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Chris Brown`s New Song Scandal; The Hogan Family Feud Erupts Again; Paula Leaving Hollywood for Vegas?; Jon and Kate Reunite

Aired August 27, 2009 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Chris Brown`s explosive new song scandal.


Is Brown really singing about Rihanna? The brand-new apology for beating her. But has Brown really changed his tune? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the great debate. Chris Brown says he`s changed, but do you believe him?

Tonight, the Hogan family feud erupts again. Dramatic brand-new developments in the Hogan family war. Is Linda Hogan suing Hulk again? Could Hulk really end up in jail? The unbelievable new turn in the Hogan family drama.

And is Paula Abdul leaving Hollywood for Vegas? Straight up now, tell us is that just a bad idea?

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.

Tonight, Chris Brown song scandal. The controversial R & B star is literally changing his tune, apparently singing about his ex, pop star Rihanna. His brand-new song is called "Changed Man." It was just released on the Internet, and this is just days after Brown was sentenced for beating Rihanna.

And I`ve got to tell you, people are outraged because the lyrics of this song are explosive. There`s a lot more than just apologizing. The song actually also pleads for Rihanna to take him back.

But Brown`s sorrowful single is barely cutting through the buzz over what Brown did right after he was sentenced. So what did he do? Well, he went out clubbing, of course. Now, the fury over Brown`s big night out, plus his new song shocker is making big news right now.


(voice-over): Now that singer Chris Brown has escaped a jail sentence for the horrific beating of his former girlfriend, Rihanna, the troubled singer is looking more like a man on a mission. One, to talk about how sorry he is as he did in a recent YouTube video.

CHRIS BROWN, SINGER: I can only ask and pray that you forgive me, please.

HAMMER: And two, to sing about how sorry he is.


HAMMER: Chris Brown`s new unofficial single "Changed Man" is playing on radio stations across the country. And while the song doesn`t mention Rihanna`s name, it is clear whom he`s singing about.

ALICIA QUARLES, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Chris Brown is singing like he wants Rihanna back.

HAMMER: Check out the not-so-subtle lyrics.


In the weeks since "Changed Man" hit YouTube, the song has been viewed over a million times. But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, Chris Brown`s "I`m sorry" message is being drowned out by those who don`t think that what he did to Rihanna is something to sing about, and by those who are shocked by what he did hours after his sentencing. He actually went out clubbing.

QUARLES: The American public might not think that he`s that remorseful.

HAMMER: Even though Chris Brown won`t go to jail for the February beating that left Rihanna bloodied and bruised, he didn`t get off scot-free at his sentencing in a L.A. Court Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are going to be placed on formal felony probation for a period of 60 months, a 52-week domestic violence counseling program. You have to perform 180 days of community labor, not community service, and that includes (INAUDIBLE) graffiti removal or other type or similar type of physical labor.

HAMMER: And the judge also barred him from having any contact with Rihanna.

QUARLES: He has to stay away from Rihanna for five years.

HAMMER: Plus, we heard a bombshell revelation at Brown`s sentencing, that that infamous February fight was not the first violent incident in Chris Brown and Rihanna`s stormy relationship.

QUARLES: Earlier in their relationship, Rihanna reportedly slapped Chris and then he pushed her into a wall when they were vacationing in Barbados. He broke out two windows in the car they were traveling in.

HAMMER: So, hours after that rough day in court, Brown reportedly decided to blow off steam at an L.A. club.

QUARLES: The night after the sentencing, photographs were taken of Chris Brown partying at Guys and Dolls.

HAMMER: But the Associated Press` Alicia Quarles tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that might get in the way of his "I`m sorry" message.

QUARLES: You can look at this in two different ways. You can look at it as this man has just gone through a really crazy ordeal of his own doing that now he`s celebrating at being over. Or some people are looking at it as, "Gee, are you even remorseful at all?"

HAMMER: And despite the judge`s order that he and Rihanna stay away from each other, Brown`s new song makes it clear he would like another outcome.


But some feel this song is as close as he and Rihanna should ever get to each other.

QUARLES: The two of them need to stay far away from each other. I mean, the two of them - it`s like oil and water. It probably just doesn`t mix. Leave it alone, guys.


HAMMER: So, what do you think? Is Brown really a changed man as he sings in his song and will anyone really ever forget that horrible beating that he`s now admitted to giving Rihanna?

Well, our fired-up panel has not forgotten. We`re about to hear from them. Coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, it`s the great debate, is Chris Brown a changed man?

Tonight, Hogan`s brand-new war. If you thought there might be some peace now that Hulk and his ex-wife Linda have reached a divorce settlement, well, I`m sorry to say you`d be wrong.

Linda is suing Hulk because she says she wants her Harley back. And she says that he also owes her $250,000 from their settlement. Now, Linda says if he doesn`t do it pronto, she wants his butt thrown in the slammer. Wait until you here the outrageous brand-new details of the latest battle in the Hogan war.

Also, Jon Gosselin speaking out, standing up and defending his good name. He`s quashing rumors that he actually wants off his hit TV show "Jon & Kate Plus 8."

Also brand new tonight, Jon and Kate reunite - well, kind of. We`re going to tell you what went down to make these two actually tolerate each other`s company.

Joining me tonight in Hollywood, Carlos Diaz, who is a correspondent for "Extra." Tonight in New York is Stacy Schneider, who is an attorney and author of the book "Had It Coming: How to Outsmart Your Husband and Win Your Divorce."

Let us begin with this Hogan war that is still going on. Linda just spitting mad. Just a few weeks back, of course, Hulk and Linda came to their divorce settlement that gave Linda a really nice chunk of change quite frankly. And we all thought, well, good for them. It`s all over.

But now, more drama. She`s suing Hulk because he hasn`t yet returned her beloved Harley or paid her the $250,000 that he promised in the divorce settlement. And she`s not messing around, by the way. If he doesn`t do what she wants soon, she wants him to get sent to prison.

Carlos Diaz, I begin with you. Is this a little extreme? Or do you think Linda has every right to take such a hard line here?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": I am not going to get in the middle of this divorce right now, especially with Hulk Hogan involved. But I can tell you this. Can this couple just finally bury the hatchet and say, you know, enough of the drama?

Nick Hogan just getting out of jail. Brooke`s trying to start her life all over again. There`s been so much drama with this family over the last several years. I think if I`m Hulk, it`s like, "You know what? Here`s the $250,000. Here`s your bike back. Here`s whatever you need. Just stop it with the drama."

HAMMER: Yes. I can tell you where Linda would like to bury the hatchet, but that`s for another segment. Now, here, Hulk has some explaining that he`s been doing. He`s telling SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he is absolutely innocent in all this.

His spokesperson saying, "Hulk is absolutely complying with the terms of the marital settlement agreement. Linda will receive everything she`s entitled to under the agreement as soon as it is available to give to her."

Sounds to me like maybe he doesn`t have the cash right now. I can`t speak for the Harley. Stacy, let me ask you. As an attorney, is that a good enough excuse in the eyes of the court, or does Linda really have a valid case here?

STACY SCHNEIDER, ATTORNEY: No, Linda - A.J., Linda is the one who has a valid case. Hulk is blowing a smoke screen here. He signed the dotted line on that divorce agreement. He had the money. He wouldn`t have signed off on it if he couldn`t pay what was due.

And it`s his turn to cough up what he owes. And why is he delaying? He`s putting himself in a really vulnerable position, because if the court finds in contempt, he can go to jail. And a lot of husbands or spouses are sent to jail because they don`t pay up after they sign that agreement.

HAMMER: Well, I`m right there with Carlos. I hope he does pay up and soon and this whole thing just goes away. Let`s move on, because also new tonight, Jon Gosselin setting the record straight and gives a brand-new interview to "People" magazine where he shoots down reports he no longer wants to be on his hit show, "Jon & Kate Plus 8."

He says that is a bunch of bunk, telling people, "I never said that. A fan asked me, `Don`t you sometimes wish you could go back to a 9:00 to 5:00 job?` And my reply was, `Yes, because this is 24/7 and 9-to-5ers punch in and punch out and you have no responsibilities.`"

Carlos, when you hear this - I don`t know if you`re with me, but I can`t help but hear sort of this twinge of regret in his words about how things turned out in his life.

DIAZ: Yes. And I heard the sound bite. And you can hear, you know, in the sound bite, there`s a little twinge of regret. And I`m telling you right now, get over it, all right, Dude? I mean, was in the edit bay today over here at "Extra" with my editor, Jim. And we`re putting on our Jon and Kate piece today.

And Jim looks back at me and goes, "This guy gets paid to be Jon. He gets paid to be a dad." I mean, that`s the bottom line, Jon, you get paid to be a dad. Stop your complaining, please.

HAMMER: Well, we do have more big news in the Gosselin family tonight. This is fantastic. Jon and Kate reunite. It`s true, except it was only for like a half hour. Now, today, the angry parents - I we call them that - got together. And they wanted to see their sextuplets set off for their first day of junior kindergarten. It makes perfect sense to me.

And quite honestly, we`re pretty pleased with how it turns out. No big fights to report. No cops were called in. It seems that Jon and Kate actually keeping a promise that they made to all of us when they first announced their divorce. Let`s take a look at what they said.


JON GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": Like we said, we always love our kids and will come together for our kids, regardless of our relationship. We just have to make a plan and decide, you know, jointly what we`re going to do, and that`s really between me and Kate.


HAMMER: All right. Stacy, do you think this meeting today, that getting together without any big fights, is a sign they`re actually going to start acting more respectfully toward each other?

SCHNEIDER: A.J., I think this is a really, really good step forward to them. It`s a show of solidarity in front of the kids. It`s been a really rocky road and this custody arrangement is really a work in progress.

I mean, dividing up these eight children and moving in and out of the house - this is a special custody situation. And I`m finally glad to see these two appear to be burying the hatchet a bit for the sake of the kids and putting on a good show while they escort the kids off to this new day.

HAMMER: Yes. And you said it. You nailed it right on the head there - for the sake of the kids. That`s what we keep saying. Carlos Diaz, Stacy Schneider, thank you so much.

As we move on tonight, I know Paula Abdul`s had a tough summer - all the "American Idol" drama going on. But is she about to pull of a Celine Dion and get her own show in Las Vegas? Tonight, why Paula Abdul might be leaving Holly-weird to set up shop in Vegas. But is this straight up a bad idea? Or should she roll the dice?

I`ve got to tell you, I`ve always thought Whitney Houston is amazing. But you know, it`s been seven years since her last album. So I`ve got to ask, can the woman with the golden voice make the biggest comeback ever? Or will her past come back to haunt her?

And Kid Rock becomes a hometown hero.


The amazing story behind what bad boy Kid Rock is doing to make good back at home. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Time now for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom. They are making news right now.

TEXT: L.A. police looking for three people in connection with burglary at Lindsay Lohan`s house. Change in date of Michael Jackson`s burial means it will be triple the cost.


HAMMER: Did you see this? Tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams in a grand slam dance-off. The sisters blew off some steam in New York just days before they go head-to-head at the U.S. Open on Monday. Serena will be defending her title against Venus.

Check them out, they can really dance. Seriously. Is there anything these two can`t do?

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, it`s Kid Rock to the rescue. The rock star is in real danger of losing his bad boy image with his biggest project yet.

Kid`s hometown of Detroit really being hit hard by the economy. The failing auto industry and major unemployment have really put the Motor City in jeopardy. But now, the rock star is stepping up big-time to help pick up the pieces and he`s already making a huge impact. Here`s`s Poppy Harlow for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the CNN Money exclusive.


POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM (voice-over): This is no ordinary concert. It`s Kid Rock performing at his biggest headline show ever, bringing 80,000 people to his hometown of Detroit. Talk about a city that needs an economic stimulus like that.


HARLOW: Detroit has never seen times like these. But the people of this city have an unexpected patron in Kid Rock. The bad boy from Detroit has become the voice of a city in peril.

(on camera): How long have you had this?

KID ROCK, ROCK STAR: This? Oh, probably 10 years.

HARLOW: You won`t leave, will you?

ROCK: No, I`ll never leave. I`ve got one more song for you.

HARLOW (voice-over): The downfall of the auto industry hits home for Kid Rock, whose father made a living selling American cars.

ROCK: It`s mind blowing to everybody in this town. God bless you all.

HARLOW: And in this perilous time, this self-proclaimed son of Detroit is working on more than just his music.

ROCK: As I`ve gotten older, I`ve just become more in tune with that and realized how much the stuff that I`m doing can help people.

RON ADAMS, DETROIT RESIDENT: You look at the impact that he`s having here in Detroit in terms of a foundation at Wayne State University, trying to fund our music scholarships for kids there. I think he`s had a major positive impact on Detroit, which is something this economy needs right now.

HARLOW: Kid Rock`s music scholarship is funded by t-shirt sales from the apparel company he bought out of bankruptcy made in Detroit. And believe it or not, his recently launched American Bad Ass Beer - well, that can be thanked for creating jobs in the state, more than 400 jobs, he says.

ROCK: There`s no way to get love back or get respect if you don`t give it first. So I`ve always tried to do that - give everything I have to this city.

HARLOW: But battling unemployment, Detroit has problems much bigger than even this larger-than-life rocker can solve.

ROCK: It`s got to get cleaned up. I don`t think I (INAUDIBLE). I mean, we almost need an angel.



HAMMER: Well, good for Kid Rock, excellent that he`s pitching in. That was`s Poppy Harlow for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. If you want to see more from Poppy`s exclusive interview with Kid Rock, go to

Well, I`ve got to tell you, the "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are just lit up with people furious over Jon and Kate Gosselin doing all these interviews. Even the "Showbiz on Call" operators are fielding Jon and Kate`s interview requests and your calls. So they`re extra busy tonight.

We`ve got a call into "Showbiz on Call" from Doreen in New York who says Jon and Kate need to grow up.


CALLER: It`s a constant battle. I mean, we all, you know, live with that every day in our lives. The main focus is the children, and they seem to be emphasized, but not really. And everyone is a cry baby here.

Everyone is a cry baby. They`re two adults, two grown adults. And if they don`t know what to do to live their lives - I mean, quit using the media for attention, you know.


HAMMER: Right on, Doreen. Thanks for your call. We also heard from Melissa calling into "Showbiz on Call" from Ohio. She says Kate`s going to regret speaking out.


CALLER: Of course, she`s not going to quit doing all these talk shows or quit "Jon & Kate Plus 8." That`s where all her income comes from. And as far as saying stuff that won`t hurt the kids, she`s already doing it.

These kids are going to get older. They are going to watch all these shows, these interviews and everything else that they`re doing. And if she thinks she`s not hurting them, she`s got another thing coming because she is.


HAMMER: Thanks a lot, Melissa. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are open all the time. This is the number, 1-888-SBT-BUZZ. That is 1-888-728-2899.

Well, a judge really gave Chris Brown a stern warning that he must stay away from Rihanna for the next five years. But tonight, is Chris Brown reaching out to Rihanna in a brand-new song, definitely sounds like a brand new apology for beating her. But I have a hard time believing he has changed his tune.

So tonight, it`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT great debate, is Chris Brown really a changed man?

And is Paula Abdul really leaving Hollywood and "American Idol" drama for Vegas? Is this a straight up bad idea or should Paula roll the dice?

And did you hear the one about the comedian who is being sued by her own mother-in-law? I assure you this is no joke. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Rod and Patti Blagojevich to be guest co-hosts on "The View." Court rules Octomom- will not be investigated by Child Protective Services.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer with some more stories making news right now.

Tonight, celebrity daughters revealed. In a brand-new issue of "In Style" magazine, the daughters of Hollywood`s biggest stars all grown up, get gussied up.

Let me introduce you to Dakota Johnson - this is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Zelda Williams who is Robin Williams` daughter. Alexa Ray Joel who, of course, is the daughter of supermodel Christie Brinkley and singer Billy Joel. And Donna Summers` daughter, Brooklyn Sudano. You can see all 15 daughters in "In Style`s" 15th anniversary issue. It`s on newsstands right now.

Tonight, a "Law and Order SVU" fan actually catches a crook. Listen to this, office assistant Justine Faith caught a robber using stuff she saw on the show.

This is her story. A guy walked into her office, demanding an appointment. Well, Justine got suspicious and turned him away. After the guy left, she found out a wallet and iPod and a cell phone were missing from a co-worker`s purse.

So she snapped into action and gave a cup and a tissue the guy left behind to cops for DNA testing. It turns out the guy is suspected for a string of robberies. Well, this morning on the "Today" show, Justine got a surprise call from the "Law and Order SVU" star, Mariska Hargitay.


MARISKA HARGITAY, ACTRESS (through telephone): I have to say I`m just in awe of your presence of mind and your clarity to think. And you`re such an inspiration to so many people.

JUSTINE FAITH, OFFICE ASSISTANT: Oh, thank you. Thanks. It`s kind of because of you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe we`re talking walk-on here. What do you think?

HARGITAY: I think we are talking walk-on. I think I could learn a few things from Justine.

FAITH: Oh, listen. You know, I love you. And I love Elliot. Where`s Elliot by the way?


HAMMER: Pretty cool. Well, another case closed, thanks to Justine Faith and "Law and Order SVU."

I`m thinking we`re going to need some law and order on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page. People all fired up about Jon and Kate and whether or not they should just stop talking about their problems for the sake of their kids.

Well, Tracy S. says it`s not Jon speaking that`s the problem, writing, "Jon has done more to the kids because of the kid he is himself. You don`t see Kate flying all over the world with her new boyfriends!"

But Amy J. says Kate`s interviews are not helping, writing, "She may be trying to protect them, but she is really not. How is going on national television protecting them? You should not have to go on national television to explain every detail about your personal life."

And I couldn`t agree more. Remember, you can sign up for our Facebook and our Twitter pages simply by going to our Web site,

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

Whitney Houston`s big return. A new album is coming out for her. But will her past come back to haunt her?

Chris Brown`s brand-new song scandal. He says he`s a changed man, but do you believe him?

Plus, a comedian walks into a bar, makes a joke about her mother-in- law and gets sued by her mother-in-law. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Beyonce to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards. A & E Television Networks is acquiring Lifetime Television.


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, brand new Chris Brown drama. A new Chris Brown song mysteriously shows up online. Is it really about Rihanna? And was it a good idea for Brown to go out to a nightclub right after being sentenced for beating her?

Whitney Houston`s big comeback. I believe that Whitney is our future, by her album "Let Her Lead the Way." But tonight, there are burning new questions about whether she can really make a comeback.

And hey, Paula, you just lost your job on the most popular show on television. What you going to do now? How about Vegas, baby? Well, it might be happening.

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, Chris Brown, a changed man? The singer`s explosive new song scandal is making big waves tonight. Just days after Brown was sentenced to five years probation for beating up his former girlfriend Rihanna, a song by Brown hits the Internet and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has it. Take a listen.


So, is Brown really singing about Rihanna? Is this a brand-new apology for beating her? All this comes on the heels of Chris Brown`s very public celebration. After a judge handed down his sentence, Brown seen in public partying in a nightclub.

Also brand new tonight, Whitney Houston`s ferocious comeback, or is it?


WHITNEY HOUSTON, SINGER: You guys are just catching up. You know, it`s not a comeback for me. I`ve been here. I`ve just been here. I just took a break.


HAMMER: The legendary singer is about to embark on a comeback tour, kicking things off with some bombshell interviews. And we have got your fired up Facebook comments right here. Let`s get to it.

Joining me tonight from Hollywood, Carlos Diaz who is a correspondent for "Extra." Also from Hollywood tonight, Jess Weiner, who is an author and self-esteem expert. And her new Web site launching today is at "" Congratulations to you on that, Jess.


HAMMER: And let`s begin with Chris Brown`s explosive new song. It`s called "Changed Man." And it clearly sounds like a letter that Chris could have written to Rihanna. It actually sounds like he`s trying to apologize to her. Let`s listen to some more.


HAMMER: OK. Now, Chris and his camp are not confirming it`s a song to Rihanna. But let`s be honest here - it`s very transparent. Chris clearly sounds like he`s telling Rihanna he`s going to make it up to her. They should be together.

Let us not forget, please, that he beat her to a pulp and the judge said he can`t have any contact with her for five years. Carlos, I hear this and I`m thinking, "Are you kidding me?"

DIAZ: I feel like I need a shower or something after listening to that song. It`s just so wrong. I mean, like, where is the market for this song, you know? Are you going to have some girl in high school going, "My boyfriend just dedicated `Changed Man` to me? I feel bad about myself." Seriously, what?


DIAZ: Where are you going with this song, Chris? And in all honesty, like Whitney did "I Will Always Love You," and that`s a song you can dedicate to a girl - "I Will Always Love You." "Changed Man" - it`s only if you hit a girl that you have to give her the song. No, this is terrible.

HAMMER: Yes. And I`ve got to tell you, one of the first things that jumped out at me that I`m having a hard time escaping, when I hear lyrics like this, saying, "I`m sorry doesn`t make it all right, I know. But I believe that we can make it if we try."

All I can think of, when I hear those lyrics, this has to be very close to what battered women hear from their abusers time and time again. Jess Weiner, does this do anything to convince anyone that he`s a changed man?

WEINER: No. In fact, A.J., it smells like a big fat PR move and that`s all it is. If Chris Brown is a changed man, if he`s remorseful, he would get himself out of Hollywood. He would go into the rehab program he needs to get into for domestic violence.

He would focus on being a man and not a boy who celebrates the violence and acting as though he just got away with something. You know, his sentence - the sentence for batterers in this country are not very severe - celebrity or not.

But Chris Brown behaving in the way that he`s doing and sharing these words in these lyrics, whether this is for Rihanna or not - this is the emotional abuse that battered women go through all the time.


WEINER: Although now, Chris gets to reach Rihanna through the mass media, which is terrible.

HAMMER: Yes. And if people reward him by buying into this single, I think that`s a very slippery slope. Let`s listen to a little more of the song. And this is a part where Chris Brown sounds like he`s actually worried about his image and his future with Rihanna. Roll that, Charles.


Carlos, I`m with you. I`m feeling pretty icky right about now. I`ve got to tell you, if he wants to move on with his career, I just can`t get away from the idea that this is stupid for Chris to remind everybody of the awful thing that he did in a song.

Carlos, don`t you agree that, you know, if he wants to do something, shouldn`t he get a song out there that has nothing to do with this?

DIAZ: Yes. Exactly. What do people say when they get into a fight, by the way? Like if two guys get into a fight and they get pulled apart, what do they say? "This ain`t over. Hey, this ain`t over." And that`s what he says time and time again in the song, "This ain`t over."

And I`m like thinking to myself - I mean, he should do a song called "A New Leaf" or something where it`s like - it`s totally ambiguous about, you know, anything. It just kind of says, "Hey, I`m back. I`m new." But don`t be so specific.


DIAZ: Something that made headlines.

WEINER: I have an idea, you guys. I think the worst punishment we can probably offer Chris Brown right now is to stop talking about him.

HAMMER: Yes, but.

WEINER: I don`t think he`ll understand the punishment until he`s actually ostracized from the community and really understands.

HAMMER: Jess, here`s the thing, and I know this from experience, now that I`m out here saying this is a bad move, I`m going to get all kinds of mail from his supporters who say, "Hey, just forget it and let him move on." But right here, we need to pay attention. Chris is not letting us do that himself.

DIAZ: Right.

HAMMER: And remember, before this song came out, the only time we really heard from Chris was that video apology that he posted online, and he made a promise in that apology. Let`s look at that.


BROWN: I only ask and pray that you forgive me, please. I hope that others learn from my mistake. I intend to live my life so that I`m worthy of the term role model.


HAMMER: All right. So he wants to be accepted as a role model. Good for you, Chris. But listen to this. On the very same day the judge sentenced him, Brown was photographed partying in a nightclub. Jess, does that say role model behavior to you?

WEINER: No, it doesn`t say role model. And I think Chris is a cash cow for the people that are in his entourage. And I don`t think anybody is really looking out, not only for his best interests, but for Rihanna`s best interests here in really focusing on the issue.

Girls get battered. Teenagers get battered every single day. Dating violence is very prevalent in this country. And whether you`re a celebrity or not, you`re not immune to it.

And I really think that we have to, as educators and role models out there ourselves, frame this conversation positively if we`re going to have one so that people know that young men and women can`t get away with this kind of behavior.

HAMMER: Yes. Well said. All right. Before I need to run off for that shower let`s move on. I want to move on to a brand-new Whitney Houston story tonight. This is new. The singer releasing her first album in seven years that`s coming out August 31st. And she posted some of the songs on her Web site. Her first single, "I Look to You." Listen.


HAMMER: A lot of people banking on a big comeback from Whitney Houston. Carlos, let`s remember her personal problems have really gotten a lot more attention than her music in recent years. I love Whitney, but does she have a shot at this?

DIAZ: I think she does. I mean, Mariah Carey got a shot and she came back. Britney Spears came back. I mean, America loves a comeback and I think we`re ready for Whitney Houston.

You know, I`m on a few radio stations across the country. And everyone who talks about Whitney, they`re ready for her to make a comeback. And if you remember when she, you know - when she got together with Bobby Brown, people are like, "What?"


DIAZ: Now, she`s no longer with him, so maybe she can kind of lose that stigma.

HAMMER: Well, the fans are with her. The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page on fire with comments. Here are a couple, Gerri G. writing, "I love the new album. Whitney is back, you all!"

Cheryl P.: "I think Whitney will make a comeback. She always bounced back."

Quickly, Jess, considering what Whitney has been through, the marriage problems, struggle with addiction, do you worry that the pressure could be too much for her as things start to rise again?

WEINER: I always worry that the pressure is going to be on for those who struggle with addiction issues. But I think we have a long history following Whitney through these ups and downs. And I agree with Carlos, I`m gunning for Whitney to succeed this time. I hope she`s on the other side of those issues ...

HAMMER: Oh, that would be great.

WEINER: ... and she can really show us that we can look to her.

HAMMER: Love to see that. Jess Weiner, Carlos Diaz, thanks so much.

Well, we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, and I really want to hear what you say here - "Chris Brown Says He`s Changed: Do you believe him?" is where you vote or E-mail

So is Paula Abdul ditching Hollywood for Vegas? Simon who? American what? Paula may be packing up and heading to Vegas, baby. I`ve got the story.

Also, George Clooney breaks his hand. Now, there are a lot of reports saying it happened during a very sexy European motorcycle adventure. But no, I`ve got the real story. I promise you it couldn`t be much further from that particular scenario.

And did you hear the one about the comedian who is being sued by her own mother-in-law after making her the punch line of too many jokes? Would that be a mother-in-law suit? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Madonna booed in Bucharest for defending Gypsies. Jimmy Fallon, Gavin DeGraw to appear at free concert to commemorate 9/11.


HAMMER: Well, tonight we are getting the real story behind how George Clooney broke his hand. Now, there were reports that Clooney was in an accident while riding his Harley Davidson around a lake at the border of Italy and Switzerland. Sounds like the perils of living the sexy fast- paced life of the superstar, right?

But, well, as it turns out, the story not nearly as poetic as all that. His rep telling "People" magazine Clooney actually got hurt by shutting his car door on his own hand. The rep says that the doctor is giving him 30 or 40 more years to live and no live animals were harmed during the rapping of his hand.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, is Paula heading to Vegas? Well, there are brand-new reports that the ex-"American Idol" judge is leaving Hollywood for the Las Vegas strip. So is Paula Abdul looking to Sin City to prove she don`t need no stinking "Idol?"

Plus, did you hear the one about the comedian being sued by her mother-in-law over her stand-up routine? Now, this is no joke. It`s actually a brand-new headline making family feud that`s about to get really ugly.

With me tonight in New York, April Woodard. She is an entertainment journalist. Also in New York, Ben Widdicombe. He is the celebrity editor for ""

We all know that since Paula made her shocking split from "American Idol," all kinds of rumors have been floating around with all sorts of new jobs for Paula Abdul.

Let`s take a look at some of them. There was talk that she was going to be on "Ugly Betty." There was word of a possible appearance on "Dancing with the Stars". And of course, both of those deals never panned out.

But she has landed a hosting gig for " VH1 Divas" next month. Now, big buzz flying around that Paula has been talking with some of the big casinos in Las Vegas about maybe setting up camp and putting together a little song and dance show.

April, let me start with you. Do you think Vegas would be a good gamble for Paula?

APRIL WOODARD, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Absolutely. You have to remember that Paula Abdul had a career before "American Idol." She is an American Idol. She was a choreographer. She was a singer. She, in fact, choreographed Janet Jackson videos back in the day after she was a Laker`s girl discovered by the Jacksons.

So I think that she has enough entertainment background to pull off a Vegas show. And what`s going to be interesting about it is, as long as Paula is in the spotlight, she`s going to be making headlines. So she`s going to say something and do something to still keep her name in the headlines.

HAMMER: Yes. She does manage to do that, doesn`t she?


HAMMER: Well, we wanted to hear from Paula herself. And today, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reached out to Paula to get the official scoop on the Vegas rumors. This is what her rep told us hours ago, "We cannot confirm or deny. Paula has many offers to choose from at this point."

And I`m sure that`s true. Now, Paula has a huge following from her time at "American Idol" and the other time in her career. But Ben, do you think that some of those fans actually want to shell out their hard-earned money to travel to Vegas, check out her stage show? It`s a little different than Celine Dion or Elton John, isn`t it?

BEN WIDDICOMBE, CELEBRITY EDITOR, "STYLELIST.COM": Well, you know what? Las Vegas is an interesting choice for Paula, because, of course, she`s amazingly popular with a whole generation of younger fans who love "American Idol."

So maybe it will cause Las Vegas to turn a little bit more into a family friendly destination. Maybe the kids can go while the parents are losing their college funds at the tables.

But you have to remember, you know, a show would be incredibly physically difficult to do. And Paula, in the process, has had trouble even sitting down and speaking at the same time. So I really wonder whether she`s up for a weeks or months-long physical commitment in Las Vegas.

HAMMER: All right. Well, we will find out. I think it would be kind of fun to see Paula out in Vegas, you know, go play a couple games, go see Paula in a show, and who knows? We`ll wait and see.

Another big story that`s making big news right now. Did you hear about the comedian who is being sued by her mother-in-law? Well, this is no joke. Actually, it`s a biracial woman. She`s Swedish and black and she`s been married to her Jewish husband for more than 11 years.

So it seemed to make perfect sense to her that their mixed backgrounds would make for good fodder during her standup act. And she shared some of her act this morning on NBC`s "Today" show. Take a look.


SUNDA CROONQUIST, COMEDIAN: ... because I have a Jewish mother-in-law. Maybe you`d like (INAUDIBLE). I`m a black woman with a Jewish mother-in- law. Now, you know, the only thing we have in common is that we don`t want to get our hair wet.

You know, I met Ruthie for the first time. And I walked in and I`m trying to be real polite. And I said, "Ruthie, thank you so much for having me." She said, "The pleasure is all mine. Have a seat. Elliot, put my pocketbook away."


HAMMER: All right. Well, guess what? Mother-in-law didn`t like that so much. She is actually suing her daughter-in-law for defamation. And by the way, her son, the comedian`s husband, is a lawyer. Oy! Ben, off to you. Does the mother-in-law need to lighten up here? Or is she on to something.

WIDDICOMBE: I think Ruthie really misjudged this one, because no one had ever heard of Sunda Croonquist before she filed this cockamamie suit in court. Now, we`ll see her everywhere. We`ll see her on "The Daily Show." We`ll watch her on this program. So if Ruthie wanted to punish this woman, she`s done the worst possible thing she could do.

HAMMER: Yes. What do you think about that? Because the comedian says that she`s pulling from some very real and sometimes hurtful incidents from her life with the mother-in-law. And April, what has really ended up happening here is I think she has become the big winner. She`s got national attention. She`s been on the "Today" show. And now she probably gets to spend less time with the mother-in-law?

WOODARD: Yes. And also, there are no momma`s jokes? You can`t tell Momma`s jokes anymore? I mean, what are comedians going to talk about if they can`t talk about their mother-in-law and their life experiences?

So I think this is a little far-stretched for her to try to, you know, go to do a lawsuit and everything. I just want to know what Passover is going to be like when this family gets together. Now, that`s a reality show.

HAMMER: And who gets to ask the four questions? That will be the interesting battle of the evening. Why is this night different from every other night? All right. April Woodard, Ben Widdicombe, thank you very much.

Well, it is Britney`s big comeback, again. Britney Spears and British comedian Russell Brand reunite for an ad for the MTV Video Music Awards. Now, you may remember, they did one last year to promote the VMAs which, of course, was the site of Britney`s disastrous performance the year before.

Well, Russell Brand is hosting again this year. And it`s a whole new Britney. In fact, it`s a whole new Britney in a bikini. Take a look.


BRITNEY SPEARS, POP STAR: Huh, look at that. Russell is hosting the VMAs again this year. Good for him.

RUSSEL BRAND, COMEDIAN: So Britney might be at the VMAs again this year. God, I hope I didn`t (INAUDIBLE) it with her last time.

SPEARS: I wonder if he`ll invite me. I mean, I can obviously get an invite, but it would be nice for Russell to invite me personally, now that we`re friends and all.

BRAND: Oh, no. Some of those things last year could have been construed as offensive. I hope she don`t think ill of me.

SPEARS: Should I have played up more when he was flirting with me last year? I have to admit there`s something sexy about his dangerous ways.

BRAND: Hold on a minute. That`s Britney`s voice in my mind. If I can hear her voice in any mind - Britney, this is the voice of your mind. Go to Russell`s hotel room and abandon yourself. Give yourself to him, Britney. Sleep with Russell. Sleep with him, damn you!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Catch this year`s VMAs, live Sunday, September 13 at 9:00.


HAMMER: That`s pretty good. Now, we don`t actually know if Britney`s going to perform at the VMAs. We hope so. But MTV does say they are going to announce the nominees, the presenters and all the performers, coming up in the next few weeks.

Well, the cast of Seinfeld - they are back. And not just in re-run heaven, mind you. I`m talking Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, all in the same room, again. It`s a festive miracle, I tell you. I`m going to show you the very first photo of the Seinfeld cast reunion. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

It`s time now for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

TEXT: "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch still in jail after court hearing. 1989 Winona Ryder film "Heathers" to be adapted for TV.


HAMMER: Did you see this? Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, together again. The Seinfeld gang is reuniting for an episode of one of my favorite shows, "Curb Your Enthusiasm," this season.

The show stars Seinfeld co-creator Larry David. And the new season gets underway September 20th, yada, yada, yada.

But now, the gang came together to pose for the cover of "Entertainment Weekly," which, unfortunately, is in the vault until Friday. Michael Richards says it was easier to be Kramer again because he kept his shoes.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Tonight, Britain`s newest overnight singing sensation speaks out. Britain`s version of "American Idol" called the "X Factor" has only just begun. The 27-year-old teacher Danyl Johnson is already the one to watch. Now, Simon Cowell called his performance the best first audition he has ever heard.


Well, today, we got to know a little more about the singer many are calling the next Susan Boyle. Danyl said his students encouraged him to audition, and he`s glad they did because music is his passion.

Now keep in mind, there are four months of competition to go. So all these attention has got to be putting a lot of pressure on Danyl. Well, Matt Lauer asked him about that on the "Today" show this morning.


MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: This is just the first audition, and already, a million people have gone online to watch this. How has your life changed just even in this short period of time?

DANYL JOHNSON, CONTESTANT, "X FACTOR": I mean, where do you go from there? I mean, it`s just been pretty mental, but it`s been pretty nice. Actually, everyone has been really nice. They`ve done some really nice things and stuff.

And I`ve just done the normal things of hanging with my friends. And I went to the pub quiz yesterday. So you know, I`ve just normal things and just kept my friends really close and my family as well. They are so proud. I`m very happy.


HAMMER: Yes. I imagine that has been pretty mental. Danyl says that he is hoping to live the dream, write songs and make an album. And we wish him all the luck.

Well, Wednesday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Jon and Kate Drama: Should they stop talking about their problems?" Look at it. A lopsided result with 96 percent of you saying yes; four percent no.

A lot of E-mails came in, too. We heard from Kimberly in Hawaii who writes, "If they really love their kids, Jon and Kate will quiet down and develop a respectful relationship and focus on the children`s needs."

Joy from Georgia writing, "They should definitely stop talking about the problems and be at home to take care of their kids."

Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you so much 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 in the morning, too, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on HLN.