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Special Report - How Did K-Fed Go from Zero To Hero? Celebrities Speak Out About Britney; PETA Worries About Britney`s Pets

Aired October 5, 2007 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: From wide eyed and star struck to one of the biggest stars in the world, the transformation of Brad Pitt. And will Danny Bonaduce actually face charges for knocking Johnny Fairplay`s teeth out? I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.
On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, saving Britney Spears. Tonight, Dr. Phil`s startling over the top prescription for getting Britney Spears to get her act together.

Plus, how in the world did Kevin Federline go from being a zero to a hero? And tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask the controversial question, should we feel sorry for Britney? Tonight, saving Britney Spears.

First the kids, and now the dogs? Tonight, animal activists are demanding that Britney lose her dogs too. This isn`t the first time they have gone after a big star. They have ambushed Beyonce, went after J-Lo. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the battle where the fur really flies, PETA versus the stars.

Friday night is on. I`m A.J. Hammer broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City. And tonight, Britney Spears has a brand new music video out. All right, very funny, that`s not it. You know, Friday comes around this place and everybody is a comedian. That video certainly could be Britney`s new music video, but she does have a new video out. It`s really available today online. It was released as there were growing calls for her to check herself into rehab, or perhaps to do something even more drastic to save herself.

Tonight, none other than the great Dr. Phil is giving explosive advice to Britney to get her act together. This comes just days after a judge gave her custody of kids to her ex husband Kevin Federline. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, Dr. Phil is not the only celebrity to jump on the let`s help Britney band wagon.


DR. PHIL, TV TALK SHOW HOST: I do think she is a suicide risk. Right now, I believe Britney is so out of control she probably couldn`t stop this if she wanted to.

HAMMER: Alarming words about Britney Spears from Dr. Phil. On a special edition of his daily talk show, the popular TV psychologist gave a shocking opinion; Britney might be a suicide risk who needs to be watched 24/7.

DR. PHIL: Maybe she needs to be involuntarily committed. She is not using good judgment. If you are addicted to drugs, if you are addicted to alcohol -- and I don`t know if she is, but there is a lot of indications that she may have that problem -- then I`m not sure that she can trust herself to think through that in a reasonable way.

JO PIAZZA, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": It`s not entirely far-fetched that Britney should maybe be on suicide watch.

HAMMER: Jo Piazza of the "New York Daily News" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT it`s easy to see why Dr. Phil is so alarmed.

PIAZZA: Watching what Britney has gone through all summer and culminating this week, we have all had the thought, maybe Britney will kill herself. Maybe she has reached a breaking point.

HAMMER: And what a week it`s been for Britney.

ALLAN PARACHINI, LA SUPERIOR COURT SPOKESMAN: Mr. Federline has primary custody.

HAMMER: A court has temporarily taken her kids from her and given custody to their father, her ex-husband Kevin Federline. Britney got slammed left and right for skipping a big custody hearing.

HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: How could this woman do this when her right of custody with her children is on the line. It is just bizarre.

DR. PHIL: This is a frightening situation to me, probably like it is to a lot of you, and a lot of people that love Britney.

HAMMER: But as Dr. Phil expresses concern about Britney, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you he`s not alone. Celebrities are coming out like never before to talk about how Britney could be saved. Even Roseanne Barr looked concerned when asked her about the troubled pop star.

ROSEANNE BARR, ACTRESS: I`m going to call her. I think she needs a mother.

SHARON OSBOURNE, "THE OSBOURNES": My heart goes out to her.

HAMMER: Sharon Osborne`s famous family, including hubby Ozzy, has given her first hand knowledge on celebrity and addiction. On the "Ellen Degeneres Show," Sharon gave Britney some motherly advice.

OSBOURNE: She`s just got to get herself away from L.A. She`s got to get out of this town. You know, go away, get some therapy, and she`s going to come back and she`s going to be the Britney that we love and know. And I just wish that people would give her a break. I feel so bad for her.

HAMMER: And Ellen jumped in too.

ELLEN DEGENERES, "ELLEN": She`s got to find some really positive wonderful people that are going to steer her in the right direction instead of surrounding herself with party people.

HAMMER: Jennifer Lopez has been around the block of celebrity a few times, and now she`s making headlines with her own comments on Britney and extreme celebrity. She says, quote, "I feel so bad when I see people going through the beginnings of it, because it`s not fun. You just have to learn how to navigate it because if you don`t, it will eat you up."

L.L. COOL J, RAPPER: We need to embrace Britney and show her that we can be compassionate.

HAMMER: L.L. Cool J also expressed some Britney sympathy when I spoke with him.

COOL J: For the average person, it`s hard to feel sorry for a millionaire. It`s hard to feel sorry for someone who has 100 million bucks in the bank, and it looks like the world is their oyster. It`s hard to find compassion for them. I think sometimes we have to look past the money and the riches and the fame and see the human being. I mean, this is a girl crying out for help. Maybe we should be compassionate.

HAMMER: And if there`s anyone who knows how to be compassionate to celebrities in trouble, it`s other celebrities.

PIAZZA: I think that a lot of the celebrities can sympathize with Britney because they understand what it`s like to be constantly scrutinized.

HAMMER: But as names both big --

DR. PHIL: This is a frightening situation to me.

HAMMER: -- and small.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave Britney Spears alone right now.

HAMMER: -- jump to Britney`s side, it`s clear that the public unraveling of Britney Spears is something that everyone watches with morbid curiosity and a hint of pity.

PIAZZA: Britney hey has lost just about everything and finally losing her kids is such an extreme thing that people are starting to feel sorry for her.


HAMMER: All right, so there may be no saving Britney`s personal life, but there is this glimmer of hope that her career may actually be on the comeback trail. Today, Britney did release her first new music video in years. Take a look.




HAMMER: So the music video is out and the new song, "Give Me More," has hit the top stop on Billboard`s digital download chart. It`s also jumped a shocking 65 points to number three on Billboard`s Hot 100 Singles Chart. So could it be, despite her personal troubles, is Britney`s career actually coming back from the dead? Joining me tonight in Hollywood, Ken Baker, managing editor of, and in New York, Janell Snowden, the red carpet correspondent for VH-1`s "One and Only."

All right. Ken, Janell, I`ve got to tell you, I think it`s pretty unbelievable that after that disastrous VMA stint, after all the craziness going on in the custody battle and her bizarre antics in her personal life, the song "Give Me More" is actually going really well. Ken, how do you explain it?

KEN BAKER, USMAGAZINE.COM: It is number three on Billboard. The key here is to understand if it`s going to have legs. The reason why it`s up so high in the rankings now is because we are all talking about her. Britney is on people`s minds. And don`t forget, as much as a personal mess as she has been, she has not released professional music in a very long time, and there`s a big fan base there.

There is a curiosity. There is a built in fan base that wants to see Britney and wants to see her succeed. I think the fact that people are buying it, downloading it and listening to it is a sign they are interested in her. That means nothing about her personal life. That still remains a total utter disaster, as we know. And this shows that an artist can have a personal life that`s a wreck and a professional life that can succeed. It`s been done for years in the pop industry.

HAMMER: Yes, but I suppose, as you said, it`s because we are talking so much about her. It`s sort of intertwined at this point. What do you think, Janell, are people buying this song, partially -- sure, because they are huge Britney fans, but maybe even more likely, are they buying it kind of as a train wreck purchase?

JANELL SNOWDEN, VH-1`S "ONE AND ONLY": I think they are absolutely buying it. We are so incredibly fascinated with her right now, waiting to see what she does next, hoping and praying she doesn`t commit suicide. But kind on the edge of our seats, just saying, what is she going to do? Everything she`s done has been so bizarre. There`s absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. She`s obviously had one of the toughest weeks any mother and any certainly young woman could imagine.

I think there`s definitely that sort of curiosity that everybody has peaked. And I think also we are buying it because we are so confused as to why she`s acting the way she is. Everybody is trying to be a psychiatrist or psychologist similar to Dr. Phil. We are hoping that maybe by buying it, we can get a glimpse into her crazy mind.

HAMMER: Who knows. Can we keep the video rolling here? Chris, can we re-rack that and show it again? Because when I watch it, and I have the same reaction when I listen to the song, despite how well it`s doing. And I worked with pop music for a long time. It`s OK. It`s not great. Ken Baker, when you watched this video, did you think, hey, Britney Spears is back?

BAKER: It is not her best video work. She has released some very epic, sort of iconic videos, "Toxic" was a very epic video, "Hit Me Baby, One More Time," "Oops I Did It Again." These were iconic pop music videos of the last ten years. This does not hit the mark by any stretch of the imagination. But I will tell you another mark it will not hit. It will not win a Grammy for its lyric lyrics. I did some math, A.J., OK. I did some mat, four-minute song. You ready for this? She says give me 80 times in four minutes. She says more 41 times.

But the ironic thing about it is she only says the word crazy once.

HAMMER: How about that. See, you thought that calculus wasn`t going to help you out later in life, Ken. So you know with all this going on, Britney is smiling, the single doing well. We are talking now finally about a good thing in her life, and you know Britney`s record company is breathing a sigh of relief right about now.

I want to read to you a bit from a statement SHOWBIZ TONIGHT obtained from Jibe Records. Here`s what they are saying, and they`re finally speaking out for the first time, quote, "There`s no question that when performers attain the level of celebrity that Britney has, they tend to be treated by the press and public as if they were a cartoon or soap opera characters, and we forget they`re actually human beings."

Janell, what do you think, is this the problem? Do people just use Britney`s brand and forget she`s a human being?

SNOWDEN: I think they definitely have forgotten that she`s human, because she`s given us so much of herself and obviously that`s not a common thing. Britney has been so super successful since her start that her whole reality is skewed. And I think that we are sort of looking at her as, like you said, a cartoon character, because we just can`t really relate. Everything has been so outrageous.

HAMMER: So outrageous, so over the top. But how about a little applause on a Friday night for the glimmer of hope in Britney Spears` life. Ken Baker, Janell Snowden, I appreciate you guys being here tonight.

BAKER: Thanks.

SNOWDEN: Thank you.

HAMMER: Now we would like to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Britney Spears, do you feel sorry for her? Let us know at You can also e-mail us at

There`s one group out there that definitely does not feel sorry for Britney Spears right now. She`s already lost the kids and now PETA, the animal activist group, wants her to lose the dogs too. Some people think that animal rights activists are barking up the wrong tree. We`ve got a hot debate over Britney`s dog fight. You just don`t want to miss this. It`s coming up next.

Speaking of fights, take a look at this video. I have seen this couple dozen times by now. Danny Bonaduce throwing Johnny Fairplay over his feet. You know that hurt because there were some broken teeth involved or some knocked out teeth. But is the incident breaking Bonaduce? Will he face charges? An update is coming up. Also this.


BRAD PITT, ACTOR: A lot of the attraction before I came out was fame, the lifestyle.


HAMMER: That`s brad. Hard to look at him and believe it is. He even sounds different. What a long way he`s come from starry eyed hopeful to megastar. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT looking at the transformation of Brad Pitt. It`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: That was Danny Bonaduce showing "Survivor" reject Johnny Fairplay what happens when reality stars attack. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Well, the case against Danny Bonaduce has been thrown out faster than Danny through Johnny Fairplay to the floor. Now this took place at Fox`s Reality TV Show Awards. Johnny was getting booed on stage and then Danny came up and said, they`re booing you because they hate you. As you see, Johnny jumped on Danny and Danny then proceed to throw him to the floor, where Johnny landed face first, knocking out some of his teeth.

Well, after looking at the tape, the L.A. County District Attorney`s Office has decided not to prosecute Danny with any kind of charges or felony charges as were originally thought. They say it was self-defense since Johnny jumped on Danny.

Coming up Monday, we are going to get Danny`s take on exactly what happened in his own words, as Danny Bonaduce joins us unplugged Monday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Well, just when you thought there was nothing else to attack Britney Spears about, tonight, a dog attack, so to speak. First her kids get taken away and now the animal rights group PETA wants Britney`s dogs taken away and given to Kevin Federline too. They actually wrote him a letter, saying in part, quote, "we are writing to you today to urge you to amend your filing with the court to also seek consideration for your children`s bond with the companion animals they have come to know and to request that the judge also grant you custody of these animals."

OK, joining me tonight in New York, PETA director of media relations Michael McGraw, and in Miami tonight, author and commentator, Steve Santagati, who wrote the book, "The Manual." Michael, why don`t you lay it out for me and tell me what the issues are that PETA has with Britney.

MICHAEL MCGRAW, PETA: Sure thing. Yesterday PETA wrote a letter to Kevin Federline asking him, now that the court has awarded you custody of Shawn and Jayden, please seek custody of London and any other pets that Britney may have too. Our concern is a court has ruled that Britney isn`t able to care for her own kids. And PETA feels that she has no place trying to take care of animals who also depend on her just as much as her kids would.

HAMMER: Steven Santagati, she can`t take care of her kids so she probably can`t take care of the animals. What do you think?

STEVE SANTAGATI, AUTHOR, "THE MANUAL": Mike, this is a blatant choice to go after publicity by PETA. So you got it, because we`re sitting here talking about you. But you were really stupid because I didn`t realize that PETA was an over funded organization, because while you are out here getting involved in some stupid Britney thing in her dogs, there are some animals out there that are suffering. Some lady`s got 50 cats in her basement, or some dogs being mistreated somewhere, and you`re wasting your time with this.


SANTAGATI: Wait, I`m not done. People like me, a would be contributor to your organization, start to look and go, wow, these are a bunch of whack jobs. These are a bunch of fundamental crazies out there just jumping on anything, instead of focusing on the real issue, which is protecting animals. You guys made a big mistake.

MCGRAW: You know what, PETA has for a long time -- PETA has a long history of going after Britney because she has over the years made --

SANTAGATI: Answer what I said to you. Answer it.

MCGRAW: Excuse me, we are here to talk about Kevin and Britney`s dogs.

SANTAGATI: We are here to talk about PETA.

HAMMER: Hold on a second. Let me jump in as the referee for a moment here, Michael. Let me tell you something, I myself, an animal lover, a dog owner. I do like a lot of what your organization does. I do think that some of the messages that they get out is terrific. But what about that? There is that notion that people are saying, as Steve is, that, you know, you put yourself out there with the biggest entertainment story of the moment. It kind of looks like maybe a little over the top publicity.

MCGRAW: You know what, we have talked about Britney and her dogs on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT before. This isn`t a new issue for PETA at all. Think about how many dogs -- by my count, she`s had more than eight dogs just in the past several years. What has happened to all of these animals? She goes out and she buys these animals. She changes them from year to year like handbags. Are they fed? Are they well cared for?

HAMMER: Let me ask you, Stephen, Michael said that one of their concerns is for the kids. These companion dogs need to go to the kids.

SANTAGATI: I didn`t realize that PETA were a bunch of child psychologists. How do you know?


SANTAGATI: Just focus on the poor animals that really do need your protection. I like PETA, but I don`t like this.

MCGRAW: It`s hard enough when you lose -- one of your own parents is taken away from you. These kids have bonded with these animals.

SANTAGATI: The more you do this, you are losing donors. Stop.

HAMMER: Let me ask you this because you guys have gone after other celebrities in the past. You did show up at an event or a dinner and showed Beyonce a video of animals being tortured. I`m wondering because people do sort of react very strongly when these kind of tactics are taken. Don`t you have a fear or concern that these tactics can backfire on you, Michael?

MCGRAW: Not at all. PETA sticks up for animals in every case. I encourage people to check out That`s our website, where they can find out how they can adopt homeless animals. The bottom line is we really encourage folks to adopt animals from shelters. Britney has bought more than eight dogs from pet stores, when Los Angeles is full of homeless animals who desperately need homes.

HAMMER: But message received, Steve, yours as well. Steve Santagati, Michael McGraw, appreciate you being with us.

Quick, Kevin Federline has certainly pulled one of the most impressive changes in Hollywood history. We all used to joke about him. Now people are saying father of the year. How did that happen? How did K-Fed go from zero to hero? A SHOWBIZ special report is coming up and K-Fed not the only one who has come a long way.


PITT: A lot of the attraction before I came out was fame, the lifestyle.


HAMMER: It is hard to look at that guy and believe it`s the same Brad Pitt. He even sounds different. From starry eyed hopeful to megastar, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT looking at the transformation of Brad Pitt coming up.

Up next, a story that will break your heart. A young actress starving herself when she was just 12 years old. Actress Britney Snow from "Hair Spray" getting very candid about her nine year struggle with anorexia. Stay with us.


HAMMER: Late breaking news, tonight, Lindsay Lohan is out of rehab. She has been at the Cirque Lodge Treatment Center since August. But tonight, "People Magazine" says she`s out. Her treatment began there after her arrest in July on suspicion of DUI.

Well, tonight actress Brittany Snow is opening up like never before about her very painful struggle with anorexia, depression, and cutting. Now, you probably know Brittany best from "Hair Spray." She`s only 21 years old, but she has already overcome so much. In a very personal interview in "People Magazine" Brittany reveals she struggled with anorexia for nine years, starting at just 12 years old. Unbelievable.

She was on "Guiding Light" at the time and she said it started with the diet, but she got addicted to the high of losing weight. At 14, listen to this, she was just 87 pounds. But she says you can only starve for so long. When she started eating again, depression kicked in, which led to cutting. She said, quote, "the more I couldn`t control my eating, the more I did it. I wanted to look at my wrist and be like, see what you did. You ate. It wasn`t about the food. It was an emotional problem."

Well, at 19, Britney finally went to the hospital and she said connecting with other people there helped her recover. For more of Brittany`s very personal and painful story, pick up a copy of "People Magazine." It`s on news stands now.

Well, Kevin Federline has pulled one of the most amazing changes in Hollywood history. Of course, he used to be the butt of the joke. And now he`s the father of the year. How the heck does that happen? How did K-Fed go from zero to hero? That`s coming up next in a SHOWBIZ special report. And K-Fed, not the only one who`s come a long way. Look at this.


PITT: A lot of the attraction before I came out was fame, the lifestyle.


HAMMER: Hard to believe that`s even Brad Pitt. He sounds so different. Well, from starry eyed hopeful to megastar, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT looks at the transformation of Brad Pitt.

And take a look at these two. They kind of give Brad and Angie a run for their money in the hot celebrity couples department. What is their secret to making their relationship work? Jerry will fill me in. That is still ahead for Friday night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.



HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Kevin Federline, model citizen? When did this happen?


KEVIN FEDERLINE: It`s all part of being a father. I love every aspect of it. I mean, I`m not going to sit here and jump for joy that I change diapers. It comes with it, and I accept that.


HAMMER: How in the world did Kevin Federline pull this off? Somehow he went from being seen as a big joke to father of the year. Tonight, the SHOWBIZ special report, "K-Fed From Zero to Hero".

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, for Friday night, it`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer broadcasting tonight, and every night, from New York City. You`re watching TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

Tonight, a SHOWBIZ special report: "Kevin Federline From Zero to Hero?" From the time K-Fed first got together with Britney Spears, people have made fun of the guy, even after their divorce. Well, now the world as we know it appears to have been turned upside down. I want to know what the heck is going on?

So, joining me tonight in Hollywood, celebrity publicist and founder of Fifteen Minutes PR, Howard Bragman, also in Hollywood tonight, Kim Serafin, the senior editor of "In Touch" weekly, and joining us in New York, Janell Snowden from VH1 News.

All right, guys, it`s not that long ago, you remember back in the day when Britney and K-Fed were together, everybody labeled this guy a loser. He had the reputation of being a leach, the loser label was all over him wherever you went.

But let me ask you, Howard, was the label fair, and has K-Fed, in fact, turned it around?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, FIFTEEN MINUTES PUBLIC RELATIONS: You know, celebrity relationships are always hard because there`s always one celebrity who seems to be riding high, and one celebrity who`s whose career is a little lower. And it`s really easy to pick on the lower celebrity. Let`s look at where he started. He left his baby mama who was eight months pregnant, which isn`t a really wonderful start to any relationship.

HAMMER: I`ve got to interrupt you right off the top because you`re even calling him a lower celebrity. Does the celebrity label even apply to him, or did it back then? Because he was only a celebrity because he was with Britney?

BRAGMAN: It doesn`t matter how you get there, A.J., once you are there, you are there, baby. And that`s all that matters.

HAMMER: Back to what you were saying. So he was with Shar Jackson when he met Britney.

BRAGMAN: Right. And then he met Britney and they get going. Everybody says this guy`s just trying to make his career on her back. Then they have this relationship and they split up. Ever since then, his life has turned around. He`s gotten it. The bell has rung for him. He understands how he has to live his life to get this new image of a good dad, and a pretty substantial guy out there, and it seems to be working.

HAMMER: What do you think, Janelle, were people wrong to be calling him a zero back in the day? And has he, in fact, gotten it together?

JANELL SNOWDEN, VH1 CORRESPONDENT: You know, zero is such a harsh term.



SNOWDEN: But in all fairness, Kevin Federline was a dancer and a dancer who really wasn`t working that often. He found Britney. Luckily, she took him off whatever work he was doing and took him on the road with her. And they vacationed together and all of a sudden she marries him. She`s at the height of her career. He really didn`t prove when he was with her that he was trying to do much of anything except -- you know, he put out a rap album that wasn`t deemed too commercially successful. And that`s being very generous.


SNOWDEN: So, I mean, you know, zero? Who is to say.

HAMMER: Well, maybe we are to say. I don`t know. Maybe Ashton Kutcher is to say. Let me play a little video clip that we came across just to give you an idea of how bad it was for K-Fed. This is from an old Saturday Night Live skit back in 2005, a little fun at K-Fed`s expense. A big hit on YouTube these days. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I look like I might stink, yo, but I don`t. Come over here. Check it Federline, yo. I`m in a lot of these. You jealous? I think so.


HAMMER: Yeah. Kim, really a classic example of how he was perceived as a big zero back then. But let`s fast forward to the present. We are really not seeing that kind of stuff anymore, that blatant kind of mocking. Why do you think that is?

KIM SERAFIN, IN TOUCH WEEKLY: Well, first of all, you didn`t even have to do that video back then. You would see Jay Leno or David Letterman and somebody else walk out on stage and just go, "K-Fed" and the audience would laugh. I mean, that was sort of the impression that people had of him.

You know, he hasn`t forgotten to wear underwear. He hasn`t been out partying at clubs. He sort of has played it straight, and has shown up to court, when the judge said show up to court. So he definitely has been able to turn things around really just by looking so much more responsible than Britney.

I mean, the bar is not set so high. But he certainly has turned it around. He also learned how to make fun of himself. There`s that "Super Bowl" commercial.


HAMMER: Yeah. Well, let me jump in right there, on you, at this point. Because everybody does talk about when was the pivotal moment. A lot of people say it was when he did that "Super Bowl" commercial for some insurance company. Let`s take a look at that as a reminder.


FEDERLINE (singing, rap): Rocks, I got`em, shining like a superstar from top to bottom. You need a sugar daddy, I`m your man. If you need a dollar, hollar, because I`ve got a whole stack --

FEDERLINE (working in burger joint): Former VIP, former VIP --




ANNOUNCER: Life comes at you fast.


HAMMER: Ah, yes, the self-effacing Kevin Federline. Howard Bragman, how important was it for K-Fed`s reputation for him to be making fun of himself there?

BRAGMAN: In the PR business we call it a cathartic moment. And it`s really important, because once you are in on the joke and you show you get the joke, it`s harder to use the joke against you. A number of years ago when I worked with Monica Lewinski, we went on "Saturday Night Live" for exactly the same reason. It really sort of takes a little power away from your enemies. I think it was a really good move for him, a really smart move at the right time. It`s the "Super Bowl" so hundreds of millions of people saw it.


BRAGMAN: So great move.

HAMMER: It appears to have really have worked. Now you look around and talk to people. He`s got this reputation of being a super dad. And this is quite remarkable, even his ex-, Shar Jackson who had two of Kevin`s kids raves about him. Let me remind you that he left her for Britney when she was eight months pregnant. I want to you listen to is something Shar Jackson told us at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


SHAR JACKSON, K-FED`S EX-GIRLFRIEND: I love that guy. At the end of the day, I love him. He`s one of my best friends in the world. OK, our relationship didn`t work out. Obviously that`s not where we were supposed to be, but we are still in each other`s lives and we are still the best of friends.


HAMMER: Janelle, I want to go to you because I know you know with Shar Jackson. Is she telling the truth there. She seemed like she was. Maybe you`ve got a better read. Is she lying?

SNOWDEN: She`s absolutely telling the truth. I think that she`s being mature about this whole thing. Granted, the situation sucked -- for lack of a better expression. But at the same time they have kids together. So as a responsible mother she`s chosen not to bad mouth her kids` father, because they are going to watch these interviews and wonder what was going on with their relationship.

I don`t think she`s putting up a good front. I really do think that she does love the guy. They spent a lot of years together and do have two kids to show for it. I think she`s always going to have that soft spot. And who`s to say, it might not be over for them. You never know, stranger things have happened.

HAMMER: That`s one of the conspiracy theories I`m currently working on. I`m not going to travel down that road right now on national television.

Somebody had mentioned this is all in the context of what`s going on in Britney`s life. Could it be that K-Fed looks like such a class act in his days because his other half is in a custody battle is such a mess? Kim, what do you think?

SERAFIN: Well, yeah, when you can, again, still be looked at as a responsible parent, even when you show up to court looking a little bit like a pirate, you`re obviously not -- as a comparison.

In seriousness, I think for a while people thought K-Fed, or Kevin, was the weight around Britney`s neck, and that was what was holding her back. And when they got separated realized it wasn`t really him that was having this horrible influence on her live. She was doing it to herself. I think that`s what made it seem like hey, he`s maybe not as bad as you think he is. And you`ve --

HAMMER: Got to wrap it up there because we are out of time. It is pretty unbelievable all of this, we have pondered.

Thanks to Howard Bragman, Kim Serafin and Janell Snowden. I appreciate you being with us tonight.

We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day". Britney Spears, do you feel sorry for her? Vote at or e-mail at More of your e- mails on Monday.

And I can tell you no one is feeling sorry for Brad Pitt these days. What a life this guy has. What`s really amazing is how much he`s changed through the years.


BRAD PITT, ACTOR: A lot of the attraction before I came out was fame, the lifestyle.


HAMMER: Hard to believe that almost dorky looking guy was really Brad Pitt before he was famous. Next, an absolutely fascinating look at how Brad has dramatically changed since he first got to Hollywood. I can hardly believe the Brad today is the same guy from back then. You`ve got to see this coming up.

And I`ve got to say, Brad and Angie, not the only hot Hollywood couple that really seems really together. Jerry O`Connell, Rebecca Romijn, they are right up there. But Like Brad and Angie, they face so many pressures. When I sat down with Jerry, I asked him, how do you guys make it work and keep it together. Jerry`s very frank answer, you definitely won`t want to miss coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.



PITT: We`ve been in it for long enough to not take it so seriously. It`s usually inaccurate now we have more of a laugh out of it, from when we do pay attention to it.


HAMMER: That was Brad Pitt back in 2003 referring to all of the tabloid talk that he and his wife, his ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston had to endure while they were together.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. So what`s happened to Brad Pitt? It used to be that people would call the superstar a "him-bo", and say, nice to look at but nothing else there. Well, not anymore for sure. Not only does he have a great acting career of his own. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you something has happened. He has transformed into what some are calling an American leader. Quite a difference from his humbling beginnings in Missouri.


HAMMER (voice over): It is the lost interview that only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can bring you, one of Brad Pitt`s very first TV interviews when his career was just taking off. The year, 1988; the show, our predecessor, "Showbiz Today" on CNN.

PITT: A lot of the attraction, before I came out, was fame, the lifestyle.

HAMMER: And Pitt found the fame he was looking for after leaving Springfield, Missouri, with big dreams.

PITT: I`m Randy. Nice to meet you, Sir.

HAMMER: It was a role on the hot TV series "Dallas", where he played actress Shalane McCall`s (ph) love interest, Randy, and a photo shoot they did together on a set arranged by Shalane`s then-manager Phil Lobel, that would send Brad off into superstardom orbit. Lobel tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT what happened.

PHIL LOBELL, BRAD PITT`S FMR. MANAGER: I retooled the original plans for the photo shoot, which was going to be about Shalane. And we did a photo of Brad and Shalane sitting on the couch getting ready to do their first scene together. It was that very first photo that ended up in "People" magazine.

MIKE FLEEMAN, WEST COAST EDITOR, "PEOPLE": The famous photo, he was Randy from Dallas. Who knew, you know?

HAMMER: Who knew? -- is right. In fact, no one, including Brad himself could imagine how big and famous he would one day become. Just listen to him describe his first day on that "Dallas" set.

PITT: I have to admit, I was like this -- I, uh-- I -- you know I used to watch these people! I`m still a little star struck, to be honest. I just watch -- just six months ago I was sitting home in Missouri watching these people on TV.

HAMMER: And now the world watches him and Angelina Jolie, obsessively. But just how did Brad Pitt get to where he is today? How did he go from "Dallas" to the desired drifter in the 1991 film, "Thelma & Louise" --

PITT: Ladies, gentlemen, let`s see who wins the prize for keeping their cool.

HAMMER: To the award-winning actor and humanitarian he is today.

FLEEMAN: Very early in his career, Brad Pitt tried to prove to people that he wasn`t just a pretty boy.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that Pitt took on a variety of roles to prove he was not just a pretty boy.

PITT: It`ll be fun.

HAMMER: Including Paul, the rebellious journalist in Robert Redford`s 1992 film "A River Runs Through It." Then there was his 1994 Golden Globe nominated turn in "Legends of the Fall."

PITT: You say that again and we are not brothers.

HAMMER: Where he played the son of an army colonel who moves his family into the wilds of Montana. One year later, in 1995, Brad Pitt would receive an Oscar nomination for his dramatic turn in the movie "12 Monkeys."

PITT: You know, I wasn`t expecting that. This, you know?

HAMMER: A role he would win a Golden Globe for, marking the beginning of his transformation to superstar. But Pitt remained humble about his superstardom even in 1997, two years after his Golden Globe win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You went from being an actor trying to get a job to a superstar.

PITT: Oh, I don`t know. I don`t know when that clicked. I don`t know.

HAMMER: But something else was clicking for Pitt, and that was all those cameras, clicking away. The media`s fascination with his personal life grew. His engagement to Gwyneth Paltrow, who he met on the set of their movie, "Seven", made them a tabloid target. In fact, in that same year, 1997 after "Playgirl" magazine published photographs of him and Paltrow, Pitt sued. Accusing the photographer of trespassing. Pitt would later joke that it wasn`t just his face the photographer was after.

PITT: Not just my (UNINTELLIGIBLE) members of my anatomy.

HAMMER: Pitt and Paltrow would become engaged, but that ended. In the following year, 1998, he met "Friends" actress, Jennifer Aniston. Two years later, Pitt and Aniston got married in Malibu, their ceremony shielded from the prying eyes of the paparazzi. They became Hollywood`s most famous and most watched couple. The focus of stories filled with both fact and fiction.

PITT: We`ve been in it for long enough to not take it so seriously. It`s usually always inaccurate. Now we can have more of a laugh out of it, from it, when we do pay attention to it.

HAMMER: But sadly, the marriage did end. In January 2005 they announced their split and the rumors of a relationship with Angelina Jolie, who he met on the set of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" reached a fever pitch.

PITT: You think this story is going to have a happy ending?

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: Happy endings are for stories that haven`t finished yet.

HAMMER: At first they denied rumors they were a couple. Angelina adopted her daughter Zahara, an AIDS orphan from Ethiopia. And soon after it was Brad who filed the papers to jointly adopt Zahara, and Jolie`s son, Maddox. Another transformation of Brad Pitt as father and humanitarian.

JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Angelina, as his love partner, paved the way for him to really step into that role of being the humanitarian. She showed him how to do this.

HAMMER: And together, Pitt and Jolie shined a light on so many countries in need. In Haiti, when they announced they were expecting baby Shiloh. In Namibia, where they went to have baby Shiloh.

PITT: I`d just like to thank the people of Namibia. They have been so gracious to us and made our stay here very special.

HAMMER: In Vietnam, where they adopted baby Pak, and once more when set down roots in the New Orleans French Quarter. Brad took to his new home in the hurricane devastated New Orleans in more ways than one. He shot his next movie there, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".

PITT: It`s a really good film.

HAMMER: And he has put his love of architecture to work for a good cause, building much needed new homes.

KURIANSKY: He has his own project with the Clinton Global Initiative, in the Make It Right Project to build affordable green homes.

HAMMER: And Pitt told reporters in New Orleans why he felt it was such an important project.

PITT: As I walk around, I am -- I am appalled and embarrassed that residents still do not have the opportunity -- even the opportunity to decide if they want to get back into their neighborhoods and recreate their communities.

HAMMER: And with his "Ocean 13" co-stars, George Clooney and Don Cheadle, Brad Pitt is also working on stopping atrocities similar to what`s happening in Darfur.

FLEEMAN: He was never poor. He never struggled, but there was always a sort of charitable side to him. And I think it was when he hooked up with Angelina Jolie that he was able to tap into that and really fulfill himself in his charitable work, and see the world as more than just making films and being a movie star.

HAMMER: But being a movie star coupled with the media`s fascination with him and his family has gotten to Pitt. In an interview with "Parade" magazine he said, quote, "I understand the tabloids machine. There`s money to be made off Angie and me, but it has gotten so out of hand. There`s no decency, even when it comes to our kids."

But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you Pitt`s transformation includes something else. A keen sense to turn all that crazy media attention to something good whenever he can.

FLEEMAN: Brad has leveraged his personal life to do good. He realizes that people are going to report and show pictures of him, and get into his personal life. So why not use his personal life to try to do some good?

HAMMER: Along with Angelina Jolie, the Brad Pitt we know today might not even recognize the Brad Pitt he once was, back on that day in 1988.

PITT: I`m still a little star struck, to be honest.


HAMMER: Really great seeing that old footage. Brad Pitt also has his own production company, "Plan B Entertainment." He also just picked up the best actor award at this year`s Venice Film Festival, for his role in his film "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."

Well, it certainly has been said that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are on the best looking couple in Hollywood. I`ve got another one that gives Brad and Angie a run for their money -- at least a bit. Talking about Jerry O`Connell and his lovely wife, Rebecca Romijn, but they, like so many Hollywood couples face a lot of pressure.

When I sat down with Jerry, I had to ask him, how do you guys make it work and keep it together? You are going to hear Jerry`s very frank answer. You definitely won`t want to miss it when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Friday night comes right back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

Time now for "Making It Work". This is where we take a look at stars who find a way to build a strong relationship in Hollywood. Tonight, Jerry O`Connell, star of the new ABC show "Car Poolers." Yeah, he really has it tough, doesn`t he?

He and his actress wife, Rebecca Romijn, just got married. When he stopped by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, I asked O`Connell, with all the competition between actors, what`s their secret for making their relationship at home work?


JERRY O`CONNELL, COMEDIAN: I must beat Rebecca.

HAMMER: Is that it?

O`CONNELL: I must win.

HAMMER: Let`s be clear when you say you must beat Rebecca? In what way? I don`t want to get you into trouble.

O`CONNELL: In a career standpoint, and in wrestling.

No. I do have to say this is my first and hopefully my only marriage, but it really helps when people work a lot. I think because the time you get together, you really covet it. As an actor, I spent a lot of time being unemployed, and having a lot of free time. And making doll houses or making model cars, whatever one does with their free time.

I`m working too hard. I get tired, A.J. I want Rebecca to do well. I`ll be great with the kids. I`ll clean up after Rebecca. I`m a good little house husband.


HAMMER: Jerry`s a good guy, good for him. "Car Poolers" airs Tuesdays on ABC.

Yesterday we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day. And here`s what we wanted to know: Britney Spears, is she trying hard enough to keep her kids? Yeah, it pretty much went as I thought it would, with only 7 percent of you saying yes. That means 93 percent of you said no.

Among the e-mails we got, we heard from Myra in California. Myron says, "She seems to be at ease now that her children are have been taken away. I think this is what she`s been waiting for."

All right.

Rhonda from Virginia writes, "Britney hasn`t done anything to show she even wants custody. I swear a cactus would be a better mother."

Thanks, Rhonda.

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

And on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT this weekend, as Britney Spears battles for her kids -- well sort of -- we are flashing back to a time where the headlines were all about her music. You remember those days? We have unearthed an amazing, revealing Britney Spears SHOWBIZ TONIGHT flashback.

Plus, how and why did Britney go from nice to naughty? That`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report. Then on Monday, my one-on-one interview with the lovely Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry. I will talk with the megastar mom-to-be about the controversy surrounding her motherhood, and some racy and shocking comments she made about getting pregnant. That`s Monday.

And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks a lot for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. This guy is coming up next right after the latest from CNN "Headline News." Have an excellent weekend.