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Roman Polanski Arrested; Disturbing Michael Jackson Tapes; Are Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul Reuniting?; Hugh Jackman`s Cell Phone Fury

Aired September 28, 2009 - 23:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HOST: Right now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Roman outrage. Tonight, the shocking arrest of legendary director Roman Polanski more than 30 years after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor. Why each Polanski`s victim is saying, "Leave Roman alone. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the great debate - was the arrest just plain wrong?

Tonight, the disturbing Michael Jackson tapes. Brand-new revelations on NBC`s "Dateline" about how Jackson said his father would beat him and how he would fantasize his father would just drop dead.


MICHAEL JACKSON, POP STAR: Janet and myself, we`d say - I`d say, "Janet, shut your eyes." She`d go, "OK." I`d say, "Picture Joseph in a coffin. He`s dead."


BANFIELD: Plus, are Simon and Paula reuniting? Tonight, the reported $100 million deal in the works.

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


Hello, everyone. I`m Ashleigh Banfield in New York. A.J. Hammer has the night off tonight.

And tonight, Roman outrage. There was an explosive reaction around the world today for the startling arrest in Switzerland of legendary director Roman Polanski more than 30 years after pleading guilt to having sex with a minor. The Oscar-winning director sits in a Swiss jail tonight.

There was international mystery and intrigue today about why the decision was made to go after Polanski now. And from Hollywood to Washington, from France to Switzerland, the arrest of Polanski made for big news breaking today.


BANFIELD (voice-over): Legendary director Roman Polanski, who brought us "Rosemary`s Baby," "Chinatown" and the Oscar-winning film "The Pianist" is dealing with yet another very real personal drama, one that has even sparked an explosive international incident.

More than 30 years after the case that led him to flee to Europe, the 76-year-old was blindsided over the weekend in Switzerland. He was arrested on charges stemming from the decades-old case in which Polanski admitted to having sex with a minor.

Polanski walked into a police trap at the Zurich airport over the weekend where he was supposed to receive a lifetime achievement award from a Zurich film festival. Instead, he was arrested and thrown in jail.

And now, he may be forced to return to Los Angeles for the first time since the case made international headlines. But tonight, Polanski says he will fight extradition back to the U.S. That`s what his lawyer said this morning on "Good Morning America."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wants to struggle, and I think it would be possible for us to obtain his freedom.

BANFIELD: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is in Zurich tonight as the controversy and outrage continue. CNN`s own Morgan Neill tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT this could be one long battle with the U.S.

MORGAN NEILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here at the film festival, the reaction has been overwhelmingly pro-Roman Polanski. What we`re hearing is that they are going to try to fight this extradition request.

Now, one of the things they will be hoping for is some kind of bail. They`re hoping to see him freed under bail with a promise, of course, that he would return for judgment. We heard from a Swiss legal expert here who says he thinks that could very well happen.

BANFIELD: Polanski has been running from the U.S. since 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with then 13-year-old Samantha Gailey. He admitted to giving her Quaaludes and champagne and served 42 days in jail under psychological evaluation.

He had struck a plea bargain, but fled to the U.S. after hearing the judge planned to sentence him to even more jail time than originally agreed upon. He told ABC`s Diane Sawyer in 1994 that it took a long time to really understand what he had done.

ROMAN POLANSKI, AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR: I think at that time I had a hard time to persuade myself that it was wrong because I don`t think anybody was hurt.


POLANSKI: At that time, I said. Later on, I realized, you know, I was too close to the forest to see the trees.

BANFIELD: The victim, now 45, says she forgives Polanski. She says she wants to see the case dismissed and told CNN`s Larry King she doesn`t want him to serve any more jail time.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": You didn`t think he deserved more time in jail?

SAMANTHA GEIMER, VICTIM OF ROMAN POLANSKI: No. And the publicity was just so traumatic and so horrible that his punishment was secondary to just getting this whole thing to stop.

BANFIELD: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that U.S. prosecutors say they consider him a convicted felon and fugitive and want justice served.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": It was statutory rape.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": It`s not consensual sex when he was 13 and he was 40.

BANFIELD: Today, The ladies of "The View" had an explosive debate over whether Polanski deserved to be arrested.

SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": As a grown person, take responsibility for the fact that you knew. Take responsibility for the fact that you fled the country.

BANFIELD: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, most of Europe is outraged at Polanski`s arrest. France is so mad their culture minister, Frederic Mitterand, lashed out at the United States.

FREDERIC MITTERAND, CULTURE MINISTER OF FRANCE (through translator): In the same way that there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America that has just shown its face.

BANFIELD: Both France and Poland have appealed to none other than U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, demanding Polanski`s release. But the State Department said this is pretty much California`s deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The role of the Department of State will simply be to review that request.

BANFIELD: No one can know for sure the outcome of this explosive arrest, but one thing is certain - this is yet another dramatic chapter in the life of one of the world`s most controversial directors.


So, was it really necessary to arrest Roman Polanski? With us tonight in New York is Carolina Bermudez, who is a senior editor for "In Touch Weekly." And tonight, in Hollywood, Carlos Diaz who is a correspondent for "Extra."

OK. There are a lot of things that we`ve got to keep in mind here about what has happened to Polanski through the years. Back in `77, he served 42 days in prison after reaching a plea deal.

Earlier this year, an L.A. superior court judge acknowledged that there were problems with the way the case was originally handled. And as we`ve heard, Polanski`s victim, Samantha Geimer, has said repeatedly that she thinks this case should be closed.

So Carolina, given all that, should he still have been arrested? Or is it finally time to let this thing go?

CAROLINA BERMUDEZ, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Well, that`s the hard question. I mean, actually, I think my feelings are so conflicted on this story that I don`t even know how to answer that.

We are looking at the victim here that says she doesn`t want to be dragged in the mud again and the public outcry of everyone that she is hearing right now. I mean, here`s the point.

The guy did flee. He is a fugitive. And I know that justice does need to be served, but why after 30 years and why the setup sting? He used to vacation in Switzerland three months at a time. Why have they let this go on to this point and why is the State of California pursuing this so vehemently? That`s what I`m not understanding.

BANFIELD: Totally cat and mouse. And I think you`re right. There is some questions about the timing here. Samantha Geimer, the victim you were talking about - she couldn`t have been clearer about how she feels than when she spoke to CNN`s Larry King back in 2003. Take a look at this.


GEIMER: I never even asked for him to be put in jail.

KING: Your father was happy with it?

GEIMER: Well, I don`t know about that. I didn`t talk to him about it.

KING: You didn`t think he deserved more time in jail?

GEIMER: No and the publicity was just so traumatic and so horrible that his punishment was secondary to just getting this whole thing to stop. I mean, it was crazy - people outside my house and, you know, it was horrible.


BANFIELD: So Carlos, you heard Polanski`s victim there. Was this arrest really necessary? Or is it time to move on?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": It`s tough for a man to answer that question - I`ll be honest with you - because if I say, "Oh no, they should let him go," then I`d sound like I`m insensitive to the 13-year-old girl at the time back in 1977.

But the fact of the matter is I watched that entire "LARRY KING" interview today. And she is very well-spoken. She`s very articulate when she says, "You know, listen. It was a bad thing that he did. I have forgiven him. I think we should move on."

The problem is, now, they have him. So there are two scenarios. You let him go and all of a sudden, the United States looks like - you know, we don`t know what we are doing. Or we bring him in and all of France is mad at us. Now, the problem is they have him now and that`s where the conflict now arises.

BANFIELD: Yes. And he`s going to fight tooth and nail on this one, he said. And I can tell you one person who certainly thinks that Polanski deserves to go back to jail is "View" co-host, Joy Behar.

And let`s not forget, Joy`s brand-new show, "THE JOY BEHAR SHOW" starts - it debuts right here on HLN, Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. But at her day job, on "The View" this morning, Joy said that even though Polanski`s victim forgave him, there was still a crime committed. Watch this.


BEHAR: Forgiveness is not permission. And forgiveness doesn`t mean he didn`t break the law. I believe that no matter how old you are or how long the crime was committed, that you should be punished for it.


BANFIELD: But Carolina, what about those people who say he did serve that time in jail. That was the agreed upon time. He did everything that was asked about him. He did it all voluntarily, showed up for everything.

There are allegations and strong evidence that the judge in this case reneged on the plea deal, did some ex parte communication, may have misbehaved. Should that count for anything?

BERMUDEZ: I believe so. And I think that that`s the angle that they`re going to go with. There was a sign of judiciary misconduct.

And I think that`s really where Roman Polanski is standing, saying, "Look, I went and I served the time in the mental institution. I was there for 42 days. I went under evaluation. Once I heard that I was going to have to show up back in court and the judge reneged on this deal," that`s the reason why he fled.

Although, I do have to agree with Joy, if this were the common man, the book would have been thrown at him a long time ago - that`s why this is such a hard, hard story to handle.

BANFIELD: If they could have caught up with that common man. Carolina Bermudez and Carlos Diaz, thanks very much for your thoughts on that.

And now, we want to hear from you about Roman Polanski. Given that he did everything the system asked him to do before he ultimately fled the U.S., here`s what we`re asking on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Roman Polanski Arrested: Should he be forgiven for having sex with a minor?" Vote at or E-mail us at

Tonight, brand-new revelations from NBC`s "Dateline" and the chilling Michael Jackson tapes.


M. JACKSON: Janet and myself, we`d say - I`d say, "Janet, shut your eyes." She`d go, "OK, they`re shut." I`d say, "Picture Joseph in a coffin. He`s dead. Did you feel sorry?" She would go, "No."


BANFIELD: Michael in his own words, talking about how he and his sister would fantasize about their father dying and disturbing descriptions of the alleged abuse that Michael suffered.

Also, are Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul reuniting? Tonight, reports that a $100 million deal may be in the works.

Plus, Simon`s incredible confessions about himself and Sarah Palin. Listen up. Wait until you hear what new HLN star Joy Behar is saying about you. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Khloe Kardashian married L.A. Laker Lamar Odom in a ceremony in Beverly Hills. Sneak peek screenings of Michael Jackson movie sell out in two hours.


BANFIELD: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Ashleigh Banfield in New York. A.J. Hammer has the night off tonight.

Everybody here at HLN is super-excited about the debut of "The Joy Behar Show." Joy`s new show starts Tuesday night right here on HLN. And Joy sat down with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s A.J. Hammer. And he asked her what we can expect from her new show. Take a look.


BEHAR: We`ll have an interview with someone, you know, on the one-on-one like you are doing. Then we`ll have a panel of people talking about issues of the day, different kinds of people going in and weighing in on topics - Republicans, Democrats - people on all different sides of the issue. We`ll have another guest. We`ll have - I have been doing rants every day on something, you know.

A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT HOST (on camera): So it`s going to be - there will be some entertainment. There will be politics.


HAMMER: It`s a little bit of everything.

BEHAR: Yes. It`s a talk show, you know. I mean, the morning talk shows on Sunday always fascinate me like "McLaughlin Report" and "Meet The Press." I like the panels that they have. And John King has them on CNN. I love those kinds of shows. So we`ll do a lot of that, but with a little lighter pop culture like you do over here. We`ll have politics - a potpourri.

HAMMER: It will be a different feel than I imagine, considerably different from what you do every morning on "The View." So what about doing this show really excites you the most about it? Because it`s really a chance, I see it, for you to sink your teeth into something different every day.

BEHAR: Really, yes. I think it is. And it`s also going to be like - every segment is going to have a little bit more to talk about than I can on "The View." "The View" has five people a lot of days, sitting there, trying to talk at one time.

It`s a little bit difficult to get through every subject. I mean, it`s entertaining in its own right. But this - sometimes I leave there and think, "I have more to say on that."


BEHAR: Or I want to hear somebody else talk more about it. So this show will provide that for me.

HAMMER: You get to start a point and finish it.

BEHAR: Yes. I mean, I won`t be -

HAMMER: Because that does get missed out sometimes in the morning.

BEHAR: Right.

HAMMER: Well, I`m sure that you have your wish list of guests. And you`ve said - I believe you said to me once that you would love to have Sarah Palin on your show.

BEHAR: I know.

HAMMER: She would be a terrific guest. But what in particular - what would you love to ask Sarah Palin? What are you going to ask?

BEHAR: Well, there things to ask her about some of the outrageous statements she has made in the past. What is she talking about?

You know, one of the first things I would like to ask her is, no one has really gone there with her on Katie Couric when she said - when Katie answered, "What do you read?" and she couldn`t give an answer.

What happened to her? She is not stupid. Why couldn`t she come up with, you know, "The Moose Gazette" - something? "The Daily News," "The New York Times" or "Time" magazine, "Newsweek."

She couldn`t think of one thing to say? What was the matter with her? Did she have like a little bit of a seizure at that moment or what?

Also, you know, I have serious questions to ask her. You know, she doesn`t believe in choice for women even in the cases of rape and incest. I think that that`s really rather abusive to women to say something like that.

That`s why women have turned on her, a lot of women who actually were welcoming another woman in the game. But when you say things like that and you say, "Oh my god. This woman would not protect me if something happened to me," you know, that`s a serious issue. Yes.

HAMMER: And being able to challenge her and say, "Hey, how is that not narrow-minded? How can you not expand your thinking beyond that?"

BEHAR: Yes. Exactly.

HAMMER: We are looking forward to hearing you talk about all this stuff on your show. Welcome. Seriously, congratulations.

BEHAR: Thank you, A.J.

HAMMER: Everybody - Joy Behar, finally at HLN, and we couldn`t be happier.

BEHAR: Thank you very much.


BANFIELD: Yes, seriously. We are all really looking forward to Joy`s new show. And Joy just confirmed on "The View" today that she has a huge guest for her first show, Bette Midler. So be sure to tune in to the debut of the "JOY BEHAR SHOW," Tuesday, 9:00 p.m., HLN.

The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have been inundated with people calling in about Mackenzie Phillips` shocking incest claims. The phone started ringing the minute Mackenzie said she had a sexual affair with her father over a 10-year period.

We got a call into "Showbiz on Call" from Lucinda in Tennessee. She says Mackenzie should be praised for coming forward with such a painful family secret.


LUCINDA, CALLER FROM TENNESSEE: I think Ms. Phillips is incredibly brave. The healing process has finally begun for her and ultimately her family. I wish all people who have been molested as a child would come forward and begin to heal.


BANFIELD: Thank you, Lucinda. We also heard from Robin calling in to "Showbiz on Call" from Tennessee.

ROBIN, CALLER FROM TENNESSEE: I keep hearing the word "uncomfortable" thrown around in regard to Mackenzie Phillips, that it`s making people uncomfortable for her to come out with this.

I`m sure she was very uncomfortable when it was happening to her as well. Has anyone thought about that? I applaud her for coming forward. Good for you, Mackenzie. Maybe you`ll help some other girls in the same situation.


BANFIELD: Well, thank you, Robin. You can call us at "Showbiz on Call" and let us know what you think about this or anything else that`s on your mind. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are always open. Call us at 1- 888-SBT-BUZZ; that`s 1-888-728-2899. Leave us a voicemail and we`ll play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And your calls online are also available on our homepage,

A pretty scary explosion in a small Massachusetts town and it is connected to Tom Cruise. Holy cow. So why did people in this small town see a fireball in the sky? And what the heck does Tom Cruise have to do with the massive explosion?

Also, a different kind of explosion on "SNL" - an F-bomb live on TV. I`ll tell you who dropped it. And wait until you see her face when she realizes what she`d just done.

Also, brand-new, chilling moments from the Michael Jackson tapes revealed on NBC`s "Dateline."


M. JACKSON: My father would walk in the room and God knows I`m telling the truth. I`ve fainted in his presence many times.


BANFIELD: Michael Jackson in his own words, describing in horrific detail his father`s alleged abuse and how he used to fantasize about his dad dying. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Bruce Willis` new movie, "Surrogates" flops, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" number one again. Mischa Barton`s new TV series, "Beautiful Life" cancelled after just two episodes.


BANFIELD: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Ashleigh Banfield. A.J. Hammer has the night off.

Did you see this? An F-bomb on "SNL." Talk about a rookie mistake. New cast member Jenny Slate had quite a memorable debut on the show. She was in a skit called "Biker Chick Chat" with Kristen Wiig. And apparently, she accidentally dropped an F-bomb. Check this out.


JENNY SLATE, CAST MEMBER, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": What did do you this weekend?

KRISTEN WIIG, CAST MEMBER, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Freaking drank beer and made jean shorts.

SLATE: Freaking love you.

WIIG: Who freaking knows, so who`s your first guest?

SLATE: Are you freaking kidding me right now? It`s who it always is, my freaking best friend, Donna.

WIIG: Get off my freaking back. I know it`s Donna. I was trying to make an atmosphere.

SLATE: Then bust into a freaking Yankee candle store and get a freaking bay berry candle.

WIIG: You know what?

SLATE: You freaking threw an ashtray full of butts at my head. You know what? You stood up for yourself and I (EXPLETIVE DELETED) love you for that.

WIIG: You`re in my heart, babe. You`re in my heart.


BANFIELD: Did you see her face when she realized what she did? Let`s watch it again.


SLATE: You stood up for yourself and I (EXPLETIVE DELETED) love you for that.


BANFIELD: Oh, poor Jenny. The west coast was actually spared here F-bomb when "SNL" replaced it with the word "freaking."

But did you see this? Quite a show in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Check it out. A giant shooting fireball - 200-foot tall mushroom cloud all in the name of movie magic.

Now, that is an elaborate scene simulating a plane crash, actually, for an upcoming movie starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. It is called "Wichita." A local fire department and the other safety pros stayed up all night with the film crew just to make sure they can pull this one off.

The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page is overrun with comments about Mackenzie Phillips` shocking incest claims last week. Mackenzie said she and her father had sex over a 10-year period. There`s been some backlash over Mackenzie speaking out.

Candace R. writes, "Addicts are often known for elaborate storytelling, whether true or not. Her timing is questionable."

But Tammy P. writes, "People should leave Mackenzie alone. If you haven`t been in that situation, then you haven`t got a clue as to what she went through."

Remember I want to hear from you on Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter for breaking entertainment news alerts. Sign up for our Facebook and Twitter pages at

And now, the SHOWBIZ lineup - here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Are Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul reuniting? Tonight, reports of a $100 million deal is in the works.

Some brand-new, disturbing revelations from the Michael Jackson tapes - Michael in his own words describing his father`s alleged abuse.

And Hugh Jackman`s rage after a cell phone rings during his Broadway performance. Why anyone who`s ever been interrupted by a cell phone is going to be applauding Hugh`s response. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Madonna ties Elvis Presley`s record for most number one albums in Britain, each with 11. Britney Spears wraps up the American leg of her "Circus" tour in Las Vegas.


BANFIELD: Now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, disturbing brand-new Michael Jackson tapes - Michael`s fantasies about his dad dropping dead.


M. JACKSON: Janet and myself, we`d say - I`d say, "Janet, shut your eyes." She`d go, "OK, they`re shut." I`d say, "Picture Joseph in a coffin. He`s dead. Did you feel sorry?" She would go, "No."


BANFIELD: Tonight, Michael`s astounding revelations caught on tape.

Simon Cowell`s raw confessions. The tough-as-nails "American Idol" judge opens up about his personal demons.

Hugh Jackman`s cell phone fury.


HUGH JACKMAN, ACTOR: I cannot see his face. All the time, his face. You want to get that?



BANFIELD: It is the video we`ve uncovered today that`s going to make you stand up and cheer.

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 Ashleigh Banfield in New York. A.J. Hammer has the night off.

Tonight, brand-new revelations from the disturbing and chilling Michael Jackson tapes on NBC`s "Dateline." And now, there are brand-new devastating stories of Jackson talking about his father from beatings to wishing his father was dead.

Here is the big news breaking tonight. Jackson is heard on the tape saying he hated his father for beating him. And for the first time, Jackson admits he actually pictured his father dead in a coffin.

Michael also reveals his debilitating fear of his father even after he became a worldwide superstar. Michael says he would just throw up seeing his dad. And Jackson in his own words on why he thinks he was treated like a freak by the media. He said it was racism.

Joining me tonight in New York is Jane Velez-Mitchell who is the host of "ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL" which you can catch every night right here on HLN. She`s also the author of the fabulous new book, "I Want: My Journey from Addiction and Over-Consumption Simpler, Honest Life," in stores right now. And also joining me tonight in Hollywood is Carlos Diaz who is a correspondent for "Extra."

All right, you two. The tapes we heard were from some 30 hours of interviews that Jackson taped with his former spiritual advisor, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach from 1999 through 2001. Jackson`s heard in unbelievably graphic detail claiming that his father had a ritual of abuse, that he hated his father and would even imagine his father dead. Take a listen to this.


M. JACKSON: He was rough. The way he would beat you was - you know, was hard. You know? Sometimes you take - he would make you strip nude first. He would oil you down. It would be a ritual. He would oil you down so when the flip of the ironing cord hit you just, you know - it would just, like, be dying and you had whips all over your face, your back, everywhere.

M. JACKSON: We used to say to our mother - we`d say to each other - and I`ll never forget this. Janet and myself, we`d say - I`d say, "Janet, shut your eyes." She`d go, "OK, they`re shut." I`d say, "Picture Joseph in a coffin. He`s dead. Did you feel sorry?" She would go, "No."

That`s what we used to do to each other. We`d like play games like that. She`d go, "No." Just like that. And that`s how hateful we were.


BANFIELD: Jane, Michael Jackson saying he pictured his own father dead because of all of this abuse. Does this surprise you at all?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST, "ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL": Well, some of new details are shocking, she idea that anyone would oil a little boy`s body so when you whip them, it becomes more painful. That is true sadism.

But overall, we have known for a long time and Michael Jackson has spoken on camera about this in the past of these horrific beatings that left him nauseous, that left him terrified of his father.

And in 2003, Joe Jackson actually admitted that - he said, "I didn`t beat him. But I whipped him with a belt and a stick," as if there was a difference between beating somebody and whipping them with a belt and a stick. This is horrific stuff and it`s a cautionary tale. Hopefully, all parents have moved beyond this kind of sick discipline.

BANFIELD: Yes. Seems almost like that Joe Jackson might not have known what it means to beat a child. You know, the Michael Jackson that we all knew and loved was the ultimate showman, the powerful performer who commanded stage with the moonwalk and was thrilling those audiences all around the world. So Carlos, does it absolutely boggle your mind when you hear how somebody, once seen as so powerful, could be so hurt and so vulnerable?

DIAZ: You know, I`m not psychiatrist, but it`s the classic, you know, trying to please your parents, parents that can never be pleased. At least his father, Joe, could never be pleased.

I mean, you know, people talk about that moonwalk performance at the Motown Awards, you know, where we first saw the moonwalk. People don`t know that Michael Jackson cried after that performance because it wasn`t up, you know, to what he thought would be his father`s expectations.

Here`s a guy in Michael Jackson that was trying to please Joe Jackson, a man that was impossible to please. And that`s what kept driving Michael Jackson over and over again. And I was as horrified as Jane was when I heard the whole oil-me-down story for beatings. I mean, that is premeditated. That`s is -

BANFIELD: Not reactionary. You`re right.

DIAZ: That is premeditated.

BANFIELD: Just - it`s sick to think of how that could have actually played out. And it isn`t like we haven`t heard that Michael had problems with his father before, but never in this kind of frightening detail from Michael himself.

He was about 42 years old, guys, when he recorded these confessions with the rabbi. And keeping that in mind, listen to how Michael said he felt as an adult when Joe Jackson would walk into a room. He said it actually made him physically ill.



M. JACKSON: I`m scared of my father to this day. My father would walk in the room and God knows I`m telling you the truth. I`ve fainted in his presence many times. I`ll say once to be honest. I fainted once. I`ve thrown up in his presence because just when he comes in the room, this aura comes and my stomach starts hurting.

I know, like, I`m in trouble. One thing he said, "Why are you scared of me?" And I couldn`t answer. I thought - I said, "Joseph, do you know what you`ve done? Do you know what you`ve done to me?"


BANFIELD: Jane, will anyone who has heard Jackson in his own words be able to even look at Joe Jackson the same way?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think so. And he certainly hasn`t behaved very well in the wake of his son`s death. We all remember how he went on the red carpet and started promoting his new record album when people were asking about his son`s death, which was completely - completely creepy.

And this is one of the reasons why when Katherine was fighting for custody of the Jackson children, she had to get Joe Jackson to promise, "I will not live at the family compound and I will have absolutely nothing to do with raising these children." That`s how toxic this guy is.

BANFIELD: Michael`s abusive past obviously haunted him throughout his life, but so did the tabloids and all the press. They pounced on his bizarre lifestyle.

And in one of those tapes, you guys, that aired on "Dateline," Michael actually blamed racism for why what he called the white press turned on him and turned him into a freak. Listen.


M. JACKSON: You had Belafonte, you had Sammy, you had Nat King Cole. People had their music, but they didn`t get adulation. They didn`t get the crying. I was the first one to break the ice, break the mold where white girls, Scottish girls, Irish girls screaming, "I`m in love with you. I want to -" and that gave a lot of the white press - they didn`t like that.

And that`s why they started these stories. "He`s weird." "He`s gay." "He sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber." "He wants to buy the Elephant Man bones." Anything that turned people against me. They tried their hardest.


BANFIELD: Wow. Carlos, what do you make of this racist conspiracy theory?

DIAZ: Well, I do agree with Michael Jackson that he did break boundaries. I mean, he really introduced African-American videos to MTV. I mean, there were no African-American videos before Michael Jackson as far as being played on MTV. So he did break the mold there.

And he really was one of the first artists that white girls like, "Wow. He`s attractive. I wouldn`t mind dating that guy." And hey, there you go. But I don`t think the media, you know, went down those roads because of racism. I mean, he`s a uniquely eccentric individual. I think that that`s what fuelled it, not because he was black.

BANFIELD: Well, Carlos, Jane Velez-Mitchell, thanks so much to both of you.

Tonight, also the startling Hugh Jackman smackdown. He goes nuts on a guy whose cell phone rings right in the middle of his Broadway show.


JACKMAN: I cannot see his face. All the time his face -you want to get that?



BANFIELD: If you have ever been annoyed by a cell phone call, you are going to love this unbelievable video.

And Simon Cowell`s raw confessions. The tough-as-nails "American Idol" judge opens up about his own personal demons.

Tonight, Joy`s angry words about Elton John not being allowed to adopt a baby because he`s gay.


BEHAR: He may be gay, but he also happens to be a celebrated humanitarian. And he`s been knighted by the Queen of England. And in fact, some people think he is the Queen of England.


BANFIELD: Less than 24 hours before Joy Behar kicks off her brand-new show here on HLN, she is igniting a firestorm. Oh, boy. Oh, Joy. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: R. Kelly to finish five songs he worked on with Michael Jackson. "American Idol" season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini marries in his PA hometown.


BANFIELD: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Ashleigh Banfield in New York. A.J. Hammer has the night off tonight.

And tonight, we are on the verge of seeing a reunion. Are we really? Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul? There is big news breaking.

This new report today that Simon Cowell is signing a $100 million deal that will cover his "American Idol" contract and bring his British TV show, "The X Factor," to the U.S. And the deal may include a brand-new partnership with Paula.

Also brand-new tonight, Hugh Jackman`s cell phone fury. You have got to see the video that surfaced today after a cell phone went off while Jackman was sharing a Broadway stage with James Bond star, Daniel Craig.

Joining me tonight in New York, Carolina Bermudez, who is a senior editor for "In Touch Weekly." And from Hollywood, Jeremy Blacklow, who is the managing editor for

OK, you guys. Let`s get to that report in "The Daily Mirror" in London that Simon Cowell is doing that $100 million deal to bring "The X Factor" to the U.S. and that Paula, Ms. Abdul herself, is in the running for a spot on the show as a judge. Carolina, do you think that would be a smart move for Paula and actually for Simon, too?

BERMUDEZ: Well, definitely. It doesn`t get much better than that. I mean, think of all the publicity - Simon and Paula back together. That`s a perfect, perfect combination. And everybody knows that behind the scenes, Simon really is very fond of Paula. So I think that if anything, it would get them the publicity that they need at the very beginning of the show.

BANFIELD: And ever since Paula was replaced by Ellen DeGeneres on "American Idol," Simon has really barely commented on it. Jeremy, do you think it`s because he is secretly been working away behind the scenes with Paula?

JEREMY BLACKLOW, MANAGING EDITOR, "ACCESSHOLLYWOOD.COM": I think that`s very likely. Like Carolina said, they are close friends and I think it`s very likely that "The X Factor" will be on U.S. TV sets in 2010. And Simon has a lot to gain from bringing that show over here, let`s just say.

BANFIELD: And he`s also celebrating the big 5-0, his 50th birthday. And get this, he just posted a pretty amazing and very lengthy open letter to his younger self in London`s "Daily Mail."

He writes to himself, quote, "You never married, but you have no regrets about that. Family life would be a problem now. You almost never stop working or thinking about work. In Los Angeles, you like to sit out by the pool at night, have a beer and a cigarette and think and think and think. Sometimes, when friends are over, you want to ask them to leave. You get hit by black moods and you want to be alone. Stuff like that is difficult when you have a wife and kids." I`ll say. Carolina, yowza! How about that? Simon Cowell, moody guy. Are you surprised?

BERMUDEZ: Not at all. But, you know, I loved this letter. I think it gives us a realistic look into who Simon Cowell is as a man, also into an industry that really chews people off and spits them out.

This letter to his younger self, it gave us a look into a guy who normally we think he has this cold black heart. And it kind of made him a little bit more approachable in my opinion.

BANFIELD: I was just surprised he did it at all. I have never seen him to really be into writing personally about himself.

But I want to move on to Hugh Jackman and his cell phone fury. During his Broadway play, "A Steady Rain," Jackman and co-star Daniel Craig were rudely interrupted by a ringing cell phone in the audience. The best part, though, is how both Hugh and Daniel handled it. Take a look at this.


JACKSON: I cannot see his face. All the time his face - you want to get that?


You want to get it? Grab it. I don`t care. Grab your phone. It doesn`t matter. Come on. Just turn it off. Come on. What the matter? Unless you`ve got a better story - you want to get up here and tell your story.


DANIEL CRAIG, ACTOR: Can you get that? Whoever that is, can you get it? We can wait. Just get the phone.

JACKMAN: Don`t be embarrassed. Just grab all phones. Just grab your phone.


You got it? Good. Great.

CRAIG: Daniel took it hard.



BANFIELD: I can`t imagine being that person. I think it kept ringing because the person didn`t want to admit it was his or her phone. Jeremy, you`ve got to think that anybody who has ever been annoyed by a rude cell phone is about to stand up in the living room right now and cheer, "Right on, guys."

BLACKLOW: Just like all the people in that theater did. And of all the plays to have your cell phone ring at, the one with Wolverine and 007 - I mean, bad luck.

BANFIELD: You know, I love it. I never know whether they`re supposed to get out of character, have fun with an audience. But I have seen Hugh Jackman do this before. I was actually in an audience - "The Boys from Oz," when he was on stage.

And he did the same thing. People walked in late and he just played it right into the part of the show. So you`ve got to kind of wonder, Carolina, I think that`s actually really endearing. It makes you like the character and it makes you like the actor.

BERMUDEZ: Absolutely. That`s why they get paid the big bucks, Ashleigh. And you know, who is the jackass that goes into a Broadway play nowadays and doesn`t turn off their cell phones?

If anything, this is a lesson for us all. Respect the actors that are up there and just do the right thing. Turn it on silent. You are not that important. You don`t need to get phone calls that are that urgent when you are at a Broadway play.

BANFIELD: I`m with you. But I mean, imagine how embarrassing it would be if it was just an accident. Somebody thought he or she turned it off. Jeremy, what`s your advice?

I will put you to the test here. If it were you and you were sitting there with the phone ringing in a dark theater like that and two actors looking at you, would you pretend it wasn`t yours or would you go ahead and play along?

BLACKLOW: You have to fess up with it. There`s no other choice. You have to take the hit and move on. Personally, it never would be me, so it`s hard for me to hypothetically put myself in the situation. But you know, if you don`t admit to it, you should be taken out and flogged and never allowed back into the Broadway theater.

BANFIELD: And there is that little blinking red light that`s probably going to give you away, too. Jeremy Blacklow, thank you. Carolina Bermudez - I appreciate it, both of you.

Tonight, Joy Behar`s explosive new Elton John controversy. Joy`s anger over Sir Elton being rejected as an adoptive parent because he`s gay.


BEHAR: He may be gay, but he also happens to be a celebrated humanitarian and has been knighted by the Queen of England. In fact, some people think he is the Queen of England.


BANFIELD: Whoa. Wait until you hear the new HLN star unleash her fury over Elton`s adoption controversy. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: "Jon & Kate Plus 8" down by nine million viewers since ratings high in June. Lady Gaga named Billboard`s "rising star" at annual Women in Music event.

BANFIELD: Right now, "Hollywood`s A-List - the ugly truth about Mariah Carey. The glamorous songbird is unrecognizable in the gritty film "Precious."

Tonight, Mariah reveals to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT what the director, Lee Daniels, did all he could - everything he could to make her look ugly. Mariah even makes up a brand-new word to describe it.


MARIAH CAREY, SINGER: I mean, really, Lee went all out. He wasn`t just like, "I want you to be plain Jane or whatever." He was like, "You`re going to have -" basically, anything that he considered ugly was what he did to me. Like dark circles and overhead lighting and just like really bad, like hideous - hideosity (ph), I`d call it.


BANFIELD: Mariah plays a social worker and doesn`t sing a note in the movie - another big stretch for her. But she calls it a blessing.


CAREY: Everything in the universe kind of is what it supposed to be and comes back to you. And I just feel really grateful. I feel like, OK, this is a great chance for me to escape from the image of whatever it is that I do.


BANFIELD: "Precious" opens in November.


BANFIELD: Welcome back, everyone, to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Ashleigh Banfield in New York. A.J. Hammer has the night off. And I`ve got to tell you, we are not going to be sleep a wink tonight because we are pretty darn excited about "THE JOY BEHAR SHOW" starting Tuesday night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on HLN.

Very nice it. The tell-it-like-it-is lady is dishing as only Joy can. Don`t believe me? Well, tonight, in her moment of joy, she is totally ticked off about Elton John`s controversial adoption drama.


BEHAR: So, I hear that Ukraine has turned down Elton John`s request to adopt a 14-month-old Ukrainian boy named Lev. OK, who is in charge there? Who is in charge there?

Viktor Yushchenko? I think I dated him. Listen, Viktor, are you saying that Elton John is too old or too gay? Yes. He may be gay, but he also happens to be a celebrated humanitarian and has been knighted by the Queen of England. In fact, some people think he is the Queen of England.

This baby, this poor baby is unwanted, HIV positive and stuck in some depressing orphanage that makes Abu Ghraib look like the presidential suite at the Waldorf with no prospects to move up in the world. Where is he going to go? Estonia?

And here is the chance to be taken in by two loving, fabulously rich parents who will give him the best health care in the universe, and dress him in Versace jammies and cashmere Huggies. So now, Sir Elton will move on and find some other more tolerant country willing to let him be a dad.

Meanwhile, little Lev will likely grow up in foster homes, turn into a bitter vodka-swilling drunk and one day, will return to that orphanage and say, "You (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! I`m living in a dumpster when I could have had front row seats at the garden for the rest of my life and hung out with Sting and Elizabeth Hurley." And that`s a sad story. But maybe that is just me.


BANFIELD: And Joy, we would not have you any other way. And I`ve got more exciting news. Joy`s very first guest is the legendary Bette Midler. So you make sure you tune in to "THE JOY BEHAR SHOW," Tuesday night, 9:00 p.m. right here on HLN.

That`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Ashleigh Banfield in New York. Remember, you can catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s -11:00 p.m. Eastern, 11:00 p.m. Pacific, and in the morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on HLN.