Return to Transcripts main page

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Who is to Blame For Britney`s Bomb at VMAs; Catholic League Can`t Take Kathy Griffin`s Joke; Author Stands By Explosive Accusations About Birkhead, Stern

Aired September 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: From Britney Spears to David Hasselhoff, the nastiest divorces in Hollywood and how their relationships might have been saved. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: And my explosive interview with the author of a sensational book about the Anna Nicole Smith saga. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news starts now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the Britney blame game. Tonight, new and explosive fallout and finger pointing after Britney Spears` disastrous performance at the VMAs. But was it really Britney`s fault? Was it MTV`s fault? And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask, should we feel sorry for Britney Spears?

Tonight, a Jesus shocker from Kathy Griffin. The comedian`s startling Emmy acceptance speech that got jaws dropping.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CATHY GRIFFIN, "MY LIFE ON THE D LIST": I want you to know that no one had less do with this award than Jesus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Think that`s bad? You`re not going to believe what she said next. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the outrage, the controversy and the big question, should Jesus be off-limits in comedy?

Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you from Hollywood. Tonight my explosive interview in the Anna Nicole Smith book scandal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: It`s hard for me to sit here, because I`m not taking one side or the other. But to not get the other side for the book just blows me away.

(END VIDEO CLIP

ANDERSON: You will not want to miss what Rita Cosby tell me when I go one on one with her, the author, of this controversial book, straight ahead.

HAMMER: First, let`s play the Britney blame game! What a game it turned into today. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, there is so much new finger pointing going on over who`s to blame over the disastrous VMA performance, you might just get poked in the eye, if you don`t duck. Is Britney to blame? Should we feel sorry for her? Hey, we`re just asking.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): Deep in the quiet deserts of Nevada, life is slowly returning to normal in Las Vegas. People are rebuilding their lives, going about their business, and, of course, gambling. Anything to take their minds off the devastating and far-reaching disaster that recently occurred in Sin City.

We`re talking about the horror of Britney Spears` performance at the MTV Video Music Wards. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT shifts through the wreckage of Britney`s badly lip-synched and just plain bad looking performance. And we just have to ask the question, whose really to blame for Britney`s disaster in the desert? So, let`s start with MTV for having Britney lead off its award show.

MIKE FLEEMAN, "PEOPLE MAGAZINE": With Britney, you don`t know if it`s going to be a bullet train or a train wreck.

HAMMER: "People Magazine`s" Mike Fleeman tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, MTV was right to give Britney a shot.

FLEEMAN: She could have gone up there and killed. I really can`t fault MTV for putting somebody like Britney Spears on first.

HAMMER: But now, rapper Kanye West is speaking out and he disagrees. Kanye, who also performed that night and reportedly threw a tantrum after he went home without any awards, is blasting MTV for how it handled Britney. He tells Sirius Satellite Radio, quote, man, they were just trying to get rating and they knew she wasn`t ready and they exploited her.

Well, if it`s ratings MTV wanted, that`s what it got. Ratings for the VMAs were up 23 percent over last year, with more than seven million people tuning in.

As long as we`re asking who`s to blame, how about Britney`s people? Britney always seem to be surround by a posse of relatives, friends and/or assorted assistants, any of whom might have been able to avert this disaster.

FRANGELA, COMEDY DUO: I feel bad for Britney Spears, because she clearly has nobody in her camp.

HAMMER: LA comedy duo Frangela plays the roles of Britney and a trusted friend to show SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the conversation that could have saved Britney from herself.

FRANGELA: Hey Britney, you know what we are going to do?

What?

We going call them and tell them you sick. I`ll show you the tape of rehearsal. See how that`s not good? This is not what we want to show people.

You sure?

You have a very bad cold. Let me call the VMA people and tell them you`re very sick. The baby`s sick. The baby`s sick.

HAMMER: Finally, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that if you`re going to blame one person in Britney`s disaster in the desert, you need to look at Britney herself. Remember that unflattering two-piece she wore, TV`s worst wardrobe malfunction since Janet met Justin at the Super Bowl, well "People Magazine`s" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that was a disaster of Britney`s own making.

FLEEMAN: The costumers for the show had actually put her in a corset, something that was a little more flattering. And at the last minute Britney is the one who nixed it.

HAMMER: Jo Piazza of the "New York Daily News" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that MTV tried to warn Britney of the importance of that night.

JO PIAZZA, "THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": MTV read her the Riot Act before she went on stage and told her, you know, you need to really bring it.

HAMMER: Instead of rehearsing and perhaps getting some rest the night before her big performance, Britney was seen out into the wee hours, partying with Diddy, 50 Cent and, of all people, Paris Hilton.

ALICIA QUARLES, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I do to a certain extent blame Britney.

HAMMER: Associated Press entertainment reporter Quarles tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that instead of partying the night before the VMAs, Britney should have been channeling her inner rocky.

QUARLES: A prize fighter needs to be in the gym getting rest, working hard. Britney wasn`t doing that. When it came to her title fight, her performance, she bombed because she wasn`t prepared.

HAMMER: Some are saying, unlike Rocky, Britney Spears just did not have that eye of the tiger she needed to make a career-saving performance on MTV.

FLEEMAN: We talked to a lot of people very close to Britney. One of the themes is perhaps that Britney Spears is just not ready yet for a comeback. She`s not ready to be a superstar again and it`s as simple as that.

HAMMER: So it seems there`s enough blame to go around. Maybe Britney`s mistakes can serve to help other artists on the comeback trail. Whitney Houston, we are looking at you. And keep them from make their own unfortunate version of Britney`s disaster in the desert.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: All right, now let`s turn it over to you for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Here`s what we want to know; Britney Spears, do you feel sorry for her? You can vote at CNN.com/SHOWBIZTONIGHT. Want to send us an email? The address is SHOWBIZTONIGHT@CNN.com.

ANDERSON: Britney Spears isn`t the only one with big problems. Nude photos are all over the Internet of Disney`s sweet heart Vanessa Hudgens, the 18-year-old star of the squeaky clean "High School Musical" movies. They are really biggest thing in entertainment these days.

Here with their insight from New York, editor in chief of "Cosmogirl Magazine," Susan Schulz, and from Hollywood, Jessica Weiner, author of "Do I Look Fat in This."

All right ladies, we all know this is a major teen idol here for a franchise that is known for being almost unrealistically squeaky clean, worshipped by kids every where. Jessica, Vanessa did a pretty stupid thing here, didn`t she.

JESSICA WEINER, AUTHOR "DO I LOOK FAT IN THIS": Vanessa didn`t use the best judgment. That`s a kind way of putting it. But I also think, Brooke, we can`t paint all of the young celebrities with the same brush. And I think we have to look at the choices that she made when she was 15 years old. And I don`t think any of us want to be judged publicly for choices we might have made them. Granted she`s a celebrity in a Disney franchise, but she`s a young woman.

I think she`s been handling this very well, being swift and prompt with an apology, and I think an authentic apology, at that.

ANDERSON: Yes, handling it in a pretty dignified manner; I will agree with you. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with Vanessa before the scandal broke, and we asked her how she avoids the pitfalls of young Hollywood. Let`s listen to what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VANESSA HUDGENS, "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL": It`s easy. Just doesn`t do bad things. Stay out of trouble. And I`m completely fine with that because I`m not very attracted to doing the bad things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: OK, Susan, everyone has a little giggle there.

SUSAN SCHULZ, "COSMOGIRL MAGAZINE": Words will haunt you.

ANDERSON: Adults are getting all bent out of shape out of this. Teenage star, naked pictures, hard tough pill to swallow. But what are you hearing from the teenage girls that read your magazine? What do they think?

SCHULZ: Most of them do forgive her. A lot of them said I`m disappointed in Vanessa. I`m shocked that she would do this. But what Jessica said; they feel like she made an apology really, really soon after it all happened. They believe her. And they`re willing to give her another chance. They love her. She`s so pretty. She`s talented. She`s in their favorite movie. So they`re going to write her off so quickly.

ANDERSON: OK, forgive and forget, terrific approach. There have been reports that she sent nude photos to another young star, Nickelodeon`s star Drake Bell a while ago, after she taped an episode of "Drake and Josh." People.com reports that Drake says he never got the photos. Jessica, can Vanessa Hudgens expect more of this? That she`s a target, opening herself up, a perfect example to innuendo.

WEINER: I just feel like I got sucked into such teenage drama in talking about this. My heart breaks for her in this moment. Yes, I think she made a really bad judgment call here. But I think it`s parents -- because I know Disney`s probably worried what the parents of these kids are going to be thinking.

And I think parents can use this, Brooke, as a teachable lesson. I think they can look at this experience -- whether or not they choose to talk about taking nude photos with their kids, they can use this as an opportunity to say listen, there`s a consequence to every action and you have to be mindful of that. I think if parents can turn this around and Vanessa can really, authentically turn this around, I think we`ll be forgetting about this. Although actions will tell. We`ll have to keep an eye on her in the future. I think we can offer her a space for a second chance.

ANDERSON: Good point. I have to tell you, we got a really good laugh when the ladies of "The View" were talking about it. Co-host Sherri Shepherd got a whole different idea of what private means. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERRI SHEPHERD, "THE VIEW": Everybody`s been doing it. I mean I sent out nude pictures when I was 17. I hope they come out because I look good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: OK, I`m sure that Hudgens doesn`t feel the same way. But Sherri is right. A lot of people have had nude photos and it didn`t hurt them or their career. Susan, with all of the buzz, is there a chance this could help her career?

SCHULZ: Well, let`s face it, right now, Vanessa Hudgens, everyone knows her name. Whereas, last week she was Zack`s girlfriend and before that she didn`t even know she was Zack`s girlfriend. So, you know, you do something bad and it gets you into the headlines. It`s true that now she has name recognition. If she proves herself to have talent and she has an album out -- we`ll see what she does beyond "High School Musical," but I think she`s got staying power. We`ll see what she does. People will remember her name.

WEINER: I think, too, we have to remember too, this is such the MySpace generation and there are a lot of girls out there -- and girls who read Cosmogirl, and these girls share the fact they put themselves out provocatively on their Facebook or MySpace pages and they kind of learn the hard way. Vanessa`s a really great example of what not to do. I think we want to use this chance to say to young women, listen, respect yourself a little bit more.

Like Sherri Shepherd said, we all did crazy stuff when we were teenagers. And I hope my stuff doesn`t come back to haunt me.

SCHULZ: Naked pictures will come out.

ANDERSON: You`re right about that. Good lesson to be learned. Jessica Weiner, Susan Schulz, thank you both. I want to add, Hudgens has apologized to her fans and said, quote, "I`m embarrassed over the situation and regret having ever taken these photos."

HAMMER: There is so much controversy to cover tonight, including a shocking thing that Kathy Griffin said. It`s making everybody from the censors to Christian leaders go berserk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: All I can say is, suck it Jesus, this award is my god now!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes, she went there. As you would imagine, some people are very upset about it. Should Jesus be off-limits in comedy or are people over reacting?

Also, from Britney Spears and K-Fed to David Hasselhoff, we`re taking a look at the nastiest, ugliest, knock-down, drag-out divorces in Hollywood coming up. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is bringing in the experts so we can find out how even these relationships could have been saved.

ANDERSON: And my explosive interview with the author of a sensational new book about the Anna Nicole Smith saga. This author makes outrageous claims in the book. I got to tell you, I grilled her about why she didn`t check her facts more. It got pretty heated and you won`t want to miss it, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, comedian Kathy Griffin`s shocking comments about Jesus. Now, Griffin just won a Creative Arts Emmy for her reality show "My Life On The D-List," and in her acceptance speech, you`ve just got to hear what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: A lot of people come up here and they thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn`t help me a bit. If it was up to him, Caesar Millan would be up here with that damn dog. All I can say is suck it Jesus, this award is my god now!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: The Creative Arts prime time Emmy special is going to air this Saturday on E! And the academy has said that Griffin`s comments are going to be edited out. Joining me tonight from New York, Bill Donahue. He`s the president of the Catholic League, and in Philadelphia tonight, Marc Lamont Hill, assistant professor at temple university. I welcome you both.

Bill, I want to start with you, because I`m under the impression you`re upset about this. Kathy Griffin is a comedian. I don`t think you`re laugh. Are you?

BILL DONAHUE, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Right, and Imus is a comedian too, and when he called those black girls nappy headed hoes -- and Michael Richards referred to blacks as (EXPLETIVE DELETED) people didn`t think it was funny. You know what`s interesting about Hollywood is that Hollywood laughs when she says, suck it Jesus. Had she said suck it Jews, suck it Mohammed, suck it Moses, suck it Hillary, they wouldn`t be laughing, would they?

HAMMER: Are you saying this is a akin to racism?

DONAHUE: I`m saying it`s worst than racism, because now you`re offending 85 percent of the population who are believers. And, quite frankly, your guest here, who is very upset about Imus and says he should be fired because he`s racist, thinks this is cute. I would like to hear him explain to me the paradox here.

MARC LAMONT HILL, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY: Well, I don`t believe I ever said this was cute. I personally wouldn`t make the joke. But I do think this is a different circumstance. Sarah Silverman makes jokes about Jews all the time. Chris Rock makes jokes about black people all the time. Kathy Griffin, as a practicing Catholic --

DONAHUE: She`s not a practicing Catholic, sir. She called herself a militant atheist. That`s what she is.

HILL: Well, through her publicist just today, she said, am I the only Catholic with a sense of humor.

DONAHUE: But she lied about that.

LAMONT: Allow me to finish my point. My point here is that Kathy Griffin wasn`t dissing Catholics. In fact, I think she was doing the opposite. I think she was pointing fun at the fact that people invoke the name of God and Jesus for the most absurd of things. You see people win the Super Bowl and thank Jesus, as if God is siding with the Colts -- you know what I mean -- as opposed to the other team.

She`s making a really smart, intelligent joke, and a funny one. Yes, she is a bit irreverent. Yes, it was edgy. I can see how people are offended. But also keep in mind; I didn`t say Imus should be fired strictly because he offended people. I said that as a consumer we lobby -- we lobbied the people who -- and said, look, we don`t want to support Imus. We find it offensive.

If you as a Catholic want to boycott these award shows, I think you have every right to do that.

DONAHUE: Look, I want to correct something. She said in an interview in a Houston gay publication, I am a complete militant atheist. Point number one. Point number two, the "L.A. Times" was good enough to get her backstage after the Emmy Awards last weekend and they asked her, do you want to take this back? She said, no, I hope I have offended people.

Now this not Bill Donahue speaking. This is her speaking. You can`t have it both ways. Michael Richards, Jerry Lewis, Isaiah Washington; all of these people say things which are unfortunate, untoward and ugly, and they pay the price. She says something which is as bad, if not worse, and everyone thinks it`s cute. That`s because Hollywood hates Catholicism.

HILL: Oh god.

HAMMER: Bill, I think a little strong to say Hollywood hates Catholicism. Hold on one second. Let me read to you what Kathy Griffin told "Entertainment Weekly." Here`s what she said, quote, it`s so great that people know, like, I`m actually kidding. So it was great not to get booed off the stage and have people throw burning crosses at me. I don`t think you can bring a burning cross to the Emmies. It was like, good, they`re finally getting that I`m kidding."

Separate from what you`re saying, Bill, about people like Imus, about people like Jerry Lewis, about people like Michael Richards, who may have said racist, inappropriate things, they were not -- what Kathy Griffin said was said in the context of a joke on stage at the Emmies.

DONAHUE: Let me just say something, you have Pen Gillette who constantly offends Catholics. We have Bill Mahr, who is one of the biggest bigots who ever walked the face of America, constantly smashing Catholics. Now we have Kathy Griffin. Every single time somebody attacks Catholics or Christians in general we`re told, don`t you understand the context?

HILL: Nobody attacked the Catholics. But that didn`t happen. Nobody attacked the Catholics. She said nobody had anything less to do with this award than Jesus. That`s her particular belief. That`s her particular faith. That`s her particular claim. Nothing wrong with her saying that.

DONAHUE: Lamont, had she stopped there, I would agree with you, fine. When she said, suck it, Jesus, you know damn well that`s going to anger 85 percent of the population.

HAMMER: That`s where we`ve got to end it, guys. I`m sorry. We`re out of time. But I do appreciate both your comments, Bill Donahue, Mark Lamont Hill, thank you.

ANDERSON: A sensational new book making some outrageous claims about the players in the Anna Nicole Smith saga. Straight ahead, my explosive interview with the author. I grilled her about why she didn`t get the other side of the story. I have to tell you it got pretty heated.

HAMMER: Speaking of heated, a tussle between Pam Anderson`s exes. By now you probably know Tommy Lee and Kid Rock threw down at the VMAs. But now Pam finally talking about it for the very first time. What she said still ahead.

Also this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave Britney alone, please.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: OK, this is one of most bizarre things I have seen in a very long time. If you thought Britney Spears` performance was awkward, wait until you see one of her fans defending her on Youtube. Yes, trust me, you are not going to be able to look away. That is coming up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. So there was a really uncomfortable moment at the VMAs, and for once I don`t mean Britney Spears` performance. Pam Anderson is speaking out about the battle of the exes. Pam`s ex husbands, Tommy Lee and Kid Rock, got into a scuffle during the awards. Now Pam was on "Ellen" today and Ellen Degeneres asked her all about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN DEGENERES, "ELLEN": So Kid Rock and Tommy Lee -- first of all last time you were here, you said they didn`t get along. So they don`t.

PAM ANDERSON, MODEL: Can you tell.

DEGENERES: Yes, now we know for sure. Are you say staying out of it.

ANDERSON: I`m staying out of it. That`s why I`m staying out of it.

DEGENERES: You and Tommy are good friends and you have kids together and you were sitting on his lap earlier.

ANDERSON: He pulled me on his lap and spanked my butt.

DEGENERES: Was that OK or no?

ANDERSON: Yes.

DEGENERES: That was OK?

ANDERSON: That was all right.

DEGENERES: Yes. All right. All right.

ANDERSON: Whatever. What are you going to do?

DEGENERES: I just -- so they were fighting over -- do you know why they were fighting?

ANDERSON: I don`t really know.

DEGENERES: Could it have been over me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Ellen is so great. Pam also told Ellen that she has a new love in her life, a famous poker player. She wouldn`t say his name. Maybe she wants to protect him from Tommy and Kid Rock.

All right, a sensational new book is making some outrageous claims about the players in the Anna Nicole Smith saga. Straight ahead, my explosive interview with the author. I grilled her about why she didn`t get the other side of the story. I have to tell you it got pretty heated. You won`t want to miss it.

HAMMER: Plus, from Britney Spears and K-Fed to David Hasselhoff, we`re taking a hard look at the nastiest, ugliest, knock-down, drag-out divorces in Hollywood. Coming up, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will call in the experts, because we want to find out how even these relationships could have been saved.

We`ll also have this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave Britney alone! Please.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: What the is right. This is really the strangest thing I have seen in a very long time. If you thought Britney Spears` performance was awkward, wait until you see one of her fans defending her on YouTube. Trust me, you are not going to be able to look away. That is coming up. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Wednesday night is headed straight back.

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: It`s hard for me to sit here, because I`m not taking one side or the other. But to not get the other side for the book, just blows me away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Tonight my no-holds barred one-on-one interview with the author of an explosive book about Anna Nicole Smith`s death. In it sensational claims that Larry Birkhead, the father of Smith`s babying, and Howard K. Stern were caught in a compromising intimate position.

But what about their side of the story? The shocking interview you will see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, for Wednesday night, it`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you from Hollywood. You are watching TV`s the most provocative entertainment news show.

You have just got to see a video we are about to show you, three days after Britney Spears` catastrophic performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. It all had to do with the blame game. Some blame Britney. Sources tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Spears was more than three hours late for rehearsal. Others blame MTV for bad judgment by letting her open the show when she wasn`t ready.

Now there`s this, what`s become one of the hottest videos on YouTube, an apparent fan coming to Britney`s defense in a truly unforgettable way. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CROCKER, BRITNEY SPEARS FAN: Britney, after all she`s been through! She lost her aunt. She went through a divorce. She had two (BLEEP) kids. Her husband turned out to be a user, a cheater, and now she`s going through a custody battle.

All you people care about is readers and making money off of her. She`s a human!

What you don`t realize that is Britney`s making you all this money and all you do is write a bunch of (BLEEP) about her. She wasn`t performed on stage in years. Her song is called "Gimme More" for a reason because all you people want is more, more, more, more, more! Leave her alone!

(SOBBING

You`re lucky she even performed for you (BLEEP). Leave Britney alone! Please!

(SOBBING)

Perez Hilton talked about professionalism, and said that if Britney was a professional she would have pulled it off no matter what. Speaking of professionalism, when it is it professional to publicly bash someone who is going through a hard time?

Leave Britney alone! Please!

(SOBBING)

Leave Britney spears alone right -- now! I mean it. Anyone who has a problem with her, you deal with me, because she`s not well right now. Leave her alone!

(SOBBING)

Leave her alone!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Why are you laughing? He`s clearly upset. But you know we don`t know how sincere that was, or how big a Britney fan he really is, or if he really is. We can tell you this guy, Chris Crocker, is known for posting over the top monologues on YouTube where his videos get millions of hits.

And we want to know what you think about it. We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Britney Spears, do you feel sorry for her? Keep voting. Cnn.com/showbiz tonight. Write to us at showbiz tonight@cnn.com. We will read some of your e-mails tomorrow.

HAMMER: Can we just play that for the rest of the hour? No? OK.

Britney, certainly no stranger to criticism. You remember that reality show "Chaotic" she did for the UPN? Well, she starred in that debacle alongside her now ex-husband Kevin Federline. We know how that ended. A downright nasty divorce involving an even nastier custody battle over their two boys, that still rages on.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got to ask, what Brit and K-Fed had been given the chance, the opportunity to perhaps air their dirty laundry about their troubled marriage in front of TV cameras with two marriage experts to help them out?

Savings couples through reality TV is the premise of a hot new show on My Network TV. It`s called "Decision House". Joining us tonight from Hollywood, the hosts of the show, Judge Lynn Toler and Tara Fields.

Lynn and Tara, it is good to see you both here. I appreciate you joining us. Maybe you can let us know if any of the marriages that have gone so wrong in Hollywood were salvageable.

I want to start with you Judge Toler, because you do the show "Divorce Court" you`ve seen a lot of marriages falling apart right before your very eyes. What if you had gotten the chance to put Brit and K-Fed in "Decision House", could you have save that marriage?

JUDGE LYNN TOLER, CO-HOST, "DECISION HOUSE": I don`t know if I could have saved their marriage. We don`t actually save marriages in "Decision House". We allow them to make a decision about what they`re going to work towards saving the marriage or breaking up. And you can`t save a marriage in three days and nobody`s going to pretend they can.

They had so many issues that were far beyond, can we get along as a couple, that three day as in "Decision House" or anywhere else, I think, may not have been what they needed. I don`t think they even came into the marriage as full, whole mature human being. And absent that, any marriage doesn`t have a chance.

HAMMER: Yes, you make a good point.

And, Tara, I want to go to you on this, because you`re the resident marriage therapist on the show. Britney and K-Fed got married very quickly. They had their babies pretty quickly, Sean Preston and Jaden James. Jaden, by the way, turning one today. Is it really a classic case, in their case, of a marriage that was just doomed from the start because everything happen so rapidly?

TARA FIELDS, CO-HOST, "DECISION HOUSE": Well, you know, I think they really are like a lot of the couples that come to "Decision House". Where they meet and they say, oh, we`re in love. And most of the time it`s not love, it`s lust. And they don`t talk about the basics. The marriage, money, when are we going to have children? Are you going to continue to work?

And all of a sudden, down the line, they realize, gee, there`s a little more to making a marriage work. When people come into "Decision House" we`re sort of winding it backwards and we`re saying we can`t fix it. But we can radically change things so that life as you know it, changes when you leave here. To deal with those issues and if nothing else, make life better for the children that are stuck in these toxic marriages.

HAMMER: Let me just make a note: Doomed from the start. That is what goes down for Brit and K-Fed. But speaking of the children, we have to talk about one of nastiest battles in Hollywood. David Hasselhoff versus Pamela Bach, they had two kids together. And of course, that horrific videotape came out, shot by their own daughter, David Hasselhoff disgustingly drunk. The tape leaks out.

Let`s say, Judge Toler, they come to you, to "Decision House" after a tape like that comes out, could anything have been done?

TOLER: Certainly. Something can always be done. We as people, as human being, are never part the point of not being able to change our behavior. We can always do better than we do.

And if they were -- if they were properly focused, with the proper help, of course they can change. They can change without that, if that indeed they can put their children above their wants and desires. The question is, is that where they are? Is that what they want to do? It`s not, you know, a forgone conclusion that this thing has to be horrible. But if they`re not focused on doing something else, no change will occur because there`s no motivation for change.

HAMMER: And back to the point you were just making, Tara. Talking about the kids getting involved, I was wondering if this is the kind of thing you see there in "Decision House" because the kids -- you know, the parent always says this has nothing to do with you when they get the divorce, but then the kids wind up in the middle.

FIELDS: Well, absolutely. And these couples come into "Decision House" -- we see it with celebrities, and I see it with lay people, in my practice. They act like these terrible marriages are hostage situations. They`re not. The only one that`s a hostage are these children. So with Judge Lynn`s help we really get them to see the damage that they are doing to their children. And sometimes that is the only motivation that gets them to do the work they need to do in "Decision House," to make life different.

Some of them actually say, you know what, that was enough to say we`re going to stay married but we`re going to do it differently. Or we are going to get divorced and we`re not going to allow these children to be dragged through or used -- or used, so then they grow up and they`re in a toxic marriage or they marry an alcoholic. Gee, I wonder where that enabling started? Just look at David Hasselhoff.

HAMMER: Exactly. There`s not a person, I think that wouldn`t agree with the fact when that happens, is it just hideous.

I want to thank you both for being on our program tonight. Judge Toler, Tara Fields, catch "Decision House" Wednesday on My Network TV.

Well, actor Jake Gyllenhaal certainly doesn`t claim to have all the answers, but he does have some very surprising things to say. Coming up, I sat down with Jake recently so we could talk about his new film. Find exactly why he says his new movie forever changed him. It is a shocking film. You definitely will not want to miss what Jake told me.

Also this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: It`s hard for me to sit here because I`m not taking one side or the other. But to not get the other side for the book just blows me away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: My tense challenge with the author of an explosive book about Anna Nicole Smith`s death. Claims in the book are truly sensational and it has the people at the center of it threatening to sue. It is the interview you will see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

The author of the sensational new book about Anna Nicole Smith comes to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT to speak back directly to the uproar, and specifically to what Larry Birkhead said in his only extensive TV interview, and that was on CNN`s "Larry King Live."

Rita Cosby is the author of "Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith`s Death", which makes explosive claims. The book claims that a sex videotape exists of Larry Birkhead and Howard K. Stern and that Birkhead and Stern secretly worked out a deal in which Birkhead would get the baby, and Stern would become the executor of the estate.

I sat down with Cosby for a one-on-one, no holds barred interview and I asked her why she decided not go directly to Birkhead and Stern for their side of the story. And why she relied on some questionable sources for the book.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RITA COSBY, AUTHOR, "BLONDE AMBITION": We do have someone who is certainly credible, who Larry Birkhead himself has said is a credible person in the past. These people are credible that day, but when they don`t give information that he likes, they are not credible?

(CROSS TALK)

ANDERSON: Well, your sources have been called into question. And Larry Birkhead and Howard K. Stern`s lawyers say you did not check with them about these stories. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY BIRKHEAD, FATHER OF ANNA NICOLE`S CHILD: She didn`t have the decency to pick up the phone -- and she knows my phone number, because she`s called it -- and she didn`t call it when she was writing a book and she has called relatives and friends, and try to poke around. And didn`t tell any of them she was writing a book.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: OK, you have interviewed Larry before. As a journalist, why didn`t you get his side of the story? Or Howard K. Stern`s, for that matter?

COSBY: Actually we did use their side of the story. We used -- they did a lot of interviews -- Larry Birkhead, believe me, is in no shortage of being on the camera, he seems to really enjoy the camera.

ANDERSON: But for the book? The claims in the book --

(CROSS TALK)

COSBY: Because knew that he would also try to stop it. Larry Birkhead does not want the truth to come out, Brooke. He doesn`t want to face it. He can say what whatever he wants to say, he can say whatever little, "Harry Potter" fairytale land. But the truth is the truth. And I think it`s shameful that he doesn`t want to admit to even one part of it. And it`s all of these people who are in the know, who are knowledgeable, these are not just wacky things. And if you look at a lot of things, we have documents in our book, we have other things in our book. This is not some fictional thing that we woke up one day --

ANDERSON: But you know how stories get turned around --

(CROSS TALK)

COSBY: Absolutely. By Larry Birkhead. We knew it. We knew it going in.

(CROSS TALK)

ANDERSON: When you`re trusting someone without seeing a purported videotape. To put those claims out there to the public.

COSBY: That`s a fair claim. But on the other hand we also other people who are corroborating it, and we have other material. When you look at all of these things put together a lot of people would have done the exact same thing. I mean, we have powerful stuff. This is not some master collusion, some master plan. All of these people who don`t know each other happen to know each other say X, X, X? You know, Larry Birkhead would love the public to think that, and that`s not the case.

ANDERSON: You are clearly standing by your book.

COSBY: 100 percent.

ANDERSON: 100 percent? Are you sure that everything in this book is factual. That you have not made one single mistake?

COSBY: We are sure. We stand by it. We know what we did. We know the research that went into it. It`s some extraordinary research. And I`m glad you are asking me this, because we spent so much time. We did such in- depth detailed investigation. This was not some haphazard thing. This was very comprehensive, very detailed. We`re sure what we have.

ANDERSON: I`m sorry for the pause there because I -- it`s hard for me to sit here because I`m not taking one side or the other, but to not get the other side for the book just blows me away.

COSBY: And you know what? I will tell you we did talk to Howard K. Stern`s attorney on a number of points. We did call him a number of times along the way. I can tell you that we spoke to people close to Larry Birkhead. Much closer than he even knows.

ANDERSON: So, he -- you`re saying he was informed that a book was being written?

COSBY: No he was not informed and that is accurate.

ANDERSON: Why didn`t you inform them, as a journalist?

COSBY: I think it`s a fair question, but we I think we also used a lot of Larry Birkhead`s comments. If you look, Larry Birkhead was all over the news talking about a million things. I also knew that if we went to Larry Birkhead we knew what he`d say. He`d say, deny, deny, deny. We knew that. We knew it from the get-go. We knew what we were getting into. I`m surprised how much heavy-handed they are. I mean calling media organizations, doing everything.

You know, they were threatening to sue before they even knew what was in the book. What if my book was a feature book? And I found that very kind of telling. You know? It was called, you know -- we know what the title is "Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith`s Death". And when the title came out, when he heard that, he was threatening to sue. What does that say to you?

ANDERSON: Did you feel morally any problems with going threw with this? Because in the Bahamas didn`t you have dinner with Larry Birkhead, and personally it seemed to be a friend, in a way.

COSBY: No, he knew -- and I was a journalist covering it. But you know, I believed in Larry Birkhead. I am also glad you brought that up, because I got to spend so much time with this guy. I believed in him more than anybody, I really did. Then I saw some things that were making my stomach sick. And I saw other things, through the summer that really made my stomach sick. And I didn`t go into, you know, the book -- it wasn`t my goal in the book to do this.

I mean, I had some inkling of some of the things. But I would have -- believe me, at the end of the day, in my research, with all of the people we talked to -- and again, we talk to people on all sides. We talk to people close to Howard, we talked to people close to Larry. We talked to a lot of people, many more than I think they even realize. And at the end of the day, if it had been a very different story, we would have reported it. I have no agenda. I`m a journalist. I would have reported it any way it came.

ANDERSON: OK, so looking at the reaction, hindsight 20/20 always, would you have done nothing differently? If you had to go back and do the same interviews, the same investigations, would you have done nothing differently?

COSBY: I am happy with what we did. I`m very proud of what we did. I stand by what we did. I think Larry Birkhead knows what we have. And that`s why I think he`s reacting the way he is.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Howard K. Stern and his attorney Lynn Wood released a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, saying that, "Mr. Stern will file and aggressively pursue a libel case against Ms. Cosby and publishers. All of the accusations in the published reports are false and defamatory."

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT also reached out to Jackie Hatten, a source named in the book, as a former friend of Anna Nicole Smith`s. She has not responded to our calls for comments.

HAMMER: Well, the star of new movie "Rendition" tells me that making the film opened his eyes like never before. I sat down with Jake Gyllenhaal at the Toronto International Film Festival. And we talked about the shocking film.

In it, Gyllenhaal he plays CIA analyst Douglas Freeman, who is forced to question his assignment as he becomes a party to the torture of an Egyptian-born America who is suspected of terrorist activities.

Now, I asked Jake what he thinks of the government`s use of secret torture and you may be shocked at what he told me. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE GYLLENHAAL, ACTOR: I believe that governments and I think presidents should act as parents to a country, you know? And I think there are things that that country needs to know and there are things that it doesn`t. But I think that honesty is first and foremost. And I think people know when someone`s honest or not, really deeply inside them.

HAMMER: So, in some ways it can be justifiable if the ends are proper?

GYLLENHAAL: Yes, I think that`s the debate in the movie. That`s the extraordinary scene between Peter Sarsgard (ph) and Meryl Streep. When they meet and Peter says you`re torturing somebody, and she says but we`re keeping 5,000 people alive by torturing one person.

HAMMER: Yes.

GYLLENHAAL: So, the debate is what it`s about. I think the debate is what it`s always about. I think that -- that`s what makes, you know -- you can come to a resolution that way, some interesting resolution.

Whereas one person takes a stance just demands that`s how it goes. And then, like, imposes it on the rest of the world. I think that that`s wrong. We learned while we were doing it, that first the scene while he`s being drowned. At first he was going to have his head put in water, and then had learned actually what was done was that they put a hood over the prisoner`s head. And they till him on his book back tie him up pour water on his face so he can`t move.

So, the brutality of it, I think, the just insanity of it, I think, is what we were learning as we were going on, as we were going through it. And we weren`t going like -- we weren`t even thinking about the rights and the wrongs at the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: It is a powerful film. "Rendition" will be in theaters everywhere on October 19th.

Well, Susan Sarandon certainly never one to mince her words. When I spoke with her, she was as honest as ever. Still ahead, you are going to find out what Susan said when I asked her what she really thinks of the front-runners in the presidential race. Who is she rooting for? You won`t want to miss this. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight one of my favorite actresses the Oscar-winning Susan Sarandon, never one to mince words. And she certainly had a lot say to me. Sarandon is staring the new movie, "Mr. Woodcock" along with Billy Bob Thornton. In it she plays a single mom who gets engaged to her son`s former gym teacher.

Now, it`s a funny movie. But Susan and I got quite serious as she is want to do when you talk politics. I brought up the presidential race and I asked her who she`s pulling for. Here`s what she told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN SARANDON, ACTRESS: I always liked Edwards because he`s really authentic and he`s been very outspoken and right on the case, and working with the poor and unions. I think he`s a real middle class representative, really cares.

He`s not getting traction in the media. I think it`s much sexier to put the black man against the woman candidate. And that kind of gets going. I`m waiting to, you know, still waiting the verdict. I`m waiting to hear somebody get real. I want some authenticity, I don`t care what color, what gender they are. I want somebody that`s just authentic. And I think the American people do, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Susan also told me that we cannot underestimate the American public, which I completely agree with. "Mr. Woodcock" opens nationwide this weekend.

ANDERSON: It is time now to see what is coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we`ve got George Clooney and he is unplugged. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is at the Toronto Film Festival where Clooney`s making some controversial comments about the political world. Why he says America just may not be ready to send a woman and a black man to the White House. It`s the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also, Team Obama versus Team Hillary. Hollywood split right down the middle. But who is pulling for whom? Could Oprah`s endorsement of Senator Barack Obama help him win the White House? We`ll get to the heart of issues that are making stars stand up and be counted. That is tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Well that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Happy New Year, if you`re celebrating. Thanks 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 right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News".

END