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Biggest Celebrity Divorce Settlements; Larry Birkhead Ready to Take Daughter
Aired April 12, 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: An update on baby Dannielynn`s health. Plus, a tribute to her mother in "Playboy Magazine." I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOK ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: And is Madonna planning on adopting another child? I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.
HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Don Imus, you`re fired. The Imus racial controversy absolutely explodes. But tonight, we have to ask the controversial question, did the punishment fit the crime?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Ordinary people were assaulted verbally on federally regulated radio.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the revealing inside story on the Imus mess.
Breaking up and paying up. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the most expensive celebrity divorces ever. Harrison Ford, 85 million dollars; Steven Spielberg, 100 million dollars. But hold on, that`s chump change. Tonight, the stars who had to pay even more that, ouch. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the divorce dollars, Hollywood style.
Hello I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
ANDERSON: Hi there, I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, we go inside the pages of Playboy and its tribute to Anna Nicole Smith.
HAMMER: But first tonight, Don Imus, you are fired. And we do mean fired. Late today, the other shoe dropped big time, as CBS fired Imus from his long time radio show for his racially charged remarks about the Rutgers University women`s basketball team.
In a statement, CBS president Les Moonves said, "I believe all of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air about the young women who represented Rutgers University in the NCAA women`s basketball championship with such class, energy and talent."
And tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is all over the Imus outrage.
HAMMER (voice-over): His critics were wailing.
SHARPTON: Ordinary people were assaulted verbally on federally regulated radio by Mr. Imus.
HAMMER: His advertisers were bailing, and Don Imus`s efforts to save his broadcast career were failing.
DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I`ve apologized enough.
HAMMER: A week after Don Imus`s comments about the Rutgers women`s basketball team --
IMUS: That`s some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they have got tattoos and --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some hardcore hoes.
IMUS: That`s some nappy-headed hoes there, I`m going to tell you.
HAMMER: The outrage reached a fevered pitch that has taken Imus of the air permanently.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: There is breaking news to report tonight having to do with radio show host Done Imus.
HAMMER: NBC began its nightly newscast on Wednesday with a bit of housekeeping, announcing Imus`s permanent departure from the NBC family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Effective immediately, MSNBC will no longer simulcast The "Imus in the Morning Program."
HAMMER: NBC`s decision turned attention to Imus` radio show, which CBS Radio broadcasted on 61 stations nationwide. CBS Radio came under tremendous pressure to show Imus the door.
SHARPTON: Ordinary people should not have the public airwaves be the basis of the denigration of women and the denigration of race.
HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there as civil rights leader Al Sharpton led a rally in front of CBS Radio headquarters in Manhattan.
SHARPTON: It`s not about taking Imus down.
HAMMER: Well, maybe it was a little because Sharpton wanted Imus fired.
SHARPTON: NBC, in our judgment, has done what is right. CBS now must, in our judgment, not be the ones to hold back and be the dam holding back the waters of insensitivity.
HAMMER: Imus continued to do his radio show. Hours before CBS canned him, Imus conducted an on air charity fund-raiser. He has apologized for his comments and on what turned out to be his final CBS radio broadcast, he continued to sound contrite, to a point.
IMUS: I said a stupid, idiotic thing that desperately hurt these kids. I`m going to go apologize to them and then we`ll move on. I`m not going on some talk show tour. I`ve apologized enough. The only other people I want to talk to are these young women at the team, and then that`s it.
HAMMER: He`s supposed to meet with the members of the Rutgers basketball team soon. When the team members appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" they said they were never pushing to have Imus fired.
C. VIVIAN STRINGER, COACH OF RUTGERS WOMEN`S BASKETBALL TEAM: We didn`t have a purpose or an agenda, so to speak, as to whether or not he is fired or whatever, so much as we wanted to have an opportunity to have a face to face meeting with him.
HAMMER: But don`t get them wrong, they are still not Imus fans.
STRINGER: His remarks were certainly racist and sexist and I just thought that it`s time that we, as people, take back our country, take back the moral issues and values. And it was clear to me that by the cancellation of MSNBC of the Imus show, it shows that we do have a moral fiber, and that we as a people are speaking up.
HAMMER: The "Imus in the Morning" show was big money, with three million listeners and 15 million dollars a year in revenue. But a number of big name advertisers had already started pulling out of Imus`s show, and he didn`t exactly have unanimous support at CBS. So the Imus drum beat continued, and now it has drummed him out of radio.
HAMMER: And now we want to hear from you for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Here`s what we`re asking: Imus gets canned; was it the right decision? You can vote at CNN.com/SHOWBIZTONIGHT. Got more to say, the e-mail address is SHOWBIZTONIGHT@CNN.com.
And you can also vote on our question of the day by zipping off a text message to 45688. You want to vote yes, write SHOWBIZ yes; vote no, write SHOWBIZ no. Once again you can send your text to 45688.
ANDERSON: Within the next 24 hours, Anna Nicole Smith`s daughter Dannielynn could be in the hands of her father, Larry Birkhead. But if only it were that simple. Anna Nicole`s mother, Virgie Arthur, isn`t letting go of Dannielynn so easily. With us tonight in the Bahamas "Access Hollywood`s" Tony Potts. Hi there Tony, getting some rain today, huh?
TONY POTTS, "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD": It`s a storm like you wouldn`t believe, thunder and lightning all around us. It`s like the gods are saying enough with this Anna Nicole story. Let`s move on to something new.
ANDERSON: Let`s move on, but before we do that, I do want to talk about, you know, earlier this week it was revealed that Larry is the biological father of Dannielynn. Anna Nicole`s mother, Virgie Arthur, is expected to meet with Birkhead before tomorrow`s court hearing that could decide official custody. What do you think? Is Virgie at the point she is going to give up her fight for custody and possibly just settle for visitation rights?
POTTS: I know that`s what Larry hopes for. I know Larry told me exclusively this morning -- he revealed that they were meeting, probably meeting as we speak right now. Larry has always had open arms to her as the grandmother. He wants her to be a part of Dannielynn`s life so she can give that part of Anna`s life, of growing and what have you, to impart on Dannielynn.
But he also made clear to me -- he said, look, if she is going to fight this thing tomorrow in court then, you know, there is going to be some animosity. How can I welcome her with open arms. Well, right now he is. And I said to him a couple days ago, why can`t you guys just get in a room, forget the lawyers, push them off to the side, and hammer this thing out, because the best thing now for Dannielynn is to have a father, have a permanent home and then have all the families, both sides.
Larry even said to me as well -- he said, you know, if she is going to be that way, maybe my parents should come in and want to claim joint custody as well. He said it`s absolutely absurd, Brooke.
ANDERSON: Yes, it could work both ways. The baby needs as much love and support as possible. You`re right. Well, Tony, you really have done an amazing job throughout this entire thing. You have had exclusive access to Birkhead. He has now seen the baby and I know there have been concerns that the baby is under weight. It may not be doing very well, health-wise. What has he told about you that?
POTTS: You know, that`s been a concern of his from the beginning, because he said to me, you know, the three people who were supposed to medically take care of Anna were also around Dannielynn as well. So before he saw her the first time he was very concerned about the condition, as any father would be. He did tell me that he is happy now that he`s seen the baby. As a matter of fact, let`s take a listen to a piece of tape when I talked to him this morning. He will explain more about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY BIRKHEAD, FATHER OF DANNIELYNN: From the first time that I have seen her until the last time she`s gained a lot of weight. And she is just really healthy.
POTTS: So you are not worried about her health.
BIRKHEAD: She`s been fortunate that she seems like she`s so unaffected by this, when, you know, there`s a lot thrown around her and she still is a great baby with a great demeanor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POTTS: And he also told me that he has pediatricians set up back in L.A., all ready to take a look at Dannielynn. Obviously he wants his people to look at her as well. We have all that stuff, and so much more on "Access Hollywood," and also on our website, AccessHollywood.com. But he`s excited, I can tell you. As a matter of fact, he was there today with Dannielynn as well, changing diapers and putting her down for a nap.
ANDERSON: How else is he preparing to be a father to this seven- month-old baby. Is he concerned at all that it`s going to be a tough adjustment period?
POTTS: Absolutely. I said to him last night, I met with the family and everybody last night. His sisters all have kids and brothers have kids. So he`s been around kids for a long time. He`s the godfather of those kids. So if anything happens to them, they firmly believe that Larry will take care of the kids. But he did say, by the way, no parent, as much as they think they are, are ever ready for childhood, especially for being a parent and having a new child come in. He goes, I`m totally aware of that.
He`s taken diaper classes. He`s done all the due diligence, as it were. So I think he`s ready to go. I think he wants to just get going. He wants to be the man, so to speak, and be in there doing all this stuff every day, Brooke.
ANDERSON: I`m sure he does after a seven-month wait to have his child as his own. Has Larry given any indication whatsoever as to what role he will let Howard K. Stern, who has had the baby until now, play in Dannielynn`s life, or do you think he may just cut Stern out altogether?
POTTS: I`m not sure. You know, Larry`s very crafty about that, and I think it`s probably very smart at this point, because I think everything is still a little touchy feely and what have you. I`m not sure. One thing I found out about Larry is that I know that he`s trusted me and that`s how I`ve been able to maintain the access for him.
I`m the father of two girls. I`m close to my family and my father. So there`s kind of that connection there. Larry sometimes is a little too giving and too trusting. But I think he will open the avenue to Howard as much as he can. I can tell you that what he is thinking about Dannielynn and what he wants to do with Dannielynn, I think, hopefully will be sped up.
Larry told me this morning, I`d like to have her within a week or two -- the transition period be a week or two, and then move her. Because the thing is, think about it, if she moves from the Risen`s (ph) house to Larry`s temporary residence here for 30 days and then goes to wherever Larry is going to go, L.A. or Kentucky after that, that`s two moves. Why not just make it one?
So a week or so here, move little Dannielynn. Plus, you know, people have been raising babies for thousands of years. She is seven months old. She will adjust. She is fine. He will feed her, change her, love her. And it`s all good.
ANDERSON: Yes, keep the transition simple; keep it quick. I can understand why he would want to do that. All right, "Access Hollywood`s" Tony Potts, thanks for joining us from the Bahamas.
HAMMER: As she has been so many times before, Anna Nicole Smith is once again on the cover of Playboy. Coming up at 41 past the hour, Brooke, we`re talking with "Playboy Magazine" all about their tribute to Anna Nicole and how the magazine was crucial in her rise to fame.
ANDERSON: Plus, A.J., Marc Anthony has a hefty bill to pay. Coming up next, we`ll tell you who he`s going to be writing a check to in the amount of 2.5 million dollars.
HAMMER: And speaking of millions of dollars, why did Harrison Ford have to pay his ex-wife 85 million bucks? But hang on, that`s nothing compared to Spielberg`s divorce and what some other stars have had to pay. Coming up, we`ve got a look at the most expensive celebrity divorces ever.
ANDERSON: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the most outrageously expensive Hollywood divorces. When you think of celebrity divorces, you think who left whom, who`s getting the kids, and who will they date next? But behind the scenes, alimony, assets and prenups are also a big part of the drama. And now "Forbes Magazine" is out with the jaw-dropping numbers, and I do mean jaw-dropping.
With us tonight in New York is Lea Goldman, associate editor at "Forbes." Hi Lea.
LEA GOLDMAN, "FORBES MAGAZINE": Hi, how you doing?
ANDERSON: Doing well, thank you. I want to start Michael Jordan and his pending divorce with his wife, Juanita. You know, these two have been married nearly 18 years. "Forbes" reporting this will be the most expensive divorce in entertainment history. What could Juanita get?
GOLDMAN: Juanita is looking at a possible settlement -- now it all depends on where the divorce shakes out -- but she`s looking at over 150 million dollars, which would be roughly half of Michael Jordan`s net worth. She`s been with him through thick and thin. They got married right at the start of his career. We have watched him become the icon that he was on and off the court. The guy is a million dollar man off the court.
He`s made millions every year from Nike and other rich endorsement deals. She`s looking at walking away with half of it.
ANDERSON: We know how lucrative those endorsement deals can be, as you say. And you know, what`s amazing to me, right up there with Michael Jordan and his wife Neil Diamond, married to Marcia Murphy. That split cost him 150 million bucks too. And, you know Lea, Diamond has said that his wife is worth every single penny.
GOLDMAN: Probably the most amicable divorce on the list.
ANDERSON: Great to hear. I want to move to former Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife Heather Mills. He`s worth more than a billion dollars. Could this be one of the biggest divorces yet? What`s expected here?
GOLDMAN: She`s definitely going to walk away with a portion of his earning while they were married. People say he`s worth all that money from the Beatles, the post Beatles career. True enough. But he was making upwards of 40 million dollars a year during the course of their marriage. She`s entitled to a piece of that. "Forbes" believes she will probably walk away with in excess of 60 million dollars, which is not bad for what amounts to three years worth of work.
ANDERSON: Yes, not bad at all. And they do share that cute little daughter Beatrice as well. OK, Lionel Richie, also on the "Forbes" list. His ex-had some really interesting requests in their divorce settlement Lea. What were they?
GOLDMAN: So Diane Alexander, when she filed for divorce in the 90s, had expressed -- you know, she wanted Richie to pay for her very lavish lifestyle. She said she went shopping, 15,000 dollars a month. She spent 50,000 dollars a month on personal services, like massages and pedicures. She wanted 20,000 dollars a year for plastic surgery. She wanted 1,000 dollars a month for birthday gifts for her kids when they go to those parties. So it`s pretty remarkable what she asked for.
In the end she only walked away with an estimated 20 million, but boy she asked for the moon and back, basically.
ANDERSON: Yes, it`s unbelievable that she spent that much money on her lifestyle and then admitted it publicly.
GOLDMAN: Proud of it.
ANDERSON: All right, Harrison Ford, Melissa Mathison, they divorced in 2004. Their settlement set somewhat of a precedent, didn`t it.
GOLDMAN: Definitely a precedent setting case. When Harrison Ford divorced Melissa Mathison she not only walked away with an 85 million dollar settlement, huge by any measure, but she also got a portion of his future earnings movies for all the movies he made while they were married. Now that includes Indiana Jones trilogy. That includes all licensing, merchandising, DVD for Indiana Jones, for "The Fugitive," for "Presumed Innocent."
She sent a precedent, so you saw now Charlie Sheen`s divorce to Denise Richards -- she is basically asking for the same thing. She says I want a piece of what you made during our marriage in perpetuity. So it was really a precedent setting case.
ANDERSON: Yes, Melissa Mathison, very smart to have pulled that one off. Now I want to move on to two of the biggest directors in Hollywood who made your list, James Cameron, Steven Spielburg. Now Cameron, of course, directed "Titanic." What is worth? How much did have to fork over in their settlement?
GOLDMAN: James Cameron made, at the end of the day, 100 million dollars from his production of "Titanic," which ended up grossing the highest box offices returns ever in the history of Hollywood. He made 100 million of that. She walked away with half. They got married basically before "Titanic," divorced right after, and she got half of what he made off the film. So it was a sweet for her.
ANDERSON: And ten seconds, Steven Spielburg.
GOLDMAN: Spielberg signed a prenup with his wife, apparently on a napkin. Amy Irving contested it, said she didn`t have a lawyer. The judge agreed. She walked away with 100 million dollars.
ANDERSON: Unbelievable stories. Lea Goldman from Forbes Magazine.
GOLDMAN: Check out the special on E.
ANDERSON: That`s right, you can find the complete list of the celebrity divorces on Forbes.com, and that special, "Forbes` Ten Most Expensive Celebrity Divorces" premieres on E! this Saturday.
HAMMER: All right, so nobody really likes tax season. But as April 15th approaches, just be glad you`re not Marc Anthony. The singer/husband of Jennifer Lopez has to pay 2.5 million dollars in back taxes in New York. Apparently, he didn`t file returns for five years on 15.5 million dollars in income, oops.
Anthony wasn`t prosecuted, though, because, big surprise, he doesn`t do his own taxes, and thought that his accountant had filed them for him all along. J. Lo is in the clear because they file separately.
ANDERSON: We`ve heard the rumors, A.J. Is Madonna really going back to Malawi to adopt another child? We`ll set the record straight and tell you about Madonna`s new hookup with Britney Spears` ex.
HAMMER: Also coming up, Playboy honors Anna Nicole Smith. And we`re going to speaking with "Playboy Magazine" about their tribute to Anna Nicole and how the magazine was crucial in her rise to fame.
ANDERSON: And the explosive news about Don Imus tonight. The outrage over what he said, and now the stunning news that he has lost both his TV and radio shows. Does the punishment fit the crime? Coming up.
HAMMER: Well, he`s done it again. Sanjaya survived yet another round of "American Idol" elimination. What`s funny is that this time he might have actually earned the right to stick it out for yet another week. Even Simon became a fan-jaya, sort of.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON COWELL, "AMERICAN IDOL": I`m going to hate myself for this, it wasn`t horrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: He must hate himself enough already. It was Haley Scarnato who got the boot. I guess her strategy of wearing skimpier and skimpier outfits didn`t work anymore. Next week on "American Idol," Martina Mcbride is going to be mentoring the finalist. It is country week. Now before she headed out to L.A. to do that, I had a chance to chat with her and I asked her about how she tries to be a good role model for her own kids.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTINA MCBRIDE, COUNTRY SINGER: I always stress to my girls to be healthy. You know, that`s the important thing, to be healthy. It`s not about it being a certain size or a certain body type. It`s about, you know, everything in moderation and being healthy, and as far as the celebrity thing, we were just talking, you know, it`s like when you pick up a magazine or a television show that`s talking about celebrities -- our culture, I think, right now is really sort of -- we use people`s pain kind of as entertainment a little bit.
So we talk about that too. We talk about having compassion for these people. We don`t know what they are going through. We are not walking in their shoes. And trying to just have some compassion for them in what they are going through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: I really like Martina Mcbride. She`s very down to Earth for a mega-selling superstar. This is her new album called "Waking Up Laughing."
ANDERSON: A.J., here`s novel idea, a supermodel writes a book about the dark side of modeling. That model none of than Paulina Porizkovz. Her novel has really juicy details in it, and she`s going to be joining us a little bit later.
HAMMER: I can`t wait. Plus, Playboy honors Anna Nicole Smith. Coming up, we are talking with "Playboy Magazine" all about their tribute to Anna Nicole, and how the magazine was crucial in her rise to fame.
ANDERSON: And the explosive news about Don Imus tonight. The outrage over what he said and now the stunning news that he has lost both his television and his radio shows. Does the punishment fit the crime? We are going to take a look at that when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for this Thursday night continues right after this. Stay with us.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 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.
And in just a moment, we`ll have the latest on the shocking news late today that Don Imus has not only been fired from TV, but he`s lost his radio show, too.
HAMMER: Also on the way, Brooke, a very special look back at the pictures that launched Anna Nicole to stardom. "Playboy" with a special tribute out to her right now. Her career totally took off after she appeared in the magazine a bunch of times. And we`re going to tell you all about the secret story of how she got into the magazine in the first place, and how that shocking move really had an impact on the body image of women everywhere. "Playboy"`s editorial director is going to be right here.
ANDERSON: And A.J., listen to this, some really big Madonna news out there. Is Madonna adopting another baby? The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Truth Squad" checks that out.
And this shocking story: Is Britney Spears` ex, Justin, hooking up with Madonna?
HAMMER: But first tonight, the big news of the day, the final blow for Don Imus. Late today, CBS Radio turned Imus` two-week suspension into a full-on firing, pulling the plug on his nationally syndicated radio show, effective immediately. MSNBC canceled his TV simulcast last night, and today, Imus addressed the fallout from his racial insult targeting the Rutgers women`s basketball team is what is now his final radio show.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: As you all know, MSNBC, yielding to enormous pressure, which I do understand, canceled the - the simulcast of this program. And so we move on. Somebody was talking to me about the outrageous level of hypocrisy on everybody who knows better. And I said, `Well, you know, I shouldn`t have said it.` And then somebody else said, `Well, you got caught in a slow news cycle.` And I said, `Sometimes it doesn`t snow on Christmas.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAMMER: So now, that radio show over and done with.
Joining me tonight from Washington, Howard Kurtz, media reporter for "The Washington Post," and of course, host of CNN`s "RELIABLE SOURCES."
Howard, the final blow from CBS, Imus off the air for good, as I said, effective immediately. Does this decision surprise you at all?
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": It surprised me a little bit because I think CBS was trying to hang on, ride out the storm, do the two- week suspension. But the pressure got so great, and once NBC News said it did not want to be associated with Don Imus anymore, and as the protests grew even within the companies - within the media companies, like NBC and CBS, Les Moonves and the other CBS executives decided that the time had to come to bid goodbye to Don Imus.
HAMMER: Yes, it seemed that there was no way CBS could really stand out there alone. They - they would have looked just terrible even if it wasn`t what they wanted to do.
KURTZ: Look, the guy did a very successful and sometimes high-tone radio show for that company for decades. And, you know, lost in all this demonization of Don Imus is the fact that, you know, as stupid and offensive and as hurtful as what he said clearly was, that wasn`t all that he was about. He was about raising tens of millions for kids with cancer of all races. He had done other things that said to me he`s not a bigot.
But words matter in this business. And Imus understands better than anybody that when you go too far - and he had a tendency to always skate up that edge - you pay the price.
HAMMER: Yes, and I got to say, a lot of people have talked about all the good he`s done. And - and there`s certainly denying that. But it certainly does not provide any justification.
So Howard, do - do you think the - the punishment fits the crime in this case? Because some people are saying, it is a form of censorship. First Amendment, freedom of speech.
KURTZ: Well, it`s not censorship. You have no First Amendment right to have your own radio or TV show. It`s a question of judgment.
But the - the - the thing that makes me wonder whether or not his career should have been blown up - and look, he blew it up, no question about that - over this mistake - and he has said other insensitive things, let`s be clear about that - is that there`s a lot of vile things said on the air everyday. There`s a lot of cultural pollution out there. Everything from rap lyrics to other radio talk show hosts who - who speak in - in angry terms.
Don - Don Imus was always about locker-room humor, humor that sometimes went too far. So it does seem to me that if there is going to be this national conversation about what Imus did and the mistake that he made, perhaps you ought to talk about some of the other people who also sometimes cross that line.
HAMMER: Oh, you ask me, there`s no question about that.
I think there`s also going to be a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking as far as how the whole situation was handled. When Imus` comments were first reported, MSNBC basically distanced themselves, saying, `Hey, we don`t produce the show, we just simulcast the show.`
Did they and CBS look bad for taking so long to do something? Because remember, he made these comments - what was it? - last Wednesday. And not until some people started speaking up about it was anything done about it.
KURTZ: Well, MSNBC clearly tried to get away with, `Well, it`s not our department; it`s just a radio show we happen to air.` And then they had to move to the two-week suspension.
What happened was that the pressure got so intense - not just the threats of boycotts, and not just the advertisers pulling out, not just the voice in the African-American community - but people in their own company - and this was true at CBS as well - that they were forced to confront the fact that this very profitable program which had been good for MSNBC, good for CBS Radio, came with a very high price tag.
So were they slow? Yes. Ultimately, a lot of people think they did the right thing. I wonder whether the price was too high, but, you know, if you live by the insult, sometimes in this business, you die by it as well.
HAMMER: I want to go to Los Angeles now, where we have Howard Bragman of Fifteen Minutes PR.
HOWARD BRAGMAN, FIFTEEN MINUTES PUBLIC RELATIONS: Hi, A.J.
HAMMER: Hi, Howard. It`s good to see you.
Certainly, and - and Howard and I were talking about this to a degree - other personalities have made lots of outrageous remarks. People say bad things every day, quite frankly.
What is it about what Imus said that struck such a deep nerve, and caused some major fallout, which - which is virtually unprecedented for a radio star of this magnitude?
BRAGMAN: There`s really three things that - that did this.
One, he did a twofer: he was racist and misogynistic, which hurt him on - with - with two communities very strongly.
The second thing is he had a lot of history of - of really inappropriate remarks. So this is - wasn`t a one-time thing. This was really the - the - the culmination of a - of a history of not saying the right thing, and saying a lot of insensitive things.
And number three, unlike a lot of people, he had a lot of sponsors. And as soon as the sponsors started falling away, the economic incentive to keep him alive was not there for the networks. And he`s dead meat as a result.
HAMMER: You know, Al Sharpton throughout this whole saga has said this is not about Don Imus.
I mean, what do you think about this? Is - is it about Don being a good or bad person? A racist, not a racist? Or does it - does it really come down to accountability on the airwaves, and - and in the case of Imus, the public airwaves?
BRAGMAN: Well, that`s exactly right; these are public airwaves. They`re regulated by the government. You get to use them at the - at the behest of the government. And this was abuse of the airwaves. And this is inappropriate commentary, and, you know, it`s not for me to make the decision whether it was right or wrong. But I can tell you a lot of people are - are not real sad to see Don Imus leave at this point.
HAMMER: Well, a lot of people are wondering what`s going to be the next move for - for Imus. Is it the end of the road for him? Is he going to.
HAMMER: .ride off into the sunset? Will he do more?
Howard, let me ask you that, because obviously, a lot of people are now talking about - Howard, a - a lot of people are asking, you know, is he going to go off to satellite radio. Of course, not regulated the same way; not viewed the - the same way.
But at the same time, can anybody really get near him without fear of similar repercussions?
BRAGMAN: Oh, come on. You know, Opie and Anthony did some crazy things, got fired; they`re on satellite radio. Howard Stern was constantly getting fined by the FCC; he`s on satellite radio.
Don Imus wants to go to satellite. He can get a contract in about 12 minutes.
I don`t know that he does though after this long career. He`s 66 years old. He may just decide to pack it in. His problem was, it`s one thing to call politicians and journalists and other public figures lying - liars and weasels and that kind of thing.
BRAGMAN: You don`t pick on kids. He picked on defenseless kids, who actually turn out to be a remarkable group of young women at Rutgers University.
HAMMER: Yes, don`t see him and Howard Stern working in the same building ever again.
Howard Kurtz, Howard Bragman, thank you to you both.
Brooke, I hear you have a very special look back at the "Playboy" pictures that helped launch Anna Nicole Smith`s career coming up?
ANDERSON: I do.
HAMMER: Excellent. We`re looking forward to the secret story of how she first got into that magazine, and how that shocking move really had an impact on the body image of women everywhere. That`s coming up next.
ANDERSON: Yes, it seems like it did, A.J.
Also, speaking of body image, I know you were going to go one-on-one with former supermodel Paulina Porizkova. She`s got a lot to say about the controversy over super-skinny models and the Don Imus firing.
HAMMER: And some huge Madonna news tonight: is she about to adopt another baby? And is Madonna hooking up with Britney Spears` ex? Wow. The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Truth Squad" all over that, coming up next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: .Go 3. Stand by, Brooke. Pre-set 7. Open her mike. Dissolve. Hit it.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.
Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the secret, inside story of how Anna Nicole Smith started on the path to superstardom. In 1992, Anna Nicole graced the pages of "Playboy," fulfilling a dream of hers, much like her idol, Marilyn Monroe. Unfortunately, like Monroe, Smith`s life would end too soon, and under similar circumstances.
Now, in the May issue of "Playboy," the magazine pays tribute to Smith`s life, and reminds us of why the world became obsessed with her.
Joining me tonight from New York is Christopher Napolitano, "Playboy" magazine`s editorial director.
CHRISTOPHER NAPOLITANO, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, "PLAYBOY" MAGAZINE: Thank you, Brooke.
ANDERSON: Anna Nicole, not one of your typical models for "Playboy." What was it about her that made "Playboy" say, `We`ve got to get her in the magazine.`
NAPOLITANO: She was extraordinarily photogenic. We looked at pictures of her after the test shooting, and she just really popped off the page. When she first arrived in our studio, you know, what you saw was a woman who was 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds. And some - several people thought that she would maybe be - you know, was a little too big for us.
But once we started taking pictures, it was pretty clear that she had something magical about her.
ANDERSON: Yes, very photogenic.
And at the time, did anybody have the sense that she would eventually become this larger-than-life figure who people were absolutely fascinated by?
NAPOLITANO: I don`t think so. I think that she was very happy to - to just get to our - our studio. She was very happy just to leave Texas for a short time. And she was just thrilled with the kind of reception that her pictures were getting.
ANDERSON: You know, this is the fifth time that Anna Nicole has been on the cover of "Playboy" magazine. While she was alive, of course, she graced the cover four times.
Was there every any indication that her life was as complicated as we now know that it was? Or did these revelations take all of you by surprise who had worked with her through "Playboy"?
NAPOLITANO: You know, she really was somebody who was - had a larger- than-life personality. And back in `92 and `93 and `94, as we say in the - in the magazine and - and in our video feature on Playboy TV and online, you can see that she was - you know, she had a lot of appetites. She liked to have a good time. She liked to have a glass of champagne. She was really, you know, very happy to party the night away, and then - and then show up and take some great pictures.
I think after awhile, after - after a couple of years of that thought, whereas most people would slow down, she - she sped up a little.
ANDERSON: You know, you mentioned that when she first arrived, she was 160 pounds and people debated whether she would be right for "Playboy," if she were too voluptuous.
But what do you think? Did her appearances in "Playboy" inspire other women who weren`t stick thin, but who were curvaceous, to be OK with their bodies, too?
NAPOLITANO: I think so. I think you have to put it in context.
One of the reasons why she was so successful for us and such a successful "Guess" jeans model, was that at the time, waif - the waif look was - was in, the skinny Kate Moss, the heroin chic advertorials and advertisements were very popular then. And then along came Anna Nicole, who was big and curvy and round in every way, and - and we would receive letters from - from people saying, `Thank you for - for featuring a - a big-breasted, large-boned woman. My boyfriend is appreciating me more now.`
Well, you know, we`re also fascinated with Anna Nicole now because of everything that`s been going on. Do you think that, Christopher, just as we still are more than 40 years after Marilyn Monroe`s death - we will still be as fascinated with Anna 40 years from now?
NAPOLITANO: I think so. I think when we were preparing this - this feature, you know, we were very much aware of all the comings and goings and everything that`s going on now with the - with the - the disputes over Dannielynn and - and the funeral, and it all has a very tragic, tabloid feeling to it.
But when we went back into the archives and started looking at some of the pictures that she had taken with us, we were struck by how amazing she really looked and - and the kind of impact that she had at the time.
So given that she had such an enormous influence when she was at her best, and given the sort of mystery and - and kind of stuff happening now, she`s going to be around for awhile.
ANDERSON: And you know what? I am sure that she would be very pleased that you guys are doing this tribute to her.
Christopher Napolitano, thanks as - thanks so much for taking time with us.
NAPOLITANO: Thank you.
ANDERSON: And that special "Playboy" tribute to Anna Nicole Smith is on newsstands now, and at playboy.com.
HAMMER: Another one-time "Playboy" cover girl is Pauline Porizkova. Porizkova first shot to stardom in her modeling career when she made the cover of "Sports Illustrated," the swimsuit issue of course. She was the youngest ever to pose for it - just 18 years when she did that cover.
Since those iconic days in modeling, she`s gotten married, she`s had children, and she recently re-emerged in a very big way on ABC`s "Dancing With the Stars." And now, Porizkova has written this great new book. It`s called "A Model Summer."
I`m actually (INAUDIBLE), Paulina Porizkova joining us in New York.
Now - now, Paulina, before we get to the book and other things, of course it`s hard to ignore the big news that`s going on, that we`ve been talking about throughout the show, of Don Imus being fired.
PAULINA PORIZKOVA, AUTHOR, "A MODEL SUMMER": I know. Crazy, isn`t it?
HAMMER: You - you know, he said, obviously, racist remarks, but also sexist remarks.
When - when you heard this story breaking, were you thinking, `Well, this guy`s got to go.`
PORIZKOVA: Well, I was just actually on my way up here, and I thought, `You know, what he said is dead wrong.` There`s - there`s - there`s no defending what he said.
But, you know, I`m an American by choice, and I moved to this country from a communist country where we didn`t have the right of free speech. And it hurts me a little bit to see that you can`t hold an opinion. I mean, even if it`s a lousy opinion - you know what? To me, I - I would just switch the channel. I would not support his program, I would never listen to him again, and I think he definitely needs to be chastised.
But firing him? Where is our freedom of speech going?
HAMMER: You know, a lot of people are saying this is - is eventually going to lead to a - a First Amendment debate here. But - but then again, what he said was reprehensible, and there`s big business at stake, and it`s - it`s a much more complicated thing.
PORIZKOVA: Yes, it`s too complicated for this super ex-model.
HAMMER: Well, then let`s talk about what you did as a model years ago, 18 years old.
Charles (ph), can we throw that photo, the - the cover of the "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue one - one more time? Because you ere 18 when - when you did this particular photo shoot. What goes through your mind when you see that now?
PORIZKOVA: That was actually my second "Sports Illustrated" cover. My first one was at 17.
HAMMER: How - how old are you here?
PORIZKOVA: Eighteen. But I was 17 in my first one.
HAMMER: You - you see that, and what do you think? I mean, it was a much different time in the modeling world. The pressures certainly existed, but were different.
PORIZKOVA: Well, you know, what was going on in my mind as - when I did that particular picture was, `I was freezing my butt off.` That - that was what was going through my mind. Please, just get me out of here as - you know, as soon as you can, because I can`t take this anymore. It was about 37 degrees in Australia. The - the summer hadn`t quite arrived when it was supposed to.
HAMMER: We never get tired of looking at the picture. It`s - it`s a beautiful shot.
But flash forward to now, and you`ve got this great book out, "A Model Summer." A work of fiction, but certainly based on your experiences and some of the things that you witnessed in the course of - of your modeling career.
In - in doing the book were there some things you were sort of trying to expose about what happens in that world? Because we hear some wild stories.
Well, you know what? I kind of didn`t want to go with a expose of the fashion world. You know, the underbelly of modeling. Because, A, it`s been done lots of time before; and B, you know, the - the public always - only gets to hear the - you know, the - the extremes of the story. You know, the - the model, the supermodel, she becomes a supermodel overnight. Or, you know, the girls dies of anorexia.
PORIZKOVA: There is a million cases in between that, and they are all really fascinating. It`s still, you know - three months of a summer, which is what this book is about, is this 15-year-old that goes to Paris for three months. And it`s just - in those three months, without the - without it being extraordinary in any way, it is extraordinary. Just the nature of the business.
HAMMER: Just by doing what - what - what you`re doing.
PORIZKOVA: Absolutely. I mean, it - it - you know, "New York Times" pointed out that it reads like a Marquis de Sade story. And it - and it - and it does. I mean, it`s as dark as that, and yet it`s everyday business to us.
HAMMER: Well, you mentioned one of the dark sides is anorexia and - and what we see some models suffering from. You know, when you look at what does go on now with the whole skinny-model debate, and you see Size 0 and 00, does that just boggle the mind? Because - because - because you were - what? - a Size 6 back in the day when you were modeling, and proudly.
PORIZKOVA: Yes, absolutely. We were Size 4 and 6, and they were even a couple of 8`s actually. So, you know, what`s happening today is - is - is completely different. And it`s - and it`s a little bit puzzling.
But I really think that, you know, the retouching of computers these days - I think that is the death of the supermodel.
HAMMER: Well, I appreciate you dropping by. And they didn`t have to do any retouching on you back in the day.
Paulina Porizkova`s new book, "A Model Summer," in bookstores now.
ANDERSON: Some big, big Madonna news tonight. Is she adopting another baby? And get this: is Britney Spears` ex hooking up with her? The "Truth Squad" checks that out, coming up. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: It`s time now to call in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Truth Squad." Now this is where our crack team of celebrity investigators sets the record straight on Hollywood`s biggest mysteries.
Tonight, we`re opening the case file on Madonna. Now there are reports that Madonna is heading back to Malawi, where she`s in the process of adopting a little boy, David. Since she`s returning there, there has been some speculation that she`s planning on adopting another child. But is it true? Nope.
Madonna`s rep tells the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Truth Squad" she`s going back to Malawi to do charity work and build a children`s health care center. But there are no plans for another adoption.
HAMMER: Well, Madonna cannot live on charity work, which is perhaps why she has some new music in the works, and she`s collaborating with none other than Mr. SexyBack himself. That`s right; Madonna is teaming up with Justin Timberlake on a new project. And if you think about it, they do have something in common, right? I mean, after all, they both kissed Britney Spears.
Anyway, Madonna and JT have been recording with super producer Timbaland. It is the first time she has worked with either one of them. Madonna`s rep tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT they have been in the studio together in London, but there is no release date as of yet.
ANDERSON: Yesterday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." You know, Larry Birkhead officially named the daddy of Anna Nicole Smith`s baby. So here was the question: "Howard K. Stern Not the Father: Do you feel sorry for him?"
Well, it was very one-sided; we got a huge response. Twenty-four percent of you say "yes"; 76 percent of you say "no, you don`t feel sorry for him."
Here`s some of the e-mails:
Pat from Texas writes, "Howard doesn`t earn anyone`s sympathy. He has been a scavenger from the start. He needs to get another life."
But Kerri from Florida disagrees. Listen to this: "I feel bad for him. He made Anna his whole life, and he was in love with her. Now he has lost everything."
We do appreciate your e-mails.
HAMMER: Well look at this: tomorrow is Friday. Everybody here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is very excited about that. And here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT:
Larry Birkhead`s the daddy, but the custody battle over Dannielynn - well, it`s not over yet. Tomorrow, an explosive courtroom showdown in the Bahamas. Will Anna`s mom, Virgie Arthur, fight Larry for custody? Who will get to raise Anna Nicole`s daughter? That is tomorrow.
Also tomorrow, why do some celebrities give their relationships undercover? You know who I`m talking about: Beyonce and Jay-Z, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. They all stay hush-hush about hooking up. But why do they do it when so many other stars aren`t shy about showing off their significant others at all? That is tomorrow.
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.
Coming up next, we`ve got this guy, "GLENN BECK." That`s right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News. Keep it right here.