major players come face to face for the very first time.
The battle over Anna Nicole`s body, the battle over her baby. And is little Dannielynne in danger staying with Howard K. Stern?
Also tonight, are Britney Spears` kids in danger? Tonight, Britney seemingly on the verge of a meltdown. The head shaving, the reported rehab, the non-stop partying.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask -- should Britney Spears` kids be taken away from her?
Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
ANDERSON: Hi there everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Breaking Britney Spears news tonight. Has Britney finally checked herself into rehab? The very latest in just a few minutes.
HAMMER: But first tonight, the court battle over Anna Nicole Smith`s body and baby. Today two battle coast to coast, but it was in a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida courtroom that every major player in this bizarre story got together for the very first time all in one place, all at once, and center stage, and right there on the witness stand, Howard K. Stern, Anna Nicole`s lover, the self-proclaimed father of her baby and in public for the very first time since Anna Nicole died.
HAMMER (voice-over): Every good drama needs a good court scene, and the Anna Nicole Smith case is getting another one. Two men claiming to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith`s baby, Anna`s companion Howard K. Stern, and former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, faced each other for the very first time in court to determine where Anna Nicole will be buried.
And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please state your name for the record.
HOWARD K. STERN, ANNA NICOLE SMITH`S LOVER: I`m Howard Stern.
HAMMER: Howard K. Stern`s testimony was the first time he spoke publicly since she died in Florida. As TV networks provided live coverage, Stern provide a stunning and unprecedented look into his strange relationship with the late bombshell.
STERN: She was my best friend, my lover, the mother of my daughter, everything to me, literally everything, my whole world.
HAMMER: And Anna Nicole`s disturbing obsession.
STERN: Anna, in a lot of ways, always thought she was going to die young. She said that. And she thought that she was going to be like Marilyn Monroe.
HAMMER: Stern, Birkhead and Anna Nicole`s mother, Virgie Arthur form the three sides in this case, a highly publicized fight over Anna Nicole`s body, her baby, and maybe her money. It`s the latest courtroom scene in the Anna Nicole soap opera.
HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: The narrow issue here is where Anna Nicole Should be buried, but it is feeling more like Days of Our Lives, and the judge is kind of the executive producer.
HAMMER: Stern says he met Anna Nicole in the 1990s, when he became part of the legal team that represented her during her fight with the family of her late oil billionaire husband, J. Howard Marshall, over her share of his fortune. Stern says he and Anna became more than friends a few years later.
STERN: It was not exclusive, because of my relationship as her attorney, and it was something that we didn`t disclose to too many people. But -- and she had other boyfriends in between. I wanted her to be happy.
HAMMER: Stern is fighting to have Anna Nicole buried in the Bahamas, near the resting place of her son Daniel, who suddenly died there while visiting his mom last year.
STERN: On the day that Daniel died, Anna honestly was never the same.
HAMMER: The court and America sat riveted as Stern related how Daniel`s sudden drug-related death shocked her, especially on the day of his burial.
STERN: She had the people open the casket, and she was just inconsolable, and hugging Daniel and grabbing on to him, and she wanted to go down with Daniel right then. She said, if Daniel has to be buried, I want to be buried with him.
HAMMER: Anna Nicole`s mom, Virgie Arthur, is arguing to have Anna Nicole buried in her native Texas. As for Birkhead, he is battling to have Anna Nicole`s body tested for DNA, as part of his effort to show that he and not Stern is the father. Fireworks emerged when Stern`s attorney accused Birkhead`s attorney, Debra Opri, of making a shocking accusation of Stern in court.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miss Opri did just make a statement to my client that he actually killed Miss Smith.
LEVIN: I think Debra Opri is kind of echoing what a lot of people are feeling, which is what`s the deal with this guy?
HAMMER: And people are asking, what`s the deal with the judge? Family court Judge Larry Seidlin made quite an impression with TV audiences with a style that seems, well, unconventional.
LARRY SEIDLIN, FAMILY COURT JUDGE: Someone has got to bite the bullet. It`s going to be me.
LEVIN: This judge is truly a character.
HAMMER: TMZ`s Harvey Levin tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the judge may be seeking a future in television.
LEVIN: This judge for months has had a dream to be a judge on a television courtroom show.
HAMMER: Meanwhile, in L.A., Birkhead`s attorneys waged another court fight. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson was there.
ANDERSON: The judge denied Debra Opri`s request to take jurisdiction of baby Dannielynne, but did ask the coroner in Florida if he had the power to allow the remains of Anna Nicole Smith to be tested by Opri`s independent experts.
LEVIN: In the end, Anna Nicole Smith will make more case law than Earl Warren.
HAMMER: She will be setting quite a precedent, won`t she. Quite a lot to digest, as you`ve seen. We`ve got two of the best to help us sort it all out. With me tonight from Hollywood, investigative journalist Jane Velez Mitchell, and Ashleigh Banfield, host of Court TV`s Hollywood Heat, joins us from the Court TV studios in New York.
Ladies, it`s good to see you both. Jane, Howard K. Stern, up there on the stand today. Now, here`s a guy who a lot of people simply don`t like. People throw around the word despise when it comes to him. Some have suggested he may be responsible for the deaths of Anna and her son Daniel. So he had on his new haircut and his new suit today. How did he do? Did he change anybody`s minds?
JANE VELEZ MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: I think he performed very effectively and he was given a masterful direct examination by his attorney, but he kind of reminded me of the school boy who knows how to act like a goody two shoes in front of the head master. I don`t know that everybody was buying his act. I think the entire court proceeding was something like a combination between a professional wrestling match and a revival meeting.
This judge, I`m not surprised to hear he wants his own TV show. The entire court proceeding looked like it was an audition for a TV show called Judge Larry. And he said he was on a search for the truth. But every time he got close to the truth, he seemed to cut it off, and he was talking out of both sides of his mouth.
He said, I want to know who the natural father is, this would help me make a decision, it would help the guardian of the child make the proper decision as to what`s in the child`s best interest. But then when Virgie Arthur`s attorney gets up and tries to ask about paternity, he gets cut off at the pass.
HAMMER: Yes, every time he wanted to simplify things, it just got more complicated. What do you think Ashleigh, how did Mr. K. Stern do today?
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, COURT TV ANCHOR: Well, you know, catatonic was the way I sort of --
HAMMER: Yes, me too.
BANFIELD: Look, understandably, Anna Nicole Smith died only two weeks ago, so clearly he was close to her and he`s probably hurting. But when it comes to this judge, he is having a tough time, between jurisdiction and statute, because paternity would help him stick to statute, but jurisdiction is dictating a lot of what he is allowed to do, and isn`t allowed to do. He is walking a tight line between these and he has got a lot of complex issues to deal with on his plate. Even though it kind of seems cut and dry. Who gets the body?
HAMMER: Yes, and to make it very clear for people who haven`t been able to follow the bouncing ball, so to speak, that`s what he is trying to stick to, who gets the body. He is avoiding any conversations about paternity. And Howard K. Stern, plain and simple, Jane, wants Anna Nicole`s body. He wants to be responsible for where it gets buried and he want that to happen in the Bahamas, next to her late son, Daniel.
Now, of course, we bring in Virgie Arthur, Anna Nicole`s estranged mother, who want to bury Anna Nicole in Texas. Did she make a good case at all today?
MITCHELL: Well, the fact that they played the entertainment tonight video of Anna Nicole Smith`s seething with rage at her mother, because of her mother`s alleged suggestion that Howard K. Stern had something to do with Anna Nicole`s son Daniel`s death. That was very effective testimony against the mother.
And then she got up, and she is a woman who has many years in law enforcement, and she seems very salt of the earth, and she may have done something to counteract that. But I want to get back to the whole heart of this issue and that is, what was Anna Nicole`s intent? And intent is based on state of mind, and state of mind is based on whether you`re all there or whether you`re zonked out on drugs.
And one of the issues that I think that the attorney for Virgie Arthur could have got into in cross-examination was, was Anna Nicole Smith on drugs when she made all these decisions about where she wanted to be buried and these burial plots. You heard Howard K. Stern saying she tried to climb into her son Daniel`s casket. Was she on drugs when she was making these decisions and could that cloud her intent?
HAMMER: So, Ashleigh, do you thing that Virgie Arthur, the estranged mother of Anna Nicole, even has a shot here, especially, as Jane pointed out, we saw that video being played today, of Anna Nicole saying she was only my biological mother.
BANFIELD: Right, and again I think what Jane says is very important, that Virgie Arthur was able to say on the stand, my only big regret was that I wasn`t able to get my daughter off drugs. A lot of her friends have said that as well. So there is something very important and that is of sound mind, and judgment and exercising your free will to make decisions, and when you`re drugged out, and you`re strung out on Methadone or Vicodin or all these different alleged drugs that Anna Nicole was taking, there is a bit of a case to be made as to whether that Entertainment Tonight interview was done of sound mind.
Maybe she was wasted when she said those things that are now evidence in court.
HAMMER: And at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow it will all continue to unfold. Ashleigh Banfield, Jane Velez Mitchell, I thank you for helping us sort it all out.
You should know that CNN Headline News will carry the entire court proceeding tomorrow morning live. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, of course, your one place to turn for the story, full coverage of the Anna Nicole courtroom showdown tomorrow at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: A.J., I want to talk about this Anna Nicole Smith judge, Larry Seidlin. What do you think about this guy?
HAMMER: I kind of like the guy. He`s a nutty New Yorker.
ANDERSON: Yes, he is. He`s got a lot of spunk. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEIDLIN: But I`m doing a good job for you, aren`t I? I am asking some of the questions you`re going to ask on cross. I`m helping you, Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: He may be playing up to the cameras for a reason. Listen to this, is he getting his own TV show? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.
HAMMER: And Brooke, of course, the other shocking story today, did Britney Spears check herself in to rehab? We`ve got all the late-breaking details coming up.
ANDERSON: A.J., a lot of people are concerned for the well-being of Britney Spears` kids, and now people are asking the same question about Anna Nicole`s little daughter, Dannielynne. Is she in terrible danger, too? That`s coming up at 43 past the hour.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Tuesday night. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.
Now, forget about all the talk of whether or not Britney Spears should be checking into rehab. She has done it. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has confirmed that after weeks of wild, out of control, kind of bizarre behavior, Britney is now in rehab. A spokesmen for Britney telling SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, quote, "Britney Spears has voluntarily checked herself into an undisclosed rehab facility today. We ask that the media respect her privacy as well as those of her family and friends at this time."
Joining me tonight in New York, investigative journalist Pat Lalama, and developmental psychologist Cooper Lawrence. Ladies, it is good to have you here. Pat, I saw the news today and I thought to myself, well, finally, it`s about time.
PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: It`s a good thing. And my understanding is it was actually her mother who led the parade of, all right, let`s do this, now perhaps because she has been hearing people chastise her over the last few weeks, where is her family, where are the people who truly care about her. But it can only be a good thing. But, A.J., it can only be a good thing if this is for real purposes and not because it`s very cool these days in L.A. to say, oh, I got a three-picture deal and I`m in rehab.
She has to be really sincere about getting help for whatever it is she needs help for.
HAMMER: Yes, you would think it is trendy, based on the behavior of a lot of celebrities lately. And we certainly have seen the signs, between the out of control partying and then the latest incident of her shaving her head, Cooper. It all seems kind of crazy. But even just before going into rehab, she is still out on the town partying. Pat mentioned her mother. What do you think was the turning point for her here?
COOPER LAWRENCE, DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think the turning point was hopefully that she went home and looked at her children and said, I can`t be this person for my children. I need to give them a better life, and a better role model and a better mom. It was like one piece of erratic behavior after the other. So you would hope that at some point the end of all of the erratic behavior, she just feels like, OK, I`m done, now what.
HAMMER: And we thought for a moment last week, when she checked herself into a rehab facility for 24 hours, that maybe it was going to happen, and back to the point you were just making, Pat, do you think she has finally seen the light?
LALAMA: You know, that`s so hard for any of us to tell unless we`re inside her mind and know exactly how much is drama, how much is she really suffering. And let`s not forget, A.J., how much does she not want a court to believe she is not being a good mommy, because remember there is going to be that whole Federline issue coming up. And people are making the rather snide, but I have to say legitimate, comment that she`s making him look normal, and that`s really hard to do, as far as I`m concerned.
HAMMER: Yes, and we will be addressing that a little later on, because we`re wondering if perhaps her kids are in danger. And then there is the perhaps snide, maybe cynical notion that maybe she is doing this to get the paparazzi off her back, because lord knows they follow her every single move. She is under incredible scrutiny. That`s got to be difficult. So that certainly is a possibility.
LAWRENCE: I think there`s definitely some mental disorder going on here as well. It is not just get the paparazzi off my back, because the shaved head and she was mumbling the whole time, and the tattoos, it is just one thing after another. It`s not like she has done these behaviors and then a year has passed. It`s one after another after another. So there is definitely something going on here. There`s definitely something breaking down.
So if she goes to rehab and they can actually help her and get to the root of the severity what the psychological disorder is, what led her to all of this crazy behavior, she is on the right track.
HAMMER: Because you remember at the end of last year, ladies, when she said, she went on her website and she said, I`m going to turn things around. I`m going to really make a difference in how I`m acting and how I am in my life. So maybe, in fact, she is going to do that. So let`s, Pat, for a moment, give her the benefit of the doubt. Let`s say she is taking these steps for all of the right reasons.
The question is, if she does stay the course here, will the public welcome her back? And I`m going to jump out here and say, I think so, because now she becomes a sympathetic character.
LALAMA: You know what, and I don`t say this cynically, I think if you can really show, and I`m sure Cooper will agree with me, if you show real sincerity -- I mean, sincerity is the answer. Playing a game of drama and, oh, I really mean to help myself, but I`m really not is a whole different thing.
If she really says, wait a minute, I`ve got two babies and I`ve got to get my life together, absolutely. Now, I will say this, A.J., I think, in terms of endorsements, maybe some of these big companies have shied away a little bit now, because if you`re going out without your underwear on -- then again, having said that, then I look at Paris Hilton, who doesn`t seem to be suffering, and we all know what she has done on videotape. So, it`s hard to say. I don`t think she will be the marketing giant figure, because listen, A.J., the fact of the matter is, when you`re a marketing figure, everyone has a shelf life.
It`s 2006 and I`m the hot one. Next year -- So she`s going to fade away at some point.
HAMMER: And the truth is, people were saying that was already happening anyway, despite all these antics. Real quickly, she has been quite a lot, despite her young years. Do you think she really hit rock bottom here? I mean, do you think that`s kind of what ended up happening?
LAWRENCE: No, it`s not about rock bottom. That`s not good. You don`t want rock bottom. Rock bottom is Anna Nicole. You don`t want that. What you want is you want somebody who is going to have the social support around them, somebody who is realizing that maybe she is going down the wrong path. Because let`s face it, she is not absolutely out of her mind.
She is still a mother and we still have some sympathy for her.
HAMMER: And she is taking the right steps right about now.
LALAMA: She is also a nice person.
HAMMER: She is a nice person Pat. And now I`ll say I`m out of time. Pat Lalama, Cooper Lawrence, stick around, because we have a lot more to talk about. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT does want to know -- are Britney Spears` kids in danger as we alluded to? And what about Anna Nicole`s daughter Dannielynne? Who is watching after all of them? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will investigate at 43 past the hour.
ANDERSON: What do you think about all of it? It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Question of the Day, Britney Spears behavior, should her kids be taken away from her? Vote at CNN.com/SHOWBIZTONIGHT. Send us an e-mail at SHOWBIZTONIGHT@CNN.com.
And, remember, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show that lets you express your opinion on video. To send us a video e-mail, just go to our website, CNN.com/SHOWBIZTONIGHT.
HAMMER: Now, Brooke, of course, you know all the comedians and talk show hosts have ripped into Britney Spears over the last couple of months.
ANDERSON: Yes. It`s been fodder for comics everywhere for a really long time, A.J.
HAMMER: Well, kind of refreshing, one late night host is just not going there, because he says that he and Britney have a stunning connection. We`ve also got this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STERN: Anna, in a lot of ways, always thought she was going to die young. She said that. And she thought that she was going to be like Marilyn Monroe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: In the courtroom, Howard K. Stern reveals new details about his relationship with Anna.
HAMMER: And is that quirky, wacky judge in the Anna Nicole Smith case going to get his own TV show? We investigate coming up.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. All right, even before the shocking news that Britney checked herself into rehab, even before this whole head-shaving stuff, Britney has been the butt of talk show jokes pretty much forever. But get this, Craig Ferguson, who hosts "The Late Late Show" on CBS, at least for one night, backed off bashing Britney, because he thinks, in some startling ways, they are very much alike. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRAIG FERGUSON, "THE LATE LATE SHOW": This Sunday I was 15 years sober. So I looked at her weekend and I looked at my own weekend and I thought, you know, I would rather have my weekend. But what she is going through, it amazed me. I was doing this in university. You start to think about it.
It reminds me of where I was 15 years ago, when I was living like that. Now I`m not saying Britney Spears is an alcoholic. I don`t know if she is an alcoholic or not. But she clearly needs help. And it looks to me a little bit that Britney Spears has a similar problem going on with alcohol. This woman has two kids. She is 25 years old. She is a baby herself.
She is a baby. And the thing is, you can embarrass somebody today. It`s embarrassing to admit you`re an alcoholic. It`s embarrassing to wake up in your pee or someone else`s pee. It doesn`t really matter. It`s embarrassing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Ferguson added that he would rather attack the powerful, the politicians, the Trumps, the blow-hards, not the, quote, vulnerable like Britney.
HAMMER: I`ve got to say, good for him. And now Brooke, with the stunning news that Britney has checked herself into rehab, don`t you want to know who`s keeping an eye on her kids?
ANDERSON: Yes. I`ll help keep the kids, A.J. I love kids. I would like to know that.
HAMMER: Well, coming up at 43 past the hour, the controversial question, are Britney`s kids in danger? And what about Anna Nicole`s little Dannielynne?
ANDERSON: Also, A.J., Jim Carey, usually a funny guy, but what he said about Anna Nicole today, well, it was in really bad taste. We`ve also got this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEIDLIN: But I`m doing a good job for you, aren`t I? I mean, I`m asking some of the questions you`re going to ask on cross.
I am helping you Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: This Anna Nicole judge is a real character, but he may be playing up to the cameras for a reason. Does he have his own TV show lined up? We`ll get into that coming up.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Your watching TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.
HAMMER: Brooke, we`ve been reporting on all the wild behavior coming from Britney Spears over the last couple of months. And in the course of that time, a lot of people have been wondering how present could she possibly have been for her two young kids at home? Now that she has checked into rehab, who is taking care of them? Should we be worried about them?
We`ll talk about that, and should there be concern for little Dannielynn, Anna Nicole`s daughter? Coming up.
ANDERSON: Yeah, you hope all those babies are being cared for A.J.
Also, let`s talk about that Anna Nicole Smith judge in Florida. Talk about animated. He is a real character. And now there are reports that he want to be the next Judge Judy and have his own TV show. We`re going to have those details straight ahead.
HAMMER: Their last names are kind of similar.
But first tonight the Anna Nicole hearing went on today for hours. Much of the day was spent listening to the emotional testimony of Anna Nicole`s lover and former attorney, Howard K. Stern. Well, tonight, Howard in his own words, like you`ve never heard him before on his relationship with Anna, their commitment ceremony in the Bahamas, and the tragic death of her 20-year-old son, Daniel, in September.
HOWARK K. STERN, ANNA NICOLE SMITH`S FORMER LAWYER: Anna and Daniel were inseparable. She -- Daniel was, without question, the most important person in Anna`s life. From the time that I met her, everything that she was doing was for Daniel. Literally everything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did the relationship between you as an attorney and then you in a personal relationship, what year did that begin?
STERN: Well, we started spending a lot of time together probably in `97, `98.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: `97, `98?
STERN: We became more than friends. It was after that, probably 2000.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2000 you started to have a more personal, intimate relationship with her?
STERN: Yes. And it was not -- it was not exclusive. Because of my relationship as her attorney, and it was something we didn`t disclose to too many people. But -- and she had other boyfriends in between. I wanted her to be happy. She was my best friend, my lover, the mother of my daughter, everything to me, I mean, literally everything, my whole world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to direct you back to talking a little bit more about Anna`s relationship with Daniel.
STERN: From the day that Daniel died, Anna honestly was never the same. I mean, I would say that physically she died last week, but in a lot of ways emotionally in a lot of ways she died when Daniel died. Anna in a lot of always thought she was going to die young and she said that. She thought that she was going to be like Marilyn Monroe.
So she thought she was going to die at, I forget, the age was 36 or 37 and also thought she was going to die when she was giving birth to Dannielynn. So Anna did talk about death. She talked about death really from the time that I met her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did Anna refer to you as her husband to other people?
STERN: Yes, she did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And did you refer to her as your wife?
STERN: Yes. It wasn`t legally binding in the Bahamas, we actually had planned on getting married again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When were you supposed to marry Anna?
STERN: Supposed to do it this week. Anna wanted our marriage to be a legal marriage. I had some concerns because I was concerned about how people would perceive it. I was concerned that people would think that I`m making a run for her money. But what finally convinced us not to make it legal was, upon the advice of counsel, that the marital privilege - because her son had passed away and we didn`t want to give any perception that we were trying to hide what we were doing.
HAMMER: Howard K. Stern also said that Anna Nicole told him that she wanted to be buried in the Bahamas next to her son, Daniel. He told the court that they had purchased two plots when Daniel died, one for him and the other for her.
ANDERSON: While Howard K. Stern took center stage, the judge in the trial may be looking for an even bigger stage, namely, his own television show. And we don`t just mean the current trial. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN, FLORIDA JUDGE: It`s a piece of paper. That`s purported to be a will. That causes me to lose more hair than I already lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that Judge Larry Seidlin has been acting like quite a character in this drama. And tonight there is startling news that he may want to be the next Judge Judy. TMZ broke the story and joining us from Glendale, California is managing editor Harvey Levin of the entertainment Web site tmz.com.
So, obviously, Harvey, Judge Seidlin doesn`t mind being on TV. In fact, it seems that he loves it. And now you`ve heard that he want to do this full time? What`s the big news tonight?
HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: It`s his dream. For months and months and months his dream has been to be the judge on a television courtroom show, so much so that he has put together a demo reel with his highlights, if you will, inside the courtroom that were recorded, and he want to peddle that demo reel.
ANDERSON: So he has reportedly been preparing for his big moment. But, Harvey, if this is true, could it harm the case? If the judge is trying to be a TV star, what if everything he is saying is basically because he is trying to put himself out there and get a job, get his own show?
LEVIN: Well, it is true, but in terms of it hurting the case, you know, maybe the histrionics are for that, but the real issue is, is he following the law, and that`s ultimately what will be telling her. It is confusing to know whether he is following the law because he is meandering so back and forth.
My advice to him, having done the "People`s Court" for many years, is that editing can be a nightmare unless you really know how to think in a straight line. So if he really want this job, I think what he needs to show producers is that he can really focus on an issue and have fun within the confines of that issue.
ANDERSON: Well, while this all may, in a sense, be some sort of audition, is there anything unethical or suspect about a judge looking to do something like that while he is trying a case?
LEVIN: You know, no, there really isn`t. I mean, is it right to do? Probably not. But I have to tell you, when -- once, when I was actually kind of auditioning for a court show, auditioning judges, I actually got a tape from a judge with a letter that said, I can do a wedding in two minutes. And he was trying to tell me that he could really move things along. So you would be shocked at how many judges just yearn to have that moment in the sun.
ANDERSON: Well, what do we know about Judge Seidlin? He used to be a New York City cab driver. He has been talking about that during proceedings. He has been talking about his exercise routine, that he went jogging this morning. What do we know about this guy?
LEVIN: Well, he was a cabbie who worked his way through night law school. And he was the youngest judge ever appointed in Broward County or elected, I believe. He was 28 years old. I think he is 56 now. He is married. He has a small kid. And he also apparently filed a lawsuit a couple of years ago against a garage door company for a garage door that apparently hit him on the head.
ANDERSON: Oh, boy. Maybe he lost some more of his hair from that bash to the head.
LEVIN: There you go. Or something.
ANDERSON: You say that he should be more succinct. What else can he do? Not only to wrap up this very complicated case, but if he wants his own TV show, what can he do to further his cause?
LEVIN: Well, I think, you know, at a point he has got to finish this case so he can start auditioning. But the most important thing is, I think the guy`s really got to have some credibility as a judge, and it`s interesting -- I`m looking at the comments on our Web site, and people are really mixed. Some people just can`t stand him because they feel like he is grandstanding and there are some people who just find him unbelievably entertaining.
I`m guessing enough people find him entertaining that my prediction is eventually this guy is going to end up on TV.
ANDERSON: We`ll see how he compares to Judge Judy possibly one day.
LEVIN: Or Judge Milian, please.
ANDERSON. Harvey Levin, managing editor of tmz.com, thanks.
LEVIN: See ya.
HAMMER: Brooke, of course one question that keeps coming up in both the Anna Nicole Smith and the Britney Spears saga is -- what about the kids?
HAMMER: Well, coming up in just a couple of minutes we`re going to be taking a close look at what effect all this is going to have on Dannielynn Smith and on Britney Spears` two sons.
ANDERSON: Plus, A.J., is Jim Carrey really saying he could be the father of Anna Nicole Smith`s baby? A very strange interview with Jim straight ahead.
HAMMER: And when you think Hollywood party girls, well, Anne Hathaway isn`t one of the names that comes to mind, but she is saying that she has a lot more in common with Lindsay Lohan than you might think. That`s just ahead on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Coming back for Tuesday night in just a minute.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Two huge events today involving Britney Spears and Anna Nicole Smith that has everyone asking -- what about their kids?
First off, just days after her hair razoring experience, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned that Britney spears has voluntarily checked into rehab at an inpatient facility. Second, two court hearings today over Anna Nicole Smith over who will get her remains and where she will be buried and the paternity battle over who is really the father of her baby.
So SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wants to know -- who is thinking of the children in all of this mess? Well, we are.
So back with us tonight in New York, investigative journalist Pat Lalama and developmental psychiatrist Cooper Lawrence. Ladies, thanks for hanging out with us. Right now, Anna Nicole`s baby Dannielynn and Britney Spears` two young children both have something painfully in common -- they are both without their mothers.
Let`s start off with Britney Spears tonight. Because for weeks there has been concern as she has carried on with all of her partying, as far as who is taking care of the kids. And now she is in rehab. So for at least a set amount of time she is not going to be with her kids. Pat, how concerned should we be for Britney`s kids?
PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: I think in her case right now there are many, many parents who go into rehab and their children are well taken care of. It will be better for this child in the long run if Britney gets the help that she needs now. In her case I feel pretty confident that someone who is very competent has those children.
I really don`t see that this baby is hanging out with bodyguards and other unknown people. I think this is probably a family member. I`m not concerned about that. I am more concerned about Anna Nicole Smith`s child.
HAMMER: And we`ll get into that in just a minute. But I`m curious, Cooper, from your perspective as a developmental psychologist, what about Britney`s kids? What about the fact that -- how present could she have been through all of the wild antics of the last couple of months and again no going off to rehab?
COOPER LAWRENCE, PSYCHOLOGIST: That`s the problem. All the research shows that mothers that have depression, drug use, any sort of thing that we would say negative mother thing, it all leads to negative outcomes of child development. Their brains develop slower, their central nervous system. So it is biological as well as learning. Later on in school they drop out. So it is all negative outcomes from having a mother that has these kind of issues. The sooner the mother gets the issues under control, then the developmental milestones happen naturally and then most of the kids usually do catch up.
HAMMER: And as Pat said let`s hope she is in fact getting the that help that she so very well seems to need at this point. But Pat, let me ask you this. If this were any other normal person who is not a big-time star, would child protective services have stepped in already based on what we know?
LALAMA: Not based on what we know. That`s just -- my guess based on covering so many of these cases, A.J.. First of all, the courts, particularly in California, tend to be very mother-based. That`s not always the right decision, but they tend to want -- I think Cooper would probably agree. They tend to want to children to be with the mommy and I see a lot of horrified fathers who know that they are probably the better person for the child. But based on the information we have so far about Britney, I really don`t see anything -- there might be other things we don`t know, but just based on what`s happening now, I don`t see it as a problem. If she keeps it up, if it gets more problematic, if there is obvious use of alcohol and drugs and God knows whatever else, then I would see a concern.
The only thing that we may not know, there may have been some incidents where a doctor or a teacher, or a law enforcement person has noticed things that we don`t know about and has called into child services and said I`m concerned, but we don`t know anything ...
HAMMER: And remember there was the incident where her son fell and she did get a visit. But what do you think, Cooper? I don`t know. I just kind of -- it makes me wonder.
LAWRENCE: There is way more than that. You`re talking about a woman who is really high on impulsivity, which means you can`t predict her behavior. And children need to be able to predict what`s going to happen in their environment. Well, all the things that she has done, she doesn`t think about the consequences. And that`s one of the parts of impulsivity that we worry about as psychologists. The effect that has on children is pretty bad.
HAMMER: Pat, I can`t believe I`m about to say this, but Kevin Federline is looking pretty good right now. Hold on. I did just say that. Would they be better off with K-Fed at the moment?
LALAMA: I don`t think that`s for us to decide. I think here`s where I really put my faith and trust in the family law courts. We don`t know -- we know what we see on TV. We know he is trying to be a big superstar. We know she is going out without her underwear on. But all that has to be decided in a family law court. And I just hope from this day forward she really, really gets her Ps and Qs together. I`m not saying he would be a bad father. But what she does from here on out is going to be oh so critical. And he is being good in that he is just staying quiet and out of the limelight and that`s smart, that`s smart.
HAMMER: He couldn`t be doing anything better. Let`s move on to Anna Nicole Smith`s daughter in such an unfortunate situation just months after she was born, she lost her mother. Dannielynn no longer has a mom. If things continue the way they are going, Cooper, it`s going to be a pretty long time before she has any kind of normalcy or stability in her life or any kind of real bonding.
LAWRENCE: The big thing is, it`s bonding and it is called attachment. A child needs to form an attachment with a caregiver but a consistent caregiver, not a different face every day, somebody who will really care, because that`s how the child learns that the world is predictable and they can attach in a real way to other human beings once they get older.
HAMMER: So it is very time essential.
LAWRENCE: So time essential. Especially at this age.
HAMMER: Let`s say the paternity test moves forward as it is supposed to be happening -- eventually we`re going to know who the real dad is for Dannielynn.
LALAMA: I wish it were now.
HAMMER: Let`s say we find out it is Howard K. Stern. From what we know about Howard K. Stern at this point, should we be at all concerned that he may be the guy who is going to be looking after her?
LALAMA: I`m going to go out on a limb and go by my sheer instinct.
HAMMER: What does your gut tell you?
LALAMA: My gut tells me I`m a little concerned about the drug use that was happening in the household. I`m a little concerned about the allegations that he was supplying drugs for her. I`m concerned about the possibility that that baby may be drug addicted. I am concerned about any criminalities that may have occurred. I`m particularly concerned about these allegations that Anna Nicole Smith said I want my child to be underfed so that she will look sexy. That`s what I mean when I say I`m far more concerned about Dannielynn than I am about Britney`s children. This needs to get sorted out. And why somebody isn`t demanding that a noose go around Howard K. Stern`s neck, to get in here and give me a sample, brother. It would solve so many issues.
HAMMER: Let`s hope it happens immediately. Got to wrap it there. Pat Lalama, Cooper Lawrence. Thanks again.
LALAMA: Thank you.
LAWRENCE: Thank you.
ANDERSON: We`ve been asking to you vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." And it is this -- Britney Spears` behavior. Should her kids be taken away from her? Keep voting at cnn.com/showbiztonight and write to us at email@example.com. 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 to send us a video e-mail, just go to our Web site, cnn.com/showbiztonight.
HAMMER: Jim Carrey, pretty funny guy, sometimes a little out there, but certainly a good actor, makes us laugh, but on this morning`s "Today Show" during his interview for his new movie, "The Number 23" I got to tell you, I think he kind of crossed the line when he was s talking about all the Anna Nicole stuff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "The Number 23" opens ...
JIM CARREY, ACTOR: By the way, I am the father of Anna Nicole`s baby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are.
CARREY: Yes. I just wanted to say that because I`m struggling for custody, and when I get it, I`m going to name the kid -- something more appropriate -- like Meal Ticket.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Jim Carrey, the ...
CARREY: I don`t want all her remains, just the wish bone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Meredith a little uncomfortable there. I understand the Anna Nicole court battle is unbelievable, a tragic circus, if you will, but, Jim, I think your riff was in a bit of bad taste today.
ANDERSON: All right. When you think of young Hollywood party girls, Anne Hathaway isn`t one of the names that springs to mind, right? But tonight she is saying she has more in common with Lindsay Lohan than you might think. There`s more than "Princess Diary" in her past.
That`s coming up next. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Anne Hathaway she is she has a lot more in common than Lindsay Lohan than people might think. She burst on the scene with a squeaky clean image in "The Princess Diaries" movie.
Well, in an interview with the U.K. "Sunday Times" Hathaway says Lindsay is a nice girl but there is a fascination about her lifestyle that`s distracting from her talent. And "The Devil Wears Prada" stars says there has been some devilish behavior in her own past.
Hathaway says, quote, "We`ve all done things we shouldn`t. It`s just I did stuff at college when nobody knew about it so I`m not a saint. I wasted time doing self self-destructive things but it didn`t work. I found out you can only dance on so many table tops. I got that out of my system and now I`m healthy and grounded."
HAMMER: Big news tonight. Britney Spears is in rehab. We got word this afternoon that Britney checked into a rehab facility in Los Angeles just a few days after she shocked everyone by shaving off her hair. It seems that Britney`s kind of been spiraling out of control doing lots of partying even before the head shaving incident.
And this morning on "The View," before she checked into rehab, there was a lot of sympathy for her. Take a look.
BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": I`m feeling terribly sorry for her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why?
WALTERS: Because I just think ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know where you`re going. Why?
WALTERS: I just think she is such a lost a soul. She needs help so badly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is like watching a train wreck.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think people wanted it to happen to her. I do. I feel bad for her and I also think these clubs she is going to, maybe the owners of the club could sacrifice the publicity and not let her in. You know what I mean? She needs help. She needs help.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not their responsibility to help her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not. But they could help her if they wanted to.
HAMMER: Now before she shaved her head, Britney reportedly flew to Antigua and went to a rehab center but left after just a day. So let us all hope this time around she is getting the much need help that she deserves.
ANDERSON: Yeah. And yesterday we asked to you vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Say," related to what the ladies of "The View" were talking about there. Britney Spears, do you feel sorry for her? Thirty one percent of you say yes, 69 percent of you say no. Here`s some of the e-mails we received.
Angela from Georgia writes, "Britney is a self-absorbed pathetic bimbo who seriously needs a reality check. She disgusts me in every way."
Renee from California says, "I feel sorry for Britney Spears. I think she is lost and that is a very scary place for a young woman."
We do appreciate your e-mails. Keep on sending them.
HAMMER: And I would like to really believe that she is taking the proper steps in the right direction here, Brooke.
And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks a lot for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
ANDERSON: Have a great night, everybody. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Glenn beck is coming up next, right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News. Take care.