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Tim Russert Remembered; Pinsky-Cruise Feud; Paula Abdul`s Revelations

Aired June 13, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Tragic news tonight, the death shocking of beloved journalist Tim Russert, the veteran political newsman has died at 58 years old after suddenly collapsing. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Cruise`s counterattacks. Tonight, Tom Cruise at war with TV`s biggest rehab doctor. Yes, a TV rehab doctor, over explosive statements about why Tom is a Scientologist.


DAVID CAPLAN, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: When people speak negatively about Scientology, about his own belief in Scientology, Tom comes swinging.


HAMMER: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with Tom Cruise`s brand-new Scientology battle.

Hulk Hogan`s wife takes the express train to cougar town. Tonight, the absolute fascination with 48-year-old Linda dating a 19-year-old. And she`s not the only celebrity finding love on the rebound with a much younger guy. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks, why are we so obsessed with older women, younger men?

Plus, Paula Abdul`s confession. Tonight, Paula reveals how she nearly died. The interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


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 truly shocking and unexpected death today of Tim Russert. Tim Russert, the iconic NBC newsman and legendary host of "Meet the Press" collapsed in the NBC Washington Bureau and died.

With me tonight in Washington, Howard Kurtz, host of CNN`s "Reliable Sources" and media critic for the "Washington Post." Also tonight in New York, Ashleigh Banfield, host of Tru TV`s "Hollywood Heat."

Welcome, Howard. Welcome, Ashleigh. Howard Kurtz, I want to start with you. I know that you`re as shocked as everybody else here. What went through your mind when you heard this terrible news?

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES" AND MEDIA CRITIC, "WASHINGTON TIMES": What a loss for journalism and our profession. And this was a guy who loved politics, who was immersed in politics, who transformed Sunday morning television. And the reason we`re seeing these tributes from politicians, from rivals, from news executives is that there was no one like Tim Russert.

ANDERSON: Ashleigh, were you in disbelief when you heard the news? We have seen him working continually. There wasn`t word that he`d been ill.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HOST, "HOLLYWOOD HEAT": No. Although I think this morning some guests who had been working with him suggested that Tom - he had felt a little bit ill. They attributed it to his late-night return from his vacation with his family to Italy last night.

But, you know, Tim is one of those people who everyone looked at as the ubiquitous force in the newsroom. He worked long hours, long days. And he`s a leader. And I think most people thought extremely invulnerable. Fifty-eight is a very young age and especially for someone who is so accustomed to working so hard.

ANDERSON: Yes. Very dedicated to his profession. And he`s probably one of the most iconic political reporters of our time. And during these historic presidential primaries, he was everywhere. Howard, was there any indication that anything was wrong?

KURTZ: No, none whatsoever. And this really was his campaign. He was at the absolute top of his game. When Tim Russert went on the air after midnight on May 6th and said, this is it, Barack Obama has wrapped up the Democratic nomination, that in itself was a news event. He was known for his prodigious preparation and for his interrogations of politicians, reading them their past statements and really served as kind of a model, a guy who had come out of Democratic politics, worked for Mario Cuomo, worked for Daniel Patrick Moynihan and reinvented himself as perhaps the Capitol`s ultimate political journalist and commentator.

ANDERSON: Well, you know, on top of everything else, Howard, Tim Russert was the Washington Bureau chief for NBC News. Ashleigh, I know that you worked with Tim when you were at MSNBC, covered the 2000 election with him, September 11th, the beginnings of the Iraq War. Tell us what you remember about him.

BANFIELD: Well, I just remember that he was a leader. I mean he was the person everyone turned to. He was the final gatekeeper of whether something was going to be appropriate for air. And he set the tenor as well for the coverage of NBC News and we all appreciated greatly his tutelage there.

And let me tell you this, that business about Tim using the dry erase board during election 2000 - that really, honestly, was the genesis of what you see in the coverage today, simplicity in the coverage. Bells and whistles are great. But Tim always knew it came right down to the numbers and getting the message across. The glitz, the glamour and the fancy tools meant very little to Tim, although he would still embrace them. I love that he embraced the technology, but still it was always about the journalism to Tim and just getting the message across.

ANDERSON: Yes, he was such a solid journalist, really a star and so much so that political junkies would go out of their way to watch him. Howard, of course, there is never a good time for anything like this to happen, but what a tremendous loss during this historic presidential race.

KURTZ: You know, I mean, this is a campaign that he would have lusted to see the end of. And I was with him on the 2006 election night. They tried to gin up this electronic version of the white board. And he said, "This isn`t working. Just give me the pen and the paper."

Also, the thing that - why so many people, I think, related to Tim Russert is that he was a son of blue collar Buffalo. His father - wrote a book about him, "Big Russ," was a sanitation worker. And he never forgot that, even as the multimillion dollar Washington pundit. He would translate politics to the Average Joe, the guy drinking beer on the couch. And that I think was part of his genius, really.

ANDERSON: Yes. He was very appealing. Our hearts do go out to his family, his friends, colleagues, loyal viewers. My goodness. What a tremendous loss for so many. Howard Kurtz, Ashleigh Banfield, thank you both.

HAMMER: Such a sad, sad loss.

Well, moving on now, tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT bringing you an explosive war of words that has led to a Cruise counterattack. Tom Cruise is now at war with somebody you`d never expect, TV`s most famous rehab doctor, because of what was said about Tom, his childhood and the Church of Scientology. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT bringing you this huge new Cruise controversy making news right now.


(voice over): He sparred with Matt Lauer, bashed Brooke Shields. He even once told off a prankster who squirted him with a water gun at a red carpet event.

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: You`re a jerk.

HAMMER: But now, Tom Cruise is squaring off against one of his most unlikely foes ever.

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, "CELEBRITY REHAB": It`s my job to the severest cases of drug addiction.

HAMMER: Dr. Drew Pinsky, the gentle but blunt speaking host of VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the good doctor has crossed Cruise in the worst way imaginable - by dissing Scientology. "" has been covering the "War of the Worlds" star`s latest war of words.

CAPLAN: It`s not really a celebrity who you think you would expect.

HAMMER: The battle began with comments Dr. Drew made in an interview in next month`s "Playboy." He says, quote, "A lot of people in the public eye who behave strangely have mental illnesses we can learn from, and much of it is based on childhood trauma without a doubt. Take a guy like Tom Cruise. Why would somebody be drawn into a cultish kind of environment like Scientology? To me, that`s a function of a very deep emptiness and suggests serious neglect in childhood - maybe some abuse, but mostly neglect."

CAPLAN: When he took on Scientology, that is really when the feud erupted.

HAMMER: Cruise is probably the world`s best known Scientologist. So the response to Dr. Drew`s statement was quick and fierce. Cruise`s lawyer, attorney to the stars, Bert Fields told the "New York Post," quote, "This unqualified television performer who is obviously just looking for notoriety is so grotesquely unprofessional as to pretend to diagnose Tom and others without ever meeting them."

CAPLAN: He was really taking a personal jab at Dr. Pinsky`s qualifications and credentials as a doctor.

HAMMER: And even though Cruise doesn`t always use the strongest language when crossed.

CRUISE: You`re a jerk.

HAMMER: His lawyer isn`t as nice. In his counterattack against Dr. Drew, Bert Fields went so far as to compare Pinsky to a Nazi. Fields told the "New York Post" that Drew, quote, "seems to be spewing the absurdity that all Scientologists are mentally ill. The last time we heard garbage like this was from Joseph Goebbels."

Goebbels was the minister of propaganda for Adolf Hitler. And Tom Cruise`s next movie, "Valkyrie" just happens to be about a plot to assassinate Hitler.

Cruise is not shy about talking about his religion. But "`s" David Caplan tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Cruise is also not shy about going after those who attack it.

CAPLAN: Tom Cruise rarely takes jabs at Scientology lightly. When people speak negatively about Scientology, about his own belief in Scientology, Tom comes swinging.

HAMMER: Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, Dr. Drew is trying to de- escalate things. In a statement his representative tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, quote, "Dr. Drew meant no harm to Mr. Cruise and apologizes if his comments were hurtful. Under no circumstances is Dr. Drew making a blanket diagnosis about Scientology nor Mr. Cruise whom he does not know."

CAPLAN: What`s interesting about Dr. Pinsky`s comment is that he didn`t take anything back.

HAMMER: It appears for now, the battle between Dr. Drew and Tom Cruise is over. But Dr. Drew can now count himself on the long and distinguished list of people who have taken on Tom Cruise.

CRUISE: You`re a jerk.


HAMMER: Well, it looks like the parties in this battle have said their piece read from Tom Cruise, his attorney and Dr. Drew. Each tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT there will be no more comments on the matter. There you go.

ANDERSON: A.J. we`ve been waiting a long time to say this. Six years, in fact. But tonight finally, there is a verdict in the R. Kelly trial.

HAMMER: Yes, Brooke. So amazing that it just took so long for this trial to start.

ANDERSON: Yes. But it didn`t take long for the jury to come up with a verdict. I was absolutely stunned when this word came in. So was R. Kelly convicted on child pornography charges? We`ll tell you what happened, coming up.

HAMMER: Also, I`ve got to tell you. I`ve never seen anything like the response that we have been getting to a story we did this week all about Hulk Hogan`s wife, Linda, dating a 19-year-old. Yes, well, I want to know, why are we so fascinated with this whole older woman-younger man phenomenon in Hollywood. I invite you to step into the cougar den. You`re getting into that, coming up next.

And we will also have this -


PAULA ABDUL, TV PERSONALITY: In the first part of - first year and a half of my childhood, infancy, I spent the whole time passed out.


Wait until you hear Paula Abdul`s startling confessions. I sat down with Paula. Nothing at all was off limits. She then told me about how she almost died. It`s Paula Abdul coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Remember, you can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT video anytime. We are always posting new stuff for you to watch at our Web site at Among the videos now playing, do you have sympathy for Hulk Hogan and his family? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT coming straight back.



HULK HOGAN, WRESTLER AND REALITY TV STAR: 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.


ANDERSON: Hulk Hogan setting the record straight on "LARRY KING LIVE" about his new romance and his wife`s teenaged boyfriend.

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

Tonight, the Hollywood cougar club has just inducted a new member. Forty- eight-year-old Linda Hogan is now dating a 19-year-old who went to school with her jailed son, Nick, and her daughter, Brooke. Tonight, I can tell you, there is an absolute fascination with this, which has us asking, what is it about older women and younger men?

Joining me tonight from Miami is Steve Santagati of "" and author of "The Manual." And in New York, Cooper Lawrence, psychology expert and author.

Cooper, Steve, Linda Hogan, we all know, has had a pretty rough year. She`s going through a messy divorce with Hulk, her son behind bars. Steve, with all the drama swirling around, what could Linda possibly see in a 19- year-old who went to school with her kids?

STEVE SANTAGATI, "ASKSTEVESANTAGATI.COM": I don`t - my god. First of all, why are we saying dating?

ANDERSON: Be candid.

SANTAGATI: Shocking.


SANTAGATI: Why we are saying dating is beyond me. She`s not dating him. She sees the same thing in a 19-year-old guy as a 48-year-old man sees in a 19-year-old woman. At that level, it`s just sex. She`s fooling around with him. She`s doing what a ton of guys have been doing for hundreds of years. I don`t think it`s not a big deal. Who cares? Plus, the only thing I think, Coop - and agree with me on this if you will, that she shouldn`t be mentoring this kid in any way or giving him any kind of parental guidance.

COOPER LAWRENCE, PSYCHOLOGY EXPERT AND AUTHOR: No. Definitely not parental guidance. No.

ANDERSON: Yes. So you think it`s purely physical. Well, Cooper, it seems to me that, you know, this could be sort of an escapism for Linda, maybe a relief from all of her very real adult problems?

LAWRENCE: You think? I mean the idea that - I mean he`s not just a little younger. He`s almost age inappropriate. If it was just a couple of years earlier, it would be a whole different conversation. I mean 19 is like barely legal. But Steve - I hate to agree with him. You know that I hate to agree with him, but I`m going to because look what`s going on with her. This is not a realistic relationship. This is not somebody who`s thinking, "Oh, this is my next husband." She`s thinking, "I just went through this huge divorce. I`m a celebrity now. I`m in the public eye. Let me continue outrageous behavior and let me have a good-old time while I`m doing it."

SANTAGATI: And to Brooke and Coop - the thing is we might be being a little naive here. It also generates publicity. So it`s smart. So it`s serving two purposes - sex from a guy who can keep up with her all night and she`s getting press. We`re talking about her.

LAWRENCE: Oh, right.

ANDERSON: Oh, brother. And I don`t think all publicity is good publicity despite the old adage. Well, as you can imagine, Linda`s 20-year-old daughter, Brooke, is definitely not comfortable with her mom`s new relationship telling our friend Michael Yo who does Satellite Radio, his show "Yo on E!" told him, quote, "I`m totally freaked out. This is really weird. I personally don`t like it at all or condone it."

Steve, what do you think? Is Brooke justified in feeling this way? Or if it makes her mom happy, it`s OK?

SANTAGATI: Yes. Well, it`s definitely going to be competition for her now. Listen, I`ll be honest with you. When I was 19 - I was with this woman 40 years old. And it was kind of wild. It`s kind of weird, but, you know, one of the big things is, she was like saying, "I have kids your age." So the kids, I guess if they know, it kind of freaks them out because it`s a weird thing. She looks at her like her mom. But I mean she`s not exactly the ideal for morality with the way she dresses.

LAWRENCE: I see why she wants him, but why does he want her? That`s what`s so fascinating. The fact that a 19-year-old is looking at a 48- year-old and going, "That`s what I`m interested in and that`s hot."

SANTAGATI: Do you want to know why?


ANDERSON: Well, Steve speaks from experience, so let`s hear it, Steve.

SANTAGATI: When we`re young like that, we`re 19, 20 years old, we have to check off the older woman thing off our list of fantasies. It is really sexy. Especially if the woman is in great shape and she looks hot. She just - Older women just carry this sense of umph that younger girls don`t have in their eyes. And if the body looks good and the face is fine, then we`re on it. We want to be with an older woman. It`s very sexy and very provocative for us at that age.

ANDERSON: So the wisdom that comes with age, you`re saying, is attractive?

HAMMER: Yes, the sexual wisdom. That confidence - A woman that age knows what she wants. She`s not insecure about her body anymore. She`s not insecure about enjoying sex and enjoying the guy. She doesn`t worry how she comes across in bed. So this is perfect and she brings -

LAWRENCE: And she`s willing to teach you a few things that you`ll take on to your next few relationships.


ANDERSON: And Cooper, I want you to answer that question about Linda`s daughter, Brooke. You know, she is mortified by this but says it`s her mother, she has to support her. Do you think if her mother is happy, then it`s all OK?

LAWRENCE: No, I don`t think happiness is the measuring stick that you should go by. I mean -

SANTAGATI: Yes, it is.

LAWRENCE: No, it`s not really. Just because somebody`s happy, it doesn`t mean they`re not doing something inappropriate. I think 48 and 19 is just a little too far off when it comes to age, and the fact that it`s somebody younger than her. This is her role model. It must be very uncomfortable for Brooke, the fact that she knows the guy and went to school with him.


SANTAGATI: Look, Brooke can do whatever she wants -

ANDERSON: Pretty awkward situation, I`m sure ...


ANDERSON: ... to say the at least. Cooper Lawrence, Steve Santagati, we will leave it there for now. Thank you both.


HAMMER: All right, Brooke. So you know the most famous rehab doctor on TV is speaking out about the stars. And man, he is not holding back at all.

ANDERSON: No, he`s not, A.J. He`s saying really outrageous things about not only Tom Cruise but other A-listers, too.

HAMMER: Yes. I really couldn`t believe what he said about Angelina Jolie`s alleged drug use and even about her charity work. Believe me, you`ve got to stick around to hear what he said, coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, a stunning verdict in the R. Kelly trial. He`s accused of videotaping himself having sex with a girl as young as 13. The verdict is in and I`ve got to tell you, it`s a shocker. That`s coming up.

Also this -


HAMMER (on camera): When the word got out that your big bosses there at "American Idol" said, "Not going to happen," is that what happened?


My revealing one-on-one with Paula Abdul. So will she be on "Dancing With the Stars" after all? And wait until you hear this. Paula told me about how she almost died. It`s unbelievable. Nothing was off limits when I sat down with Paula Abdul, coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Here now are some more stories that are new right now. Well, there could be another sex tape on the horizon or perhaps a nasty break-up, or maybe both. That`s because Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson are back together.

Yes. Listen to this. Tommy told "Rolling Stone" magazine, it`s, quote, "definitely working," and says this is like the 800th first time they`ve tried to be together. Well, good luck to you, kids.

In other dating, Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer went on a double date with Jen`s former "Friends" co-star, Courtney Cox and her husband David Arquette. "People" magazine reports that the foursome went to dinner in Los Angeles, and then they went to a charity event together on Thursday night.

And it is officially over for one of Hollywood`s golden couples. Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe`s divorce has been finalized. Both of them have talked about how hard it was to separate after seven years of marriage. And lately, Reese has been seen out and about with Jake Gyllenhaal.

So Brooke, I`m thinking Angelina Jolie might very well have a bone to pick with a certain celebrity rehab doctor. You know what I`m saying?

ANDERSON: I think so, too, A.J. The most famous rehab doctor on TV said some outrageous things about Angelina`s alleged drug use.

HAMMER: Yes. That`s not all, he even kind of took her to task for her charity work. I`ve got to wonder, what was he thinking? Really outrageous stuff here. That is coming up.

We will also have this -


ABDUL: In the part - first year and a half of my childhood, infancy, I spent the whole time passed out.


HAMMER: Wow. Paula Abdul`s startling confessions. I sat down with Paula and I`ve got to tell you, nothing was off limits. She even told me about how she almost died. Paula Abdul coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: And a stunning verdict in the R. Kelly trial. He`s accused of videotaping himself having sex with a girl as young as 13. The verdict is in and I`ve got to tell you, it`s a shocker. And that is coming up.

HAMMER: But first, you need to know that you can always stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news with our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. Go to Click on that "sign up for newsletter" link right there at the bottom of the page. We`ll send it to you, I promise. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming straight back after this.



HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, a late-breaking shocking verdict in the R. Kelly child pornography trial. Was he found guilty of having sex with a teenaged girl and then videotaping it? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with what the jury decided. Is R. Kelly in the clear or does he even have more to worry about?


ABDUL: In the part - first year and a half of my childhood, infancy, I spent the whole time passed out.


HAMMER: Paula Abdul speaks out like never before. You have got to hear the story after how she almost died at birth. Plus, will she appear on "Dancing With The Stars"? It`s the revealing interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


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: All right. Tonight, two big stories making news right now. The verdict that was six years in the making. The R. Kelly child pornography case. The R & B superstar was acquitted today.

And also making news right now, this is wild - one of TV`s most famous rehab doctors, Drew Pinsky, makes startling comments about Tom Cruise and his connections to Scientology. Dr. Drew also goes after the great Angelina Jolie, accusing her of a heroin problem. But here`s the thing about that, Angelina has never said she`s done heroin.

Joining me tonight from Hollywood, Ken Baker, executive news editor for "E!" Here in New York, it`s Marvette Britto, founder of the Britto Agency. And also in New York tonight, Janelle Snowden, host of "VH1 News."

I`ve got to talk about the R. Kelly trial first. He was found not guilty of having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Now, the jurors looked over and over at what is really now an infamous videotape Kelly was accused of making with this girl. Ken Baker, off to you, it only took a few hours for the jury to acquit him. Are you surprised by this?

KEN BAKER, EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR, "E!": Well, from all reports and all accounts, the prosecution just did not argue a strong case. They infected the jurors with enough doubt. Particularly, what it centered on was the fact the jurors weren`t convinced that that was R. Kelly in the video.

They never were able to persuade everyone that beyond a reasonable doubt, that that was him. In fact, in the actual video, it was said that there is - the man in the video had a mole on his back. And they showed that R. Kelly doesn`t have a mole on his back.

I think this was something that infected doubt in the jurors and people who are following the trial really weren`t surprised. Also, like you said, it really turned around very quickly. The jurors looked like they knew before they even began deliberating what judgment they were going to make and it was not guilty.

HAMMER: And as you said, Ken, R. Kelly said, "Hey, that wasn`t me on the tape." Now, of course, he would say that, I imagine, "Guilty. Not guilty." But the girl who was at the center of the case even went on record and said that wasn`t her. So I would have to imagine that would put doubt in some people`s minds. Janelle, you have been following this case since day one. Did you think it would end up like this?

JANELLE SNOWDEN, HOST, "VH1 NEWS": I`d be lying to you if I told you I wasn`t shocked when the verdict first came down. But what`s key to wrapping your head around understanding this verdict if you can is understanding the charge. He wasn`t charged with having sex with a minor. He was charged with videotaping himself for having sex. So six years have past since the videotape was made with whomever.

And with video disintegration and all kinds of other things, I think what you said that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that the defense probably had just a stronger case than the prosecution.

But it also, it seems from reports that the jurors were just fed up with everything that they had been told and with the case in general because I read one of the jurors last night started banging a bottle on a table and just demanding he get his dinner because he wanted to go home. And another juror passed a note to the judge saying, "Can you please tell me how I can get out of here."

So you know, I can only imagine the things that went on in the courtroom. But I would I wasn`t shocked. R. Kelly is known for his song "I Believe I Can Fly." And I bet some people are now saying a good follow up to that would be "I Believe I Can Beat the System."

HAMMER: Well, yes, if that`s in fact what happened. Listen, you know, he was innocent until proven guilty and the jurors found him not guilty. But I think a lot of people are relieved after six years, the thing is finally over, because this has been dragging on.

And the amazing thing to me has always been, that despite the salacious charges here, R. Kelly still managed to crank out the hits and maintain his fan base. You know, as I said, innocent until proven guilty. But Marvette, you`re in PR, you well know that the public doesn`t always wait for a verdict to make up their minds. So why do you think people didn`t care about the charges in his case?

MARVETTE BRITTO, FOUNDER, BRITTO AGENCY: It`s not that people didn`t about the charges. His lawyers did a great job of lingering and prolonging the trial. So the original shock that we felt when we first heard the charges wore off. R. Kelly pursued his career. He continued to work and deliver great music. So the shock of what happened - it began to wear off. We didn`t focus on what he did.

We need to be mindful regardless of the verdict that a child, if you will, the allegations were brought about, and we really need to not forget, despite the verdict, that children were manipulated and so that`s the bigger issue. So I don`t think we forgot about it or we don`t care. We absolutely care. He was cleared. But the bigger issue is us protecting children ...


BRITTO: ... and not making something that`s so horrific, child pornography, regardless of the verdict, acceptable in this country.

HAMMER: No question about that, Marvette. You said it right.

I need to move on to this other story that`s making news right now, because this one just blows my mind. We have Dr. Drew Pinsky, who of course is the host of VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab," making some outrageous claims about Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie in an interview he did with "Playboy" magazine.

I want to read what Dr. Drew said about Tom Cruise, check this out, "Why would somebody be drawn into a cultish kind of environment like Scientology? To me, that`s a function of a very deep emptiness and suggests serious neglect in childhood - maybe some abuse, buy mostly neglect."

Ken Baker, Dr. Drew basically saying Tom Cruise joined Scientology because he was neglected as a child. Are you surprised that he would make that leap of logic about Tom Cruise?

BAKER: Well, what I wasn`t surprised by was the fact that Dr. Drew was bringing up something that Tom has brought up himself which is that he had a very dark childhood. In fact, before I came on, I recall back that in 2006, there was an article in "Parade" magazine. Tom Cruise did an interview in which he called his late father "the merchant of chaos" because of the chaos and the abuse that happened in his family and that he was afraid of his dad. He called him a bully.

So there was something there, and I don`t think Tom Cruise is denying that he had a dark past and his childhood was troubled. But where I think Dr. Drew did get into troubling territory is when connected this childhood and this dark trauma to his relationship to being in Scientology.


BAKER: And I think that`s where Tom took a real cause with that and had his lawyers go out and basically attack Dr. Drew in public.

HAMMER: Well, and then Dr. Drew responded the day after he made the comment, after they were released, actually. Dr. Drew put out a sort of apology, not a real apology. Let me read the statement he released to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, quote, "Dr. Drew meant no harm to Mr. Cruise and apologizes if his comments were hurtful. Under no circumstances is Dr. Drew making a blanket diagnosis about Scientology nor Mr. Cruise whom he does not know."

Marvette, again, from the PR angle, why do you think Dr. Drew seemed to start backtracking a bit if this was his opinion?

BRITTO: It`s a sad day when anyone from the medical profession attempts to diagnose anyone that they`ve never treated, someone that they`ve not treated. So it made total sense for him to backtrack. He is not the gate- keeper of moral authority so he shouldn`t be passing judgment on someone`s religious beliefs regardless of how he feels or regardless of what they`ve said. He should really stick to basing his opinion on giving his assessment if he`s asked. But in this case, he wasn`t asked.


BRITTO: And he really shouldn`t have shared it. So I think he knew that he was wrong. He knew that he had no place to pass judgment on Tom Cruise or his religious beliefs. And I think he did the right thing by apologizing and realizing that he was really out of line for doing what he did.

HAMMER: Well, I`ve got to get to what he also said about Angelina Jolie, because this is amazing. Again, from the interview he gave to "Playboy" magazine, quote, "I`m concerned with what`s really going on with Angelina Jolie. I`ve never seen someone remit heroin completely. You`re either still on heroin, OxyContin or something else. Is she still using something? Is she in recovery? I don`t see any evidence of it because people in recovery invest themselves in simple, selfless acts of service, not global, self-serving acts."

HAMMER: Wow! Take a breath for a moment here. Angelina Jolie never admitted using heroin. Now, there have been several unsubstantiated reports floating around the Internet for years about Angelina and heroin. But never any based on fact. Janelle, is this another ridiculous leap of logic here?

SNOWDEN: I just feel bad for Angelina because like you said, she has not come out and said that she has indeed used heroin. So for Dr. Drew to first introduce that as what he seemed to portray as a fact is just a bit premature, if you ask me.

I understand that he`s got a new show coming out. And I think that Dr. Drew has definitely proven himself to be a productive therapist to the people that he has treated. But again, he hasn`t treated Tom, he hasn`t treated Angelina. So I can only imagine what Angelina is going to have to say as a result of this, if she says anything at all.

HAMMER: Well, thanks very much for joining me, guys. And by the way, I have one quick clarification. The defense said that the man in the videotape didn`t have a mole and R. Kelly does. Ken Baker, Marvette Britto, Janelle Snowden, I appreciate you being here.

ANDERSON: Hey, A.J., Britney Spears has been doing pretty well recently, right? What did you think of her guest role on CBS` "How I Met Your Mother"?

HAMMER: You know, I have to say I was fairly impressed. I thought she did a pretty decent job on that.

ANDERSON: Yes, I did, too. And get this, A.J., she could actually win an Emmy award for that role. I`m completely serious. You`ve got to stick around to hear this.

And also this -


HAMMER (on camera): When the word got out that your big bosses there at "American Idol" said, "Not going to happen," is that what happened?


HAMMER: I really got Paula Abdul to open up, finally setting the record straight on the controversy surrounding whether she was going to appear on "Dancing With The Stars." Plus, something that totally blew me away - Paula reveals how she almost died. The headline-making interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, coming up.

ANDERSON: And I think it`s great to see Lindsay Lohan back to work. But why in the world is she pretending to be pregnant? What`s going on with her? That`s coming up.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And tonight, it`s Paula Abdul unplugged. The most animated of the "American Idol" judges has a huge hit on a billboard charts. It`s her biggest song in nearly 15 years, a song called "Dance Like There`s No Tomorrow." There`s no escaping it in the clubs either.

And I asked her about all those reports that have been floating around about her starring on another hit TV show, "Dancing With The Stars." Her answer will definitely surprise you. But first, you have got to hear Paula telling me how she almost died when she was born.


ABDUL: From the time I was born, being a premature baby and barely making it, I was barely under three pounds and born with a mass and a broken windpipe. In the part - first year and a half of my childhood, infancy, I spent the whole time passed out.

The doctors said, "Mr. and Mrs. Abdul, this is a tenacious little bug and she`s going to be fine. You just have to wait until she comes to." And with my sister who was seven and a half years older, seven and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) older who just would poke me and prod me and wake me up because she wanted to have someone to play with and she taught me not to cry. She made me laugh. And I`d start laughing and I`d learn not to cry. Didn`t last long.

But underdeveloped windpipe and one leg shorter than the other and the two most formidable places to be as a human being are behind the microphone and in front of a mirror.

HAMMER: And look at you.

ABDUL: Look at me. Look at me.

HAMMER: Choreographer and singer.

ABDUL: Look at me. Thank you, A.J.

HAMMER: You defied people`s expectations and logic ...

ABDUL: Thank you, A.J.

HAMMER: ... and overcame adversity in the biggest possible way. Congratulations, by the way. "Dance Like There`s No Tomorrow," how about this, number two on the Hot Club Dance play chart. And this is a great anniversary, because this is 20 years since "Knocked Out" was making its debut on that very same chart. And I think that`s pretty cool. Could you have imagined 20 years ago that you`d still be cranking out the hits 20 years later?

ABDUL: Never. This is like, mind-boggling. This is an exciting time. I would never have thought this would be happening, but it is. "Dance Like There`s No Tomorrow" is going away. It`s like staying around and it`s kind of like the metaphor of my life.

HAMMER: Yes, taking on a whole new life, really.

ABDUL: Yes. Listen, A.J., when I hear the song on the radio, I get excited. And I get more excited if I`m driving and I see someone else listening to the same station and they`re dancing in their car. It gets me so excited. I feel like a little kid.

HAMMER: Well, we`re enjoying hearing you back on the radio and hearing you in the clubs. And of course, we still love seeing you on the "American Idol." And I know you love doing this show, Paula. I know it`s a big, exciting for you still all these years into it. I`d have to imagine, and correct me if I`m wrong - doing a show, the number one show in the world that is watched by some 30 million people a week, it`s got to be kind of a mixed blessing. Do you find at all, particularly with music now out on the charts, that you`re under even more scrutiny because of who you are, the great Paula Abdul from "American Idol"?

ABDUL: Oh, I am under scrutiny a lot. But it comes with the territory. I`m kind of used to it. You`re never fully used to it. But I`ve become accustomed it. And it`s crazy. I`ve learned to kind of roll with the punches here and let it just kind of roll off my shoulders. And I kind of teach the contestants to do the same thing. You know, you can`t let - you can`t read the good, you can`t read the bad. You just have to believe in yourself and stay true to who you are, and know when you hit the center spot in that stage every night to just make magic happen.

HAMMER: You`ve got your single right now. You have a bunch of other things going on, the word had gotten out that you wanted to be on "Dancing With The Stars" and the word got out that your big bosses there at "American Idol" said, "Not going to happen." Is that what happened?

ABDUL: Really? I`m always the last one to hear anything. But I`d love to be a part of it? Absolutely. You know what? I`ve never been able to do that kind of dance - you know, ballroom. And I`ve been a choreographer but not a professional dancer. And when I`m teaching teens, I would have to teach the guys` part. So it would be very foreign for me to do that kind of dance.

But I knew nothing about the producers. The producers - I can do the show but I just wouldn`t be able to do it, obviously, during the time we`re taping "American Idol."

HAMMER: That obviously makes sense. So do you think there`s a hope, there`s a chance we may actually see you do "Dancing With The Stars"?


HAMMER: No? Not going to happen?

ABDUL: No, I mean if there`s time in my career to take a little break and do it, I would do it in a heartbeat.


HAMMER: I don`t know how she`s putting it into her busy schedule, because besides her music and "American Idol," Abdul is getting set to launch her very own brand. It`s going to have jewelry and handbags and shoes and a fragrance. And she told me that not only does she wear what she designs, she gives away to "American Idol" contestants.

ANDERSON: We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Linda Hogan Dating a 19-Year-Old: Will it last?" I cannot wait to read your E-mails on this one. Keep voting, E- mail us, the address,

All right. It is time now for "Making It Work." And now, this is where we get the biggest stars to reveal the secrets of how they make their marriage work in Hollywood which, as we know, is definitely not easy.

But first, tonight, Heidi Klum says she and her husband, Seal, want another kid. In a revealing interview with "Redbook" magazine, Heidi says they feel like they have another one coming. Seal and Heidi already have two kids together. Heidi also has a daughter from a previous relationship.

All right. So whether they have any more kids or not, it`s not easy to keep a marriage going when both people are super famous. But I did get Heidi to tell me how they do it with plenty of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.


ANDERSON (on camera): You and Seal have such a beautiful, wonderful partnership and marriage and we spotlight that here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. So how do you make it work with everything -

HEIDI KLUM, SUPERMODEL: To be honest, I don`t think it has anything to do with, you were saying to be in the spotlight. To be in the spotlight or not being in the spotlight, you know it is either it works or it doesn`t in a way. You know, I feel like, you know it is really working because we are really in love. And we are very - we appreciate each other. And you know, we are very proud of each other.

And I think respect is the most important thing. You know you have to be respectful to the other person and vice versa. I think that is the most important thing in anything. I don`t think it has anything to do with being in the limelight or not. I think it is just, you know, what happens, you know, at home is the most important thing or wherever you go. It has - the hearts have to be really - everything has to be really connected. I think then you are fine.


ANDERSON: She and Seal are, I think, a model Hollywood couple.

HAMMER: All right. I`ve got to tell you, in my wildest dreams, I never would have imagined that I would say Britney Spears and Emmy Award in the same sentence. Either pigs are flying or hell is freezing over because it might happen. Britney could win an Emmy. Don`t adjust your sets. Just come back and we`ll fill you in on the details, coming up next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.



BRITNEY SPEARS, POP STAR: Hi, Ted. I`ll let her know.

JOSH RADNOR, ACTOR: Telepathically?

SPEARS: That`s funny. That`s funny, smart and great.


ANDERSON: That`s Britney Spears` pretty well-reviewed guest spot on CBS` "How I Met Your Mother." I think she did a decent job. But could Britney Spears actually win an Emmy for that?

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. So Britney`s guest role on "How I Met Your Mother" got huge ratings. They even brought her back for another spot. Well, tonight, I can tell you that Britney is on a best-guest actress ballot for an Emmy Award. Academy members will narrow down the list. Mary Kate Olsen and Alyssa Milano are also on it. And then the final nominations are out next month. So, as they say, stay tuned.

HAMMER: Well, Lindsay Lohan is pulling a Katherine Heigl. She did not submit her name for Emmy consideration for her blink-and-you`ll-miss-it guest role on the season finale of ABC`s "Ugly Betty." Imagine, it could have been Britney versus Lindsay. That would have been quite something.

Well, tonight, why is Lindsay pretending to be pregnant? Our friends over at "Hollywood.TV" caught up with her on the set of her new movie called "Labor Pains" in California, that should give you a little hint. The movie is about a young woman who pretends to be pregnant in order not to get fired from her job by her nasty boss. It happens to co-star "Saturday Night Live`s" Chris Parnell and "Curb Your Enthusiasm`s" Cheryl Hines and it is expected to be out next year.

Well, on Thursday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Hulk Hogan Finally Speaks: Do you feel sorry for him?" Really one-sided here. Only 18 percent of you said yes. Eighty two percent of you said no.

Let me get a couple of E-mails, including one from Brenda in Mississippi who says, "People need to feel for what the Hogan family is going through. Anyone with a heart would be sympathetic."

The opposite side from Claudette in New York. She`s all fired up saying, "The Hogans are a disgrace. I didn`t believe any of the crocodile tears from the Hulk. My prayers are with the victim."

Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I thank you very much for watching. 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 and Pacific, and in the morning, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. The latest from "CNN HEADLINE NEWS" is coming up next. Take care.