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Ellen Degeneres Gives up on Her Doggie Custody Battle; Britney Spears Loses Visitation Rights

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


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: The startling story behind "24" star Kiefer Sutherland`s drinking problem. And Jessica Simpson opening up like never before about love, her body, and making a fool of herself at the White House.
I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, is Ellen`s doggie drama doggone done? Tonight, has Ellen lost her emotional battle over a puppy taken away from two kids? See for yourself, the heart-wrenching video of the dramatic and emotional confrontation as the dog was taken away. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got to ask, with all the anger, even death threats, was it wrong to take the dog away?

Breaking Britney Spears baby news. Tonight, a judge`s shocking and unexpected order. Why Britney now can`t see her kids at all. Not even for a minute. Tonight, the late-breaking startling developments, and only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has some very powerful advice for Britney from other celebrity moms who also lost their kids for behaving badly.


Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City. And tonight, Britney Spears is being told, stay away from your kids. Don`t even think of going anywhere near them at all. The late- breaking details on the judge`s shocking and unexpected order today is coming up in just a moment.

But first tonight, Ellen`s doggie drama caught on tape. You know, unless Lassie were to come to her rescue, I can tell you tonight that Ellen Degeneres has lost her battle to get the dog returned to the two kids she gave it to. And I have to say, it is really remarkable what a nerve this whole canine conundrum has struck. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT not only has the latest dramatic developments but also a gripping look at how the whole doggie duel went down in the first place.


ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": I think this is the last time I`m talking about this.

HAMMER (voice over): In the battle over Iggy, the puppy, Ellen Degeneres is finally waving the white flag of surrender.

DEGENERES: Iggy has not been returned and in fact, I think, we were told that it was give to another home.

HAMMER: On her show, Thursday, Ellen acknowledged the dog she tried to give to her hairdresser`s family has been adopted by another family. And that`s all there really is to say about the whole thing.

DEGENERES: And I think acceptance is a very, very important thing to do in life, and then once you can accept something, then you can move on.

HAMMER: Oh, but no way is this the end of the story.

MIKE FLEEMAN, WEST COAST EDITOR, "PEOPLE.COM": What this is, is a little doggie custody dispute.

HAMMER: Iggy is the dog Ellen adopted from the animal rescue group, Mutts and Moms, and then gave to her hairdresser and her family, only to have Mutts And Moms swoop in and literally take the dog away from the hairdresser and her heartbroken young daughter.

RUBY, DAUGHTER OF DEGENERES` HAIRDRESSER: I want my dog back so badly.

HAMMER: The whole dispute led Ellen to break down on her show.

DEGENERES: And I`m begging them to give the dog back to that family. I just want that family to have the dog.

HAMMER: Now, Mutts and Moms is closed for business. The co-owner played for "Inside Edition" some of the angry voice mails she has been getting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE VOICEMAIL SENDER: I hope you go out of business. I hope you lose everything you have. I`m sure the rest of the country feels that way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICEMAIL SENDER: You nazi scum sucking pigs are going to pay dearly for stealing this dog from these little girls.

HAMMER: Ellen is asking everybody to take it down a notch.

DEGENERES: I know people are passionate this and people have strong feelings, but you don`t resort to violence. So everybody out there, please stop that. Don`t threaten or do whatever. I`ve had that happen to me in my life and it doesn`t feel good.

JO PIAZZA, CORRESPONDENT, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": Who knew that Ellen Degeneres had such vicious fans.

HAMMER: Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is giving you behind-the-scenes details about the battle over Iggy, Hollywood`s most intense custody battle. Sorry, Britney and K-Fed.

PIAZZA: I have to say at this point, though, I`m much more interested in what happens to Iggy.

HAMMER: The dramatic video on shows the backyard confrontation at the home of Ellen`s hairdresser.

PIAZZA: It looks like a weird episode of cops.

HAMMER: More like "Cops, The K-9 Edition."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: I`m going to try to forcibly take an animal from this house. Could you send a police car right away?

HAMMER: The cops are called as Mutts and Moms swoops into the hairdresser`s home to take Iggy away. The agency says it, and not Ellen, should have been the ones who find Iggy a new home. The cops ended up giving Iggy to the adoption agency. And good thing the police were there -

RUBY: If the police didn`t hold my mom back, my mom would hit her.

HAMMER: The hairdresser`s family, joined by Ellen, later told "" that the whole thing was bizarre and unfair, with Ellen saying the owner of the adoption agency made everything a personal grudge against her.

DEGENERES: She said if I don`t get the dog back by 2:00, I`m calling the media on you. I`m calling my attorneys. I`m calling the police.

HAMMER: But Mutts and Moms says it`s Ellen who threatened them. The group`s attorney played this voice mail left by a tough talking representative for Ellen during the height of the dispute.

PURPORTED MESSAGE TO MUTTS AND MOMS: We are filing a legal case against you. We are going to be contacting the media. This is not going to be good for your store or your organization.

HAMMER: So far, the only party not commenting on this mess is Iggy Pup himself. And some are saying all the other parties should cake a cue from this dog.

PIAZZA: At the end of the day, if Iggy really is in a new good home, everyone should let it drop.

HAMMER: But for the little girl who lost the dog she had for two weeks, that`s going to be hard.

DEGENERES: Other agencies that I`ve worked with - a lot of rescue agencies, and breeders I know have offered dogs to the family, and unfortunately, Ruby, the little girl, doesn`t want another dog. She wants Iggy.

HAMMER: Well, now, we`d like to hear from you for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Let us know what you think on Ellen`s doggie drama: Was it wrong to take the dog away from the kids? To vote, go to To send us an e-mail, just zip it off to

Well, tonight, shocking and unexpected new developments in the Britney Spears custody battle. Just when we thought things couldn`t get any worse for Britney, well, today we learn she has lost all visitation rights with her two sons. She can`t even see them for a second, not a moment.

With us tonight in New York, Susan Moss, matrimonial attorney with the law firm of Chemtob, Moss, Foreman and Talbert. And from Hollywood tonight, Ken Baker from He`s their editorial director. Ken, Susan, I appreciate you being here.

Man, this caught us by surprise. It seems like things were going pretty well for Britney. At least things have picked up a bit in that she had won the overnight visitation rights after primary custody was given to her ex-husband Kevin Federline, and she was reportedly starting to take those drug tests. Ken, what the heck went wrong?

KEN BAKER, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, "USMAGAZINE.COM": Well, A.J., in one sentence, she fell off the wagon. I`m not saying she necessarily fell off the drug and alcohol wagon, but that`s going to come out. In the end, we will find that out. What we know is that she did not follow the orders of the judge when he gave her temporary visitation rights to have overnight visits with the kids, and she failed to do that.

And what happened was Kevin Federline`s attorney called her on it, called an emergency hearing. And the judge looked at the evidence and said, "You`re right, she did violate the terms." What we are hearing is that it did involve several things, one of which is most likely that she did not adhere to the strict protocols of contacting the lab that is supposed to be doing these random drug and alcohol tests. And he told her, specifically, he put it in writing, he said, "If you fail to take these drug or alcohol tests, I`m going to consider it a failure of the test." So it looks like Britney just is not following the rules, which is nothing new here. But what is new here is that she can`t even see her kids.

HAMMER: Yes, that is new. And the judge put it in writing again today, saying, and he kept his word, quote, "Petitioner`s visitation with the minor children is suspended pending the petitioner`s compliance with court orders." So there it is. That`s the order issued by the Judge Scott Gordon right there. Susan Moss, what do you think? Because obviously not the first time Britney hasn`t followed the judge`s orders. Is he just plain mad now?

SUSAN MOSS, MATRIMONIAL LAWYER: Well, you know you are in trouble when Ellen Degeneres cares more about dogs than Britney apparently cares about her kids. But it`s really clear, court orders are not suggestive. You have to take them very seriously and follow what they say. Once a judge puts on the rope, he doesn`t have to ask "May I?"

HAMMER: Well, I`m just wondering if she can even pull herself out of this now because apparently something is blocking her brain and not enabling her to do what she needs to do. Ken, what does she need to do, if anything, even to get in the good graces of this judge one more time?

BAKER: Well, the big question - you hit the nail right on the head. The big question has always been, what is she thinking? And I`ll give you a little bit of insight into what she may be thinking. We report in our magazine this week that within hours of the judge actually relenting and saying, OK, this was last Thursday, by the way, saying, "You could have visitation with the kids overnight. OK. We will grant that, given that you adhere to these terms."

She was out shopping at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills and was overheard by several people calling the judge an old fart and complaining that he was, quote, "getting off on making her miserable." Now, she has every right to feel that way, but if it gives some insight into her mind set, the insight may be that she`s not taking responsibility for her own actions.

She`s even blaming the judge and this judge, actually. Just before I came on, I was talking to someone who knows this judge. Actually, it`s a commissioner, technically. And Commissioner Scott Gordon is known as being very level headed, being very much pro-family, wanting to keep the families together. So I think that blaming the judge for all of her problems isn`t going to get her, her kids back.

HAMMER: No, I don`t think it will. And obviously I can`t confirm - SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can`t confirm whether or not she is calling the judge an "old fart." But man, if she`s not giving him proper respect, it`s just going to be one more reason for the judge to really not give her what she wants.

And Ken brings up the point, with those four words. What is she thinking, Susan? You know I`ve said it time and time again. I`m not the only one. Why in the world isn`t Britney Spears doing everything possible, above and beyond the call of duty, not to give the judge even a speck of a reason not to get her kids back. It defies the laws of nature, as far as I`m concerned.

There is such a stigma when a mother gives up custody. One question you have to think of is maybe she really doesn`t want primary or even joint custody with these kids. Maybe she would rather spend the time working on her career or spending time with her friends in the paparazzi. Maybe this is just a passive-aggressive way to get what she really wants, which is to get out of being a full-time mother.

HAMMER: So let`s say Britney actually does start to get her act together which is almost a ridiculous supposition. I really want to give her the benefit of the doubt, but that really gets difficult to do. Ken, let`s say she passes her drug test, does all the paperwork, crosses her T`s, dots her I`s and shows up for the next court date, October 26, as scheduled. What do you think, Ken? Is it still game over as far as custody is concerned?

BAKER: No, because I`ve been told by a lot of people very close to this situation that essentially the end game is this - Kevin Federline really thinks she needs to go back to rehab. She needs to get her act together. She is not fully healthy, and until she does that, we are going to keep seeing this like a broken Britney record over and over again.

HAMMER: Ken Baker, Susan Moss, thanks for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.

Well, I know Britney has not been in the listening mood these days, obviously. I don`t get it. No matter what people tell her, it seems to be going in one ear and out the other. So Britney, I appeal to you, if you are out there, you`ve got to listen to this. We are really trying to help you out here.

Coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the important lessons Britney Spears can learn from other moms who have lost custody of their kids, but got them back after they cleaned up their act.

Another big star trying to clean up his act tonight, Kiefer Sutherland heading to jail for driving under the influence. And I cannot believe the explosive secrets behind his alcohol problems. You`ve got to hear what we are revealing coming up next.

And Jessica Simpson opening up like never before about many things, love, her body, and the time she made a fool of herself at the White House. Yes, there`s more than one person in the White House doing that. You`ve got to love her though, because at least she is basically staying out of trouble.

First here is tonight`s showbiz news quiz. Kiefer Sutherland was all set to get married back in 1991 when his fiancee, a super famous actress, ditched him just days before the wedding. That`s got to hurt. Who was his runaway bride? Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Andie MacDowell, or was it Michelle Pfeiffer? Stick around for answer and the secrets of Kiefer`s battle with the bottle, all coming up next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Don`t go anywhere.


HAMMER: Once again, tonight`s showbiz news quiz. Which actress broke up with Kiefer Sutherland just days before their wedding? Was it Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Andie MacDowell, or Michelle Pfeiffer? Well, on the next Montel(ph) "Stars Who Run Away with Their Fiancee`s Best Friend." Yes, it was "B," Julia Roberts. She kicked Kiefer to the curb and fell into the arms of his best friend Jason Patrick, all the way back in 1991. And then, of course, she went on to star in the movie "Runaway Bride."

Heart break is the least of Kiefer Sutherland`s problems these days. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And tonight, there are startling new details and insights into Kiefer`s battle with the bottle. As we know the star of "24" is going to jail for 48 days for his latest drinking and driving arrest.

The new issue of "People" magazine you`re seeing right here, hits news stands on Friday, and it has gripping new information about Kiefer`s troubles.

Joining us tonight in New York, "People" magazine`s Senior Editor J.D. Heyman. J.D., I always appreciate you being here. And look, Kiefer himself is the first one to tell you that he`s no saint. He loves to drink. So while he may not be drinking and driving after this latest DUI arrest, you guys at "People" have learned that he certainly has not stopped drinking, correct?

J.D. HEYMAN, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Well, that`s true. Kiefer Sutherland has always been a guy who likes to have a good time. He has never apologized for being a heavy drinker. He`s spoken openly about the fact that he has a problem. If you looked it up in a textbook, you`d call him a problem drinker, he said at one point or words to that effect. He is a guy who after his, you know, getting this, you know, facing this jail term was out in New York and was, in fact, drinking again.

And nobody who knows Kiefer Sutherland is surprised by that. He is a guy who likes to drink and who has not modified his behavior, although he has said he`s very, very sorry, and, you know, it`s not as if he`s acting out wildly, but the actual underlying behavior seems to be continuing.

HAMMER: Well, yes, and drinking and driving is simply something you don`t do. And that`s what really has always confounded me. And, in fact, after Kiefer was arrested on the DUI arrest, I, right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, and everybody else asked him the same question we always ask anytime a star gets arrested for DUI, why don`t they have a driver? They`ve got the money. Certainly have a phone number for a driver. They use cars all the time.

HEYMAN: Well, that`s an - I mean, you know what, that`s an interesting question with a really interesting answer which is that, you know, one of the reasons stars don`t have drivers is because drivers talk. Friends of Kiefer say, you know, he doesn`t want to have a driver. Many stars wouldn`t want to have a driver because that driver would then see all the behavior that that guy might be engaged in and then run off to a tabloid and talk about it.

So, it`s not surprising that, you know, he might not want to have a driver, that he might not want to have another pair of eyes in his employ who could monitor everything he does. You know, he likes to have a private life. He is a very private person.

This is a tremendously embarrassing thing that`s happened and, of course, a potentially dangerous thing that happened. But it`s not the first time that he has gotten into a scrape because of his drinking. You know, he has a pretty long rap sheet when it comes to drinking, and I think those people around him are really hoping that this time he gets the help that he clearly needs.

HAMMER: Yes, we all do. But I have a theory here that, you know, my feeling is if there`s a threat that you may go out and drink and drive, wouldn`t you be better off hiring your driver and then maybe trying to control the behavior while in that car. But let`s move on from that.

HEYMAN: Certainly.

HAMMER: I don`t want to belabor that point. I have to think, just being a fan of the show "24," that when it comes to doing his work and shooting this show, when it comes to that Kiefer has got to stay clean and sober obviously this show takes a lot of effort and a lot of focus. What kind of things do people find out about his habits when it comes to work time?

HEYMAN: Well, he`s always been a professional, hard working guy. I mean this the sort of duality. I mean, he is an incredibly hard working and dedicated actor, and nobody would take that away from him. He`s dedicated to people on that set. He`s a good colleague. He worries about their livelihoods. He shows up for work. He works very long hours. It`s just what happens off-hours that`s the problem.

He has been known, not only just to tie one on, but to get into scrapes, to have trouble with the law - those kind of things happen at the same time that he is working so hard. In fact, that`s maybe one of the reasons it`s been hard for him to get help, because, you know, he has said himself that he has fueled the notion that he`s got it under control because he can show up in and put into his time.

HAMMER: And he`s gone into therapy, from what I understand. Only a couple of seconds for this, J.D. - he`s not actually ever going to rehab, but it`s something he`s spoken to a therapist about, correct?

HEYMAN: Well, he`s clearly, you know, not addressed - you know, he has talked about doing therapy in his life to deal with the issues in his life as many people have. But, you know, as far as getting consistent, you know, help for this particular problem.

HAMMER: Not what he needs yet. I`ve got to wrap it there, J.D. I`m sorry, I`m out of time. I appreciate you being with us. The new issue of "People" magazine will be on news stands on Friday. I`ve got to say I really hope Kiefer can clean up his act.

And I really want Britney Spears to do the same thing. You know, she`s lost all of her visitation rights now to her kids. So I really think she needs to pay attention to what we have coming up tonight. What Britney can learn from other moms who hit rock bottom and lost custody of their kids, but they manage to bounce back and get their kids back. That`s coming up. Also this -


RUBY: I`m crying now because they`re taking my dog, and I can see that. I`m not dumb.


HAMMER: I could not believe this dramatic video of a dog being taken away from two young girls, the dog that was given to them by Ellen Degeneres. There are all kinds of controversy here. Even death threats. But could Ellen have handled this better? The heated debate in a bit.

And tonight, Jessica Simpson - she is speaking out like never before about all kinds of things, her love life, her body, and how she made a fool of herself at the White House. That is next.


HAMMER: Tomorrow, women in Hollywood, the ridiculous double standard female stars face, a very controversial look at the roles they get, the money they make, and the nonstop pressure to stay skinny. You know, the guys don`t have to put up with that. A revealing look at women in Hollywood tomorrow.

Well, tonight Jessica Simpson is opening up like never before about her love life since divorcing Nick Lachey, her body, and making a fool of herself at the White House. In a revealing interview in "In Style" magazine, Jessica says, quote, "I`m in complete control of my life. I have had my heart broken since my divorce. That`s OK. I believe you fall in love more than once, and get your heart broken more than once." Well, Jessica is probably referring to her never officially confirmed romance with singer John Mayer.

Also really interesting, Jessica talking about her body and her diet. She says, quote, "I let myself taste what I want. I have a couple of indulgent bites, and then I`m satisfied."

And listen to this about a 2004 visit to the White House where she said to the Secretary Of The Interior, "I love what you`ve done with the place." She says, quote, "That was another Jessica moment. People just love it when I make an ass of myself and I do it often. Of course, she now knows that the Department Of Interior keeps a watch on U.S. land and parks. You can read more in the November issue of "In Style" magazine when it lands on newsstands Friday.

Well, you know, there have been all kinds of rumors about Janet Jackson getting married, whether or not she will ever do it again. Tonight, I`m going one on one on the guy who would pop the question, if there is a question to be popped, Jermaine Dupree, truly a nice guy. And I got him to reveal some very intimate secrets. That`s coming up.

Also this -

RUBY: I`m crying now because they are taking my dog and I can see that. I`m not dumb.

HAMMER: I could not believe the dramatic video of a dog being taken away from two young girls. The dog given to them by Ellen Degeneres. There are all kinds of controversy floating around this thing, even death threats. Could Ellen have handled this better? We`ve got a heated debate coming up next.

And Britney Spears, well I think she could have handled a lot of things a lot better. Tonight, what Britney can actually learn from other moms who hit rock bottom, lost custody of their kids, but they bounced back and they got their kids back. That`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.




HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Britney`s custody shocker. A judge says Britney isn`t allowed to even visit her kids, but Brit isn`t the first famous mom to go through this. Tonight, lessons for Britney from other famous moms who have lost their kids. Also this -

RUBY: I`m crying now because they are taking my dog and I can see that. I`m not dumb.

HAMMER: Ellen`s doggie drama - the twists, the turns, the tears. Man, what a couple of days this has been. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes you through the emotional roller coaster that has been this puppy dog tale.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. And tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the dramatic video of Ellen`s doggie nightmare.

I want you to buckle up your seat belt now, because we cannot forget Ellen`s emotional plea to a dog adoption agency to please bring Iggy back to his rightful family. Now, as we know, Ellen and her partner, Portia de Rossi, adopted the dog but when it didn`t get along with her cats, she gave the dog to her hairstylist and two young daughters. But the adoption agency took the dog away because Ellen apparently wasn`t authorized to do that, and little Iggy was taken away.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the play-by-play as it happens.


DEGENERES: I tried to find a loving home for the dog because I couldn`t keep it. I was trying to do a good thing and because I did it wrong, those people went and took that dog out of their home and took it away from those kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I have somebody trying to take a dog from our house. She is here right now.

RUBY: So they came over and they said, "We`re just going to do a house check, and can you fill out this online application?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: Miss, hand her the dog, please. Miss, give her the dog.

DEGENERES` HAIRDRESSER: She walked right through the house and basically grabbed the dog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheryl, don`t touch her.


RUBY: It got more hostile and my dad said, "You know, you can`t take the dog now." And she said, "Oh, yes we can."

DEGENERES: She`s got a problem with me, and she decided to teach everybody a lesson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For you to come in and take a dog that`s been with a 10-year-old kid.

RUBY: I`m freaked out because I don`t want them to take my dog. And so we called the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I have somebody try to take a dog from our house. She`s here right now with two other people trying to forcibly take an animal from the house.

RUBY: If the police didn`t hold my back, my mom would hit her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This my home, Officer.

RUBY: They were holding my dog. And my dog is trying to get out of her hands. My dog wants to go in the bathroom and play and stuff. They are yelling. They are screaming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: Miss, hand her the dog, please. Miss, give her the dog.

RUBY: I`m crying now because they are taking my dog, and I can see that. I`m not dumb.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t touch her.


DEGENERES: Like speeding over here to get here in time,and we got a call that they left with the dog and was running down the street.

RUBY: I want my dog.

DEGENERES: You`re going to get your dog back.


HAMMER: Well, maybe not. But did Ellen drop the ball here or did red tape get in the way of what really was a good deed that she was trying to do? Joining me tonight from Hollywood, investigative journalist and author of "Secrets Can Be Murder" Jane Velez Mitchell. In New York tonight, publicist and "Animal Planet" trend expert, Maggie Gallant. All right. Maggie, Jane, let`s get into this. What do you think, Jane, did Ellen drop the ball here?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Absolutely not. She made some mistakes. She acknowledged the error of her ways but her heart was in the right place. But I say to Ellen, dry your tears because there is a way to turn this into a win-win for the animals. This isn`t just about Iggy. There are millions of other Iggy`s, red listed on death row in shelters around the country. Most people do not know that every 63 seconds a dog or cat is killed in a California shelter because they are simply not wanted.

She can use her fame. She can use her show to bring on some of those other unwanted animals, put them on the stage, and tell America, go to shelters and adopt. Don`t buy from breeders. Spay and neuter your animals. Become part of this rescue effort. There is a crisis in the shelters in America. We have to do something about it.


HAMMER: Jane Velez mitchell, ladies and gentlemen. Couldn`t agree with you more, Jane. I don`t think Ellen dropped the ball at all. Maggie Gallant?

MAGGIE GALLANT, PUBLICIST AND "ANIMAL PLANET" TREND EXPERT: Absolutely, she didn`t. Obviously, her heart was in the right place. She wanted the dog to go to a very welcoming family, which is what she tried to do. But unfortunately, these policies are in place with private adoption agencies. And you really do have to know the rules of the agencies in which you are adopting a dog and bringing it into your home so they can ensure the well- being of the dog.

HAMMER: Yes, but they are policies. They are not law. I believe policies can be bent. They can be changed. They can be adopted and adapted to do whatever is best, particularly when you are dealing with a dog. Because I`ve got to tell you, I have a rescue dog, and if anybody even tried to take him away, there would be problems.

But it does not look like this situation is going to improve for Ellen. She did say on her show today that she is not going to talk about this whole dog fight unless Iggy does wind up back with the hairstylist and the kids, which at this point is probably unlikely. Watch what Ellen said.


DEGENERES: But let me just say this. It`s gotten out of hand. The people that have Iggy or had Iggy - I don`t know, are receiving death threats, I am told, and that is not OK. And I know that people are passionate about this and people have strong feelings. I love animals. I have strong feelings. I want nothing more than that dog returned to that family, but you don`t resort to violence.

HAMMER: Ellen said it herself. This has gotten out of hand. Jane, what do you think? Could Ellen or, quite frankly, any of us have ever imagined that it would have gotten to this point after her breakdown on the show?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, no. Absolutely not. And of course, some people say, well, she should have resolved it differently. But once again, in the school of things happen for a reason, this is an opportunity to shine the spotlight on a problem that is really a crisis and that people don`t talk about.

They talk about Iggy or talk about Paris Hilton`s dog, but they don`t talk about these millions of unwanted dogs and cats that have absolutely no voice, that are in these shelters, who look just like Iggy, who are just as cute and healthy. I have three at home myself.

And so, she could literally - Ellen could become the face of animal rescue - dog and cat rescue in this country by using this as a platform to go on the show and tell America and the world, hey, you have an opportunity here to bring these shelter animals into your home. You have a responsibility to spay and neuter your pets. There`s a bill in the California legislature right now to encourage Californians to spay and neuter their pets so we don`t kill half a million in California every year.

HAMMER: I`m with you, Jane. Ellen did say - and there`s a bit of she- said, she-said thing going on. Because Ellen said that the women who run Mutts and Moms first threatened her with going to the media, and then there`s this purported voice mail from Ellen`s publicist from Mutts and Moms which I want you to listen to right now.


PURPORTED VOICE MESSAGE TO MUTTS AND MOMS: We are filing a legal case against you. We are going to be contacting the media. This is not going to be good for your store or your organization.


HAMMER: Maggie, I`ve got to ask you because you`re a publicist, and I have to feel that there`s a party that`s squirming. So Ellen may have asked her publicist to get involved. That sounded a bit threatening to me. What do you think? Bad move?

GALLANT: Well, it is a public issue. And when everybody knows about it, that`s when a publicist becomes involved. Her publicist, like all of Ellen`s fans, were heartbroken when we saw the pain that Ellen going through and we all wanted to do something.

HAMMER: Yes, but making the threats, Maggie - making the threats, to me, sounded like it`s not going to be very productive.

GALLANT: Well, in her conversation, she said she was going to take this to the media. What she meant by that was that people need to be talking about what was happening here and what she was saying was we need to do the right thing here. We need to be able to communicate. We need to do what`s best for this dog and she really felt strongly that the best interest of the dog should have been to be with those children.

HAMMER: All right. We`ve got to wrap it up there, but with everything that you said, Jane Velez-Mitchell, I think this is an opportunity for Ellen, who always seems to end up doing the right thing, turning this into something great. Jane Velez-Mitchell and Maggie Gallant, I appreciate you being with us.


HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can confirm Ellen Degeneres has canceled a planned taping today and we`re told from her show that "Ellen is taking a long weekend and will be back with a new show on Tuesday."

Well we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. We want to know, Ellen`s doggie drama: Was it wrong to take the dog away from the kids? Vote at or e-mail to us at We`ll be reading some of your e-mails tomorrow.

There is some sad news to report tonight. Comedian Joey Bishop has died. Bishop died last night at his home in California. Bishop was 89 years old. And, think about it, he was the last surviving member of the "Rat Pack." Frank Sinatra once called the comedian the hub of the big wheel, saying Bishop came up with some of the best one liners of the entire bunch. In 1967, Bishop got his own talk show opposite Johnny Carson`s "Tonight Show." Bishop`s side kick, well, was a newcomer to television at the time, a guy named Regis Philbin. Once again, sad to report tonight that comedian Joey Bishop is dead at the age of 89.

Well, it`s so surprising today to get the news that Britney Spears has now lost visitation rights to her kids. But you know, she`s not the first famous mom to go through this, from Courtney Love to Tatum O`Neal. What Britney can learn, and she`d better pay attention. That`s coming up.

And I`ve got to be honest with you, Jermaine Dupree - he may be a super rich, super successful music mogul but also kind of a sweetie, especially when it comes to Janet Jackson. Yes, I said it. He`s a sweetie. He was here, and I showed him a clip of when I asked Janet what she would do if Jermaine got down on bended knee and proposed. His reaction was priceless, and that is coming up.

So Janet Jackson is starring right now, of course, in Tyler Perry`s "Why Did I Get Married?" It was number one at the box office last weekend. Janet has a long history as an actress. This goes all the way back to some of he classic TV sitcoms she did. So here`s what we want to know in tonight`s showbiz news quiz. On which of these shows did Janet Jackson not appear - "Fame," "The Facts of Life," "Different Strokes," or "Good Times"? We are coming right back with the answer. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Thursday night continues in just a moment.


HAMMER: Time now for the answer to our showbiz news quiz. Janet Jackson is currently starring in Tyler Perry`s "Why Did I Get Married?" It was number one at the box office last weekend. You know, Janet has a long history as an actress all the way back to some classic TV sitcoms. Here`s what we ask tonight. On which one of these TV shows did Janet Jackson not appear -"Fame," "The Facts of Life," "Different Strokes," or "Good Times"? Well, the answer is "B", "The Facts Of Life."

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. The big news tonight, a judge`s shocking order that Britney Spears can no longer even ever see her kids even for a minute. I`ve got to tell you no one saw this thing coming. Britney had won overnight visitation rights with 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James while her ex-husband Kevin Federline had primary custody. But today, the judge said she has not complied with his orders which included taking drug tests. And tonight, we have some eye-opening advice for Britney. See the lessons that she can learn from other big stars who lost custody of their kids.

With us again tonight, from Los Angeles, editorial director Kim Baker. Here in New York, Attorney Susan Moss. All right, gang. You know, there is that old expression that goes something like, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." And I think that`s kind of what`s going on here.

Britney hasn`t paid attention to the examples of the past, perhaps no better of which than Tatum O`Neal. She got a huge wake-up call. She lost custody of her three children to her ex-husband, John McEnroe, because of her drug problems way back when. Well, Tatum, has fortunately since straightened up and got the kids back in her life. Ken, what do you think Britney really needs to learn from Tatum`s experience?

BAKER: Well, Tatum O`Neal hit a real low. And she was involved with some serious drugs and had to go to serious rehab before she got help. I think that Britney Spears up until now has been in a 30-day treatment program that is known as sort of being very celebrity friendly, isn`t very harsh, isn`t very strict. It`s not even as strict or effective, according to a lot of people, as the Cirque Lodge where Lindsay Lohan just was, and she was there for more than 30 days.

So I think that my suspicion is that if you look at Tatum O`Neal and you`re Britney Spears, you might conclude, "You know what? I probably need to go back to treatment. It`s going to be a long road before I`m a healthy person that can be back being a mom like Tatum O`Neal.

HAMMER: Susan Moss, what do you think?

MOSS: What she can learn for Tatum is, "It ain`t over until it`s over," or until the lady in the pink wig sinks. Tatum was able to straighten out her life. It took her a while, but she certainly was able to do that. And she had overnights, although she didn`t have primary custody, that was with John. But she could come back. What she needs to do, though, is get serious about her sobriety and her other troubles.

HAMMER: Yes. Let`s talk about that some more because it certainly seems that addiction or rehab is this common thread when it comes to stars who lose custody of their kids. Courtney Love, another example of this - she lost custody of her daughter for two years until she finished court ordered rehab. Two years. So, Ken, going back to what you`re saying, is the lesson for Britney here that she might not only be forced into rehab, but she has to do it for a long time and not just the month, as you said. Do you think that would actually wake her up?

BAKER: You know, Courtney Love is a really great example, because Courtney Love is someone who made mistakes over and over and over again. The judge kept giving her opportunities and she kept failing. The judge basically said you need to go to rehab and prove that you`re clean and sober before you are going to get your daughter back, and she finally did it.

But it wasn`t until the judge really held her feet to the fire and took Frances Bean away from her that she cleaned up. And I think that`s effectively what Judge Gordon is doing in this case with Britney - is basically putting her feet to the fire.

But yes, two years is a long time that Frances spent, with not even - you know, there was not a father around. It went to someone else in the family. It was a very difficult time. But if you look at the long run, Courtney Love is 43 years old. Britney is only 25, and I hate to say, but maybe it`s going to take a long time before Britney is going to learn the lessons that only years can give you.

HAMMER: Yes. I was thinking that if she actually does lose her kids with any degree of permanence now, following everything that`s been going on, she may be growing up pretty quickly if that happens.

Let`s move on to another mom who lost custody of her children. Comedian Paula Poundstone. I remember when this story broke it was just big and ugly. Her three adopted kids were taken away from her when the police caught her driving drunk with her children in the car. So Susan, we certainly have seen cases where Britney was criticized for her actions, with her kids in the car. Really some obvious parallels here.

MOSS: There are. But Britney`s case is even worse. Paula never broke the law as many times that Britney did with regard to not driving with a license and then not getting a license, even when ordered to do so.

She also broke other court orders when she took the kids out of state when she wasn`t allowed to do so without permission of dad. And she just continues one after the other, after the other. There is such a substantial longer pattern for Britney`s problems than Paula`s. Ken is exactly right. The answer is that this judge for a very long and sustained time, not let her back in these kids` life until she makes some real commitments to straighten up.

HAMMER: You know, all of this brings to mind, all of these examples, that there are serious consequences for star mothers who aren`t above losing their children, even though maybe they think they are. Ken, what do you think? You`re living out there in Hollywood, you`re around the privileged. You`re around the - those who feel they are entitled or self-important sometimes. Do you think that they think it`s never going to happen to me, that they live in this little fantasy world, they think they are immune to their kids being taken away?

BAKER: Some of them do, but I have to raise a point. We are not sitting here talking about Reese Witherspoon or Brooke Shields, or any of the other celebrity moms who are, by all accounts, great, committed moms and very healthy.

The vast majority of celebrity moms enjoy the privilege that celebrity gives them, of being very good to their children and making the right decisions. It`s just unfortunate that Britney and some of these other celebrities in the past have made those bad choices.

But what I see as a consistent pattern is that there`s always addiction at the core. There`s always some sort of drug or alcohol addiction that gives rise to these issues, and it ends up until you go to rehab. It doesn`t get better.

HAMMER: Got to wrap it there. Ken Baker, Susan Moss, thanks so much.

MOSS: Thank you.

HAMMER: All right. I`ve got to tell you, Jermaine Dupree warmed my heart a little bit when he stopped by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Now, this guy is Janet Jackson`s music mogul boyfriend. And he had some really sweet things to say about her. I actually had asked Janet what she would do if Jermaine ever popped the question. Wait until you see Jermaine`s reaction when I played the little clip of Janet. Coming up next.

First, time now for a look at what`s new at the movies, brought to you by Bisquick Heart Smart. And there are a lot of big new releases this weekend. So let`s take a look.

Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal star in "Rendition," a film that questions the government`s use of torture to fight terrorism. Ben Affleck makes his directorial debut with "Gone Baby Gone" about the search for a missing 4-year-old girl. "Gone Baby Gone" stars Ben`s brother, Casey Affleck, as well as Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris.

And another star studded cast in "Things We Lost in the Fire." Halle Berry, Benicio del Toro and David Duchovny all give powerful performances. And that is your look at what`s new at the movies this weekend brought to you by Bisquick Heart Smart. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT coming right back.

HAMMER: Tonight, Janet Jackson`s boyfriend, music mogul Jermaine Dupree is opening up about their relationship and whether or not there are wedding bells in their future. I sat down with Jermaine and asked him about his new book in which he said some really great things about Janet, who he calls Jan, by the way. He says that getting together with Jan was the first time he felt like he was with a friend as well as a partner.

It just so happened that I had also recently spoken with Janet who was doing some press for Tyler Perry for their new movie, "Why Did I Get Married?" and, of course, the subject of marriage came up. Watch this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: I`ve got to tell you, Jermaine, I think she feels pretty strongly about you and I know this from personal experience because I sat down with her recently. And I asked her, because I just had to know, and pardon me for prying, but I need to know if she would ever think about getting married again. Want to see what she told me?


HAMMER: Let`s watch this.

DUPREE: Uh-oh.

JANET JACKSON, ACTRESS AND POP STAR: I feel that I really don`t need the certificate to validate what it is that we have. I`m very strong on it being spiritual and I believe in soul mates. And I believe we have more than one. And to exchange vows between one another. And that`s what I like.

See, I`m right there with you on that. However, I`ve got to ask, if Jermaine were to get down on one knee and make the most romantic proposal in the world, what do you think would happen?

JACKSON: I don`t know. I guess I`ll cross that bridge if I ever come to it. But I`m not opposed to it, but that works for me.

HAMMER: She`s not ruling it out, Jermaine. What do you think?

DUPREE: I mean, you know, I`m sure it would go down if I got on my knee and did it, but I mean, I understand what she`s saying. It don`t - a wedding doesn`t really change what we already have. I don`t see what it`s going to do because I feel like we already got married, basically. You all already married us off anyway.

HAMMER: That`s right. No, but that`s true.

DUPREE: The media has already - "They got married last week." I heard that for like a month straight.


HAMMER: Now there is a man full of confidence. Jermaine`s new book is called, "Young, Rich, and Dangerous, The Making of a Music Mogul," and it is in stores now.

So yesterday, we asked to you vote on our question of the day. I really enjoyed asking this one. Donald Trump: Do you admire him? Well, let`s take a look at how that went. Yes, kind of how I expected. Thirteen percent of you said yes. Eighty-seven percent of you said no.

Got an e-mail from Gwen who writes in from Georgia who saying, "The only mark that Trump will leave on this world is being a pompous bully seeking any publicity he can buy."

Brian in Alabama writes, "He doesn`t have a clue how ridiculous he looks and that everyone is laughing at him." Thanks for your e-mail.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Glenn Beck coming up next right after the latest from "CNN Headline News." Have a great night.