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Britney Scared For Children`s Safety; Star Jones Reveals Weight Loss Secrets

Aired July 31, 2007 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: Is there a shocking plot to kidnap Britney Spears` kids? I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: And a stunning, emotional announcement from one of TV`s biggest stars. She is battling breast cancer. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Star Jones` shocking weight confession. Tonight, for the very first time, the former View co-host talks about something she has never spoken about before, her emotional battle, the danger she was in, and why she`s finally talking. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with Star`s startling weight confession.

Big-time celebrity comebacks. Tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates the stars that really slipped up, but are getting a second chance.


HOWARD BRAGMAN, 15 MINUTES PR: I call it the pinata syndrome. We like to raise them on high, beat them with a stick, and see what comes out of their insides.


HAMMER: The secret steps to bouncing back revealed, but can Hollywood really forgive and forget? Tonight it`s a SHOWBIZ special report, superstar comebacks.

Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. All right, there is real concern for the safety of Britney Spears` two young kids. We`ll get to the shocking details of that story in just a moment.

HAMMER: But first, it only took a few years, a public flogging from Rosie O`Donnell and losing her gig on "The View." Hey, even I tried to make her confess, but tonight Star Jones Reynolds is finally, finally confessing, coming clean about exactly how she recently lost more than 100 pounds.

ANDERSON: Right, A.J., and I know you were one of the many reporters who had trouble prying that piece of information from her. Now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that Star is revealing for the very first time what everybody had long suspected; it wasn`t just working out.


ANDERSON (voice-over): So how did Star Jones Reynolds go from this to this? Star`s dramatic weight loss, where she dropped 150 pounds from her scale-topping weight of 307 pounds, was a bigger daytime TV mystery than anything you would find on a soap opera.

HAMMER: Can you just set the record straight for people who are wondering why won`t you come clean, just say what it was?

STAR JONES REYNOLDS, "THE VIEW": I have to be honest with you. When you say come clean, that suggests that it`s something to hide. That`s not what it is.

ANDERSON: And when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s A.J. Hammer asked Star about her weight loss in January of 2006, he had as much luck getting a straight answer from Star as anyone else did. That is, no luck at all.

JONES: I`m scared that someone will follow my plan and not follow the plan that their doctor would make for them.

ANDERSON: Now Star Jones Reynolds is clearing up the weight loss mystery that helped get her booted off of "The View" and sparked a hurtful war of words with another now former View co-host Rosie O`Donnell. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is sharing with you the real story about why Star Jones Reynolds is finally coming clean about her dramatic weight loss.

In the August issue of "Glamour Magazine" Star Jones Reynolds makes her bombshell admission.

JILL HERZIG, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "GLAMOUR MAGAZINE": It`s a big story for Star Jones to admit she had gastric bypass surgery.

ANDERSON: "Glamour Magazine" executive editor Jill Herzig tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that the article, written by Star herself, is as candid as it is moving.

HERZIG: Star really wanted to tell her own story this time. I think she kept this quiet for all these many months and when she finally went public with it, she wanted it to be in her own voice.

ANDERSON: She writes in "Glamour Magazine," quote, the complete truth is I was scared of what people might think of me. I was afraid to be vulnerable, and ashamed at not being able to get myself under control without this procedure.

JESSICA WEINER, AUTHOR AND BODY IMAGE EXPERT: Women`s relationships with their bodies are intense and complex.

ANDERSON: Author and body image expert Jessica Weiner tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Star`s explanation made sense.

WEINER: She was ashamed and embarrassed, and I think that represents a lot of the women that I work with and a lot of the women out there who have conflicts about their body and who are torn about having and getting gastric bypass surgery.

ANDERSON: Whatever Star`s reasons, her decision to be evasive about her weight loss was a costly one.

WEINER: I think the public`s frustration with watching Star`s body dramatically change was that they knew she was doing something more than just exercising more and eating less, but she wasn`t being very forthcoming about it.

ANDERSON: In 2006, before she, herself, joined "The View," Rosie O`Donnell colorfully called out Star for her vague weight loss explanations. Rosie wrote in her blog, quote, pilates, my ass. Rosie later told "New York Magazine," quote, here`s what annoys me about Star Jones. As a former fatty, she has an obligation to her tribe and to write a book about how to be the perfect woman that she now is and to leave out gastric bypass; it`s just like selling bull -- to the point that it`s sickening.

JONES: I will not be returning as co-host next year.

ANDERSON: And when ABC didn`t renew Star`s contract to continue on "The View," Barbara Walters told Larry King the weight loss issue played a part.

LARRY KINGS, CNN ANCHOR: Barbara told me this, that when they did that survey of when you were losing favor with the audience was when you discussed your weight loss as if you had done it with portions and eating and that nobody believed that.

JONES: I have always said it was a medical intervention, always.

KING: Surgery.

JONES: What else could it mean?

ANDERSON: So the big question, why is Star Jones Reynolds coming clean now? She writes, quote, keeping this decision private started to feel hypocritical and cumbersome. I couldn`t justify it any longer.

HERZIG: I think Star is really hoping that people will appreciate that she`s coming forward and answering all of their questions, that there`s a transparency about the story now. She is not hiding behind anything anymore.


ANDERSON: The new "Glamour" hits newsstands on Tuesday, August 7th. Star Jones Reynolds is about to start a new show on Court TV, a sister channel of CNN Headline News. And who will replace Star Jones Reynolds on "The View?" Tomorrow is the big announcement, and we will be there.

Now we want to hear from you about this. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Star Jones` gastric bypass confession; should she have come forward earlier? Vote at Send us an email,

HAMMER: Well, tonight there appears to be genuine fear for the safety and security of Britney Spears` two young boys. On the heals of Brit`s divorce from Kevin Federline being finalized, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you Britney does not want the public to know where her kids are because -- and I want you to get this -- she`s worried that someone could try to harm or even kidnap them.

Joining me tonight in New York, Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom and matrimonial attorney Susan Moss. Susan, Lisa, it`s always good to see you both. Britney and Kevin in court yesterday to finalize their divorce. I want to read to you from the filing that really spells out the concern over the kids and why the terms of the custody were sealed. This is what Britney`s lawyer writes, that if the details were made public, quote, such information greatly increases the chances that the actions of the media could threaten the safety of the minor children by, for example, causing a traffic accident or by exposing the minor children to criminals who might target the minor children for financial gain.

Susan, you know, this is a lot of lawyer speak here, but it sounds to me, as far as I can tell, that they genuinely fear somebody may try to or want to kidnap their kids.

SUSAN MOSS, MATRIMONIAL ATTORNEY: This is a 101 lesson of how to lose a custody case. Even inferring that there is a kidnapping plot makes her sound looney. In fact, saying that there`s a kidnapping plot is an insult to TMZ and all the other paparazzi who make it their business to cover them 24-7. I think someone owes Harvey Levin an apology.

HAMMER: Also -- and I don`t want to be too cynical here -- but isn`t there always the chance, Lisa, that this was all put in there really as an excuse so personal information that they want to hold dear and protect and keep from going public never gets out?

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: Well, look, while there hasn`t been a celebrity child kidnapping since the Lindbergh baby, I think it`s a valid concern. I mean, look at Princess Diana. These people are hounded by the paparazzi. I don`t think this is TMZ specifically. The world media and some unscrupulous journalists do follow this couple and their children wherever they go.

Why not protect the children? Why not keep these documents sealed? Why do we need to know where Britney`s children are at all times? I think it`s a valid concern by parents who want to protect their kids.

HAMMER: yes. I think -- I kind of see both sides of it. I think people are looking at it in two different ways. Minutes after the proceeding yesterday, where the divorce was finalized, TMZ talked to Britney`s attorney -- her name is Laura Wasser. This was just outside the court house. I want you to listen to what she told them.


LAURA WASSER, BRITNEY SPEARS` ATTORNEY: We have a final judgment that was entered in this case. They are now divorced. Hopefully they`ll have some peace with their kids. That`s all I have to say.


HAMMER: Yes, everybody does hope they do get some peace. Susan, I want to go back to something that you were talking about when we started. Couldn`t this really truly backfire for Britney? I mean, I was thinking about this. If I were Kevin`s lawyer, I would say, you know what, Britney is out there partying all the time. She`s having melt downs. And now she has her attorney raising all these red flags about a fear for the kids` safety. And I don`t want to diminish the importance of the kids` safety, but, Susan, do you really think this is going to fuel Kevin`s fight to get sole custody of these kids?

MOSS: Oh, absolutely. This divorce is final, but that`s with a little F. And that`s because courts always are in local parenti, which means that they always hold control over what happens to the kids. It appears that Britney has lost her mind. And if this goes to trial over a re-custody battle, she might lose these kids. The only remaining question is would Britney notice?

HAMMER: Yes. Well, that is a good question. Lisa, what do you think? Is this something that could really backfire on her?

BLOOM: No, absolutely not. I have to disagree. I`m a mother myself. I`m a television person. I`m very protective of my children. I don`t want information out there as to where they are. Britney Spears is a huge international star. So all the more important for her. I mean, I don`t think this is crazy at all. I think this is a woman who is trying to protect her children, trying to get back on track as a mother.

HAMMER: Well, it`s going to be interesting to see what ultimately happens because this is not necessarily the final decision as to custody. In fact, a lot of people were shocked to learn that Britney even got fifty- fifty custody with Kevin of the kids for right now. Based on all that we`ve heard about her erratic behavior, everybody thought maybe that shouldn`t have happened. Susan, should we be shocked that this custody is at least for now split down the middle?

MOSS: No, it was a deal. It was a deal that was made to create some peace. Sometimes that`s the most important prize in a divorce, to end up with some peace. But if the children are put at danger, if there is the opinion that Britney has now become unfit, whether that be because of some type of mental issue or perhaps some sort of substance, then we will be back in court, and we`re only in the first half hour of this true Hollywood story.

HAMMER: That is very, very true, and I think everybody is going to be paying very close attention to Britney`s behavior. Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom, matrimonial attorney Susan Moss, thank you both for being with us tonight.

Obviously, there is so much talk all the time about Britney Spears. A lot of people are wondering now, me among them, can she make a comeback? I mean, other stars have done it, right?


BRAGMAN: We love a great comeback in America. We have an amazing capacity for forgiveness.


HAMMER: Tonight I have got a SHOWBIZ special report, celebrity comebacks. We`ve got the secrets on how some of the biggest stars have managed to bounce back and quite honestly, there are a lot of things other stars could learn from that. That is coming up.

ANDERSON: So many stars in and out of rehab; Lindsay, Britney. It just doesn`t seem to work. I want to know why. Up next, some pretty startling revelations about celebrity addictions and whether rehab can really work for stars. That`s coming up next.

And a really emotional day today for one of the biggest TV stars out there. She announced on air that she`s battling breast cancer. I`ve got her heart-wrenching story straight ahead. Stay with us.



MICHAEL LOHAN, LINDSAY LOHAN`S FATHER: I received a phone calling letting me know that she was arrested again, and drugs were found on her possession. I didn`t know whether to believe it or not. I was very taken back, and then after that I became overwhelmed. Just I couldn`t believe it.


ANDERSON: Lindsay Lohan`s dad, Michael, there on "LARRY KING LIVE," talking about how sad he was about his daughter`s recent relapse and DUI arrest. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson.

Tonight the startling reasons why stars, like Lindsay, fail at rehab. Do stars really have a harder time than other addicts when it comes to admitting they have a problem? Joining me tonight in Hollywood, Ken Sealy, lead interventionist for the hit reality show "Intervention," and in New York author and psychologist Cooper Lawrence. Welcome to you both.

You know, for a long time there Lindsay Lohan and all of her people said, hey, even though Lindsay was under age and going to the nightclubs, she was just fine. She`s just having a good time. Same thing with Britney Spears. She`s been to rehab numerous times. Her behavior really erratic recently, but she`s claiming she`s OK, never needed rehab to begin with.

Ken, sounds to me like stars are experts at deny, deny, deny.

KEN SEALEY, "INTERVENTION": You know, and that`s the problem, Brooke, is that they all don`t believe that they have a problem. They`re not admitting the number one step into recovery that they`re powerless over the disease of addiction. They`re not there yet, and that`s why this continues and continues and continues to happen. It`s not going to end. It`s not going to end.

ANDERSON: Cooper, why are celebrities in denial, do you think, about being addicted? Is it partly because of their profession? It`s like they are acting almost that this is all they know how to do is put on a show, because people have told them their entire careers that, hey, you`re perfect. You have no problems.

COOPER LAWRENCE, DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Brooke, that`s exactly it. It`s the fact that they`re being told their entire career that they`re fabulous and great. The thing is it encourages the narcasism and that sense of entitlement and the feeling that they are above everybody else. Somebody else can drink one-fifth of vodka and be fine -- and be drunk. For me, I`m fine because I`m different than everybody else. I have something special going on, and there`s enough people around me encouraging that thought.

ANDERSON: And you talk about narcasicm. That can be an ugly, ugly thing. And, you know, TMZ interviewed the three guys who say they were in the SUV with Lindsay Lohan the night she was driving around at they say 100 miles an hour. The same night she was arrested for suspicion of DUI and cocaine possession. Listen to what they claim Lindsay told them about possibly getting into trouble.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She knows people who can do things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says, no, I can`t get in trouble. I`m a celebrity. I can do whatever the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) I want.


ANDERSON: When you hear that, hey, I`m famous, I can do whatever I want; does that sum up the problem, Ken? I want to go back to what Cooper said, that sense of entitlement. Does it keep them from recognizing a serious problem?

SEALEY: That`s exactly what`s happening with her. She just thinks that she`s above the law. She thinks that nobody can take her down. My prayer in this is that the judge really looks at that and says I`m the only one that has the power to do anything here to help save this young woman`s life. I`m the one that has to take this in my hands and put her into drug court, because that`s the only thing that`s going to save her life at this point. There`s nothing else.

She`s way too young. She`s way too stubborn. She`s way too, you know, set in her ways where she`s not going to break. There`s nothing that`s going to break her except the law, and the judge has that power. I`m praying that`s what happens here.

ANDERSON: Sounds like a court intervention is very, very important at this point. Actor Daniel Baldwin went on Larry King to talk about his own battle with cocaine. He`s sober now. But let`s listen to what Daniel had to say about the countless trips he made to rehab before getting clean.


DANIEL BALDWIN, ACTOR: Oh, I wasn`t ready, you know. I went into rehab because I was doing, ironically, a TV series with Valerie Bertonelli and Matthew Perry, and I was making all this money, and I didn`t want to lose my job. Many of the other times I`ve done rehab and tried to get sober to appease other people or to avoid further persecution, or whatever, or punishment from the law.

That is not why I did it this time. I did it this time because I`m just tired.


ANDERSON: All right, you know, what Daniel said, it may hold true for a lot of people in Hollywood. Cooper, do you think there are stars out there who want to fix the immediate problem because they got to keep working, keep themselves hirable, keep themselves insurable?

LAWRENCE: That`s the difference between them and everybody else, is that, you know, I can be a functioning alcoholic and go to my hedge fund job, and I guess people might talk, but that`s about it. They actually have to get insured. If they want to continue to do movies, they can`t show up like that on a regular basis.

Plus, it`s an industry where they can be replaced tomorrow. There`s somebody else who is just as talented, just as beautiful. They cannot take the chance of ruining their reputation within the industry, not just for their fans.

ANDERSON: Yes. Ken, ten seconds. Let`s talk about the entourage and how dangerous can they be?

SEALEY: They are all yes people, Brooke. They`re all the people that just are on her payroll. They`re not going to help her. You think they`re going to stop her? Once they start to stop her, as Lindsay`s mother did -- tried to, you know, it doesn`t work. It just doesn`t work. We have to -- we have to let the court do their job.

ANDERSON: Yes, we wish them all the best. Cooper Lawrence, Ken Sealy, thank you both for your insight.

LAWRENCE: Thank you, Brooke.

SEALEY: Thank you, Brooke.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, I`ve got to tell you, even after addiction, after shocking scandals, stars can come back.


BRAGMAN: We love a great comeback in America. We have an amazing capacity for forgiveness.


HAMMER: Tonight, I`ve got the not to be missed step by step secret on how some of the biggest stars have bounced back. All you stars out there who are in trouble, I want you to take note, because that`s coming up.

ANDERSON: Oscar winner and super "American Idol" success story Jennifer Hudson; I`m going one-on-one with her. She`s really got some great advice for young Hollywood on how to deal with the pressures of fame and I get her to open up about Hollywood`s obsession with body image too. That`s straight ahead.

Also, some stunning news today. One of the most respected, best known TV stars makes a very emotional announcement on air, that she`s got breast cancer. That`s coming up next. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Some emotional moments today on "Good Morning America." Co-anchor Robin Roberts told viewers that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer just a month after GMA movie critic Joel Siegel died of colon cancer.


ROBIN ROBERTS, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": I have breast cancer, as my family here knows, and my family at home knows. I`m very, very blessed and thankful that I found it early. And I detected it, ironically, the day that we did the tribute show for our dear friend Joel Siegel. And I happened to do a piece on the show about his courageous battle and how early detection is key. And that very night I found a lump. Normally I would have not done anything because I`m healthy, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Healthy? You are the model for all of us. You are.

ROBERTS: Please. So you think that, and I would not have acted upon it, but Joel was resonating in my heart, and so I called the doctor and made an appointment. I was in the middle of vacation. I emailed you and said do you happen to know a good doctor? And it`s in the early stages. I will have surgery on Friday, begin treatment, and move forward as millions of people do when they hear this, but still hearing the words and saying it and seeing -- it`s surreal.


ANDERSON: Our thoughts are with Robin as she begins this fight.

HAMMER: Absolutely. So you remember "The Wonder Years?" I was a huge fan of that show basically because of two words, Winnie Cooper, played by the lovely Danica McKeller (ph). Well, she is all grown up now, and she is all fired up about Britney, Lindsay, and Paris. I have her very explosive words coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, A.J., Jennifer Hudson has a lot to say about these girls too. You know, Jennifer hasn`t been in the business that long, but the advice she has for keeping out of trouble in Hollywood makes you think she`s been doing this a while. I am going one-on-one with the "Dream Girls" Oscar winner in a bit. And this.


BRAGMAN: We love a great comeback in America. We have an amazing capacity for forgiveness.


HAMMER: All right. So stars are definitely not perfect. I know that. You know that. Sometimes they say or do really stupid things, but everyone loves a great comeback story. So tonight I am proud to be revealing the step by step secrets of how some of the biggest stars can bounce back, coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.




HOWARD BRAGMAN, FIFTEEN MINUTES PUBLIC RELATIONS: We love a great comeback in America. We have an amazing capacity for forgiveness.


HAMMER: Forgive and forget. Those are good words to live by. It`s lucky it`s true for these stars. After major scandals and big mistakes, they`ve all bounced back, but how do they do it? Are we too quick to forgive? Tonight, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report, "Celebrity Comebacks".

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

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

A.J., I have a pop quiz for you. It`s not going to be challenging whatsoever, but what item of clothing did Martha Stewart make famous the day that she left prison.

HAMMER: Come on. Are you kidding me? The poncho, Brooke. Who could forget the poncho? I will tell you something, while her fans may not have forgotten Martha`s fall from grace, they certainly have forgiven her. And tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is taking a look at the secrets behind some of the biggest celebrity comebacks in Hollywood. What does it take to come back from disaster? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT now reveals those secret steps.


ISAIAH WASHINGTON, ACTOR: It`s not enough. We have to rule out everything else, everything physical.

HAMMER (voice over): Isaiah Washington played Dr. Preston Burke, the egotistical surgeon on the sizzling ABC network TV series "Grey`s Anatomy." That was before being unceremoniously dumped for using a homophobic slur that was reported to have been directed toward his gay co-star, T.R. Knight, something that Isaiah denied at this year`s golden globes.

WASHINGTON: No, I did not call T.R. a (BLEEP).

HAMMER: But Isaiah is back in action, joining the peacock network for a sweet development deal and a reoccurring role on the TV series this fall. Isaiah told me, exclusively on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, it was always about the work for him.

WASHINGTON: As an actor it`s a wonderful privilege to be able to act, OK? First of all, and then get paid for it.

HAMMER: And also still getting paid for his work in Hollywood, Oscar-winning actor Mel Gibson who was shunned by Hollywood for his anti- Semitic rant to police officers during his arrest for DUI back in 2006.

Tonight, why some are saying Gibson may be a goner. The coast-to-coast outrage over his shocking alleged anti-Semitic rant.

But that was 2006, this is 2007. Mel`s shingle is still hanging high in Hollywood and open for business.

Then there is Don Imus, the radio shock jock who was fired by CBS from his nationally syndicated talk show in April 2007. This, after the host made degrading and racist remarks about the Rutgers women`s basketball team.

DON IMUS, FMR. TALK RADIO HOST: That`s some nappy-headed (BLEEP), I`m going to tell you that, right now.

HAMMER: But just month`s later there`s word that Imus may make a comeback to the airwaves as early as this fall.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you Hollywood is a forgiving town, but what are the secret steps to having that second chance at a comeback in Hollywood? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has them, and it all starts with the celebrities themselves and their success.

Secret No. 1, Howard Bragman, who represented Isaiah Washington during his ordeal says it`s his talent that got him past his mistakes.

BRAGMAN: You have to say why was this person a celebrity in the first place? You look at Isaiah Washington. It`s because he is a very compelling actor. You look at Don Imus. It`s because millions of people like to hear him on the radio. If you look at Mel Gibson, its because he`s a very talented producer and actor. So there was a reason these people got to be famous and successful.

HAMMER: And if a celebrity is successful once, chances are they can be successful again. But you need secret No. 2, a great comeback story.

One of the greatest comeback stories to come out of Hollywood ever, Martha Stewart.

It`s the story of a domestic doiene (ph) who was at the tippy-top of her kingdom until she got in trouble for insider trading. And she famously took it out on the cabbage.

MARTHA STEWART: I think this will be resolved in the near future, and I will be exonerated for this ridiculousness.

HAMMER: But Martha still had her fans.

MAGGIE GALLANT, FOUNDER, SPOTLIGHT COMM.: Martha Stewart has very loyal fans. They were behind her from the very beginning of this, and many feel that Martha was wronged from the beginning that, she got a bum rap.

HAMMER: Yeah, that`s putting it lightly. Martha spent five months behind bars in a Virginia jail in 2004 for her little white lies to the feds. Her company stocks tumbled, and the ad pages in her magazine took a temporary hit, but Martha`s die hard fans remained steadfast. No boycotts of her magazine, no calling for Martha`s head. They just couldn`t wait for her to come back.

BRAGMAN: I don`t think most of the general public really knew why Martha Stewart went to jail in the first place.

HAMMER: But they do remember, well, when Martha left and the frenzy she created. Not because of something she said, but because of something she was wearing, a handmade poncho gifted to her by a fellow inmate. Only Martha could set a fashion trend leaving prison. And it was right then and there that Martha Stewart learned the power of forgiveness, secret No. 3.

BRAGMAN: I call it the pi¤ata syndrome. We like to raise them on high, beat them on a stick, and see what comes out of their insides, but we also have a wonderful ability to forgive.

HAMMER: And for Isaiah Washington forgiveness is something he was hoping for all along.

WASHINGTON: I would like to think that over time there is still forgiveness in this country.

BRAGMAN: We love a great comeback in America. We have an amazing capacity for forgiveness, and if somebody has talent, they`ll probably end up on top again.


HAMMER: So, now that we know these secrets to a Hollywood comeback, I got to tell I can name a couple of Hollywood starlets that might benefit from those tips. Paris, Britney, Lindsay, Nicole, all of them making major headlines, everywhere -- for all the wrong reasons, of course.

Ladies and gentlemen, please, place your bets. Which one of these too hot to handle celebs even has a shot at staging a comeback? Let`s find out. With us tonight, David Caplan, senior correspondent for VH1`s Also, in New York, the lovely Lola Ogunnaike, entertainment correspondent for CNN`s "American Morning."

David, Lola, I want to line up these party girls so we can see exactly how they would fair in all these steps that we have laid out so clearly to make a celebrity comeback. And as I mention, secret step No. 1, you got to have talent to make a comeback in the business. I think you can, therefore, rule out Paris, here, for her essential lack of talent.

But, David, who is your comeback pick based on talent alone?

DAVID CAPLAN, 24SIZZLER.COM: Britney Spears. She`s done it before. That`s why she became a star, based on her talent. Personally, she may have issues, but I really think if she gets it together, she has the right people behind her, that is what her comeback will be based on. Talent, we`ll see her do incredible performances.

HAMMER: I think so. I would agree. And I think a lot of people still would like to believe that all of the nonsense that has surrounded her life that detracted from her talent can kind of go away so she can focus on what she does best.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT also declared you need a great comeback story to make a big comeback. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT talked to Paris last night. Shockingly, it was on the red carpet on the premier of "Rush Hour 3." Her comeback seems to be all business and very much planned out. She even has a musical thriller coming to theaters. Now, check out what she says, she has coming up next.


PARIS HILTON: It`s called, "Repo (ph), The Genetic Opera" And Darrell Bozman (ph) is the director. He directed all the "Saw" movies. It`s exciting. We have a really great cast, and the movie is going to be a lot of fun.


HAMMER: You can feel the excitement with the words as she delivers them. Sounds to me like a plan. Doesn`t really sound like a great comeback story. Lola, let me go to you on who do you think the best comeback story is going to be between Britney, between Paris, Lindsay, and Nicole?

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDEN: I`m going with Lindsay here. She has the ankle bracelet in her past, she has the hijacking of the van and chasing after her assistant`s mother. She`s got the bikinis. She`s got the hot sister. She`s got the fame-seeking mother, the ex-con dad. If she`s able to pull herself away from all of that, then that is going to be a great story.

HAMMER: David Caplan, would you concur?

CAPLAN: Yeah. I think with Lindsay`s story, it`s like it`s been this whole sordid saga, that the best story we`re having right now.

HAMMER: We need to move on to comeback step No. 3 in our secret steps. This is very important because this involves the general public. We`re talking about forgiveness. Now, as we all well know, America not very forgiving of Lindsay Lohan. Her new movie "I Know Who Killed Me," well, it tanked.

David, in order to comeback, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has indeed declared you need forgiveness from your audience, so please tell us, who would win in that category?

CAPLAN: I think Lindsay Lohan. I think we`re really going to forgive her, even though she has almost run people over, she has taken us through some horrible films lately. I think, you know what she has on her side is youth. And that is why we`re going to forgive her. She`s young. She`s made these mistakes, and the rest of her career will go well.

HAMMER: Lindsay getting a lot of points here tonight. What do you think, Lola. Would you agree with David? Is she earning the sympathy and the forgiveness of the American people?

OGUNNAIKE: I completely agree. The thing she has on her side is talent. Hollywood actually respects her. They want to see her do well. Jane Fonda has come out and said this girl is talented. Meryl Streep has come out and said that this girl is talented. I think they want to see her follow in the footsteps of say, Robert Downey, Jr., or Drew Barrymore and put herself out of this period, put it behind her, and go on to have a successful acting career.

HAMMER: So it is possible. We should be encouraged, we should feel as though it is possible for all these young ladies to perhaps do something, dig themselves out of the hole that is they`ve dug so deep. But now that we`ve summed it up for you, you need the talent, you need the great comeback story -- and, of course, you need the forgiveness.

But let`s bottom line it. Lola, let me start with you. I want you to know who you think will have the greatest comeback and why, and please pause for the initial fanfare here.

I think -- oh.


HAMMER: Hey, you didn`t pause for the fanfare. There it was. What do you think?

OGUNNAIKE: I`m going to give it to Lindsay. I think she`s got talent. I think she has youth on her side. I think she`s got a great story. And she has people really rooting for her in Hollywood. If she can put this behind her and get herself together, really stay on the sober path for longer than a week. I think she`ll be all right.

HAMMER: I kind of screwed up the fanfare. Can we hear the trumphets one more time. Thank you very much.

All right, David, if there`s going to be a winner, we have to have a loser. Whose train is going right off the cliff? And we have a sound effect for you, too.


CAPLAN: Paris Hilton. I messed up the pause there, but Paris Hilton.

HAMMER: Why is that?

CAPLAN: She`s just -- I don`t think there`s anything there. She`s been horrible throughout this whole saga. She`s come across obnoxious, entitled. There`s no reason to forgive her, and a lot of people don`t care about seeing her have a comeback.

HAMMER: I have my score card right here. I`ll be following along with my results as time unfolds. David Caplan, Lola Ogunnaike, I thank you both tonight.

HAMMER: Jennifer Hudson certainly doesn`t have the partying problems, as so many young stars do. And I think mainly because she keeps the focus where it belongs.


JENNIFER HUDSON, ACTRESS/SINGER: Were it not for all the attention or the money, or whatever, I do it because this is what I love to do.


ANDERSON: Jennifer really opened up to me about how she handles the pressures of fame and she has great advice for young Hollywood, and she also had really interesting things to say about Hollywood`s beauty standards. That`s coming up next.

HAMMER: And another young star who has managed to stay out of trouble. You remember this lovely lady, Winnie Cooper, from the "Wonder Years" We loved Winnie.

Wait until you hear Danica`s McKellar advice for young girls. She does not mince her words. That`s coming up. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.



JENNIFER HUDSON, ACTRESS/SINGER: Keep in mind while you do it, I do it not for all the attention, or the money, or whatever. I do it because this is what I love to do. So you keep that in mind, you will be all right.


ANDERSON: That was Oscar-winning "Dream Girls" star Jennifer Hudson on how she deals with the pressures of life in Hollywood.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. You are watching TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

Well, Jennifer Hudson is certainly no flash in the pan. She went from "American Idol" cast off to a whirlwind of high profile successes, most notably her award-winning role on "Dream Girls." Now she`s the new face of Avon cosmetics.

And her story only just beginning. Jennifer knows all-too well that fame comes at a high price, very little privacy and a whole lot of temptation. I had the chance to sit down with Jennifer and I asked her what advice what would she give to stars like Lindsay Lohan, who are battling the darker side of fame?


HUDSON: First off, keep God first. That`s the first thing for me. And stay closest to home as I possibly can. Keep good people around you. Try not to let the industry get the best of you. I always say if it gets to a point where I`m not happy with it, then why do it? Just walk away from it. Once again, I don`t know where her situation is, but I pray for her.

ANDERSON: That`s sweet of you. I`m sure she needs a lot of prayer right now.

Is it a struggle sometimes to make sure you`re surrounded by the right people because I think a lot of stars fall into that trap? People want a piece of you.

HUDSON: Yeah, to fall into it. One thing I try to always do when I meet people, because you easily get caught up in being considered an idol. I don`t like idol guys. I`m a person just like, whoever walking up the street. When people meet me, the first thing I want them to know I`m human, I`m a person, too. Yes, it`s me at the grocery store. Yes, it`s me standing next to you in line. Who else is going to shop for me? I like to go home and be smacked by reality, you know?

ANDERSON: You haven`t hired someone to run your errands yet?

HUDSON: Well, they don`t even let me drive by myself.


HUDSON: If I leave home. I go home, and, like, my mom will call and say that you`re not in the car. You`re not driving by yourself. Make sure you take somebody with you. My boyfriend like don`t go nowhere. Go straight to your mother`s house. I`m like, I`m almost 30 years old here. I can`t even drive myself?

Because I grew up normal, I like doing normal things. It`s kind of hard to break away from that, but it`s good to have some normalness. So when you get in the world like this, you can still be connected to that.

ANDERSON: The last time we talked you were going home with some major hardware -- an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a SAG award for "Dream Girls". Yeah, your eyes still, like, get big at just the mention. Does it al still seem unreal?

HUDSON: Yes, it does. It`s still every day it`s a new surprise. I would never have guessed I would be sitting here as of Avon`s spokes model. So, every day it is something new.

ANDERSON: You mentioned Avon. You`re the new spokes model for that. Also, if that`s not enough, this year you became just the third African- American to grace the cover of "Vogue".


ANDERSON: That`s right. I know. As Avon, you know, that says you are sexy, you`re confident. Is that how you feel about yourself?

HUDSON: Yes. It`s everything Avon stands for. They`re confident, sexy -- you know, just independent woman. So, yeah, it`s an honor to be thought of like that and to be able to accomplish these things.

ANDERSON: Do you feel like you are putting a great message out there, like, yeah, look at me?

HUDSON: I really hope so. Because I look at it as if -- it`s all about inspiring someone else, and helping somebody, you know, along their way. Other than that it`s in vain. So, I definitely do look at it like that, and I just hope to inspire somebody else.

ANDERSON: It all began with "American Idol". Of course, the scrutiny does not get any more intense than that.


ANDERSON: Tens of millions of people watching every single week.


ANDERSON: Yeah, wow, still. I want you to listen to what another successful person from "American Idol", Mandisa, said she took from "Idol". Listen to this.

HUDSON: All right.


MANDISA, FMR. "AMERICAN IDOL" CONTESTANT: I thought that I had walked off into "America`s Next Top Model", not "American Idol", because everybody was beautiful. I was just like, are you kidding me? Do I really have to compare to these girls? I realized that I don`t. And that there`s much more than one image of beauty, and I don`t think we all have to fit that cookie cutter mold.


ANDERSON: She was so sweet. You know, you have always been very confident about your standard of beauty. Do you think we`re seeing a shift in terms of that in Hollywood?

HUDSON: You know, it`s been looked at a different kind of way. Like she said, everybody doesn`t have to be a size 2 or that cookie cutter mold. We`re all people. We all have talent. We all have dreams. And no matter what you look like, you should be able to accomplish that, or no matter what you have come from, or anything. It shouldn`t matter. Talent is talent, and a dream is a dream.


ANDERSON: And Jennifer`s dream has certainly come true, a few times over. She`s now working on a new album with music legend Clive Davis. It`s scheduled for release this fall. She`s also set to co-star in a film "Winged Creature" starring fellow Oscar-winner Forest Whittaker.

HAMMER: Well, as we told you earlier, Star Jones-Reynolds is finally coming clean about how she lost all that weight. You know, for years Star has dodged questions about how she lost 160 pounds. She would never confirm the speculation that she had surgery. Well, now in an essay for "Glamour" magazine, Star is admitting she did indeed have gastric bypass surgery. She says, she was intentionally evasive about it because she was scared of what people might think, which is odd considering she was on "The View" every day.

Star had the surgery back in 2003. She said that after she started therapy in 2005 that she found that talking about her weight loss finally gave her the control that she wanted.

All that leads to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Star Jones` gastric bypass confession, should she have come forward earlier? Keep voting at Write to us at Your emails tomorrow.

You can stay on top of the latest and most provocative entertainment news stories by signing up for the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter by going to tonight, click on newsletter. We`ll send it to you every day.

ANDERSON: Between all the nonsense between Brittney, Paris, Lindsay, Nicole, it`s so refreshing to see young, talented women who have managed stay out of trouble. Remember Winnie Cooper from "The Wonder Years."? Wait till you hear what she has to say. Her advice, coming up next.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

One of the best shows on TV, back in the day, was "The Wonder Years." Because it really told what life was like for America`s teenagers, they way it used to be before the onslaught of Britney, Paris, Lindsay, and Nicole.

Remember, Winnie from "The Wonder Years"? Danica McKellar, she`s all grown up now. She has a message for young girls, don`t be like Paris and Lindsay. She out with a new book, it`s called "Math Doesn`t Suck." Got to love the title.

Here is what she tells "Newsweek", quote, "When girls see the antics of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, they think that being fun and glamorous also means being dumb and irresponsible. But I want to show them that being smart is cool. Being good at math is cool. And not only that, it can help them get what they want out of life."

McKellar should know. She struggled with math in the seventh grade but a teacher helped them through, and eventually majored in math in college.

The take away from Math Doesn`t Suck", cute and smart is better than cute and dumb. And we at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT could not agree more.

Just so you know, the book also includes tips to avoid mistakes on homework, ways to overcome test day anxiety and profiles of three beautiful mathematicians.

ANDERSON: That is terrific.

All right, yesterday we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Lindsay Lohan`s box office bomb. Is her career finished? And 71 percent of you say yes, it is; 29 percent of you say, nope, it`s not. Here are some of the emails that we received.

Nathan from Tennessee says, "If Lindsay wants to be seen as a serious actress, she needs to clean up her act and focus more on her acting than partying."

JC from Connecticut thinks, "She is young, talented and is wasting it. At this point she still has a chance to redeem yourself."

And we do appreciate your e-mails. Keep them coming.

HAMMER: It is time to find out what is coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Tomorrow a whole new "View". Wow, it`s about time. The wait is finally over. We will find out who will be replacing Rosie O`Donnell as co-host of "The View." The question is will they make the right choice? And what will it mean for the show and the other ladies? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with complete coverage, not to be missed tomorrow.

Also tomorrow a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report. When stars lose weight and regain fame. Why do so many stars think they can hold on to fame as long as they`re skinny? We`re investigating that disturbing obsession tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

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" coming up next. That`s right after the latest headlines from CNN "Headline news." Take care.