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More O.J. Controversy; Britney`s Meltdown Continues

Aired September 18, 2007 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: Did Rosie O`Donnell snub Oprah Winfrey? I`m AJ hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: And Nicole Richie`s boyfriend opens up about whether he is afraid to become a dad. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, new OJ shockers. Startling details about what went down in the Vegas hotel room that landed OJ in jail. Tonight, dramatic new twists and turns that may mean this really could be the beginning of the end for OJ. Is there any way he can avoid going to jail for a long, long time? Tonight, the late-breaking developments and a SHOWBIZ special report, is OJ Simpson done.

Tonight, Britney`s massive meltdown. Shocking new claims from her former bodyguard about how Britney Spears behaves around her kids. But why is he coming forward now? Why was he fired?


GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: Our client was prepared to testify on issues of nudity, drug use, and safety issues involving the children.


HAMMER: Tonight, the bodyguard`s attorney is right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT to tell all. Plus why it seems everyone surrounding Britney is turning on her. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals why Britney may be having the ultimate meltdown.

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

ANDERSON: Hi there, I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you from Hollywood. It is a night of bombshells, from Britney Spears to OJ Simpson. We have the Britney bodyguard shocker, coming up.

HAMMER: First tonight, OJ Simpson. This is getting to be like a bad B movie. Today, one of the players in the armed robbery case is rushed to the hospital. We`re hearing more dramatic audio of what really happened in a Las Vegas hotel room that got OJ tossed in jail. And the guy who claimed that he got robbed is telling his side of the story. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT keeping up with the late-breaking developments.


HAMMER (voice-over): OJ`s alleged armed robbery in a hotel room is becoming one doosie of a Las Vegas crime story. Instead of the slick, high-tech sheen of "Oceans 11."

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: You`re either in or you`re out, right now.

HAMMER: OJ`s six is a wild and unbelievable Vegas caper involving six questionable characters. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is telling you, many of them are now coming forward with their own spin on what went down in that Las Vegas hotel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just like a home invasion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I believe he was set up.

HAMMER: For the first time, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has heard the entire tape of that alleged Las Vegas robbery, which was obtained by Listen to the angry threat from OJ as he allegedly robbed two men of memorabilia OJ claims is his.


HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you one of the two alleged robbery victims is dealing with even more trouble. Sports collector Bruce Fromong reportedly was rushed to the hospital with chest pains.

ALFRED BEARDSLEY, ALLEGED ROBBERY VICTIM: They came into the room like policemen or military-style people.

HAMMER: Alfred Beardsley, the other alleged robbery victim, went on "Larry King Live" to detail how he says he was roughed up.

BEARDSLEY: This guy came over and ordered me at gun point to pack the items up in the boxes we brought them in. I refused. And I was sitting in a chair and I was told to -- to get the F up, and get the F up. And I did get up.

HAMMER: What about OJ`s claim that the sports memorabilia at the center of the caper rightfully belongs to him.

BEARDSLEY: There is a lot of controversy going on about who is the owner of the items right now. The best thing I could say is, I would rather let a judge decide who is the rightful owner of these items.

HAMMER: Glad he cleared that up. OJ Simpson is being held without bail in a jail cell just like this one. He is denying this was a robbery and denies that guns were involved. His alleged accomplices, Clarence Stewart and Walter Alexander, also face charges and Alexander went on CNN`s "Larry King Live" to talk about the incident, sort of.

WALTER ALEXANDER, ALLEGED OJ ACCOMPLICE: I can`t reveal it at this time because it could be incriminating.

HAMMER: But what Alexander would say is this bombshell claim; OJ was set up.

ALEXANDER: It`s very obvious that Thomas Riccio (ph) had intentions to set OJ up. And that`s what happened.

HAMMER: Who is Thomas Riccio. Well, for one, says he is the guy who secretly recorded this now famous tape.


HAMMER: Riccio himself says he was the one who first told OJ that some of the stuff was being sold in Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no break-in. OJ was not the one with the gun. And, you know, he did not steal anything. He and his people confiscated the stuff. That`s basically what happened.

HAMMER: Meanwhile, as the 21st century Simpson case unfolds. Figures from the 20th century case are coming out of the woodwork.

KATO KAELIN, FORMER OJ HOUSE GUEST: He keeps getting in the news for terrible things. I don`t know why.

HAMMER: Former Simpson house guest Kato Kaelin also went on "Larry King Live" to riff on the case and OJ`s best-selling book "If I Did It," now headed for its second printing.

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Do you make anything of the coincide with the book being published?

KAELIN: At least he has another book now, if I robbed it.

HAMMER: Whether or not more books are in OJ`s future, things aren`t looking good for him, as he sits in jail waiting for Wednesday`s court hearing. Even his alleged accomplice doesn`t like the chances of the Juice shaking this latest mess.

ALEXANDER: I believe he will wind up going to jail.


HAMMER: And the news gets even worse for OJ tonight. Prosecutors officially filed charges against OJ and three other men late today. Besides the robbery charges, they`re now also charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and first degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon. Also today a judge tentatively denied the Goldman family`s request to order Simpson to turn over the loot he allegedly sold. The Goldman`s, of course, are doing everything possible to try to collect on the 33 million dollar wrongful death civil judgment against Simpson.

ANDERSON: Tomorrow, a dramatic day in court for OJ Simpson. Will he get out of jail? Here to discuss that and all the latest shocking developments are, in New York, Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom, also in New York political analyst Kelly Goff. Ladies, great to see you both. As we just heard, one of the more startling things I heard was from Alfred Beardsley, the guy OJ allegedly robbed, on Larry King, saying hey, he may have been set up. Set up? Lisa, do you buy that?

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: I have been saying that for the last couple days. Let`s put the fact together. Riccio is the one who told OJ that these guys had his stuff. Riccio goes with OJ to reclaim the stuff. Riccio brings an audio tape recorder, hits record right at the perfect moment, when the incident begins, and then turns around and sells the tape, by his own admission, for good money to, instead of giving it to the police.

I think Riccio looks bad. Having said that, it`s not a defense to armed robbery for OJ. It just makes Riccio look just as bad as OJ looks.

ANDERSON: Go ahead, kelly.

KELLI GOFF, POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the bigger point though is I don`t think anybody cares whether or not OJ Simpson is set up. Of all the things in life to be worried about and to spread sympathy for, especially with all the injustices in our criminal justice system, I really don`t think too many people are going to be losing sleep over the idea that OJ Simpson might have been set up, when most people thought he was freed for murder.

ANDERSON: Yes, do you think people can look at this incident on its own or is everyone looking at this as well as what happened over a decade ago?

GOFF: It`s really no different than what Paris Hilton found out the hard way. Right? Which is that everyone said from a legal standpoint she shouldn`t be in jail as long as she was. At the end of the day, no one likes her. That`s what it boiled down to. At the end of the day, no one likes OJ Simpson. In fact, they actually -- he`s maybe the one person that people hate even more than Paris Hilton.

ANDERSON: Yes, for good reason. That is saying a lot, actually. One of the other things that Alfred Beardsley told Larry King is just as stunning. Take a listen to this.


BEARDSLEY: When he came through that door with his guys, he yelled out, police! They came into that room like policemen or military-style people. They were well-dressed. It was a takeover -- takeover situation. And they knew what they were doing.


ANDERSON: All right, hold on just a second. Lisa, we hadn`t heard that before. Do you think OJ could also be charged with impersonating cops. This guy thought it was some sort of police or military operation.

BLOOM: Exactly, and couple that with the fact that these guys all come through the door, military-style. What we heard on the audio tape is OJ barking orders. He clearly is pretending to be some kind of law enforcement. On the other hand, everybody knows this is OJ. He knows these guys. They know him. They know he is not a cop. This isn`t a room full of strangers. So I don`t know how far that is going to go.

ANDERSON: You see OJ walk into the room, allegedly as it happened, you know who the guy is. Great point. Well another bombshell we learned today. Bruce Fromong, an alleged and witness in this case, allegedly in the room at the time, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition right now, after a major heart attack he suffered. It is just one thing after another. There are the audio tapes today. We even have Kato Kaelin speaking out. Kelly, is this just the beginning of what will be an extended three-ring circus?

GAFF: I think the short answer to your question is absolutely. I think anything involving OJ Simpson is pretty much a three-ring circus by default at this point. I tell you, Brooke, if I had one wish from Santa at this point, it would probably be for him to take OJ Simpson -- make that two wishes -- OJ Simpson and the entire cast of "Flavor of Love" and just drop them all off on some deserted island, so the rest of us never have to see or hear from them ever again.

BLOOM: You know, Brooke, poor Bruce Fromog, he survived an armed robbery with OJ Simpson, but he couldn`t survive the morning show bookers.

ANDERSON: Can you imagine? I know, the stress and the pressure? Well, tomorrow is a huge day for OJ. He will be arraigned and find out whether he will be able to get out on bail. Lisa, the image of OJ fleeing in the white Bronco, white Ford Bronco, years ago looms large over this. He certainly has got to be considered a flight risk.

BLOOM: He is a flight risk. Don`t worry, it will be a low speed chase. He will be granted bail. Under the constitution, other than for homicide, he has to be offered bail. He`ll come up with the money from somewhere. OJ pulls rabbits out of the hats. He`ll get the money. He`ll get out on bail.

GAFF: I actually disagree. I don`t know that I think he is a flight risk. Quite frankly, I think he`s too big of a narcissist and an ego maniac to actually understand that perhaps he should consider becoming a flight risk. I think he`s so worried about being famous and in the public eye that in his eye, he is thinking, this is great. My book will sell better. People will ask for more autographs.

BLOOM: Maybe he`ll be on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.

ANDERSON: It will be decided tomorrow. Kelly Goff, Lisa Bloom, thank you for your insight. Now we do want to hear from you at home. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day; OJ Simpson`s new arrest, do you believe he was set up? Vote at Send us an email,

HAMMER: So is this the beginning of the end for OJ Simpson? That`s a question, as you probably remember, we were all asking 13 years ago. Here we are again asking the same question. Is there anything at all this guy will be able to do to avoid going to jail for a long time? We`ll be looking into that coming up at 30 past the hour. It`s our SHOWBIZ special report, is OJ done? We`ll also have this.


ALLRED: Our client was prepared to testify on issues of nudity by Ms. Spears, drug use, and safety issues involving the children.


ANDERSON: Britney Spears` bodyguard shocker; startling claims from Britney`s former bodyguard. Why is he coming forward now? We have his lawyer, Gloria Allred, right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT next.

HAMMER: Could it be true? Is Rosie O`Donnell snubbing the great Oprah Winfrey? Rosie has this new book coming out. Why did she possibly turn down an invite from Oprah to be on the show? Well Rosie is going to set the record straight coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m AJ Hammer in New York. Tonight, a new Britney bombshell. Startling claims from Britney Spears` former bodyguard about her behavior around her kids. The guy`s name is Tony Berrato (ph). He worked for Britney a few months after she got out of rehab back in May. Now he is alleging that Britney was under the influence of drugs in front of her two young sons. This could truly blow open the custody battle between Britney Spears and her ex-husband, Kevin Federline.

Berrato`s attorney is Gloria Allred, who is with us tonight from Salt Lake City, Utah. Gloria, thanks being with us.

ALLRED: Thank you, AJ.

HAMMER: So, you were there with Berrato as he was prepared to testify at a custody hearing on Monday. What is he claiming he saw?

ALLRED: Well, he was not called to testify from the witness stand, AJ, but Mr. Berrato did file a declaration. And had he been called to testify, he could have testified to issues involving nudity, issues involving the safety of the children, and Britney`s being under the influence in the presence of the children.

HAMMER: Can you be more specific on a couple of things. In terms of nudity, what do you mean by that?

ALLRED: Well at this point, Mr. Berrato would prefer not to be specific. But those are the general outlines of what he would have testified to. It is so interesting that he was available at the courthouse and yet Britney Spears` attorney did not call him to testify as was their right. They could have cross-examined him under oath and attempted to discredit or undermine or attack his declaration and his statements. But they did not do so.

So therefore, since they didn`t, his declaration, which is before the court, which is admitted into evidence, is unchallenged and unrebutted.

HAMMER: Some pretty serious charges in there though, were he to come forward with them, of the nudity, of the fact the children were in danger of drugs being involved somehow. I have to ask, what kind of proof does he have to back up his claims? Does he have pictures, video? Is it just his word here?

ALLRED: Well, we are not going to say what his evidence is. But in evidence is his declaration, which outlines issues that we believe and that he believes are relevant to the court`s decision, ultimately, about what is in the best interest of the children. And so I think that it was important that he was there. He was a key witness. And if the defense, or that is Britney Spears` attorneys wished to attack him, they could have done so. But they didn`t.

So anything they want to suggest at this point in the press or to the public to me is meaningless, because they didn`t put on any evidence which would suggest that he is anything but credible.

HAMMER: So Gloria, I`ve got to ask you this -- I have known you for a while now. I am curious about this. You do mention the idea that he is coming forward because it`s in the best interest of the kids. He is basically claiming that the kids could have been in some kind of danger. So why did he wait until now, when it is around the custody hearing? Why didn`t he go to the authorities sooner with the information he had if they were really in danger?

ALLRED: Well, he actually did make efforts in the past to report. But we`re glad that he is there now. He was reluctant in the past to become embroiled in the Kevin Federline-Britney Spears custody dispute. He didn`t wish to sacrifice his privacy and he was concerned about safety for his family. But his main concern also is children. He has two young children himself. He is a father. He knows that children don`t have a voice. And we need to be sure that children are not at risk.

And that is why he ultimately decided to become a witness in this case. And we`re very proved him that he did. We have, in addition, been in contact with county council for child protective services. And although we are not at liberty to say what step might be taken next, certainly there are further steps that could be taken.

HAMMER: But he didn`t go to child protective services whenever this alleged behavior was going on?

ALLRED: Well, I don`t want to indicate what exactly he did in the past. But we do think that he has acted appropriately under the circumstances.

HAMMER: Fair enough. Obviously, Gloria, I have to take the other side for a lot of other people, who may look at this as a case of sour grapes. He was fired as her bodyguard four month as go. Reports are that he didn`t hear her when she asked him to pick up her hat. Is that actually what happened?

ALLRED: Yes, he was terminated because she dropped her hat and asked him to pick up her hat. And he didn`t hear her. And she fired him. What`s unusual about that, especially, is that when she hired him, she knew that he had a hearing problem and yet fired him over something like that. But he was the only witness there yesterday who could testify or was there to testify about her relationship with the children post rehab. And he had been in her home with the children, outside of the home with the children. He had been driving her.

And he certainly was aware and was in a relationship where he could make observations that would be relevant to this custody issue.

HAMMER: Gloria Allred, I do appreciate you joining us with your special insight.

ALLRED: Thank you.

ANDERSON: It isn`t just the former bodyguard turning on Britney, everybody from her lawyer to her manager has jumped ship. Is Britney having a complete meltdown? That`s coming up. Also this.


SIMPSON: Think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?


HAMMER: Shocking new details from the audio tape that`s reported to be OJ Simpson yelling in the middle of the alleged robbery. Is this the beginning of the end for OJ? Is OJ done? That`s just ahead in a SHOWBIZ special report.

ANDERSON: And it`s Barry Mannilow versus Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Barry says she`s the reason he wasn`t a guest on "The View" today. But wait, there may be even more than meets the eye. We have a war of words involving Barry, Elizabeth, Barbara and even Rosie O`Donnell.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative news show. I`m AJ Hammer in New York. And it is yet another war of words involving "The View," this time it`s all about big Barry Manilow. Now, Manilow was supposed to be on the show today promoting his brand new album just out. On his website, Manilow says he made a request to be interviewed by anyone except Elizabeth Hasselbeck. The show said no. So he bowed out.

Now, Manilow tells that he finds Elizabeth`s views, quote, dangerous and offensive, and he refused to compromise his principles by sharing the stage with her. But Barbara Walters and "The View" producer Bill Getty (ph) are telling a different story. On Barbara`s Sirius Satellite radio show, they said it was the show that canceled the appearance, not Manilow. Getty says although they all like Barry, they do not let their guests call the shots.

ANDERSON: Yes, Bill Getty also said that Manilow is very close to Rosie O`Donnell and that could have been part of why he didn`t want to appear with Elizabeth. Now Rosie -- speaking of her. She has a new little controversy brewing over her upcoming book, "Celebrity Detox." Believe it or not, Rosie has done the unthinkable, said no to Oprah Winfrey, who asked her to be on Oprah to talk about her new book.

Rosie writes on her web site, quote, "Oprah is a force of nature. Her invitation made me cry. Her kind words about the book reinforces what we all know to be true about her. For now, I decided no interviews about `Celebrity Detox.` It is too raw."

HAMMER: So she is not doing any. Here`s a question that will make you feel like it is 1994 all over again. Is this the beginning of the end for OJ Simpson. Now that he is in jail again is there anything he can do this time around to avoid staying there for a long time to come? That`s next in a SHOWrMD+BO_rMDNM_BrMD+BO_rMD-BO_IZ special report, is OJ done?

ANDERSON: And is Britney Spears having a complete meltdown? There is the custody battle, her awful performance at the VMA`s. Now, her manager and lawyer have quit. And even a former bodyguard is turning on her. That`s coming up. Also this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have the best girlfriend in the world. She is a amazing.


HAMMER: That`s sweet. The man who impregnated Nicole Richie speaking out like never before. Joel Madden (ph) talking about Nicole and whether he is afraid of his impending fatherhood. That is coming up. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.



HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, is it all over for O.J.? Tonight we have startling new parts of a tape, O.J. Simpson allegedly in the middle of a shocking purported armed robbery.


O.J. SIMPSON: Don`t let nobody out this room. Mother (BLEEP) ers!

Think you can steal my (BLEEP) and sell it?



HAMMER: So, the big question is, after so many people think he should have been found guilty of killing his ex-wife Nicole and her friend, Ron, a decade ago is there anything that can save O.J. this time? It is a fired up SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report -- "Is O.J. Done?"

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, I`m A.J. Hammer broadcasting tonight, and every night, from New York City.

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

All right, tonight, it is like 1994 all over again, A.J. Coast to coast outrage, people divided and the guy at the center of it all, O.J. Simpson.

HAMMER: It`s like we`re flashing back in time. The latest on O.J.`s startling arrest for purported armed robbery of sports memorabilia in a hotel in Vegas.

One of the alleged victims says the way the men burst into the room he thought it was a police or military operation going on. O.J. is currently being held without bail in a Las Vegas jail; he`s scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow. A California judge denied a request to order Simpson to turn over the items he allegedly stole.

The whole controversy seems like some kind of a weird cosmic irony. O.J. Simpson back in jail, but this time we now know, for allegedly stealing sports memorabilia. And the evidence seems to be piling up against O.J. Tonight, in our special report we`re asking "Is O.J. Done?"

We have a panel that is fired up and ready to go. Joining me from New York, Court TV host, Lisa Bloom; also in New York, attorney Bruce Baron, and political analyst Keli Goff.

Tonight we have more of the unbelievable tape obtained by in which we hear what is claimed to be a robbery going down at this Vegas hotel. We can now tell you purported Simpson tape goes on for six, count them, six, six, excruciating minutes. Revealing a terrifying scene, and at the center of it there is an eerily familiar voice. Apparently more proof that it is in fact O.J. Simpson. Listen to this.


SIMPSON: I trusted you man!




SIMPSON: Where`d you get all my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) personal (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I bought it from Mike.

BEARDSLEY: Mike sold it all, right? You know --

SIMPSON: Bag this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up. Bag it. Bag it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you bring this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in, man?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said they were friends of yours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you bring it in?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to ask you one more (EXPLETIVE DELETED) time --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Doughboy came and got it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Although Mike said this to Bruce, man. He sold --


SIMPSON: No, man! Y`all didn`t know about this.

BEARDSLEY: About two years ago, O.J.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lawyer`s at the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hotel, waiting right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you mad at me?

SIMPSON: I thought you were a straight shooter, man.



HAMMER: Wow, reality TV doesn`t than that. Court TV`s Lisa Bloom, let me start with you. Assuming this is the real deal, sounds pretty damning doesn`t it?

LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, COURT TV: I don`t know, I think it supports O.J.`s position all along. This is his stuff. He just went to get his stuff back. He certainly sounds hostile, he`s profanity laced, but that is not against the law. The question is, did he bring a gun to the situation? Did he conspire to bring a gun to the situation, did he threaten anybody? I`m not hearing that on the tape.

KELI GOFF, POLITICAL ANALYST: Although, I think it does support the position of most Americans he seems like a bit of a lunatic, who has really crummy judgment. In the eyes of most Americans who think he probably got away with murder that will be much more damning than whether he actually had a weapon on him.

HAMMER: Bruce Baron, what do you think? Because it does seem so incriminating. Everyone that I`ve been talking to, Lisa Bloom, excepted, really does think, wow, they got him right there.

BRUCE BARON, ATTORNEY: Listen this tape is very incriminating. First of all, let`s not forget, it`s in some one else`s room. It`s not in the hallway, it`s not in the elevator. It is in somebody else`s room. But what`s interesting, there`s been a lot of talk about guns.

Now, in the tape you don`t hear anyone saying there is a gun, or anything about the gun. However, let`s not forget you have cooperating witnesses and if it turns out that they all state that there were guns involved, let`s not forget you don`t have O.J. saying, hey what are you doing with that gun? Put that gun away. That`s the problem.

HAMMER: What a tangled web. Now hearing from one of the alleged victims, a guy named, Alfred Beardsley, he says, that -- this is the memorabilia collector, by the way -- he is claiming that O.J., and the three guys who were involved here, stormed their way into a hotel room. And -- and said that they were holding him at gun point. Let`s listen to what Beardsley told Larry King after he heard this audio tape.


ALFRED BEARDSLEY: I can say that is O.J. Simpson`s voice. That is my voice in one part. But I don`t know if that tape was manipulated in any way by Tom Riccio, who made it.


HAMMER: So, Kelly let me go to you on this. Beardsley said, yep, that is O.J.`s voice, so I think that goes along with what you were saying a moment ago. Seems to me it is a nail in the coffin, so to speak, if it in fact is even admissible. I don`t know if you can speak to that?

GOFF: I think it is actually kind of irrelevant. I mean, I`m not trying to be evasive here, but I think that at the end of the day, look, we all know that criminal justice system is not fair. That`s been proven time and time again including with his own case.

And the Rodney King case, and countless others. So that being said. I think a lot of times, we know it is a lot less about the evidence and much more about the character of the person. And people believe that O.J. Simpson got away with murder and they want to nail him. Now yes, was he possibly set up? Could be, could be not. But at the end of the day just because some one gives you a noose doesn`t mean you have to hang yourself with it. If somebody is out to get him.


BARRON: I think it`s very important.


BLOOM: The problem with that theory though, is that it`s I just wrong. In 2001 O.J. went to trial in a road rage case. He was acquitted. People hated him then just as much as they hate him now.

BARON: It`s more important --


BARON: A.J., I think it`s very important for everyone to ask one question. I really haven`t heard anyone ask throughout all the coverage. What is O.J. doing in a 10-year post civil judgment era with an abundance of memorabilia. He is not supposed to own this stuff because it has value. Now if you take that, coupled with the fact that he said the reason why he didn`t call the police and went in with his own posse is because they haven`t helped him in the past. We all know 10 years ago the police were of great assistance to him getting acquitted when they were on trial.

However, I believe the reality of it is that he didn`t want to uncover what may very well be a money laundering operation with memorabilia that he is running.

HAMMER: You make a good point. Want do want to get to another piece of tape here because this goes back to what we have been talking about a possible setup. Two other men charged in this case. A guy named Walter Alexander, among them. He spoke with Larry King as well last night. This is what he said.


WALTER ALEXANDER, ROBBERY SUSPECT: I believe he was set up. I believe the whole thing was a set up. You see it was taped. You know, I believe that -- that it was a setup. It`s very obvious that Thomas Riccio had intentions to set O.J. up. And that`s what happened.


HAMMER: Lisa Bloom, let me go back to you. Because you suggested earlier in the program, not out of the question as far as you are concerned. But it sounds really familiar when talking about O.J. Simpson. Is it too much to expect, O.J. could avoid a trap like this, or is this really just a convenient excuse that is rearing its head now that this thing is blowing up.

BLOOM: It`s not a defense to armed robbery that somebody set you up. Nobody could set me up to commit an armed robbery. But on the other hand, why is Riccio bringing a tape recorder into the situation hitting record, just at the right time turning around and selling it to TMZ. That makes him look bad as a witness. That is good for O.J., because the more the prosecution witnesses start to fall apart the better chances for acquittal for O.J.

BARON: However, the truth of the matter what is more important in this particular case that this time around justice appears as though it is served. Let`s not allow the judge, let`s not allow the district attorney, in this case, to prosecute this defendant based on prior anger, prior misses, and prior crimes.

GOFF: That`s impossible.

BARON: Not impossible, because you have to believe in the justice system.


GOFF: You know what, I`m sorry. A lot of people don`t and certainly a lot of African-Americans don`t. That`s why you have the big racial divide and how people reacted, how they felt when O.J. got acquitted there is a sense there is a black man who had the money and power to buy the same unfair system.

BARON: Well, that`s not the case. It`s one Constitution for all people.

GOFF: But it doesn`t work equally.

BARON: The bottom line is. It does work equally.

GOFF: No it doesn`t. You can tell all the men sitting on death row who have finally been acquitted because of DNA.

BARON: Then, how do you excuse the fact that O.J. Simpson walked 10 years ago?

GOFF: Because he is rich, because he is rich! And that`s what I was saying --

BARON: Because he`s rich?

GOFF Because he`s right.

BARON: It`s not. It wasn`t because he is rich.

GOFF: Because he could afford Johnnie Cochran.

BARON: It`s because, unfortunately, he played the race card. So, he got what he desired.

BLOOM: It helped everybody in L.A. --


HAMMER: Hold on. Hold on. Before we run out of time here, at the heart of our SHOWBIZ special report tonight, we`re asking, "Is O.J. Done?" Is his goose finally cooked? Let`s throw that around. Lisa Bloom, let me start with you?

BLOOM: He is the Teflon defendant. Do not rule him out. So far, he`s 2-0 in the criminal justice system. This could be the third.

HAMMER: Keli, what do you think? You`re sort of saying, yeah, maybe not. I don`t know.

GOFF: To add to what Lisa said, there`s also the sentiment, of three strikes and you are out. He`s on his third. I`d say that O.J. Simpson needs to change his name to Al Capone, who a lot of people forget was the big mob don, who wasn`t taken down for murder, prostitution, all the other stuff he was engaged in. He was taken down by low-level crime of tax evasion. And I think O.J. is on his way.

HAMMER: Bruce Baron, take me out here. Is there any chance that we will see O.J. put away for a long, long time?

BARON: I believe you are going to see that. I think that his final arrogance caught up with him. And based upon the evidence and the -- this particular time, don`t forget, there were no witnesses 10 years ago. But you have witnesses and cooperating witnesses now. Think you are going to see him done.

BLOOM: And a tape.

HAMMER: The carnival ride is just beginning ladies and gentlemen. Lisa Bloom, Bruce Baron, Keli Goff. I appreciate you being with us for the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report.

ANDERSON: Tonight, the people closest to Britney Spears are totally fed up. Her lawyer, her manager, they quit. Even a former bodyguard with shocking claims about how she behaves around her children. I don`t know is there anything that can save her? It just keeps getting worse and worse. I`ve got the latest on Britney`s meltdown next.

Also this:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have the best girlfriend in the world. She is amazing.


HAMMER: He`s talking about Nicole Richie. Yeah, that`s Nicole`s boyfriend. Joel Madden. He`s opening up like never before. That he and Nicole are about to have a baby. Is he nervous about being a daddy? Find out coming up.

ANDERSON: Hey, A.J., there`s a guy in Iowa who is really branching out. When it comes to showing his affection for a very special lady. Yeah, there`s a bad tree joke in there. Find out what I`m talking about coming up. Stay with us.


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

Tonight, I really hate to say this, but Britney Spears seems to be melting down faster than the Wicked Witch of the West. The latest slaps in the face? Her high-powered manager and bulldog divorce attorney have both dropped her like a hot potato. To make matters worse, her former bodyguard went to court to tell a judge that Britney is a danger to her kids.

With us tonight, in New York, family attorney Vikki Ziegler, and in Hollywood, Howard Bragman, founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations.

Welcome to you both.

I want to take all the latest unfortunate bad news for Britney, one by one, piece by piece. Let`s start with her former bodyguard. Tony Barratto, who turned up at the courthouse for the latest custody battle between -- the latest hearing between Britney and K-Fed. And here`s what his attorney, Gloria Allred had to say. Listen to this.


GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY FOR KEVIN FEDERLINE: Our client was prepared to testify on issues of nudity by Ms. Spears, drug use, and safety issues involving the children post rehab.


ANDERSON: Drugs, nudity, security concerns. All right, if this guy turns out to be legitimate with these claims, this, Vikki, could be really bad for Britney? What kind of impact could he have on the custody battle?

VIKKI ZIEGLER, FAMILY ATTORNEY: This is damaging evidence. If, in fact, this gentleman is credible -- which we don`t know yet -- signing a declaration, under oath, does not mean that his allegations can substantiated. But if they are, if they can prove K-Fed`s team can prove there was drugs, post rehab, and there was nudity in front of these children, neglect, there is a major downfall here for her losing custody of these children.

ANDERSON: Really troublesome claims. Could be very damaging, as you say. If that weren`t bad enough, just as we are hearing about this. Britney`s high powered manager the guy she hired to get her back on track, Jeff Kwatinetz, walked away after just working with her after only about a month. This is really unheard of in Hollywood. He did release a statement saying, quote, "It saddens us to confirm media reports that we have terminated our professional relationship with Britney Spears. We believe Britney is enormously talented and has made a terrific record, but current circumstances have prevented us from properly doing our job."

Howard, you are the guy who works in image control in Hollywood. This is pretty stunning isn`t it?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, FIFTEEN MINUTES PUBLIC RELATIONS: It`s actually not that stunning. Those of us in the representation business realize if our client is not going to listen and making a lot of mistakes it will reflect on us ultimately. What you want to do is really create a distance and separate yourself. So, not stunning at all. I mean Jeff -- and he`s just one of the smartest guys around. And smart enough to know when he has to cut his losses.

ANDERSON: Cut his losses very quickly in fact. Howard, I`d hate to ask you if you would even want to take on the job of having Britney as your client. Let`s say you are a brave soul. Is this even fixable at this point?

BRAGMAN: You know I am brave. You know some of my clients.

ANDERSON: Absolutely.

BRAGMAN: So, it`s fixable if she would listen. I think that is the whole issue here. She had the best divorce attorney in town, one of the best managers in town. She had a very solid publicist and she is not listening to anybody. So, unless I really saw something that indicated that she understood that she was digging herself in a hole. She had to make some dramatic changes. If I saw that I would be willing to have a discussion. Absent that, I think I`m going to take a pass, Brooke.

ANDERSON: OK, well we have the bodyguard speaking out, the manager quitting. And get this, Britney`s high-powered, take no prisoners attorney Laura Wasser, also threw in the towel, quit as her lawyer saying, quote, "I don`t want anyone to perceive that we`re dumping Britney."

Vikki, come on, this is the woman who fought tooth and nails for Britney. What would make an attorney like this just want to walk away from the client?

ZIEGLER: This is what happens. Clients don`t listen. They don`t take your advice, all of a sudden things pop up in the media, especially, with high-profile clients that you didn`t know. You are the last to know. Being the attorney representing the client, you can`t have a due diligent case, you can`t do the best for your client, if you don`t know what`s going on.

So, basically, the bottom line is this. Every client signs a retainer agreement -- generally. If they`ve don`t live up to their responsibilities an attorney can fire them. That`s what happened. She doesn`t listen. I don`t know who she listens to, not her mother, not her friends. She doesn`t listen to her high-powered attorney. She really needs to regroup here and get somebody she can listen to that has some sound advice.

ANDERSON: First step, listen to people who are trying to help.

And, very quickly, Howard, a lot of people are saying Kevin Federline has ulterior motives, seeking more custody of the kids, that it`s all about money. His attorney says that is not the case. Quickly, do you think his intentions are noble?

BRAGMAN: I actually do think, from all we have heard from the bodyguard, taking them out at 10:00 at night, to dinner. The things she has done. I think he`s probably turned it around a little. I think Kevin has lived a really good life and I think he cares about these kids. And I`m going to give him the benefit of the doubt, right now.

ANDERSON: All right. Howard Bragman, Vikki Ziegler, we`ll leave it there for now. Thank you both.

BRAGMAN: Thanks, Brooke.

HAMMER: Lot of our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewers fired up about Britney`s meltdown. Some of you feel bad for her. Some of you say, no way, this is her own doing. We got this video e-mail from Manmeet, in Vancouver, British Columbia, who thinks Britney should have known what she was getting herself into when she decided she wanted to be a star.


MANMEET: Somebody who chooses a life in show business has to realize there are going to be ups and downs. It`s difficult for me to feel sorry for somebody who is now experiencing, the downs having experienced all the ups previously. I mean if you want to be a trader in the investment industry, you feel the great joys of trading, but you also have to get up early in the morning. There are bad situations. You go into it knowing exactly what you are getting into, and it`s incredibly difficult to feel sorry for somebody on that basis.


HAMMER: Point well made. Send us your video e-mail by checking out We`ll teach you how to do it.

ANDERSON: A.J., a lot of people thought Britney was wooden at the MTV VMAs, which is such a perfect transition to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT video of the day. Take a look at this. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses willing to breathe tree. This guy in Iowa spent 70 hours carving a tree into a pretty darn good replica of the Statue of Liberty. By the way, would you believe, like that wood, this isn`t the first time this guy has done some carving. A few years back he carved three bears. No Goldilocks, though. That is pretty special, there. That is tonight`s SHOWBIZ video of the day.

HAMMER: Say, Brooke, Joel Madden is really into Nicole Richie. Though I don`t think he is carving any trees for her, he is speaking out like never before about their relationship.


JOEL MADDEN, NICOLE RICHIE`S BOYFRIEND: I have the best girlfriend in the world. She is amazing.


HAMMER: For a guy about to become a daddy for the first time he seems as cool as a cucumber. Joel Madden having a baby with Nicole Richie and he is talking about it. That is coming up next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: When you think about it most of the time Nicole Richie has been in the news hasn`t been for good things. Her two DUI convictions, serving 82 minutes in jail, the nonstop rumors about an eating disorder. Well, tonight I am happy to report some good stuff about Richie. You know that she`s pregnant, about six months into this thing. Dad is Good Charlotte singer, Joel Madden. We caught up with Joel on the band`s tour, which is currently underway out in L.A. Got to tell you, he opened up like he never has before about his girlfriend Nicole and whether he is scared about becoming a daddy.


MADDEN: I`m not nervous at all, man. I feel cool. I feel great. I feel like, you know, it`s been a great thing for us. And we -- I have the best girlfriend in the world. She`s amazing. She`s -- supportive of me. She has been around music all her life. It`s really been something that I still have been able to, to do my music. And she`s a part of it. She -- she makes sure that she supports me, and I support her and we`re just a team.

Fatherhood I think is just about showing up and doing the best you can do and loving your kids. And all of the great fathers that I have seen, you know, my girlfriend has a great father. He, he just, you love your kids unconditionally. You show up. That`s, that`s what I think the key of being a good parent, is loving your kids and always be there for them. And I think, there is nothing to be nervous about, you know.


HAMMER: Nothing at all. By the way, that was Joel`s brother and band mate from Good Charlotte, Benji, there with him. And Joel told us he and Nicole don`t actually know yet if it is a girl or boy. And they don`t want to find out until she comes out -- or he.

ANDERSON: We have been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day: O.J. Simpson`s new arrest, do you believe he was set up? Keep voting, Write to us, We`re going to read some of your thoughts tomorrow.

HAMMER: Well O.J. will have his day in court, again. That lead us to what is coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.

Yep, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT right there as O.J. Simpson is hauled into court. He is being arraigned for his shocking armed robbery arrest in Las Vegas. And judging by the coast-to-coast outrage, what allegedly happens in Vegas, definitely does not stay in Vegas. That is tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, I`m going one-on-one with my dear friend Donald Trump. You don`t need me to tell you he will have a lot to say. Especially about Rosie O`Donnell`s new book, when Donald Trump is talking about his provocative new book. That`s coming up tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

That is it for tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I appreciate you 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, everyone.