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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Rihanna Photo Outrage; Octo-mom`s Own Dad Speaks to Oprah; Plan to Save the Octo-Mommy; Joy Behar versus Ann Coulter on Bristol Palin; Kate Winslet`s Oscar Controversy

Aired February 20, 2009 - 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 - the Rihanna photo outrage. Tonight, the sickening picture of what appears to be Rihanna after she was allegedly attacked by Chris Brown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This photo tells a thousand words.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Tonight, why so many people are outraged over the disturbing photo. And why the police are launching a brand-new investigation. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the dramatic impact this unbelievable photo could have on Rihanna.

An octo-mom-Oprah bombshell. Tonight, the explosive things the octuplet mom`s very own dad tells Oprah Winfrey about his daughter. Plus, the dramatic brand new plan to save the octo-mommy. Tonight the woman behind the plan is right here in the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Plus, the last-minute, brand-new Kate Winslet Oscar controversy. Could it mean Kate being shut out at the Oscars?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATE WINSLET, ACTRESS: No, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP) v

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

(MUSIC)

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

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Hi there, everyone, I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you tonight from Hollywood. And I can tell you for sure that Rihanna would have never imagined that today, her 21st birthday, would have turned out like this.

HAMMER: No way, Brooke. Tonight the Rihanna photo fury. There is absolute outrage over an apparent picture of what Rihanna looked like after she was allegedly attacked by Chris Brown. And to say it is chilling, disturbing, and sickening does not even begin to describe this picture.

Tonight, there is brand new serious concern about Rihanna while the police have launched a whole new investigation. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the late-breaking developments making news right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice over): If anything could have made the Rihanna-Chris Brown story even more explosive, this is it. "TMZ.com" has published a photo of a battered, bruised woman it says is singer Rihanna the night she was allegedly attacked by boyfriend singer Chris Brown.

KEN BAKER, EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR, "E!": The photo is shocking, disturbing.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the reaction to the shocking photo is red-hot. The cops are furious that it somehow got out. And some are saying that this famous alleged victim of domestic violence may have just been victimized again.

This is the photo that "TMZ.com" posted Friday. No one has officially confirmed that the bruised woman is Rihanna, but the resemblance is clear right down to the Roman numeral tattoo on the victim`s left shoulder. It`s the same tattoo we see in this photo of Rihanna taken at a party the very night of the incident.

MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT DESK MANAGER, TMZ: I think that everyone who sees this photo thinks the exact same thing, and that is feeling bad for Rihanna.

HAMMER: TMZ`s Mike Walters isn`t telling SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exactly how his site got the photo other than it was obtained legally.

WALTERS: To our knowledge, this was taken right after it happened and it is not an LAPD photo.

HAMMER: But the Los Angeles Police Department, which still hasn`t even named Rihanna as the victim in the Chris Brown case, is not happy about the photo`s publication. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned the LAPD is launching an internal investigation to see if the photo came from within their ranks.

The department tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, quote, "The Los Angeles Police Department takes seriously its duty to maintain the confidentiality of victims of domestic violence. A violation of this type is considered serious misconduct, with penalties up to and including termination."

BAKER: LAPD`s Internal Affairs Division is extremely upset, I`m told. They have even threatened officers with polygraphs.

HAMMER: Meanwhile, TMZ is taking some heat for posting that picture of an alleged domestic violence victim. An official with National Coalition Against Domestic Violence tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT quote, "Being conscious of the impact this will have on victims is critical. The process of healing is difficult and it`s not helpful for anyone for this to be turned into a sideshow."

WALTERS: I don`t think that a photo of somebody who was attacked and where she was involved in such a brutal beating is a sideshow.

HAMMER: Mike Walters of TMZ tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Rihanna is a public figure. And the photo provides an important element in what is shaping up to be a huge case.

WALTERS: It`s put so much perspective into what happened that night.

HAMMER: Coincidentally, the photo hit the Internet on Rihanna`s 21st birthday. She has not been seen publicly since the incident; neither has Chris Brown, who faces possible criminal charges.

BAKER: The DA is still looking into what charges they`re going to file. We`re told that they want to get enough evidence so that they can file felony charges which looks likely.

HAMMER: And if Chris Brown is charged it`s very possible that the controversial photo could play a huge role in determining how the sad case is resolved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Well, tonight the fallout from the shocking turn of events has only just begun. What could be the legal fallout from the leak of this horrific picture? And what does it mean for Chris Brown?

With us tonight in Hollywood is Attorney Gloria Allred. And in New York is Ashleigh Banfield who is an anchor for the Legal Network`s "In Session."

Gloria, I want to go to you first on this. On a scale of one to 10, 10 being the highest, how outrageous is it that this picture was leaked?

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: Very outrageous, because I think it is important for persons who report an assault or an injury to the Los Angeles Police Department or any police department to know that they are going to have some protection.

And first of all, we don`t even know whether any charge will ever be filed here. We talk about a case, but it is just an investigation at this point. Maybe, misdemeanor charges will be filed, maybe felony, maybe no charges will be filed.

If no charges are ever filed, it might be that Rihanna would wish that this would never have come out. An also, from the point of view of Mr. Brown, it paints him in a bad light. It may be that he is going to want to say self-defense if a charge is filed. He may want to say that he - that she is not the victim, that he`s the victim.

So, it raises a lot of questions. But I do know Chief Bratton very well of the Los Angeles Police Department. And although I haven`t spoken to him about this, I am fairly sure that he will be very upset this was released if in fact the source was the Los Angeles Police Department. He wouldn`t want this.

HAMMER: Right. And as we need to point out it has not yet been confirmed the LAPD is the source of this particular photo.

But Ashleigh, over to you, regardless of where this picture came from, how horrific is it that it was leaked?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": It`s bad. I mean, it`s terrible. Actually, I have it on good authority that Bill Bratton actually read his department the Riot Act, early, early in this case within hours of this case developing saying this is going to be followed absolutely by the book.

So he will be devastated over this, I am rather certain. And it`s devastating because there`s the issue that, of course, Gloria just raised that scares a lot of victims from coming forward because they worry this sort of thing can happen.

If there is any byproduct that can be good, I hate to say it, coming out of this, is that it does show the very ugly face, pardon the pun, of domestic abuse. And tells us it is a real problem.

HAMMER: And it was just a few hours after TMZ posted this photo that the cops jumped right in and they launched an internal investigation to find out how the photo was leaked.

Gloria, if in fact it was leaked from the LAPD, how serious is it for them? And you said you know, the chief of police out there, Bill Bratton. Heads are going to roll I imagine.

ALLRED: Yes. I think there would be disciplinary action if in fact that could be proven against anyone who provided it. And if it has been provided to TMZ, I am going to make just a wild guess, not based on any information, but based on a little experience, that if they have the picture, somebody probably got paid for it. And if that, in fact, was a Los Angeles Police Department officer, heads are going to roll big time if they can prove it.

HAMMER: Well, TMZ is suggesting that the photo, as we have said, may not have come from the cops, but somewhere else. Ashleigh, does that even seem plausible, though? Because when you look at this picture, it does look like one of those police evidence photos that we have seen before?

BANFIELD: It does. I can think of a couple of other sources it could have come from, and this is just my speculation. Nurses and doctors will often take photographs for rape kits. This is often done at a hospital. That is a potential source.

Attorneys will also take photographs that will be privy perhaps within the office. The case file may have been somewhere in the office. That could be a source of it as well.

A friend might have been able to take this for her if there is a civil case that might be thought of down the line. And perhaps that friend E- mailed it to somebody or somebody may have hacked in.

There are a lot of different potential areas where this could have come from other than LAPD.

HAMMER: Gloria, I want to circle back to something you were talking about a little bit earlier. Let`s say this is, indeed, a picture of Rihanna and it does go to trial. I know you have been involved in many cases just like this over the years.

So what happens when a jury sees a picture like this? Is it usually game over? Or it seemed like you were alluding to the fact that not necessarily.

ALLRED: Exactly, A.J., because it has to be placed in context. There has to be an explanation. When was it taken? Who took it? And then how, how were the injuries incurred if, in fact, that is Rihanna? What happened first? What happened next?

And I think that all of these questions are going to have to be answered. Obviously, most juries do not want to see pictures of women injured and they`re going to have a lot of questions about how those women got injured. And you know, even if words were spoken, that is not a good reason to throw a punch or beat a woman or beat a man. No. That would be wrong.

HAMMER: Yes, there`s simply nothing that I think anybody can come up with that makes this in any way justifiable, if what is alleged to have happened actually did happen.

I appreciate you both being here.

ALLRED: Thank you.

HAMMER: Gloria Allred and Ashleigh Banfield - thanks, guys.

BANFIELD: Thanks, A.J.

HAMMER: The rep for Rihanna said today, quote, "Rihanna wants to assure her fans that she remains strong, is doing well, and deeply appreciates the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time."

HAMMER: Brooke, obviously, just the beginning of this horrible, horrible story.

ANDERSON: YES, A.J. Coming up, brand-new outrage over this disturbing photo. What about the impact on Rihanna? And what about the effect on women all over the world, women who may have been victims of domestic abuse?

HAMMER: Also, an octo-mom-Oprah bombshell. Tonight, the explosive things the octuplet mom`s very own dad is telling Oprah Winfrey about his daughter.

Plus, the dramatic brand-new plan to save the octo-mommy. Tonight, the woman behind the plan is right here. It is the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oscar has taken notice of "The Reader" because it is not just your average holocaust movie. It doesn`t beg for forgiveness when dealing with Nazis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Brand-new Kate Winslet Oscar outrage. Will this last-minute controversy cause her to get shut out at the Oscars? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

And now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT news room making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: "The Wrestler" actor Scott Siegel arrested in steroid bust. Siegel plays a steroid dealer in "The Wrestler." Brigitte Bardot asks President Obama to speak out against seal hunting.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Tonight, brand-new star outrage over this controversial "New York Post" cartoon which some say compares President Obama to the chimp that horrifically mauled a woman.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And tonight, Grammy Award-winning artist John Legend is all fired up about this cartoon. The cartoon compares the author of the Federal Stimulus Bill to the chimp that brutally attacked a woman in Connecticut.

Some say it evokes historically racist images comparing President Obama, who of course led the way on the bill, to the chimp.

In a letter to the "New York Post," Legend writes, quote, "This cartoon was ignorant, offensive and racist and should not have been printed."

Legend says he is going to boycott the paper and he wants others in Hollywood to do the same thing. Now "The Post" has apologized and says it didn`t intend any racism. But it did fire back at its critics by saying, quote, "Sometimes, a cartoon is just a cartoon - even as the opportunists seek to make it something else."

ANDERSON: Tonight, "Hollywood`s Gold Rush." There is a brand new Oscar controversy involving Kate Winslet. There are some people who are totally outraged by Winslet`s movie "The Reader." It`s up for Best Picture. Winslet is up for Best Actress. Her performance has gotten rave reviews. But will this controversy lead to her getting shut out of the award?

Here is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WINSLET: Name the punishment.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You joined the SS in 1943?

WINSLET: Working for guards -

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It`s the story of a former Nazi prison guard, jailed for crimes she committed during the Holocaust. While in prison, she learns to read.

The film is up for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Kate Winslet. But some believe "The Reader" should have no place on Oscar`s radar.

RON ROSENBAUM, AUTHOR, "EXPLAINING HITLER": It is just wrong to celebrate, in some way, a mass murderer.

WYNTER: Ron Rosenbaum, the Jewish author of the widely-regarded book "Explaining Hitler" has written a commentary for "Slate.com" asking, academy members to shun the drama.

ROSENBAUM: I was stunned watching this film because what essentially it did, number one, was celebrate the enrichment of the life of a mass murderer when she learned how to read.

WYNTER: When it released last year, Jewish leaders went on high alert over the film`s sensitive subject matter. The Anti-Defamation League applauded the movie and still does.

I think it conveys a series of messages that actually are very powerful about the Holocaust. And it is not in the usual way, but in a world that is more and more removed from the Holocaust. One needs different approaches to teaching about the Holocaust.

ROSENBAUM: It kind of stuns me that they would support this film.

WYNTER: The Weinstein Company, the studio behind "The Reader" says it is proud of the film, telling CNN, "It is sad that some people misinterpreted the film`s message. It is not about the Holocaust," they added, "It is about what Germany did to itself and its future generations."

WINSLET: Which of the guards would choose a certain number -

WYNTER: Regardless of Oscar accolades, one critic says "The Reader" has broken new ground.

TOM O`NEIL, WRITER, "THEENVELOPE.COM": Oscar has taken special notice of "The Reader" because it is not just your average Holocaust movie. It doesn`t beg for forgiveness when dealing with Nazis. It makes you think.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We are trying to understand!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: That was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter.

HAMMER: And be sure to join Kareen, Brooke and myself for "Hollywood`s Gold Rush," CNN`s pre-Oscar show. We`re going to be live right there on the red carpet, right before the Oscars. That`s on CNN, 7:00 p.m. Eastern this Sunday.

ANDERSON: And then be sure to join A.J. and me for a special live Oscar edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT this Sunday, 11:00 p.m. Eastern. We will have all the big breaking Oscar news, controversies and of course those fashion hits and misses. Live, 11:00 p.m. Eastern this Sunday, only right here on HLN.

HAMMER: Can`t wait, Brooke. It`s going to be a blast.

ANDERSON: Yes.

HAMMER: Now, Brooke, the "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have been ringing off the hook, eight days a week. People calling in about the woman with eight babies we love to call octo-mom. Sorry operators, we`re going to need you to work all weekend long, taking these calls. They won`t stop.

ANDERSON: Well, maybe they will like the overtime pay, A.J. We got a call into "Showbiz on Call" from Sarah in Arkansas. Listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SARAH, CALLER FROM ARKANSAS: I think Americans should be ashamed of themselves. Whenever you make a mistake, I think we should be able to forgive one another, step up to the plate and help one another.

These babies are suffering because of the people that are trying to put this lady down. It is a miracle that God let these babies live. I think everybody should step up to the plate and help her in any kind of way they can.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: All right. Sarah, thank you for your call. We heard from Barbara calling in to "Showbiz on Call" from California.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BARBARA, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Regarding the octo-mom, I think she is very selfish. And I think she has this all planned, wanting and needing a house, knowing her mother was not paying rent. And I think that the children should be taken away from her for their own safety.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Thank you, Barbara. And we also got this call into "Showbiz on Call" from Bryce.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BRYCE, CALLER: The fact is those are her kids. She is the mama. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) think the kids should be taken away and someone else should be allowed to care for them. That is crazy. That`s crazy talk. They`re her kids. Leave her alone. They should be with her and stay with her. She deserves a chance just like everybody else in America.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Thanks a lot, Bryce. Remember, you can call us at "Showbiz on Call" to let us know what you think about this or anything else. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines open all the time at 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; that`s 1-888-728-2899. Leave us a voicemail. We`ll play your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And your calls to "Showbiz on Call" are also now online right there on our homepage, and that is CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

ANDERSON: Hey, A.J., check this out. Even the parents of 18 kids are outraged by the octo-mom.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t imagine, you know, how she is going to handle that many little ones under the age of eight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Tonight, brand-new outrage over the octuplet mom. Plus, the octuplet mom-Oprah bombshell. What Nadya Suleman`s own dad is telling Oprah Winfrey about his daughter.

And the dramatic new plan to save the octo-mommy. The woman behind the plan is right here in the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Tonight outrage over the sickening picture of what appears to be Rihanna after she was allegedly attacked by Chris Brown. What impact is the leaked picture having on Rihanna? What about the effect on women all over the world, women who may have been victims of domestic abuse?

ANDERSON: And Joy Behar versus Ann Coulter versus Bristol Palin? You`ve got to hear the explosive things the conservative author tells "The View" co-host about Sarah Palin`s teenage daughter. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT news room making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Chimpanzee attack victim transferred to Cleaveland clinic where first face transplant done. Australian actor wins first-ever Heath Ledger scholarship.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(CAPTION READS: Bench warrant issued for Redmond O`Neal, son of Ryan O`Neal for not showing up to court. Redmond and dad Ryan were arrested in September for possession of methamphetamines.)

HAMMER: More stories coming at you from the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" in just a bit.

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

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson with some more stories that are making news right now.

Tonight, Hugh Jackman`s Oscar secrets. Let me tell you, I had a blast talking to "People" magazine`s sexiest man alive, Hugh Jackman. Hugh is hosting the Oscars this Sunday.

Now, he`s hosted the Tony Awards three times but his first time in the Oscar spotlight. So the pressure is on although he seems to be taking it all in stride.

This year, the Oscars are shrouded in mystery. We don`t know who is presenting or who is performing. So I had to ask Hugh to give up the goods. What can we expect? And the question everybody is asking - will Beyonce be performing?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUGH JACKMAN, ACTOR: I`m from the old school. I don`t want to give too much away.

ANDERSON (on camera): Right.

JACKMAN: I didn`t fully deny it, did I? There`s going to be some surprises.

ANDERSON: Stars of "High School Musical" as well?

JACKMAN: OK. I`ll give you that. Yes, they`re going to be up on stage.

ANDERSON: Can you show me any dance moves that you`ve got prepared?

JACKMAN: No.

ANDERSON: No? You can`t -

JACKMAN: No. I can. I`ll get up there in a second. Let`s leave it for the night.

ANDERSON: We`ll do that later.

JACKMAN: Sure.

ANDERSON: OK.

JACKMAN: I don`t know if you will be doing that later.

ANDERSON: I`ll be taking it easy.

JACKMAN: Yes.

ANDERSON: But you will entertain the rest of us, I`m sure. How daring is it going to be? Are there are going to be YouTube moments where people will be talking about the Oscars this year after it happens?

JACKMAN: My favorite moment - one of my favorite moments of the Oscars is the streaker that came across David Newman. So we are taking it up, we`re upping it a little, and we`re just going to do most of the show naked.

ANDERSON: OK. Boy, that will get the ratings for sure.

JACKMAN: Yes. Hopefully, there will be some YouTube moments.

ANDERSON: From the sexiest man alive, going to be up there nude?

JACKMAN: Drunk and nude.

ANDERSON: Yes, drunk.

JACKMAN: So that`s our new fresh approach. It`s the Australian way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Something tells me America will really enjoy the Australian way, A.J. And hey, I am looking forward to being with you on Oscar night.

HAMMER: And I`m looking forward to be with you as well. It`s going to be amazing. We`ll be right there on the red carpet hanging out with Hollywood`s biggest stars. You can be there, too. First, join us at 7:00 p.m. Eastern live on CNN. It`s "Hollywood`s Gold Rush."

And then, we`re going to be back right here, 11:00 p.m. Eastern for a special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN with all the big breaking Oscar news, the controversies. And of course, we`ve got to do the fashion hits and misses.

ANDERSON: That`s right. And now, the SHOWBIZ lineup. Here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

The octo-mom-Oprah bombshell. Tonight, the shocking things the octuplelet mom`s own father is telling Oprah Winfrey.

The fallout over the sickening picture of what appears to be Rihanna after she was allegedly attacked by Chris Brown.

And Joy Behar versus Ann Coulter on Sarah Palin`s teenage daughter Bristol. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

HAMMER: Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT news room making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Katie Couric disappointed that Alex Rodriguez lied to her about his steroid use. Court-appointed lawyer says "Colombo`s" Peter Falk doesn`t need conservator. Falk`s daughter asked to be placed in charge of his estate, claiming he has Alzheimer`s.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t imagine how she is going to handle that many little ones under the age of eight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, brand-new outrage over the octo-mom. Plus, the explosive things the octuplet mom`s very own dad tells Oprah Winfrey about his daughter.

Plus, the dramatic brand new plan to save the octo-mommy. Tonight the woman behind the plan is right here in the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

The Rihanna photo outrage. Tonight, the sickening picture of what appears to be Rihanna after she was allegedly attacked by Chris Brown. How is this horrific photo affecting Rihanna? And how will it impact women everywhere?

Plus, more stories breaking from the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker."

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 to tonight from Hollywood. Tonight, saving the octo-mom.

HAMMER: Brooke, the octo-mom, Nadya Suleman may have a public opinion rating, well, similar to George Bush`s. But tonight, she has been offered the deal of a lifetime. Octo-mom is getting an unbelievable opportunity to help her and her kids, all 14 of them, including of course, her eight fragile newborns. But will the octo-mom accept?

Also brand new tonight, the octo-grandpa speaks out for the very first time, this time to Oprah Winfrey. His startling revelations abut his daughter. Why he tells Oprah Winfrey he questions her mental stability.

Plus, the startling results of a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT poll asking if you have any sympathy at all for the octo-mom. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewers are blasting our "Showbiz on Call" phone lines. They`re fired up. And so are our coast-to-coast guests.

Tonight, in Hollywood, Gloria Allred, the attorney and family rights` advocate who reviewed the octo-mom deal. And tonight in New York, Ashleigh Banfield who is an anchor for the Legal Network`s "In Session."

Gloria, I want to begin with you. You have publicly offered what I think is a pretty incredible deal to the octo-mom. You teamed up with this nonprofit organization, called Angels in Waiting, looking to give the kids 24-hour complete care at least for the next six months.

That is an incredible act of generosity. Now, I know that you reached out to the octo-mom three times before going public. But still no word back, no acceptance of the offer. Gloria, what do you think the hold up is here?

ALLRED: Can`t imagine, and I hope that she is aware of it. Because now we have made it public since Angels in Waiting had contacted her more than a week ago through, three different sources as you indicated. But then, they did not receive any response. So, now that the response has been made publicly, or that is our invitation to her to accept the offer has been made publicly, we hope that she does respond.

And the clock is ticking, A.J. because we are only giving her a week, and so she has until February 26th. And the reason for that is these little octuplets may be released from the hospital in about five weeks.

And Angels in Waiting would need time, significant lead time to put this altogether. What they would put together for these little babies who are born prematurely, low birth weight, medically fragile, at high risk - some of them may have special needs - would be a team of professionals including pediatric nurses, educational development specialists, occupational therapy, specialists, and others who would give 24/7 care, the kind of supportive care that these babies need.

And the mother, Nadya, as far as we know has not come up with any concrete plan to care for these octuplets and her six others, the six other siblings. So it`s time to have a plan. And let`s focus on the babies rather than just kind of beating up on the mom.

HAMMER: Yes.

ALLRED: These babies are innocent little victims.

HAMMER: Well, it sounds like a terrific plan, a huge undertaking, obviously. Very comprehensive.

What about you, Ashleigh? Do you get the sense maybe octo-mom hasn`t yet responded to the deal because - I don`t know - is she overwhelmed with other offers and caring for her children at the same time? Or maybe she`s holding out for a better offer, although I can`t imagine one?

BANFIELD: That could be. I mean, Gloria hit the nail on the head when she said as far as we know. We know nothing. I mean, really her life so far is somewhat private other than what we can do with glimpses of cameras when she goes from place to place.

She may very have struck a huge deal with a television or even movie company for exclusive rights to her story. And she may have millions ready to go. We know she was looking at a $1.24 million house. So she may have already set up some kind of care system that she is not telling us about.

The strange thing is that Gloria`s group is affiliated with Kaiser, and that`s an affiliation where these babies were born. So she should have some way of connecting.

HAMMER: Yes.

BANFIELD: And Suleman should have some way of figuring out whether she wants this kind of care or not?

HAMMER: Yes, this sounds pretty symbiotic. I want to take a look at some of the particulars of this deal that Gloria is talking about and some of the numbers involved here because it`s really astounding.

The Angels in Waiting Foundation says it will need $135,000 a month to take care of these newborns and the six other kids. They also estimate they`re going to need at least six months to take care of the kids. So we`re talking at least in terms of dollars, almost $1 million there.

More importantly, the foundation of course is going to be depending on donations from the public. But Gloria, got to tell you, in a recent SHOWBIZ TONIGHT poll, almost everyone who responded said they would never donate to the octo-mom. She is not the most beloved woman. How do you get by that?

ALLRED: We don`t. But the point is this - if Nadya accepts our invitation, donations would not be made to Nadya. We are not asking. And we don`t want them to be contributing her to Web site. Donations would be - if she accepts the invitation - made to Angels in Waiting.

And we would be sure, and assure the public that not one cent of their donations would go to Nadya or any member of her family. It would be solely going to, and 100 percent would be going to the professionals, the nurses, and the other healthcare providers who would be providing the 24/7 care to these babies. And that is the way it would work.

And let`s look at the alternative. The alternative is, if she doesn`t have a plan that will sufficiently care for these children, if there is danger that they may be in danger, because they don`t have sufficient care, it may be that the L.A. County Department of Child and Family Services will come in, take the children, place them in foster care, then the burden will be on the taxpayers as public agencies will have to come in to provide necessary care to protect the children and meet their needs.

HAMMER: Wow. This is more and more complicated by the day as you kind of extrapolate what is going on here.

I`ve got to get to this. Because also new tonight, the Octo-grandpa speaking out for the first time to Oprah. He gave an emotional interview to Oprah that`s going to air next Tuesday. His name is Ed Dowd. And he calls his daughter, quote, "absolutely irresponsible."

When Oprah asked if he thought his daughter was mentally unstable, he took a pause and said, quote, "That`s a very good question. Now, I`m no psychiatrist, but I question her mental situation."

HAMMER: Ashleigh, could these kinds of statements from the octo-mom`s own parents, be used in any way against her to take her kids away?

BANFIELD: I mean, it`s not good. These are her only support systems that we know of at this point. And when her only support systems are questioning her capabilities and suggesting that even they are exhausted before the eight children even come home from the hospital, and as Gloria mentioned, might need special care in addition to what normal infants need. It is not good.

And usually what these kinds of professionals do is they assess the entire situation. The family support systems, living arrangements, and who is there to give backup. If the backup is not there, it doesn`t spell good things for Nadya.

HAMMER: Well, Nadya`s father is not the only one questioning her sanity. I`ve got to tell you, the "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have really been out of control on the whole story, every aspect of it.

I want you to listen to what Joan from Washington had to say about all this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JOAN, CALLER FROM WASHINGTON: I think they should take the children, all of them, away from octo-mom. I don`t think she deserves those children. I don`t think she is playing with a full deck.

Give them a chance to have a mother that`s got everything in her head, and take them away from her and let her start all over again. I don`t think she is going to make a good mother at all.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: All right. Gloria, back to you. I know that you also filed a formal complaint against the octo-mom last week with California`s Child Protective Services. Are you concerned that the octo-mom is not playing with a full deck as our viewer Joan puts it?

ALLRED: Well, I am most concerned about the children and whether they would be endangered. One of the grounds that I stated in my letter in requesting that they open an investigation into whether or not she is capable of caring for those children, whether or not they be in danger, was the statement of her own mother who had even previously said that she didn`t feel that her daughter was capable of caring for 14 children.

And so, her mother being in a unique position, having lived with her daughter, and the grandchildren, is in a position to observe what her capabilities are. And now, we have, of course, the grandfather.

So I think there is a great deal of concern. And you know if she - if these children are placed in foster care, they`re not going to be in one home. They`re going to be split up among many homes. Is that going to be good for the children not to be able to grow up together or these infants?

Would it be better to all be together and have the wrap-around service that Angels in Waiting can provide, that 24/7 observation, and care, and support, and nurturing, and appropriate medical care? I think it would be better for them be kept together. You know, all public agencies are strapped for funds, A.J. The budget is (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HAMMER: I`ve got to end it there, Gloria. But best of luck with this plan. And you definitely will keep us informed as to what is happening.

ALLRED: Yes, we will.

HAMMER: Gloria Allred, Ashleigh Banfield. Thanks.

ANDERSON: Hey, A.J., I cannot imagine what a terrible day this has been for Rihanna and on her 21st birthday.

HAMMER: Yes. Rihanna`s picture, Brooke, plastered on newspapers, Web sites around the world, an apparent photo of what she looked like after allegedly being attacked by Chris Brown.

Well, this has got to be something the pop star didn`t want people to see. And you have to wonder how it`s going to shake up women everywhere who have been the victims of domestic violence. There is also this startling story.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Do you know what the ramifications of giving a child up for adoption?

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE AUTHOR: I do. I write about it in the book.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Lightning rod Ann Coulter talking to Joy Behar about adoption and why she thinks Sarah Palin`s teenage daughter might have to consider giving up her baby for adoption. This is wild.

ANDERSON: And how in the world does Oscar queen Kate Winslet make her marriage work? What is her secret? You`ve got to hear what Kate revealed to us. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now fire up that "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" again with more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Travolta family starts foundation in honor of their late son Jett. British reality show star allows cameras to document her as she dies of cancer.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Tonight, a horrific picture is leaked that appears to be Rihanna with welts on her head, marks on her face, and a busted lip. The LAPD launched an investigation.

And Rihanna`s first statement since the photo flap, a rep saying Rihanna, quote, "wants to assure her fans that she remains strong, is doing well, and deeply appreciates the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time."

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, the Rihanna photo fallout. There is absolute outrage over a picture that`s believed to show a battered and bruised Rihanna after she was allegedly attacked by her boyfriend, Chris Brown, hours before the Grammies.

The source of the photo is under investigation. But tonight, there is also major concern over the impact this picture is having not just on Rihanna, but on women everywhere who have been abused.

With me now, here in Hollywood is Tanika Ray who is a correspondent for "Extra." And in New York tonight is Marvet Britto, who is a celebrity publicist and founder of the Britto Agency.

Now, Tanika, Marvet, I know I don`t need to say this. But this photo is incredibly disturbing. We showed it briefly earlier, no need to show it again. What we can tell you is that the picture shows a woman believed to be Rihanna, with huge lumps over both of her eyebrows, a gash on her cheek, her lips, her nose looks swollen.

Marvet, Rihanna had to be horrified to wake up this morning and see this picture all over the Internet?

MARVET BRITTO, FOUNDER, BRITTO AGENCY: I am certain Rihanna felt abused yet again.

ANDERSON: Exactly.

BRITTO: But this time by a department that was supposed to protect her. To wake up and see images, if it is Rihanna, of what she went through, as a reminder, is horrific. This is a department that should have done everything they could do to keep this matter private, to protect Rihanna as she went through the serious matter.

But to have pictures, you know, pop up in the hands of who knows who and they have no clue where the pictures came from, it is so reckless, so reckless.

ANDERSON: It`s awful. And I do have to say the source of the photo at this time is in question and the LAPD immediately launched an internal investigation. But you know, this photo is probably not only the last thing that Rihanna wanted to see, but it`s also the last thing she probably wanted her fans to see.

Tanika, what kind of release will the - you know, what kind of impact, rather, will the release of this picture, if it is Rihanna, have on her now that everybody can see that something obviously very bad happened?

TANIKA RAY, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": It`s such a catch-22. You know, I was at the Essence brunch yesterday which honored African-American women in Hollywood - Halle Berry, Carrie Washington, et cetera. And some of them I posed the question to, and a lot of them were, you know, no comment, of course, because it is such a sensitive topic.

And everybody wants to wait to see what the facts are. They don`t know who to believe, what side to lean on. We should just wait to see what the facts are. However, now, there is proof. We have now seen the picture.

And what`s so tough is that - as Kim Coles told me, that is the reality of a lot of women that are abused. They go back. They back and they actually don`t see themselves in the mirror. They actually don`t know. They don`t really like to embrace what it is that they look like when they were beat up. So they forget and they go back.

Now that this picture is out, she can`t forget. And now, we all know. So all of her fans are going to be supporting her and trying to lift her up and not let her make the same mistake twice, if it is Rihanna and if he did hit her.

ANDERSON: Well, I want to talk about victims of abuse that you mentioned. You know, I would have to think the release of this picture could have a major impact on other domestic violence victims, especially Rihanna`s fans who might think, "If this could happen to Rihanna, it could happen to me." Marvet, do you agree?

BRITTO: I agree. Like it or not, she is now the most famous face for domestic abuse. And you know, women who have suffered or will suffer through this will think, you know, "If they couldn`t protect a superstar like Rihanna, how are they going to protect me?"

And the LAPD, the very department that is designed to protect its citizens failed to do so. So, of course -

RAY: Well, that`s the world today, Marvet -

BRITTO: It is.

RAY: The day after the Grammies, I said we`re going to see the picture. That`s the way it works. Somebody`s going to seep it in. They`re going to make some money off of it. And it`s going to be everywhere in America.

BRITTO: You`re absolutely right. And what`s sad is that people will sell their soul for less than $1.

RAY: Absolutely.

BRITTO: And that`s what we are seeing in this instance.

ANDERSON: And again, we don`t know exactly where the picture came from. And I do want to reiterate that the LAPD has launched an internal investigation and is not happy about this at all.

Rihanna`s camp has decided not to comment or even identify if that is indeed Rihanna in the picture.

RAY: What I am most concerned about is the expression on her face. That`s what really got the lump in my throat to expand is she just looks so sad and so much shame and just so beaten down.

ANDERSON: Yes.

RAY: It was sad. That was the worst part about it. And the fact that the picture is out there, I don`t know if it is going to help or hurt women of domestic abuse who have suffered from it. But we can`t hide anymore. We can`t hide from it.

ANDERSON: It`s just heartbreaking. And you know, if it turns out to be Rihanna, I would have to think this would have an effect on Chris Brown`s career as well. It could be devastating.

RAY: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Rihanna Drama: Is Chris Brown`s career over?"

We want everybody to keep voting at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Weigh in on that. We will leave it there for now. Tanika Ray, Marvet Britto, thank you both for joining us. We do appreciate it.

RAY: Thanks. Bye, Marvet.

BRITTO: Bye.

HAMMER: Moving on now. Tonight, Ann Coulter`s shocking words about Sarah Palin`s teenage daughter. There were some serious fireworks when "The View`s" Joy Behar was guest-hosting "LARRY KING LIVE." Controversial conservative author Ann Coulter was her guest.

And Joy asked Ann about Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin`s teenage daughter, who of course just became a mom. And Ann gave what I think is a very surprising explosive answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: And what do you think about Bristol Palin? She is a single mother?

COULTER: I think she should give the child up for adoption or marry the father. And in saying that, I think the people who should be revered aren`t the baby mamas. They are people who have shotgun marriages. Because apparently, a lot of those shotgun marriages worked out because they used to have them a lot and the divorce rate was lower.

BEHAR: So you would rather that Bristol Myers - I was going to say. What`s her name? Bristol Palin marry the guy even though maybe -

COULTER: Or give the child up for adoption. I think I`m very tough about that.

BEHAR: Give the child for adoption - do you know what the ramifications of giving a child up for adoption?

COULTER: Yes, I do. I write about it in the book.

BEHAR: It`s not that easy a thing, Ann.

COULTER: Well, the child is a lot better, and that`s what I`m talking about. The real victims are the children who are being bought the worst lottery ticket that you could buy your child, being raised by a single mother. The best lottery ticket you could buy your child is to give the child up for adoption.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: It`s worth pointing out that even though Coulter is a card- carrying conservative, she was not a fan of the McCain-Palin presidential ticket.

ANDERSON: OK. For anybody who has ever wondered how to make their marriage work, you have got it here - what Kate Winslet revealed to us. This is her secret on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - it`s more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Heath Ledger`s family in Hollywood to attend Oscars. Tiger Woods to play first golf tournament since knee surgery.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. It`s time now for "Making it Work." This is where we focus on Hollywood couples who are balancing the pressures of the spotlight with their relationship.

Tonight, Oscar nominee Kate Winslet. Now, Winslet has been married to director Sam Mendes for five years. They have a son together and Kate has a daughter Mia from a previous marriage.

But the couple successfully teamed up for the very first time on the job on the film "Revolutionary Road." Winslet told me working together helped big time in making it work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINSLET: You know, the truth is, it`s just a real juggle and you just have to be very organized about things, you know. We have a routine at home. We take it in turns to work with, you know, working on "Revolutionary Road" together, being the exception.

But we`re lucky enough to be in a position where we can turn around to the producers and say, "You know what? We really want to make this happen. Help us out a little bit. Can we just wait until the kids are on summer vacation and less (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to all them?"

And luckily with "Revolutionary Road," that was what we were able to do. So literally, the kids broke up the summer break, following day. We were first day of shooting.

HAMMER: Well, Winslet, I think very deservedly won a Golden Globe for "Revolutionary Road," and another Globe for her other film, "The Reader." And now, she`s hoping to spin some Oscar gold for her performance in "The Reader," up for the Best Actress Oscar Category. Will she win? We`re going to have to wait until this Sunday until the Oscars are handed out. And Brooke, just a couple of hours from right now, I`m hopping on a plane so I can hang out with you at the 81st Academy Awards. Can`t wait.

ANDERSON: Safe travels, A.J. It`s going to be a lot of fun. We`re going to be mingling on the red carpet. And you can tune in to see us, 7:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

Then, at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, join us for a special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT right here on HLN. We`ll have all the big breaking Oscar news, the controversies and fashion hits and misses.

OK. On Thursday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Octuplet Mom: Do you have sympathy for her?"

Seven percent of you say yes - only seven percent; 93 percent of you say no. And here are some of the E-mails we received. Bev from Texas says, "I am not sympathetic at all. She`s the ultimate example of selfishness and greed."

And Vanessa from Ohio says, "When I saw her getting a manicure and buying expensive cosmetics, I lost all sympathy for her."

Kevlynn from Michigan, "Those babies are here. Instead of everyone shaming her, try pitching in some love for those babies."

We appreciate your E-mails.

HAMMER: And we appreciate you watching. 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 catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, and in the morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on HLN. Take care.

END