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Copperfield Raid; Worse Week - Ellen or Britney?; Winehouse Arrest

Aired October 19, 2007 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMMER, HOST: The massive pressure to be thin. The unfair treatment. A showbiz special report, women in Hollywood. And why are grown men dressing up like Hannah Montana? I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.
On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Britney does it again. The hits keep coming as Britney runs over somebody`s foot with her car. Ouch. And on the same day, a judge tells her she can`t see her kids. Tonight, is Britney having the worst week ever? Or is it Ellen, who has now gone into hiding after her doggy drama. Or is it Iggy the dog himself? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking who is having the worst week ever?

Tonight, a magical mystery. Why in the world did the FBI raid magician David Copperfield`s warehouse in Vegas? And why did they reportedly make $2 million in cash disappear? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT pulls a rabbit out of the hat to reveal David Copperfield`s magical mystery.


HAMMER: Friday night finally here. I`m A.J. Hammer broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City. And tonight, are women in Hollywood being treated unfairly about everything? From their roles to their weight, a powerful showbiz special report is coming up.

But first tonight- yes, the hits keep on coming for Britney Spears, and I do, unfortunately, mean hits in a very literal way. Even as Britney was reportedly settling her dispute with the woman whose car she hit and ran, she ran over somebody`s foot. And on the very same day, a judge told her to stay away from her kid altogether. And you think you had a bad day.


HAMMER (voice over): Britney Spears is proving once again that she has one big talent, and we`re not talking about her singing. I`m talking about her talent for running into trouble - or over it. You have to see it to believe it. This video shows Britney Spears leaving a Beverly Hills medical center. On her way out, she runs over, yes, runs over a paparazzo`s foot with her car.



FRANCES CALLIER, COMEDIAN, "FRANGELA" COMEDY DUO: Why is she driving in the first place?

HAMMER: The comedy duo, Frangela. points out to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Britney has had all kinds of car mishaps lately, including a little fender bender for which Britney was charged with hit and run.

ANGELA SHELTON, COMEDIAN, "FRANGELA" COMEDY DUO: I don`t know about the DMV regulations right now. But how many people do you have to hit -


SHELTON: Before they are like, maybe you need to take a little break -

CALLIER: Really.

SHELTON: Or a refresher course.


HAMMER: Fortunately, the photographer walked away from the incident with fresh tire marks on his sock providing a lasting reminder of his run-in with Britney.

JO PIAZZA, CORRESPONDENT, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": I wasn`t surprised when she hit the paparazzi, they are surrounding her car.

HAMMER: Jo Piazza of the "New York Daily News" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the accident may not have been totally Britney`s fault. But there is something interesting about Brit`s driving.

PIAZZA: Seems like she was taking more care to cover what she had just done to her lips in that medical center than to watch where she was going.

HAMMER: Yes, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you something else may have been afoot at the time of Brit`s accident. We see her covering her mouth while driving out of the medical center. posted this image of the instant Britney left her mouth unguarded. Draw your own conclusions.

SHELTON: Let`s look at this evidence.


SHELTON: OK. She`s out of Beverly Hills Medical Center.

CALLIER: And, you know, her lips look a little puffier.

SHELTON: Puffier than they did when she entered, and she`s covering her mouth as she leaves. You put those together and what do you get?

CALLIER: I saw a little like, you know, squish-squish.

SHELTON: It`s either that or the doctor glocked her.

CALLIER AND SHELTON: What`s wrong with you? Bam!

CALLIER: Get your kids back!

HAMMER: But it looks like Britney won`t be getting her kids back anytime soon. On the same day Britney was rolling over a photographer, a judge stripped her of all visitation rights to her two small children.

PIAZZA: We found out that it was because she once again didn`t comply with the judge`s order.

HAMMER: Those orders require Brit to, among other things, submit to random drug testing and parental coaching. But wait till you hear her reported whopper of an excuse.

PIAZZA: Apparently the judge and people who were doing this drug testing were unable to reach Britney because the phone number that she had given them seems to be an outdated cell phone number of an assistant, but Britney`s other excuse is that there`s just bad cell reception in Malibu.

HAMMER: The comedy duo, Frangela, suggests that if the court needs to get in touch with Britney, don`t call her, just call one of the photographers that`s always with her. Frangela shows us what they mean.

SHELTON: Give Britney the phone. Britney, get your ass in here and get me the phone. No, you may not go - Brit`s taking a wax first.

HAMMER: So Britney`s mishaps, both behind the wheel and in her custody battle, are becoming a little too much to keep up with.

SHELTON: Basically she`s like, you know what, I give up. I`m going to keep hitting people. I`m going to keep running over your feet -


SHELTON: Hitting your property, messing up.

CALLIER: Until you take care of me.

SHELTON: Until you do - these are cries for help.

HAMMER: And until she gets that help, trouble will continue to find Britney and anyone who crosses her path.


HAMMER: All right. Now we`d like to hear from you for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Britney loses visitation: Is it unfair to keep her kids from her? Vote at or you can send us an e-mail at

Tonight, the fallout from the Ellen Degeneres doggy drama - Ellen in hiding. Ellen suddenly canceled the taping of her show which was supposed to air today after the uproar over Iggy, the dog. Now, Ellen had adopted the dog and then gave it away to her hairstylist without the adoption agency`s permission. And in a very dramatic confrontation you`re seeing here, the agency took the dog away from the hairstylist and her two young daughters, which led Ellen to having basically an emotional breakdown on her show.

With us tonight in New York, Maggie Gallant, founder of Spotlight Communications and from Hollywood tonight, Kim Serafin, senior editor for "In Touch Weekly." Happy Friday to you both. Ellen off the radar for a couple of days. I almost can`t blame her she took an unexpected extended weekend after all the drama unfolded this week. What do you think, Kim? This really got to her, didn`t it?

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Oh yes. I think anyone watching her show knows that this was a sincere emotional reaction. I mean she`s not one of the celebrities that goes crazy and gets emotional on every show. It`s not one of those celebrities that you would say, oh, here she goes again. I mean this was definitely - this meant a lot to her. And I think anyone who has an animal, who has a dog, who is a dog lover, can relate to what was going on. So I think probably good thing for her to get out of the media spotlight for a couple of extra days.

HAMMER: Yes, it`s really interesting to have listened to the debate all week long. A lot of people saying, well, yeah, it was important to her, but she kind of overreacted. Hey, different things strike people in different ways. And you need look no further than the videotape of her breaking down on her show the first time she told us about Iggy. Watch again.


ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": I thought I did a good thing. 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. And I feel totally responsible for it and I`m so sorry. And I`m begging them to give that dog back to that family. I just want this family to have the dog. It`s not their fault. It`s my fault.


HAMMER: Maggie Gallant, let me go to you as our PR expert on call tonight. What do you think? Is it the right move for Ellen to disappear for a couple days, let this uproar die down? Or should she be back on the air, doing her show as always and moving on?

MAGGIE GALLANT, FOUNDER, SPOTLIGHT COMMUNICATIONS: Well, I think one of the main reasons why she wanted to stop out of the spotlight was that the abundance of all these violent voice mail messages to this pet organization. And something that`s really important to Ellen is pet adoption nationwide. And I think that`s really important.

HAMMER: Let me just point out, Maggie - I`m sorry to interrupt you. Let me just point out for people who might not be familiar with what happened in the course of this story. After Ellen went on the air, all of a sudden, the owners of this pet adoption agency were receiving threatening and violent voice mail messages and threats. So I just want to clear that up. But please continue.

GALLANT: Yes, it was crazy. I mean, that was absolutely not what Ellen was intending. The last thing she wants to see is a backlash and people not wanting to adopt animals., for example, has 27 dogs named Iggy right now , with the exact name of Iggy waiting to go to a good home. It was a smart move to take a step back so she can be her fun dancing self-back on Monday hopefully. Because that video seriously - I can`t watch it again. It is heartbreaking.

HAMMER: Yes, I`d rather see Ellen dancing at this point. And on her last show, she did say that she was done talking about this until hopefully Iggy gets reunited with that family, which doesn`t look like it`s going to happen. But what do you think, Kim? Can Ellen really stop talking about what happened? Because it really struck such a core nationwide. Not just talking about Ellen`s fans, but really the pet lovers around the planet.

SERAFIN: Oh, yes. I mean, I got my dog from a rescue organization here in L.A. So I think everyone relates to this. I mean, you`re talking about dogs and kids, two of the things that garner the most sympathy.

And the thing about Ellen - you know, a lot of people have talk shows, a lot of people are celebrities, a lot of people have a bully pulpit, and don`t use that to do something good. So you have to give Ellen credit. And I think that`s why you are seeing so much of the public sentiment really on her side because she puts her money where her mouth is. She puts her time, her money, her efforts into this cause. And it really touched a part of her and animal lovers all over. I mean, you look at the stats about how much money people spend on their animals and then also the horrible stats about how many animals - hundreds of thousands are euthanized every year in this country. And I think that really struck a chord with a lot of people.

HAMMER: I want to go back to something you said, Maggie, about Ellen`s happy-go-lucky fun dancing spirit, her quirky comedic self. You know, that is what we`re used to. That`s her image. But what do you think? Has this whole incident possibly hurt her, because people may now look at her differently, especially with all the mud-slinging that`s been going on?

GALLANT: Well, I think that when we have animals in our lives, they change us one way or the other. And I think this experience has absolutely obviously changed Ellen. But I think when she had that emotional response, it was so real, and I think people really identified with that.

And I think that very often, we look at celebrities so much from a distance, we can`t relate to them. But I think this makes her even more relatable. She talked about how she`s having a bad day and that`s why she was sharing that with her audience. We can all relate to having a bad day.

HAMMER: Great to see that human side of Ellen, and hopefully, we will move on in a very positive way. Ladies, have a great weekend. Kim Serafin, Maggie Gallant, I appreciate your being with us.

Obviously a pretty bad week for Ellen. And I definitely am among those who feel sorry for her predicament. But I`ve got to wonder, who has had the worst week ever? Ellen? Britney? Or maybe even Iggy, the dog. You think you are having a bad week? Well, stick around. We are sure to make you feel better coming up at "30 Minutes Past the Hour."

Plus, a magical mystery tonight. Why in the world did the FBI raid David Copperfield`s warehouse of magic? And what potential evidence did they make disappear? We`re going to be pulling the curtain back on that story coming up.

Next, man, you are not going to want to miss this. This is a video that landed on my desk today. I thought this was so incredibly cool. Please stick around, because we are learning to fly. That`s next in our showbiz video of the day. We`ll be right back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Hey, it`s time now for our showbiz video of the day. I love showing you this stuff. Watch this one. We will call this flying high Friday.

If you`ve ever wanted to fly, hey, this is right up your alley. Look at this - a group of extreme base jumpers. What they do is they jump off the sides of mountains and they fly as closely as they can to it. This video is coming from "" It`s pretty amazing watching these guys jump. They are doing cliffs, free falling thousands of feet. It`s all pretty cool if you ask me. That is our showbiz video of the day.

HAMMER: Tonight, a magician mystery. One of the most famous illusionists in the world, David Copperfield is at the center of a shocking investigation. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has confirmed that FBI agents stormed into a warehouse owned by Copperfield, and then walked away with everything from computers to a reported $2 million in cash.

Joining me tonight from Los Angeles, editorial director of "," our good buddy, Ken Baker. All right, Ken, I`ve got to say this whole thing is pretty bizarre. From what the FBI revealed to us at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT today, we know this raid took place on Wednesday. And besides computers and the cash that they seized, they also took away a whole digital camera system and some other stuff. Do we know, Ken, why Copperfield has this warehouse in Vegas?

KEN BAKER, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, "USMAGAZINE.COM:" Well, this warehouse is pretty interesting, because if you read everything about it, it seems like kind of a creepy place. I mean, he has this warehouse. He has all these memorabilia there from former magicians, and some of the best -

I guess it`s been called the best magical museum in the world, at least privately. And what he`ll do is after midnight, he`ll bring people in. There are special effects and he`ll bring them on these little personal tours of these strange and magic things. And he has little contraptions, so it`s kind of a creepy place.

But what I really thought was interesting was that they found $2 million cash in a vault. Now I don`t know about you, but where I come from, people keep $2 million hard cash, like, in their possession - that`s generally a pretty shady thing. Now, we don`t know why they are investigating. We just know that there was a police report filed in Seattle, and this was part of the investigation. But I have to say that the $2 million in cash sitting in a warehouse, that seemed weird to me.

HAMMER: Yes, I don`t think the little bunny rabbits are all that expensive, personally. Now, of course, whenever a celebrity gets in trouble, and we don`t have all the facts, play of innuendo and rumor starts to swirl around.

Let me tell you what we do know. What we`ve also been able to confirm is that a woman in the Seattle area has filed a police report accusing Copperfield of a crime. Now, the police are not saying what it was, so we`re not even going to speculate, but Ken, these have to be very serious charges for police and investigators to take it to the level that they have.

BAKER: Yes. You have to assume that the FBI wouldn`t go and raid him unless they had really good evidence and got a search warrant and went to a judge and say, hey look, we have evidence that we think is there, that we need in our possession.

Well, they took a memory check from the camera. They took his computers. They took this cash. They seized other valuables. And we`re told also over at UsMagazine that they went over to the MGM where he performs. Apparently, there`s some office over there as well. So there`s something going on with David Copperfield that we don`t know. And it`s kind of consistent with this kind of mystery around David Copperfield, because there`s always been two camps on David Copperfield. One, he`s kind of this creepy, weird magician guy, and people think that, you know he`s kind of strange and somewhat hypnotized Claudia Schiffer into dating him back in the `90s.

But then, there are people who think that he`s charming, he`s great, he`s talented, and they flock from all around the world to go see him. Actually, I guess some people think both things about him. But at the same time, I think he is kind of a mysterious character. So for this to happen, it`s not super-shocking, but I guess everyone wants to know, what did he do, allegedly, that would make the FBI raid him?

HAMMER: And of course, Copperfield is not being silent about this. At least he`s speaking out to his attorney. I want to release - read to you the attorney`s statement that we received today.

The attorney said, quote, "We are in touch with the investigators, and are respecting the confidentiality of the investigation." Now he also went on to say, "Unfortunately, false allegations are all too often made against famous individuals. But we are confident the investigation will conclude favorably."

So, as it is right now, we don`t know enough about these charges to even speculate, Ken. But this is something that celebrities have to deal with. They`re often telling me that this is what makes the price of fame so high because they`re such easy targets.

BAKER: Absolutely. There`s the clich', "There`s a high price to fame." And I think that this has happened this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) In all defense to David Copperfield, look, just this year, Tom Cruise was extorted by a man in Arizona who said that he had a wedding video of Tom and Katie getting married, and he wanted money for it.

And so a lot of times, you know, celebrities will be targeted by people who just want money out of them, or want something out of them. Now, again, like you said, we don`t know the facts around this case, but celebrities are often targeted. Look, just a couple of years ago, the same thing happened to Paris Hilton. Someone had stolen a computer from her and said, we`re going to reveal all the contents in the hard drive. And the authorities came after them as well. So it`s often unclear when it comes to celebrities just whether they did the crime or not. But of course, this is all going to come out eventually.

HAMMER: Innocent until proven guilty. We will watch it unfold together. Ken Baker, I appreciate you being with us tonight.

BAKER: Thanks.

HAMMER: Well, singer Amy Winehouse had to go, go, go to jail. Winehouse spent the night in jail in Norway after being arrested for drug possession. Her husband and another person were also arrested. Police say they found a quarter ounce of marijuana in Winehouse`s hotel in Norway where she is on tour right now. She was released this morning after paying a $715 fine, and that closes the case, according to authorities there.


Well, a bad night for Amy, but that doesn`t even come close to the kind of week Britney Spears has had, losing visitation rights, running over someone`s foot. And then we have Ellen`s doggy drama, not to mention the kind of week Iggy the dog has had. Who`s had the worst week ever? That`s coming up at 30 minutes past the hour. We also have this -


JENNIFER CONNELLY: I feel sometimes there are more talented women out there wanting to work than there are opportunities.


HAMMER: Well, Jennifer Connelly is not the only one who feels that way. And I`ve got to wonder, why is it so much harder in Hollywood for women to get those good roles? And what is up with all that tremendous pressure we are always hearing about for these ladies to look a certain way? All that ahead in a showbiz special report, "Women in Hollywood."

And I want you to take a look at this. Yes, it`s grown men. Yes, they are dressing up like teeny bopper star Hannah Montana. What the heck is going on here? I`ll fill you in. You won`t want to miss that. It`s still to come on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT this weekend, sex on TV. Have you seen some of the new shows between "Californication" and "Tell Me You Love Me?" It`s not all that easy to distinguish prime time TV to soft core porn. But do these shows cross the line? SHOWBIZ investigates sex on TV, tomorrow and Sunday.

One of my favorite comedians Margaret Cho says she has sympathy for Britney Spears. Margaret is starring in a burlesque-style variety show called "The Sensuous Woman," now playing in New York City. And once upon a time, Margaret had her own sitcom called "All American Girl." She says it got canceled because she was, in her words, too fat and too Korean. Well, she`s over that now, but at that time it sent her life into a tailspin. I asked her how bad it got. Watch this.


MARGARET CHO, COMEDIAN: Well, not Britney bad. Not like - it was just so weird. It`s like, I watch all these kids nowadays. They`re kids to me, people like her, like Lindsay Lohan, and I`m like, well, you know, I got bad, but I didn`t get that bad. I guess we didn`t have camera phones. That sort of - I didn`t have a witness to it, so - But I didn`t wear underwear a couple days.

HAMMER: All right. But that`s not like deeply depressed in the corner of your apartment, sucking on a bottle of Jack Daniels. Was it that kind of a thing?

CHO: Without underwear on, maybe.


HAMMER: Margaret`s great new show is called "Sensuous Woman," and it is playing in New York City. Margaret, I think, is having a pretty good week. Her show is going well. Now Britney Spears - not so much. Neither is Ellen, for that matter. And don`t even get me started on Iggy the dog.


HAMMER: That guy has been moved around more than a U Haul trailer. But who is having the worst week ever? That`s next. Also this -


CONNELLY: I feel sometimes like there are more talented women out there wanting to work than there are opportunities.

HAMMER: Jennifer Connelly, not the only one who feels that way. I`ve got to wonder, why is it so much harder in Hollywood for women to get those good roles? And what`s up with the tremendous pressure for them to look a certain way? That`s ahead on the showbiz special report, "Women in Hollywood."

And look at this. Is that my cameraman, Todd? No, it`s grown men dressing up like teeny bopper star, Hannah Montana. Getting tickets to her concert apparently really is a drag. That`s coming up. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Friday night coming right back. Nice shot, Todd.



HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, what a week it`s been.


DEGENERES: Those people went and took that dog out of their home, and took it away from those kids. And I feel totally responsible for it and I`m so sorry.


HAMMER: Poor Ellen. Her doggy drama really got her down this week. But what about Iggy, that little guy? That little guy has been yanked out of every home he has ever had.

And what about Britney Spears? Man, she has had a rough time this week as well. Tonight, who is having the worst week ever?

Women in Hollywood, they are not allowed to age. They are not allowed to put on weight. They don`t get the same kind of money as men, and there aren`t as many good roles. What is up with this unfair treatment? And is it getting any better? Tonight, a showbiz special report - "Women in Hollywood."


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 are watching TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. And tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is saying TGIF.

You know, for some in Hollywood, this was truly the worst week ever. I`ve got to tell you, an awful lot of drama in Hollywood this week. Maybe there was something in the air. I don`t know. It turns out it was on the air as well, because it was all caught on tape. Britney Spears, Ellen Degeneres, even her little dog Iggy. They had rough weeks, but the question is who had it worse? I`ll let you decide.


(voice over): All right. We just got to know, who had the worst week ever? Was it Britney?


HAMMER: Ellen?

DEGENERES: I just want the -

HAMMER: Or her poor little dog Iggy.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wants to get to the bottom of it. Our first candidate for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s worst week ever, Britney Spears. Man, oh, man did she have a week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE PHOTOGRAPHER: Oh! Oh! HAMMER: It`s embarrassing enough to have your swollen lips photographed after what looks like fresh collagen injections. But then -


HAMMER: Oh, yes. It got worse. It looks like she ran over a paparazzo`s foot. And the worst news of all? Well, this week, Britney lost all visitation rights to her kids. Yes, I said all. Pretty bad week, right? But how does it compare to a big-time emotional break down on national television?

DEGENERES: I just want the -

HAMMER: That brings to us our next candidate for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s worst week ever.

DEGENERES: I`m so sorry.

HAMMER: Ellen Degeneres because of this emotional tear-filled breakdown.

DEGENERES: I just want the family to have the dog. It`s not their fault. It`s my fault.

HAMMER: She adopted the dog and then gave it to another family. The dog adoption agency caught wind and little Iggy was forcibly taken away. Ellen cracked.

DEGENERES: I feel totally responsible for it, and I`m so sorry.

HAMMER: A tough day for Ellen, but a rough week for Iggy. And that brings us to our final candidate for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s worst week ever - Iggy the dog, forced from family, to family, to family and it ended with everyone going wiggy over Iggy.

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

HAMMER: A dramatic backyard showdown where poor Iggy was snatched from the loving arms of his family and taken back by the adoption agency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could you send the police car right away?

HAMMER: Police and all, the pup is now in a new home.


HAMMER: Oh, the drama. So who did have the worst week ever?

Joining me tonight in Hollywood, senior editor for "In Touch Weekly" Kim Serafin. In Chicago, host of "," Kelli Zink, and in Miami, author of "The Manual," Steve Santagati.

All right, gang. Man, have I never been so happy to do my little showbiz show from New York City and not in Hollywood. This is was a good week to be here. What a week this was. Britney Spears had a whopper of a week. Of course, the judge ordered that she can`t have any visitation rights until she complies with a court order. She can`t see the kids, which is a big slap in the face, and a huge setback in her custody battle. Steve, let me start with you. Where does Brit fall on your worst week ever scale?

STEVE SANTAGATI, AUTHOR OF "THE MANUAL": Well, she`s definitely number one for me, A.J. And the other thing is, it might have been a worst week ever for all of them, but for us, it was great. One, Britney is that much closer to going off the radar like Paris Hilton. We got sick of her. She`s off. So it`s bad for Britney, great for us. Second, Ellen Degeneres. Man, it was great to see two liberals fight. Mutts and Moms and Ellen. It was just so immature. It`s great fodder. And then the dog, just a bowl of food under his dish - I mean, put a bowl of food under him and he`s your best friend.

HAMMER: It`s all good.

SANTAGATI: It`s a happy week for me.

HAMMER: Hold on to your thoughts, happy man, for just a moment on the other subjects. We are still talking Britney here.

SANTAGATI: All right. Sorry. HAMMER: Kelli Zink is here.

KELLI ZINK, HOST, "CELEBTV.COM": You know, A.J., Britney Spears definitely had a terrible week. But let`s face it, her bad weeks all kind of run together. I mean, Britney in the beginning of the week, she has her lawyer say, "By the way, Brit, you can`t show up for a booking photo wearing a pink wig."

Let`s start there. You know it`s a bad week when your lawyer has to tell you when you take your license picture, you can`t wear a hot pink wig. Now, I also think - I`m going to honorably mention her lawyers and poor two sons, they definitely had the worst week ever.

HAMMER: All right, but that`s getting a little too serious for me right now. Yes, it`s late on a Friday night, Kelli. Kim, what do you think?

SERAFIN: Yes. I`m going to have to go with the groove and also say Britney probably had the worst week. Look, I am a dog owner myself. I don`t have kids but I would venture to say losing visitation rights with your kids is probably worse than losing a dog. So it just seems like it gets worse and worse for Britney.

Every time you think things are going to turn around, things get worse. She loses visitation rights. She runs over a photographer`s shoe. And also, the public`s sentiment, you know, the public sentiment was sort of on Ellen`s side. It`s definitely on Iggy`s side. Not on Britney`s side. People seem to relish in her demise. So, definitely worse week for Britney.

HAMMER: All right, well then let`s talk about Ellen because I`m thinking maybe when she comes back on Monday, she will or perhaps will not be doing her little dance to "Getting Iggy with It." Oh, never mind.

SANTAGATI: It`s "Getting Jiggy with It."

HAMMER: Oh, I`m sorry. I`ve been thinking about that all night. I just had to get it out of my system. Of course, her tearful apology, the plea that she made, and certainly I have a great deal of sympathy for her. And it`s been the talk of the planet. What about you, Steve Santagati, sympathy for Ellen? .

SANTAGATI: Am I the only one that saw this? It`s insane. She`s a mature woman. And not only that, she`s a comedian, probably the toughest, toughest role to play in showbiz, period. How did she start crying like this? That`s not the way you handle a situation. You say OK, what did wrong, let`s go fix it.

You don`t start crying on TV unless you are kind of insecure about what you did and want to build public support, if you will. It was just handled poorly. Come on, Ellen, you`re bigger than that. You can handle tougher things than that. I think it was foolish.

HAMMER: Steve, if I was a betting man, I would have said you would have answered exactly that way, so I would have won some money. Kim?

SERAFIN: I don`t agree. I don`t think she did it to get the public on board with her. I think Steve is right, that she is a comedian and she is a consummate professional. So when you see that she is reduced to tears this way, this is something that really struck a chord with her. This is something that really made her upset.

SANTAGATI: Alligator tears.

SERAFIN: Oh, no, Steve. I think you`re too cynical about it.

SANTAGATI: Alligator.

SERAFIN: I think this is a serious thing.

HAMMER: Kelli Zink, were they alligator tears?

ZINK: Serious. Come on, people. Ellen did not have a bad week. Her ratings are spiking right now. Everyone is tuning in and her entire production crew got a couple days off. Yes, Ellen cried and Steve, I completely agree with you. Maybe this is covering up for something that she may have done in the past. Yes, my heart goes out to the little girl, but Ellen, come on. You`re better than that.


HAMMER: All right, let`s move through this quickly, because we have got one minute to talk about poor little Iggy. Of course, he was in that nice home with Ellen and then he gets a new home with the hairdresser and the kids. And then he`s wrenched in this a terrible scene into a new life of mystery. Steve, where does Iggy, the pup, fall in your worst week scale?

SANTAGATI: All right. Iggy is a rock star, OK. He happens to be on tour right now, just seeing all the homes in the neighborhood. You go from celebrity to celebrity. He will end up with Britney eventually.

HAMMER: He`s on tour performing - what`s he performing? "Getting Iggy with It." Kim?

SERAFIN: Yes. You know, I do think Steve was right initially when he said, you know, look, he`s a dog, probably he`s getting all this extra attention, lots of extra treats, lots of extra food, lots of extra belly rubs because everyone feel so is bad for him. So he`s doing fine, I think.

HAMMER: Kelli Zink, ten seconds, take me home.

ZINK: What`s the worst that can happen - he`s getting 15 minutes of fame and he`s going to end up in Paris Hilton`s Louis Vuitton. I don`t feel bad for anyone, OK? I`m sorry.

HAMMER: If I hear anybody co-opting "Getting Iggy with It," I`m filing a lawsuit. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

SERAFIN: Trademark.

SANTAGATI: Trademark.

HAMMER: Kim Serafin, Kelli Zink, Steve Santagati. Have a great weekend, guys.

All right let`s focus one more time on Britney for one more second, at least, because we have been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Britney loses visitation: Is it unfair to keep her from her kids? Let us know what you think by going to the web site Our e-mail address, if you have more to sing, we want a hit e-mail from you. It`s

One thing you have to say about Ellen is certainly has overcome so many obstacles in her career, especially the fall out after revealed to the world that she`s gay.

But what about other women in Hollywood? You know, there`s this ridiculous double standard. How come it seems that men get most of the great roles? I have to say there`s also obviously a lot of hypocrisy when it comes to weight and body image between women and men. Our showbiz special report, "Women in Hollywood." That`s coming up next.

And then there`s this lady, superstar Leanne Rimes. Man, I like her a whole lot. She`s only 25 years old but what she told me about how she makes her marriage work, it`s definitely going to get your attention. You won`t want to miss it. Hear what she said. Coming up.

And then there are these ladies. Oh ladies. Those aren`t ladies at all. They are men, in drag. But why? So they can get tickets to see Hannah Montana, of course. Kids, you`re not going to want to miss this explanation. It`s coming up when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on this fabulous Friday continues.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Time now for another story that just made us say -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s ridiculous!

HAMMER: Now, I came from radio. I`ve seen many a crazy radio stations stunt over the years. But this one was truly a drag. Look at this. No, Halloween not coming early in New Haven, Connecticut. Hey, is that Glenn Beck?

These are dads in drag. Why? Tickets for the Hannah Montana concert are so hot nationwide. One Connecticut radio station that got tickets wanted to find parents who would do anything, and obviously, it was anything for tickets. These tickets are being scalped for like 5 grand apiece. So these dads, dressed as Hannah Montana, did a drag race, so to speak, in high heels.

And the guy who won the tickets says his favorite Hannah Montana song is "I Got Nerve." Were the tickets really for your kids? Maybe they were. Maybe these guys can teach their daughters to walk in high heels. Making a fool of yourself on nationwide TV for a pair of tickets - now, that`s ridiculous.

Now, I`ll tell you something else that is definitely ridiculous, how there is this double standard for women in Hollywood. How come male stars, for the most part, still make a whole bunch more money than women? How come men are actually allowed to age gracefully in Hollywood? Women just - I`ll do air quotes, get old. That is just the beginning here. Tonight`s showbiz special report, "Women in Hollywood."

With me tonight in New York, Alex Wagner, editor-in-chief of "Fader" magazine. Also in New York, Alicia Quarles, the entertainment reporter for the Associated Press. It`s two of my favorite people joining me on a Friday night. Appreciate you, Ladies, being here.



HAMMER: Let us start off with the money, because as we all know, there are a lot of male stars in Hollywood who earn $20 million or more in a picture. I mean, just rattling off a few - Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks. I can pretty much count on two fingers, Julia Roberts and Reese Witherspoon. That`s it for the women, basically. Alicia, why do you think that there is still this disparity going on in Hollywood with the money?

QUARLES: There is disparity in Hollywood with the money because Hollywood is reflective of our society. Look at board rooms across America. Women and men do the same job. On average, men get paid more. If you look at Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, she`s got the Oscar, and yet gets 12 million a picture and yet he gets about 20. So the gap is huge.

HAMMER: Alex, let me ask you. Does this have a lot to do with the fact that movie studios aren`t really creating the kind of movies and roles for women that are worth $20 million plus?

WAGNER: Well, I mean, I think that there`s fundamentally a dearth of roles. A 2000 Screen Actor`s Guild survey shows that there are literally half the number of roles for women than there were for men. I mean, there`s simply - it`s a game of numbers to a certain extent. I mean, there aren`t as many roles for women. And then those good roles, the plum roles that, you know, you can have an actress like Julia Roberts carry - you know, those are so few and far between. So the opportunities for women to even make that amount of money are almost nonexistent.

HAMMER: And you would think the chances of getting great roles would become easier if you have a bunch of trophies up on your mantle at home. I have to tell you that I was surprised to learn one woman in Hollywood who you would think would have an easy time even if she hadn`t won the Oscar, Halle Berry. She`s in a new movie that just opened up called, "Things We Lost in the Fire." And I want to you listen to what Halle told me when I asked her about the fact that she still has to fight for great roles. Watch this.


HALLE BERRY, ACTRESS: Well, the reality is it`s not just my story. It`s every woman`s story in Hollywood, most actors` story. I mean, this is a really competitive business that we`re in. The great roles are only a few every year or two, and so you really have to fight for them. And I always throw my hat in the ring and I always fight. Sometimes I win out and get the role. Sometimes I don`t. But I`m always up to the fight, that`s for sure.


HAMMER: Alicia, let me ask you, does the fact that Halle really has to fight for great roles truly have more to do with the fact that she is a woman? I mean, can we sort of pin it down to that?

WAGNER: Absolutely. I mean, Halle is not the only one that echoes this sentiment. Look at Julia Roberts. Look at Gwyneth Paltrow. These people have won Oscars. But unlike the Denzels and Russel Crows, the great movies that follow their Oscar wins were few and far between, because there`s less great movies with women at the helm in Hollywood.

QUARLES: I`m also going to interject here and say that, you know, the roles women are relegated to - I mean, very, very few women roles that carry a film. Most big films are blockbusters. They have action - they have action plots and they`re driven by male leads. Women are frequently on the sidelines as the object of affection, the damsel in distress. I mean they`re rarely top billing.

HAMMER: Yes, and I guess that`s one of the reasons I appreciate the fact Halle does have this current role in "Things We Lost In The Fire." I mean there`s a great performance in there from Benicio del Toro and also David Duchovny. But she does carry this film.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT also had the opportunity to speak with another woman who has an Oscar - I`m talking about Jennifer Connelly, of course, she won for "A Beautiful Mind." I want you guys to watch what she told us about opportunities for women in Hollywood. Roll this.


CONNELLY: There are women doing extraordinary things, and yet it also sometimes feels like there could be more opportunities for many others. It feels sometimes like there are more talented women out there wanting to work than there are opportunities.


HAMMER: All right. So she`s kind of talking about the numbers game there, but Alicia, what do you think? How much of that also has to do with the fact that when you get older in Hollywood as a woman, sadly, for a lot of actresses, you become yesterday`s news.

QUARLES: Listen, in Hollywood, sex sells. The key demographic are young people, so they want these women that look perfect. That`s just not realistic. In Hollywood, as you age as a woman, you`re going to be like the rest of us. You`re going to get a little bit wider in the hips, and that should be accepted. But in Hollywood, you can`t. You have to get botox stabbed in, and your face done and everything else. And that should not be the standard, but right now, that`s how it is.

HAMMER: Yes, it shouldn`t be the standard. And this leads me to the next thing I wanted to talk about. Because this is one of the things that has truly upset me the most as long as I have covered Hollywood, probably the biggest of the double standards as far as I`m concerned when it comes to age and weight and body image. You see the guys, and great actors, Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford - people refer to them as they get older and bigger as dashing and seasoned actors, but when it comes to women, like Helen Merin(ph) or Diane Keaton, even Meg Ryan, they may be considered to be aging. Why, Alex, do you think that women in Hollywood are not allowed to age gracefully beyond obviously, you know, that instant sex appeal of the younger stars?

WAGNER: I mean I think it is a more held by society. It`s just the idea that men get distinguished as they get older and women sort of lose their luster and that definitely translates over into film. We want our actresses tight and we want them toned. Nicole Kidman is still beautiful, but you know, is very much an actress who`s trying to push back the hand of time, you know. There are only a handful of actresses that are allowed to age gracefully and take on a roles, have a stature, you know - Helen Merin(ph) is one of the few ones - Meryl Streep. You know, there are five of them. You can count them on your hands. .

HAMMER: Alicia, give me a quick yes or no, because I only have about 10 seconds. Are things getting better? Because I really hope they are.

QUARLES: I really don`t think they are getting better in Hollywood. I mean I just saw "American Gangster." Denzel had a little belly rolling over but I also saw, "Things We Lost in the Fire." Halle Berry had a swimming suit scene, and she looks perfect.

HAMMER: She looks great.

QUARLES: And there`s a double standard.

HAMMER: I`ve got to wrap you guys there. Thank you very much for being with us tonight, Alex Wagner, Alicia Quarles. I appreciate it.

HAMMER: Well, from women in Hollywood to the woman who is the pride of Nashville. I`m talking about superstar LeAnn Rimes. You know, she`s only 25 years old, but I can tell you that what she told me about how she makes her marriage work, you will think, hey, she so gets it. She should really be a marriage counselor, although we love her as a singer. The lesson from LeAnn coming up next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. It time now for "Making It Work," this is a portion of the program where we take a look at famous couples who find a way to build strong and long Lasting relationships in showbiz and it ain`t easy to do.

Tonight, country superstar LeAnn Rimes - hard to imagine, but LeAnn, who, you know, basically grew up before our eyes, is now 25 years old. And that happens to be the same age as that disaster, Britney Spears. But unlike Britney, LeAnn Rimes has her head on straight, has a career that really seems to be getting better by the day, and she has a five-year long marriage that has remained strong. That`s her husband Dean with her right now. Had a chance to meet the guy, too. Very cool.

She`s got this new album out, appropriately called "Family." It made a high-flying debut on the Billboard charts. And much of the album surrounds emotional scars that LeAnn had through the years. She turns to her husband Dean for help in writing the songs. So, when I spoke with her recently, I had to ask her what secret she had to maintaining such a strong marriage and family.


LEANN RIMES, COUNTRY SUPERSTAR: I don`t really have one. I just think we really enjoy spending time with one another. He travels with me, so we spend a lot of time together and, you know, working together. I mean it gets heated because we are both very passionate people. But we both respect each other`s opinions and views.

We work together but our lives don`t depend on - our income doesn`t depend on it. We can really separate that. When we want to work together, we work together.

I adore him, and we laugh a lot. He`s hysterical, and he keeps me on my toes, and I think kind of where - we`re a good balance where we both, you know, leave off, the other one picks up. So it`s great to have him around.


HAMMER: I`ve got to tell you, I was a LeAnn Rimes fan before I met her. After sitting down with her, I`m a huge LeAnn Rimes fan. I`m a multiple fan. She has her act together for sure. Her new album "Family" in stores now.

Time now to find out what`s happening on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Hey, it is Friday after all. This weekend, steamy scenes on the small screen. There`s a whole lot more sex on TV than ever before. Some of those new shows, incredibly graphic, has us asking is this prime time TV or porn TV? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates sex on TV this weekend.

And then on Monday, our little Britney. What oh, what went wrong here? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has been following Britney Spears like nobody else, and we are getting to the bottom of this. What made her go from being America`s dimpled beauty to America`s disaster. Showbiz special reports the transformation of Britney Spears on Monday. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Have a great weekend. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Yes, he`s coming up next, right after the very latest from CNN HEADLINE NEWS.