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Hulk Hogan Breaks His Silence; The Meltdown of the Hogan Family; Danny Bonaduce`s Take on the Hogans

Aired June 11, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Danny Bonaduce speaks out on the reality show he`s doing with Hulk Hogan. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And another meeting between Britney Spears and Mel Gibson. Wait until you hear where they met up this time. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

HAMMER: TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now. On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Hulk Hogan unplugged and breaking down in tears.


HULK HOGAN, WRESTLER AND REALITY SHOW STAR: The support and the people - the people that are outside of this building, they`re with us on this thing, Larry. So it`s going to be OK.


HAMMER: For the very first time, Hulk speaks out about his family drama, his son Nick in jail and those controversial taped jailhouse conversations with Nick about getting him a reality show.


HOGAN: I just wish that someone would play the two hours before or the hour after and please put everything in the proper context.


HAMMER: And what Hulk really thinks about his wife Linda dating a 19-year- old.


HOGAN: Linda has her own life and her own agenda. And I am not part of it.


HAMMER: Tonight, the fallout from Hulk`s explosive interview with Larry King. Did Hulk change any minds or did he dig himself into a deeper hole?

Plus the attorneys for Nick`s crash victim right here in the headline- making interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


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. And tonight, the explosive fallout from Hulk Hogan`s very first interview about his son`s jail controversy, his very ugly divorce and even his wife`s teenaged boyfriend.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the fired-up attorneys for the outraged family of the crash victim whose accident led to Hulk`s son getting locked up.

HAMMER: Plus I go one-on-one with Danny Bonaduce who`s starting with Hulk Hogan in a brand new wrestling reality series. They are the interviews you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. As the Hulk strikes back and breaks down in tears, I can tell you, Hulk Hogan took a beating unlike anything he`s ever been through in the wrestling ring, slamming away at question after question about the mind-boggling meltdown of his life. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the Hogan latest, making news right now.


HOGAN: At the end of the day, Larry, the support and the people -

HAMMER (voice over): On "LARRY KING LIVE," we saw Hulk Hogan as we`ve never seen him before. He was emotional -

HOGAN: Yes, we`re - it`s been hard.

HAMMER: Philosophical -

HOGAN: This is in God`s hands. Things happen for a reason.

HAMMER: And apologetic.

HOGAN: I never meant to hurt anyone, Larry.

HAMMER: For the very first time, Hulk speaking out since his son Nick was sent to jail for eight months for this crash that severely injured his friend, Iraq War veteran, John Graziano.

HOGAN: Yes, the whole family - two families have been, you know, totally devastated, and it`s not easy.

HAMMER: While Nick sits in jail, Graziano remains in a semiconscious state. And on "LARRY KING," Hulk tried to set the record straight about that tragic accident.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Drinking involved?

HOGAN: There was alcohol in his system. Yes, sir.

KING: There were reports that you bought alcohol for Nick on the day this happened?

HOGAN: No, sir, I did not.

KING: And they were racing?

HOGAN: No, sir, they were not.

KING: Did he deserve, in your opinion, jail time?

HOGAN: You know, in my opinion, Nick wanted to be accountable. Every case I`ve seen so far is everybody always gets six months` probation. And if we`re different, and if Nick`s sentence is eight months minimum security, we accept that.

HAMMER: Hogan also tried to clear up what he called one big misconception that the Hogans didn`t care about Graziano.

HOGAN: John and Nick were best friends. John was living with me at my house. We`ve been - John pretty much has been part of our family unit since he was 17 years old. Nick wants to put this behind him and move forward to help John with all the charities and stuff he`s been part of.

HAMMER: But the question on everyone`s minds, what did Hulk have to say about those controversial jailhouse tapes where we hear Nick and his parents say some not-so-nice things about Graziano -

HOGAN (on tape): For some reason, man, god laid some heavy (EXPLETIVE DELETED) on that kid, man.

HAMMER: And even planned a reality show for Nick.

NICK BOLLEA, SON OF HULK HOGAN (on tape): Will you work on that reality deal?


N. BOLLEA: ... for me and get that thing lined up, so the minute I walk out of whatever I walk out of, it`s there, boom.

KATIE DARYL, TMZ TV: The public, rightfully so, was outraged by these audio tapes. The family didn`t sound remorseful. They were really thinking about themselves and they`re trying to make money off of the John Graziano disaster.

HAMMER: Hulk told Larry King the tapes shouldn`t have been released to the public in the first place.

HOGAN: I mean between O.J. and Charles Manson and Paris Hilton and Ted Bundy, I`ve never heard any private recordings that were supposed to be used only for jail purposes of security.

HAMMER: He apologized for some of his words on the tape, but that didn`t stop him from claiming everything was taken out of context.

HOGAN: We love John and in no way would we ever want to hurt John or the Graziano family. And throughout all these conversations, whether it was reality show or whatever, I was trying to help my son get through this. I was trying to give him some hope.

HAMMER: Graziano`s family is suing the Hogans for the accident. And at Nick`s sentencing hearing, Graziano`s mother had harsh words for the whole Hogan family.

DEBRA GRAZIANO, JOHN GRAZIANO`S MOTHER: Since the crash, I have not seen one tear or heard one apology.

HAMMER: Hulk says despite the harsh words, he`s not angry at Graziano`s mother or the family.

HOGAN: Nothing has changed with the way we feel about the Grazianos even when they sued me civilly. I kept helping her with her living expenses.

HAMMER: So now, the big question after Hulk`s fascinating interview is, will his words and emotions be enough to reverse the damage done to his reality show family?

DARYL: It doesn`t matter how much damage control the Hogan family does by going on shows like "LARRY KING LIVE." The point is, the public knows now and we`ve got a bitter taste in our mouth.


HAMMER: Well, I can tell you who else certainly has a bitter taste in their mouths, the family of John Graziano. Tonight in the interview-making news right now you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the attorneys for the Grazianos, George Tragos and Kim Kohn joining us from Tampa, Florida.

Guys, it`s good to see you once again. And you know, it`s not all that often that we see Hulk Hogan, of all people, breaking down in tears. But there he was, at least appearing to be very contrite, very teary-eyed about how all this has impacted him and his family. Let`s take a look.


HOGAN: Things happen for a reason, and this is to make Nick a better person. This is - in my belief, this is to make John a better person. It`s like I said before, you know, it is God`s will where we`re at with this situation. I refuse to accept any negativity, any nay sayers. And I firmly believe there is a plan.


HAMMER: All right. George and Kim, you`ve been here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT before and you told us that you had zero sympathy for Hulk and his family. Now that he has done this interview, George, anything changed for you?

GEORGE TRAGOS, GRAZIANO FAMILY ATTORNEY: I`m sympathetic for Hulk. He`s going through a rough situation - a divorce. I`m sorry for anybody who gets a divorce. But tell me how being brain damaged, lying in a bed, close to dead, semiconscious is going to make you a better person? And how does Hulk rationalize that or any of the things he said? It just doesn`t make sense.

HAMMER: What about for you, Kim? Where`s the sympathy factor there? Because there are some who are saying today, yes, he deserves - for a little bit of sympathy from us. And a lot of people are saying, not so much.

KIM KOHN, GRAZIANO FAMILY ATTORNEY: I don`t think there`s any sympathy there for me on that factor. Like I said, you know what? John Graziano is lying in a hospital bed with half of his brain removed and the fact of the matter is, nothing that the Bollea family is going through, whatsoever, even the most minutely compares to what John Graziano and his family are going through. So no sympathy from me.

HAMMER: And of course, Bollea, the legal name for Hulk Hogan and his family. And also for the very first time, we got to hear Hulk explaining those unbelievable and quite shocking jailhouse tapes in which he questions John Graziano`s character. We also hear him talking with Nick about Nick doing a reality show when he gets out of jail. Let`s take a look at what Hulk said about that.


HOGAN: I just wish that someone would play the two hours before or the hour after and please put everything in the proper context.

KING: Breaking it down, what did happen? What were you saying two hours before?

HOGAN: Everything we were talking about were possibilities, trying to keep his spirits up, trying to get him to move forward. John was part of our last reality show. He was on the show so much. As we talked about possibilities, always having John in our vision.


HAMMER: George, Hulk Hogan is saying those comments were taken out of context. Do you believe that?

TRAGOS: Not at all. Where do you think the truth lies when you know it`s going to become public or when you`re on TV talking to Larry King? Is the private conversation where your heart is, or is the public conversation where your heart is? When they don`t match, the private conversation is where your heart really is.

HAMMER: Well, Hulk told Larry King - and this is something I really need your help in fully understanding. Hulk told him that he tried to help the Grazianos, in fact, giving John`s mother $5,000 a month, treating John like a son to the Hogans who was virtually living with them. So, Kim, if Hulk has been helping them like this, why would the Grazianos file a civil suit against the Hogans?

KOHN: Because this civil suit is not about Debbie Graziano or Ed Graziano. This civil suit is about John Graziano. And not one dime has been given to John Graziano. And the fact of the matter is, is that the civil suit is about the Bolleas or the Hogans taking responsibility.

They talked a lot last night about accountability and John being the priority and preparing a life plan. He did the talk. Well, now it`s time to walk the walk and he has yet to have done that.

HAMMER: Well, Hulk claims that Nick will be walking that walk when he gets out of jail, devoting his life to making things better for John. George, are you buying that that actually is going to happen?

TRAGOS: Not at all. When he was on these conversations that you heard, was he talking about John or was he talking about Nick? Everything is focusing on Nick. He was supposed to be in that jail thinking about John every day. That was not who he was thinking about. He was thinking about Nick. And that`s all he thinks about and that`s all he ever will think about. Unfortunately, that`s the way he was raised.

HAMMER: Well, as always, our thoughts remain with John and the Graziano family. And George Tragos and Kim Kohn, attorneys for the Graziano family, I do appreciate you being with us again tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

TRAGOS: Thanks, A.J.

KOHN: Thanks, A.J.

HAMMER: And now, we want to hear from you for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Let us know what you think about all this - "Hulk Hogan Finally Speaks: Do you feel sorry for him?" You can vote at or E-mail us at

ANDERSON: A.J., the Hogan family saga just seems to be getting weirder by the day.

HAMMER: Yes, so true. One of the fascinating parts of the interview was when Larry King asked Hulk about his troubled marriage, I think.

ANDERSON: Yes, A.J. Apparently Hulk and Linda are now dating much younger people. The guy Linda is reportedly dating is 19 years old. I`ve got to say, it`s raising more than a few eyebrows. We`re getting into that drama next.

And also this -


DANNY BONADUCE, REALITY SHOW STAR: If I was in jail and I`m looking at legal bills, and you have no idea how expensive this gets, I`d be thinking, "How can I turn this into a dollar?"


HAMMER: Danny Bonaduce back on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Man, he`s never one to hold back with us. Tonight, we`ve got Danny sounding off on his pal, Hulk Hogan, and all of those taped jailhouse conversations with Nick. You won`t want to miss it, coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: And Britney and Mel together again. The first time I heard that Britney Spears and Mel Gibson were hanging out, it seemed so strange to me. They even went on vacation together. Now, there`s been yet another meeting. And just wait until you hear where it was. That is coming up.



HOGAN: When my wife filed for divorce, the marriage was broken long before that.


ANDERSON: Hulk Hogan opening up like never before about his divorce from wife Linda and about her 19-year-old boyfriend.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Our coverage of the Hogan family mess continues now with affairs of the heart.

The Hogan divorce was shocking enough, but tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that the Hogans` 20-year-old daughter, Brooke, is beside herself that her 48-year-old mother is now dating a 19-year-old guy who went to school with Brooke. Can this get any crazier?

Brooke Hogan spoke with Michael Yo, host of "Yo on E!" heard on XM and Sirius Satellite Radio who is with us tonight in Hollywood. And also with us in New York tonight, psychology expert Cooper Lawrence.

Michael, Cooper, thank you both for being here. Michael, you spoke on the phone with Brooke. And when speaking with her about her mom`s cougar affair, she told you, quote, "I`m totally freaked out. I personally don`t like it at all or condone it, but she`s my mom so I have to show her support. I went to school with him. He was a grade under me. Me and Nick know him well. Me and Nick are two years apart, and he was right between us in school."

Michael, when you heard this, did it just blow you away?

MICHAEL YO, HOST, "YO ON E!": Yes. You know, it kind of took me off guard, but then again, I thought about the Hogans. I`ve known the guys for four years, ever since they started their reality show, "Hogan Knows Best." And what I can tell you is every single one of them are great people, from Hulk Hogan to Linda to Nick to Brooke.

So it seems like everything`s falling apart and Brooke is the only stable one now. So, yes, it kind of took me off guard. And it`s just really tough for me to hear people talk about the Hogans that don`t even know them, when they`re really good, good people making bad decisions, yes. And I don`t defend a lot of the things they`re doing. But they`re character, they`re good people. I can say that.

ANDERSON: I`ve known them for years as well and it seems like the family is just in a freefall right now. It`s terrible. Cooper, help me understand. It`s bad enough what has happened to the Hogans, but how could Linda possibly think that on top of all their drama, it would be a good idea to date a 19-year-old who went to school with her kids? Is that just nuts?

COOPER LAWRENCE, PSYCHOLOGY EXPERT: Well, you used the word "think." And I think the point is she`s really not thinking. But you know, it`s because when you go through a divorce so publicly, I mean, anybody going through a divorce, it makes you a little crazy and do little, you know - things get a wacky when you`re in divorce mode.

And I think that`s what we`re seeing. I think she is in a place where she`s just not making rational decisions. I mean she`s 48, he`s a teenager, it`s so inappropriate. It behooves her as the adult to have put an end to that relationship before it began. And because she didn`t, and you guys are saying she`s a great person - I`m sure she is. But it doesn`t mean that great people don`t make bad decisions. And this is a really bad decision.

ANDERSON: Very true. And Michael, you know, I want to take a look at what else Brooke told you, quote, "I am just staying the course in dealing with it and supporting my family. You know, I thought we were one of the normal Hollywood families. It`s crazy watching it all fall apart, but I hoped for the best."

Michael, did you get the sense that Brooke was just praying that her mother would break up with this 19-year-old guy?

YO: You know what? I got the impression that Brooke wanted her mom to do the right thing. Whether that`s wrong or right, she just wants her family to be normal again. Funny story, like a year and a half ago, Hulk invites me out to one of Brooke`s events. And he looked at me and I asked him, "Are you going to do the fourth season of VH1`s `Hogan Knows Best`? And he was like, "I really don`t know. This show is tearing my family apart. The only reason I would do it is for Brooke`s singing career or for Nick - to help Nick in his race car driving career."

So he was doing the show for his kids. And that`s why it comes around that. The only reason he was on the show is for his kids. So that`s what I`m saying. He`s a good person. He`s reached the pinnacle of his career. He`s just doing it for the kids. And yes, I think Brooke just wants everything back to normal.

ANDERSON: And what is normal in Hollywood? That`s what I ask. But, you know, in the explosive interview with Larry King, Larry asked Hulk what he thought about his wife dating a 19-year-old and about the younger woman he is now with. Take a look at this.


HOGAN: The girl that I`m dating is 34 years old. And it`s not one of Brooke`s friends. And from the reports I hear, my wife is dating a 19- year-old.

KING: Does that upset you or it`s over and doesn`t matter?

HOGAN: Larry, at this point, my only focus is on John and Nick and emotionally, I`m not - like I said, Linda has her own life and her own agenda. I`m not part of it in any way, shape or form.


ANDERSON: Cooper Lawrence, I would have to imagine that this must be ripping the hearts out of Hulk and Linda`s kids. Not too long ago, they were kind of, you know, a model family. And now they`re a dysfunctional model family, evidenced by what Brooke told Michael.

LAWRENCE: Yes, I mean the thing is, Brooke, you know, Hulk Hogan is a role model not just to his kids. I mean he`s been a role model to so many kids around the country and around the world for so long. So people look to what he does.

Well, yes, his girlfriend is age-appropriate but she kind of looks like the daughter, which is a little creepy. And the fact the mother is dating somebody so much younger, it just shows that even the most seemingly stable families could fall apart. And they seem to be in sort of a weird place right now. Let`s hope that they get through this and that, you know, Brooke Hogan coming out as being the most normal of them.


LAWRENCE: It`s so wonderful for her career, right?

ANDERSON: Hopefully, they will come out of this strong. The whole thing is just very unfortunate, very unstable situation. Cooper Lawrence, Michael Yo, thank you both.

HAMMER: Wow, Brooke, Hulk`s interview was just so fascinating to watch.

ANDERSON: I agree, A.J. You know, we haven`t heard him speak out like this before and he even got choked up at one point.

HAMMER: Yes, something you`re not used to seeing. But here is what I want to know. At the end of the day, how did Hulk really do? Is this actually going to change people`s minds about him? Well, we`ve got a fired-up panel ready to go on that, and that is coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, the first time I heard that Britney Spears and Mel Gibson were hanging out together, it seemed so strange. They even went on vacation together. Now, there`s been yet another meeting and just wait until you hear where that meeting was. That`s next.

And also this -


BONADUCE: He tries to make a profit off of it. Yes, that`s the poorest of poor taste.


HAMMER: Danny Bonaduce is back on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And I`ll tell you, he`s never one to hold back with us. Tonight, we`ve got Danny sounding off on his pal, Hulk Hogan. And I`ve got to tell you, he has some pretty strong opinions on the subject. That is coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


ANDERSON: Listen to this. Hollywood`s most unlikely duo, Britney Spears and Mel Gibson, are at it again. Britney and Mel met up at a cigar club in Beverly Hills, Monday. "People" magazine reports it was kind of an ongoing guidance session, not a business meeting. The two were first spotted together in March. Then, they went to Costa Rica together with their families in May.

Kathy Griffin, star of Bravo`s "My Life on the D-List," gave me her take on Britney and Mel spending time together.


KATHY GRIFFIN, STAR OF "MY LIFE ON THE D-LIST": Only in Hollywood could the guy who`s not only busted for DUI and making the racial slurs but is still consistently photographed with like the hos in every bar in Malibu. I mean, you go online and there`s always that same shiny picture of Mel Gibson with like four cocktail waitresses. And yet, somehow, he and his wife are going to save Britney at their Costa Rican ranch? OK. Makes no sense to me.


ANDERSON: The new season of Kathy`s reality show, "My Life on the D-List" debuts Thursday on Bravo. And wait until you see Kathy really unplugged. That`s in my full interview with her Thursday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, including her take on the Hogans.

HAMMER: And I`ve got to tell you, Brooke, Hulk Hogan`s interview with Larry King, just riveting.

ANDERSON: It certainly was. It really was Hulk unplugged, A.J. He even got choked up toward the end.


HOGAN: And they know this was an accident and at the end of the day, the support and the people - the people that are outside of this building, they`re with us on this thing, Larry. So it`s going to be OK.

HAMMER: There is something you don`t often see - a former professional wrestler getting just choked up. But here`s what I really want to know, are people buying it? Well, we`ve got a fired-up panel there, ready to go, and that is coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, Danny Bonaduce is never one to hold back and tonight, we`ve got him sounding off on his pal, Hulk Hogan and the reality show they`re doing together. That`s coming up in the interview you`ll see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: And I`ve got to tell you, I found this just hard to believe. But the chimp from Tarzan and "Bedtime for Bonzo" - he`s still alive at 76. He`s outlived many of his co-stars. He even has his own Web site. But that`s not enough for this particular chimp. Oh, no. I`m going to tell you how Cheeta the Chimp is reaching for the stars, coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.



HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Hulk Hogan`s shocking words. Tonight, Hulk speaks out for the very first time since his son was thrown in jail for nearly killing his best friend in a car accident. Did his emotional interview with CNN`s Larry King help? Did it hurt his image? Tonight, I`ve got a fired-up panel covering this like no other entertainment news show.


BONADUCE: He tries to make a profit off this, yes. That is the poorest of poor taste.


HAMMER: Tonight, you have just got to hear what Danny Bonaduce has to say about his friend, Hulk Hogan. They`re actually doing a shocking new reality show together and it is the blockbuster interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you tonight from Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, judging Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan has finally broken his silence, speaking out on "LARRY KING LIVE" for the very first time since his son, Nick, went to jail for the shocking car wreck that put his friend in a near coma.

Hulk talked about the controversial jailhouse tapes and his conversations with his son, Nick. Hulk also opened up about his very ugly divorce from Linda who`s now dating a 19-year-old. And Hulk actually broke down in tears, not something you often see, as he was talking about how his family has totally melted down. So how did Hulk do? Did he change any minds?

We have got a fired-up coast-to-coast panel and they are ready to have at it. Joining me tonight in New York, Marvette Britto of the Britto Agency. In Hollywood tonight, investigative journalist Pat Lalama. Also in Hollywood, Atty. Darren Kavinoky of the Kavinoky Law Firm.

Gang, I want to start off with the jailhouse tapes which have been the subject of so much controversy. We know that Hulk and his son were heard trash-talking John Graziano who, of course, is the victim in the car crash that led to Nick Hogan going to jail. Well, Hulk and Nick also discussed doing a reality show when he gets out of jail.

But Hulk described these comments as words from a desperate father whose son is, as he put it, mentally unraveling. I want you to take a look at what he had to say.


HOGAN: Solitary confinement; most hardened criminals unravel after two or three days. Nick survived in there 28, 29 days. During that period of time, as I`m sitting there, 28, 29 days with hardly any sleep, I did everything I could, from laugh to cry with my son, to try to tell jokes, to try to be serious, to try to keep him present and aware and walking in the spirit of God. I was doing everything. And did I say things wrong? Yes. Am I sorry? Yes.


HAMMER: All right. So he says he`s sorry. Darren Kavinoky, let me start with you. Do you buy Hulk`s apology?

KAVINOKY: I`ve got to say this, A.J., Hulk was in a tough situation. Legally, he`s walking a tight rope. He still has the civil suit looming out there where you have a traumatically injured child on the one hand and you have a very wealthy family on the other. So he`s got to be very, very careful about everything he says.

And as a parent myself, I can really feel for him as a father. Any parent out there knows that when your kids are hurt, you`re hurting 10 times worse. So I feel for him. But come on! I`m just not buying it for a second. I don`t think he was truly remorseful. I don`t think he really has truth on his side. And ultimately, I don`t think so it`s going to further his reputation.

HAMMER: What about you, Pat Lalama? Do you buy what Hulk said? Do you think his comments were inappropriate under any circumstances, the comments on those jailhouse tape recordings?

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: I think when there`s grief, people look for blame, so perhaps that`s why they were not saying such nice things about John. But let`s face it, A.J. The problem is that these are people in the reality world who are living in an unreal frame of mind. They`re talking about, "I`m going to get you a reality show as soon as you walk out of prison. Yes, let`s talk about that. And that John, he was a negative guy."

I mean they`ve got to - you know, the fish stinks from the head. The parents did not do a good job giving this kid a sense of stability and character. So now the system has to do it. It`s too late to cry about it. They`ve got to learn their lesson, the father and the son.

HAMMER: All right. Marvette, I want to ask your opinion as a PR expert because we`re judging Hulk Hogan and his performance on "LARRY KING LIVE." What do you think? Did he pull it off? Did he say the right things, particularly as it pertains to those jailhouse conversations in that last sound bite we heard?

MARVETTE BRITTO, PR EXPERT, BRITTO AGENCY: Well, Hulk Hogan certainly won the award for best dramatic performance. He laid it on heavy. The other day, he talked about God and talked about this being revenge and that perhaps John did something to deserve this.

Yesterday, they talked about how they walk with Christ and it was a complete 360. It was completely contrived. They talked about themselves. They spoke as if they were truly the victims. That`s not what you ever want to hear from someone who is truly trying to apologize and show sympathy for someone that they`ve hurt. All we heard about was how much this has hurt their family. How much they`re going through. And it really did very little.

In fact, I think it dug him in an even bigger hole and showed him in a much worse light than we already thought of him. His level of morality is - he showed little or no morality - not only him, his wife, his daughter, the entire family. We don`t know what moral standards they`re living by and it`s less about what they say and it`s more about their actions. And their actions are not in line with the sympathy they appear to be showing.

HAMMER: Yes. Well, as you mentioned, his actions on the "LARRY KING" interview, certainly had a lot of emotional charge to them. And if he thought that was going to change any minds, well, he certainly did a good job of laying that on, whether it was intentional or whether it was really coming from inside. I mean not every day you see Hulk Hogan in tears. Let`s watch this.


HOGAN: If you would have told me a couple years ago, Larry, we would be sitting here and this would have been how my life unfolded, I would have thought you were crazy. Yes, it`s been hard.

KING: It is OK. I mean this is hard, isn`t it? Who could ever imagine?

HOGAN: I don`t know. The main focus is my son, my children and John Graziano. It has been a tough one, Larry.


HAMMER: What do you think, Darren? Did Hulk come across as sincerely overwhelmed there? Do you think he was truly emotional or crocodile tears?

ATTY. DARREN KAVINOKY, KAVINOKY LAW FIRM: I`m going crocodile tears on that one. He had to be well-prepared for this. This entire show must have been well-scripted by his handlers.

But let`s face it. Hulk Hogan really comes from a background where he`s a carnival performer. So I think - Kids, if there`s any children watching, avert your eyes for a second. But let me tell you, wrestling is fake. This is a guy who comes from a background of being fake. And I think what we`re seeing now in this performance is more fake.

HAMMER: And I have to say, I`ve heard a lot of people saying that exact thing. A lot of people were totally buying it though.

And as if this whole mess was not sensational enough, then you have a 48-year-old Linda Hogan, which is Hulk`s wife, now dating a 19-year-old guy. They are split up but still technically married. And apparently, this 19-year-old guy that Linda`s dating went to school with their kids. Larry King asked Hulk about that and the younger woman he`s dating now. Now, listen to what Hulk said.


HOGAN: First off, Larry, the girl that I`m dating is 34 years old, and it`s not one of Brooke`s friends. And from the reports, I hear my wife is dating a 19-year-old.

KING: Does that upset you or it`s over and doesn`t matter?

HOGAN: Larry, at this point, my only focus is on John and Nick. And emotionally, I`m not - like I said, Linda has her own life and her own agenda. I am not part of it in any way, shape or form. My only focus is on my children and on John.


HAMMER: Pat Lalama, talk about a dicey situation. How do you think Hulk handled that?

LALAMA: You know, I have to tell you, I do think there`s an element of sincerity in him in that his life truly has crumbled right before him. So obviously, he`s feeling grief.

But what I don`t think this family is doing is using this opportunity to assess themselves, to do personal inventory, to say, "Let`s put the brakes on all this reality junk, this TV, the spotlight, the fame. Let`s look at ourselves personally and determine how we can learn and how we can get better from this."

I see Nick talking about wanting to be a star the minute he walks out of prison. I see him almost blaming this other kid. When Hulk Hogan said, "Well, you know, he`s a 24-year-old former soldier, a Marine. He should have kind of, you know, stopped Nick from doing this. Baloney! That`s up to a father to teach his son how to behave responsibly and he didn`t do it. This kid had too many privileges under the glare of the spotlight and in front of the camera. And now, everybody`s paying the price. And it`s sad, because I don`t see anybody getting better as a result of it.

HAMMER: Well, at the end of the day, it sounded like Hulk Hogan not getting a real terrific grade for his performance for his interview with Larry King whichever way you want to look at that. Marvette Britto, Pat Lalama, Darren Kavinoky, thanks for judging Hulk Hogan with us tonight. I appreciate it.

Danny Bonaduce is one of Hulk Hogan`s good friends. He has got a lot to say about all this. And get this, if you think he`s totally backing the Hogan family, well, you`d be wrong about that. Coming up, it`s my no- holds-barred interview with the "Partridge Family" star. He`s actually doing a reality show with Hulk right now.


BONADUCE: If I was in jail, and I`m looking at legal bills and you have no idea how expensive this gets, I`d be thinking, "How can I turn this into a dollar?"


HAMMER: You have to hear Danny go off. He says some totally unbelievable stuff. That`s next.

Also this -


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did I understand the monkeys are coming on board this year to help you with your star.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that`s a good move. How do you feel about that?


HAMMER: Hey, no monkey business here. I just cannot believe what they`re doing to this chimp. It`s Cheeta, the 76-year-old monkey who starred in some of the biggest movies of all time, talking the original "Tarzan." He was in Dr. Doolittle, and now he`s getting a really raw deal and reaching out to you for help.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And now I`ve got more shocking reaction to the Hulk Hogan family drama from somebody who`s actually very close to Hulk, "Partridge Family" star, Danny Bonaduce.

Now when I spoke with Danny, he just let loose about Hulk Hogan`s son, Nick, wanting to do a reality show when he gets out of jail. Danny`s actually starring alongside Hulk in a new reality show right now. It`s called "Hulk Hogan`s Celebrity Wrestling.

And I asked Danny if all this bad press is affecting Hulk`s work on the show.


BONADUCE: I`ve never seen a man more professional and more unshakable. I mean, really, it`s funny. I`ve been a celebrity my whole life. I walk into a diner and people go, "Hey, that`s the guy from the TV." You walk in with Hulk Hogan, you`ve walked in with Mt. Rushmore. The place just stops. He`s so big and colorful. And he`s just used to so much attention that really I think he`ll deal with this quite fine. He never mentions it on the set.

HAMMER: Well, you`ve got to have a pretty tough skin to deal with what he`s dealing with right now. And we know that he was on "LARRY KING" on Tuesday night. And among the things that he talked about, he really came down on the media for the way that he and his family have been treated during his son`s jail ordeal and during his own divorce. I want to take a quick listen to some of what he told Larry King. Let`s roll this, Charles.


HOGAN: I`m trying to get back to work, get back on track. The most overwhelm thing, Larry, is even with this irresponsible media, this tabloid terrorism, as I call it, and every shot they`ve taken at me and my family, when I walk out this door, the public knows the type of person I am. They know the type of person my son is. My son is a good child. My daughter is a good person.


HAMMER: All right. Danny, you`ve said in the past right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, as a matter of fact, that celebrities are fair game for media scrutiny.

BONADUCE: Absolutely.

HAMMER: It`s what happens when you become famous. Get used to it. Do you think Hulk should be complaining about the media coverage for what are some very real troubles here?

BONADUCE: I think he can complain all he wants. I think that, again, especially, bigger than life with the white mustache and the whole thing, he is, of course, fair game. But the key word there to me is "fair." And I didn`t think it was fair. I personally don`t care. If you want to right unfair things about me, just spell my name right. Just keep me working, I don`t care.

But they said, "Here`s some phone calls from Hulk Hogan to his son." And when I make a phone call, I start with, "Hello?" And then I would ask my juvenile son, "Are you all right? Are you scared? Is there anything I can do? Don`t worry, son, I`ll try and get you out. I love you and good- bye." Not one of those words was in that phone call. That wasn`t a phone call. It was highlights or lowlights, and I don`t think that was fair.

HAMMER: But do you think - and not to belabor the point of the phone calls, but do you think that - OK, so those parts were left out. However, and he claims the parts that were aired have been taken out of context. But he did say some pretty rough things regardless of what came before it and regardless of what came after it?

BONADUCE: Right. Well, I think he`s got a 17-year-old son in solitary confinement. And I think that`s a rough day. He said some rough things. He`s a rough man. I`m not - you know, I can`t tell you that he`s right or wrong in what he says. I can tell you that he`s going to tell you his opinion every time. And I`m going to stick by my guns and even though he`s my friend, say he`s fair game for the media, but the media should report accurately.

HAMMER: And all that being said, do you feel sorry for Hulk? Do you think he`s been getting a raw deal in this situation?

BONADUCE: I don`t know if he`s been getting a raw deal or not because I don`t know all the facts. I feel sorry for any father with a son in jail, because you`ve got to remember, until my father passed away, every now and again, my father would have a son in jail and I`d feel bad for him.

HAMMER: Yes. You definitely have more of a personal connection than most. I think we can agree on that. Obviously, a lot of the uproar over Hulk and his son and what were heard on those tapes is them discussing Nick possibly doing a reality show right after he gets out of jail. Do you think there`s anything wrong with Nick doing a show like that?

BONADUCE: It is the show because the way I heard it is, if he does a reality show, that is not like a giant public service message, "Don`t do this," yes, I think it`s a tacky idea if anybody tries to profit from this. And don`t make the celebrity the worse guy. I mean we have seen the news - legitimate news profit. I didn`t make up the expression "If it bleeds, it leads." The news made up the expression, "If it bleeds, it leads."

So if he tries to make a profit of off this, yes, that`s in the poorest of poor taste. But I believe they had a reality show coming and he`s wondering more the way I hear it is, "Do you think him fired because of this?" I think there was a show already in the works.

HAMMER: Yes, well now, it does sound, at least judging from phone calls and what we heard, that he wants to turn it into having the cameras right there capturing him as he comes out of jail. And I agree with you, if any profit is made, at least it should go to the family of his friend, John Graziano who was injured in that car crash.

BONADUCE: Absolutely, it certainly should. But this is exactly how mercenary I am. I`ll never back down. I don`t care how I end up looking. If I was in jail and I`m looking at legal bills and you have no idea how expensive this gets, I`d be thinking, "How can I turn this into a dollar? God, I`m sorry about my friend. I`m 17. He`s the only consenting adult in the car at 22. How can I turn this into paying for my legal fees?" I`m sorry that it`s a jaded and tough world. But it is. And that`s what I`d be thinking.

HAMMER: All right, Danny. Well, besides your upcoming wrestling show with Hulk Hogan, your L.A. radio show out there on 97.1, you`re also the face of this new Web site. It`s called co-comment. So Danny, any comments? What the heck is this thing about?

BONADUCE: The most important piece of machinery on my radio show is, of course, me, because I`m so talented and handsome, which really doesn`t help on radio. But I check out all news, all information that fast on my computer. And then I found myself getting kind of addicted and I would comment everywhere and then I wouldn`t remember all the places I had commented. And what "" does is it puts it all a bunch so you can see not only where you have commented, but who commented on what you said and it will all be packaged for you every day. It`s a little community of your own no matter where in the world. Even if the site you go to doesn`t accept comment, if you have "," you can comment.

HAMMER: Yes, we will look forward to "" Danny Bonaduce, as always, it`s great to see you. Thanks for coming on.

BONADUCE: Always a pleasure and thank you for having me.


HAMMER: Always great having him. Danny certainly never pulls any punches when it comes to saying exactly how he feels. And we love him for that.

ANDERSON: That`s right, A.J.

All right. I`ve got to tell you about this story. It`s about Cheeta, the chimp. He is 76 years old. Yes, really 76.

He`s a big star, too. He`s been in "Tarzan" "Dr. Doolittle," but he doesn`t have a star on the walk of fame. I think that`s, well, totally bananas. And you need to hear what he`s planning to do about it, next. Don`t monkey around. Stay right here. We`re back after this.

You can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT anytime. Download our podcast. It`s free. You`ll find the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT podcast at You can also get it on iTunes. We are coming right back.


ANDERSON: All right. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. OK, right now, I just have to get this monkey off my back.

Tonight, there`s a big push to get Cheeta the chimp a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. According to the "Guinness Book of World Records," 76-year-old Cheeta is the oldest living nonhuman primate. That is remarkable. He starred in Ronald Reagan`s "Bedtime for Bonzo," "Tarzan," and Dr. Doolittle. Cheeta has even launched his own Web site with the position to get him a star in 2009, ""


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheeta, we`re back again together for another campaign for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And I`m just wondering, what`s our game plan this year? I`m here to discuss that with you. What do you think, Cheeta?

Cheeta, I understand the monkeys are coming on board this year to help you with your star. I think that`s a good move. How do you feel about that? What do you think the problem is? What do you have to say to Johnny Grant who seems to be the key to you getting your star?

You`ve worked so hard. You`ve been in so many movies, and you`re still going strong. We`re so impressed. And the paintings you made to donate for the chimpanzees in Gambia are amazing. So Cheeta, this could be our year? We`re going to get it, the star. This is your year.


ANDERSON: All right, I think a lot of people will go bananas if Cheeta doesn`t get a star. You know, Kermit the frog has one, Godzilla, Lassie. The Walk of Fame folks will decide later this month. By the way, Johnny Grant, whom you heard Cheeta talking about, was the unofficial mayor of Hollywood who died earlier this year. I`ve got to give our friends over at TMZ a shout-out for coming up with the best line for this story, "It`s hard out here for a chimp." 36 Mafia won an Oscar for their song, "It`s Hard Out Here for a Pimp" back in 2006.

HAMMER: It`s hard out there in Hollywood for a chimp. What are you going to do?

Well, on Tuesday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Hulk Hogan: Can his career survive his son`s scandal?" Sixty percent said yes. Forty percent of you said no.

A lot of E-mails coming in on this. We heard from John in New Mexico who thinks Hulk Hogan`s career will go on, saying, "His fans will remember Hulk the entertainer and tend to forget that Terry (that`s Hulk`s real name) is human and says/does stupid things."

But Alex from Hawaii says, "Everything about the Hogans is fake, from the fake bleach hair, fake boobs, fake attitude, fake sympathy, fake wrestling. I couldn`t care less about his career. The thought of seeing him on TV makes me ill."

Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. The latest from "CNN HEADLINE NEWS" is next. Take care.