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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Mary Kate-Olsen: Immunity for More Info?; Eva Mendes` Banned Ad; The Dark Side of The Dark Knight; Tyra`s Bizarre "Bazaar" Photos; The Million Dollar Babies of Hollywood; Is Tyra the New Oprah?; Whoopi Fired Up Over Ugly E-mails

Aired August 5, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET

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


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: A big star banned. - the controversy over her naked perfume ad. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And a reported $14 million for pictures of Brangelina`s twins. But are all these star baby photos really worth it? I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

HAMMER: TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, a shocking twist in the investigation into Heath Ledger`s death. Tonight, why hasn`t Mary-Kate Olsen talked to the feds? Is she really demanding immunity? And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the revealing new look at the mysterious connection between Mary-Kate and Heath. Just how did they end up such close friends?

Tyra Banks marrying Barack Obama? Tonight, the controversy over Tyra posing as Barack`s wife Michelle in the White House. Plus, the Tyra versus Oprah smack-down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALLISON SAMUELS, "NEWSWEEK": Oprah likes to have control over every aspect of her business. Tyra supposedly is the very same way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Can she really take down Oprah as the new daytime queen?

Making Whoopi mad. Why Whoopi Goldberg is all fired up over the mail she`s getting.

(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 tonight from Hollywood. And tonight, Tyra`s photo controversy. Supermodel and talk show host, Tyra Banks, is sparking controversy over a new photo spread in "Harper`s Bazaar" magazine. Why on earth did she choose to pose as Michelle Obama, the wife of presidential candidate, Barack Obama? What`s the real message behind this photo spread, and is Tyra crossing the line this time?

HAMMER: But first, the Mary-Kate mystery. Eight months after Heath Ledger`s death, federal investigators want to talk to the former "Full House" star, Mary-Kate Olsen. After all, you know, Mary-Kate was the first person to get a phone call the morning Heath died. So why hasn`t she spoken with the feds and why is she asking for immunity? Mary-Kate`s bizarre Ledger connection is making news right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice over): From the very beginning, the tragic death of "Dark Knight" star Heath Ledger this past January of an accidental overdose has been shrouded in mystery. "The Dark Knight" star was found dead on January 22nd in this Manhattan apartment by a masseuse. The 28-year-old`s tragic death made headlines across the globe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disposition of the body - he was laying in bed facedown.

HAMMER: And now, in a dramatic turn, a law enforcement source confirms to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that investigators are putting the pressure on former child star Mary-Kate Olsen to answer questions about Ledger`s mysterious death.

JO PIAZZA, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": One of the pieces of that mystery that still hasn`t been figured out is what the heck did Mary-Kate Olsen have to do with this entire situation?

HAMMER: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you from the very beginning, Olsen`s involvement in the tragedy has puzzled investigators, starting with all those phone calls from the masseuse who found Ledger to Olsen, who was in California at the time of the tragedy.

PIAZZA: She called her three times before calling police or any emergency personnel.

HAMMER: And then, there`s the mystery behind one of the drugs found in Ledger`s system. Law enforcement source tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT they still don`t know where the drug OxyContin came from.

PIAZZA: Once the toxicology report came back showing Heath Ledger has indeed accidentally overdosed on prescription drugs, federal investigators found prescriptions for all of the pills that had been in his system, except for one, the OxyContin.

HAMMER: And investigators want to know what Olsen knows. But a law enforcement source tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Olsen remains mum, denying two requests for an interview so far. And in a bombshell twist, Olsen has requested immunity if she talks.

PIAZZA: It does seem like Mary-Kate Olsen has something to hide.

HAMMER: But representatives for Olsen tells us a different version of the story. In a statement released to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Olsen`s lawyers say, quote, "At Ms. Olsen`s request, we have provided the Government with relevant information including facts in the chronology of events surrounding Mr. Ledger`s death and the fact that Ms. Olsen does not know the source of the drugs Mr. Ledger consumed."

PIAZZA: Had Mary-Kate just sat down with prosecutors and with the police in the beginning of this, I believe this entire case would have been over by now.

HAMMER: Meanwhile, one of the last movies Heath Ledger made, "The Dark Knight", is reaching new records, passing the $400-million mark just 18 days after its release.

PIAZZA: What`s really sad right now is that Heath isn`t around to see one of the last movies that he made hit the $400 million mark and enjoy all of the Oscar buzz that`s now surrounding his name and his role as The Joker.

HEATH LEDGER, ACTOR: Now, there`s the Batman.

HAMMER: A sad reality for a talented actor whose death continues to be shrouded in mystery.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

So I don`t get it. Why won`t Mary-Kate just fill in the blanks? Wouldn`t it be a better move to just put all this behind her?

Joining me tonight from Hollywood, Jane Velez-Mitchell, investigative journalist and author of "Secrets Can Be Murder." And in New York tonight, Ben Widdicombe, editor-at-large for "Star" magazine.

All right, Jane and Ben, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned there`s actually a subpoena out there with Mary-Kate`s name on it. But the feds haven`t served her with it yet, although they can. Now, they apparently are working on some sort of a deal for her to talk. But, Jane, you know, it`s been three months since this actual subpoena was first issued. It seems very surprising to me that she hasn`t just sat down with the feds and settled this once and for all. What the heck do you think is going on here?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR OF "SECRETS CAN BE MURDER": Well, frankly, A.J., she`s a very young woman and I think she`s scared. She scared she does not want to get involved in this controversial, drug-related death.

Let`s go back and look at history. Look at John Belushi and his drug overdose. Look at Anna Nicole Smith. Anybody who was even peripherally associated around, involved in any way, shape or form, has been put through the wringer. And case after case, we see that sometimes take on the tint of a witch hunt. So it makes perfect sense to me that she doesn`t want to be involved. She said to her lawyer, "I don`t know how he got the hillbilly heroin. I didn`t give it to him. I don`t want to be involved." Ironically, the more she tries to distance herself from this case, the more her name comes up in connection with the case ...

HAMMER: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and in connection with drugs.

HAMMER: And with the subpoena having been issued, you know, it`s inevitable. They`re going to speak with her at some point or another. And as you just said, Jane, you know, Mary-Kate has been saying that she has told the authorities everything that she knows. She has no idea where Heath got the prescription drugs that is killed him. Everyone else involved in this case has already sat down and talked with the feds. Ben, are you surprised that Mary-Kate Olsen is holding out here?

BEN WIDDICOMBE, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "STAR" MAGAZINE: In a funny sort of way, I`m not surprised that she`s reacted this way, because young stars like Mary-Kate in Hollywood live in a bubble. There`s no one in their lives telling them no. There`s no one telling them what to do. And it can be a rude shock to these people when the laws of the land start impinging on their Pilates time. So I think that her attitude has been, "You know, I have all this money. I can afford to hire a phalanx of lawyers. I`m just going to make this problem go away." And I think that`s the attitude which has got her in so much trouble.

HAMMER: Well, and let`s not forget, she is worth, I don`t know, hundreds of millions of dollars. She can afford anything she wants pretty much.

Back to something you just mentioned, Jane, because every time we talk about Mary-Kate, yes, it sort of heightens the shroud of mystery here. And a law enforcement source has told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Mary-Kate Olsen told authorities she would talk if she was given immunity.

I`ve got to tell you, even if there`s nothing going on here on the surface, to me, that makes Mary-Kate look like she might be hiding something, but perhaps you could clarify this. You`ve been covering these cases for years, Jane. Is it common in high-profile cases like this for lawyers to ask for immunity for their clients?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a lot more common than you might think. But I will say of all the things that raises an eyebrow is the fact that she`s reportedly asked for immunity. People don`t ask for immunity unless they fear being prosecuted for something, unless they think they`re vulnerable to prosecution. Yet, her lawyer has said once again, she doesn`t know anything about the drugs.

So it occurs to me, maybe it`s something else that we haven`t thought of. Maybe something she said out of the goodness of her heart in the phone call with the massage therapist trying to be helpful that she now fears could put her in danger of prosecution. Obviously, she`s afraid of something, but we can`t jump to conclusions and we can`t speculate. We don`t know what.

HAMMER: Right. True. True, indeed. But now, finally as a result of all this, we`re hearing at least something from Mary-Kate`s camp. Again, her attorneys saying that she`s already given the feds all the information that she knows. But really, it has been months before, you know - since this whole thing first broke and we never heard a peep from Olsen`s camp at all.

Ben, what do you think? Was it a huge mistake for Mary-Kate to not at least comment on this sooner?

WIDDICOMBE: Oh, this whole thing has been a disaster for Mary-Kate if only from a public relations point of view, let alone from a potential obstruction of justice point of view. Mary-Kate has landed herself on the front page of every tabloid and magazine in the country because she has not been forthcoming. It`s exactly the wrong thing to do and it has changed the question from what killed Heath Ledger to what does Mary-Kate know, when did she know it and why hasn`t she told us? She has become the story.

HAMMER: It`s really bizarre. We`ve got to wrap it up here, Jane. But this has really, with even Mary-Kate`s name coming up to begin, become one of these great Hollywood mysteries, hasn`t it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL:: Oh, it sure has. I mean, this is right out of a film noir - a massage therapist goes up to give a famous man a massage. He turns out to be unconscious. She calls another famous person and then the security guards - you couldn`t put this in a movie.

HAMMER: And have it be believable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

HAMMER: Jane Velez-Mitchell, Ben Widdicombe, I thank you.

ANDERSON: You know, A.J., this really startling Mary-Kate-Heath Ledger news is one of the many disturbing things connected to "The Dark Knight."

HAMMER: Yes. I mean, the whole thing is really eerie, Brooke. And tonight, there`s actually another new shocking "The Dark Knight" tragedy. Morgan Freeman, who also stars in the film, got in a horrific car accident. He`s hurt pretty badly.

And then, of course, the bizarre Christian Bale assault charges. Well, coming up, a revealing look at the dark side of "The Dark Knight."

ANDERSON: And a stunning controversy surrounding Eva Mendes. Her new TV ad banned in the U.S.

Also new right now, is Tyra Banks marrying Barack Obama? Why she`s posing as his wife in the White House.

HAMMER: Oh, boy, Whoopi Goldberg is just steaming. Wait until you hear why Whoopi is all fired up over the mail that she`s getting. Making Whoopi mad. That`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Now, remember, you can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT video anytime you`d like at your own convenience. We`re always posting new stuff for you to watch at our Web site CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. You want to go there because among the videos now playing, "A Lindsay Lohan Bombshell," the controversy over L.A.`s police chief saying Lindsay has gone gay. We`re coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVA MENDES, ACTRESS (voice over): Between love and madness lies obsession.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: That`s Eva Mendes in her racy new commercial for Calvin Klein`s "Secret Obsession," an ad that has already been banned by U.S. TV networks.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, stars and scandals. Eva Mendes and model-turned-talk-show-host Tyra Banks are at the center of two controversies new right now.

First up, the brand-new Calvin Klein commercial featuring a nude Eva Mendes is being banned in the United States as heartbroken men everywhere wipe away a collective tear.

And Tyra Banks is channeling Michelle Obama in the White House for a photo spread in "Harper`s Bazaar" - fitting since the concept is, rather, bizarre.

With me tonight from New York, Amelia Parry, editor of "TheFrisky.com" and "VH1 News" host, Janelle Snowden. Amelia, Janelle, welcome to you both. And to me, it doesn`t come as much of a shock that a commercial showing a nude Eva Mendes writhing around on a bed and at one point exposing her breast would be deemed too racy for American television. Even the president of Calvin Klein said, quote, "This development is not entirely a surprise for the U.S. market."

I would have to imagine, though, that they knew all along it might never make to it air. Amelia, for a company known for its provocative ads, is this all just a well-executed publicity stunt?

AMELIA PARRY, EDITOR, "THEFRISKY.COM": Oh, I totally think it is. I mean, when you think about it, they`ve done so many controversial ads in the past. It`s become almost kind of typical now for ads to be controversial. And I think they had to take it one step further. And if that was, you know, making an ad that would then be banned and would then get more publicity as a result ...

ANDERSON: Yes.

PARRY: ... I think that`s exactly what they wanted.

ANDERSON: Yes. Some may say it`s a brilliant strategy on their part here. We are talking about the perfume. And I want to call it a wardrobe malfunction but I can`t really do that because she wasn`t wearing any clothes to begin with. Janelle, would this breast exposure have Americans rewinding their Tivos all over again ala Janette Jackon`s Super Bowl appearance?

JANELLE SNOWDEN, HOST, "VH1 NEWS": OK. Can I just say it might to your mind that I think I have a new girl crush? It sure had me dragging my mouse back like, "Wait a minute. Is that a nipple I see?" All of a sudden, I`m ordering the cologne. I don`t know -

ANDERSON: Janelle, I`m sure if I know what the perfume is supposed to smell like, but you`re right, it reinforces the fact that Eva Mendes is gorgeous, right?

SNOWDEN: Absolutely. No arguments here.

ANDERSON: Yes. No doubt about it. Well, it is her first high-profile work since she left rehab earlier this year. Janelle, is courting this type of controversy really the best career move for Eva at this point?

SNOWDEN: Well, it certainly doesn`t hurt because here we are talking about her and talking about how beautiful she is. I can only imagine that a hopeful director is probably saying the same thing. I don`t really think that Eva needed sort of a career comeback. I don`t really think that she was gone long enough for her career to really suffer. So I think this is genius. I mean, it gets her more exposure. She looks beautiful and I`m sure she was paid handsomely. After all, she`s showing some skin.

ANDERSON: She`s certainly is. And the presidents of Calvin Klein said they`re anticipating a very successful global launch. That said, an edited version of the ad will be shown in the U.S. after 9:00 p.m., so protecting the children out there.

And you know, speaking of questionable career moves, Tyra Banks playing dress-up again. And this time, it doesn`t involve a fat-suit. She is now posing, get this, in the pages of "Harper`s Bazaar" as Michelle Obama, the woman who could potentially be the future first lady of the United States.

What are these pictures? I`ve got to tell you, these struck me as a really strange concept. Amelia, if they wanted to pay tribute to Michelle Obama, why not have her in the pages of the magazine or better yet, on the cover of the magazine?

PARRY: I mean, who knows? For all we know, they did offer it to her and she wasn`t able to do it or decided not to do it. And I think this is their way of grasping on and trying to cover the Obamas, you know, when they`re so popular and so on the tip of everybody`s tongue right now. And if you can`t get the real thing, I guess they decided to go for a carbon copy?

ANDERSON: Well, according to "Harper`s," this is just Tyra making, quote, "another bold move" that exemplifies her powerful position in today`s society. When I hear that, it sounds to me like another strange statement in a series of strange moves. Amelia, it sounds to me, though, that this is less about supporting Barack Obama and more about maybe Tyra bringing attention to herself. Is it ego run amuck?

PARRY: I think that this is, you know - this is the Tyra show and we`re just lucky to live in it. I mean, Tyra makes everything about Tyra. If it`s about - she`s talking about people being overweight, she dresses up in a fat-suit. I mean, this, to me, is just another example of Tyra being the kind of crazy, kooky, totally self-absorbed person that she is. I just think it`s a little more shocking that "Bazaar" would do something like this. So -

ANDERSON: Well, Tyra is very media savvy, so certainly, there probably is some sort of reason and agenda here in some way. But I have to ask you, Janelle, if this is Tyra`s ray of showing support for Barack Obama, wouldn`t she have been better serving the cause by actually campaigning for him like that other talk show host by the name of Oprah Winfrey?

SNOWDEN: That would have been too predictable. I think Tyra was trying to chart her own path and she certainly knows how to command attention. So I think this is her own sort of unique way of saying this is who she supports. And hey, I mean, I guess it`s a testament to just how popular Barack and Michelle are. I mean, we haven`t seen people pretending to be the McCains. So I don`t know - you go figure. That`s not a statement of any sort of bias. It`s just the truth.

ANDERSON: And Tyra is creatively, as you say, showing her support. We`ll leave it there for now, ladies. Amelia Parry, Janelle Snowden, thank you both. And look for this issue of "Harper`s Bazaar" on newsstands August 19th.

HAMMER: All right, Brooke. "The Dark Knight," obviously a terrific movie, actually just became the eighth highest grossing film of all time.

ANDERSON: Wow.

HAMMER: But did you know all these disturbing things are connected to the film?

ANDERSON: I know, A.J. You know, I think it`s all a coincidence. But some are saying there`s a curse. I think that`s ridiculous.

HAMMER: It`s a little nutty. You`ve got the Christian Bale assault arrest. You`ve got the feds wanting to talk with Mary-Kate Olsen about Heath Ledger. And now, tonight, star Morgan Freeman badly hurt in a scary car crash. We`ve got the dark side of "The Dark Knight" coming up.

Well, Whoopi Goldberg is opening up about the dark side of the mail she`s getting. Why is Whoopi so fired up about what she`s finding in her mailbox?

Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAMUELS: Oprah likes to have control over every aspect of her business. Tyra is supposedly the very same way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: I like Tyra, I like Oprah, but watch out. Could Tyra actually knock Oprah off her daytime throne? It`s a showbiz special report.

HAMMER: And make sure you check out the free, ever-changing SHOWBIZ TONIGHT podcast which you`ll find on our Web site, CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. You can also download it on iTunes. Do a search for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We are coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson.

Hey, did you see this? Even with all this Miley Cyrus controversy, you know, the nearly nude "Vanity Fair" photos, talk that she`s being pushed to grow up too fast, her fans are showing no signs of abandoning her. Miley just hosted the Teen Choice Award and she took home a whole bunch of them. There were for - actually, for Choice TV Comedy for "Hannah Montana," Choice TV Actress. And besides her family and fans, Miley had a very special thank you when she also won Choice Music Female Artist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MILEY CYRUS, ACTRESS: First of all, I`ve got to thank the most important man in my life who I love so, so much and that`s big Jesus Christ up there. Thank you so much for putting me here. I`m so blessed. I cannot not be more excited to walk in this amazing path he has me on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: OK. Miley`s the reigning teen queen, but she`d better watch out, because one of soccer star David Beckham`s kids, Cruz, stole the show with some pretty nifty break-dancing. Look how cute he is. I bet some TV executives are already trying to sign him.

HAMMER: I`m sure (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Brooke. Well, I cannot believe all the shocking things that So what is going on here? The dark side of "The Dark Knight," coming up next.

ANDERSON: And hey, I think the pictures of the Brangelina twins are really gorgeous. But are they really worth a reported $14 million? I mean, are any star baby pictures worth all that money? The celebrity baby boom, coming up.

Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYRA BANKS, TV TALK SHOW HOST: It`s my responsibility to show myself un- retouched, to come out on my talk show with my face washed, to show my cellulite, to show my gluts sagging and my back fat on my bra.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: It`s Tyra versus Oprah. Could Tyra Banks become more powerful, more successful than Oprah Winfrey? The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report, coming up next.

You can always stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news by subscribing to our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. It`s free. Just head to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Click on that "sign up for newsletter" link at the bottom of the page. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, dark days for "The Dark Knight," new developments in the investigation into Heath Ledger`s death. Morgan Freeman`s serious car accident and Christian Bale`s arrest. Tonight, dark times for the stars of the summer`s biggest movie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DARRYN LYONS, BIG PICTURES PHOTO AGENCY: They are the number one celebrity couple in the world and the world wants to see those babies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: The Brangelina baby frenzy goes worldwide. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going to London to find out why pictures of Brad Pitt and Angelina`s newborn twins were worth a reported $14 million. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates, million-dollar babies.

(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. You are watching TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, the latest installment in the Batman franchise is the biggest movie on the planet. But is there a dark cloud hovering over "The Dark Knight"? We kind of think so. Here`s what`s new right now.

Eight months of Heath Ledger`s tragic death, there is still a very mysterious connection between Heath and Mary-Kate Olsen. And now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, Mary-Kate is working on a deal with federal investigators to answer questions about what she knows about the case.

Also Christian Bale who plays Batman is still under investigation in England after shocking allegations that he attacked his own mother and sister. Now, Christian hasn`t been formally charged but he`s still in hot water and he is due back in court next month. Christian denies the charges.

And Morgan Freeman, another member of the all-star cast, is recovering after an unbelievably scary car crash in Mississippi on Sunday. The 71- year-old actor had surgery on a broken arm and elbow after being rescued from the wreck by the Jaws of Life. So this has a lot of people asking, is there a curse on the number one movie in America?

Joining me tonight from Hollywood, investigative journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell. With me tonight in New York, Ben Widdicombe, editor-at- large for "Star" magazine; and Janelle Snowden, host of "VH1 News."

All right, gang. This is really crazy that all this stuff is happening. Let`s go back now because "The Dark Knight`s" dark days really, of course, began with the tragic death of Heath Ledger back in January. And that story just took a bizarre twist with the Mary-Kate Olsen connection. Now, the New York Police Department did rule Heath`s death an accidental overdose. That ruling happened months ago, but the feds are still involved. They`ve got questions for Mary-Kate. She, of course, if you remember, was the very first person called when Heath`s body was found, which was such a strange detail when we all first heard that story. Jane, I`m guessing that the feds still think it`s a strange detail and obviously still have very important questions for her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it is a strange detail, A.J., that this massage therapist reportedly repeatedly calls Mary-Kate Olsen on the cell phone - Heath Ledger`s cell phone. He had her on speed dial and they had several discussions before 911 was called and then ultimately Mary-Kate Olsen reportedly asked her security guards to go over there. Sounds a little strange.

But the first rule of journalism is, "Never assume." Just because it may sound a tad suspicious, does not mean it is. There may be a very innocent explanation for all of it. Mary-Kate Olsen has said repeatedly she does not know how Heath Ledger got the drugs found in his system. And remember, she was in California; she wasn`t down the block. So, yes, investigators have questions. But I think it makes perfect sense that Mary-Kate Olsen, a star in her own right, wants to stay away from this and doesn`t want to get involved because she`s saying she`s not responsible.

HAMMER: Yes, I think a lot of people were just surprised to even hear that Heath Ledger and Mary-Kate knew each other. It wasn`t a publicly known fact. And at the time of his death, Mary-Kate called Heath a friend. She`s been totally silent about their relationship. In fact, just recently, she shut down an interview who brought the subject up. Janelle, to me, that only heightens the mystery connection that exists between the two of them, doesn`t it?

SNOWDEN: Well, I think it does. But I also agree with Jane. I think that, you know, if this were any other celebrity who is maybe more vocal with the press, then maybe we could all be surprised and say there is something suspicious about it. But because essentially Mary-Kate and Ashley have always been kind of mute when it comes to the press, it doesn`t really surprise me that she would want to remain quiet. Besides, the federal investigators are involved, and whether or not you have a ton of money or a mega-celebrity or not, that could scare anyone.

HAMMER: Yes. Ben, from where you sit, you`ve been covering celebrities for a long time - Heath, Mary-Kate. It is just a mysterious, mysterious thing.

WIDDICOMBE: Oh, absolutely. You know, it was rumored before Heath died that Mary-Kate and Heath were actually seeing each other. I`m inclined to believe that, although I don`t think it was terribly serious. What we don`t know with the prevalence of prescription drugs in Hollywood is whether they shared anything else and we won`t know that unless Mary-Kate is compelled to testify in the case.

HAMMER: All right. So the dark days didn`t just end there. They continued when the trouble for Batman himself, Christian Bale, happened, just after the movie was released. And now, Morgan Freeman still remaining in serious condition, although the prognosis is good, after that terrible car accident where he had to have surgery as a result. And as soon as the Morgan Freeman accident happened, of course everybody - I was seeing this on the Internet. People are starting to write about it. People started throwing the "curse" word around.

Jane, is that just nuts or could there be something to it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s not the first time a movie has gotten that label. This goes all the way back to "Rebel Without a Cause," "Poltergeist 2," "Superman." They`ve even done documentaries. Basically bad luck seems to affect the number of people who have a connection to a film. And it can be a combination of coincidence. Sometimes it`s a snowball effect. I mean, in this case, you have a tragic death. That could have created a lot of anxiety that leads to maybe acting out or erratic behavior or anxiety.

So I think that this curse is a fascinating subject and it`s going to definitely put this movie in the history books and give it an added dimension and make it really a cult film.

HAMMER: Yes. Janelle, what do you think? Because it is the subject of much speculation, lots of different things, tragic things have been happening. Could there be something to it, as Jane points out? We`ve seen it before.

SNOWDEN: I`m not one to believe in cults, because I think once you put that negative energy out there, then you only attract more of it. So I hope that the actors, the producers and directors involved with this film have the same sort of thought process. It is oddly coincidental but I`m not inclined to believe that there`s any sort of curse. And let`s be real - the movie doesn`t need any more publicity. It`s already made box office history. It has grossed more than $400 million. So if anything, the conversation is not about, "Do you like the movie? Are you going to see the movie?" It`s, "How many times have you seen it?"

HAMMER: Yes, no question about that.

Ben Widdicombe, are you a believer, though? I mean, is the supernatural kind of getting in your brain right now and saying, "Curse, maybe"?

WIDDICOMBE: Well, let`s not forget a crew member actually died while filming Batman. So the bad luck started before it was even released. And I think it does add a kind of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) glamour. Let`s not forget that when batman was created in 1939, there was a famous scene where Bruce Wayne explains why he chose the figure of the bat as his inspiration was that he said the criminal a cowardly superstitious lot. And I think moviegoers actually - we love our scares. We love our chills. And we love to think that there`s something going on that makes us come and go.

HAMMER: Sure. Sure. And Jane, I mean, I think as we pointed out, it seems to me this dark cloud really as tragic as the separate incidents have been, only adds to the mystique of this film.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. I mean, as opposed to being worried, the producers really - they couldn`t buy this kind of publicity. Every day, it seems a new scandal, a new controversy emerges surrounding this movie which keeps the movie and the title of the movie on everybody`s lips and keeps interest alive in the movie and gives it what they call legs in the industry, one of the reasons why it continues to be such a blockbuster.

HAMMER: Yes. This movie is going to have a huge legacy and all these stories, I guess, will be part of that legacy. Jane Velez-Mitchell, Ben Widdicombe, Janelle Snowden, I thank you all for being here tonight.

ANDERSON: Hey, A.J., the pictures of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie`s newborn twins, huge news.

HAMMER: Oh, yes. And it`s not just here in these United States, Brooke. There is a bona fide baby frenzy around the world.

ANDERSON: You know, I like baby pictures as much as anyone, but are they really worth $14 million, A.J.? We`re going to go to London to check out the global frenzy over the million-dollar babies, straight ahead.

And also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYRA BANKS, TV TALK SHOW HOST: It`s my responsibility to show myself un- retouched, to come out on my talk show with my face washed, to show my cellulite, to show my gluts sagging and my back fat on my bra.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Tyra Banks concentrating on her back fat. OK. She said it, not me. Looks like Tyra may be positioning herself to be the next Oprah. But can anyone dethrone Queen O? That`s ahead in a showbiz special report.

ANDERSON: And Whoopi Goldberg speaks out. She is not one to hold back. So wait until you hear what she says about all the feuding on "The View." That is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Hey, there. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Tonight`s Brangelina baby frenzy worldwide. The first photos of Brad and Angelina`s twins sold for a huge amount of money. But Vivienne and Knox are just the latest in a line of Hollywood`s million-dollar babies. We went all the way to London to find out why. Here`s CNN`s Phil Black for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): "Hello" magazine calls it the biggest exclusive of the year, photos of the Brangelina twins, Knox and Vivienne, just three weeks after birth. "Hello" has the international rights. "People" magazine will publish the pictures in North America. Together, they`re said to have paid a record $14 million.

DARRYN LYONS, BIG PICTURES PHOTO AGENCY: The babies don`t look that impressed.

BLACK: Darryn Lyons calls himself Mr. Paparazzi. He`s made millions selling unofficial photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. He`s not shocked by the cost of their latest family snaps.

LYONS: They are the number one celebrity couple in the world and the world wants to see those babies.

BLACK: But it`s not just Jolie and Pitt who command big money from magazines for access to their children. Jennifer Lopez reportedly received $6 million from "People" for photos of her twins. For new dad, Matthew McConaughey, it was $3 million from "OK!" magazine. Proud mom Jessica Alba, $1.5 million. And even Britney Spears` younger sister, Jamie Lynn, got away with $1 million for pictures of her child.

Darryn Lyons calls it the new celebrity baby boom.

LYONS: Hollywood is manipulating their kids, and you can`t scream privacy really when you`re parading your newborn in front of the lenses, who doesn`t really know what`s going on. But I`ll tell you what, those babies are serious new cash these days.

BLACK: Brad and Angelina have done this before with their other children. Once again, they`re giving all the magazine money to charity. But public relations experts say the couple still profits indirectly.

MARK BORKOWSKI, CELEBRITY PUBLICIST: What a publicity coop. They only just control the images, control messages, but you`re doing some good. And every celebrity A-lister, knows that brand has to be seen to be doing good.

BLACK: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes didn`t take any cash for pictures of baby Suri in "Vanity Fair." And Nicole Kidman recently declared she won`t be doing any deals for photos of her daughter, Sunday Rose.

But it`s not a new moral challenge for famous parents. This little guy is Desi Arnaz, Jr., the son of entertainment Lucille Ball. He was on the cover of the first edition of "America`s TV Guide" back in 1953. More than half a century on, the market in celebrity baby photos has become very big business.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: That was CNN`s Phil Black for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Now, we asked you whether you think Brangelina`s baby photos are worth $14 million and we got a tremendous response. We will read some of your E-mails later on in the show.

HAMMER: Well, as we told you earlier, Tyra Banks is raising lots of eyebrows in her new photo shoot where she poses as Barack Obama`s wife, Michelle in the Oval Office. Look at these - the photos are in "Harper`s Bazaar" magazine and it really has people talking and it got me thinking, you know, Tyra`s often called the next Oprah. And while Oprah campaigned for Obama, Tyra pretended to be his wife.

But how about it? Could Tyra really dethrone Oprah Winfrey as the queen of daytime TV? It`s a showbiz special report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BANKS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

HAMMER (voice over): Watching former supermodel Tyra Banks whipping her audience into a frenzy on her hit daytime talk show, "The Tyra Banks Show." The scene seems vaguely familiar. Remember this?

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": Everybody gets a car!

HAMMER: OK. So Oprah gives away cars and Tyra gives away Vaseline. But you have to admit, the parallels between Oprah and Tyra are heir apparent.

BANKS: Hi. I didn`t want to interrupt you.

HAMMER: It took about 10 years but Tyra Banks has transformed herself from top model to top mogul. Whether it`s her hit reality show, her production company or her Oprah-esque daytime talk show, Tyra is definitely making her mark. But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has to ask, is Tyra the new Oprah?

TIM STACK, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": Comparisons between Tyra and Oprah inevitable. They both believe in philanthropy. They`re huge philanthropists and also very, you know, involved in issues with young women. And then they also both have very public battles with their weight.

SAMUELS: Oprah likes to have control over every aspect of her business. Tyra supposedly is the very same way.

HAMMER: Tyra Banks tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she loves her some Oprah.

BANKS: I think she probably sees herself as a vessel to communicate beautiful things and to change - I think there`s no ego. It`s not about fulfilling herself. And I think that`s what makes her so special.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, Tyra`s transition plan to go from model to mogul wasn`t easy, but it certainly helped that it started with Oprah herself.

STACK: Tyra got her start as a youth correspondent on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" in the late `90s and like early 2000.

SAMUELS: I think that that was something Oprah had in her mind that maybe Tyra would be able to sort of do her own show.

HAMMER: Tyra has certainly come a long way since those days. But is she ready to oust Oprah from her media mogul throne? Well, according to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s O-ccomplishment chart, Tyra has made impressive strides.

BANKS: Take them off. Take them off.

HAMMER: Oh, yes. That would be O-ccomplishment number one, get your own talk show. Oprah`s got the "Oprah Winfrey Show" going on its 22nd year. But the Tyra Banks show has got something Oprah might want - a fast- growing, much younger audience.

STACK: It is not, you know, a blockbuster by any name but it reaches a very, you know, targeted demo of women 18 to 34 which is what advertisers love because those are the women who are out shopping.

HAMMER: Two different audiences but Tyra and Oprah share one common quality that make them both successful at daytime talk.

BANKS: Well, it`s my responsibility to show myself un-retouched, to come out of my talk show with my face washed, to show my cellulite, to show my gluts sagging and my back fat on my bra.

HAMMER: When SHOWBIZ TONIGHT sat down with Tyra, it was clear she completed O-ccomplishment number two, be relatable.

SAMUELS: Oprah certainly has made that very clear in her struggles with weight. And I think Tyra, who, as I said, told me that`s one reason she wanted to get out of the modeling business because she did not want to worry constantly about her weight.

HAMMER: But like Oprah, Tyra became the target of tabloid scrutiny when the former "Sports Illustrated" cover girl was caught by the paparazzi looking heavier than ever in a swim suit.

STACK: And she went on her talk show and appeared in the same swim suit, and basically gave this whole long speech about how offensive it is that, you know, the media`s so mean towards women that have, you know, fuller figures.

BANKS: I have one thing to say to you. Kiss my fat ass!

STACK: She was, you know, teary-eyed and very real. And I think that really kind of solidified her as Tyra the girlfriend, the one that we want to like have coffee with.

HAMMER: A girlfriend whose blossoming empire wouldn`t be complete without O-ccomplishment number three - create your own production company. That way, you own the show.

STACK: They both have their own production companies. Tyra has Bankable, Oprah has Harpo.

BANKS: And you`re running towards becoming America`s next top model.

HAMMER: That`s Tyra`s longest running gig yet. "America`s Next Top Model" brings us to Tyra`s fourth big O-ccomplishment - use that production company to create a popular reality show. And when it comes to reality, Tyra may have a fashionable edge over her mentor.

STACK: She, you know, created "Top Model" which is hugely successful. And, you know, it is in like over 100 countries and, you know, it is all over the world. And, you know, franchise and it`s the CW`s, you know, most popular show at the moment.

HAMMER: So in the end, Tyra charted really well on our O-ccomplishment chart. But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking, is Tyra Banks the new Oprah?

SAMUELS: I hate to compare her to Oprah exactly because I think Oprah`s world and Oprah`s sort of, you know, the way that she became famous is so vastly different from Tyra`s that I can`t say that I think that she`s exactly like Oprah. But I do think that she has the opportunity.

STACK: I mean Oprah, you know, is a phenomenon and icon. You know, I don`t know - I don`t know if we`ll see someone that can kind of reach everyone the same way that Oprah did.

HAMMER: The moment of truth is almost here, Tyra. So no need to be jealous of Oprah, right?

MARK L. WAHLBERG, HOST, "MOMENT OF TRUTH": Tyra, are you jealous of Oprah Winfrey?

BANKS: My answer is, no. I`m not jealous of Oprah Winfrey.

WAHLBERG: Of course not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That answer is false.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: All right. So can Tyra dethrone the queen of daytime talk shows? It`s the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, "Tyra Banks: Is she the next Oprah?" You can vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. But if you have more to say, well, by all means, please send us your E-mail at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

ANDERSON: Whoopi Goldberg is sounding off. There are fireworks pretty much every morning on "The View" and Whoopi says she wouldn`t have it any other way. Whoopi talks about how she really feels about all the fighting at the co-host table, next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. You don`t want to miss that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, the great Whoopi Goldberg is speaking out on all those fights we see on "The View." You know, things have really heated up since Whoopi joined up with the show. She is definitely not one to hold back. And she and Elisabeth Hasselbeck in particular have really gotten into it over everything from politics to the use of the N word. And the fireworks have been flying.

Well, on "Good Morning, America," Whoopi said people are supposed to express their differences of opinion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": The whole idea of discourse as I knew it growing up was you were supposed to be able to talk to people of different beliefs, and at the end of the day say, "Well, I don`t believe what you believe, but let`s go have a piece of cheesecake." You know, that`s the way it was supposed to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, that was an all-day cheesecake.

GOLDBERG: Yes, yes. But that was what it supposed to be. That was what America was predicated on. You can have lots of different ideas and not take it personally. And somewhere along our lifetime, it became personal attacks. If I disagree with you, it meant I wasn`t a good American or I wasn`t a good person. It became so convoluted it`s ridiculous. So these four, sometimes five women and I - we get into these deep discussions ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You do.

GOLDBERG: And sometimes, they are passionate. But you know, I would stand up for each and every one of these women because they are individuals and they are smart, and they know stuff. You know, and you can`t be afraid of that, and you can`t be angry. To you folks out there who write me all those really ugly letters, you can write as many ugly letters as you want, but you cannot stop debate in this country and you are not going to scare anybody by writing an ugly letter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: I love Whoopi. Well, "The View" is off for the month of August, but Whoopi, the workaholic, is not taking any time off. She is starring in "Xanadu" on Broadway.

ANDERSON: On Monday, we told you about the first photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina`s new twins going for a reported $14 million, if you can believe it. And we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Brangelina Baby Photos: Are they worth $14 million?" Only 10 percent of you say yes; 90 percent say no. Here are some of the E-mails we received.

Melanie from Massachusetts writes, "Come on, we all have children and wouldn`t we love to receive $14 million to be on the cover of a magazine!"

Sadena from Texas says, "If the media is crazy enough to pay it, then yes, it was worth it."

HAMMER: And those pictures are great. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks 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, 11:00 a.m. Eastern. Stay with us. .

END