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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Shocking Details in the McCartney-Mills Divorce; Brand New Details on the Britney Spears and Mel Gibson Get-Togethers; George Clooney Engaged?; The Real Score on Madonna and Guy Richie; Star BFFs

Aired March 18, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Brand new shocking details about Paul McCartney`s divorce. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Heather Mills said she acted as Paul`s psychologist. What? I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, breaking Britney news. Brand new details about one of the oddest couples in Hollywood. Britney and Mel Gibson. Why in the world have they been secretly meeting? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes digging to get to the bottom of the Britney-Mel mystery.

Plus, yours first look at Britney`s new prime time role. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the breaking Britney new that is will leave you breathless.

Tonight, the Showbiz Truth Squad gets to the bottom of the biggest, most outrageous rumors in Hollywood. Is Sill Smith really becoming a Scientologist? Are Madonna and Guy Ritchie really on the express train to splitsville? And will we really see George Clooney back on "ER?" Tonight, the Showbiz Truth Squad breaks out the lie detector for the revealing moments of truth.

(MUSIC)

HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you from Hollywood with brand new details of the mysterious Britney Spears-Mel Gibson get-togethers. That`s coming up.

HAMMER: But first tonight, brand new Paul McCartney-Heather Mills bombshells. Just one day after a judge gave Heather nearly $50 million in the divorce settlement, today we got our hands on the details of exactly what happened in court behind closed doors. And the same judge who gave Heather all that money slams her for everything from her spending to her behavior.

In just a moment I`ll be joined by Mills` brand new attorney Gloria Allred in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. But first, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is bringing you the breaking new information about the showdown between Mills and McCartney.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HEATHER MILLS, PAUL MCCARTNEY`S EX-WIFE: I`m so glad it`s over.

HAMMER: She tried to put a brave face on it but in the end, Heather Mills had to be disappointed in her divorce settlement from Paul McCartney. She`d asked for $250 million. She got just under $50 million.

MILLS: I`m very, very, very pleased.

HAMMER: Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you why Heather Mills got less than a quarter of what she asked for.

JO PIAZZA, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": the judge said, in a very legalesey kind, nice way, "Oh my gosh, Heather Mills, you`re crazy pants."

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has for you the just revealed entire divorce decision that Heather Mills had got the court to block. In it, the judge says her $250-million demand, quote, "is and was unreasonable, indeed, exorbitant."

JULIA ALLISON, "STAR" MAGAZINE: If I were the judge, I would take one look at $250 million and I`d go, "You`ve got to be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kidding me.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you in making her case for the quarter of a billion of dollars, Heather shocked the courtroom by bringing up Paul McCartney`s anguish over the loss of his first wife Linda who died of cancer the year before he and Heather met.

PIAZZA: Heather claims that she acted as Paul`s psychologist when he was grieving over his wife Linda and that she nursed him back to professional and mental health.

HAMMER: In his decision, the judge says, quote, "I have to say that the wife`s evidence that in some she was the husband`s `psychologist,` even allowing for `hyperbole,` is typical of her make-belief."

PIAZZA: The judge essentially said, "No, you weren`t his psychologist. You were his wife, Heather, and that is what a wife does."

HAMMER: In its decision, the judge praised Paul McCartney whom the judge calls, quote, "consistent, accurate and honest." Of Heather, the judge says, quote, "Overall she was a less than impressive witness." And now reports are saying Heather`s behavior in court was even less impressive.

PIAZZA: What we`re hearing is that after these proceedings were finished, she behaved terribly immaturely and Heather Mills actually threw a glass of water at Paul McCartney`s lawyer`s head.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you the evidence. Here`s McCartney`s dry headed attorney before the court proceedings. And here`s the photo of Paul and his attorney afterwards. Apparently, she`s rediscovering the wet look.

And when the BBC asked Heather Mills about the alleged water throwing incident, Heather reportedly replied that the attorney had been, quote, baptized in court.

ALLISON: You`re Heather Mills and you have a decision to make. Should I act classy or not? So Heather went with the latter decision.

HAMMER: It`s clear that these new divorce details will not help Heather in her efforts to improve her tarnished image. But on the bright side, right now, some people are feeling a little less sorry for her ex.

ALLISON: Money perhaps can`t buy you love but $50 million can buy you a divorce with Heather Mills and I think that that`s priceless.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: While Heather Mills represented herself in court, she is not without legal counsel including her newest attorney, Gloria Allred with us tonight from Los Angeles. Always good to see you, Gloria. Give it to me straight - why did Heather Mills hire you?

GLORIA ALLRED, HEATHER MILLS` NEWEST ATTORNEY: Well, I`m now her American attorney. I`m her advocate. I`m her advisor and I`m her friend.

HAMMER: All right. That`s a mighty role you have taken on there because, you know, the times - they have been a bit rough for Heather. You just heard even though the judge awarded her, Gloria, nearly $50 million of Paul`s money, he wasn`t kind to her. He called her original demand for $250 million unreasonable, exorbitant. He said her evidence was inconsistent, inaccurate and not candid. Now, Gloria, those are some pretty harsh words.

ALLRED: Well, they are harsh, A.J., and unfortunately, it`s not accurate, because that`s not what Heather Mills was asking for. Yes, her previous attorney did ask for a lot more, but as you know, she has been representing herself for some time.

And as representative of herself, she asked for substantially less, and guess what? The court actually awarded her much more than she asked the judge to order that she win. And in addition, much more - in fact, millions more, than Paul her ex-husband offered her to settle the case.

HAMMER: But Gloria, you are saying that it`s not accurate that she was looking for $250 million. Those were the words of the judge.

ALLRED: Well, I`m saying at one point, when she was represented by a counsel, which was some time ago, her attorneys asked for much more than she ended up asking for. But recently, she has been representing herself in this proceeding, and she did not ask for that number. And she ended up getting from the court much more than she asked for and more than Paul ever offered her.

So the bottom line is, A.J., she is a winner in this proceeding, a winner for herself and her daughter, little four-year-old Beatrice whom she loves and who is her priority. She was a winner before she ever met Paul McCartney, a successful public speaker and a model. She is a winner this court case and she will continue to be a winner in this future.

HAMMER: Well, we did see her smile a little bit when she came out of the courthouse. Of course, all this information, these new details coming out today after Heather tried to block the details of the settlement from being released in the first place, she says to protect her daughter. But Gloria, it`s now going to seem to a lot of people that she was really trying to hide the extravagant demands that she was making to maintain, you know, what`s a pretty lavish life style.

ALLRED: No. Actually, let me give you the true facts on all of that because it`s being misreported. She wanted everything to be private for the security of her daughter because there are details on her daughter, where the little four-year-old goes to school, for example. She didn`t want that out.

But she wanted everything private or she wanted everything to be public. Instead, what the court has done is only release part of the case. She wanted, if it was going to be made public, all of the transcripts made public so everyone could see the evidence that she put forth. How she put it forth what the court said to her including complimentary remarks during the case.

But unfortunately the transcript is not made public and therefore, they can`t see the corroboration and the support that she had for the evidence that she offered and how she conducted herself in court. And now that leads to insinuation, innuendo, misreporting, and distortion of her. And she`s been one person standing up against a rich, powerful, and yes, a well-loved man, Paul McCartney and it`s not been fair.

HAMMER: Let me jump in real quick - Let me jump in because I literally have 20 seconds here. When we asked our viewers why - you know, if she got what she deserved, a lot of people said - basically, said they don`t like her. Why do you think, in ten seconds here, she is so disliked?

ALLRED: Well, because I don`t think that they know her. And if they knew more about, for example, her incredible commitment to charity, to, you know, to stopping land mines and making sure that they`re removed, to helping amputees -

HAMMER: They may change their opinion.

ALLRED: To helping animals -

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: Yes, Gloria, I am out of time so I`ve got to wrap it there and perhaps opinion will change if you`re on board with her.

ALLRED: I hope so.

HAMMER: Thanks for joining us, Gloria Allred.

ALLRED: Thank you.

ANDERSON: All right. Breaking Britney news. Talk about an odd couple. Britney Spears and Mel Gibson. Why in the world have they been secretly meeting? I have brand new details for you. Plus, your first look at Britney`s new prime time role. That`s coming up. Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: Like 45 messages from people. Then suddenly I realized somebody had decided I was engaged. Oh, I`m engaged. When did that happen?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: George Clooney engaged? What about rumor coming back to "ER?" Or are Madonna and Guy Richie going to split up? Is Will Smith becoming a Scientologist? The Showbiz Truth Squad on the case, coming up.

ANDERSON: And I`m still shaking my head over this one. Poor Paris Hilton has to go on a reality show to find a new best friend. That got us thinking, if Paris isn`t your kind of friend, which star would you want for your best bud? That is still to come on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Tonight, big Britney Spears` news. First, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has brand new details about the Britney and Mel mystery dinner. Turns out their recent dinner date was reportedly not the first time the twosome had a rendezvous.

And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your first look at Britney`s brand new guest appearance on "How I Met Your Mother." And listen to me when I say this; you will not believe your ears.

With us tonight from the Tru TV studios in New York is Ashleigh Banfield, host of Tru TV`s "Hollywood Heat." And in Hollywood tonight, Ken Baker, the executive news editor of E! Ken, Ashleigh, good to see you. And hey, we first got wind over the weekend of Britney Spears having dinner with Mel Gibson at a Russian restaurant.

Now, "People.com" is reporting that Britney and Mel have actually met several times since she was released from a hospital psych ward. Ashleigh, what do you think is going on here? Is it all business? Is Mel trying to help Britney get her back on track? What in the world is the deal?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HOST, "HOLLYWOOD HEAT": I wasn`t actually surprised so much, Brooke, by the connection made between these two stars as I was that they actually carried it through. Because we`ve already heard Heidi Klum, Julia Roberts and other celebrities say that this is something they wanted to do. They wanted to reach out to Britney to offer assistance and Mel Gibson is a deeply religious Catholic.

So I`m not surprised that he and his family wanted to reach out as well. What I am surprised at is that it`s actually happened.

ANDERSON: Yes. And to some, they may seem like an odd couple. But as you say, you know, maybe they`ve got a lot in common. Ken, what do you think? Maybe Mel can get through to Britney because he knows what it`s like to be in the middle of a public firestorm. He`s weathered a lot of criticism.

KEN BAKER, EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR, "E!": Yes. I mean, it wasn`t too long ago that people were branding him an anti-Semite, that he was admitting that he had some personal problems he had to deal with and he was in a major personal and professional crisis.

Sounds like Britney Spears in the last couple of weeks or last couple of months, I should say. So it`s not a shock that, you know, maybe he would want to offer his help.

But you know, what I`m just glad about is that within a few hours of them meeting, guess what? We didn`t get a Dr. Phil kind of statement from Mel Gibson saying how much he was helping her and issuing press releases and that kind of thing. Hopefully, Britney has found someone in the Hollywood community whom she can trust and whom she can confide with and hopefully she can find some sort of friendship that helps her keep on the path that she`s moving along on, which is a very positive one.

ANDERSON: Right. And Mel Gibson`s publicist told us they do not have a statement about the meetings at this time. So good point, Ken.

And you know, I want to reverse this for a second. What do you think this does for Mel? He has been trying to recover himself from intense scrutiny, widespread criticism. Here he is, hanging out with Britney Spears. Ashleigh, good for his image or not?

BANFIELD: Yes. I mean I think it is good for anybody`s image to lend a hand to someone who`s struggling. We were talking about schadenfreude before. But listen, everybody while they might celebrate a little schadenfreude, they always like to see the build-up of a fallen star, too. So I think this is great. Sure, it can only help him. I do think it`s a strange bedfellow, though.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. And "People" magazine citing an unnamed source who`s quoted as saying it was simply an act of human kindness on Mel`s part. Now, I do want to point out this is all happening just days before Britney`s highly anticipated guest appearance, that on the CBS sitcom, "How I Met Your Mother." Today "People.com" posted the very first look. Get a load of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Everybody`s buzzing about it. See Britney Spears on "How I Met Your Mother."

BRITNEY SPEARS, POP STAR: Can we have sex and then go shopping?

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, ACTOR: I like you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: OK, Ashleigh. Did you hear that? "Let`s have sex and then go shopping." Is this a good idea for somebody who`s trying to turn her image around, or is this maybe a positive sign that shows Britney is able to laugh at herself?

BANFIELD: I was struck by two things. I thought she looked really young and cute, just like she did in her "Toxic" video, et cetera. But I was a little surprised at the editorial content. I`m just thinking maybe it was such a small part. I do know it was small but maybe so small they didn`t have a whole lot to choose from. So that might have been the only option.

ANDERSON: True. Ken, I cringed when I heard the line, but you know, what do you think? Is it a step in the right direction for Britney?

BAKER: Look, the fact is that she`s working again. She showed up on time. She did, by all accounts, a very good job. It was very well received and she`s playing a character. She`s not playing Britney Spears.

And by the way, Britney Spears as a character being sexy, being a little bit dangerous is not a bad thing if she`s trying to launch her career comeback. Because that`s what she always built her career on. And she`s going to need a little bit of sexiness and that edge if she`s going to get back on stage, sell records and fill arenas.

ANDERSON: Yes, she has been sexy and dangerous before. All right. Ashleigh Banfield, Ken Baker, thank you both so much. Good to se you.

BANFIELD: Thank you.

BAKER: Thanks.

ANDERSON: For the latest breaking Britney news and latest video, you can always go to the Britney Drama section of our Web site any time you can do this. You`ll find it at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

HAMMER: All right. I want you to get out your SHOWBIZ TONIGHT magnifying glass because we have three big Hollywood rumors to investigate. Is Will Smith becoming a Scientologist? Are Madonna and Guy Richie on the rocks? Is George Clooney returning to the "ER"? You`ve heard the rumors. Tonight, we set the record straight. The Showbiz Truth Squad on the case. Coming up.

ANDERSON: So you have probably heard about poor Paris Hilton. She`s got to go on a reality show to find a new best friend. I`m still shaking my head about this one. Can this woman not make friends on her own? But there`s a new development that could shake this competition to its core. I`m going to tell you which celebrity is applying to be Paris` BFF, straight ahead.

HAMMER: Also, you know, between all the talk of hookers, cheating and other dirty deeds in politics these days, I`ve got to wonder, how are people explaining all this stuff to their kids? Well, have no fear, the ladies of "The View" are here. And you can bet they have plenty to say about it. That is coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And I still can`t get over Paris Hilton`s pathetic new reality show. On this thing, she is going searching for a new best friend.

Now, believe it or not, people are actually applying for this online. But look out. If you`re doing it, you may have some competition from Ellen DeGeneres. Yes, take a look at Ellen`s submission to be Paris` new BFF.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES" SHOW: Come on, Paris. Let me be your bestie. We`re like total samesies and so, you know, you love to party and I like to say party. And you have hair extensions and I like have extension cords.

And you like pink and I like the singer Pink. You`re dating a guy from "Good Charlotte" and I like to stand up in Charlotte. And come on, Paris. Just, come on. Look. Look what I did for you. Come on, Paris. I put a tattoo -does that mean nothing to you?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Best of luck with that, Ellen. Now, we want to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Paris Hilton`s New Show: Would you compete to be her new best friend?" You can vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight or E-mail at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

Now, if the answer is no, we really want to hear from you. So send us your E-mails and your video E-mails, telling us why you would not want to be Paris Hilton`s best friend.

You can send us a video E-mail by going to the Web site at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. For instructions on how to do it, now it`s really easy. You click, you fill out some information, attach your video and send it along and then watch for your video E-mails only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: So, maybe Paris isn`t your idea of primo best friend material. But it really got us thinking which star would you like for your best friend? That`s coming up. And we`ll also have this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLOONEY: There were like 45 messages from people. Then suddenly I realized somebody had decided I was engaged. Oh, I`m engaged. When did that happen?

HAMMER: George Clooney engaged? Now, what about the rumor he is coming back to "ER"? Or how about this? Are Madonna and Guy Richie on the express train to Splitsville? And is Will Smith really becoming a Scientologist? The Showbiz Truth Squad on the case, coming up.

ANDERSON: And the star of "Hannah Montana" is changing her name. What? She has filed the paper work and everything. I`m going to tell you what she wants to be called, next right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Hey, welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson and here are some more stories that are new right now.

Sad news out of Hollywood. Anthony Minghella, the Oscar-winning director of "The English Patient" has died. Minghella died after he developed a hemorrhage following surgery for cancer of the tonsils. He was 54 years old. Minghella`s other films include "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Cold Mountain."

Gary Busey is saying sorry for his (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on the red carpet on the Oscars. During a live pre-show broadcast on "E!" Busey kept interrupting while Ryan Seacrest was interviewing Jennifer Garner. At one point, he grabbed Garner and hugged her and she didn`t look pleased. In a statement, Busey says he meant no disrespect and he apologizes if he made Garner uncomfortable.

ANDERSON: And Miley Cyrus has filed papers to change her name to Miley Cyrus. It turns out Miley`s real name is Destiny Hope Cyrus. Who knew? The papers request a legal change to Miley Ray Cyrus.

HAMMER: All right. Get out our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT magnifying glass. I know you have one. We have three big Hollywood rumors to investigate tonight. Is Will Smith a Scientologist? Are Madonna and Guy Richie on the rocks? And is George Clooney actually returning to "ER"? You`ve heard the rumors. We are setting the record straight. The Showbiz Truth Squad on the case, coming up.

ANDERSON: OK. I am so shaking my head over this one. Poor Paris Hilton has to go on a reality show to find a new best friend. Well, this got us thinking, if Paris isn`t your kind of friend, which star would you want for your best bud? That`s coming up.

Also, between all the talk of three-ways and hookers and politics these days, I`ve got to wonder, how are people explaining this stuff to their kids? Well, have no fear. The ladies of "The View" are here. You can bet they`ve got plenty to say about it. That is coming up right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: But first, you can stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news with our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. All you have to do to get it is head on over to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Click on the "sign up for newsletter link." It`s right there at the bottom of the page. That way, we`ll know where to send it. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming straight back.

(NEWSBREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, I am sending the Showbiz Truth Squad on some dangerous, undercover missions tonight to get to the bottom of Hollywood`s biggest rumors like, is George Clooney getting married?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLOONEY: There were like 45 messages from people. Then suddenly I realized somebody had decided I was engaged. Oh, I`m engaged. When did that happen?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: And is he really coming back to TV`s "ER?" Also, are Madonna and her husband Guy Richie splitting up? Is Will Smith really becoming a Scientologist? You won`t want to go anywhere. The Showbiz Truth Squad is on the case.

And Paris Hilton`s pathetic search for a new best friend. I told you about her lame new TV show. But tonight, we`ve got the stars who would be great best friends. Get ready to buddy up Hollywood style.

(MUSIC)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 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. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, we are getting to the bottom of some of the biggest rumors in Hollywood about some of the biggest stars. Our Showbiz Truth Squad is on the case. We are cracking the whip tonight to separate the facts from the fiction.

First up, is George Clooney getting married and rejoining the cast of "ER"? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes directly to the source, good old George himself.

The next big story for our Showbiz Truth Squad - is Will Smith becoming a Scientologist? The reports here are running wild.

Finally, our Showbiz Truth Squad is checking in to reports that material girl Madonna and her hubby Guy Richie calling it quits after seven years. Someone getting itchy?

Joining us tonight from Hollywood, Howard Bragman, the founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations. Ken Baker, executive news editor for "E!" And in New York tonight, Ashleigh Banfield, host of Tru TV`s "Hollywood Heat."

A lot of strange things floating around in the ether, guys. Let`s get right to it. George Clooney - he has been hounded by two reports. Let`s start off with one, that he is engaged to his girlfriend Sarah Larson. Number two being he`s reuniting with the cast of "ER" in the fall for the final and 15th season.

One at a time here, the engagement stories. Ken Baker, I`ll start off with you. Why does it seem that everyone is always pushing to get George down the aisle?

BAKER: Well, I think that the rumors particularly are swirling now about that because George took Sarah Larson who he had only been dating for about eight or nine months after meeting her in the Palms Hotel and Casino in Vegas where she was a cocktail waitress. He took her out on the red carpet and really treated her like a queen, and we`ve never seen that from George. He usually keeps a real low pro with the girls that he goes out with and doesn`t bring them on the red carpet. So you could see where the genesis of that rumor would start.

HAMMER: I actually ran into George and Sarah when I was out in L.A. for the Oscars after the show ended. They seemed very happy. There were no rings in sight. Ashleigh, what do you think is going on here?

BANFIELD: First of all, thanks for the title Truth Squad. It gives me real validation in my work. But the truth is, about the truth, it`s very hard to get the truth these days because rumor makes great television and great magazine fodder. And a lot of times rumor can start with just that telephone game that we played as kids. So it gets traction very quickly these days and it can always be called gossip, so thereby it can get legs apparently legitimately.

HAMMER: All right. Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is here to set the record straight. Actually, we`re going to go right to George himself. He`s promoting his new movie, "Leather Heads" and we asked him about both of these rumors. Here`s what George told us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLOONEY: We have a Blackberry in my - you know, in my room. It was buzzing and I turned it on and there were like from people. Then suddenly I realized somebody had decided I was engaged. Oh, I`m engaged. When did that happen?

And then the next day, I woke up and it was buzzing like crazy. And it was about 45 people that decided that I was going back on "ER." It`s like you just go - while you were sleeping a lot of things happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, there you have it. Bottom line, George told us neither story is true. Besides, Howard, you know, such a big movie star. Why in the world would he ever consider going back to doing the grind of a weekly TV series?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, FOUNDER, FIFTEEN MINUTES PUBLIC RELATIONS: You know, it gets boring at Lake Cuomo, all that water skiing and all the good Italian food. Of course he wants to eat Kraft Services, A.J. Everybody knows that.

HAMMER: I think he wants to get up early in the morning and work excruciating hours.

BRAGMAN: Eighteen-hour days - on an hour.

HAMMER: Yes, maybe not. All right, we need to move right on to our next story that we stick the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Truth Squad on. It`s making the rounds.

Once again, Will Smith, who`s very good friends, of course, with Tom Cruise, has like Tom become a member of the Church Of The Scientology. Ken, is it impossible to be friends with Tom Cruise without being dubbed a Scientologist?

BAKER: Well, you know, Posh and David Beckham got the same rumors when they started hanging out with Katie and Tom. And Tom does like to hang out with Scientologist. Now, not exclusively; he does have friends who aren`t Scientologists. But he`s so into his religion and so into proclaiming and preaching it and proselytizing that I think that anyone who spends significant time with him is going to be sort of implicated in some sort of Scientology trap of sorts. And so it doesn`t surprise me that that sort of gets out there because Tom does have a track record of really preaching it and trying to get his friends to join the church.

HAMMER: It`s so funny though that people even think like that. You know, I don`t want to use the term guilty necessarily but implicated by association or however you want to call it. Seems to be kind of silly because, you know, Will Smith hangs out with a lot of celebrities, too, who follow all types of religions. I don`t know, Ashleigh, if he`s hanging out with his Jewish friends, can we expect the rumors are going to fly that he`s going to become a rabbi?

BANFIELD: No, because it`s normal to be Jewish and apparently these days, it`s just not normal to be a Scientologist. Let`s face it. There are some very strange tenets involved with that religion. And so there is sport to be made of those who are famous who turn to that kind of a belief system so - And couple that with that really weird video and strange behavior of Tom Cruise in the last little while and I think you do get that guilt by association.

HAMMER: And by strange, you, of course, mean interesting and different. Now, what SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can share with you, what Will Smith told Rush & Molloy of the "New York Daily News." This is what he said, quote, "You don`t have to be Jewish to be a friend of Steven Spielberg. You don`t have to be a Muslim to be a friend of Muhammad Ali. And you don`t have to be a Scientologist to be friend of Tom Cruise.

Howard Bragman, makes sense to me. I don`t know. What`s the next progression in this rumor milling? Will Smith calling Paris Hilton to offer spiritual guidance for her, perhaps?

BRAGMAN: I can see him going to a Kabbalah meeting. You know, I could see Madonna, Will and Paris and Sandra Bernhardt. That`s going to be a good meeting. I might attend that one just to see what`s going on. And he can help her find a favorite Bible passage because she hasn`t found one for months. Let me assure you.

HAMMER: No, she hasn`t.

BRAGMAN: She`s still looking.

HAMMER: And thanks for that segue right into our issue for the Showbiz Truth Squad. Reports swirling that Madonna and Guy Richie calling it quits on their marriage. This rumor began when Madonna came to New York to accept her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Guy stayed back in London.

Now, Ken, it seems to me a lot of people really get pleasure out of the possibility of this marriage falling apart. Why is that?

BAKER: Well, you know what? There`s actually there`s just- I don`t know if it has to do with the pleasure of seeing celebrity couples break up as much as it has to do with mathematics.

Check this out. We looked into it at "E!" They haven`t been seen publicly since early January. It`s over two months since we had last seen them together. Now, apparently we`re told that, you know, maybe they are together or maybe they`re not.

But the thing is that when a couple that`s married isn`t seen together for a couple of months, that`s a big red flag. And of course people are going to start asking the question - have they broken up?

HAMMER: Yes. Let`s tell you what the deal is here. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT going right to the source, Madonna`s publicist, Liz Rosenberg. Here`s what tells us, quote, "I am delighted to confirm that Mr. and Mrs. Guy Richie remain happily married. Though they were in different countries recently, the family are joyfully back together at home in London. All is well and wonderful in the Richie household.

So there you have it. Another issue solved for the Showbiz Truth Squad. Ashleigh Banfield, Ken Baker, Howard Bragman, I appreciate you all being with us tonight.

And we want to know - we want you the know that you can watch video reports from SHOWBIZ TONIGHT any time you`d like right there on our Web site. New ones going up all the time at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

ANDERSON: A.J., we don`t need the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Truth Squad to figure out Paris Hilton looking for a new best friend through a TV show. Can anybody say lame-o? I mean I don`t get it. Why would anyone want to be her best friend? Well next, I`m picking the stars who would make great BFFs. You definitely want to stick around for that.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, I`ve got to tell you. I know a guy that needs friends right now. Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, so many political sex shockers, how do you talk about this stuff with your kids? Well, the ladies of "The View" are on that coming up.

We`ll also have this -

CLOONEY: Yes, I`m passing a torch to that punk. I have to pass it up because he`s 6` 3".

ANDERSON: A tall punk? A torch? George is one of my favorite actors but I hope he`s not talking about retiring here. Heaven forbid. That`s straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am definitely the best candidate to be Paris` friend because I`m fabulous. I am fierce.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Don`t ask me why people are doing this but that`s just one of the videos submitted by one of the contestants for the new MTV show to help Paris Hilton find a new BFF, best friend forever.

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

Tonight, a showbiz special report. Who would be your star best friend? As we mentioned, Paris is looking for a new one but I would have to imagine you`re saying, why would I want to do that? So tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is offering you some alternatives to Paris. Who would be your star best friend? It`s tonight`s showbiz special report.

Joining me tonight from Hollywood, senior editor for "In Touch Weekly," Kim Serafin. And correspondent for "AccessHollywood.com," Laura Saltman. Laura, Kim, welcome.

And hey, Like Paris, Drew Barrymore had her share of troubles in the past, but now everybody loves her. She is a mature woman. She owns her own production company - independent. Has great style. Still making great films. Since she`s cleaned up her act, she`s sort of become the anti- Paris. Kim, why do you think she`d make a better best friend than Paris Hilton?

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Well, you know, first of all, I have to say it probably would not be a very bad thing to be Paris Hilton`s new best friend. I mean if you think about other people she`s best friends with. Nicole Richie has gone on to have a baby, find true love and kind of clean up her act. Kim Kardashian was a good friend of Paris Hilton. Has a very good reality show.

So probably not a bad thing. And Paris, of course, gets to all the great clubs. And she has great clothes which I`m sure you could bum off of her.

But, yes, Drew Barrymore certainly the total opposite. I mean she had her wild child party days in the past, and now is this very successful producer, actress. She also seems to have found true love, as well, but seems to have calmed down a little bit.

And she seems like a fun girl, like her and Cameron Diaz. They`re also known for being fun and she seems like the kind of girl that if you say, "Hey, let`s go to Hawaii for the weekend," she`d pack up the bags and hop on a plane and go and just have a great time. No drama. You know, she`s put all the drama in the past.

ANDERSON: Yes. She seems pretty relaxed. Laura, what do you think? Could you see yourself palling around with Drew Barrymore versus Paris Hilton?

LAURA SALTMAN, CORRESPONDENT, "ACCESSHOLLYWOOD.COM": Oh, please, that not even a question because I`m not a partier. So I don`t want to be hanging out with Paris Hilton. I would like her as a friend during the day, though, so we could go shopping together and she could whip out the Black American Express. But at night, you know, I`ve got to go home. I`ve got to get up in the morning.

ANDERSON: Yes, some of us do have to sleep, get up for a full-time job every day. I want to talk next about possibly Jennifer Aniston. After she and Brad Pitt split up, women everywhere sided with team Aniston and probably bonded with her that way; could relate maybe with the situation. Laura, why would Jennifer Aniston make a good star BFF?

SALTMAN: Well, first of all, Jennifer Aniston was on "Friends" and we kind of grew close to her character Rachel Green. So I think we kind of associate her with what that personality came out that was Rachel Green.

So who doesn`t want to be friends with her? She`s cool. She`s mellow. She`s funny. She`s just such a great girl. In real life, though, she seems kind of very similar. She`s very mellow. I think she could teach me to go maybe paddling. You know, she did that paddling in Maui with Courtney Cox. I want to learn. So that would be fun.

ANDERSON: Love the outdoors with Jennifer Aniston maybe. All right. Some of our favorite -

SERAFIN: You know -

ANDERSON: Go ahead.

SERAFIN: I was going to say, you know, I like Jennifer Aniston, too. But I`m going to say for Angelina Jolie, if you`re taking team Aniston and team Jolie.

I feel like Jennifer Aniston is - she`s kind of like the all-American girl like me. Like I feel like Jolie would - if she is my friend in my head, she would be, you know, pushing me to do stuff. I would be getting a pilot`s license and I`d be traveling the world.

ANDERSON: That`s a good thing.

SERAFIN: I`d be doing all this - right. I would be doing the great things that I had never thought to do before. I mean, of course, I would be like 5`10" in my head and, you know, 20 pounds lighter so I wouldn`t feel inferior to her, but yes.

ANDERSON: Yes, imagine it - a totally different personality and appearance and everything, possibly. Angelina is great. She`d probably motivate you to do many things maybe we wouldn`t normally do.

All right. I want to move to some of our favorite TV girlfriends who are about to be seen on the big screen, the girls of "Sex and the City." You know, that movie comes out late May. We can all probably relate to at least one of them - Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte or Miranda.

Laura, you`ve got a smorgasbord there. With would you choose as your "Sex and the City" star best friend and why?

SALTMAN: Well, actually, I have to say, though, about four of them, I think most people would say that they`re sort of amalgamation of all of them put together. We all have little characteristics of each character. That`s why I think we love them so much and want them to be our girlfriends.

I personally am a Carrie girl. You know, we`ve got the curly hair. I lived in New York for a while. I hung out with a Mr. Big if you want to call him. So I really relate to her, and we can definitely commiserate on that.

ANDERSON: I think a lot of people could probably identify with Carrie. That movie coming out in May. Looking forward to it. Kim Serafin, Laura Saltman, thank you both.

And we have been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Paris Hilton`s New Show: Would you compete to be her best friend?" Keep voting at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. E-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

And hey, if your answer is no, take out your camera phone or webcam and send us a video E-mail telling us why you would not want to be Paris Hilton`s best friend.

Head to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to learn how to do it. It`s really easy.

HAMMER: We`ll see some of those. Well, I know one guy who probably is having a real hard time finding any friends right about now. Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. You know he had that little hooker scandal thing.

But there`s so much political sex stuff on TV. You got - talk about the former governor of New Jersey, another sex scandal involving his wife and another staffer. Well, you`ve got to see this. The ladies of "The View" take on a very important question. How do you tell your kids about all this stuff? That is next.

Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLOONEY: Yes, passing a torch to that punk. I have to pass it up because he`s 6`3".

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: So what tall punk is George Clooney talking about? And what`s this about passing a torch? You know, George is one of my favorite actors but I hope he is not talking about retiring. My goodness. Heaven forbid. That`s straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer.

OK, did you see this? I mean, first, there was former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his shocking hooker scandal. Now, today, there`s stunning news that his replacement, David Paterson and his wife, each had affairs during a rocky period in their marriage.

And you know what? Doesn`t stop there. There`s also the new scandal around Jim McGreevey, the former governor of New Jersey, his wife and a former staffer.

Oy vey. How do you keep up with the sex stuff? Well, the ladies of "The View" are actually having a difficult time with it, and they brought up a very important point. How do you explain this all to your kids?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": It used to be you tell your kids about the birds and the bees. Now, the new questions are, "What`s a hooker? What`s a prostitute? What`s an menage a trois, Mommy?" I mean I`m not even equipped to be a mother. What am I supposed to tell Jeffrey(ph)?

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Here`s a cookie. Go to your room.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Menage a trois is French; that`s why you`re taking Spanish.

SHEPHERD: I love it! I love it. Yes, Barbara.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes, all right. Pretty funny, but definitely not an easy thing to do. I hope this will be the end of all of these sex scandal stuff. But of course, you know politicians.

ANDERSON: A.J. a lot of people think George Clooney should run for office and get into politics. And you know what? Maybe George is thinking about giving up Hollywood for good.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLOONEY: Yes, I`m passing the torch to that punk. I have to pass it up because he`s 6`3".

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: So what tall punk is George Clooney talking about and what`s this about passing a torch? Say it isn`t so, George. That`s next.

HAMMER: Now you can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT any time you`d like at your own convenience. Just download our podcast which is absolutely free. You`ll find the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT podcast right there on our Web site, CNN.com/ShowbizTonight or download it on iTunes by typing "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" into the search box. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming straight back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. All right. As we told you before, our Truth Squad found out that George Clooney is not returning to "ER." Pretty disappointing, but you can see George Clooney in a really funny new movie called "Leatherheads."

Clooney directs and stars in the flick about 1920s era football before the NFL. Now, Clooney plays the older guy who tries to save his team by bringing on a younger college star, "The Office`s" John Kransinski. So when we caught up with George, CNN Entertainment producer J.D. Cargill just had to ask, is Clooney ready for this age changing of the guard in real life, too?

J.D. CARGILL, CNN ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCER: The age is - it`s another level in this film because while there`s a competition happening on the actual football field -

CLOONEY: Right.

CARGILL: There`s this competition`s rivalry and you represent - you know, Kransinski is the young one now. And you represent older -

(CROSSTALK)

CLOONEY: Yes, I`m passing the torch to that punk. I have to pass it up because he`s 6`3". Yes, you know it`s - but I like those kind of things. I like those kind of parts and those - you know, I`ve been the young guy before in those, as well.

CARGILL: So sits well with you - took at least what? Half a dozen jokes, age-related jokes at your expense.

CLOONEY: Well, I took them. I wrote them, so I took them. You know, the idea was - if I was going to be in this and be 45 years old and do it - I was 45 when we were shooting it. But then I had to make some sense of it which meant, you know, make him talk about his age a lot and make fun of him. Otherwise, you`re in big trouble because then you just look like you`re kind of sad and trying to look younger.

CARGILL: I don`t think they`re calling you for the "Bucket List Part" 2 just yet. Right?

CLOONEY: It`s coming.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Oh, come on. I don`t think George is that old. No disrespect to Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, but those guys do have at least a couple of decades on George. Renee Zellweger is also in "Leatherheads." And that movie opens on April 4th.

HAMMER: We love George Clooney. All right. Monday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Paul McCartney Divorce Decision: Did Heather Mills deserve nearly $50 million." Only 11 percent of you said yes; 89 percent of you said no way.

Here`s some of the fired up E-mails we got. One from Jimbo in California writing, "Not exactly a Heather Mills fan here. I have multi- letter words for that woman that can`t be said on the air. She has no right to take McCartney`s money."

But Judy from Kansas disagrees, "Why not? If Sir Paul didn`t have a prenup, it`s his stupidity."

I think she`s pretty alone in that choice.

ANDERSON: Sharp words for Paul. Yes, when you marry, you think it`s forever.

HAMMER: You do. That`s it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Remember, you can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 11:00 p.m. Pacific and in the morning, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. The latest from "CNN HEADLINE NEWS," coming up next. Take care.

END