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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Rob Lowe`s Nanny Fights Back; Is Oprah Dissing Dr. Phil?; Eva Longoria Spills the Beans; Anchors Away for Katie Couric? Sean and Robin Wright-Penn Try Again; The Return of the Has-Beens

Aired April 10, 2008 - 23:00   ET

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


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Has Sean Penn decided not to get a divorce after all? I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Everyone from Valerie Bertinelli to the New Kids on the Block are back on the scene. Who will make the best comeback? A SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report, "The Return of the Has-Beens." I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the nanny strikes back. Rob Lowe`s former nanny, the one he says tried to extort big money from him, now revealing for the very first time how she is ready to fight back. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT bringing you brand new late-breaking developments in the shocking battle and the burning question - how low can it go?

Tonight, major Oprah news. Is Oprah throwing her old pal Dr. Phil under the bus?

Plus, Oprah and Obama - is Oprah`s gung-ho support for Barack Obama backfiring big time?

Plus, the affair that wasn`t. Brand new startling details about the woman who allegedly lied about having an affair with Eva`s husband - how she may have set him up.

(MUSIC)

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. Tonight, there is startling news about Katie Couric`s possible future. Two years and two $15 million paychecks later, is Katie kaput? The late-breaking details coming up.

HAMMER: But first, tonight, the nanny strikes back. Tonight, for the very first time since Rob Lowe dropped a bombshell and accused his nanny of trying to blackmail him, the nanny is responding. And right now I am able to reveal to you that this is shaping up to be one of Hollywood`s most explosive and shocking he said/she said stories in a very long time. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking - how low can this go?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CALISTA FLOCKHART, ACTRESS: The nanny story - is it ever going to blow up?

HAMMER (voice over): It may be a line from Rob Lowe`s hit ABC TV show "Brothers & Sisters," but man, oh, man there is no denying that Rob Lowe`s real life nanny scandal has a potential to blow up in his face big time.

BEN WIDDECOMBE, "DAILY NEWS" COLUMNIST, "GATE CRASHER": Jessica Gibson has not yet outlined exactly what her bombshell allegations are, but she`s standing by her complaint.

HAMMER: That`s right. Rob Lowe`s nanny, Jessica Gibson the one who he claims is trying to extort money from him is fighting back. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, by the sound of it, unlike the famous TV show about a funny nanny. This sordid story is no laughing matter.

WIDDECOMBE: She says when she files it in a court of law, everything will be true, and that Rob Lowe`s denials are false.

HAMMER: To be specific, Jessica Gibson told syndicated TV show "Extra" quote, "Our complaint will speak for itself. Everything in the complaint is true. We do not need the media to win the case."

The scandal broke in a very public way. In a bitter essay on the "HuffingtonPost.com," Lowe preemptively suggested the nanny fabricated a relationship with him. So now, in a court of law, under threat of perjury, what potential bombshells could the nanny drop in Lowe`s lap?

WIDDECOMBE: I`m guessing that what we`ll see when the complaint comes out is that Rob, who is of course her employer, will be accused of inappropriate sexual conversation perhaps. Perhaps he said something. Maybe it was his demeanor or his - how he behaved around her.

I don`t think we`re going to see her say, "Well we slept together and he told me that I would lose my job if we didn`t sleep together." I think it`s going to be a lot more subtle than that.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that the way Rob Lowe has handled the scandal has been anything but subtle. So it begs the question - was he so worried about what he could have been accused of?

WIDDECOMBE: I think he is worried because he would not have brought this into his life if he didn`t think it was going to be a big deal when it broke.

HAMMER: Let`s not forget, for Rob Lowe, scandal is something he`s had to deal within his career once before. And it hurt him for a long, long time.

WIDDECOMBE: Rob Lowe had his career derailed for a whole decade after a sex tape of him in 1988 did the rounds. And he was radioactive for ten years. He couldn`t get a job.

FLOCKHART: You are not going to survive a sex scandal.

HAMMER: And for Rob Lowe, the only kind of sex scandal he can afford after his first one in real life, is one that is made up for his TV show.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

So there you have it. He said/she said. But who will have the last word?

Joining me tonight in New York, Lisa Bloom, host of "In Session." And in Hollywood tonight, Howard Bragman, the founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations.

Lisa, Howard, the nanny has spoken. And the other shoe is, I guess, effectively dropped at this point. So, Lisa, I have to imagine that she wouldn`t start to show her cards unless she thought she could prove her case. So what do you think? Should Rob Lowe be worried here?

LISA BLOOM, HOST, "IN SESSION": Yes, he should. And let`s keep in mind, all we have here are statements. But Rob Lowe is the one with all of the power, all of the money and the ability to speak publicly. She signed a nondisclosure agreement which means she cannot speak publicly even if she wants to. All she can do is file a complaint.

And we, in the media, will pick up the complaint and run with it. So, you know, I think there is a lot of smoke and mirrors going on here. We don`t know what the evidence is. But he`s using his power, and his money and his lawyers; not the police, but his own lawyers, to go after her. This is just the beginning.

HAMMER: Howard Bragman, you are Mr. Damage Control. It`s what you do for a living some of the time. Are you getting the sense at all that maybe Rob Lowe jumped the gun here?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, FOUNDER, FIFTEEN MINUTES PUBLIC RELATIONS: No. On the contrary, Rob Lowe has been in tough situations before playing defense. And this time he wanted to play offense very wisely. He knew she was tied up. She couldn`t go to the press.

So he took the press and he did an essay that he penned. He laid out the story exactly as he wanted, where using words like extortion, blackmail - those are words he wants to use on this. So he is ahead of the curve on this. He`s handling it very smartly so far. I`m not judging who is right or wrong. But in the battle of public opinion he`s ahead of her right now.

HAMMER: All right. Because there was some concern when we started to hear from her that perhaps, you know, some damage done there already.

"Extra" is reporting it got a hold of a confidentiality agreement that Rob Lowe had his employees sign. You referred to that, Lisa, a moment ago. This basically says, "If you blab about me, you`ve got to pay $1 million."

Now, you said that because she signed this thing she can`t talk. But, help me understand, given that Rob Lowe really fired the first shot, that does not free her up now ...

BLOOM: No, it doesn`t. HAMMER: ... to talk about the seven years that she spent with his family?

BLOOM: No, and I`ve read a lot of those nondisclosure agreements on behalf of employees who wanted to sue celebrities, who wanted to out against celebrities. And they can`t.

And that makes me curious as to what Rob Lowe is complaining about exactly. She hasn`t gone to the press. She`s contractually barred from going to the press. If she had gone to the press, he could have sued her for $1 million. He could have sued the press outlets that defamed him. And he never went to the police.

Normally, somebody, if they`re a victim of extortion, and it`s been made public already, they`re going to go to the police. The police offered their help. And he just doesn`t want it. I think that`s very suspicious and strange.

HAMMER: It is a little interesting. And I want to point out that court papers filed by Lowe have him claiming that the nanny told her friends that she had an affair with Rob and an intimate relationship with him.

So Howard, what`s going on here in terms of why he is speaking out? Is it the shadow of the sex tape that he had that scandal with some 20 years ago still hanging over him, making people question his credibility?

BRAGMAN: Well, there is certainly his past he has to deal with. And there`s the past of a number of other people in Hollywood - high profile people who had affairs with nannies. And we live in a society where you are presumed guilty until you are shown innocent. So he has a lot to deal with.

I just don`t get it, A.J. Why do people hire attractive nannies? Haven`t they learned? Shouldn`t they hire some old lady in a black dress with a mustache? Everybody will be safe.

HAMMER: I think a lesson learned right there. Lisa Bloom, what`s your best guess here? Is this thing going to get settled out of court?

BLOOM: I don`t think so, because now he`s forced. I don`t think his strategy is smart at all, because he`s forcing her to file a complaint in response. That`s all she can do because she can`t go to the press. She`s going to have to file a complaint. This is all going to be coming out in court. We`re going to be talking about this thing for a long time. I want to see some evidence. I want to see a blue Monica Lewinsky dress. I want to see some DNA. I want to see samples.

HAMMER: All right. Lisa Bloom, we got you. We got you. Lisa Bloom, Howard Bragman, I thank you for being with us tonight.

Remember, you can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT video any time. New stuff going up on the Web site all the time for you to watch at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

ANDERSON: Tonight, brand new details about the affair that wasn`t. I was shocked to hear the dirt on the woman who allegedly lied about having an affair with Eva Longoria-Parker`s husband, Tony Parker. For the first time, we`re hearing how she may have set him up. You don`t want to miss that.

HAMMER: Also, wait until you hear this major Oprah news. Is Oprah throwing her old pal, Dr. Phil, under the bus? Plus, I`ve got to tell you. I thought it was a really gutsy move for Oprah to get into the presidential elections supporting Barack Obama. But it could be backfiring on her big time. That is coming up next.

ANDERSON: And the New Kids are back. Kathie Lee Gifford is back on TV. What year is it again? I enjoyed seeing all these stars back in the day. But I`ve got to wonder - can they be successful again after all this time? Coming up, a showbiz special report, "The Return Of The Has-Beens." Keep it right here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson. We`ve got big Oprah news for you tonight. Is the talk show queen throwing her former protege, Dr. Phil, under the bus? And is Oprah paying a big price for publicly backing Barack Obama? A startling new report reveals it could be hurting her.

In New York tonight is VH1 news and red carpet correspondent, Janelle Snowden. And in Los Angeles tonight, Ken Baker executive news editor for "E!"

Ken, Janelle, I want to start with Oprah and Dr. Phil who really, owes his career to Oprah. And now, she is doing the same thing with Dr. Mehmet Oz, reportedly planning to give him his own medical talk show.

But Oprah is doing this at the same time that Dr. Phil was already developing a similar show, a spin-off of his own show. Ken Baker, slap in the face to Dr. Phil?

KEN BAKER, EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR, "E!": Well, it might be. But what you also have to remember is that a lot of these syndicated shows, these daytime shows in particular, they get recycled out of circulation very quickly.

And the fact that Dr. Phil has made it this long and has sustained ratings is really a sign he has had longevity. Oprah is an anomaly. Most shows don`t make it past a few seasons maximum. So the fact that he`s made it this far says a lot.

And you know what? We also don`t know what`s going on behind the scenes. Dr. Phil may be burned out on it for all we know. We have not heard from him. We`re all assuming that he`s getting slapped in the face. But he may just be ready to call it quits anyway.

ANDERSON: Janelle, what do you think? Is Oprah dissing Dr. Phil here with a new show for Dr. Oz? Should Dr. Phil be upset or hey, is there room for all of them?

JANELLE SNOWDEN, VH1 NEWS AND RED CARPET CORRESPONDENT: I mean if Dr. Phil could even think to be upset with Oprah, he might want to rethink that. After all, there would be no Dr. Phil without Oprah.

So, I mean there have been some reports that Dr. Phil and Oprah haven`t been as close as they once were. And I`m not even going to speculate as to why that might be until they say it themselves. But at the same time, there is no competition with Oprah. So if she decides to do this with Dr. Oz, and Dr. Phil decides to go against her, good luck, Dr. Phil. I don`t care what anybody says, Oprah can never do any wrong in my book.

ANDERSON: Yes, I don`t think Dr. Phil will go against her either. He`s had a lot of success with his show. Remember Rachel Ray was launched through Oprah and now, we may see Dr. Oz as well.

And then there`s also the news about Oprah and her active campaigning for Barack Obama in the presidential race. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wants you to take a look at a bunch of polls recently taken.

Take a look at this. January 2007, before she endorsed a candidate, Oprah had favorability rating of 74 percent. In May, when she announced support for Obama on "LARRY KING LIVE," her favorability dropped to 61 percent.

And then after actually hitting the campaign trail with Obama, that number dropped to 55 percent. That was her lowest favorability rating ever registered. Janelle, what do you think is going on here?

SNOWDEN: I think we need to investigate who`s conducting these polls? I think just like Ken said, Oprah is totally an anomaly and she`s not going anywhere. Let`s just face it. She`s got her feet so grounded between her charity work, between her talk show, between all the people that she supported and helped make careers for. I just don`t think that these are accurate, you know, in a sense that everybody feels this way.

I just think that - you know, depending on when you poll people. It`s like when you go to colleges and poll people after they`ve taken a test. You know, people are fickle. And time will only tell if her ratings continue to drop. But even if they do, she is still here to stay. Whether she goes off the air or not, I think we are always going to have a piece of the Big O.

ANDERSON: And Oprah will never shy away from expressing her opinion most likely. She does have the Midas touch. We know that. Got to end it there, guys. Ken Baker, Janelle Snowden, good to see you both. Thanks.

HAMMER: Tonight, the affair that wasn`t. I`ve got to tell you, I was shocked to hear all the sordid details about the woman who allegedly lied about having an affair with Eva Longoria`s husband, Tony Parker. And for the very first time, we are hearing how she may have set him up. That is coming up.

ANDERSON: Plus, is it anchors away for Katie Couric? I think it was really bold for her to leave the "Today" show to anchor the evening news. But it hasn`t really worked out that well. Now, she could be leaving. That`s coming up.

HAMMER: What`s happening here? Can somebody please help me out? Is this a time warp or what? I`m not exactly sure. Because you can watch Kathie Lee Gifford in the morning and then you can buy your New Kids tickets. What the heck is going on? I feel like I am 16 again. But I want to know, which of these stars is most likely to make a successful comeback? Coming up, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report, the "Return of the Has-Beens."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOICE OVER: This is the "CBS Evening News" with Katie Couric.

KATIE COURIC, ANCHOR, CBS "EVENING NEWS": Hi, everyone, I`m very happy to be with you tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Happier times for Katie Couric. Her first day on the air at the helm of the "CBS Evening News." Oh, but things haven`t gone so well since.

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

Tonight is Katie kaput? "The Wall Street Journal" reports that after more than a year and a half of nightmarish ratings and getting paid millions, CBS is planning to get rid of Katie.

Back with me tonight in Hollywood, Ken Baker executive editor of "E! News." In New York, Janelle Snowden, VH1 news and red carpet correspondent. Guys, thanks for hanging out.

And you know, Katie is making $15 million a year. Her contract is supposed to go to the year 2011. Ken, do you believe that after all CBS went through to get her and to pay her, that they would really can her?

BAKER: Yes, because the number that really means the most is two million. Two million the number of viewers that they have lost since Katie Couric launched in September 2006. That is a mighty drop to go from 8 million to 6 million in such a short period of time. It just shows she is not connecting with the viewers.

Katie is a really good journalist. She`s very respected. People love her as a TV personality. But clearly she`s not working. And it doesn`t surprise me that there would be talks that the network would want to get rid of her.

ANDERSON: Janelle, do you think she could be shown the door? The ratings have been dismal as Ken says.

SNOWDEN: You know, I think it always boils down to the bottom line. And in TV, ratings mean everything, unfortunately. So because Katie`s ratings have been pretty unfortunate, you know, I would not be surprised if they did decide to give her the boot.

But, you know, as a woman and just as a fan of Katie`s from the start, I think we are all rooting for her. And we`ve all tried to show support. But you have to look at sort of the model that she chose to make herself a part of. And a lot of people are saying the evening news model, you know, of old, might not be the way of the future. So ...

ANDERSON: Well I want to say that Katie and CBS tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that there are no plans for her to go anywhere, but they didn`t say totally untrue. And on "The View" today, Elizabeth Hasselbeck said that - she said what a lot of people are thinking that Katie is being unfairly scrutinized because she is a woman. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Well, you take a woman, OK? Look at what has happened to Sen. Clinton. For example, if you are delivering news or you`re running in the senate or running to be president of the United States of America, if you are a woman, you are either too soft, or you`re too hard, you`re too icy, you`re too dressed up. You`re not dressed up enough. I mean the amount of scrutiny that these women are under constantly in a position of power, it`s really saddening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Janelle, what do you think? Is it because Katie is a woman or is her show just not working?

SNOWDEN: You know, who am I to say? I have seen the show. I don`t think it`s much different than many of the nightly news shows. I think in the beginning they tried to differentiate it, and that, you know, worked for a while because it was new. And then, it maybe didn`t work as well as people would have liked.

But I think I have to agree with Elizabeth, that, you know, there is definitely a much harsher set of guidelines that women are held to and in a much stricter code of scrutiny. And as much as I would look to believe the CBS, you know, powers-that-be are professionals that don`t harbor personal biases ...

ANDERSON: Right. Well, we will leave it there. Again, want to say they have said she is not going anywhere. Ken Baker, Janelle Snowden, out of time. Thanks, guys.

HAMMER: Tonight, brand new details about the affair that wasn`t. I`ve got to tell you, I was shocked to hear all the sordid details about the woman who allegedly lied about having an affair with Eva Longoria`s husband, Tony Parker. Well, for the first time, we are hearing how she may have set him up.

ANDERSON: Plus, one of my favorites, George Clooney. He`s got it all - looks, charm, talent - and a fashion line? Yes - not so fast. The fashion thing not George`s idea. And some people may be in big trouble for fraud. That`s coming up.

HAMMER: And New Kids are back. Kathie Lee Gifford is back on TV. What year is this again? Actually worked with NKOTB quite a bit back in the day. But I have to wonder, can these comeback kids really be successful after all this time. Coming up, a showbiz special report, "The Return Of The Has-Beens."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Thank you, Charles. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Here are some more stories that are new right now.

Well, it seems like Sean Penn and Robin Wright-Penn are trying to work things out in their marriage. This is so nice to hear. They`ve withdrawn the divorce petition; they filed for divorce back in December.

Well, two people being investigated for alleged fraud after they allegedly tried to launch a fashion line using George Clooney`s name. It is true. Police in Milan say they seized garments and watches and fake documents in their investigation. Now, Clooney has warned people don`t buy clothes or watches with his name on it because he has got nothing to do with it.

And Elton John played a concert for Hillary Clinton`s presidential campaign at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The concert raised $2.5 million for her campaign. Fans paid as high as $2,300 a ticket. That is the limit for an individual campaign contribution. Now Elton John, who can`t vote here in the States, said he has always been a Hillary supporter and there is no one more qualified to lead the country.

ANDERSON: Tonight, brand new details about the affair that wasn`t. I was stunned to hear the dirt on the woman who allegedly lied about having an affair with Eva Longoria`s husband, Tony Parker. You will be too. For the first time, we are hearing how she may have set him up. You don`t want to miss this.

HAMMER: What`s going on here? Is this a time warp or what? You know, you can watch Kathie Lee Gifford in the morning and buy your tickets for the New Kids on the Block concert. Boy, I suddenly feel 16 years old again.

But I want to know - which of these stars is really most likely to make a successful come back? Can it happen? Coming up, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report, "The Return of the Has-Beens."

ANDERSON: And Sen. John McCain on "The View." I could not believe it, but the ladies actually asked him about going to strip clubs. Yes, they went there. His surprising reaction is straight ahead.

HAMMER: Wait until you see him squirm in his seat. But first, stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news with our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. You want this thing? It`s easy to get. Just head on over to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight and click on the "signup for newsletter" link at the bottom of the page. Hang around because SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming straight back.

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, startling new details about the Eva Longoria-Tony Parker affair that didn`t happen. Tonight, shocking revelations about the woman who claimed she met Tony on his wedding night and then had sex with him over and over. Not only did she allegedly lie about what happened, but even who she is.

Return of the celebrity has-beens. Kathie Lee Gifford back on TV, Valerie Bertinelli, relevant again. Even the New Kids on the Block. The New Kids - well, grownups on the block. What gives? It`s a revealing showbiz special report.

(MUSIC)

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: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is bringing you shocking and brand new details about the woman who claims she had an affair with Eva Longoria`s husband. Now, we`re hearing for the very first time, the true Hollywood story behind the story she is accused of making up.

Back with us tonight here in New York, host of "In Session," Lisa Bloom. In Hollywood tonight, the founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations, Howard Bragman.

So Eva and her husband, the NBA star Tony Parker just won this apology and a little cash settlement, or probably a big cash settlement from the "X-17 Online" news agency. They`re the ones who first broke the story that this woman, Alexandra Paressant met Tony at his wedding where he got married to Eva and then had an affair with Tony.

And now, you have Eva`s camp spilling the beans, claiming the woman had phony French identity documents, unlawfully used on line photos of other models, falsely claims to be a model for Victoria`s Secret and Dolce and Gabbana. And she even used two cell phones to pretend to be her best friend and agent. What do you think, Lisa Bloom, should we at all be surprised if Tony and Eva go after this woman in a big way?

BLOOM: I am French. I am Madam Curie. I mean, come on. This woman, really she`s out on a limb there. And she`s impersonating her best friend. I was trying to think of what kind of a crime that would be.

But look, I think she is probably subject to some criminal prosecution here - fraud, forging documents, you know - impersonating other people. I mean she`s got a lot of problems, this woman. Sounds like a very sick puppy.

HAMMER: And it would make sense, would you think, that Tony and Eva should go after her?

BLOOM: Yes, absolutely. Although she probably doesn`t have any money. So it`s probably going to be one of those civil cases, just to file it against her to make a point that they`ve got plenty of money. So why not?

HAMMER: Yes, that`s the shame of - when this happens because it ends up costing their money that they`ll probably never recoup.

Howard Bragman, you know these latest claims made in this press release that was put out by Eva`s camp. This is something you occasionally have to do. You put out press releases all the time for your clients. Do you think this was necessary for continued damage control? Or do you think perhaps maybe they should just stop talking about it?

BRAGMAN: No, I don`t - I don`t think this story has quite gone away yet, because I think there are a lot of legal proceedings that are going to go on and they`re trying to get the upper hand in the court of public opinion.

I mean we`ve said all along that this woman is troubled by having an affair on his wedding night or more troubled by imagining an affair on his wedding night. And I think as Lisa said, this is one sick puppy thing happening here. It`s a delusional - seemingly delusional woman here. And I think that while they have the upper hand, Eva and Tony are going to keep hammering away. They want people to know the truth of their relationship.

HAMMER: Yes. This is a scary part of being a celebrity. Because anybody, any wacko - and I`m not saying this woman is a wacko, but anybody can come out of the woodwork and start making claims. I`ve got to be honest, when the story came out lot of people thought it could be true. Stars cheat. People cheat. Not really a stretch.

Lisa, what they`re doing seems to be a serious campaign to discredit this woman and really clear their names by any means possible. Do you think that`s a smart move?

BLOOM: Yes, I do think it is, although I take issue with Howard. I don`t think she is crazy because she imagines being with Tony. I mean, look at Tony. What woman doesn`t imagine being with him? And look at Eva - the two of them are so drop-dead gorgeous.

It`s hard - look. Look at them. I mean how can you even think straight on a story like this? They are both so gorgeous. But I think they have to put this thing to bed. No pun intended. They have to put it to rest. They have to quash the rumors once and for all. Because some people out there are always going to think maybe it`s true. Clearly it`s not true.

HAMMER: Well, some of what Eva and Tony are claiming is the kind of stuff that definitely can lead to criminal charges if proven true, as Lisa pointed out. Howard, you know, they`re still furious about this. Do you think that Eva and Tony should go after this woman as Lisa said they should and she could wind up behind bars?

BRAGMAN: I don`t know that they want her to wind up behind bars. But I think it`s good in my world. I have had a lot of high profile celebrity clients that people have made false claims against. If this discourages other people from making similar untrue claims against celebrities, good for them because celebrities are huge targets. And I deal with this literally every day, A.J.

BLOOM: Howard, she is coming after you next!

HAMMER: Yes.

BRAGMAN: Everybody else has this week. She might as well join the club.

HAMMER: Howard, they`re huge targets. But do they deserve our sympathy? I mean I`d have to imagine stars everywhere are cheering Eva and Tony right now. Because, you know, quite frankly, they`re sick and tired of being the target of rumors and innuendo. And I`m sure you are quite sick of dealing with dealing with it as a publicist. But should we feel sorry for them?

BRAGMAN: Yes, we should. Just because somebody is famous doesn`t mean they`re not human beings and they don`t have feelings and they don`t have people who doubted the veracity when this first came out.

So absolutely, they deserve some sympathy. Just because you are a public figure doesn`t mean you put all your emotions away and you don`t have family and friends that care about you. So let`s have a little bit of sympathy and empathy towards them. Just a little.

HAMMER: What do you think, Lisa Bloom? It does come with the territory the same way as people walking up to you on the street and asking you for your autograph. This is bound to happen at some point or another, the bigger a star you become.

BLOOM: That`s true. But I think it`s different than someone asking you for your autograph. And if you`re a celebrity, you should be gracious, because those are your fans. Those are your public.

People making up vicious lies about you and spreading it around and saying that you were committing adultery on your wedding night is really of a different caliber. Somebody does something like that and they break the law, you should be prosecuted.

HAMMER: You have no disagreement that that is completely different than asking for an autograph. There`s no question there.

HAMMER: And I should point out that as of show time, we were unable to reach Alexandra Paressant or her attorneys for a comment. Lisa Bloom, Howard Bragman, I thank you as always.

And remember, you can always watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT video any time at all. New video posted for you to watch all the time at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

ANDERSON: Well, you can always turn to the Web to find old videos of your favorite stars. But tonight, I can tell you, washed up stars are washing back up in Hollywood. Kathie Lee Gifford, Valerie Bertinelli, even the New Kids on The Block. I was a big fan. But hey, what`s going on here tonight. My special report, "Return of the Celebrity Has-Beens."

HAMMER: Brooke, I cannot wait to hear about the New Kids stuff. All right. Tom Cruise, could he actually end up as a has-been himself? Could it be possible? Is Tom`s career in trouble? His new movie, delayed again. And I can`t believe the responses we got when we asked you if you still liked him? Wait until you hear your fired up e-mails. They`re coming up.

And another day on "The View," another controversy. John McCain stopped by and got asked about strippers. Yes, the ladies really went there. You`ve got to see what happened, and you will, because it is coming up.

ANDERSON: We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - a "Wall Street Journal" report says Katie Couric could be kicked off the "CBS Evening News" by the end of the year. So, "Katie Couric: should she call it quits?" Keep voting at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. E-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD, TV PERSONALITY: It couldn`t be worse timing in some ways. I am literally - what, I`m eight years older, ten pounds heavier.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: She may have said good-bye to daytime eight years ago, but Kathie Lee Gifford is back. And she`s not the only blast from the past trying to recapture her old glory.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TVs most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson. Tonight a showbiz special report, "The Return of the Has-Beens." Who would have thought after all these years that Kathie Lee Gifford would host the "Today" show, that Valerie Bertinelli would have her own talk show and that the New Kids would be back on the block. What`s going on here?

With us tonight in Hollywood, Laura Saltman, correspondent for "AccessHollywood.com." Also Connor Knighton, host of the brand new show, "Infomania" on Current TV.

Connor, Laura, welcome. And I want to start tonight with Kathie Lee. Eight years after leaving live with "Regis and Kathie Lee," she`s now co- hosting the fourth hour of the "Today" show. Laura, eight years is a long time. Can Kathie Lee pull this off or will she return to the hall of has- beens?

LAURA SALTMAN, CORRESPONDENT, "ACCESSHOLLYWOOD.COM": Actually, I think she is going to pull this off. I think that her fans were kind of sad when she left. She left for a good reason. She wanted to spend a lot more time with her kids. And so far, you know, since day four of it - and so far, I think it`s going pretty well.

The chemistry with Hoda Kotb, her co-host, I still think is not there. But she is really finding a groove. I mean she`s fun. She`s funny. She makes fun of herself.

This morning, she was talking about how she gets Botox, and going to get Botox after the show. You`ve got to love that about somebody. You know, so many celebrities would lie about it. At least, she is honest.

ANDERSON: Open and honest about it. Connor, what do you think? Do you agree that it`s going well?

CONNOR KNIGHTON, HOST, "INFOMANIA": You know, I would say it`s going well. First of all, who knew the "Today" show is four hours long. That`s ridiculous. A sixth of every day of the "Today" show. But yes, I think she is doing well.

For me, Kathie Lee coming back is kind of like oatmeal coming back. It`s not exactly what you are looking for in the morning. But it`s fine. It`s safe. You know, she has done this very well before. I think she is doing great now.

ANDERSON: OK. All right. Kathie Lee Gifford back on TV. And then, you`ve got Valerie Bertinelli, famous for her `70s sitcom "One Day At A Time." She came back as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. She`s now talking about doing her own talk show. Laura, Valerie Bertinelli, talk show host, do you see it happening?

SALTMAN: You know, I don`t see that one. I think the reason why Valerie is so popular is because, she, you know, battled the bulge, and women like to see other women who are going through that and that they can do it too. They can lose the weight. Talk show host? I just don`t see it. I really don`t.

ANDERSON: Well, she has reached - appealed to a new generation as spokesperson for Jenny Craig. So we`ll see what happens there.

Then you`ve got another `70s star, Marie Osmond. She made her big return on "Dancing With the Stars." And now she says she`s got a talk show. She told "The New York Post," quote, "I`ve kind of been through a lot and I see a lot of women going through a lot. It`s nice to have a destination to cry." Connor, will we be weeping because it is so bad or crying for joy because it`s so good?

KNIGHTON: Yes, I don`t know. I`m surprised that fainting on "Dancing With the Stars" is now sort of considered a come back. For me, you have to be doing something better than you were before.

ANDERSON: She made it pretty far, though. You`ve got to give her credit.

KNIGHTON: I see - That`s true. I mean around the office we call that show, "Dancing with the People We Had to Google." You know, it wasn`t so much like Ian Ziering for example, not a big come back.

But you`re right, she has done better than the rest. And certainly has more of a background in that area before. So it will be interesting to see. I don`t know. Billing it as a destination for people to cry - I can`t say that`s exciting news.

SALTMAN: But she has had a talk show before. She has had a talk show.

ANDERSON: Yes, that`s right.

SALTMAN: If there is anyone who could be successful at another talk show, I think it`s Marie. She`s right to boot Donnie though, definitely.

ANDERSON: Laura, you`re right. It`s not unfamiliar territory for her and it seems she`s going at it alone this time. Another big return of the has-beens, the New Kids on the Block. New album, new tour. But Laura, aren`t all their fans executives and parents now?

SALTMAN: Well, not to date myself, but all their fans are actually younger than me. So, that`s not that young, believe me. They`re like, I would say 27, 28, 29, 30. And sadly, they`re so excited. We had two producers we work with at "Access Hollywood" who want to meet them at the "Today" show and they had pajamas on and, you know their head band. It was really sort of frightening, because I really think people do care that they`re coming back.

ANDERSON: Yes. A lot of people gearing up for their new album. They`re new tour.

KNIGHTON: You know, what is with the "Today" show?

ANDERSON: Maybe we should all catch a concert. Yes, Laura Saltman and Connor Knighton. We will leave it there. Thank you so much. And you can catch Connor`s brand new show, "Infomania" Thursday night. It`s on Current TV and online at Current.com.

HAMMER: I never thought I`d say this, but if Tom Cruise`s keeps going like it is, he may wake up one day to find out that he is a has-been. We asked you if you think Tom is still terrific. I`ve got to say I was pretty blown away by the E-mails we got. You`ve got to stick around for this, coming up next.

Well, Republican presidential candidate John McCain stopped by "The View" today. Yes, they let him have it. But one of the most outrageous moments occurred when they asked him about going to strip clubs. Yes, they made him squirm in a big way. That is coming up.

And I still don`t get it. Beyonce and Jay-Z won`t admit they`re married. Well, tonight, I`ve got some stunning baby news about Beyonce. That`s straight ahead.

HAMMER: You can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT any time by downloading our podcast. It`s free and you`ll find on our Web site, CNN.com/ShowbizTonight or download it on iTunes. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming straight back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, is Tom Cruise`s career in trouble? Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that the viewers who responded to our poll are turned off by Tom.

With us again tonight in New York, VH1 news and red carpet correspondent, Janelle Snowden. And in Los Angeles, Ken Baker, executive news editor for "E!" So, Janelle, Ken, we got a huge response when we asked in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, "Tom Cruise: Are you still a big fan?" Look at this: 87 percent, no. That leaves only 13 percent who said yes.

And I wondered Tom hasn`t had a box office hit lately. Ken, are you at all surprised that so many people seem to have given up on Tom Cruise?

BAKER: Well, I am kind of surprised that the number would be that low. Because I think that if you look at his movies, the last five movies he made, besides one, "Lions for Lambs," which came out last December and was a total bomb, the rest have done really well at the box office, domestically all over $100 million. Internationally, they`ve made over $200 million, $300 million in some cases. And I think he is a box office draw.

Notice that the question in the poll is not, "Do you still want to go see Tom Cruise in movies?" OK? Now, I think it would be a lot higher number. But clearly, people may not like him or be a fan of him as a person, but they still will go see his movies.

HAMMER: Well, yes. This clearly came down to his antics and the E- mails reflected that. I want to read a couple for you. We`ve got one from Sweetpea in Minnesota who writes, "I used to love this man`s work until his fame went to his head. He has to be the most arrogant, self-righteous actor in Hollywood today. I have no time for his movies or his personal life anymore." And I have heard that from other people.

We also heard the flip side from Donna in Maryland. She`s writing, "Tom Cruise is the most talented actor and most sincere person in Hollywood. Enough criticism of him already."

Janelle, does Donna have it right? Is Tom Cruise sort of being unfairly criticized?

SNOWDEN: You know, I think that Tom Cruise definitely lost some folks with antics on "The Oprah Show" when he professed his undying love for Katie by jumping up and down. People thought, "Oh, maybe he`s not quite as normal as we might have thought he is." So short of, maybe coming out and making fun of himself about having done that, and maybe saying, "You know I am embarrassed when I look at it." And just making himself more relatable.

People may continue to feel this way. But I think like Ken says, the poll, you know, isn`t saying folks won`t go to see his movies. But maybe they just don`t want to see him.

HAMMER: Yes, I think that has a lot to do with it. And I think at the end of the day, Tom Cruise doesn`t have a whole heck of a lot to worry about. Janelle Snowden, Ken Baker, thank you both for being with us tonight.

BAKER: Thanks.

ANDERSON: All right. I know being a guest on "The View" is never easy. They ask stars the most personal stuff. And that`s why you`ve got to stick around for this. Republican presidential candidate John McCain just stopped by and, boy did they let him have it on Iraq, abortion, and strippers. I really can`t believe they went there. That`s next.

HAMMER: But first here is a look at what is new at the movies this week brought to you by Yo-Plait. Yo-Plait, it`s so good.

Well, Keanu Reeves is starring in "Street Kings" as a cop who`s determined to find out who killed his partner. Also opening up, "Smart People." It`s a comedy about a totally messed up family. Look at this all-star cast in this film - Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Hayden Church, and "Juno`s" Ellen Page is back in this one. Also, Ryan Reynolds in "Chaos Theory." Ryan is a guy who literally lives his life by schedules and index cards. But one day, decides to throw caution to the wind. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Well Republican presidential candidate John McCain stopped by "The View" today and boy, did they grill him good on everything from Iraq to abortion. But one of the most shocking and quite frankly uncomfortable moments came when Joy Behar asked him about strippers. Yes, strippers.

McCain has been on this biography tour where he is confessing to being sort of a party animal in his younger days. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Recently I heard that you released some information that you used to go to strip clubs as a young man.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, no.

BEHAR: Why did you put that out there?

BEHAR: I had written a book about my life in which I have had some misadventures and a very colorful life.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": He`s fidgeting.

MCCAIN: Time for a break.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes. Maybe he`s at a loss for words there. Pretty funny, though. And not to get all political but these real stories may actually be helping out McCain. Because there`s this new Associated Press poll out that shows he is totally erased Barack Obama`s lead in a head-to-head match up. He`s now actually tied with both Barack and Hillary Clinton.

ANDERSON: All right. It is time now to call out the Showbiz Truth Squad. This is where we demand answers about Hollywood`s biggest rumors.

Tonight, is Johnny Depp about to get married? "Life and Style" magazine is reporting that Depp and his long-time girlfriend, and I do mean long, ten years. They`re reporting that he and French singer and model, Vanessa Paridis are getting married in June. The couple has two children together.

So we reached out to Johnny`s people who absolutely denied the marriage plans. They simply say this is not true. But "Life and Style" says it`s standing by its story 100 percent.

OK, so no wedding for those two. But I can tell you about another big Hollywood couple that is getting married. Here are some new stories right now.

Jessica Simpson`s little sister Ashlee is engaged to her boyfriend, Fall Out Boy bassist, Pete Wentz. Daddy Joe is giving his thumbs up to the marriage. No info on the date.

Well, Beyonce still isn`t confirming her marriage to Jay-Z. Tonight, her younger sister Solange says if the baby is the next step, well, Beyonce still has some learning to do. Solange, who has a three-year-old son, tells "People" magazine when Beyonce baby sits she has trouble with the strollers and the car seats. But I`m sure Beyonce will be just fine.

HAMMER: Yes. I`m sure she will have plenty of help. That is 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" is coming up next.

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