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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Closure for John Walsh; Simon Cowell on "Idol" Controversy Over Paula Abdul; Jim Carrey on Antidepressants; Madonna`s About-Face on Divorce Settlement

Aired December 17, 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: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, John Walsh`s gripping, brand-new revelations about solving the murder of his son. Tonight, the very first interview with the host of "America`s Most Wanted" since police revealed they know who murdered his 6-year-old son 27 years ago. The pain, the emotion, and how Walsh`s tragedy transformed missing kid searches forever. It`s a heart-wrenching interview about the killing of a little boy that shocked the world.
Simon Cowell`s shocking "American Idol" revelations. Tonight, what Simon tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about all the new "Idol" controversy including Paula Abdul`s claim that the show intentionally let an obsessed fan audition. Tonight, are Paula`s days numbered? And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking, is Paula really essential to "American Idol?"

Plus, Jim Carrey`s blockbuster claims about antidepressants and his battle with mental illness.

TV`s most provocative entertainment news starts right now.

(MUSIC)

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

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you from Hollywood. And tonight, cold case closed.

HAMMER: It has been an agonizing 27 years for John Walsh not knowing who killed his 6-year-old son, Adam. Well, tonight, the now legendary host of "America`s Most Wanted" finally knows the answer. And today, for the very first time since police revealed they solved the case, John Walsh and his family sat down for an emotional, powerful and gripping interview that`s making big news right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice over) It`s a bittersweet story of closure and justice.

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": We knew in our hearts that it was Ottis Toole.

HAMMER: Twenty-seven years after his brutal murder, police named 6-year- old Adam Walsh`s killer and the case is now closed.

CHAD WAGNER, HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA CHIEF OF POLICE: Ottis Toole was the murderer of Adam Walsh.

HAMMER: Now, the very first interview with Adam`s father, "America`s Most Wanted" host, John Walsh, and his wife Reve made an emotional appearance on the "Today" show.

J. WALSH: Reve had said to me, "I hope before we die that we get some answers in this case, that they admit what happened and that they give us that peace of mind that we`ve been waiting 27 years for."

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": For him to have closure now - imagine if 90 percent of your day was encompassed by one thing and then that one thing was solved after decades. That`s how big it is for John Walsh.

J. WALSH: We tried very hard to make sure that boy didn`t die in vain.

HAMMER: In July 1981, Adam Walsh disappeared from a Hollywood, Florida shopping mall.

J. WALSH: He`s our only child, a beautiful little boy. And we just want him back.

HAMMER: Two weeks later, fishermen found Adam`s head in a pond, his body was never found. For years, John Walsh clashed with Florida police investigators who made countless missteps in the Adam Walsh case, losing key evidence, including a blood-stained carpet found in Ottis Toole`s car.

J. WALSH: When we knew that there were huge mistakes made, that other chiefs had not closed the case and Chief Wagner, when he took over a year ago, said, "I`m going to take a good, hard look."

HAMMER: Walsh now says one of the most poignant moments was when the current chief apologized.

WAGNER: Apologize for investigative mistake that transpired during the early years of this investigation.

J. WALSH: Chief Wagner had the guts yesterday to apologize to Reve and I and to our family and to say, this should have been done years ago.

DIAZ: He saw so many things wrong with this case throughout the years, so he wanted to have an AMBER alert, he wanted to have children`s faces on milk carton cartons. There were so many things that went wrong with the case. But the silver lining is that it allowed John Walsh to make all these things right.

HAMMER: For more than two decades, John Walsh has literally changed the criminal justice system and how it deals with missing children. He helped set up the National Center for Missing Children, helped create the AMBER alert system, put children`s faces on milk cartons and strove to make sure no other family had to endure the helplessness of having a child go missing and never being found.

J. WALSH: How frustrating for me to work on "America`s Most Wanted" for 20 years and see so many other people get justice and know in my heart that this man killed our son and wish and fight with previous cops.

HAMMER: His son`s murderer, Ottis Toole, died in prison in 1996, serving five life sentences for other murders. He confessed twice to killing Adam Walsh then recanted. It was sheer hell for the family, but no more.

J. WALSH: It`s about the finality of it. For us to be able to say whether he - he died in prison a horrible, horrible death. But for us to say, this chapter of our life is over. We`ve had these beautiful children. We`ve tried to make a difference. We tried to make sure Adam didn`t die in vain. We at least can move on.

DIAZ: It`s ironic that happens so close to the holidays because nobody wants to hear the news that their son has passed or their son was killed. But in John Walsh`s case, this is a little bit of a Christmas present because finally he has closure after all these years.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: It is impossible to measure the remarkable impact that all of this has had not only on Walsh but on protecting children everywhere.

Joining me tonight in San Francisco, someone who can relate all too well to John Walsh, Marc Klaas whose daughter Polly was sadly murdered after being kidnapped back in 1993. Marc is also the founder of the Klaas Kids Foundation.

Also tonight in New York, it`s Ashleigh Banfield, an "In Session" and somebody who worked with John Walsh on "America`s Most Wanted."

Marc, let me begin with you. You know what John Walsh has been through. You learned who killed your daughter, Polly. What went through your mind as you watched John Walsh finally get confirmation of who killed his son?

MARC KLAAS, FATHER OF POLLY KLAAS: Well, there`s two things you need to know, A.J. You need to know, first of all, who committed the crime against your child. And secondly, you have to be ensured that that individual will never harm another child.

And I think they finally have that finality. They have the admission by law enforcement that Ottis Toole did it. And I think that has to be a huge relief to John and his wife.

HAMMER: And as we mentioned, Ottis died in 1996 so obviously he won`t be harming anyone ever again.

KLAAS: Correct. Right.

HAMMER: Ashleigh, as we mentioned, you worked with John tight there on "America`s Most Wanted." You saw him on a regular basis how his son`s murder always haunted him and always drove him. What was your reaction seeing John get that confirmation of who murdered his son?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": Well, apart from the obvious, which is that it was very sad to see John in that emotional state, I also realized that John is vigilant in what he does, I think, because of what happened. And I think this will reenergize him in his next chapter of his career to continue his crime-fighting ways and ensure that other victims of injustice don`t ever have to go through what he`s gone through.

HAMMER: I want to take a look at really what was an incredibly emotional moment for John Walsh when he talked about his son`s case coming to a close. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

J. WALSH: For 27 years, we`ve been asking, who could take a 6-year-old boy and murder him and decapitate him? Who? We needed to know. We needed to know. And today we know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: The emotions obviously very, very raw there. Marc, the 27-year- old case is now closed. And as we heard John saying, he needed to know, he needed to know. But is there ever really closure in something like this?

KLAAS: Well, no, there`s obviously not. That was obvious by John`s reaction. John - I can only speak for myself. I emotionally detach myself from my own personal situation whenever I get involved in a missing person or missing child case or some kind of a criminal activity.

But one has to go back and relive all of one`s own situation, all of those old emotions come forth again and you do, in fact, relive a portion of that crime. So there`s no way to divorce yourself from what happened to you. It ultimately makes you what you are as a person and will always be with you. So, no, closure is really a myth, A.J.

HAMMER: Yes. I would have to imagine that it is impossible to divorce yourself, and especially if you`re dealing with it in your day-to-day life.

And as we mentioned, something that was a major frustration to John Walsh - you know, the case could have been solved so much sooner if there weren`t missteps along the way, police hadn`t lost that blood-stained carpet in Ottis Toole`s car and the actual car itself.

Ashleigh, it seems unclear as to what happened that finally allowed police to close this case now.

BANFIELD: Well, essentially what they did was they handed him the book. They gave him the complete circumstantial case. And altogether as a team, with the new police chief and the prosecutors decided they had enough on this case to close it for good.

And should actually mention to you that I just got off the phone with the executive producer of "America`s Most Wanted" with whom I used to work. And we talked about how John is on his way to spend some quiet time with his family but then he`s going right back to work, A.J., and he`s working on, get this, a year-end special called "The Gift of Justice" where they`re changing the ending so they can include this new ending and put in John`s personal thoughts about that.

HAMMER: That`s terrific to hear. And I`m sure we`re going to see more of that raw emotion. And you know, after all, as I mentioned, this is what has driven John all these years.

Marc, your connection with John Walsh really began when he featured what happened to your daughter on his show, "America`s Most Wanted." And now, we have this happening. Have you spoken, Marc, with John since the news broke of the confirmation of who killed his son?

KLAAS: Oh, no, no. I`ve just watched with fascination as has the rest of America as this case has finally been closed and the family has the relief of knowing that there will be no further action taken.

HAMMER: And obviously, he has devoted his life to missing kids. Marc, again, he really changed everything in terms of how we as a society handle that, didn`t he?

KLAAS: Well, you know, two institutions came of Adam`s situation. And his death certainly was not in vain. John Walsh has been a great example to me and others of an individual who can pick themselves up by the bootstraps and chase after evil. And he`s demonstrated that hugely with "America`s Most Wanted."

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, on the other hand, has been far less aggressive and I believe far less successful in pursuing whatever mission it is they`ve tried to pursue.

HAMMER: Well, Marc Klaas, we appreciate all the work that you`ve done with your foundation.

KLAAS: Thank you.

HAMMER: And Ashleigh Banfield, we appreciate you joining us tonight as well. Thanks so much.

ANDERSON: A.J. what a heartbreaking story. But the Walshes have done so much for other missing children and their families.

All right. Switching gears now. Tonight, I get Simon Cowell, A.J., to open up about the Paula Abdul-"American Idol" alleged set-up controversy.

HAMMER: Yes, Brooke, a lot of people are wondering, did "Idol" producers purposely let an obsessed fan who apparently killed herself audition for the show?

ANDERSON: Yes. Simon is all fired up about this. You don`t want to miss what he told me about it today. That`s straight ahead.

HAMMER: All right. So first Madonna says she`s going to pay Guy Ritchie $76 million to settle the financial part of their divorce. And now she`s taking it back. What`s going on, Madonna? Coming up, we`ve got that.

Also Jim Carrey`s shocking new words about antidepressants.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM CARREY, ACTOR: At the risk of, like, opening up the whole Tom Cruise- Prozac argument.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Yes. Remember when Tom Cruise went on a rant about psychiatry? Tonight, you`ve got to hear Jim Carrey`s controversial interview about mental illness. We`ve got it, coming up.

HAMMER: And now, we`ve got the SHOWBIZ news ticker, more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: "Time" magazine names Barack Obama "Person of the Year." "Time" magazine names Sarah Palin a runner-up "Person of the Year.")

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED ARMISEN, ACTOR (as Joy Behar): You know what I always say? I say, who cares? I just want to have a glass of Pinot Grigio. Go to bed. So what?

ANDERSON: "Saturday Night Live`s" Fred Armisen doing a hilarious Joy Behar of "The View." OK. "So what" is something Joy Behar says a lot.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. Did you see - actually did you hear this? Joy has got a lot of company. Tonight, I can tell you so many stars are shrugging off tough questions by saying "so what?" I`m talking rock star Pink, lots of politicians and even President Bush about that bizarre shoe-throwing incident. Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It`s the season all right, the season of -

GEORGE BUSH, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: So what? So what if a guy threw a shoe at me?

MOOS: Easy for him to say. He didn`t get a black eye like his spokesperson did in a scuffle to subdue the shoe-thrower. But lately, it seems what is being thrown around is, "so what?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE NEWS ANCHOR: So what if he was? So what if Obama was Arab?

MOOS: An Obama impersonator -

UNIDENTIFIED OBAMA IMPERSONATOR: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Can`t believe it.

MOOS: Even rap -

UNIDENTIFIED OBAMA IMPERSONATOR: So what, I`m half black and half white. So what I fist bump with my wife. Now, I can do whatever I like.

MOOS: But it was Vice President Dick Cheney we first noticed in an ABC interview replying to a question about how three-quarters of Americans say the Iraq War is not worth fighting.

DICK CHENEY, UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT: So?

MOOS: And then the other day, President Bush justifying invading Iraq by saying Iraq is where al-Qaeda said it was taking its stand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

BUSH: Yes, that`s right. So what?

MOOS: So what. That comeback sounds like a putdown, something kids say, something "The Sopranos" gang said over a dead horse.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You cooked that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) horse alive.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: No I did not, but so what?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: So what?

MOOS: So what? So passive-aggressive. Congressman Barney Franks telling "60 Minutes" how he answered a newspaper reporter who asked him if he was gay.

FRANKS: Yes, so what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Yes, so what?

MOOS: There`s even a gay blog called, "So Gay, So What." There`s a marketing firm named, "So What." Took its name from a Miles Davis piece entitled, "So What?"

Pink made a hit out of her song "So What."

PINK, SINGER (singing): So - so what, I`m still a rock star.

MOOS: So if there`s another 500-point swing in the stock market, so what? You feel like you can`t trust anyone these days. So what? If the excess cheer of the holidays have you down.

CHORUS (singing): We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

MOOS (on camera): So what?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, a lot of people have been calling into our "Showbiz On Call" phone lines about this whole "SNL" blind governor skit and saying, so what?

ANDERSON: You`re right, A.J. But we`ve also been getting lots of calls from people who are outraged at "Saturday Night Live" for making fun of New York governor David Paterson. Listen to Jolanda.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JOLANDA, CALLER: I felt it was beyond poor taste. It is barbaric to make fun of anybody that is disabled. By the grace of God, it`s not you or them. And that`s basically what I have to say.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: And we thank you for your call, Jolanda. We also got a call from anonymous who actually is going blind. Listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ANONYMOUS CALLER: Wow. You know, it`s comforting to know that humor can just heal everyone. I`m going blind. I`m legally blind now and I`m going blind. But I did get a chance to see the skit of Paterson.

And I don`t think he should be angered because, you know, I`m going blind and I can laugh at myself, you know. It`s like preparing me for what I have to go through to live in the normal world with normal people.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, we appreciate your call as well. We love hearing both sides of it. So you can call us at "Showbiz On Call" to let us know what you think about this or really anything else on your mind.

ANDERSON: That`s right. The "Showbiz On Call" phone lines are open 24/7. Give us a ring - 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 listen to this, your calls to "Showbiz On Call" are also now online at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

HAMMER: All right. So Brooke, help me out here. I hear you did a little digging on this whole "American Idol"-Paula Abdul controversy and you actually got to go one-on-one with Simon Cowell?

ANDERSON: I did. Listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SIMON COWELL, JUDGE, "AMERICAN IDOL": My regret in all of this is that we didn`t know how troubled this person was. And if I could have gone back in time and known what she was going through, I wish that we could have spent time trying to help her.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Simon opens up to me big time. His blockbuster revelations about whether an obsessed fan was purposely allowed to audition for "American Idol." Paula Abdul says she was. What Simon says to me, coming up.

HAMMER: Plus, Madonna`s about-face. You know, first, Madonna says she`s going to write her soon-to-be ex Guy Ritchie a huge check for at least $76 million. And now, she says, not true. So what`s going on? We`ve got that, coming up.

ANDERSON: And a brand-new "View" controversy. And this one involves Christmas, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and even President Bush. Ho, ho, uh-oh. Next.

And now, the SHOWBIZ news ticker, more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now -

(CAPTION READS: Marilyn Monroe "Vogue" magazine photos taken year she died sell for $150,000 at auction. Aretha Franklin will sing at presidential inauguration on January 20, 2009.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson. And A.J., there was another big controversy over on "The View." But tonight, I can tell you it`s now all fixed.

HAMMER: That is correct, Brooke. Elisabeth Hasselbeck seemed kind of bummed out that she wasn`t invited to one of the White House Christmas parties. You know, Elisabeth is a big Republican and often defends President Bush on their show. Like this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I`ve gotten a nice invitation to the White House Christmas party. Not the big one, but like the 20th one down the road. Like, you get the leftovers at the party. I`ve been going to that one. No invitation this year.

(CROSS TALK)

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Get out of here.

HASSELBECK: I don`t know -

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Are they mad at you for some reason?

HASSELBECK: I mean, maybe I didn`t do enough for the Republican Party this year.

BEHAR: You did a lot.

SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": More than enough!

HASSELBECK: You know, you`re always asking me to maybe see the other side of things. And today, I am with you, Joy. Only for today on this one subject. But I am a little miffed because - not that I had time to go to that party, anyway.

GOLDBERG: So it`s the damn party.

HASSELBECK: I have my own cookies and chocolate cake.

BEHAR: You know something, Elisabeth. If he were here, this is what I would do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: OK. So apparently, President Bush watches "The View" because today, Elisabeth said all is well in Christmas party invite-land.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HASSELBECK: Yesterday, I, in jest, was saying how I wait every year for a Christmas card, an invite to the Christmas party at the White House.

(CROSS TALK)

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "THE VIEW": Oh, no. I watched at home. You were not in jest.

(CROSS TALK)

No, no. That was deeply serious.

HASSELBECK: I was so in jest. I haven`t eaten in days because of it. But I definitely - it was a tongue-in-cheek statement.

WALTERS: Yes.

HASSELBECK: Apparently the White House was watching. And the counselor to the president then called me that day and we had a great conversation - lovely man. And said that he was very sorry. We`ve actually moved three times in the past year. I went to Arizona to have Taylor. So we think, somehow, your name inadvertently was left off the list. And it was fine. We`re trying to make plans in January to get down there. So we were actually then invited - he said, you know, you`re welcome to come down.

SHEPHERD: Did he say anything about your friends?

HASSELBECK: It`s a general invite.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes. Something tells me those other friends may not make the cut. And while Elisabeth says she was joking around, I think she really wanted that invite. I don`t know if it was so much in jest, Brooke. That`s me.

ANDERSON: I agree with you, A.J. And hey, I wonder if Paula Abdul is on Simon Cowell`s Christmas card list and vice versa.

HAMMER: Yes, Brooke. Tonight I`m thinking that after what Simon told you, Paula may want to give Simon a big old lump of coal, right?

ANDERSON: Possibly, A.J. You won`t believe what Simon told me about Paula`s claims that "American Idol" purposely let an obsessed fan audition. That`s coming up.

HAMMER: Also, Madonna`s stunning about-face. First, she says she`s writing guy Ritchie a check worth at least $76 million and now she`s taking it back. What is going on? That`s next.

Also Jim Carrey`s brand-new new shocking words about mental illness.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARREY: At the risk of, like, opening up the whole Tom Cruise-Prozac argument.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: You remember that whole Tom Cruise antidepressant psychiatry rant. Well, you`ve got to hear Jim Carrey on this, straight ahead.

Be a subscriber to the daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter by heading to our Web site, CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. We will send it to you every day.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

COWELL: My regret in all of this is that we did not know how troubled this person was. And if I could have gone back in time and known what she was going through, I wish that we could have spent time trying to help her.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Simon Cowell`s shocking revelations about all the new "American Idol" controversy. Simon is taking sides in the heated battle between Paula and "Idol." Simon speaking out to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for the very first time about Paula`s explosive claims that "Idol" put her in jeopardy by letting an obsessed fan audition for the show.

Tonight, Madonna`s startling about-face in her divorce deal. The unbelievable new twist following the revelation Madonna would be giving her ex, Guy Ritchie, $76 million. What`s the real story?

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

(MUSIC)

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.

Tonight, Simon Cowell is speaking out about Paula Abdul`s startling claims that "American Idol" producers tried to sabotage her career. I spoke with Simon this afternoon to set the record straight once and for all.

Did "American Idol" producers really ignore her frightening warnings and let her dangerously obsessed fan audition for the show?

Also brand new tonight, Madonna`s startling about-face today about her divorce and her spokesperson`s revelation that she will be paying her ex, Guy Ritchie, $76 million.

And you`ve got to hear the startling results of our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT poll asking if Guy deserves that much money from Madonna.

Joining me tonight in Hollywood, Michael Yo who is a celebrity correspondent for "E!" Also from Hollywood, Laura Saltman who`s a correspondent for "AccessHollywood.com." Michael, Laura, great to see you both.

And I want to begin with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. "Idol`s" producers dispute Paula`s claim about the obsessed fan who was found dead outside her house. Paula claims the producers let the fan audition knowing that Paula was terrified.

Well, today during a conference call to promote the eighth season of "American Idol," I asked Simon his take on all of this. Listen to what he told me.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

COWELL: My regret in all of this is that we didn`t know how troubled this person was. And if I could have gone back in time and known what she was going through, I wish that we could have spent time trying to help her but we genuinely didn`t know.

And I want to say this - you know, the process on how we select on "American Idol" is there are open auditions. We don`t research people. It`s everyone turns up because they want to be on the show.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: So Simon is now disputing Paula`s claim, so has the executive producer of the show and the former executive producer. Michael Yo, whom do you think people are going to believe?

MICHAEL YO, CELEBRITY CORRESPONDENT, "E!": I think people are going to believe the executive producers and Simon Cowell. I mean, Paula is known for doing crazy things at crazy times. You`ve got to the thing about "American Idol" - they`ll see 60,000 in two to three days and they don`t have time for psych evaluations.

All they do is if you can sing, you`ll move on. If you can`t sing, you`ll still move on because they want to get show. In the middle, people - they get kicked out. That`s how "American Idol" is. They don`t have time to evaluate every single person on that show.

ANDERSON: Well, Simon also took it a step further on the call today defending the producers of the show saying he believes that they really did not know anything about how obsessed this fan apparently was. Listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

COWELL: On behalf of the producers, I want to say this - these guys have the utmost integrity as human beings. We wouldn`t work with them if they were the kind of people who would deliberately do something like that. We`ve taken them on their word that they didn`t know that this person was as troubled as she was.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Laura, you were on that call, too. I heard you piping up. Simon basically shutting down Paula`s claims here. What`s your take?

LAURA SALTMAN, CORRESPONDENT, "ACCESSHOLLYWOOD.COM": Here`s my take, Brooke. Look, I have covered this show for seven seasons. I know Simon Cowell very, very well. I`ve interviewed him dozens and dozens of times. Does he, you know, crush some dreams and tell it like it is and say mean things to the contestants? Absolutely.

But is he at heart a really, really good person, does he really care about people? He absolutely does. And after talking to him and hearing what Ken Warwick had to say yesterday, I really believe the producers knew that she was an ardent fan but they didn`t know she was a danger to herself, that she was a danger to anybody at all. So I`m going to go with the producers and Simon here.

ANDERSON: Well, and I thought his tone was very, very respectful. But he was trying to make his point clear. And you know, her claim -Paula Abdul`s claim about the obsessed fan is not the only controversy surrounding "Idol." In a recent interview, Paula accused Simon of whispering in her ear when "Idol" was on the air live, trying to make her look confused and say things that don`t make sense. So does Simon do this? Listen to his surprising confession.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

COWELL: Guilty. I mean I`ve done it from day one. I mean, that`s part of the relationship I`ve had with Paula where - I`ve looked upon it, by the way, in a kind of a fun way. I mean it was never done with any maliciousness. You know, she`s never really had an issue with me about it. If I thought I`ve gone too far, I`ve apologized. But we`ve been really, I think, good friends through the process. And I thought she took most of this with a sense of humor.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: OK, so Michael, Simon admitting he does this, says it`s all part of the show. Why do you think Paula is speaking out, making such a big deal about this now? Has she just had it?

YO: No, I think Paula Abdul - that`s her role on the show. Everybody makes fun of her on the show. You know, you have your group of friends and guess what? Everybody picks on one person. The whole group always picks on that one person.

Paula Abdul is that person and I think she`s trying to say that Simon Cowell is going after her because she`s realizing how dumb she really looked by saying these crazy things about the show right now. Don`t bite the hand that feeds you. That`s all I`m saying.

SALTMAN: Paula has said that so many times. Every time there`s a Paula controversy, she blames it on Simon, all the way back to the moth and the melon ball thing in the first or second season. So she always does this.

ANDERSON: But I get it. It`s like a big brother picking relentlessly on a little sister. I get it. It could get old.

All right. Moving now to another big story new right now - Madonna`s divorce deal about-face. Just a day ago her long-time trusted representative supposedly speaking on Madonna`s behalf let the world know that Madonna would give Guy Ritchie at least $76 million in their divorce settlement.

But today Madonna said that`s not true. Laura, this is pretty strange, isn`t it?

SALTMAN: Yes, it`s definitely strange because her PR rep has always been very, very, very protective of Madonna. Anytime you, you know, send her an E-mail or something and say, "Look, here`s the story, can you comment?" She usually won`t comment on it. So it`s very, very shocking that she would release this.

ANDERSON: Yes, and Madonna actually released a joint statement with Guy Ritchie today about all this saying, quote, "We have tried to maintain a dignified silence regarding he details of our divorce for the last few months whilst accepting the obvious media interest. A misleading and inaccurate statement specifically in relation to the sums of money involved, was wrongly issued to AP this week. The financial detains of the settlement will remain private, save to say that both of us are happy with our agreement. Our primary concern like any co-parents, is the care and well being of our children."

Michael, quickly, why do you think Madonna is now backing away from a statement her own publicist made?

YO: Yes, anytime a publicist puts out a statement, it has to get approved by the client. I think Madonna now is saying, "You know what? I shouldn`t have done that. Hey, you know what? I want to keep it private." And maybe Guy got upset because this leaked, how much he was getting. And he said he won`t take anything. So maybe that`s the whole reason, all this - everybody`s backtracking on this right now.

ANDERSON: Well, our "Showbiz On Call" phone lines have been ringing off the hook about this reported payout. Listen to Cindy`s unique perspective.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CINDY, CALLER FROM OHIO: I am quite sick of hearing about these rich celebrity divorces and how many millions of dollars they`re making. I`m a middle-class single mother who can`t even give her son a Christmas because I can`t find a job.

Why don`t they give out some of this money to the poor just like the Congress? Donate some of their extra money and, you know, bail out some people just so their children can have a Christmas.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Hey, Laura, 10 seconds, what do you think? Good idea?

SALTMAN: I`m with Cindy. These amounts are beyond ridiculous, how much money these celebrities have. Let`s spread the wealth. Come on, now.

ANDERSON: Why not? Why not? Good idea. Laura Saltman, Michael Yo, thank you both.

And we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, "Paula Abdul: Is she essential to `American Idol?`" Keep voting, CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. E-mail showbiztonight@cnn.com.

HAMMER: And we would also love for you to call us at "Showbiz On Call" to let us know what you think about Paula, Madonna or anything else that`s on your mind. The "Showbiz On Call" phone lines - they are always open.

SALTMAN: They are. Give us a ring -1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 1-888-728-2899. Leave a voicemail. We will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

All right. Jim Carrey is a great talent. A.J., he`s finally back to doing comedy on the big screen in a new film "Yes Man."

HAMMER: Yes, he is, Brooke. But is the funny man stirring up a serious new controversy?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARREY: At the risk of opening up the whole Tom Cruise-Prozac argument.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Jim Carrey gets really personal about depression and prescription drugs and why his controversial stance could spark a whole new coast-to- coast debate just like Tom Cruise did a few years back.

ANDERSON: Also ahead, Lindsay Lohan`s scary brush with a fan outside a nightclub. It`s a wild story that involves cops, Samantha Ronson and a bouncer named Lex.

And also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM SHATNER, ACTOR: Anybody that has George Takei as a friend - I don`t want to be on the show.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Those sound like fighting words to me. It`s my brand-new interview with William Shatner. I`ve got to tell you, the gloves are off again between Shatner and his former "Star Trek" co-star, George Takei. Where`s Spock when you need him. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.

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

(CAPTION READS: Singer Akon pleads guilty to harassment for throwing fan off stage at 2007 show. Oprah Winfrey inks deal with HBO to make movies, documentaries and series for channel.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. All right. Jim Carrey is starting a brand-new firestorm over depression and the antidepressant Prozac.

The comedian who has been very public about his own personal struggle with depression is now saying he agrees in part with Tom Cruise`s controversial statements about prescription drugs a few years ago.

You remember, that`s when Cruise called the "Today" show`s Matt Lauer "glib" while debating the effects of the drug Ritalin. In a brand-new interview, Carrey tells CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE" he kind of agrees with Cruise because of his own experience with Prozac. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARREY: At the risk of, like, opening up the whole Tom Cruise-Prozac argument, you know, I don`t disagree in many ways. I think Prozac and things like that are very valuable to people for short periods of time.

But I believe if you`re on them for an extended period of time, you never get to the problem. You never get to see what the problem is because everything`s just kind of OK. And so you don`t deal and people deal when they get desperate.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": How did you do it?

CARREY: I take supplements.

KING: Vitamins?

CARREY: Yes, there is - well, it is vitamins but it`s also certain elements of the brain like tyrosine and hydroxytryptophan that they`re treating depression with now. And this actually creates dopamine and creates serotonin. And it`s a wonderful thing and it`s amazing. I`m going to talk a lot about it in the near future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: I am sure a lot of people are going to be interested in what he`s got to say about that. And Carrey also says that between making movies and working on other projects, painting helps him cope with his depression.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, my SHOWBIZ interview with William Shatner. He`s got a brand-new show called "Shatner`s Raw Nerve." And I`ve got to say, it`s pretty cool.

We talked about the show and Shatner is also setting the record straight about the hard feelings between him and his "Star Trek" co-star George Takei. And wait until you hear what he told me about the unexpected series finale of his show "Boston Legal." Here`s tonight`s SHOWBIZ interview with William Shatner.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: I was shocked but not at all surprised by this ending. So your character and James Spader`s character, as people now may know, ended up getting married. Now, your character, Denny Crane, a notorious misogynist, at times quite homophobic - he dealt with that in the course of the series - getting married to his bro, the ultimate bro-mance, James Spader`s character.

Nobody in their right mind could have ever pictured that. So when it was pitched it to you, when they said, "This is how it`s going to end, Bill." What was your reaction?

SHATNER: I thought, it`s so perfect.

HAMMER: Yes.

SHATNER: I mean, the genius of David Kelly saying - having the characters say at one point, "You know, I think of my life as a television show and everything I do is so important like it`s being broadcast, which then motivated all the things I`d been saying for 4 1/2 years like `cue the music` or `cut.`" You know, things - and I`d say to myself, how do I make that sound right and I`d have to go through some rationale to make it valid.

And Kelly comes up at the last moment of a whole reasonable - reason for saying these things which is, "My life is like a TV show." And so, when saying "marry me," it`s perfect for the relationship because I wanted to have my money in order to further the causes we`ve been talking about.

HAMMER: In "Raw Nerve," which is Tuesday nights on the Bio Channel, you are the interviewer as opposed to the interviewee. One case in point I want to bring up, Valerie Bertinelli ...

SHATNER: Yes.

HAMMER: ... who was on your very first episode. Now, Valerie, of course, was America`s sweetheart from "One Day at a Time." She has a well- documented downward spiral. She sat right were you`re sitting, talking to me about her problems with cocaine and cheating on her ex-hubby, rocker Eddie Van Halen. I`ve got to tell you, she, at times, did look a little uncomfortable which was very human of her.

SHATNER: But not scared.

HAMMER: But how do you feel about making them uncomfortable? Is that something you want and say, "Yes, I`m in."

SHATNER: No.

HAMMER: Or does it make you uncomfortable?

SHATNER: No, it doesn`t. I`m genuine. They see in me, I would imagine, a genuine interest. I`m not out to crucify. I`m not out to get sensational. In fact, I don`t care about the tabloid stuff.

I want just - what do you think about sin? What an interesting question. And that just popped out - sin. And as I gathered, she was Catholic. And that has an even more multileveled meaning. The word has more of a multileveled meaning.

What is sin? And now she begins to describe sin and what adultery means to her. And suddenly you`re into an illumination - there`s nothing tabloid about it. It`s a reflection by a human being to another.

HAMMER: All right. We`ve got to talk about this one thing because you`re a friend of the show. We`ve had you on before. Your old buddy George Takei is a friend of the show. And there has been this -

SHATNER: Anybody that has George Takei as a friend, I don`t want to be on the show - no.

HAMMER: I appreciate you -

SHATNER: Hold on. He -

HAMMER: No, here`s the deal. We all know, of course, you guys worked together throughout the years on "Star Trek."

SHATNER: Right.

HAMMER: And you know, this is going back some 40 years that you`ve known each other. He married his long-time partner, Brad, and there was that whole controversy over him saying he invited you to the wedding. You`re saying you didn`t receive an invitation.

Separate from all of that, Bill, and I heard somebody make this point - I think this holds of truth. Even if you had gotten the invitation, would you have gone to the wedding?

SHATNER: No, I would not have. Why would I spoil his ultimate joy?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Well, there you go. You can watch William Shatner`s new show "Shatner`s Raw Nerve," Tuesdays on the Biography Channel.

ANDERSON: It is time now for "Making It Work." This is where we find out the secrets of how stars make their relationships work in Hollywood and beyond.

Tonight, Liev Schrieber - Liev and Naomi Watts just welcomed their second son into the world last week. Congratulations to them. The couple has been together since 2005 and are juggling two careers and two young children.

While Liev was promoting his new movie, "Defiance," SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asked him how he and Naomi make it work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIEV SCHREIBER, ACTOR: Fortunately, Naomi and I are both show people, so we have no hesitancy about traveling with our child. So he is going to get that circus life with us.

And some people don`t like it. But I was really proud of the fact that, you know, by the time Sasha(ph) was eight months old, he`d already been to 10 countries. You know, when you play that game at school, when you`re a little kid, "What countries have you been to." My kid is going to be on top of the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: As we said, there`s a brand new addition to their little traveling circus, so that little guy will probably rock that game at school too. Liev`s new film "Defiance" opens in wide release in January.

HAMMER: Well, Lindsay Lohan has a very close and very scary brush with a fan outside a nightclub. Coming up, we will tell you how cops, a bouncer and Samantha Ronson were all involved with this one. We`ve got the wild details coming right up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Now the SHOWBIZ news ticker, more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Russia to get its own version of the Disney Channel next year. "Twilight" sequel due out exactly one year after first movie. "New Moon" in theaters November 30, 2009.)

ANDERSON: Thank you, Charles. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

Well, Lindsay Lohan`s wild and scary night. That`s what we want to tell you about right now. A man is arrested after trying to get close to Lindsay outside an Arizona nightclub.

Lindsay and gal pal Samantha Ronson were at the Jack Rabbit Nightclub for a promotional event. As they were leaving, things got a little out of hand. And the next thing you know, out of nowhere, the guy shoves a security guard and makes a beeline for Lindsay. And then the club bouncers swoop down on him. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEX, NIGHTCLUB BOUNCER: We were walking out an important client. And the man reached for her. And had to be restrained and taken to the floor while we removed her from the premises. It actually went a lot better than could have been expected. It was our first situation like that. I think we handled it very well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lex did a great job tonight. I`m really proud of him.

LEX: Come to jack rabbit. You will always be safe.

ANDERSON: True to his word, Lindsay and Samantha were not hurt when bouncer Lex saved the day. The club`s owner also said the man kept saying "Lindsay, I love you," over and over again. Really creepy stuff.

The would-be attacker, a 38-year-old man, was charged with disorderly conduct and released a couple hours after the incident. Officers contacted Lindsay and Samantha at a nearby hotel, and they said they didn`t know the man.

HAMMER: Well, on Tuesday we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. It was this - "Madonna Divorce Settlement: Does guy Ritchie deserve $76+ million? Look at this - pretty, pretty close - 55 percent of you said yes, 45 percent no.

Some of the E-mails we got include one from Gilbert in Texas. Gilbert writing, "No, Guy Ritchie does not deserve $75+ million. I do not feel that Guy had any artistic contribution during their eight-year marriage. Any income Madonna earned was on her own merit and not based on her marriage to Guy."

Also heard from Robin in Maryland who writes, "I think Guy deserves more money for putting up with Madonna as long as he did."

As always, we thank you for your E-mails. And we thank you for watching 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 HLN on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 11:00 Pacific, and in the morning, 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

END