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Should David Letterman`s Wife Stand By Him?; Do You Feel Sorry for Kate Gosselin; Levi Johnston Goes Nuts; Michael Lohan`s Claim about Lindsay`s Alleged Drug Use; Jim Belushi and Brooke Shields Survive a Plane Crash

Aired October 6, 2009 - 23:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Right now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, should David Letterman`s wife love him or leave him? Tonight, the shocking new great debates in the Letterman extortion sex scandal. Should Dave`s wife stand by him? And is this whole scandal being blown out of proportion?

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the new burning questions including, did Dave make a big mistake by going to the cops?

The great debate over Kate. Do you feel sorry for Kate Gosselin? Kate crying again in a dramatic brand-new interview.


KATE GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": I`m sorry. The last thing I wanted was to do this show and end up not being able to pay my bills.


HAMMER: But tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares so ask - how come so many people don`t feel sorry for Kate?

Plus, Levi Johnston goes nuts in a brand-new ad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, Levi Johnston does it with protection.


HAMMER: The father of Sarah Palin`s grandson joking about unprotected sex.

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, the great Dave debate. There was a raging argument today over whether David Letterman`s wife should love him or leave him after Dave publicly acknowledged on his show how badly his sexual affairs have hurt his wife. But does Dave`s wife want to fix it?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the big Dave news breaking today. There was nothing but public silence from Dave`s wife. As many people say, there is no way he can get past this crisis until his wife speaks up one way or the other.

There was also a startling debate that erupted today over whether Letterman should have gone to the cops in the first place. Think about it. Would he have been better off settling this privately?

And what about this whole Dave thing anyway? Sure, he slept with women who worked for him. Sure, he got caught up in a $2 million alleged extortion scandal. But tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask, is the whole mess just being blown out of proportion?

Joining me tonight in New York, is Ben Widdicombe. He`s the celebrity editor for the Also in New York, Nicole Williams, author of this fine book, "Girl on Top."

All right. Let the great Dave debate begin. Tonight, Letterman`s wife - should she forgive him? Now, keep in mind, here`s a woman that he had been dating for more than 20 years before they got married and had a son. And this was a woman who he says was hurt in a big way by this whole thing. Take a look at what he said on the show.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE DAVID LETTERMAN SHOW": My wife, Regina - she has been horribly hurt by my behavior. And when something happens like that, if you hurt a person and it`s your responsibility, you try to fix it.

And at that point, there`s only two things that can happen. Either you make progress and get it fixed or you`re going to fall short and perhaps, not get it fixed. So let me tell you folks, I got my work cut out for me.


HAMMER: Yes. And I give Dave credit that he`s being so straight up about the fact that he`s in big-time hot water over this. Ben Widdicombe, off to you first. Do you think that Letterman`s wife should forgive him and do it publicly?

BEN WIDDICOMBE, CELEBRITY EDITOR, STYLELIST.COM: Well, you know, what`s happening to Letterman right now is very similar to what we saw happen to Bill Clinton. And I think the people who loved Dave before will continue to love him but now there`s this kind of (INAUDIBLE) attached to his reputation and his legacy.

The difference with Bill Clinton and David Letterman is that his wife is not political wife. She doesn`t have to do one of those humiliating press conferences that we see the political types have to do, where the wife stands by the podium when the governor admits he`s had an affair.

So I think the wife now is probably - Regina is just probably looking at her options. And I don`t think she will be in a rush to forgive Dave for what he`s done.

HAMMER: Yes. And I think being thrust into this publicity is probably Dave`s worst nightmare at this point. Well, the great Dave debate rages on - people arguing about whether he should have even talked about his wife.

Keep in mind he has always relentlessly protected her privacy. Before the show last night, talk show host Wendy Williams told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Dave didn`t have to say a thing about his wife on TV. Take a look at this.


WENDY WILLIAMS, TALK SHOW HOST: I think he`s handling it very well. And I don`t think we are owed any more explanation on it. I don`t think that it`s necessary for him to apologize to his wife tonight on the show. And I don`t think it`s necessary for him to say anything about apologizing to his staffers on the show.

He needs to handle that with the staffers in the boardroom and handle his wife at home. Last time I checked, sex between two consensual people or four or however many it was, was not illegal.


HAMMER: OK. That`s one side of the issue. But today, on "The View," the ladies were really praising Letterman because he did reach out to his wife publicly. They say, "Bravo, Dave." Take a look.


SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": The thing I love that David did was he apologized to his wife. Even though they were not married at the time, they were dating at the time. And the fact that he made it public.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": For 20-something years?

SHEPHERD: He acknowledged that he had had done something wrong.


HAMMER: OK. I agree it was important for Dave to address this because I think it was important for fans to see his humanity, to see that he`s not callous about what happened to his wife.

But Nicole, let me get your take on this. Do you think that Dave should have just left the issue between him and his wife and not said anything on the show?

NICOLE, WILLIAMS, AUTHOR, "GIRL ON TOP": You know, I agree - honestly, I think he should have put it out there. But I don`t think we should be expecting a response from her. I think that that just adds fuel to the fire.

As you mentioned, she`s notoriously private. He`s been notoriously private about their relationship. You know, what happens between them happens between them. I think it`s great though that he did apologize publicly. He`s a public man in the public eye. He owed her that. But I don`t think we should be expecting any kind of statement from her.

HAMMER: Now, here`s the thing, though. Everybody, today, yourself included right there, Nicole, have been calling this thing an apology. Now, comedian Steve Martin was a guest on "The View" today and was right there backstage last night at Letterman`s show.

And I thought he had a really interesting point about the whole wife so-called apology thing. Watch what Steve Martin said.


STEVE MARTIN, COMEDIAN: Everybody is saying that he apologized to his wife. That`s not what I heard.


MARTIN: He acknowledged that he hurt his wife. His apology is at home.



MARTIN: You know, you can`t go home and say, "Hey, honey. Did you see my apology on TV? It`s just so great now. Everything`s fine."


HAMMER: Ben, I think that Steve makes a terrific point about that, doesn`t he?

WIDDICOMBE: Well, I mean, pardon me for being old fashioned, but the time Dave should have thought of Regina was when he was attracted to any of these, plural, other women he was working with.


WIDDICOMBE: And he messed up there. And so we messed up. Well, then he should have apologized right upfront on Thursday to his wife for what he did. It took him the whole weekend to get around to thinking about her at home. And I think that`s going to hurt him.

HAMMER: Now, again - go ahead.

N. WILLIAMS: I disagree, actually. You know, I think that he went out. He told the situation as he had to, to his public and I don`t know - he had stated outright the first night it was revealed that he wasn`t going to talk anymore about this.

And I actually absolutely agree with Steve. You have the apology at home. But I think it was good for him, considering he was going to acknowledge this case again, the situation again.


N. WILLIAMS: I think it`s good that he included her in the apology.

HAMMER: Yes. I agree with that. And I also think that he couldn`t, even though he said he wasn`t going to talk about it again.

N. WILLIAMS: Hopefully not.

HAMMER: How could he ignore it after, you know, how it just became the topic of all conversation throughout the weekend and it was his first time back on a new show?

Well, another argument also broke out today over whether Letterman was actually right to go to the cops in the first place. I found something very interesting in today`s edition of "USA Today." It`s what celebrity attorney Mark Geragos has to say, "I`ve handled 15 or 20 cases in the last 20 years, and all these with one exception were resolved privately - not one case did I ever pay. You educate the blackmailer that what they`re doing is a crime. There are no winners in a criminal prosecution."

Ben, I think that`s a great point. But do you think that Letterman really should have resolved this whole thing privately, never gone to the cops in the first place or would that have been too risky?

WIDDICOMBE: Well, that`s very interesting when Mark made that comment about how much is resolved that we never hear about. But given that the cards fail as they had with Dave, I think he did the right thing. I think that he had to come down hard on the guy. And most importantly, he cast this story with this Halderman producer as being a criminal and as being a blackmailer.

And I think that gives him a position of strength and probably, in the circumstances, was the best he could have done.

HAMMER: Now, all this said, there are a lot of people out there saying - and I`m seeing your Facebook comments, too - who cares if Letterman took this whole thing public? Stop judging him. The whole matter is a private deal. In fact, comedian Lewis Black was all fired about it and didn`t hold back one bit as you are about to hear what he told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


LEWIS BLACK, COMEDIAN: You don`t need to write anymore whether you think he is right or wrong. What are you? Are you a priest? Idiots. You know, you don`t make a judgment call. He had sex. Oh, god!

You know, he didn`t have sex on TV. Privately, and the only reason it had to come out is because some idiot tried to make money off of it. That`s the story. He is not the story. I`m tired of it.


HAMMER: Well, what do you think, Nicole? Does Lewis Black make a good point there? Is the entire mess just being blown out of proportion? Do people just need to shut up and back off?

N. WILLIAMS: No. At the end of the day, he didn`t just privately have sex. He had sex with a colleague. He had sex someone who is a subordinate. That`s illegal, you know. There are ramifications for that.

So, yes, on one hand, you know, it happens. I`m a career manager. I can tell you day in and day out people are having sex with their boss.

But in this case, where Letterman is concerned, you know, this was going to come out. There`s no question about it. And he didn`t have sex with just someone. He had sex with someone who worked for him. And that`s what makes this case so interesting and why we`re still talking about it today.

HAMMER: Yes. It struck a chord for so many reasons. We don`t know that what he did necessarily was illegal. But certainly, there are so many reasons why everybody has something to say about this.


HAMMER: Nicole Williams, Ben Widdicombe, thanks guys. I appreciate it.

Now, let me turn this over to you. Here is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "David Letterman Sex Scandal: Do you think it`s all being blown out of proportion? Vote at E-mail

Well, that`s the question that a lot of people are actually asking about Kate Gosselin`s brand-new, teary TV confessions. Are they being blown out of proportion? She says she`s broke. Jon cleared out their joint bank account.

But here is what I want to know. How come so many people don`t seem to feel sorry for Kate these days? Do you feel sorry for her? It is the great debate.

Also a great debate over this bizarre new ad featuring the father of Sarah Palin`s grandson.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, Levi Johnston does it with protection.


HAMMER: All right. Wait a second here. Is that really Levi Johnston joking about unprotected sex? Well, that`s bizarre in itself. But the ad is - wait for it - for pistachios. It all sounds kind of nuts if you ask me.

And Michael Lohan now says his daughter Lindsay is hooked on prescription meds. Should this guy just shut his face? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Judge agrees to expunge Mel Gibson`s 2006 drunk driving conviction. Swiss justice ministry rules Roman Polanski must stay locked up for now.



FRED ARMISEN, COMEDIAN (as Barack Obama): When you look at my record, it`s very clear what I`ve done so far. And that is - nothing.


HAMMER: A very brutal "Saturday Night Live" sketch about President Obama`s first 18 months in office. But how accurate was this sketch, really?

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

Tonight, is that "SNL" sketch really fair? Has Obama really done nothing? I am setting out the SHOWBIZ truth squad to check that out. I`m going to get to that in just a moment.

But first, the joke`s on Obama. You know, when President Obama got elected, there was a big question floating around. Will comedians even have any material to make fun of the guy? Will he slip up? Well, yes, we have seen that Obama is human. Will he make mistakes? Yes, he will. Even "SNL" which was a big fan of Obama`s is now going after him.

We caught up with Jamie Foxx. Jamie`s out plugging his new film "Law Abiding Citizen." And he`s been a longtime Obama supporter. He told us he`s not surprised by the new presidential diss.


JAMIE FOXX, ACTOR: We were so enthused and are so enthused about Barack Obama and he had a great run. And it was all - nothing was ever said bad about him. And now, when you hear something, "Oh my god. That`s my Barack Obama. How dare they? It`s my Barack Obama."

And you should feel that way. But at the same time, that`s just what it is. That`s part of the job.


HAMMER: Well, I actually agree with Jaime Foxx. Now, according to that "SNL" sketch, President Obama has done nothing since he got into the White House. In the skit, Fred Armisen, as the president, goes through each one of Obama`s campaign promises.

But come on. Really? The guy has done nothing? Is "SNL" on to something, or is the show just totally off the mark with this?

Well, I had to send out the SHOWBIZ truth squad to check this out. Here now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter.


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A cold open for the country`s commander-in-chief.

ARMISEN: When you look at my record it`s very clear what I`ve done so far. And that is - nothing.

WYNTER: Obama on Obama. Well, not really. "Saturday Night Live" comedian Fred Armisen`s opening sketch stirred up big laughs with a scathing report card on the president which lampooned him as having accomplished nothing since he took office.

ARMISEN: Take a look at this checklist.

WYNTER: A checklist of promises "SNL" says Obama failed to deliver.

ARMISEN: On my first day in office, I said I would close Guantanamo Bay. Is it closed yet? No.

BILL ADAIR, EDITOR, "POLITIFACT.COM": They got some things wrong -

WYNTER: Bill Adair, editor of, a nonpartisan fact-checking Web site that rates the statements of elected officials, says "SNL" missed the mark on some of its claims.

ADAIR: I think "SNL" just kind of glossed over what is a fair amount of progress by this administration. On Iraq, Saturday Night Live said, "Not done." And, of course, that`s true. They`re not done. But they hadn`t promised to be done by now.

WYNTER: As for health care, Adair says "SNL" also got it wrong since that legislation is still stalled in Congress. But Adair says the sketch did get some things right, like Guantanamo Bay.

PolitiFact says the president has fallen short on that promise. Still, Adair says the sketch won`t resonate with the audience as much as this.

TINA FEY, ACTRESS (as Sarah Palin): Are we not doing the talent portion?

WYNTER: Comic Tina Fey`s dead-on impersonation of former GOP vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Some credit it with reinforcing an impression of Palin as ill-equipped for the job. But this type of stinging satire is something that Adair says Obama may see more of as he faces increasing opposition to some ambitious promises made on the campaign trail.

ADAIR: This is not a fair portrayal of how Obama`s done. But it`s comedy. It doesn`t have to be fair.


HAMMER: And that was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter. Well, our "Showbiz on Call" operators may have to take drastic action very soon. I know for a fact they are getting swamped with more calls than ever on Jon and Kate. Their arms are getting really tired. Maybe if we upgrade our phone system to - I don`t know - 1970, they wouldn`t have to move their arms around so much.

Today, a ton of calls coming into "Showbiz on Call" slamming both Jon and Kate. Listen to Ann.


ANN, CALLER: As far as Jon and Kate is concerned, I think they need to cut ties, get off the air, and get on with their lives because they`re nothing but spoiled idiots.


HAMMER: Well, Ann, we thank you for telling us exactly how you feel. We also heard from Bonnie from Nevada and she`s also just really fired up.


BONNIE, CALLER FROM NEVADA: I think they both need to stop the madness, get together without attorneys and work it out for their kids. They scream, scream, scream, "I`m doing this for my kids. I want my kids to be OK." But they do nothing but fight on TV.


HAMMER: And thank you, Bonnie. I implore you, call us at "Showbiz on Call" to sound off on this or anything else. Our "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are open 24 hours a day. The number is 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; numerically speaking, 1-888-728-2899. Just leave us a voicemail. We`ll play some of your calls here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`re posting them, too, on our homepage. That`s

Well, Kate just went on TV and did this tear-filled emotional interview. She talked about how she`s broke. She even claims that Jon wiped out their bank account. But here`s what I want to know. Do people really feel sorry for her? It`s the great Kate debate.

And the father of Sarah Palin`s grandson, Levi Johnston, is doing a brand-new commercial for pistachios. Really. He`s getting paid for this thing. Oh, in the ad he`s joking about unprotected sex. Oy! Is this nuts or what?

Also, Tyler Perry`s graphic and horrific claims that he was beaten and sexually abused as a child. So why did this big star and big-time director decide to open up about this now? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

It is time now for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - these are more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

TEXT: Nicole Richie hurt in Beverly Hills traffic accident, allegedly hit by photog`s car. "Idol Gives Back" charity show to return as part of "American Idol`s" new season.


HAMMER: All right. Did you see this? This guy bungee jumped from 165 feet in the air. And yes, his bungee cord broke off from his feet. Wow! He hit the water at 80 miles an hour and he lived to tell about it.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Watching this video is pretty horrifying. Something obviously went terribly wrong when this 21-year-old jumper tried bungee jumping for the very first time during a vacation in Thailand.

Not the way you want your vacation to go. On the way down, the cord detached from his feet. He slammed chest-first into the water at 80 miles an hour. Miraculously, he lived despite having some pretty serious injuries.

Well, this morning, on "Today," he said this near-death experience has really opened his eyes.


RISHI BAVEJA, BUNGEE JUMPING MISHAP SURVIVOR: I`ve got a brand-new appreciation for life. And you know, I think when these things kind of happen, you just appreciate the little things a lot more.


HAMMER: You think? He`s decided not to sue the bungee jumping company. I`ve got to say I think the guy is pretty brave or pressing his luck. He says he wants to do it again and he wants to go skydiving as well.

Well, a big win for Madonna. A British newspaper, "The Mail on Sunday" published private photos of Madonna`s 2000 wedding to Guy Richie. Now, a court has ruled the paper`s got to pay up huge.

Madonna has reportedly asked for $8 million in damages. There is no word on what she got. But it was a, quote, "a substantial amount of money." Madonna is going to donate the cash to her Raising Malawi charity, which I think is really cool. The pictures were allegedly swiped by an interior designer working in Madonna`s home. Madonna and Guy Richie, of course, divorced last November.

Well, there`s a brand-new raging debate over Kate Gosselin`s teary new TV interview. Look at our Facebook page. Let me tell you the debate - it is on.

Laura L. writing, "Why can`t she, Kate, go to work like most people do? She isn`t the only person in this world who has eight kids. There are people who have that many kids and they learn to hold multiple jobs and live simply and not use their kids to `make a nice living.`"

Michelle R. also disgusted by both of them, "The fact that Jon and Kate are both busily interviewing with anyone they can find, thereby trying their divorce in the media rather than the courtroom is sickening."

Let me hear from you on Facebook. Also follow me on Twitter. We`ve got breaking entertainment news alerts coming your way on Twitter. You can sign up for Facebook and our Twitter pages by going to

Time now for the SHOWBIZ lineup. This is what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

The great, brand-new Jon and Kate debate. Kate goes on national TV crying about not having money. But should we feel sorry for her?

Also the great debate over Michael Lohan`s shocking claims that his daughter, Lindsay, is hooked on prescription drugs. Should Michael just shut his face?

And some very scary moment more Brooke Shields and Jim Belushi as their plane crashes into a parked car. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Brian Littrell of The Backstreet Boys has swine flu; band cancels appearances. Jennifer Hudson will host "I`ll Be Home for Christmas" special on ABC.


HAMMER: Now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, tonight, a night of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT great debates. The raging Jon and Kate debate. Kate Gosselin in tears on TV in a war with her husband over thousands in cash. But do you really feel sorry for her?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, Levi Johnston does it with protection.


HAMMER: Levi Johnston joking about unprotected sex? Is he nuts? The great debate over the father of Sarah Palin`s grandson.

Lindsay Lohan`s estranged dad making shocking claims that Lindsay is hooked on prescription drugs. The debate on whether or not he should keep his mouth shut.

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`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

Tonight, sympathy for Kate. There is a great debate raging tonight over Kate Gosselin after she just cried on the "Today" show claiming that she`s broke because her husband Jon wiped out their bank account.


K. GOSSELIN: He took $230,000 of the $231,000 that we have liquid. And I have a stack of bills in my bills I can`t drop in the mail.


HAMMER: But Kate may be fighting a brand-new battle tonight. And it`s a battle for sympathy. Even though Kate is now claiming she can`t pay her bills, is anyone actually feeling sorry for her?

We`ve got this call into "Showbiz on Call" from Nancy in Washington.


NANCY, CALLER FROM WASHINGTON: She`s going on TV claiming she`s broke, she has no money and that`s she`s poor. And yet, she`s turning around, saying, I want to buy a new diamond ring with eight diamonds and mother of pearl. So where is she getting the money to buy the new wedding ring, but she can`t afford to feed her children?


HAMMER: Joining me tonight in New York, Ben Widdicombe, who is the celebrity editor for "" From Hollywood is Kim Serafin who is a senior editor for "In Touch Weekly."

And really, there was this growing evidence today. We could not ignore it, that Kate is really losing the sympathy vote. The results came in late today for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, where we asked online and on-air this - "Kate Gosselin: Do you feel sorry for her?"

And this is astounding to me. A whopping 67 percent said no, no sympathy. Only 33 percent said, yes. Kim, do you get it?

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Yes, I kind of do get it because as much as we understand it, Kate wants to go on TV and address all of this stuff that`s going on.

And she watches us on SHOWBIZ talk about her and make judgments about her. She wants to get her side of the story out there. It`s not quite believable.

I don`t think anyone really believes that she can`t pay her mortgage, she can`t pay her bills or that she`s having trouble getting money to feed the kids. It just doesn`t ring totally true.

And it seems like she`s just out of touch with her fan base, the people that really wanted to support her. People like me - I was a fan of the show before. I`m an independent woman. I wanted to support her and it just seems like losing touch with that.

HAMMER: Yes. It does seem there`s a real disconnect there and that she doesn`t come across any longer as relatable. Ben, what do you think? Why do you think that the is turning against Kate all of a sudden?

WIDDICOMBE: Well, I was surprised by these poll numbers, A.J. I remember that women didn`t like her before. They thought she was domineering against Jon. But then, when Jon started to mess up, she got a bit of a bounce.

She hasn`t (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for that. And those numbers are bad news for the show if it`s just "Kate Plus 8," because if people, especially women, aren`t tuning in, if they don`t care about her, they wouldn`t watch this. I think this puts the future of her relationship with TLC in jeopardy.

HAMMER: Well, I think things really shifted in the last 24 hours alone. Because I can tell you that Kate`s interview on the "Today" show, the one where she claimed she was broke and couldn`t pay the bills in her purse - that, in itself, has set off quite a firestorm.

It had to do with that ring that Kate says she wants to buy to replace her wedding ring. What exactly what Kate said.


K. GOSSELIN: We`ve discussed the ring that I might buy at one point. It has eight little diamonds and mother of pearl, so it`s symbolic and the kids are happy about that.


HAMMER: Yes. All right. So the kids may be happy about that, but I`ve got to tell you, our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewers, they are up in arms, I tell you. Amanda from South Carolina fired off this angry E-mail to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT which really sums it up.

Well, she writes, "No, I do not feel sorry for Kate Gosselin. So, she can`t sleep at night and worries about feeding the kids and the bills, but in the next breath, she says she s buying a mother of pearl ring with eight diamonds to replace her wedding band. Yes, that`s real tough, Kate."

I mean, Kim, that really was a dumb move to say that, wasn`t it?

SERAFIN: Oh, yes. And then, actually, in the next breath, she was calling into "The View" saying she`ll work at McDonalds if she has to. Now, clearly, I don`t think that a McDonald salary is going to pay for that ring either.

So again, it`s just not ringing true, and she is losing touch with those viewers. You know, she`s also saying that the kids were upset because they were supposed to go and visit the Statue of Liberty and film this weekend. But now, they`re not filming so they can`t go to the Statue of Liberty.


SERAFIN: So it seems that she doesn`t think they can do anything without filming. Other parents take their kids to the Statue of Liberty - take their kids out without a film crew there.

HAMMER: However, I need to point out you just mentioned something that says maybe we`re making progress. Her acknowledging if she has to work at McDonalds, she`ll work at McDonalds the first time, albeit I don`t think she was serious is the first time she said, oh maybe there is another way I can make money. At least something clicked inside her head

SERAFIN: That`s true.

HAMMER: And I have to tell you something. It`s not just Kate`s ring purchase that has a lot of people saying, no sympathy for you, Kate.

We heard from Valerie from New Orleans who called in to "Showbiz on Call" to say, "Kate can`t fool me." Listen to this.


VALERIE, CALLER FROM NEW ORLEANS: I think it`s a shame that Kate is plucking the sympathy chord. She took Jon`s manhood. He`s gotten it back. She can`t deal with it, so she`s playing the sympathy chord. Everyone knows how she treated him. Why is it everybody is going her side? I think that`s wrong - wrong, wrong, wrong. It`s all about the money for Kate. That`s it.


HAMMER: Thank you for your call, Valerie. Ben, let me ask you. Do you agree with Valerie that Kate is playing the sympathy chord here by going on a show like the "Today" and crying? Granted she may be very emotional about what`s going on - who wouldn`t be? But do you think that`s what`s going on here?

WIDDICOMBE: Well, you know, man, Valerie was tough. But I think that`s what she`s responding to is that Kate seems to get the most sympathy when she just keeps her mouth shut, when she does what K-Fed when he divorced Britney Spears.

And whenever she opens her mouth, it just seems like she gets into more trouble. Although I do think she has a very valid point about Jon taking $230,000 from her joint bank account. I think he has a serious case to answer for there.

HAMMER: What do you think, Kim? Is she just playing the sympathy card? Is that what is really at the root of this?

SERAFIN: Yes. She is, and I think what`s - the problem is that people are having trouble believing both of them, believing either Kate or Jon, because again, they seem to have lost sight of the kids in all of this.

Nobody is going to be able to turn on that show and watch Kate take the kids on a trip to the Statue of Liberty with thinking about all of this.

I don`t know why they are not just doing this show on Monday nights. That is what people would watch instead of taking this to all the other airwaves. That`s what people want to see.

They don`t care about the kids drinking pink tea at a tea party. And Kate and Jon really seem to care about the kids these days. It`s a terrible tragedy, and again the kids have been lost in the shuffle.

HAMMER: And I do have to point out as much as we`re talking about here the fact that it looks like that tide is turning against Kate. She`s losing sympathy. She does have the sympathy vote with some. I mean, we have some of our viewers who voted that they have sympathy for her.

Listen to Erin S. - this is what she writes on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook wall, "People are being so harsh on Kate. Hello, wouldn`t you be mad if someone took $2,000 or $200,000 out of your account? Kate and Jon are real people going through a real divorce with real kids and real bills."

Ben, what do you think about that? I mean, I think that actually makes a pretty good point. As hard as it is to see through when we have Kate talking about buying this ring and Kate saying, "Oh, woe is me. All this money that we`ve made and, you know, I can`t pay the bills now," when a lot of people don`t really believe that. This is somebody with real problems here.

WIDDICOMBE: Well, I think it`s possible that Kate can be a person that viewers may not like personally but she still might have a valid point about the $230,000. And I don`t think that Jon really has an equal place at the table until he justifies why he took the money out or returns it.

So whatever you think about Kate - you know, she`s a woman with bills. She is a woman who`s looking after eight kids jointly with Jon. And you know, I think she needs the money.

HAMMER: And at the risk of repeating myself, let me once again suggest that neither of them go on television anymore to complain about what is going on in their marriage. They control it and deal with it between themselves. Split up, whatever you`re going to do. Look after the kids. That is primary and that doesn`t seem to be happening.

Ben Widdicombe, Kim Serafin, thanks, guys. I appreciate it.

Well, tonight, we have Michael Lohan`s shocking new claims that his daughter, Lindsay, is hooked on prescription meds. Now, this is sparking a major debate today. Should Michael Lohan, who barely speaks with his famous daughter, keep his mouth shut? It`s the great SHOWBIZ debate.

Also, the disturbing childhood abuse claims by Tyler Perry. The multitalented director of stage, film and TV said he was so severely beaten by his dad he thought that he would die.

We will also have this.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, Levi Johnston does it with protection.


HAMMER: Are you kidding me here? Is that really Levi Johnston joking about unprotected sex? Is he nuts? The father of Sarah Palin`s grandson sparked a new coast-to-coast debate you will not believe it. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Jurors in John Travolta extortion trial watch tape of alleged plot. Heidi Klum to legally take husband Seal`s last name, she`ll be Heidi Samuel.


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

Tonight, Director Tyler Perry`s horrific abuse claim. Tyler, of course, is the super successful director of several hit plays that have been turned into feature films like "Madea`s Family Reunion" and "Why Did I Get Married?"

But today, Tyler Perry is telling his own very tragic personal story about childhood physical and sexual abuse. In a startling open letter on Tyler`s own Web site, he recalls one incident when his father beat him writing, "My mother was out one night and my father came home. He was drunk, as he was most of the time. He got the vacuum cleaner extension cord and trapped me in a room and beat me until the skin was coming off my back."

Wow. Tyler also claims, as a child, that his mother tried to kill the germ that causes asthma by bathing him in ammonia and that the mother of one of his friends sexually abused him.

Tyler says he felt compelled to tell his story after seeing the highly-anticipated movie "Precious," which is based on a novel about a girl`s abusive life. Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey are executive producers of the film, which stars Mo`Nique and Mariah Carey.

Tonight, a brand-new SHOWBIZ TONIGHT great debate as Levi goes nuts for pistachio nuts. Yes, somebody is actually paying the father of Sarah Palin`s grandson to pitch nuts. Everybody is buzzing about Levi Johnston`s bizarre new commercial. It has SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asking this very important question, has the whole world just gone nuts?

Also tonight, the great debate over Lindsay Lohan`s dad. Michael Lohan made shocking claims today that Lindsay is hooked on prescription meds just as Lindsay tries to get her career back on track. Should Michael Lohan just zip it already?

Joining me tonight in New York, Suzanne Rozdeba who is a senior editor for "Star" magazine. Also tonight in New York, April Woodard who is an entertainment journalist.

Let us kick off this great debate with Levi Johnston and this absolutely nutty new ad campaign that`s got everybody buzzing today. Take a look.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, Levi Johnston does it with protection. Wonderful pistachios. Get cracking.


HAMMER: OK. I don`t know about their tagline and what about it is going to make anybody go out and buy pistachio nuts.

Suzanne, let me throw this to you. Was this company nuts to hire Levi for their ad campaign? Or perhaps, is this the best train wreck idea ever?

SUZANNE ROZDEBA, SENIOR EDITOR, "STAR" MAGAZINE: Honestly, I really don`t want to think about his sex life when I`m eating pistachios. And secondly, I don`t know if he`s that recognizable of a figure. I mean, it`s just kind of a hilarious commercial. But do you really want to be thinking about that when you`re picking up pistachios? I don`t think so.

HAMMER: What do you think, April? Are people really going to want to buy these nuts because this nut is in their commercial?

APRIL WOODARD, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: No, not because Levi is in the commercial, but because all of the buzz that this is generating. I think it`s genius and the person at the advertising company needs to get some kind of award, because it has scandal.

It has sexuality, a sexual innuendo. It`s got - you know, they`re talking about birth control. They`re talking about sex - all of it into this one little commercial. And I think people are talking about it. And that`s going to get people interested in the company, by the way, which is called "Wonderful Nuts."

HAMMER: And look at us. We`re sitting here, talking about it ...


HAMMER: ... and playing the ad. And we`re not charging them for it.


HAMMER: For me, I`m now not going to buy the pistachio nuts because Levi is in the commercial. But the ad is certainly, as you said, getting all kinds of attention it might not otherwise have otherwise gotten.

Now, Levi, I`m guessing, would probably sell bricks if somebody asked him to. Suzanne, do you think after seeing this ad, Levi`s phone is just going to be ringing off the hook with more endorsement opportunities?

ROZDEBA: Unfortunately, yes. I think Sarah Palin is going the freak out because he keeps going on shows and talking about his sex life with Bristol. And I think that he`s going to possibly be starring in a reality show - "Survivor" maybe? I think big things are happening for him.

HAMMER: Oh, good for all of us. Let us move on to another great debate tonight. Lindsay Lohan`s dad Michael, spilling the beans today that he fears that Lindsay will die if she doesn`t kick what he claims is a prescription meds addiction.

Now, here`s exactly what Michael is telling today, "I`m going to get her off the prescription drugs that she`s on. You know why Lindsay is not acting in feature films right now? Because she can`t. Because the girl with all the talent is hidden and buried deep inside this fungus that`s grown because of the prescription drugs. She can`t be herself."

Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT did speak with Michael Lohan late today. He confirmed yes he said it and he thinks that Lindsay is on prescription drugs and wants to get her off of them.

Suzanne, back to you. If you ask me, the bigger problem here is that her dad is blabbing about his claim that she has a prescription drug problem. If she did, isn`t this something that they really should be handling privately?

ROZDEBA: You know, I think, honestly, I completely agree. Lindsay - I haven`t seen her parents anywhere in the last few months. She`s partying her butt off in L.A. and around the world. She`s in Paris right now with her sister partying.

No one is really standing by her. You know, by the way, Michael Lohan loves to come out and say these sorts of things when he`s promoting something. He`s got a reality show with Jon Gosselin. He`s trying to promote "Celebrity Divorced Dads." Perfect timing.

HAMMER: Yes. I don`t understand this at all. Now, we did call Lindsay about her dad`s comments. As of show time, we hadn`t heard back from her. Lindsay`s pretty busy right now.

She`s actually in Paris - let`s put up this video. This is a YouTube video that was posted on Mod TV. She`s busy at a Paris fashion show, during fashion week there. She`s trying to basically launch her own fashion line with a major designer.

April, it seems to me that Lindsay`s doing what she can to get to her career back on track one way or the other - fashion, whatever she`s going to do. And her father is certainly not doing her any favors right now.

WOODARD: Maybe he`s not doing her any favors. But you know, there`s no good time to talk to somebody about drug abuse. And maybe, he`s not able to reach her. Maybe she`s just too busy to take a call from her father.

And you know, some of his behavior has been questionable in the past. But when I sat down with him and talked to him, I do think he loves his daughter. Love doesn`t always equal good parenting.


WOODARD: But maybe this is his way of trying to get to her and say, "Look, you really need to address these issues.

HAMMER: No, and I`ve gotten that from him, too, April. Quickly, Suzanne, do you think now Lindsay`s is going to be - her hand is going to be forced. And she`s going to have to respond one way or the other - "Yes, I`m on prescription meds." "No, I`m not." Or "It`s nobody`s business."

ROZDEBA: I think there`s going to definitely be a lot of pressure. There`s a lot going on for Lindsay. There haven`t really been great reviews on her fashion show. She hasn`t really been getting many TV or film gigs.


ROZDEBA: So I think that she`s going to be talking about this.

HAMMER: All right. Suzanne Rozdeba, April Woodard, I appreciate you both being here tonight. Thank you.

Well, making news right now. Brooke`s plane crash scare. Brooke Shields and actor Jim Belushi survived a minor plane crash along the central coast of California. Here is exactly what happened with this.

Brooke and Jim were reportedly headed to an event in a place called Hearst Castle on Friday. Well, the Cessna that they were in - it landed safely. But all heck just broke lose when, according to TMZ, the pilot essentially forgot to put on the parking brake at the plane and that is when plane rolled and crashed into a parked SUV. Wow. Well, Brooke`s publicist tells us luckily, no one was hurt.

Tonight, the youngest members of the Brangelina bunch on Twitter? This is the amazing new picture Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie`s precious twin toddlers that you have just got to see. And wait until you see the story behind where and how it was snapped. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Michael Jackson`s estate approves leather-bound M.J. tribute book of photos. George Clooney honored by governor of his home state, Kentucky.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Right now, the country`s newest power couple - Michelle Obama and Elmo? Well, at least while they`re on "Sesame Street."

The first lady made her way from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to Sesame Street to help celebrate the shows 40th anniversary. Wow. Hard to believe it`s been 40 years.

Well, tonight your very first taste of what they are cooking up for the new season.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Hi, everyone. We are here digging up soil because we are about to plant a garden.

ELMO: Yes. So we can grow our very own food. Elmo can`t wait to eat the food we grow so Elmo can grow, too.



M. OBAMA: Well, you know what? I know you`re going to like these vegetables because in addition to being healthy, they really taste great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks. We think you are great, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s hear it for the First Lady!



HAMMER: Yes. I`m going to have to start watching again. This season is all about going green, by the way, being healthy and helping the planet and the street that is home to Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster.

It`s also getting a major facelift this year. Plus, lots of big stars are stopping by - Cameron Diaz, Jake Gyllenhaal, Eva Longoria - all going to Sesame Street for the 40th season which begins on November 10.

Well, tonight, two scoops of Brangelina. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie take their twins out for ice cream. But tonight, we are the ones getting the real treat. And that is because we are getting this rare glimpse of their adorable twins.

Knox and Vivienne, the youngest of the six Jolie-Pitt kids, were with their folks in Jordan when they popped into an ice cream shop. Well, the owner snapped the picture and he posted it on Twitter.

The owner also told about the star-studded visit. As for what they had, because I know you want to know, Papa Brad ended up with a cup of pecan caramel and vanilla. Angelina and little Knox shared mango ice cream.

Monday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. This just handed to me. Our final result just came in moments ago - "Kate Gosselin: Do you feel sorry for her?" Thirty-three percent said yes; 67 percent no.

Here are some of the e-mails. Crystal from Pennsylvania writing, "I can`t eel sorry for a person who fails to recognize that her lifestyle is hurting her children."

Kay from Texas with this, "I cannot believe this Jon and Kate freak show. I pray they get a no-nonsense judge who demands the kids not be filmed anymore."

And Angie from Texas writing, "Kate needs to quit victimizing herself. It takes to tango."

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