Return to Transcripts main page


David Letterman Sex Extortion Shocker; Brand-New Star War Against Roman Polanski; Jon Gosselin`s New Revelations on "Larry King Live"; The Most Provocative Celebrity of the Week

Aired October 2, 2009 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Right now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the David Letterman sex extortion shocker. Brand-new, late-breaking developments today after Letterman`s incredible on-air confession.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": I have had sex with women who work for me on this show.


Tonight, what`s the real story behind the alleged extortion attempt? And could Letterman get fired over this?

A brand-new star war over Roman Polanski. Kirstie Alley`s remarkable rant against Roman. Chris Rock comparing Roman to O.J. Simpson. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the Roman star outrage.

Plus, today`s brand-new Jon and Kate bombshell. The unbelievable fallout today after Jon Gosselin goes on "LARRY KING LIVE" and opens up about everything.


JON GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": I had an epiphany one day. I just looked in the mirror and I said, "I don`t want to be this person anymore."

HAMMER: TV`s first, 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, David Letterman sex extortion shocker. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT learned today brand-new details about David Letterman`s confessions about the twisted, alleged blackmail plot against him. The extraordinary developments made for big news breaking today.

A producer for the CBS TV show "48 Hours Mystery" was indicted and arraigned on grand larceny charges. He`s accused of demanding $2 million from Letterman to keep quiet about the fact that Letterman had sex with women who worked for him. But he is pleading not guilty. In an extra twist to the story, David Letterman not only fesses up, but actually jokes about this terrifying plot.


LETTERMAN: Would it be embarrass figure it were made public? Perhaps it would, especially for the women.


HAMMER: And late breaking today, New York City`s district attorney reveals all the shocking new details of this incredible story. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wants to know, did David Letterman handle this scandal the right way and could he actually be fired over it?

Joining me tonight in New York is Vinnie Politan who is a host on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Also in New York, Midwin Charles, an attorney for Midwin Charles and Associates.

This extortion case, guys, is just outrageous. Letterman claims that this guy - Joe Halderman is his name. He claims that blackmailed him, asking for $2 million so he would keep quiet about Letterman`s sexual affairs. Now, what Letterman said in the show, it`s just riveting. He revealed that early in September, early in the morning, he found a package in the backseat of his car. Look at this.


LETTERMAN: So I go through it and I study it. And what this is, is a guy who is going to write a screenplay about me. And you know, that`s good news for anyone. Is it, really?

I`m like you. I think really? That`s a little - and this is the word I actually used. That`s a little hinky(ph). So I just want to reiterate how terrifying this moment is.


HAMMER: And Dave didn`t hold back on his show. Vinnie, let me start with you. I`ve got to say, I don`t think that David Letterman could have handled this incredibly sticky situation any better than he did. Are you with me on that?

VINNIE POLITAN, SIRIUS XM SATELLITE RADIO HOST: Oh, I`m with you 100 percent, A.J. The first thing he did - you know, he sees what`s going on here and he contacts authorities. And they get involved immediately.

You know, for a lot of people with that much money, they might have thought about doing this a different way. But he did that the right way. And what he did on the show last night - absolutely incredible, the way he handled it.

I think the only people who were really a little bit confused and uncomfortable were the people in the audience trying to figure out exactly what this was all about.

HAMMER: Yes. They thought it was a build up to a big joke.


HAMMER: And you know, he got up on stage and said, "Guys, I don`t want to you laugh. I`m about to tell you a very serious story."

As you mentioned, Vinnie, Letterman says he contacted the New York D.A. about this blackmail letter. He worked with them to record evidence and eventually bust the guy. He even gave the alleged blackmailer a fake check for $2 million.

Well, the same day the guy cashed the phony check, he was arrested. And then just hours later, that`s when Dave when on the show to confess all of it. Watch how Letterman reveals what he calls the "creepy stuff," as he put it, that the blackmailer threatened to expose.

LETTERMAN: The creepy stuff was that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show. Now, my response to that is, yes, I have. I have had sex with women from this show. And would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would. Perhaps it would, especially for the women.


HAMMER: All day long, people have been wondering about the timeline of all of this. Late this afternoon, Letterman`s spokesperson did tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that these relationships all took place before Letterman was married.

Midwin, I`ve got to ask you. This is obviously very serious stuff, but when Letterman dropped this bomb, people were laughing and they were applauding, sometimes at inappropriate places.

Do you think he`s going to down in history as really the best example of a guy dealing with a potentially explosive sex scandal in the best possible way?

MIDWIN CHARLES, ATTORNEY, MIDWIN CHARLES AND ASSOCIATES: Absolutely. I mean, it seems like the way people typically do these kinds of things is they have a press conference and the wife is standing behind them with an ashen look on her face.

And so this is something that only someone like David Letterman can do because he`s a skilled comedian. There was no better way for him to do this. But I`ve got to tell you, A.J., David Letterman is now the poster boy for Viagra.

HAMMER: Very good. All right. I don`t know if he will be signing the contract with them. We`ll have to wait and see on that. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that late this afternoon, Letterman`s alleged blackmailer - Joe Halderman is his name. He is charged with grand larceny. He was arraigned today.

New York City`s district attorney did hold a press conference today to reveal Halderman blackmailed Letterman by threatening to write a screenplay about his escapades. Take a look at this.


ROBERT MORGENTHAU, NEW YORK DISTRICT ATTORNEY: A one-page screenplay letter treatment attached to the letter referred to Mr. Letterman`s great professional success and to his, quote, "beautiful, loving son." The document related then that Mr. Letterman`s, quote, "world is about to collapse about him," unquote, as information about his private life is disclosed leading to a, quote, "ruined reputation, unquote, and severe damage to his professional and family lives.


HAMMER: Yes. You can certainly understand why this guy thought he could do damage to Dave. Now, this guy faces five to 15 years for this alleged crime. Vinnie, let me ask you, you work in the legal world. Does it blow your mind? I can`t get over that this guy actually thought he could get away with this.

POLITAN: Yes. That`s the part that is the most - the guy worked for "48 Hours Mystery." Hasn`t he seen what happens at the end of the mystery? The bad guys get arrested, right?

I don`t understand what he was thinking, that he could get away with this. Just write the screenplay and try to sell it. Shop it around. You could probably get money for it.

HAMMER: And now, he thinks he can get off on the changes. Late breaking today, we hear that this guy Halderman is completing not guilty to the charges. He was just released on bond. The D.A. said we got the goy on tape. As an attorney, knowing what we know, is it conceivable he could walk?

CHARLES: I doubt it. I mean, remember, he tried to cash the check. He was given a fake check and then tried to cash it. I mean, what is he going to say? He thought that David Letterman was giving him this money so that - for what? To have a good time, go on a vacation?

It just makes no sense. But as a defense attorney you always want to enter in that not guilty plea and put the burden on the prosecution to try to prove that he`s innocent. POLITAN: A.J. if this ever goes to trial, who do you think the jury`s going to like more, David Letterman ...


POLITAN: ... a guy whose professional did this amazing job last night, or this producer from "48 Hours" who`s trying to get $2 million.

CHARLES: I absolutely agree. I mean, I could try this case in the parking lot, if I were the prosecutor, you know what I mean?

HAMMER: Even though justice should be blind to celebrity, we all know the reality is on this. Vinnie, let me ask you this, because obviously, there is a lot of debate now going on about sex in the workplace.

You know, Letterman copped to it. He got out in front of the story, and he shut down hopefully having to ever talk about it again. But he said, "If the women who I was involved in these relationships with want to talk about it, that is their prerogative." Is this something he could actually get fired over?

POLITAN: Yes. And he better hope that they don`t want to talk to a lawyer about all of this. Because don`t forget, when you are the boss and you have people working for you and you are sleeping with them, that is just ripe for sexual harassment, uncomfortable work environment - all those things which is why you have the sensitivity training at any company you work for and why companies say this stuff should not take place.

CHARLES: Absolutely.

POLITAN: So I don`t know what his relationship is with these women at this point, but there is the danger. There`s the danger. Can CBS fire him? Maybe. But remember, we had a president that did something pretty similar. He didn`t get fired. But what he got in trouble for was lying about all of it. David Letterman has not lied about it.

HAMMER: Vinnie Politan, Midwin Charles, thank you both so much for being here. I appreciate your insight on this.

All right. Now, over to you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Letterman Sex Scandal: Was his TV confession the right way to go?" You can give it right, well, you can vote at You can E-mail us more of your thoughts at

And the other big story everybody is talking about today, Jon Gosselin`s brand-new interview bombshell. Why he really pulled the plug on his own show.


J. GOSSELIN: And I want Kate and I to mediate. I want us to become friends. I want us to figure out our marriage and I don`t want to be filmed anymore.


HAMMER: I can tell you Kate Gosselin watched this interview. Oh, I would love to be a fly on that wall. Jon wants to be friends with her? Really? Plus, the secrets of Jon`s finances. What he actually made on the show will be revealed and how much he spent on counseling.

Also making news now, a brand-new star war over Roman Polanski. Kirstie Alley`s remarkable rant against Roman. You`ve got to hear this. Also, Chris Rock even comparing Roman to O.J. Simpson?

And it`s that time again - yes, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show is naming the most provocative celebrity of the week. And you know there is some tough competition - Jon Gosselin, Roman Polanski, David Letterman. Wow! So hard to choose. Who will it be? 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: John Travolta`s lawyer testifies in alleged extortion case in the Bahamas. Travolta`s lawyer says he told defendants they wouldn`t get away with alleged plot. Cover pictures of Sarah Palin`s new book, "Going Rogue," is out. Look!



CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN: People are defending Roman Polanski because he made some good movies?

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE JAY LENO SHOW": Yes, I don`t get it -

ROCK: Are you kidding me?


HAMMER: Tonight, Chris Rock and some of Hollywood`s biggest star are outraged about the support Roman Polanski is getting from some of the biggest names in the business.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Tonight, stars slam Roman. Chris Rock is not the only one lashing out at the big stars who are supporting Roman Polanski after his arrest. Roman fled the U.S. 30 years ago after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

And brand-new tonight, Kirstie Alley is also blasting celebrity Polanski supporters, even calling the legendary director a coward.

Joining me tonight in New York, Vinnie Politan who is a host for Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Also in New York, Midwin Charles, who is an attorney from Midwin Charles and Associates.

All right. So just after Polanski was arrested in Switzerland, some big names in Hollywood like Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and a whole bunch of others signed a letter asking for Polanski to be released. A lot of other stars have been speaking out in support of the famous director.

Kirstie Alley, not having any of it. Let me read what she put up on her Twitter page. She says, "Just for the record, rape is rape. This is one Hollywood star who does not celebrate or defend Roman Polanski. His art did not rape her. There is no such thing as consensual sex with a 13- year-old girl. It is rape and Polanski is a coward. He made two bad choices. Rape and flee."

Vinnie, I`ve got to tell you, I find it hard to argue with Kirstie`s logic. But obviously, there are some in Hollywood who think there is an argument there.

POLITAN: There are some people in Hollywood that are completely out of touch. They get all their facts about this case from what? A movie? That`s like trying to solve the JFK mystery by talking to Oliver Stone.

It`s ridiculous. What you have to do is read the grand jury testimony of this 13-year-old victim. After you read that, then talk to me. And obviously, Kirstie Alley read it because she`s making sense.

HAMMER: Yes. And I love what Kirstie had to say. Her words were so incredibly passionate. Midwin, doesn`t she really sum up so clearly how so many of us are feeling?

CHARLES: She sure does and I think she has done an excellent job of doing that and coming forward and saying this. Besides, do we really want to listen to what Woody Allen has to say about sex with young girls?

POLITAN: I was really surprised Woody supporting Roman.

CHARLES: Yes. Not the one, Woody. You`re not the one. Sorry.

HAMMER: And I`m also saying, not just Kirstie, but Chris Rock. You saw what he said. He made such a great point last night on "The Jay Leno Show." Rock just can`t get over the fact that some stars seem to excuse Polanski for raping a 13-year-old girl. Take a look again what he said.


ROCK: People are defending Roman Polanski because he made some good movies?

LENO: Yes, I don`t get it.

ROCK: Are you kidding me?

LENO: Here`s my thing -

ROCK: He made good movies 30 years ago. Even Johnnie Cochran didn`t have the nerve to go, "Well, did you see O.J. play against New England?


HAMMER: All right. Now, Vinnie, you`ve seen there are some celebrities who have certain justification for supporting Roman Polanski. But whatever reasons these celebrities have for supporting him, are you with me that even if it`s not their intention, they come across as condoning what he did.

POLITAN: Absolutely, because what they do is they deal with what happened 32 years ago to a 13-year-old girl. And they call it, "the so-called crime. It`s not rape, rape. You know, it was so long ago."

They don`t - read the transcript. See what this 13-year-old girl went through. Then talk to me.

HAMMER: Yes. A lot of outrage on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook wall. A lot of people saying that by defending Polanski, it shows just what you were saying, Vinnie, that Hollywood stars think they deserve special treatment.

This is Ashley G. writing, "OK, really, he might be famous, but no one is above the law. If someone who is a nobody raped someone and fled the country, they would be hunted down and thrown in jail for the rest of their lives. He needs to be in jail."

This is Breanna B. writing on our wall, "So sad that Hollywood is defending him. It makes me sick. It is telling the world that, once again, if you are famous, you can get away with anything."

Quickly, when people see stars defending Polanski like this, isn`t it easy to understand why a lot of people think that Hollywood is just out of touch?

CHARLES: It is, definitely. And I hope the justice system does not kowtow to this because it sends a horrific message that someone who pleads guilty - let`s not forget that. This man stood up in court and said, "I did it." So -

HAMMER: Got to end it there. Midwin Charles, Vinnie Politan, thanks, guys. I appreciate it.

All right. I`ve got to tell you we are getting so many calls, fired up people calling in to "Showbiz on Call," not just about Roman Polanski, but about Jon being fire and then trying to pull the plug on "Jon & Kate Plus 8."

Here`s a call to "Showbiz on Call" from Joyce in North Carolina who thinks Jon did the right thing.


JOYCE, CALLER FROM NORTH CAROLINA: For whatever reason, whether it be right or whether it be wrong, Jon has decided his kids do not need to be on the show at this time. I agree. I think it`s a good thing that somebody has finally decided they don`t need to be on the show. And let`s hope he`s (UNINTELLIGIBLE) right now at this moment.


HAMMER: Thank you, Joyce. But Teresa from California is glad that Jon got canned.


TERESA, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: I think Jon deserves to be fired. He`s not really involved in the show. He`s busy out partying and doing his own thing. And I think Jon needs to grow up and act his age and stop acting like a big baby.


HAMMER: Thank you, Teresa. Why don`t you give us a shot at "Showbiz on Call" to let us know what you think about this or anything at all. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are always open - 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 1-888-728- 2899. Please leave us a voicemail. We`d love to play your call here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We are posting them, too, right there on our homepage,

Well, tonight, the explosive fallout over Jon`s brand-new interview. He reveals he was so disgusted with himself.


J. GOSSELIN: I had an epiphany one day. I just looked in the mirror and I said I don`t want to be this person anymore. I made mistakes. I know I messed up.


HAMMER: I don`t know. Should we believe this guy? Is he finally coming clean for real? Also, tonight, we`re revealing the secrets of what Jon got paid on "Jon & Kate Plus 8" and the incredible amount of money he spent on counseling.

Making news right now, is Kanye West paying the ultimate price for dissing Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards? You know what they say. What goes around comes around.

And don`t go anywhere because it`s that time of the week. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT naming the most provocative celebrity of the week. The nominees - Jon Gosselin, Roman Polanski, David Letterman. This is going to be a close vote. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Miley Cyrus cancels Omaha, Nebraska concert because of strep throat. Apple and Eminem`s music publisher settle lawsuit over download rights to Eminem`s songs.



HAMMER: That is Mariah Carey, of course, making it happen during a great live appearance this morning on the "Today" show. Mariah going old school there with "Make It Happen." That`s off her 1991 album, "Emotion." She also did her new hit, "Obsessed." It is terrific - even a cover of the 1980 Foreigner classic, "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Well, Mariah brought some company to the "Today" show. I`m talking about her husband. Nick Cannon was there. Mariah opened up about her relationship with Nick. Now, this is something she hasn`t really done before. They got married back in April of 2008. So here now is Mariah`s vision of love. Listen.


MARIAH CAREY, SINGER: I`ve learned that one needs to be selective and then you can find the right person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that`s Nick Cannon -

CAREY: Of course, Nick Cannon. He`s somewhere hiding. I don`t know where he went.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whirlwind romance - a year and a half later, marriage. How has he changed you?

CAREY: You know, he`s just very - he`s a calming person. But he`s really funny. So he`s got both sides of the whole spectrum going and it`s really nice.


HAMMER: I`m watching this. I have known Mariah for 20 years now. I`m so happy to see you so happy, Mariah.

All right. Hold on. Hold on, Kanye West. I`m going to let you finish. But first, I`ve got to say that your tour is canceled. Kanye`s "Fame Kills" tour has been called off.

Now, he was going to hit the road with Lady Gaga, but TMZ says ticket sales were bad and Kanye and Lady Gaga`s people were fighting. Hey, maybe Kanye and Taylor Swift can go on tour together. I`m just saying. That would be something.

Well, tons of you are fired up today on our Facebook wall all about David Letterman`s shocking admission that he had sex with some of his female coworkers.

Listen to what Rita N. writes, "I`m neither shocked nor disturbed by Dave`s admission. What consenting adults do behind closed doors is up to them. In fact, I say, bravo, Dave for dealing with this the way he did."

But Mitchell P. says, "So now, all celebs need to do is make a joke of it and it will all be forgiven. Why do we put these people on such pedestals? They are just human beings like the rest of us and not always with high morals."

You can sign up for the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page and get our Twitter breaking news alerts at

Now, the SHOWBIZ lineup. Here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

The stunning fallout over Jon Gosselin`s brand-new bombshells. Does he really want to be friends with Kate? Plus, the secrets of what Jon really got paid on "Jon & Kate Plus 8."

And is Jon Gosselin the most provocative celebrity of the week? I mean, look at this. Some pretty tough competition - Roman Polanski, David Letterman. Who will it be? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT picks the most provocative celebrity of the week.

Also this -


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One thing to have a fish fry. But frying your own pet goldfish to get back at your common-law husband?



HAMMER: Yes. That is sick. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Dennis Hopper released from N.Y. hospital, he had severe flu-like symptoms. Newlywed Alyssa Milano calls pregnancy rumors "false and annoying" on Twitter.



J. GOSSELIN: And I want Kate and I to mediate. I want us to become friends. I want us to figure out our marriage. And I don`t want to be filmed anymore.


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the fallout today over Jon Gosselin`s brand-new TV interview bombshells. Now, he reveals he wants to be friends with Kate? Is he for real?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT names the most provocative celebrity of the week - Jon Gosselin, Roman Polanski and David Letterman. It has been one heck of a week, but who will come out on top.


MOOS: One thing to have a fish fry, but frying your pet goldfish to get back at your common-law husband?



HAMMER: It`s the unbelievable real-life story of a woman`s twisted revenge.

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

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


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

Tonight the incredible fallout today after Jon Gosselin`s first interview since he demanded that TLC shut down "Jon & Kate Plus 8."

Here is the big news breaking today. In a brand-new revelation today, Kate`s attorney says she watched Jon`s interview on "LARRY KING LIVE," even heard Jon say he wants to be friends again.

What in the world could Kate be thinking tonight? So what did TLC say today after Jon slammed them on "LARRY KING" accusing the network of blindsiding him and blasting them for continuing to tape "Jon & Kate Plus 8" which he now calls unhealthy for his kids.

And in even more big news breaking, Jon`s bombshell about how much he and the family have really been getting paid to do "Jon & Kate plus 8." And the surprising amount of money he says he spent on marriage counseling.

Joining me tonight, in Hollywood is Hyla who is an entertainment reporter for "" Also joining me tonight in Hollywood, Kim Serafin who is the senior editor with "In Touch Weekly."

All right, guys. As if this Gosselin war couldn`t be more out of control today, for the first time, we`ve got Jon Gosselin speaking out, explaining exactly why he sent TLC that cease and desist order so they would halt taping of "Jon & Kate Plus 8." You have got to see what Jon said on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE" about why he wants the show to end.


J. GOSSELIN: It`s not healthy for my kids to be going through this. I had an epiphany one day. I just looked in the mirror and I said I don`t want to be this person anymore. I made mistakes. I know I messed up. I do regret a lot of things.

But I have to learn from these mistakes and move forward. I have a great lawyer now, Mark Heller. Mike Heller is my manager. I have great family support from his family, the Glassman family, Hailey. And you know, I have the sense of empowerment that I have to take back my life.


HAMMER: Oh, he says he had an epiphany. All of a sudden, he wants to be a better man. You know, I`m all for people changing for the better. But Hyla, do you buy that? Is Jon Gosselin really a changed man after everything that has gone down?

HYLA, ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER, "5DOLLARPREP.COM": Not at all. Every time he speaks, it`s about two to three weeks later, he regrets it. So it`s just a matter of time he`s going to regret this interview, too.

This makes no sense. He is not a genuine person. He needs to just go away for about a good year. And then, let`s see his actions, what happens, how he reacts, not what he says on "LARRY KING LIVE." You can`t believe anything he says.

HAMMER: He can go away for more than a good year if you ask me. And let`s examine this for a moment. Here`s what`s fascinating. Jon says he had this epiphany two days after TLC fired him and announced his name was being dropped from his own reality show.

Now, the show was still taping as of last Friday. Oh, Kim, why don`t you chime in? What do you think? Did he really have an epiphany? Or could it be - call me a cynic - perhaps, he has an ulterior motive here?

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": You know what? Some people have epiphanies for different reasons. Some people have epiphanies when they lose a paycheck and their name is removed from a show that they were the star of. Some people have epiphanies when public opinion turns against them and they are the butt of every late night comic`s joke.

For Jon, it was when he looked in the mirror, not the other things. You know, look - is it possible that he did have an epiphany? Yes. Things like that happen when something big happens in your life.

But I think he probably would need to explain in more detail this epiphany. Was it when, for example, you and Kate Major? Was it when "In Touch" did the story on the nanny? Was it when he saw what was happening in his life and his family?

Yes. I think he would need to explain a little bit more for it to ring true, because the timing, of course, does make it seem not so legitimate.

HAMMER: Yes. No, he needs to come out and say, "Oh, I had an epiphany when I got fired from the show." We all do know that Jon has said in the past that he thought the kids were having a terrific time doing "Jon & Kate Plus 8."

But now, he`s saying something completely different. He`s now saying the show is detrimental to the kids. And as I mentioned, he wants TLC to stop shooting the show. Listen to what he told CNN`s Larry King about that.


J. GOSSELIN: I don`t want them to film anymore. I don`t think it`s healthy for them. And the reason I don`t think it`s healthy for them is that we are going through a divorce right now, and I don`t think it should be televised.

And I think my kids should be taken off the show. You know, now, I have a sense of empowerment. Before, I didn`t have any representation. You know, I take blame for not being an initiator. I was an avoider. I was passive.


HAMMER: All right. So you might be wondering what is TLC saying about all of this now. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, of course, reached out to TLC today. As of show time, they have not responded, which I find it odd because TLC certainly has not been shy in the past about responding to everything. Radio silence today, Hyla. What does that tell you?

HYLA: This doesn`t shock me. I mean, A, they are getting their legal team together. But for Jon Gosselin to say that TLC is exploiting their kids - hello. You are on a reality show. That`s what you do. You exploit. They signed up talent so they could make a profit. They are a TV network. Why is this a surprise to him?

HAMMER: Yes. Well, Jon says he does take the blame, as you heard, for being passive up until now about having his kids on TV. Kim, do you think he deserves some credit now for taking some of the blame here? Or as it appears to me, do you think he is talking out of both sides of his mouth?

SERAFIN: Well, yes, he is sort of owning up to it, so you do have to give him credit for that. And in a way, he is kind of echoing the sentiments of a lot of people out there. A lot of people have been saying this for a long time that they think the show is detrimental to the kids. And he is now agreeing with them.

So is it possible he can kind of get back on the good side of people, get back in their good graces because he is now kind of seeing the light?

Whether it`s a PR stunt, whether it`s his lawyers in there, whether he is kind of repeating the statements that somebody told him to say, it doesn`t matter. Because at the end of the day, it is so ringing true with a lot of people, so he might get some credit there.

HAMMER: Well, in a brand-new development, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT learned today that Kate Gosselin actually watched Jon Gosselin`s interview on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE." And you remember Jon said just weeks ago he despises Kate. He actually has some nice things to say about Kate to Larry. Watch this.


J. GOSSELIN: And now, looking back on what has recently happened after filing for divorce - I mean, this has been a media explosion. This is ridiculous. I have been on the cover of magazines since January, you know.

And it`s just crazy. I want the fodder to stop and I want Kate and I to mediate. I want us to become friends. I want us to figure out our marriage. And I don`t want to be filmed anymore. And I don`t want the kids involved.


HAMMER: Well, I can tell you that in a new report out today, Jon also said that he wanted to apologize to Kate for his actions. I am just trying to imagine Kate sitting there watching Jon tell Larry King that he now wants to be friends with her again. Hyla, do you think Kate was sitting there, thinking, "Hey, fat chance, Jonny"?

HYLA: Honestly, I think they feed off of each other. Because if they really wanted to put their differences aside and do what`s best for the kids, she wouldn`t go on "The View," he wouldn`t go on "LARRY KING." They would go behind closed doors and have a conversation.

I honestly believe they love this. They really feed off of each other. And she`s thinking, "OK, you did this. Now, I`m going to try to one-up you and do this." She is already planning her next attack.

HAMMER: Kim, quickly, do you think that`s what`s really going on here? I mean, this is pretty ugly.

SERAFIN: Oh, Sure. I mean, they could stop filming the show tomorrow and we`d still be talking about it. We`d still be talking about Kate`s appearance on "The View" and what Kate`s lawyer says on the "Today" show and what Jon says on "LARRY KING" and what the next interview is.

That is creating this feeding frenzy. It`s not the show that 1.3 million people watched on Monday night, down like 90 percent in ratings from June.

HAMMER: Well, there, obviously, has also been a lot of speculation overtime about how much money Jon and Kate have earned on their reality show. Larry King actually asked Jon about that. Watch this.


KING: You made a lot of money, didn`t you, Jon?


KING: Not?


KING: What did you make? Last year?


HAMMER: So how much did Jon Gosselin make off of "Jon & Kate Plus 8?" And how many thousands of dollars did he actually spend on counseling? Hyla, Kim Serafin, stay right where you are. Our coverage will continue with his startling answers you won`t want to miss in just a moment.

Speaking of Jon Gosselin, he, of course, is a major contender for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most provocative celebrity of the week. And what a rollercoaster ride it has been as the family implodes in front of our very eyes again.

Jon is not the only star making us shake our heads today, of course. Roman Polanski`s sex charge arrest drama, David Letterman`s alleged blackmail sex shocker. We are naming the most provocative celebrity of the week. And I cannot wait to reveal the winner or is it the loser?


MOOS: It`s one thing to have a fish fry, but frying your own pet goldfish to get back at your common-law husband?



HAMMER: Do you remember the nursery rhyme, "There once was a woman who swallowed a fly?" Well, tonight, I`ve got the real story about a woman who swallowed her husband`s fried goldfish. Wait until you find out why. Oh, my. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: "Transformers 3" opens July 1, 2011, Shia Labeouf and Megan Fox return as film`s stars. Taylor Swift, Queen Latifah and Colbie Caillat to sing on "Dancing with the Stars."


HAMMER: So who will be named SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most provocative celebrity of the week? Will it be Jon Gosselin, Roman Polanski or David Letterman? Certainly, a tough choice tonight, but we will make the call in a moment. You won`t want to miss it when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT names the most provocative celebrity of the week.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. I want to get back to one of those nominees who may our most provocative celebrity of the week, Jon Gosselin.

Our coverage of his explosive brand-new interview continues now with Jon`s war. What about the money? Wait until you hear what Jon is saying about the money that he and his family have been making from "Jon and Kate Plus 8" and the huge money that he spent on therapy. Jon says he tried to save the marriage, not Kate.

Joining me again tonight from Hollywood is Hyla who is an entertainment journalist from "" And also in Hollywood is Kim Serafin who is a senior editor for "In Touch Weekly."

You guys know there has been wild speculation about how much the Gosselins have been making for their reality show. One number that has been thrown around a lot, $75,000 an episode. But Jon tells Larry King that isn`t right, although he did say they did make $1 million dollars for the year. Take a look at this.


J. GOSSELIN: After taxes, it`s $500,000 divided by 10.

KING: And Kate also made $1 million?


KING: $1 million - both of you?

J. GOSSELIN: The agreement is the Gosselin family. We are not - it`s not broken out. That`s what we made - $22,500 per episode.


HAMMER: All right. Hyla, $22,500 an episode. Certainly a far cry from that $75,000 number we have been hearing about. Are you surprised by the major discrepancy there?

HYLA: No, not at all. Again, it`s a TV network - to get the most they can for the least amount of money. It`s Jon`s responsibility to do the best for his family. If he`s dumb enough not to have a lawyer look over this papers and give him suggestions, that tells me he`s not fit to be a father because that`s just - that`s common sense.

HAMMER: Kim, what do you think? I mean, again, the number is not what people imagined they were making all along.

SERAFIN: Not at all. And I mean, not like it was OK to exploit your kids for $75,000, but not OK for $22,500?


SERAFIN: But yes. This is a big difference. I mean, we were hearing for a long time. Well, you know, they`re doing the show because at least this way, the kids will be paid for, for the rest of their lives - all their college education.

Certainly, that is a huge difference and it sort of makes a lot of this trouble maybe seem not worth it. They should be paid more especially when you consider the publicity TLC is getting and the money they are making off of this right now.

HAMMER: No question about it. And you know, to be sure, $22,500 an episode of TV also nothing to shake a stick at. Jon also revealed to Larry King and I found this particularly interesting what he has spent on marriage counseling. Take a look.


J. GOSSELIN: I went to counseling. I have a $22,000 bill for last year. I mean, I tried to save our marriage. I tried to do everything.


HAMMER: Hyla, that`s a lot of therapy. And if you ask me, it doesn`t seem like it worked all that way. Do you think they should be demanding a refund? I do.

HYLA: I say, take the receipt back, fire that guy and demand your money back. That is ridiculous. For $22,000, you should be an angel at this point.

HAMMER: Unbelievable. Jon`s interview did come -

SERAFIN: He did use words like "avoider." And you know, he is not afraid to commit anymore and you know, all of those terms from therapy, so that`s where he got it.

HAMMER: Yes. Price per word, about $5,000 each. Jon`s interview coming on the same day he tried to shut down the show for good. Since that happened, I`ve got to tell you, the "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have not stopped ringing.

We`ve got a call from Earlene from Kentucky who says, right on, Jon. Let`s listen.


EARLENE, CALLER FROM KENTUCKY: Hooray for Jon. Even if he is doing it for the wrong reasons, the show, the kids, the whole mess needs off the air. That`s the best thing that can be done.


HAMMER: Yes, at the end of the day - and I appreciate your call, Earlene. I think she`s making a great point and it might be for the wrong reasons, but wanting his kids off a reality show, probably the most adult thing he has ever done, Hyla. Wouldn`t you say?

HYLA: I don`t necessarily agree with that. There`s plenty of kids in Hollywood, in the entertainment industry. It doesn`t mess them up. You know what`s going to affect the kids the most? Watching the interaction between their mom and their dad.


HYLA: That`s what`s going to be the ultimate decider. So whether they are on TV or not, that is an excuse. That has nothing to do with anything.

HAMMER: Well, here`s what everybody is sitting around and wondering right now - will Jon Gosselin be named SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most provocative celebrity of the week?

The nominees are - Jon, right up there, of course, for everything that has happened this week, from him trying to shut down "Jon & Kate Plus 8" to his TV confessions.

Our next nominee, legendary director Roman Polanski who was arrested in Switzerland on a decades-old charge related to having sex with a minor. It sparked a furious debate about whether he should be let go.

Our next nominee, David Letterman, of course, who confessed on the show just last night he was the target of a $2 million extortion attempt by a name who claimed he knew Letterman had sex with women who worked for him.

And because of the international outrage this sparked, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is naming Roman Polanski the most provocative celebrity of the week.

Kim, what do you think? Did we get it right?

SERAFIN: Yes, I think so. I mean, yes, we are talking about Jon Gosselin and he was able to kind of take over the news yesterday even though Michael Jackson, the results of the autopsy were released. Nobody was talking about that.

But Roman Polanski - it has much broader impact. I mean, this is what talk radio airwaves were talking about all week. This is sort of an international thing. This was a guy who fled the country, but wasn`t hiding.

I mean, he was making Oscar-winning movies at the same time, has so many other implications in terms of children and rape allegations. And definitely, they picked the right choice.

HAMMER: We, by the way, were not alone in the decision-making process. Before we made our choice, we did ask our Facebook fans who they thought should be named the most controversial celebrity of the week.

And actually, a lot of people said it should be Jon Gosselin, including Amy R. She wrote, "Jon Gosselin for sure. Get a life."

Hyla, what do you think? Quickly, did we get it right - Roman Polanski?

HYLA: This is tough - mint chocolate chip or vanilla ice cream? I don`t know which one I like more. I think it`s Jon Gosselin. This is a story that resonates with people. You know, you have eight kids involved. You`ve got a single mother now. It`s Jon Gosselin.

HAMMER: All right. Hyla, Kim Serafin, thanks, guys. I appreciate. Let`s move on tonight to the outrageous story of a woman eating a pet goldfish for revenge.


MOOS: One thing to have a fish fry, but frying your own pet goldfish to get back at your common-law husband?



HAMMER: They say revenge is a dish best served cold. So what the heck do you call deep fried goldfish? The unbelievable, but totally true story you have got to see. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Spike Lee films at Michael Jackson`s childhood home for new movie about icon`s life. Madonna`s "Celebration" tops European charts, it`s her 11th number one album. Madonna ties Elvis for most U.K. number one hits by a solo artist.

HAMMER: And now, "Making It Work." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals the secrets to how stars make their relationships work.

And tonight, it is Chynna Phillips. This former Wilson Phillips singer has been married to Billy Baldwin for 14 years. They have three children together. Chynna and Billy come from famous families. Chynna, of course, is the daughter of John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. Billy is one of the Baldwin brothers.

And as Chynna re-launches her singing career, I had to ask her just how she makes her marriage work.


CHYNNA PHILLIPS, SINGER: Communication. You`ve got to talk. You`ve got to talk. You can`t sweep things under the carpet. And you also just have to remember that you`re going to have your bad days and your good days. You`re going to have your ups and your downs. And there might even be months at a time where you drive each other up the wall.

But you get through it. You made your vows, you know, under God and you stick with that commitment.


Chynna`s new album is called "One Reason." It is in stores right now. By the way, we promised to bring you Chynna`s entire interview today. But instead, we`ll have it for you on Monday. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.


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

Tonight, the outrageous case of the fried pet goldfish. A Texas woman got really, really fired up after an argument and she really wanted some big time revenge. So she cooked up a plan to get back at her common law husband and took it out on his poor gold fish. That is just so wrong on so many levels.

Here CNN`s Jeanne Moos with a true SHOWBIZ shocker that only sounds like a fish tale.


MOOS (voice-over): From the fish bowl into the frying pan. It`s one thing to have a fish fry but frying your own pet goldfish to get back at your common law husband?


MOOS: And then eating them?


MOOS: It happened in this apartment in Pasadena, Texas.

(on camera): Let me make it clear. No goldfish will be harmed in the making of this report which is why we`ll be recreating events using these. Let`s see. Seven fried goldfish.

(voice-over): 55-year-old Manuel Moreira called police to report that his common-law wife had kidnapped his goldfish from his apartment. The two had been arguing about some jewelry she had given him that he refused to give back.

The police report says she told him that he would regret it.

(on camera): When a police officer went to where the wife was staying, she let him into the kitchen where he found a plate with four fried goldfish on it. When asked about the other three, she said she had eaten them.

(voice-over): Now, it`s bad enough to swallow a gold fish that`s not your pet. But to swallow 339 of them in two hours as this college student did -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And push it down with your tongue. It`s lake an oyster.

MOOS: People gulp them down alive out of a jar of water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve got to get more water.


MOOS: Or swallow them dry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve got to chew on it.


MOOS: But to fry and dine on pets you bought together at a happier time? That will wipe the smile off a fish`s face. No charges will be filed. The husband didn`t want to pursue the matter.

(on camera): They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but apparently not when goldfish are on the menu.


HAMMER: I`ve got to tell you, I sit here every night and I speak for a living. I am truly speechless after that story. I have no speech at all. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Remember, you can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s. We make it easy for you. We`re on at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. In weekday mornings, we`re on at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, and that`s right here on HLN.