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Paula Abdul`s Addiction Retraction; Elisabeth Hasselbeck Unplugged; The Mommy Wars; America`s First Woman Face Transplant Recipient; Oprah-KFC Chicken Frenzy

Aired May 8, 2009 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - Paula Abdul`s remarkable addiction confession. Tonight, Paula`s shocking admission that she was in rehab for an addiction. But wait, why is Paula now saying it`s not true? Why is the "American Idol" judge changing her story? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with Paula`s brand-new addiction outrage.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, uncensored and unplugged. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT one-on-one with "The View" co-host about the Miss California seminude scandal.


ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": So what is this now? You cannot express your opinion in fear of people digging into your past?


HAMMER: About Sarah Palin`s teenage daughter`s campaign against teenage pregnancy.


HASSELBECK: I feel like it`s an in-your-face moment for many ultra liberals.


HAMMER: Tonight, no question is of limits in the no-holds-barred interview with Hasselbeck you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Plus, would Jennifer Aniston actually be a better mom than Angelina Jolie? So why are we asking? And what do you think?

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


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

And tonight, Paula Abdul`s remarkable about-face about her addiction confession. Tonight, Paula is doing a total about-face about her incredible reported revelations that she was so addicted to painkillers she had to enter rehab.

But wait, there`s more. It all began when Paula dropped an absolute bombshell on "Ladies Home Journal" magazine. She was quoted crystal clear as saying she was addicted for a dozen years and saying, "I could have killed myself."

But now the "American Idol" judge is singing a very different tune. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can now reveal that what Paula Abdul is saying is making big news right now.


(voice-over): It`s a Paula Abdul scandal that has everyone shocked and appalled. No, we`re not talking about that dance routine on "American Idol."


But we are talking about how Paula is backtracking from what looked like a startling admission in "Ladies Home Journal."

AMY PAFFRATH, HOST, "E! NEWS SHOW": Paula Abdul apparently admits that she was addicted to painkillers.

HAMMER: Now, Paula is peeved. And she hit radio stations to refute, rebut and retract her own interview.

PAULA ABDUL, "AMERICAN IDOL" JUDGE: This is very stressful for me to hear that and to be quoted saying something I never said.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you Paula`s reported drug admission and retraction has all of America pulling a Simon.

SIMON COWELL, "AMERICAN IDOL" JUDGE: I don`t understand a word of what you just said. Not a word.

HAMMER: In "Ladies Home Journal," Abdul details a longtime battle with chronic pain, the result of years of accidents, injuries and surgeries.

PAFFRATH: The article says that Paula went to a resort in Carlsbad, California, spent 30 days there, relaxing and basically detoxing from painkillers.

HAMMER: About that reported detoxing trip last November, "Ladies Home Journal" quotes Abdul as saying, quote, "I could have killed myself. Withdrawal - it`s the worst thing. I was freezing cold, then sweating hot, then chattering and in so much pain, it was excruciating."

But Thursday morning, an angry Paula went on Detroit radio station WKQI to insist that no, no, no, she`s never been to rehab.

ABDUL: I never checked into a rehab clinic. I`ve never been addicted or abused drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So the "Ladies Home Journal" just made the whole thing up? Did you do an interview with them?

ABDUL: They did. They took things out of context.

HAMMER: And she says her trip last November was three days, not 30, as the article said. And, again, it was not rehab but a luxury spa.

ABDUL: I just wanted to chill out -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So they`re saying -

ABDUL: Hiking and getting massages and manicure and a pedicure.

HAMMER: But, again, the article appears to quote her talking about suffering from withdrawal during her stay. Did we miss something?

PAFFRATH: If she wasn`t talking about weaning off of painkillers, what was she talking about? What other withdrawals was she having?

HAMMER: For years, Paula Abdul has had to fight whispers about possible drug or alcohol use and some of her gaffes on "American Idol" haven`t helped.

ABDUL: The second song - I felt like your usual charm wasn`t - it was missing for me.

RANDY JACKSON, "AMERICAN IDOL" JUDGE: It was just on the first song, though. Just on the first song. Just on the first song.

ABDUL: I thought you - oh, my god, I thought you sang twice.

PAFFRATH: Sometimes when Ryan Seacrest comes out on stage, I`m actually waiting for him to be like, "We were going to have a show tonight. But guess what? Tonight we`re having Paula`s intervention.

HAMMER: Abdul has blamed such mishaps on lack of sleep due to her chronic pain, not drugs or alcohol. And in an interview with ABC`s "Nightline," she explicitly denied taking powerful painkillers.

ABDUL: I would not take medicine that altered my mood.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OxyContin. Those drugs?

ABDUL: No, no, no, no, no. Will not take those drugs.

HAMMER: But that "Ladies` Home Journal" article says Paula was on a patch that dispensed, quote, "pain medication, about 80 times more potent than morphine." Apparent contradictions that have some people thinking that, to borrow a title from that Paula Abdul song, she may not be totally straight up with us.

PAFFRATH: I think Paula needs to make up her mind. One, did she say it or did she not say it? And define her definition of a drug.

HAMMER: In a statement, "Ladies Home Journal" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, quote, "We stand by our reporting and are happy that Paula decided to share her journey with us." So now we`re all more confused than ever, as everyone is left wondering if Paula really is being misquoted or is she dancing around the truth?


So did Paula Abdul battle an addiction? Will we ever know the true story around Paula`s sometimes erratic behavior? Let`s get right to it.

Joining me tonight in Hollywood is Pat Lalama, an entertainment journalist. And in New York, CNN legal analyst and "In Session" anchor, Lisa Bloom.

So I`ve got to tell you, for me, I`ve always given Paula Abdul the benefit of the doubt through all of the years of speculation. But now, I don`t know what to believe. Pat Lalama, off to you first. Can you make any sense out of Paula`s back-pedaling here?

PAT LALAMA, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: This is the erratic, emotional train wreck that we love. I mean, this is Paula Abdul. Look, you know, "Ladies Home Journal" may not be the journalism review but certainly not a tabloid rag. It`s an iconic publication.

If you listen to the descriptions, the way that they describe - quoting her, they didn`t make this stuff up. I think she had runaway mouth and regretted it. Or one of her handlers came and said, "Oh, Paula, why did you reveal so much?" Or C, she was under the influence when she talked. But certainly, I do believe "Ladies` Home Journal" wrote what they felt was accurate.

HAMMER: Yes. I don`t think she`s doing herself any favors by back- pedaling if she was quoted directly. Let`s look at the quote again. I think this is worthwhile to see what "Ladies Home Journal" prints as Paula having said, quote, "I could have killed myself. Withdrawal - it`s the worst thing. I was freezing cold, then sweating hot, then chattering and in so much pain, it was excruciating."

Lisa Bloom, to Pat`s point, we`re talking about "Ladies` Home Journal" magazine. We`re not talking about "The Globe" and reports of alien abductions. Publications don`t get any more legit than this.

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, A.J., I`m sure she was talking about spa treatments, a nice hot stone massage. And then she jumped into the pool and that explains the hot and the cold.

Look, I think we have to live with some level of ambiguity here. I myself have been misquoted in print by major publications. And big stars like Paula Abdul will often tape record their side of the interview in case this does happen.

I mean, these kinds of disputes really shouldn`t happen anymore, because we have the technology to prevent it. I wonder if "Ladies` Home Journal" has a tape recording of the interview. That`s something a print reporter would often do as well as well. Then, we can get to the bottom of it. I mean, I just don`t know who is telling the truth. I don`t think we can know unless there`s a tape recording.

HAMMER: Well, for their part, we don`t know about the tape recording but "Ladies` Home Journal" telling SHOWBIZ TONIGHT they do stand by their story. So Pat, looking at all of the possibilities here, do you think maybe Paula`s words were taken out of context? Maybe the reporter heard Paula describing what she went through and just assumed Paula was in rehab. What about that?

LALAMA: You know, of course, I`m just guessing as well or going on journalistic instinct. But I just think when you look at the whole body of the piece, I just don`t see where this is all taken out of context.

I will tell you this. La Costa is, in fact, a resort and not a rehab. But that`s not to say that perhaps she didn`t feel she should go there, maybe be with a handler or two to help her out, help her clear her head and do the things she need to do, if in fact she was addicted.

And maybe she chose something like that rather than a rehab just for the very purpose of keeping media out of it. But I`m telling you, A.J., overall, I just feel that she felt that she said too much and now she regrets it. But I don`t think that the magazine was ultimately lying.

HAMMER: Yes. But what`s America thinking right now as a result of this? Because as we all know and as we`ve mentioned, the speculation has been going on forever.

Lisa, what do you think? Given, you know, Paula`s, shall I say, loopy behavior over the past many years and the good credibility we`ve been talking about of "Ladies` Home Journal," who do you think most people are going to believe, Paula or them?

BLOOM: They`re probably going to believe the magazine. But she has behaved strangely over the years, but she`s also been in the media a very long time. She was a big star in the `80s. She`s the only one who is consistently nice on "American Idol."

Maybe that`s why I would defend her, because I hate these mean- spirited judges that attack young people who are just trying to do something positive with their lives. So look, if she was addicted to painkillers, isn`t that her own business anyway? I mean, I think she`s entitled to a little privacy here, I guess.

HAMMER: Yes, and -

LALAMA: Lisa, not if she`s willingly talking about it, though.

BLOOM: I know, I know.

LALAMA: I mean, if she`s coming forward - look, everybody loves her. And it is a very painful thing if in fact she does have an addiction. But the fact is once you let the horse out of the barn - I mean, I say she should do an Oprah and just reveal all, be truthful and everyone is going to love her even more.

HAMMER: Yes, but Pat, she`s done that. She sat down with many shows, "Nightline" recently and completely denied it as we saw.

LALAMA: Right.

HAMMER: Let me ask you this. Lisa, I`m going to throw this to you. You know, Paula`s behavior, as wacky as it can be at some times, it is part of why we love her. Do you think any of this back-pedaling, forward-pedaling will change - and I`ve got 10 seconds for you. Will it change, you know, how America feels about her?

BLOOM: No. I don`t think so. I think we`re used to her being that way. She is a little bit silly. She often is very, very kind to people, decent, big-hearted. That`s why we like her.


BLOOM: I hope she has a huge career comeback and puts this behind her.

HAMMER: I`m right there with you. Lisa Bloom, Pat Lalama, thank you both.

Moving on now, just in time for Mother`s Day, I`ve got a controversial question. I know it`s going to get people really divided and heated up. Here we go - would Jennifer Aniston actually be a better mom than Angelina Jolie? Now, I know Jen doesn`t have kids yet. Angelina, of course, has like a whole football team of them. But what do you think? The mommy wars, coming up.

And this is truly unbelievable. Tonight, the very first interview with the very first U.S. face transplant patient. Her emotional and painful revelations about being called a monster. You`ve got to see this.

Also, brand-new developments in the Oprah free-chicken frenzy. This will have a lot of people squawking.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oprah said free chicken. I`m here for free chicken, so was the rest of the world. And apparently, they cut it off - a lot of disappointed people.


HAMMER: Yes, I bet a lot of chickens are happy, though. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN

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

(CAPTION READS: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appears in new "Terminator" movie as killer cyborg. Mia Farrow stops her 12-day fast for Darfur due to medical reasons.)



DOLLY PARTON, SINGER: So now, when people say something about double-D, they`ll be thinking something entirely different now.


HAMMER: Hello, Dolly! Dolly Parton cracking jokes and cracking that great smile after she received an honorary PhD of human and musical letters from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Dolly, who is a Tennessee native, got a standing ovation for that very funny joke.

And I have said it before, I will say it again, Dolly Parton, one of the nicest and coolest people in all of showbiz.

And welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

Tonight, stars head-butt their way into the headlines. "24" star Kiefer Sutherland has been charged with assault for allegedly head-butting a fashion designer at a New York nightclub. There are reports Kiefer did it because he was defending Brooke Shields.

Now, Kiefer turned himself in, but he could be in big trouble because he`s on probation for a drunk-driving conviction back in L.A.

Kiefer is not the only big star to allegedly use his noggin to knock people around. Tonight, you be the judge. Head-butters or butt heads.

Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wolves do it. Sheep do it. And now, the guy who plays Jack Bauer has been charged with misdemeanor assault for doing it, though a head-butt must seem pretty tame to an actor, who`s been kicking guys and suffocating them, choking them with chains and kneeing them in the groin. What`s a little head-butt? Something Dennis Rodman did to a ref. Something we love to see on TV -


MOOS: And at the movies -


MOOS: No tears from Kiefer Sutherland after attending a gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sutherland allegedly head-butted a fashion designer who may have accidentally jostled Brooke Shields while Sutherland was talking to her. Sutherland isn`t talking to us. We tried.

(on camera): An eyewitness told "The New York Post" that he supposedly saw Kiefer Sutherland earlier in the evening wearing a giant feather boa and acting crazy.

(voice-over): Now, he`s poised to join the ranks of fabled head-butters like the French soccer star who head-butted an Italian during the World Cup. French lost the cup but comedians gained -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss France. Miss Italy.

MOOS: That`s allegedly what singer Amy Winehouse did to a guy outside a London pub. She`s got a lot of head to butt.

(voice-over): When head-butting, use your head. Head-butting do`s and head-butting don`ts - conveniently demonstrated in this how-to-head-butt video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t just (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on massive bang and shot. Go boom, boom, boom.

MOOS: Even Jack Bauer could use some street fighting tips.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pull his face into your head (UNINTELLIGIBLE) strikes so you`ve got a two-way motion.

MOOS: At least this jockey didn`t use two-way motion. His horse unseated him. So to make him stop horsing around, the jockey brought things to a head-butt.


HAMMER: And that woman with a good head on her shoulders was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Well, let me tell you our "Showbiz on Call" operators are head-and- shoulders above the rest. Can we take a look at them? They even work weekends. Look at them. Wind them up and let them go. Tons of calls still coming in on the "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" alleged affair scandal.

We`ve got a call to "Showbiz on Call" from Kayla in Cali. Kayla thinks their show should be cancelled and replaced by another mom with eight kids.


KAYLA, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: I think they should end the "Jon and Kate" show. I mean, these are exploiting their children in the situation. I don`t think it`s very healthy. Plus, they have to have room for the octomom show because, you know, she`s going to be falling in that time slot eventually.


HAMMER: Well, thank you, Kayla. We do appreciate your call from Cali. Speaking of Cali, Shonda, also calling in to "Showbiz on Call" thinks Miss Cali should be fired.


SHONDA, CALLER: I just wanted to say that I think that it`s only fair that she relinquish her title the same way they made Vanessa Williams relinquish her title in 1984. Because she knew the rules when she signed the paperwork, and she also knows that she had the photographs and eventually one day they were going to come out.


HAMMER: Thanks a lot, Shonda. You`ve got something to say? We want to hear it. Give us a call at "Showbiz on Call" to let us know what you think about this or anything else. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are open all the time. Call this number - 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 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 online right there on our homepage - that is

Well, just in time for Mother`s Day, we are launching the mommy wars. Here`s the question. Would Jennifer Aniston really be a better mom than Angelina Jolie? Now, I know Jen doesn`t have kids yet and Jolie`s got a whole bus full. But what do you think? I know this is going to get really heated. We`ve got that coming up.

Also Elisabeth Hasselbeck goes off on the Miss California seminude photo controversy.


HASSELBECK: So what is this now? You cannot express your opinion in fear of people digging into your past and finding something and posting it up on YouTube? That`s ridiculous.


HAMMER: It is my no-holds-barred one-on-one with "The View" co-host, totally uncensored. Elisabeth talking Miss Cali and she`s fired up about Sarah Palin`s teenage daughter`s campaign against teenage pregnancy.

And the very first interview with the very first U.S. face transplant patient. It is so heart-wrenching. Wait until you hear how she was called a monster. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: One of the last surviving "Wizard of Oz" munchkins, Mickey Carroll, dies at 89. Reality TV series featuring Guitar Hero videogame may launch soon.)


HAMMER: Thank you, Wagman(ph). Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Here are some more stories that are new right now.

Tonight, how Michelle Obama is balancing her roles as first lady, being a mom and being one of the biggest stars in the world.

Mrs. Obama was speaking at a meeting for the group Corporate Voices for Working Families, and said this is something that is a top priority for her while she`s in the White House - work-life balance. And even though she`s got plenty of help, she definitely gets how hard it is with two kids running around and that whole being married to the president thing. Watch.


MICHELLE OBAMA, UNITED STATES FIRST LADY: Even though my current life, trust me, is very different than it was and from most people - and I do know that. I know that right now, I am living, as challenging as it may seem, in a very blessed situation, because I have what most families don`t have. It`s tons of support all around.

Not just my mother, but staff and administration. I have a chief-of- staff and a personal assistant. And everyone needs that. That`s what we need. Everyone should have a chief-of-staff and a set of personal assistants.


HAMMER: Wouldn`t that be nice? Also new right now, Ryan Seacrest opening up to Ellen DeGeneres about his new lady. On today`s "Ellen," the "American Idol" host says he`s got a girlfriend. Take a look.


ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": I see pictures of you in a magazine in Paris with a girlfriend. And like -

RYAN SEACREST, HOST, "AMERICAN IDOL": We don`t label. We don`t label.

DEGENERES: Well, how long have you been with her? She`s - there, you`re like -

SEACREST: Every celebrity looks cool in photos and I look like a, oh god, goof ball.

DEGENERES: Look at that -

SEACREST: What is that?

DEGENERES: Who is she, Ryan? How come I don`t know her?

SEACREST: Because here`s the real - you want the real answer?

DEGENERES: I do, because -

SEACREST: When I meet someone and bring a girl to meet you, I`m always afraid that you`re going to be too honest with me about what you think.

DEGENERES: That`s right.

SEACREST: Yes. But I don`t want honesty.

DEGENERES: You don`t want honesty?


DEGENERES: You just want what you want?

SEACREST: Pretend. I want you to pretend you love them all.

DEGENERES: OK. You`ll never be happy. She might be lovely. I might like her. Has your mother met her?

SEACREST: My mother has, yes.


HAMMER: That`s a good move, Ryan. You`ve got to get mom to sign off on her. But I`ve got to tell you, I did dig into this a bit further. I spoke with "Idol" judge Randy Jackson. He`s not so hot on the girlfriend. In fact, he told me - this is a direct quote, "I don`t know. She`s a little pitchy, dog."

Now, the SHOWBIZ lineup. Here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

The mommy wars. Would Jennifer Aniston really make a better mom than Angelina Jolie?

Brand-new developments in Oprah-KFC chicken frenzy. I`ve got to say this is probably going to get people clucking mad.

And the first interview with the very first U.S. face transplant patient. You`re going to hear who called her a monster. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: Keanu Reeves to play Jekyll and Hyde in new movie "Jekyll." Jimmy Fallon gets college degree in communications from College of St. Rose in New York.)


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the Jennifer Aniston-Angelina Jolie mommy smackdown. Which star makes a better mommy? Who would you leave your kids with?

The "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" cheating controversy rages on. What is Kate saying now? And should Jon and Kate shut down their reality show? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewers speak out.

And a new bombshell in the Oprah-KFC controversy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oprah said free chicken. I`m here for free chicken. So was the rest of the world. And apparently, they cut it off - a lot of disappointed people.


HAMMER: Oprah says you get a chicken, but there is no chicken. The finger-licking fallout that will have Oprah fans clucking mad.

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

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


Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

Tonight, the Jennifer Aniston-Angelina Jolie mommy smackdown. And Lance tells all about Sheryl. All big stories making news right now.

Well, in his brand-new book, Lance Armstrong reveals the reason he and Sheryl broke up was because of the tick-tick-tock of her biological clock. Lance, tsk, tsk, tsk for kissing and telling. Didn`t you learn anything from John Mayer who, of course, famously blabbed about his ex, Jennifer Aniston?

And speaking of Aniston, the startling results of a brand-new poll just in time for Mother`s Day to ask if Jennifer Aniston would make a better mom than Angelina Jolie. What do you think?

And wow, what a week it`s been for reality TV mommy Kate Gosselin, nothing like fending off tabloid reports your husband`s cheating. And wait until you hear the results of our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT poll that asks if Jon and Kate should put the kibosh on their show, "Jon and Kate Plus Eight."

Joining me tonight from Hollywood, Pat Lalama who is an entertainment journalist. And also from Hollywood, Carlos Diaz, who is a correspondent for "Extra."

And let us begin with Lance Armstrong`s brand-new book. It`s called "Lance." He went deep for that. Lance was 35; Sheryl was 44. And they were engaged, as we all remember.

Now he`s revealing that the reason they broke up is that she wanted to have kids and he didn`t. This is what he says in the book, quote, "She wanted marriage, she wanted children; and not that I didn`t want that, but I didn`t want that at that time because I had just gotten out of a marriage. I`d just had kids. We`re up against her biological clock. That pressure is what cracked it."

To me, I`m thinking, this is some pretty personal stuff, Pat. What do you think? Was it really necessary for him to tell the whole world that it was something so private about Sheryl?

LALAMA: Well, yes, that is a dubious distinction now we can apply to "Lance the Pants," which is what I like to call him. Here`s the point. Are you telling me that in all of the time that they spent together, the issue of marriage and children didn`t come up in one dinner conversation? That he suddenly woke up and said, "Oh, my goodness, I`m deeply involved with a woman who wants to get married and have children"?

No, you know what I think? Here`s what I think. I think that panel of people, that elusive panel somewhere in L.A. that decides one day that someone is going to be a superstar - suddenly, Lance Armstrong became a superstar. And suddenly, he decided he needed to share the wealth with the female population.

HAMMER: Yes. I guess that`s what went on. But I still think it is incredible that he would share something so personal because the whole thing, when this came up, really reminded me of when John Mayer was constantly blabbing about his ex, Jennifer Aniston to, well, you know, whoever would listen.

So now that Lance is basically doing the same thing, what do you think, Carlos? Is he now the new winner of this, the John Mayer "tour-de- cad" for 2009?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": He is the proud recipient of that award because - let`s recap, if I may.

HAMMER: Please.

DIAZ: I broke up with my girlfriend because she`s old. And, you know -

LALAMA: Oh, come on.

DIAZ: Oh yes, and I dated Ashley Olsen, who is much younger than me. And oh, by the way, my current girlfriend - I got her pregnant. So yes, these are all things.

HAMMER: Wasn`t ready for kids then. Apparently now, well, not such a big deal.

All right. Jennifer Aniston, speaking of which, also making news as we move on to results of a brand-new poll out just tonight, just in time for Mother`s Day. AOL`s parent dish asked moms, who would you rather leave your kids with?

Guess what? More people said they would rather leave their kids with Jennifer Aniston than with her ex, Brad Pitt and his partner Angelina Jolie.

Pat, back to you. Jennifer, as we know, not a mom yet. Angie`s got, you know, the football team of kids. Do you get this and do you agree with moms out there that that`s where we should be leaving the kids?

LALAMA: Well, with all due respect to moms, including my own, here`s the deal. I think these are the kind of people who are very fearful and protective of their children. Now, for me, I want a woman who flies a plane, testifies before Congress, is a good will ambassador, builds houses for poor people and adopts unwanted children. That`s an edgy mom to me, and that`s the kind of mom I would leave my kids with.

HAMMER: Yes. I love Jennifer Aniston. It`s just you would think from the amount of experience Angie has -

LALAMA: Yes, yes, yes.

HAMMER: And I should point out Jennifer was not the number one choice on this particular list, even though she outranked Angie. I love this. Ellen DeGeneres and her partner Portia de Rossi topped this list. And Carlos, are you with me? This is pretty cool.

DIAZ: Yes, two mommies are better than one! I mean, come on. That`s always - and your kid is going to be able to dance real well.


DIAZ: The sense of humor is going to be there. But if you watch Portia de Rossi`s new show, "Better Off Ted." She`s terrible with kids on that show. So she may have to take some tips in the parenting department.

HAMMER: All right. Another mom in the spotlight is probably wishing she could be spending her Mother`s Day in a far-off land right about now, reality show mom Kate Gosselin of, of course, "Jon and Kate Plus Eight."

In a brand-new interview with CNN`s Larry King, Kate addresses all the reports that have been floating around about her husband Jon allegedly cheating on her with another woman. Listen to what she says when Larry asks how she`s dealing with all of it.


KATE GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR, "JON AND KATE PLUS EIGHT": Everyone wants to know everything about us. And I feel like this is a situation where, you know, you can`t believe everything that you read. You know that. I know that.

And so we are dealing with it privately. We are handling it one step at a time. And I think the important thing to remember is that we love our kids to pieces.


HAMMER: Less animated than we`re used to seeing her on the show. But it really sounds like she`s got the weight of the world on her shoulders, doesn`t it, Pat? I mean, do you think she`s probably wishing she never did this whole reality show in the first place?

LALAMA: I don`t know about that. I don`t think that a reality show makes a person cheat. I think there are all kind of components. If it`s in you, it`s in you, reality show or not.

You know what`s interesting, though? From a selfish standpoint, I was very much into the show. And I started to lose interest. And now, I`m interested again. I mean, for my own selfish purposes, I`m like, you know, let`s see this whole thing play out on television. But I don`t know. That`s a very touchy issue.

HAMMER: Well, guess what, Pat? The new season is about to start.

LALAMA: Exactly.

HAMMER: I, for one, think TLC couldn`t be happier right about now.

LALAMA: Exactly.

HAMMER: Listen to this. In our question of the day, we asked SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewers on air and online this - "Jon and Kate Plus Eight Cheating Controversy: Should they end their reality show for the sake of the family?"

I find this astounding - 81 percent said yes, they should end it; 19 percent said, no, you can keep going. Carlos, do you think they should call it quits?

DIAZ: No, they shouldn`t. And let me tell you why in a very simple way. If they call it quits, the paparazzi become the reality show. That`s the only way you can see Jon and Kate if they quit the reality show. So the paparazzi attention will intensify that much more. They need the reality show to keep their sanity.

HAMMER: Well, I`ve got to get to a call, because not everybody thinks they should call it quits. Some people are with you, Carlos. We heard from Judy in Missouri. She called "Showbiz on Call" and said that Jon and Kate should stay put. Listen to her. .


JUDY, CALLER FROM MISSOURI: I think Jon and Kate have done a fantastic job. They started out doing the show for reasons other than being in the limelight, but keep their kids `memories alive because they would not have time to take pictures. And I`m sure it helped them financially as well.

And I believe that they have done a great job of that, regardless of the scrutiny they`ve encountered. So I hope they get to stay on forever.


HAMMER: Well, thanks a lot, Judy. Pat, you`ve already expressed that you are looking forward to the new season firing up. And I`m with you - I don`t know if it`s the reality show that may have caused the cheating, if in fact it did take place. But it certainly adds to the pressure of dealing with all the allegations. But are you with our caller - 10 seconds for you. You hope this show stays on forever now?

LALAMA: Well, I don`t know about that but I`ve got an idea. Let`s commingle "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" with "Celebrity Rehab."

HAMMER: At least, you didn`t say octomom. I got scared for a moment. Pat Lalama, Carlos Diaz, we`re going to leave it there. I thank you both.

All right. So what do you think? Here`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of date and a chance for you to sound off on this - "Who is the most controversial reality show mom? Octomom, Kate Gosselin or Linda Hogan? Please vote by going to Or send us more of your thoughts by E-mailing

I have to say this Oprah-KFC controversy - it`s getting out of control, I tell you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oprah said free chicken. I`m here for free chicken. So was the rest of the world. And apparently, they cut it off - a lot of disappointed people.

HAMMER: Yes, Oprah says free chicken, you get free chicken, right? Well, not quite. Tonight, there`s a brand-new bombshell that will have Oprah fans clucking mad.

And the absolutely inspiring story of the woman who got a face transplant. Tonight, in her very first interview, Connie Culp reveals her emotional story. What life was like when she didn`t have a face.

Plus, Elisabeth Hasselbeck unplugged. I go one-on-one with "The View" co-host. And she is going off on the Miss California gay marriage controversy and Sarah Palin`s teenage daughter`s campaign against teen pregnancy. It`s the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: Seal reveals on "Oprah" show that he and Heidi will have a baby girl. Kate Winslet is "Glamour`s" most glamorous woman of the year.)


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Tonight, the first American woman to get a face transplant speaks out about being called a monster.

Forty-six-year-old Connie Culp, who was shot in the face by her husband five years ago, is speaking out about what life was like without a face. In her very first TV interview today on "Good Morning America," Culp talked about a particularly painful moment.


CONNIE CULP, FIRST AMERICAN WOMAN TO GET A FACE TRANSPLANT: A little girl says, "There`s a monster, mommy. There`s a monster." So I took out my driver`s license and I told her - I told the mom, I said, "I don`t care. I want to tell you - talk to your daughter." I said, "But I had a bad - bad person shoot me." I said, "That`s why you never pick up a gun."

And I showed her my driver`s license. I said, "This is what I used to look like." And her dad was like, "No, no, you don`t have to." I said, "No, she needs to know there aren`t monsters," you know. And the little girl said, "Wow," you know? And her dad said, "Thank you."


HAMMER: What an amazing transformation. Well, moving on now, tonight Elisabeth Hasselbeck`s hot topic. She, of course, is the feisty conservative on "The View." And now, she`s the author of this fantastic brand-new book, "G Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide."

Elisabeth told me all about the book, plus so much more. No topics was off limits from what she really thinks about the Miss California seminude photo scandal to Bristol Palin`s new teen abstinence blitz. Plus, she told me what the vibe is really like between the ladies of "The View" when the cameras are off.


HASSELBECK: Look, I think it gets heated, but that`s part of the excitement. And you know, sure - I mean, when you`re in that situation and it`s a topic and we have six minutes to cover it and everybody is fired-up and completely on opposite ends of the opinion spectrum, of course, sparks are going to fly.

But it`s truly something that I think there`s a little bit of competitor in all of us and a lot of truth in what we say, be it something that we may not agree on. We`re speaking from a place that`s real. And we`re not looking for approval on one end or the other.

We`re just looking to really sort of break through that conversation wall that sometimes can go up. It is never anything that leaves the table. We tend to get it all out right there and then go have lunch.

HAMMER: Yes, of course. And that`s good. And hopefully discuss other things over lunch maybe a little more light-hearted fare, if you will.

HASSELBECK: Sure, sure.

HAMMER: But you know, one of the things that I think is truly terrific and also another reason the show is so successful, even if we do disagree with something that one of you says - and if it`s something that you say, you know, what we love about you is you stick to your guns. You are very passionate about your opinions. You`re very vocal about your conservative values on "The View."

That all said, I`d like to get your perspective on this, because as you and your "View" co-hosts have been discussing, Miss California - certainly the latest lightning rod for controversy, becoming a real face for conservative values.

What do you think, Elisabeth? Do you think that she is the victim now of a smear campaign because she`s speaking out against gay marriage?

HASSELBECK: You know, I think this is turning into a smear fear campaign against her. So now - what is this now? You cannot express your opinion in fear of people digging into your past and finding something and posting it up on YouTube? That`s ridiculous. We should not be in a country where we should be afraid to express our opinions. It shouldn`t be that way at all.

HAMMER: Yes. And quite frankly, we`re hearing from more people than not that, yes, it is better that she, at least, spoke her mind. And like you do and like we see so many of the women on "The View" do all the time, she stuck to her guns.

HASSELBECK: Look, she gave her opinion. I don`t think that in itself seems to be a popularity contest. I`m not much for those. I think as long as you`re respected, that`s all you can really ask from people. And I wish her well. And I would say, you know, it`s OK to have an opinion that people don`t agree with.

And as long as you are coming from a good place and a place that doesn`t have intent to harm or hurt somebody, you should be at least respected.

HAMMER: Yes. I agree with that completely. Speaking of lightning rods, Elisabeth, Sarah Palin`s daughter, Bristol, just went on a massive media blitz. She appeared on the morning shows. She did a town hall meeting. And she`s talking about the importance of teen abstinence.

She is, of course, one of the most famous unwed teen moms in the country. Do you think it`s a good idea for her to be on this campaign?

HASSELBECK: Certainly, I`m not one to judge what she should or should not be doing. But I think that it`s great she`s speaking on behalf of abstinence. Find me something else that works 100 percent of the time.

HAMMER: Well, do you think that in some way, this could all backfire, not just on her - not just on Bristol, but Sarah Palin as well? Because she`s really putting herself out there not only as the daughter of a former presidential candidate(sic), but as an individual who is speaking on behalf of a controversial subject.

HASSELBECK: You know, I`m going to say this, and it`s been on my mind for a little while about Bristol and Sarah.

HAMMER: Please.

HASSELBECK: I do feel as though people are in a way kind of hiding their giddiness over the fact that this daughter of a presidential candidate - vice presidential candidate got pregnant. Not married. And I feel like it`s an in-your-face moment for many ultra liberals.

And quite frankly, I`m a little peeved about that. And I think if people really dug deep into their hearts and figured out why they were not OK with her on this tour promoting teens to not have sex, they`d realize that they should really be looking at themselves.


HAMMER: You can always count on Elisabeth to tell you exactly what she thinks. As I said, she`s got this brand-new book out which helps people with gluten intolerance. And she told me it`s not exactly the kind of book that people thought she was going to write. Take a look at this.


HASSELBECK: It`s called "The G Free Diet." It`s a survival guide based on living gluten-free. I have celiac disease. Certainly, it`s a must-do diet if you have celiac disease, which means removing all gluten from your diet which is a protein found in barley, oats, wheat and rye. It certainly has given me more energy.

This isn`t something I contrived. I`ve been living it for 10 years. And I`m thankful that through this I`ve been able to figure this out and now share it with everybody else.


HAMMER: Pick up a copy of her book "The G Free Diet: A Gluten Free Survival Guide." It is in bookstores right now.

Well, did you see this? I have to wonder what`s worse for Elisabeth, the razzing from her "View" co-hosts, or the hysterical impersonation of her on "Saturday Night Live." You have got to see Elisabeth`s face as she watches a spoof of herself on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE."


KIRSTEN WIIG, ACTRESS (as Elisabeth Hasselbeck): Eight shows ago, we were talking about Sen. Barack Obama. And I said the Democratic Party engaged in criminal activities.

FRED ARMISEN, ACTOR (as Joy Behar): Why are we talking about this?

HASSELBECK: Let me finish, please. OK? Let me finish! Because I found something online. I have stacks and stacks of papers that I printed out for four hours last night.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": I noticed you laughing, Elisabeth. That`s funny, right?

HASSELBECK: You know, I - look. Heck, I do a lot of research. I`m not ashamed of it. I`m just happy to be played by a woman.


HAMMER: I think Kirsten Wiig`s impersonation of Elisabeth is terrific. But what would Joy have to say about it?


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


HAMMER: That`s exactly what I thought. Tonight a brand-new bombshell in the Oprah-KFC controversy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oprah said free chicken. I`m here for free chicken. So was the rest of the world. And apparently, they cut it off - a lot of disappointed people.


HAMMER: Oprah speaks, people listen, right? Well, tonight, it`s the finger-licking fallout on a new development that will have Oprah fans clucking mad. Will Oprah get grilled for a fowl giveaway? That`s next. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: ABC`s Michael J. Fox special wins its hour time slot with 10.6 million viewers. Barbra Streisand`s music DVD reaches number one in U.S. and U.K.)


HAMMER: Thank you, Charles the big bird Wagman(ph). Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

Tonight, it`s the Oprah finger-licking chicken controversy that`s got people across the country clucking mad.

Oprah Winfrey teamed up with KFC for a tasty grilled chicken giveaway but it ended up leaving a foul taste in a whole lot of people`s mouths. Here is CNN`s Alina Cho for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": We called up to find folks at KFC - Kentucky Fried Chicken. Here`s what they`re going to do for you. You`re going to get two pieces of grilled chicken complete with two sides and a biscuit. Don`t forget the biscuit for you and your family for free.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): that Harpo hook-up caused a nationwide frenzy.

WINFREY: My free ticket meal.

CHO: KFC flooded with customers, all waiting, coupons in hand for a free $4 meal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God bless, Oprah, feeding everybody. I love it.

CHO: Not so fast. At some locations, the response was so great, they ran out of grilled chicken, cut customers off. The blogs went crazy. What is up with that? I`m melting. Hungry for the chicken.

JOSHUA ROMOFF, KFC COSTUMER: Oprah said free chicken. I`m here for free chicken. So was the rest of the world. And apparently, they cut it off - a lot of disappointed people.

ROGER EATON, KFC PRESIDENT: The stores are being completely overwhelmed. I mean, Oprah is clearly a superstar.

CHO: Oprah said even she was surprised by the power of "O."

WINFREY: I thought it was just a nice gesture. I thought it was a nice thing, you know? And what I realize is that people are hurting even more than I recognized.

CHO: The KFC coupon craze even bigger than this.

WINFREY: Everybody gets a car.

CHO: Remember when Oprah gave every member of her audience a free Pontiac? Imagine what those are worth now. Yet, in this recession, these people are satisfied with free KFC. And everyone knows if anyone can sell it, it`s Oprah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From magazines to TV show - even Tom Cruise going crazy on her show.


ROMOFF: Oprah has some definite power, I`ll tell you that. You can`t deny it. It`s the "O," you know? The "O" in Oprah says it all.


HAMMER: That was CNN`s Alina Cho for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Now, because of the overwhelming response, KFC said that today that they are canceling their free chicken promotion. So if you didn`t get your free grilled chicken yet, I hate to say this but you are fresh out of cluck.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Remember, you can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific and we`re on weekday mornings 11:00 a.m. Eastern on HLN.