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Update on the Killings of Jennifer Hudson`s Relatives; Stars` Amazing True Confessions; Stars Strike Back; Oprah`s Plan for the Inauguration

Aired December 4, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, shocking new information about the murders of Jennifer Hudson`s mother, brother and nephew. Tonight, brand-new chilling information about the suspect charged and his startling past.

ALICIA QUARLES, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Prosecutors are alleging that William Balfour thought Julia, his estranged wife, was dating another man.


HAMMER: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the late-breaking, brand-new details in the Hudson family killings.

Jennifer Aniston`s brand-new confession. Jennifer speaks about whether she really called Angelina Jolie un-cool and about all the speculation she is pregnant. And how come Aniston, Britney Spears and Tom Cruise are all dropping such big bombshells in a single week? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with Hollywood`s amazing true confessions.

Plus, Oprah Winfrey reveals her remarkable plans for President-elect Obama`s inauguration. You think the Oscars are big. Wait until you hear this.

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


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

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you from Hollywood with big news tonight about why Simon Cowell is completely freaked out and Patrick Swayze`s fury over reports that he`s dying. The stars strike back, coming up.

HAMMER: But first, tonight, the Hudson family murders. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT bring you brand-new and disturbing information about the man charged with murdering Jennifer Hudson`s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. The suspect, Hudson`s own brother-in-law. And let me tell you that chilling does not even begin to describe what we`ve learned about his past.

What`s more, for the very first time, prosecutors are revealing what they claim was a possible motive for the murders. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is bringing you the latest, brand-new developments making big news right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The family and the community are grieving.

HAMMER (voice over): It was a shocking crime. Almost the entire immediate family of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson gunned down in cold blood in Chicago. Her mother Darnell Donerson, brother Jason Hudson, and Hudson`s 7-year-old nephew, Julian King.

QUARLES: It just seems so senseless.

HAMMER: Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you we`re getting disturbing new details about the suspect`s long criminal history and a possible motive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears like it was domestic related.

HAMMER: In court, Wednesday, Jennifer Hudson`s brother-in-law, William Balfour, was charged with the three killings.

QUARLES: This guy had a long rap sheet. The more you hear about him, the worse it gets.

HAMMER: Alicia Quarles of the Associated Press tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Balfour has arrests going back to 1996, including marijuana possession and a conviction for a 1998 carjacking.

QUARLES: He served seven years in prison for attempted murder, nonstop. He was a gang member on and on and on.

HAMMER: When Balfour got out of prison, he took up with Jennifer Hudson`s sister, Julia, who he married in December 2006. That same month, Jennifer Hudson starred in "Dreamgirls" for which she`d later win an Oscar.

Fast forward to October of this year. The marriage between Hudson`s sister, Julia, and Balfour was unraveling, and prosecutors believe Balfour was in a jealous rage.

QUARLES: Prosecutors are alleging that William Balfour thought that Julia, his estranged wife, was dating another man. Prosecutors allege that William Balfour showed up at Julia Hudson`s workplace and threatened her, you know, saying if she was going to date another man or she was dating another man that her family would suffer.

HAMMER: On the morning of October 24th, the day of the killings, prosecutors say Balfour confronted his estranged wife at the home of Hudson`s mother and threatened her again.

QUARLES: They say Julia didn`t take him seriously because he didn`t follow through on the other threats.

HAMMER: Julia Hudson left for work. Later that day, prosecutors say Balfour returned to the house and fatally shot Hudson`s mother and brother.

ANITA ALVAREZ, COOK COUNTY STATE`S ATTORNEY: He placed Julian King, the 7- year-old son of Julia Hudson, inside Jason Hudson`s white Suburban. Defendant then shot Julian King in the head while the 7-year-old was lying behind the front seat of the Suburban.

HAMMER: Young Julian`s body was found in the parked SUV three days later. Nearby, police found a handgun they later linked to the killings. Prosecutors say they`re confident of their evidence against Balfour.

KATHY CHANEY, "THE CHICAGO DEFENDER": They said that they have cell phone records that put Balfour in the immediate vicinity of the home around the time that these murders happened.

HAMMER: Balfour denies the charges. His attorney says police have neither credible witnesses Nor forensic evidence that prove Balfour`s guilty.

JOSHUA KUTNICK, WILLIAM BALFOUR`S ATTORNEY: We`re extremely confident that once all of the evidence has come to light and has been tested by our vigorous analysis of the case that William will be found not guilty.

HAMMER: Balfour`s mother is defending her son even more bluntly.

MICHELLE BALFOUR, MOTHER OF THE ACCUSED: My son did not do this. I`m sick of this. They need to focus on somebody else.

HAMMER: Meanwhile, Jennifer Hudson, who was promoting her movie, "The Secret Life of Bees," when the killings happened, has rarely been seen since then.

QUARLES: Donald Trump says that he let the Hudson family stay in one of his Trump apartments in Chicago and he`s keeping them secure and safe. I`ve interviewed celebrities that have spoken to her and been in touch with her, and they say she`s being strong and she`s hanging through it. And I hope that strength carries her through this trial because she`s going to need it.


HAMMER: Now, Balfour is being held without bail. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reached out to the Hudson family for a comment on this tragic case, and they did not get back to us by show time.

All right. Moving on now. Tonight, Jennifer Aniston unleashed. In a brand-new interview just released today, Aniston is letting loose and taking no prisoners slamming "Vogue" for the quote of her as calling Angelina Jolie "un-cool," addressing the rampant rumors that she`s pregnant and even going after the pesky paparazzi. So what`s the deal?

Joining me tonight in Hollywood is Carlos Diaz, who is a correspondent for "Extra." Also tonight in New York, Ashleigh Banfield who is an anchor for "Banfield and Ford: In Session."

All right. So as we know, "Vogue" quoted Aniston as calling Angelina Jolie "un-cool" for talking about falling in love for Brad Pitt on the set of "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" while Jen was still married to Brad.

Now, in a brand-new interview with "Entertainment Weekly," Aniston claims she was taken out of context. Listen to what she is saying here, quote, "I was just surprised that `Vogue` would go so tabloid. I was bummed. But you almost expect it. Big deal, done, next."

Carlos, over to you first. Why do you think she was bummed.

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": She`s bummed because, of course, I mean, she`s in all of our conversations for the wrong reasons because we`re not talking about her new movie, "Marley and Me." We`re talking about her controversy with Angelina Jolie.

But the thing she has to understand - Jen, if you`re watching right now, we`re on your side. We think it was un-cool, too. I mean, anyone who is talking about falling in love with anybody`s guy while you`re still with him, yes, that`s un-cool. So we`re siding with you. Please understand that.

HAMMER: Yes. So Jen says she was taken out of context by "Vogue" magazine. So SHOWBIZ TONIGHT did reach out to "Vogue" magazine. Here`s what they told us, quote, "`Vogue` loves Jennifer Aniston. We are thrilled to have her appear on the cover."

Now, Jennifer said something similar about the "Vogue" quote on Oprah. Look how she characterized it there.


OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": What you said was what Angelina did was un-cool.

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: I didn`t say that exactly. But you know what? That was unfortunately so not en-vogue in my opinion.

WINFREY: Is this out of context? You did say what Angelina did was very un-cool? You did say that. You just didn`t expect it to be on the cover?

ANISTON: Well, no. You don`t expect - he asked me a question and I basically just answered it as honestly as I could. You know, I don`t go there, you know what I mean?


ANISTON: It`s 100 years old for christ`s sake.


HAMMER: All right. Ashleigh, over to you. What do you think is going on here? That maybe when Jennifer saw the quote on the "Vogue" cover, it was then that she regretted what she said.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CO-ANCHOR, "BANFIELD AND FORD: IN SESSION": It could have, to her, just been an aside, almost like a piece of punctuation in something she was saying. And yet, at this point, sadly for Jennifer, when she sneezes, the tabloids catch a cold. Absolutely every ounce of her is eaten up.

And I think this is a good example of that. I don`t think for a minute that she didn`t say it or that "Vogue" is lying. I don`t think so at all. I think, contextually, we all see things through a different prism, and I think she`s just upset that we`re focused on something so silly.

HAMMER: Yes. Well, Jennifer doesn`t just slam "Vogue." She also goes after those real tabloids and she calls those rumors that are floating around that she`s pregnant with twins just hysterical.

Let me read to you what she told "Entertainment Weekly," quote, "It`s almost going to take away the fun from actually being able to say one day, `I`m pregnant.` Everyone will be like, yes, right. It`s the boy who cried wolf. Stop stealing my thunder." And then she said something rather untoward.

Carlos, I`ve got to tell you. I love - I love that Jennifer is speaking out so bluntly and so forcefully in this way. But would a simple, "I`m not pregnant" perhaps have been a better move on her part?

DIAZ: No. No. This is a very serious issue. In all honesty, she`s going to be 40 years in old in February. And for anyone who knows, getting pregnant in your late 30s and your 40s - there are complications.

BANFIELD: Tell me about it.

DIAZ: And think about it. If she goes to the doctor - thank you, Ashleigh. If she goes to the doctor, the doctor says, "You`re pregnant," she`s got to wait like another two-and-a-half months or two months before she can say anything to get past the first trimester. So this is really a tough time for her if she is planning on getting pregnant.

HAMMER: And this is a big change for her, too, in terms of what we`re hearing from her now. Because, you know, it wasn`t all that long ago that Jennifer Aniston refused to talk about any of this stuff.

Ashleigh, why do you think we`re seeing this new, take-no-prisoners side of Jen right now?

BANFIELD: I don`t know. Maybe she`s taking a different tack - saturation. Look, if you just give the people what they want, maybe they`ll get bored. And I`m wondering if John Mayer`s model has maybe proven successful to her. He seems very accessible to the paparazzi, always delivers something funny, something hokey.

He got a TV show out of it. And maybe that`s something she`s interested in doing now, too. I think it`s a good idea. Bore us, give us too much, and I`m sure that people will eventually turn to something else.

HAMMER: Yes. I love your theory. Maybe she`s taking a cue from John who has always been the guy who tells it like he sees it. Carlos Diaz, Ashleigh Banfield, thank you both.

ANDERSON: All right. Hey, A.J., it looks like President-elect Barack Obama`s inauguration could be shaping up to be bigger than the Oscars.

HAMMER: No question about that, Brooke. And tonight, in the SHOWBIZ Obama watch, Oprah Winfrey has huge plans for Obama`s big day. We`re going to tell you about those remarkable plans that Oprah has, coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, the stars are striking back. Lots to tell you about tonight. Kelly Ripa is ripping into a report that her marriage is in trouble. Simon Cowell is fighting mad after he says his car was bugged. And Patrick Swayze is reading the tabloids the riot act over their phony reports on his health. Stars strike back, straight ahead.

Also, what`s your least favorite Christmas song.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s one of those tunes that just has got kind of an irritating melody. I don`t need to hear "Jingle Bells" anymore.


HAMMER: Even the stars find some holiday songs incredibly annoying. We have the worst of the worst. Everybody has got an opinion on that. It`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: And now, the SHOWBIZ news ticker. More stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Lil Wayne leads Grammy nominations with eight, including album of the year. Coldplay nominated for seven Grammys, including album of the year.)


ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT right there as they start building the platform for Barack Obama`s inauguration that is expected to be the most star- studded ever. And tonight, what Oprah plans to do.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight the SHOWBIZ Obama watch. And Oprah Winfrey has revealed her amazing plans for the day Barack Obama becomes the next president of the United States. I can also tell you Oprah is going to have a lot of star- studded company.

In New York tonight Janell Snowden who hosts "VH1 News." Also in New York, Ben Widdicombe who is the editor-at-large for "Star" magazine.

Janell, Ben, here`s the news - Oprah taking her show to Washington inauguration week, broadcasting from the Kennedy Center. Ben, is this as much a victory lap for Oprah as it is for Obama?

BEN WIDDICOMBE, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "STAR" MAGAZINE: Oh, it absolutely is, Brooke. I think Oprah is celebrating her role as king-maker-in-chief. Of course, we`ll never really know how much influence Oprah had over the election. I think probably it was more to do with the times and the massive wave of support the Democrats experienced all over the country. But Oprah`s support, as they say, couldn`t hide.

ANDERSON: Yes. And you know, tickets to Oprah`s show in Washington will not be easy to get. That`s for sure. And we know that Oprah is willing to move her show to Washington.

Janell, do you think there`s any chance that she would move to Washington potentially, at least maybe to take some sort of honorary position in the administration?

JANELL SNOWDEN, HOST, "VH1 NEWS": As much as I`m sure a lot of Americans would love her to be part of the administration, I think she`s made it very clear that she`s much more powerful outside of it. So I don`t know if that will happen.

But she has relocated her show before. She did so when she was on trial in Texas. That`s when she met Dr. Phil. So you never know with Oprah. I mean, she certainly has the means to do anything she wants to do.

But I have a feeling she`ll just maybe buy a nice condo or something right next to the White House rather than try to set up shop there.

ANDERSON: A nice, large condo I`m sure, yes. She`s quite persuasive with viewers. She could be a really savvy politician. Who knows?

But the big question regarding the inauguration remains, who will be performing there and among the names being tossed around,, Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Elvis Costello, and Beyonce.

Now, I spoke with Beyonce recently and asked if she had gotten an invitation. Listen to this -


BEYONCE: No, not yet. But I`m really would be excited to go and to see it on television if that`s what I`m going to do.


ANDERSON: And she told me if she sings she would sing Etta James` "At Last." Ben, what do you think? Beyonce, the right choice to perform?

WIDDICOMBE: You know, I really like Beyonce, but I don`t think she`s the right choice, especially if she turns out wearing that hideous glove that Janell likes so much.

SNOWDEN: Oh, still a hater, Ben. You`re still a hater.

WIDDICOMBE: I think it`s a matter of gravitas. I think Beyonce is a fabulous pop star. But for an event as momentous as this, I would like to see someone like Jesse Norman or Kathleen Battle because I`m old school like that.

ANDERSON: Interesting. You know, Janell and I need to get you one of those gloves for Christmas, Ben.

SNOWDEN: Seriously. Work it out.

ANDERSON: Work it out, Ben. And among the other stars planning to be there, Spike Lee, Tim Robbins, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Tom Hanks. And Hanks says he doesn`t care where he sits, saying he will be there, quote, "I`ll sit on the Lincoln steps and just watch it from the distance on the Jumbotron. I`ve never been to anything like that, and finally - a guy I voted for won. That hasn`t happened most of my life."

Janell, quickly, is there a special celebrity connection to Obama or are we seeing what`s happening all over the country.

SNOWDEN: I mean, I think we`re seeing what`s happening all over the country. As much as we hate to admit it sometimes, celebrities are human and they realize the historic nature of this election.

I mean, here, we have, you know, a black man elected president, a very young man who is capable of who-knows-what. But whether you`re a Democrat or Republican, I think you can`t deny the strides that have been made. So I think what we`re going to see is a lot of that type of excitement.

ANDERSON: A lot of excitement surrounding the inauguration. Janell Snowden, Ben Widdicombe, thank you so much.

And now, we want to hear from you on your SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of day - "Barack Obama: Is he the most fascinating person the year?" Vote at E-mail us

HAMMER: All right, Brooke. You know, the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines won`t stop ringing with people calling in about Britney Spears` comeback.

ANDERSON: You know, yes - Britney has a new album and a new tour coming up. And our viewers really divided about whether she`s ready. We got a call from Kelly in Maryland who says it may be too much too soon.


KELLY, CALLER FROM MARYLAND: I`m really feeling sorry for Britney at this point. I don`t think she`s ready to go on tour. She seems very sad, and I really think everybody is pushing her for the money.


ANDERSON: Thank you, Kelly.

HAMMER: Kevin Federline speaking out about Britney in "People" magazine. K-Fed says their marriage broke up because he started focusing more on the kids. Well, that didn`t sit well with one of our viewers who called to "Showbiz On Call." It`s Idena from Pennsylvania -


IDENA, CALLER FROM PENNSYLVANIA: I`m happy for Britney. I think that she`s doing good right now and she should definitely go on tour to keep her mind active and focused since Kevin is definitely trying to just get publicity and everything.


HAMMER: Thanks for the call, Idena. You can call us at "Showbiz On Call" and let us know what you think about this or anything else that`s on your mind.

ANDERSON: That`s right. The "Showbiz On Call" phone lines are open 24/7. Call us 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 1-888-728-2899. Simply leave a voicemail. We will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And your calls are also now online at Check them out.

Hey, A.J., it is always refreshing to me when stars are candid and unscripted - true confessions.

HAMMER: That`s right, Brooke. And we have a bunch of them tonight. Jen Aniston speaking out whether she really said Angelina Jolie was un-cool and all those pregnancy rumors. Plus, Britney and Tom Cruise with true confessions of their own, coming up.

ANDERSON: Also Kelly Ripa is ripping into a tabloid report that her marriage is on the rocks. Kelly sets the record straight, still to come.

HAMMER: And Patrick Swayze is on a tabloid crusade of his own after some phony reports about his fight against pancreatic cancer. The stars are striking back. You definitely don`t want to miss it. It is still ahead on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


ANDERSON: We welcome you back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson.

Tonight, it is Grammy fever. The biggest names in music hit the stages in a first-ever Grammy nomination special. From Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey to Taylor Swift, you would have thought it was music`s biggest night of the year, but it was just the beginning.

And now, the recording academy hopes the spectacular will strike the right chord and get everybody psyched for Grammy night.


(voice over): There was glitz, glamour and a red carpet, but no winners, just nominees. Facing declining ratings, Grammy producers tried to generate buzz for February`s award show with a first-ever primetime nomination special complete with performances.

Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Foo Fighters, and John Mayer were among the big names hitting the stage to spice up the proceedings as nominees were announced.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the Grammy nominees for Album of the Year are -

ANDERSON: At the end of the night, it was clear that 2008 was hip-hop`s year. Lil Wayne had the most nominations with eight. Fellow rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West and Neyo all nabbed six nominations.

NEYO, RAP ARTIST: I`m overjoyed - overjoyed.

ANDERSON: Coldplay ruled the alt-rock world with seven nominations including Album of the Year. While the critically-acclaimed band Radiohead and John Mayer each picked up five.

NEYO: And the Grammy nominees for the best new artists are -

ANDERSON: The best new artist category will see a five-way battle between Adele, Duffy, Jasmine Sullivan, Lady Antebellum and The Jonas Brothers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They recognized us as true artists. It`s something that we really are thankful for.

ANDERSON: With public interest and award shows waning, it remains to be seen whether the nomination special will help the Grammys hit a high note.


And the Grammy Awards are scheduled for a live broadcast on CBS, February 8th.

All right, A.J. Jennifer Aniston is making some true confessions.

HAMMER: She sure is, Brooke. She`s speaking about whether she really said Angelina Jolie was un-cool and all those pregnancy rumors, too. And that`s not all - Britney Spears and Tom Cruise have some true confessions of their own. That`s coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, stars striking back. Lots to tell you about here. Kelly Ripa is ripping into a report that her marriage is in trouble. Simon Cowell is fighting mad after saying his car was bugged, and Patrick Swayze is firing back at the tabloids over their reports on his health.

Also, what` what`s your least favorite Christmas song?


HARRY CONNICK, JR., SINGER: It`s one of those tunes that just got kind of an irritating melody. I don`t need to hear "Jingle Bells" anymore.


HAMMER: Here`s my recommendation - if you see Harry Connick, Jr. as you`re walking down the street, don`t jingle his bells, OK? It`s true. Even the stars have their least favorite holiday songs. And we have the worst of the worst, still to come on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Bah, humbug.

But first, because I know you want to stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news, you need to be a subscriber to our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. Do it now, Click on that "sign up for newsletter link" at the bottom of the page. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming straight back.


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, true confessions. Stars share private details of their lives. Jennifer Aniston on Angelina Jolie. Britney Spears on her failed marriage. And Tom Cruise`s biggest regret. It`s Hollywood`s biggest stars in rare form, raw and in their own words.

Stars strike back. Kelly Ripa, Patrick Swayze and Simon Cowell fuming and fighting back. Their personal battles to set the record straight. What has been completely ticked off.

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show continues right now.


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.

HAMMER: Tonight, true confessions. This has been an absolutely remarkable week. Hollywood`s biggest stars are all speaking out about the biggest controversies in their lives.

Jennifer Aniston is taking no prisoners in a brand-new interview about her bombshell quote in "Vogue" calling Angelina Jolie, quote, "un-cool." And wait until you hear what she has to say about all those pregnancy rumors. Britney Spears going on the record about her marriage to Kevin Federline. Britney`s startling confessions on why she married K-Fed in the first place.

And it`s the Tom Cruise in the hot seat interview sitting down with Barbara Walters confessing his sins about that famous couch jumping incident on Oprah.

Joining me tonight in Hollywood is Carlos Diaz who is a correspondent for "Extra." And in New York tonight, Ashleigh Banfield, who is an anchor for "Banfield and Ford: In Session."

All right. So let`s begin with Jennifer Aniston. I love that she is speaking out here. She gave this new interview to "Entertainment Weekly." And in it, Jennifer Aniston confesses she`s bummed out.

She claims that her comment in "Vogue" magazine about Angelina Jolie being un-cool - it was taken out of context, according to Jen. Here`s what she said, quote, "I was just surprised that "Vogue" would go so tabloid. I was bummed but you almost expect it. Big deal, done, next."

Carlos, as I said, I am loving that Jennifer is speaking out so voraciously. But you know, she`s had to do much explaining about this whole big incident with Angelina Jolie and the un-cool flap. Do you think she`s probably wishing that she just said, you know, "no comment" when "Vogue" had asked her about Angelina in the first place?

DIAZ: No comment, A.J. You know, you have to wonder if she thinks it`s a double-edged sword, because if she says no comment, then we don`t talk about her. She made a comment and the big problem here is inflection. Because it was an interview not on camera; it was a magazine interview.

We don`t know if she said, "Well, you know, it was un-cool." Or, "That was un-cool!" You know, so you don`t know how she said it. She`s right. It could have been taken completely out of context. She could have been laid back about it.

HAMMER: And Carlos, that was an excellent point - an excellent point. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT did reach out - I tried. We did reach out to "Vogue" magazine for a statement. Listen to what they said, quote, "`Vogue` loves Jennifer Aniston and we are thrilled to have her appear on the cover."

All right. Ashleigh Banfield, kind of sounds like "Vogue" magazine just trying to step away from the whole thing gracefully.

BANFIELD: That could be it. This is why I`m a big advocate of television journalism, and let me explain. Instead of throwing peanuts at the television, you know what? You can read a lot into print. It`s a little tougher to read into someone`s inflection when you`re actually seeing it.

So if Jennifer could give somebody like - I don`t know - A.J., Carlos a great interview to clear the air. That might kind of help things out.

HAMMER: Yes. This is why you don`t get in fights over the E-mail, you know what I`m saying?

Aniston also confesses in this brand-new interview that there`s no truth to all these pregnancy rumors that, as I said, have been flying around. She refers to a date that she had with singer John Mayer. And because she didn`t have a drink, the rumors just flying around.

I love this quote, "Oh my god, it`s hysterical. You can`t do anything without it going to some extreme. It`s almost going to take away the fun from actually being able to say one day, `I`m pregnant.` Everyone will be like, yes, right. It`s the boy who cried wolf. Stop stealing my thunder." And she uses an expletive I`ll choose not to say here in order to keep my job.

Carlos, you know, given how private Aniston has been in the past, why the big confessional now?

DIAZ: I`m so in her corner on this. We`re so out of control when it comes to, "Oh my god, she didn`t eat sushi. She`s pregnant. She never drinks. She had water. She`s pregnant." You know, it`s all these things.

The biggest thing was this week when Mary-Kate Olsen was rumored to be pregnant because she ballooned to 102 pounds. That was actually in the "Enquirer." It`s like the word balloon and 102 pounds shouldn`t be in the same sentence.

So yes, we are out of control with this. She`s completely right, especially for her. We`ve been waiting for her to get pregnant for so long. Let her have that moment when actually it`s true.

HAMMER: Carlos, I know you wake up in the morning and say, "I wonder if today`s the day. Is she pregnant?"

There are those who say - you may be on her side here. But there are those who say, "Sorry, stars, you lost your privacy when I paid to go see your movie. I`ve got to tell you the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines have been going completely nuclear about this whole thing. Listen to what Carole in Oregon has to say about that.


CAROLE, CALLER FROM OREGON: I don`t think they should get as personal as they do. But I don`t think that actors or actresses have the right to say that they`re out of line in wanting to get pictures when that`s what pays them the ungodly amount of money that they earn. It sets them apart. They set themselves apart by demanding that, and then they get mad when other people kind of get into their personal space.


HAMMER: All right. Carol, thank you for your call. Ashleigh, what do you think? Does Carole have a good point there?

BANFIELD: She makes a great point. But I have to be honest with you, unless you`ve walked in the shoes of these stars, none of us has any idea how lousy their life can really be. They are not our monkeys. We don`t deserve to have them at our every beck and call. We`re not sinister in wanting to follow their lives, because it`s kind of fun.

I don`t know - it`s fantasy, the way they live. But it`s fantasy. It`s not that great. And we shouldn`t be so intrigued, because one day in their shoes - and we`d be ashamed of how much we crave more information about them.

HAMMER: Well, let`s move on to somebody who knows exactly about what you speak - Britney Spears. Her confession that she married Kevin Federline for the wrong reasons. Watch what Britney confesses about that in her MTV documentary.


BRITNEY SPEARS, POP STAR: I think I married for the wrong reasons, instead of - and then it led me - instead of following my heart and like doing something that made me really happy, I just did it for the sake of the idea of everything.


HAMMER: Carlos, over to you. I think this was a pretty bold move on Britney`s part, confessing that her marriage was a mistake, don`t you think?

DIAZ: I don`t know how bold it is. What am I supposed to say - like, your marriage to K-Fed was bad. Like we didn`t know that. It`s more of a calculated move -


DIAZ: Yes, exactly Ashleigh. I think it`s more of a calculated move for her to say, "OK. You know what? I messed up. There was a mistake. Now, go buy my album" kind of a thing. It`s like a moving-forward kind of a thing.

HAMMER: No big surprise. The "Showbiz On Call" phone lines also ringing nonstop about Britney`s comeback. You`ve got to listen to what Julie from Louisiana had to say about it.


JULIE, CALLER FROM LOUISIANA: I believe in her comeback because I think for the first time in many years, Britney is finally listening to herself rather than listening to what other people want. She is living the life she wants to live, and she is making a comeback because she wants to make the comeback. And I think that people need to respect that and admire her courage and her strength to face her past and move on.


HAMMER: Quickly, Ashleigh, considering Britney`s bold confession and her new outlook on life, do you think she will get more respect now?

BANFIELD: Sure, she`ll get respect as an entertainer, but I don`t think anybody is going to turn to her to ask her how Obama`s first 100 days are going.

HAMMER: Yes, I expect that. It`s not going to happen. Let`s move on to Tom Cruise confessing his regrets to Barbara Walters to her big "10 Most Fascinating People" special that aired tonight. And Tom confessed to Barbara about his regrets about that whole infamous Oprah couch-jumping things, all the public displays of affection with Katie. And watch what he says about the media.


TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: With the press there is truth and then perception. And I can only look at something from what I`ve done or how - when you do things, things get spun out of control in a way that I hadn`t seen before.


HAMMER: Carlos, very quickly. Does it sound like Tom has a whole new take on what happened to him?

DIAZ: I completely agree with Tom Cruise here. I`ve always said he got a bad rap for the thing on Oprah, because if he says (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I love her. Oh, he`s not convincing. He loved her. He jumped up on the couch. He showed his love, and now we`re ripping him for showing his love?

HAMMER: Carlos Diaz, Ashleigh Banfield, I thank you both.

ANDERSON: And now, I want to tell you about a SHOWBIZ special event. It is that time of year again. We`re about to name our pick for the most controversial celebrity of the year.

Now, for the last two years, it`s been Britney Spears. Can she pull off a three-peat? You`ve got to tune in next Tuesday as SHOWBIZ TONIGHT names the most controversial celebrity of 2008. That`s Tuesday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: All right. One of my favorites, Kelly Ripa, has managed to, of course, Brooke, steer clear of controversy.

ANDERSON: She has, A.J. And tonight, she is fighting to keep it that way. Kelly fired up over some nasty reports about her marriage being on the rocks. Kelly sets the record straight, and she`s not the only star fighting back.

Patrick Swayze is also fuming. He`s speaking out about what he calls a reckless act. How this fight is actually linked to Swayze`s battle with cancer. What`s behind the wave of celebrity rage? The dramatic details coming up, and also this.


CONNICK: It`s one of those tunes that just got kind of an irritating melody. I don`t need to hear "Jingle Bells" anymore.


HAMMER: Scrooge may have to take a number. The most annoying songs the season. Harry Connick Jr. shares his and so do some other stars. Come on. You know, you have one. "Jingle Bells," "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the worst Christmas carols that we just can`t change.

ANDERSON: And now, the SHOWBIZ news ticker. More stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Celine Dion tells "" she plans to have another child using a frozen embryo. "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling is out with a new book: "The Tales of Beedle the Bard.")


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, stars strike back. Some of Hollywood`s biggest celebrities are speaking out about brand-new stories about them they say are a pack of lies.

From Patrick Swayze to Kelly Ripa to Simon Cowell, they say they are fed up with the tabloids, the rumors and outright invasion of privacy. Just wait until you hear what they`re putting up with.

Joining me tonight in New York, Janell Snowden who is a host for "VH1 News." Also tonight, in New York, Ben Widdicombe, who is the editor-at- large for "Star" magazine.

Janell, Ben, I want to begin with Kelly Ripa. She and hubby Mark Consuelos are outraged by this week`s "National Enquirer" cover story claiming that Mark packed his bags and just moved out of there.

Kelly and Mark outright deny it, have sicked their lawyer on "The Enquirer." Ben, how damaging can reports like this be to Kelly and Mark?

WIDDICOMBE: Well, Brooke, I want to acknowledge first that "Star" magazine and the "National Enquirer" are both owned by the same company. But at the same, in the 10 years that I worked as a gossip columnist in New York City before joining this company, I learned that "The Enquirer" got it right 99.9 percent of the time.

The story says there was a fight. There was an ultimatum. If Mark and Kelly say this is not true, then they certainly have the right to respond to that and get it out there.

ANDERSON: OK, Ben, thanks for your point of view. We at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT did get our hands on the angry letter that Kelly and Mark`s lawyer sent to "The Enquirer." They call the article an attempt to, quote, "injure my client and their family to boost flagging circulation and to trade off of the good reputation, image and deserved celebrity of my clients."

Now, they`re demanding a full public retraction and apology. Janell, why do you think so many stars are now standing up to stories that they say are untrue?

SNOWDEN: I think there are a lot of reasons. And one of them is that you can start to sort of buy into your own press. Now, granted they`ve had a successful marriage for so many years now and several kids to show from it.

But I think that, you know, things like this can take a toll on your relationship if you are constantly having to defend yourselves. You don`t have time to just enjoy each other.

And you know, I`m sure that if what they`re saying is true, then it will come out in the wash. But, you know, it`s just - it`s got to be annoying when you`re just trying to make a living, you`re trying to enjoy yourself, you try to be nice to the press, and you know, maybe act as a member of them, if you consider Kelly Ripa a member of the press, and, "This is what you do to me after all I`ve done for you?" I don`t know.

ANDERSON: Right. It has to be maddening for them. Yes, I completely agree.

And here`s another star, you guys, who is outraged. Simon Cowell claims that a tracking device was found attached to his Rolls Royce. Cowell`s camp claims it was put on his car by a journalist. They warned him to back off and they got the word out to all the big papers in the U.K. that they better give Cowell his privacy. Janell, do you think this harsh verbal warning will really do anything?

SNOWDEN: Let`s hope so. I mean, this is definitely a case of stepping way over the line. I`m actually surprised that they`re not doing more. But maybe, they`re just trying to not give more attention to this guy. Maybe this is a person that wanted to see how far he or she could get, and you know, get some attention. And maybe Simon`s solution is just to not feed into it anymore than he already has.


SNOWDEN: No, go ahead.

ANDERSON: Yes. I`m just going to say that he isn`t taking any legal action against the paper, the journalist or anything. This is it for him.

But I want to move now to Patrick Swayze. He is battling pancreatic cancer as we know. And he`s absolutely fed up with the tabloids. They keep reporting he`s near death, when, in fact, he`s responding well to treatment.

Here`s an example. Look at this cover of "The Globe." The headline reads "Patrick Swayze: No Hope." "The National Enquirer" even reported the cancer spread to his liver. Janell, no matter what the truth is, doesn`t he deserve his privacy?

SNOWDEN: Sure. I mean, cancer is really, really serious, and pancreatic cancer is one of the most serious forms of it. One of the keys any doctor will tell you to helping overcome the illness is hope.


SNOWDEN: It`s like you have to believe that you`re going to get better and maybe will that into existence. You know, that`s certainly not always the case. But if hope is all you have, then why rob him of that?

ANDERSON: And he talks about that. He says, "It makes me angry when hope is so precious." We will leave it there. Janell Snowden, Ben Widdicombe, good to see you. Thank you both.

HAMMER: Moving on now, Kelly Ripa is one of my favorite in the business and she`s in a completely different world for her new project. Kelly and an all-star cast lend their voices in the animated adventure story, "Delgo." This is all about a naive teenager who tries to rally some unlikely friends on a special mission. Here now your SHOWBIZ first look at "Delgo."


VOICE OVER: In a wondrous land of extraordinary beauty, a forbidden romance -

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Do you need some help?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I don`t think so. I`m Delgo.


VOICE OVER: Will unleash an evil unlike anything ever known.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Soon, they will have a leader deserving of their adoration, and lucky will have an enemy deserving of their fear.


VOICE OVER: Two civilizations -

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Our people want peace.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Our people want justice.

VOICE OVER: Divided by fear.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: The truce has been broken.

VOICE OVER: Two hearts -

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You`re only a child. You couldn`t possibly understand what`s at stake here.

VOICE OVER: Guided by fate. One chance to save their world.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: When our people are in danger, we will fight.


VOICE OVER: This holiday season -

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Your reign has come to its end.

VOICE OVER: Destiny will lead them.



VOICE OVER: Friendship will strengthen them.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I want to rescue the princess. You cover the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

VOICE OVER: Love will protect them.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Your people need you, Delgo. I need you.

VOICE OVER: "Delgo."

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Delgo, there`s - right there.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Is there one on me.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: No, you`re cool. Yes.


ANDERSON: Well it is that time of year when everywhere you go, all you hear are Christmas carols.


CONNICK: It`s one of those tunes that has got an irritating melody. I don`t need to hear "Jingle Bells."


ANDERSON: You know, Harry Connick, Jr. isn`t alone. Just like the stars, we all know some carols that just take the merry out of Christmas. I mean, songs that make you want to parapapam-pummel someone. Calm down. We`ll have the best of the worst when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT returns.


ANDERSON: Hey, welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Well, it is that time of year again. It`s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas everywhere you go. You know that one.

And even the stars have their favorite and least favorite Christmas songs. Here is CNN`s Lola Ogunnaike for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


MARIAH CAREY, SINGER (sung): I don`t want a lot for Christmas

LANCE BASS, SINGER: The one song that gets me in the Christmas mood every year is when I hear Mariah Carey`s "All I Want for Christmas." Once you hear it on the radio, you`re like, "It`s Christmas time."

CAREY: All I want for Christmas is you.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Is there a song that just -

BASS: "Drummer Boy." I don`t like "Drummer Boy."


BASS: Yes.

OGUNNAIKE: Well, how does "Drummer Boy" go?

BASS (hums): Rum-pa-pum-pum.

ERIK PHILBROOK, EDITOR, ASCAP PLAYBACK MAGAZINE: Holiday songs are as good as they get. They all have infectious melodies. They all have great lyrics that people can memorize easily. And they have simple yet direct and elegant messages.

The most recorded holiday song of al time is "White Christmas." It was written by Irving Berlin for the 1942 film, "Holiday Inn." It`s been recorded over 500 times in 12 different languages.

CONNICK: It`s beginning to look a lot like Christmas is a great song.

OGUNNAIKE: It`s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

CONNICK: You feel like going on the road.

OGUNNAIKE: Yes, I do. I could be your backup singer.

CONNICK: It`s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go

Girlfriend has got a good ear now.

PHILBROOK: I must say I am not a big fan of The Chipmunks.

OGUNNAIKE: I love The Chipmunks.

PHILBROOK: I`m sorry, but they`re an acquired taste.

OGUNNAIKE: If I hear "Jingle Bells" one more time, I`m going to jingle somebody`s bells. There`s never that moment -

CONNICK: Yes, "Jingle Bells" might be that song.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s happy. It`s jolly. It makes me want to dance. I don`t know. I love it.

CONNICK: One of the tunes that has got kind of an irritating melody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh, hey!

CONNICK: I don`t need to hear "Jingle Bells" anymore.

OGUNNAIKE: When you hear a certain song that brings you back to your childhood, a holiday song, what is it?

WES BOURLAND, BORDERS SALESPERSON: We always did "The First Noel." Born is the king of Israel


ANDERSON: Sounds good. That was CNN`s Lola Ogunnaike for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Just don`t take away my "Dominic, the Italian Christmas Donkey," OK? I love that song.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Don`t forget, 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. Take care.