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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for October 30, 2007

Aired October 30, 2007 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Hi there, everyone, I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you tonight from Hollywood. And tonight, we`ve got Oprah Winfrey`s confessions -- having an affair, her medical crisis. But can Oprah really do anything wrong? That`s coming up.

HAMMER: First tonight, holy Britney. So, did you hear the one about the priest with the kinky looking Britney spears on his lap? If you`re waiting for a punch line, I`m here to tell you, there is nothing funny about the outrage over what Britney`s done now.

ANDERSON: Yes, wait until you se the pictures that come with Britney`s new album, just released today because SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can now reveal that Britney might need a prayer.


BROOKE ANDERSON (voice over): We`ve seen Britney against the paparazzi.


ANDERSON: Britney against K-fed. Heck, we`ve even seen Britney against the music. But now that Britney Spears` new album "Blackout" has hit stores, she is squaring off against a new opponent. The Catholic Church?

ALICIA QUARLES, ASSOCIATED PRESS: It wouldn`t be Britney Spears if there weren`t some controversy attached to it.

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you the controversial photos you can find inside the Britney`s new CD, they show a fishnet-wearing Britney getting cozy with a priest in a confessional.

JO PIAZZA, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Britney Spears could use some time in a confessional bit.

ANDERSON: Be that as it may, not everyone is amused. One Catholic group calls the photos the bottom of the barrel and there were other strong responses.

PIAZZA: Wow, that priest is really hot.

ANDERSON: That obvious fact aside, Jo Piazza, of the "Daily News" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, it`s no accident these photos found a way into her make or break CD.

PIAZZA: The record company would not try to hide this controversy one bit. Everyone I know in the industry got advanced copy of the album, of the album photos. I think they were trying to push it before the album came out to create a buzz.

ANDERSON: Britney`s new album definitely has Britney fans buzzing, as we see in this Hollywood.TV video, fans lined up at Hollywood`s Virgin Mega Store at the stroke of midnight to snap up the first copies of Britney`s new album.

And Britney spent the night before her big record release, doing what she does best, clubbing and dodging the paparazzi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people line up to buy your CD, Britney.

So, with all attention Britney is getting for her new album and the great response she got to its hit single "Gimme more," SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking -- why does Britney really need to goose her sales by rubbing up on a priest?

QUARLES: She didn`t need this controversy. All press isn`t good press.

But what if all press is good press? That`s the strategy that seems to work for even a bigger pop starlet and one-time kissing partner of Britney`s.

QUARLES: Madonna`s made a whole career as of ticking off the Catholic Church.

ANDERSON: Alicia Quarles tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that since before Britney was a musketeer, Madonna was using religious imagery for shock value.

QUARLES: Of course Britney and her people knew it would be controversial. You look at Madonna`s 1989 "Like a prayer" video. She got in huge trouble with the Catholic Church for essentially doing the same thing, and as she walked into the church wearing lingerie, she does all of these kind of sexual acts, Britney Spears has taken a page from Madonna and doing the same thing.

ANDERSON: But even with her controversial antics and her new, provocative confessional pics, Britney is still nowhere near Madonna when it comes to star power and making headlines.

PIAZZA: Britney has done so many weird and wild things, but nothing has worked for her yet. So, I think now she thinks she should go back to the old standbys, what worked in the past.

ANDERSON: Does that mean we`ll soon see Britney flashing a crowd at the Super Bowl or dangling a baby from a hotel room window? Well, maybe not that one, that wouldn`t help her in her custody battle. But as long as Britney continues to give up more of her getting moves like these confessional photos, it looks like her wild antics won`t kill her career. They will prolong it.

QUALES: It`s flashing her crotch to the world, as losing custody of her kids, at shaving her head in public didn`t ruin her career, then nothing will.


ANDERSON: OK. Those pictures with the priest may not hurt her career. But tonight, I can tell you that a lot of people are not happy with them at all. That includes Bill Donohue, who`s president with the Catholic League and with us tonight in New York and here at HOLLYWOOD TONIGHT new consultant and host of Yahoo movie traveler, . Bill, I want to start with you. Tell us what you find so incredibly offensive about these photos?

BILL DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Well, unlike, Madonna, who does loathe the Catholic Church -- she said so in interviews. I feel more sorry for her than I do anger at her. I don`t like her playing fast and loose with the sacrament of reconciliation. She just leave Catholics out of it. But after all this is a girl`s in and out of rehab, she can`t even bring up her own kids, her performance on MTV was utterly pathetic. She`s trying to jumpstart her career again and she figured, she - you know, she clipped a page out of Madonna`s book and see if she can`t get somebody to pay attention to her. She, herself, is very embarrassing to look at.

ANDERSON: What do you think, is Bill taking the photos a bit too seriously? What do you think - are they harmless? Your thoughts.

QUDDUS PHILIPPE, MUSIC CONSULTANT: Well, Bill, wouldn`t it be more productive to examine why it is that artists feel the need to cause controversy and to do anything for publicity to sell records?

DONOHUE: Well, I think you`re right about that. And I think in the case of Madonna, because she loathes the Catholic Church, is a bigot. I se no evidence that all that Britney Spears is a bigot against Catholics. I think the girl is going south both in terms of her career and in terms of her personal life, she does need to see a priest. I mean a real one, get her head straight.

ANDERSON: Well, you know, Quddus, what do you think, is it fair to compare Madonna and Britney? It does bring up the imagery that Madonna had, mixing the religious imagery with sexual imagery with "Like a prayer" in late `90s. Is it fair to compare the two?

PHILIPPE: Well, obviously Britney looks up to Madonna and is trying to pattern herself after Madonna. But I think Britney is really kind of trying to do whatever she can. I think I agree with Bill on that note. I don`t think she should be taken to court on it, you know, be scolded for it like Bill is trying to do because I think the bigger issue at hand is how the audience is supporting that kind of controversy.

ANDERSON: Bill I want to ask you -- go ahead.

DONOHUE: I wonder if the audience would support her if she chose Muslims instead of Catholics. I wonder how far she would want to push that envelope.

ANDERSON: These are - I counted 17 photos in the album jacket. These with church references are only two of the photos, Bill, do you find what Britney has done here really incredibly offensive or do you put her in the same category with Madonna?

DONOHUE: No, she`s not in the same category with Madonna. Madonna is an anti-Catholic - bigot. This girl is distress, she`s in trouble, on a scale of one to ten, it`s close up to one but it is a ten, I still don`t like cribbing, I don`t like people ripping of and plagiarizing and misappropriating Catholic iconography. Can she just sing and dance and do whatever the hell she does on her own merits as oppose to try to go into the Catholic portfolio to try and help and rescue her career. This girl is in trouble more ways than one she does need to see some member of the clergy.

ANDERSON: She is wearing fish net hose, the dress is really short. She`s got a cross around her neck. Quddus, what do you think, will this hurt album sales because some are offended by this imagery?

PHILIPPE: Well, I`m just remarking how upset Bill is with this, because I don`t think anybody is leaning on Britney for how they feel about the church. I don`t know why, Bill, you would care so much. I think frankly everybody is not surprised that Britney is doing this. I think you`re making this more a big deal by discussing it like this than anything else.

ANDERSON: While people may not be surprised, Bill is entitled to have his opinion. He is president of the Catholic League. Bill, what did you want to say?

DONOHUE: Yes, why is it always my religion? Why would you go find somebody else. Go pick on Jews or Protestants or Muslims or the Zoroastrians what other religions out there. The Wiccans are having their big day tomorrow for Halloween. Go pick on them. I mean, the fact of the matter is - it`s always a cheap stand - that`s what they are doing - it`s a cheap kind of a bandstand act for actors and actresses to always choose Catholic iconography, Catholic imagery Catholic rituals. I know we`re very rich in those traditions, if you have any talent, you don`t need to go there. These little stands she pulled has nothing to do with whatever artistic merit she has left in her portfolio.

ANDERSON: I think you said earlier Bill

PHILIPPE: I should mention Bill -

ANDERSON: Go ahead, Quddus. Go ahead.

PHILIPPE: As I`ve mentioned, I was actually raised in the church. So, I definitely appreciate what you`re trying to preserve, Bill but shouldn`t you just be glad that Britney is getting closer to the church one way or another? I mean, not to be too funny about it but I really think that I mean she is aware of it at some point that she is probably is offending you but at this point in her career, she is doing what she has to do. And that is the nature of the game right now. So, it`s like you almost want to say -- don`t hate the player, hate the game.

ANDERSON: We`ll see if this -- I`m sorry guys, I do have to wrap it up there. But we will see if this does impact record sales. Bill Donohue, Quddus, thank you both.

DONOHUE: Thank you.

HAMMER: Now, we need to hear from you for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Here`s what we`re asking -- Britney Spears new album, will you buy it? Let us know at or e-mail us at You can do this from your desktop, your laptop, even your blackberry, your cell phone, whatever you want to tell us, please do.

ANDERSON: Hey, A.J. parts of these aren`t half bad. But Britney may also have to face the music very soon. That`s big news in her custody battle too. Can this album save her career and her kids? I`m going to fire up groove that`s 30 PAST THE HOUR straight ahead.

HAMMER: Well, they`re fired up, Brooke.

But Nicole Richie might be lighting up. But if she is, I`ve got to tell you, I`ve got a real problem with it. So tonight, I`m going to get down to the bottom of reports that Richie could be harming her unborn baby by smoking during her pregnancy. Outrageous! That is coming up.

Also, Oprah Winfrey`s startling confessions. Indefinitely count me among the many that really admires Oprah Winfrey but she, of course, has her demons -- raped as a child, had an affair with a married man and now, disturbing accusations of physical abuse at her school for underprivileged girls. So, with all these, why is Oprah still so popular? I`m investigating Oprah`s confessions, that`s coming up next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.



OPRAH WINFREY, HOST: In my 20s, I was involved with a married man and it is one of my greatest regret it, I have a whole lot of regrets in my life not only because of the -- how pathetic it made me as a woman.


HAMMER: That`s Oprah Winfrey making a shocking confession on her talk show, admitting to once having an affair with a married man. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer New York. Oprah Winfrey really has had a roller coaster month as far as her personal life is concerned. But she certainly hasn`t done anything to hide it. Oprah has been confessing like crazy. On October 16th she admitted on her show she has a serious medical condition called hyper thyroidism. October 19th, that`s when Oprah admitted she had an affair with a married man in her 20s. And Oprah has made two emergency trips down to South Africa to handle the allegations of physical abuse at her all-girls school for underprivileged children. But are all these heart-wrenching confessions exactly the reason why Oprah is so beloved? Joining me tonight, from Hollywood, Howard Bragman - founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations and from Hollywood Mary Murphy - consulting editor for TV guide. Howard, Mary, it`s good to see you both. We`re obviously so used to seeing other stars running for cover when any scandalous story comes out about them. Howard, it seems that Oprah doesn`t run from it all. In fact, she seems to embrace it. Why is that?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, FIFTEEN MINUTES PUBLIC RELATIONS: You know, it`s what makes her Oprah. We`ve grown up with Oprah. She`s been on the air for a couple of decades now, more than a couple decades. And we`ve grown up with her. We feel she`s one of us, even though she`s worth a lot more money and a little more powerful and probably has a nicer house, we still feel like she`s a very regular person. And when she comes out with these confessions, she keeps herself human and that`s why we love her so much. And it just makes her -- humanity is the word that keeps coming to mind with Oprah. She has a wonderful sense of humanity. And we will forgive her just about anything at this point, A.J., we just don`t hold her accountable the same way we would somebody else.

HAMMER: And what so interesting is that she doesn`t just confess because she`s trying to address a scandal. In fact, I just mentioned that one of Oprah`s confessions was about having an affair with a married man when she was in her 20s. Nobody said you better come clean with this. Look how it played out on her show.


WINFREY: In my 20s I was involved with a married man and it is one of my greatest regrets. But I regret it not only because of how pathetic it made me as a woman and I regret it not only because I was -- I was pathetic, but because of what I did to his wife.


HAMMER: Pathetic for making the choice, Mary. That`s what she said. So, what do you think that she has to gain by putting that out there on her show when nobody was digging around, looking for that?

MARY MURPHY, CONSULTING EDITOR, TV GUIDE: Well, Oprah never makes an announcement because she has something to gain. Usually, when a celebrity makes a big announcement about their past they usually promoting a movie. I hate to say it but it`s always about a project they`re promoting. With her, you know that she is saying it because it`s just come out of her for some reason at this point in her life. And when she talks about things like this, women identify and so do men. They say -- Oh, wow, I did something like that in my past. I never told anybody. Thanks, Oprah, for talking about it. Now I can talk about it, too. So, I think she is just so amazing that she doesn`t do it for a project.

HAMMER; Yes. I agree with you. Of course, she is getting the attention for it and therefore, her brand gets promoted. But I actually think that it is for all the right reasons. Something that we know has been very devastating to her has been this school crisis with the allegations of abuse at this terrific all-girls school that Oprah founded in South Africa. Oprah has flown out there personally to talk to the parents, give them her own phone number. Is her being so direct in handling problems exactly what keeps the criticism away or defuses criticism?

BRAGMAN: You know, there`s a real interesting thing, A.J. If we were to read on TMZ that there was abuse at Oprah`s school, all of sudden it`s like -- what has Oprah done, how could she let it happen? When she`s the one who talks about it and she`s the one who comes out, she apologizes, but not just to -- she doesn`t use the media. She doesn`t go on her show and apologize. She gets her butt on a plane and flies to South Africa and apologized to the parents. You`ve got to respect that and you have to say this is a woman who gets it. She not only part of contemporary media, she`s created part of the culture we`d live in. And Oprah Show is where you go to confess, where you go to get enlightenment and she is using the same tactics on her guests that she has in herself, that is better to talk about it and it is better to own it. And people will love you and respect you more for that.

HAMMER: Yes and I would agree as well when she talks about her personal health issues, Mary, as you pointed out, these are things that women and people everywhere can really relate to. And that`s why I think it`s so terrific she came clean about her hyper thyroidism and what resulted from that with her weight and fatigue. Howard Bragman, Mary Murphy, thank you both for being wit us tonight.

ANDERSON: Yesterday we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. It was this. Oprah`s school scandal: Will it tarnish her reputation? Twenty percent of you say yes but 78 percent say no. A couple of e-mails here -- Tammy from North Carolina writes -- "It wasn`t Oprah`s fault that those terrible things happened to those children.

Laura from South Africa is mad. "Oprah and her people should have done their homework when hiring people to oversee the day-to-day running of her school."

A.J., River Phoenix, one of the biggest stars at one time, such a bright actor before his tragic, fatal drug overdose. Tonight, his brother, Joaquin, speaking out like never before about the night he saw him die. I have that next.

Also this -


NICK CARTER, BACKSTREET BOYS: Hey, go on therapy, girl. I mean, do something. I mean, you go get your inside fixed, because if you don`t get the inside fixed, the outside won`t be, it would -


HAMMER: That`s Nick Carter and I think he is right on the money about Britney Spears. You know, the Boys and Britney have a lot in common, they both have major personal struggles in their lives, they`ve got a new album out, coming up -- I would go one on four with the Backstreet Boys on rehab, weight loss and family fights.

ANDERSON: Well, Britney Spears in a raging family fight of her own to get back custody of her kids. I`ve to tell you, I really hope she and K- Fed figure this out soon for their kids` sake.

Next, I got big news about this nasty battle and whether Brit`s new album is any good - D-day for Britney - 30 PAST THE HOUR.


ANDERSON: Tonight, an actor I really admired, Joaquin Phoenix opening up like never before about some pretty personal stuff, his battle with alcohol and he`s seeing his brother, River, die of a tragic drug overdose in 1993. The revealing interview with "Playboy" magazine, quote, "It was awful when my brother passed, it was toward the end of an era. If it had happened much later, it would have been on a lot of blank blogs. The amount of information flying back and forth now has just gone beyond comprehension. It makes you feel sick about yourself and about human beings." And Joaquin also got into his own alcohol rehab just after finishing "Walk the line" which he got an Oscar nomination fall back 2005, quote, "Paragraph two, page 148 of the actor`s manual reads. `If you want to get nominated for an Oscar, go into rehab. I just thought I was going to play ping-pong and cards and drink lemonade in a really nice place for a while. Then they told me I was going to have to say my name. I`m completely fine." Read more in December issue of "Playboy"-it is on news stands this Friday.

Well, I`ll leave in some of Britney`s new album, I`ve got to tell you, some of it actually decent, really. I`m not kidding. But here`s the thing -- can "Blackout" saves Britney Spears` career and could it actually help Brit get her kids back? Straight ahead: It`s d-day for Britney: Big news in her custody fight and a fired up chat of what other people think about her disc.

Also, this -


A.J. MCLANE: Just recently celebrated five years sober and you know, being with these guys is a great support group. I mean, you know, they were there with me when I went into rehab. They were with me when I got out of rehab.


HAMMER: That`s the Backstreet Boys A.J. McLean. Backstreet`s back. Yes. In there, he`s talking about his painful battle with substance abuse. You know, the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears do have a lot in common. They`ve each had serious personal struggles in their lives. So, tonight I`m going one on four with the boys on rehab. We`ll be talking weight loss and family fights. It`s the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also, a starting story about Nicole Richie. Now, there`s these reports floating around that she could be harming her unborn baby by smoking during pregnancy. I hope this isn`t true. It is totally shocking. So, the SHOWBIZ truth squad is going to get to the bottom of it coming up next. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT coming right back.


HAMMER: 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.

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

Well, it`s certainly is a big day for Britney Spears and for once, it`s no not all about her bad behavior. There`s actually some music to talk about. Britney`s new album called "blackout" hits stores today and already there is a brand new controversy to go along with it. Britney has upset catholic leaders because of some of the photos on the CD artworks that show her sitting on a priest`s lap and leaning seductively against a confessional.

Some bad news for Britney Spears late today, a judge refused to give Britney back 50/50 custody of her two sons with ex-hubby Kevin Federline, but he did say she can visit twice a week during the way and have one monitored sleepover a week. All these on the day to begin with the official release of her new album, joining me tonight from Hollywood, "In Touch Weekly" Kim Serafin and tonight, in New York, Court TV anchor Ashleigh Banfield.

Kim, Ashleigh, great to see both of you. You know, "Blackout" getting largely positive for reviews we can`t deny that the girl still has it, from time to time. But in one song, she sings she`s so damn high, she can`t come down, her lyrics talk about dancing on table tops and one song she says quote, "Maybe I`m a freak, but I don`t really give a damn." Kim, is this album Britney`s confessional?

KIM SERAFIN, SR, EDITOR, IN TOUCH WEEKLY: I don`t know if it`s necessarily a confessional. But, yes, she does sort of address what`s going on in her life right now. I mean, even the title is called "Blackout," which could refer to many of the allegations the drug use of course the reports that this could be potentially a problem for her. Of course, they are saying, no, "Blackout` refers to getting away from negativity and embracing life positively. But yes, there are some songs in there when she talks about the paparazzi, I think it`s called "Piece of me," where the paparazzi follow her around and she`s in the tabloids. And you know, so, it does sort of talk about what`s going on in her life right now. So, what you said before, it`s not so much about the words of what she`s saying. I mean, the reviews are mostly positive about the music, that it`s a dance beat, that it really goes back to that sort of club dance roots that she has and that`s where it could potentially be a hit.

ANDERSON: Well, I want you now to take a look at this brand new video of Britney Spears all dressed up as a sexy pirate for Halloween as she had in a Virgin Mega Store in Hollywood last night for the release of this new album, but something unusual happened. When she saw the swarm of paparazzi, she actually jumped back into her car. Ashleigh Banfield, what`s up with that? Britney running away from the paparazzi? Is this a new Britney that we`re going to see?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, COURT TV ANCHOR: I don`t know. I have not been able to figure out her relationship. It`s a love/hate thing with the paparazzi. What is this about women who say Halloween is just a license to strip and put on sexy outfits? It drives me crazy. You could be a crazy, gorgeous nurse. Anyway, you know, I think the thing about her relationship with the paparazzi, sometimes I think she`s crazy like a fox, because a lot of this stuff could end up in court one day, her behavior, her appearances, that sort of thing. So, maybe the fact that she`s trying to get way from them might be good thing. I`m not too clear on that.

ANDERSON: I agree with you on the sexy out fits.

BANFIELD: I hate it.

ANDERSON: Shouldn`t it be scary costumes for Halloween? And also, tonight, we`re getting new insight into what may have led to her disastrous performance at the MTV Video and Music Awards, illusionist, Criss Angel was supposed to perform at the VMA`s with Britney. But listen to his really shocking revelation on LARRY KING LIVE.


CRISS ANGEL, ILLUSIONIST: So, I met with Britney. We discussed something. Everybody loved what we came up with. But it required a tremendous amount of work and dedication that Britney decided to not want to put forth and do something that she felt would be better suited for her.


ANDERSON: Kim, Criss Angel saying Britney didn`t want to do the work. But what do you think? Is Britney finally realizing that she has to work to turn her life and career around?

SERAFIN: Well, I would hope she realizes that. I mean I think, even some of the press she`s getting right now, had that VMA performance been what we had expected - because we have heard in advance she was going to do this big magic illusion with Criss Angel and they were spotted together. And it was supposed to be her big comeback that she`s always made a big comeback at the VMA`s, she`s always you know - the Madonna incident, or her with the snake. So I think even if she had looked great doing that, some of the press she`s getting now could potentially have been different but that was her big moment. Everyone was waiting for it and she pretty much failed. I mean really bad reviews from it. So, maybe she`s starting to realize. I mean if she gets one good thing happening in her life, maybe if this album is a success, it could help other things fall into place as well. I think that`s what people are hoping. But she`s got to do the work.

ANDERSON: You`re right. And one good thing is already happening, you know the first song from the CD "Gimme more" is a hit already, that`s good news. Another piece of positive news, we got information, new information on the testimony of her parenting coach from the custody hearing, and it was reportedly mostly positive. Ashleigh Banfield, that`s got to be more good news for Britney, right? On the right track?

BANFIELD: I`m not sure, exactly. Because I`m actually hearing two different reports. I always have the same answer, don`t I? But I am hearing two different characterizations, that there is a TMZ report suggesting that the parenting coach felt like she was ignored and that Britney was also ignoring her kids and spending all her time on the phone or changing her clothes in her bedroom. That doesn`t sound very good. But at the same time, Britney`s attorney is saying there was some good, there was some bad but the good outweighed the bad. You know, take that from what you will. But these are sealed. They always are.

ANDERSON: Certainly, they are. And you know, Britney and Kevin went to another parenting class together this week. That makes two. Wow! You know, this is really more consistency than Britney has shown in a long time. Kim, what else does she need to do to keep on impressing the judge over the long term as he makes any final decision on custody?

SERAFIN: Well, she`s obviously got to keep doing what the judge ordered, going to the parenting classes with Kevin, listening to what the parenting coach is telling her to do. But I think you know, we talked about this before. She`s got to also watch what`s going on outside of court. Because we know they`re watching what she`s doing. We know that they`re seeing when she`s out with the paparazzi and when she`s in front of the paparazzi with her kid, when she`s out partying after something happens in court. So, I think she`s got to just stay out of the limelight. Maybe what she did at this Virgin Mega Store with her pirate costume on was a good thing. Maybe this is a step in the right direction. But at the same time, you know, she still is a music star. She`s got to get out and promote her album. So, she has to find that right balance. Hopefully she can do that.

ANDERSON: Just try to stay out of trouble. Ashleigh Banfield, Kim Serafin, we will leave it there. Thank you both.


ANDERSON: And we`ve been asking you to vote, on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Question of the Day - it is this, Britney Spears new album, will you buy it? Keep voting. Write to us We`ll read some of your thoughts tomorrow.

HAMMER: Well, it is time now for the showbiz truth squad, this is where our crack team of celebrity investigators sets the record straight on Hollywood`s biggest mysteries and I`m glad we`re finally getting to this because tonight, we`re opening up the case file on Nicole Richie. As we all know, Nicole is pregnant with her first child with her boyfriend, Joe Madden. Well, there was this disturbing report in the "New York Post" yesterday. I flipped open the paper and saw she has been spotted smoking on more than one occasion. Is it true? Is Nicole really lighting up while pregnant? Thankfully, no. Her rep is calling that report irresponsible and untrue. Case closed.

ANDERSON: Well, here`s someone we don`t see at movie premieres to often. Mel Gibson. Yes, Mel made a surprise appearance last night, we`ll tell you which A-list friends he was there to support and what hint he gave us about his plans for a new movie. We got that coming up.

And also, this -


A.J. MCLANE: Just recently celebrated five years sober. And you know, being with these guys is a great support group. I mean, you know they were there with me when I went into rehab, they were there with me when I got out of rehab.


HAMMER: Look whose back. Backstreet`s back. And the boys have been through a lot in their heyday and since their heyday, I`m catching up with the Backstreet Boys and we`re going to get their take on their old pal, Britney Spears. That`s just ahead in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: And the cheerleader falls on her ciss-boom-ba. We`re going to tell whether this football team knock their team spirit right out of the cheerleader. Next on the Showbiz Video of the Day.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT -- most provocative entertainment news show. Time now for our showbiz video of the day and this one might hurt. In Auburn, Washington, a high school cheerleader nearly got the school spirit knocked right out of here. Take a look at this. Ooh, yeah. That was (inaudible), the cheerleader, getting trampled by 50 football players. She was just trying to be professional and fix a wrinkle in the banner at half time when the whole team came charging through. The 18-year-old cheerleader was left with some bruises, but remained peppy. She is A-OK. And that`s the showbiz video of the day.


HAMMER: Well, if you haven`t heard by now, a new comeback CD is out tonight. And we`re not talking about Britney Spears. I`m talking about the Backstreet Boys. Their album is called "Unbreakable." The Boys have been off doing their own thing for a little while and like Britney, they`ve had their share of tough times including rehab for one of them. And with their album released on the same day as Britney`s, I had to ask them, with all the attention on Britney, were they at all concerned it would divert too much attention from them?

HOWIE DOROUGH, BACKSTREET BOYS: We wish Britney the best of luck with her. She`s a very, very talented artist. It seems like she`s been in the media quite a bit here lately with ups and downs and everything. But you know I think we`re in great company, we`re both on same record label and you know we both share a lot of same fans. We`re just going to make the music out there for everybody and, hopefully, the fans will go out there and buy and support us and hopefully support other artists who are coming out as well.

HAMMER: You guys have come through the other ends. You certainly had your ups and downs. Nick, what do you think when you have seen, like we all have watched what`s been going on with her. What do you think happened? What do you think forced her train off the tracks? Any sense of that?

NICK CARTER, BACKSTREET BOYS: I mean, a lot of people have opinions, and everybody, you know, wants to say what they think is going on. But coming from the same era and having kind of like some family issues and stuff that -- kind of the same stuff she`s been going through, I`ve been very fortunate to have, you know, these four guys -- three guys, but the four guys almost kind of be there and raise me in a sense. And I think that that`s probably the issue with her is that she didn`t have a good support team, anybody to really say, hey, you know, this is not right or this is wrong, whatever you`re doing. You know, it`s unfortunate. But I think that`s the main thing that you have to have. You have to have a support system and be grounded. And these guys have been able to do that for me. I`ve come out, you know, in the end I think you can`t lose, that`s reality.

HAMMER: A.J., back in 2001, you were candid about your dealing with rehab and going into rehab. And it`s seems to worked for you, where we`ve seen star, whether it`s Britney or Lindsay, whoever, where it hasn`t worked. What was key for you in making it through that and having it a positive thing, that you were able to survive and get on with your life?

AJ MCLEAN, BACKSTREET BOYS: I think for me, first and foremost, is just sticking to a great program, having a great support group with all of my buddies back home that have -- that I`ve spent a lot of my time with, that are all sober, that are all sharing the same program that I`ve been sharing the past five years now. I just recently celebrated five years sober. And you know, being with these guys is a great support group. I mean, you know, they were there with me when I went into rehab. They were there when I got out of rehab. And I`ve got a great family at home that`s been very loving and very understanding and very patient with me. And I think, for me, it`s just all about one day at a time.

HAMMER: Well, congratulations on that many number of years sober. That is terrific.

MCLEAN: Thank you.

HAMMER: And it`s inspiring to a lot of people. Nick, you look terrific. A lot of people have been commenting, as you guys have been making the rounds a little bit sort of wow, did you see that Nick Carter? Can you stand up? I know it`s a little tough there. What, did you lose about 40? You lost about 44 pounds, is that right?

CARTER: I can`t really stand up. But I lost a lot of weight, you know.

HAMMER: So, Nick, what was it for you that really triggered it where you said you know I think I`ve got to take some off.

CARTER: You know, it happened when I was filming The House of Carters. A lot of times you don`t really get to see what`s going on with yourself, because you`re like living within yourself. But when you watch television and you see yourself on TV and you get a chance to just really analyze yourself and I think that`s what happened. And I was like -- I realized I had issues I that I need to deal with. But also had internal issues I needed to deal with. And the House of Carters kind of brought that to light, you know, and made me kind of realize what was going on. I got like therapy and, you know, going back to Britney, I mean, hey, go into therapy, girl. You know, what I mean, do something for yourself. I mean, get your inside fixed, because if you don`t get the inside fixed, then the outside won`t be -- I mean, it will just crumble.

HAMMER: Well, getting happy with yourself is probably a pretty difficult thing to do when you have fame and money coming at you, at such a young age and that can be a deadly combination for so many people. Brian, what do you think? Is fame at a young age is just a really dangerous thing?

BRIAN LITTRELL, BACKSTREET BOYS: It can be. It can be, if it`s looked at the wrong way. Success came to us at a fast pace. A lot of people think it was like overnight. But we worked very, very hard for the success we`ve had and, hopefully, we`ll continue to have. But I think it`s all about how you look at it, as you know from the outside life isn`t all about Backstreet Boys. It never really will be. It`s a part of who we are, but it`s not really who we are. So, having a lot of success at a young age can be detrimental. But I think if you keep your feet on the ground and stay focused on what you want to do and you can achieve any goal and still have your head screwed on the right way.


HAMMER: Good to see those guys, it seems that they`ve got it all together. The Boys have been together for 15 years now and they say that even though they`ve been away for a while, the Backstreet Boys are back and here to stay. The new album is called "Unbreakable." It`s out today.

ANDERSON: Glad to have them back.

Well, you may have heard this. An awkward moment on 60 MINUTES when the president of France actually got up and walked out of the interview. That got us thinking about other great moments when interviews gone wrong. Here is CNN Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JEANNE MOSS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When an interviewee wants to turn the tables, he or she can always walk out. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was calling his press aide an imbecile for scheduling an interview with 60 MINUTES on a busy day. So, it took just one too many questions about his soon-to-be announced divorce to get him to walk out. Only five minutes into an expected 45-minute interview, out came the ear piece. Next thing you know, he`s telling Leslie Stahl, chin up. He was gone. Sort of made it nostalgic for others. Or even more flamboyant walkout is the time comedian Andrew Dice Clay didn`t like questions that suggested a slump in his career.


ANDREW "DICE" CLAY: Every time I do an interview, a guy wants to open his [BLEEP]


CLAY: [ BLEEP ]. [ BLEEP ] whole [ BLEEP ] network.

UNIDENTIFIED HOST: We`ll go back to.


UNIDENTIFIED HOST: Talking about art on air.


MOOS: Or how about when quarterback Jim Everett got mad on an ESPN host after calling him Chris Evert- after the female tennis star.

JIM EVERETT: You probably won`t say it again.





MOSS: Interview over, even though it`s still seen over and over again.

(on camera): Remember, if you`re attempted to storm out of a TV interview, anything producers like better than a good interview is a good walkout. Or even a good hang-up. For instance, when Yasser Arafat told Christiane Amanpour to zip it.



MOSS (voice over): When she refused to shut up. Watch her eyes open up. And then he hung up.

ARAFAT: Thank you, bye, bye.

MOSS: But even worse than a hang up or a walk out is the pass out. Now, Israeli president Shimon Peres seem dozing, even while speaking. But when it was time for a question, it was nap time.


MOOS: When his eyes fluttered open, an aide offered coffee. Nothing sleepy about Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP: Do this interview with somebody else. You don`t need this. Do it with somebody else.

MOOS: The dreaded mike drop, sure sign that the last view of this interview be the interviewees departing back.


ANDERSON: When they`re done, they`re done. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Alright, who would have thought it was a surprise appearance by Mel Gibson. Mel showed up to support some famous friends at a movie premiere in L.A. last night and he gave us a little hint about whether he`s cooking up a new movie himself any time soon. We`ve got that next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Life is getting better. And here`s why. Because now you can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT any time. All you have to do is download our podcast. And it won`t cost you a penny. It is absolutely free. If you want the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT podcast, you can go to our website You can also get in on itunes and type in showbiz tonight in that little search box in the upper right hand corner. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.


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

Hey, it looks like Mel Gibson may soon be working on a new film, he has made a rare public appearance last night at the premiere of "American Gangster," starring his friend, Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asked Mel when he`d be doing another movie and he said, quote, "Pretty soon." So, we`ll be on the lookout for that.

On the meantime, "American Gangster" is opening in a few days; it`s a real life story of a Harlem drug lord and the cop on his trail. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with Russell and Denzel and producer Brian Grazer at the premiere and they all talked about what it was like for these two Oscar- winning stars to work together.


BRIAN GRAZER, PRODUCER: Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington, and they -- enormous respect for each other. So, they`re not really competing with each other. They`re aware of each other as actors that are dedicated and are top of their game. So, they just like great tennis player, they want to do better. It just brings their game up.

RUSSELL CROWE, CO-STAR, AMERICAN GANGSTER: Just a natural place with Denzel, it never turns up. Kind of going to do work that`s just his best and you know I share the same desire or work ethic.

DENZEL WASHINGTON, CO-STAR, AMERICAN GANGSTER: I don`t think I need to push him. Obviously, he`s been doing pretty good when I wasn`t around.


ANDERSON: "American Gangster" is in theaters Friday.

HAMMER: It is time now to find out what is coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And tomorrow, we will have much more with Denzel Washington. Denzel sits down one on one with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and he really opens up about what it takes to be a good dad. He also has a whole lot to say about young Hollywood and how out of control things have gotten. Denzel Washington, coming up tomorrow on the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also tomorrow, Hollywood`s baby boom from Halle Berry to Salma Hayek, you know, some of Hollywood`s most famous leading ladies are getting ready to become first-time moms. What they can learn from other star moms from what to do and what not to do, lessons for Hollywood`s baby boom tomorrow for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks a lot for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: Have a great night, everybody. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.