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The Portrait of a Mad Scientist; What About Jon and Kate`s Kids?; Rihanna`s New Racy Picture; Carrie Prejean`s New Battle

Aired October 20, 2009 - 23:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Right now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, portrait of a mad scientist. Brand-new dramatic revelations about the dad behind the Balloon Boy`s saga.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s motivated to prove himself in many different ways.


HAMMER: Explosive new details about his reality show past. Plus, major Hollywood stars speak out about their bizarre connections to the Balloon Man.

The Jon and Kate Gosselin drama. What about the kids?





HAMMER: In a brand-new, interview Kate reveals just how tough their split has been on the couple`s eight kids. Plus, Kate`s biting statements to critics who say she`s exploiting her kids.

And controversial former beauty queen, Carrie Prejean in a new battle with pageant officials. Why they want the money for her boob job back.

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.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you from Hollywood.

And you know, just when we thought the alleged balloon hoax had run out of hot air, there are explosive new revelations tonight.

HAMMER: Brooke, we are getting a wild portrait of the self-proclaimed mad scientist, Richard Heene. The man, of course, at the center of the whole hot air fiasco is probably getting a lot more than he bargained for.

As of today, the runaway balloon drama is officially a federal case. The Federal Aviation Administration said today, it is investigating Heene for allegedly cooking up the whole wild ride that had everybody thinking his little boy was drifting through the sky in a flying saucer.

All of this as Heene`s former cohorts are speaking out and revealing new details about Heene`s past, painting him as a man just hell-bent on gaining fame at any cost.

But wait, there`s more. Even some big Hollywood stars are revealing their own bizarre connections to Heene. These dramatic new developments made for big news breaking today.


(voice-over): It could be the most mentioned name on TV today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Richard Heene, science detective -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An inside look at the Heene family -

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": The Heenes could be facing some pretty serious charges.

HAMMER: The Heene family who allegedly fooled the entire country into thinking their 6-year-old son, Falcon, was trapped in this runaway balloon, are not only facing possible state charges. Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the feds, namely the FAA, are investigating. It looks like someone should have filed a flight plan.

JO PIAZZA, AOL POPEATER: Richard Heene and the family could be in some serious trouble.

HAMMER: But as the Heenes` problems pile up, we are learning more about the bloom scheme`s alleged mastermind, budding mad scientist, Richard Heene.

PIAZZA: He is a pretty crafty mad scientist. If he were actually a really good mad scientist he would have been able to invent something to get a 6- year-old boy to keep a secret.

FALCON HEENE, "BALLOON BOY": Dad said we did this for a show.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you it looks like this science junky chased fame, storms, aliens, and at one point, he even chased William Shatner who knows a little something about aliens.

PIAZZA: Each new detail that we find out about Heene makes him seem even more bizarre, even more fame-hungry.

HAMMER: Heene`s lawyer, David Lane, tells "LARRY KING LIVE" he expects the state to charge his client next week.

DAVID LANE, RICHARD HEENE`S LAWYER: These are, in the world of felony charges, fairly low-level felonies.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that all signs show that Heene, who was featured along with his family on ABC reality TV show, "Wife Swap" was apparently dead set on getting a reality show of his own, where his own weird inventions -


HAMMER: And unconventional scientific theories about aliens -

R. HEENE: I was in contact with aliens -

HAMMER: Would be center stage. He even composed a theme song which was posted on TMZ. But former associates say Heene`s reality show obsession went beyond writing music. Robert Thomas, who worked with Heene, claims Heene was scheming to promote his proposed reality show by launching a mysterious balloon. Thomas told his story on the "Today" show.

ROBERT THOMAS, RICHARD HEENE`S FORMER RESEARCHER: Very creative individual. Very hyperactive. Unfortunately, I think he`s a little driven by fame and is really interested in kind of promoting himself.

HAMMER: And another former colleague of Heene`s tells "LARRY KING LIVE" that last week`s balloon saga sure sounds like Heene.

BARBARA ADAMS SLUSSER, HEENE`S FORMER COLLEAGUE: It wasn`t beyond him to pull a publicity stunt.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you Heene reportedly went all over Hollywood with his fame-seeking quest. Jimmy Kimmel even tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Heene approached the late night talk show host and was promptly blown off.

Another former colleague of Heene`s tells the "New York Times" that Heene once talked to William Shatner about hosting a show.

PIAZZA: If you`re an alien hunter and a mad scientist, I can`t think of anyone else that you would call than Captain Kirk.

HAMMER: About the balloon dad`s alleged overtures, William Shatner tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "His story is overblown. He`s inflated the amount of contact we`ve had."

Channels like TLC plus countless production companies are also releasing statements that say the same thing - we have nothing to do with this guy. But entertainment journalist Jo Piazza imagines one day they`ll change their minds.

PIAZZA: Richard Heene is somewhat famous now. So I think all the people that are tipping out of themselves to say, "We didn`t work with him. We weren`t going to work on a reality show with him," are going to be trying to get interviews with him or to produce his reality show. It`s just the way how it would work these days.

HAMMER: But right now, it seems that even if Heene doesn`t interest Hollywood, he definitely has the attention of the cops.


HAMMER: So there`s the new portrait of the man behind the balloon calm any of the outrage that he sparked?

Well, joining me tonight in Hollywood, Carlos Diaz who is a correspondent for "Extra." Also in Hollywood, Leslie Marshall, host of the radio program, "The Leslie Marshall Show."

So when you hear all of these accounts coming from so many different people describing Richard Heene, Carlos, what do you think? Is he an evil mad scientist? Or is he just some wacky, eccentric guy trying to make a living?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": I`m going to go with mad, wacky and eccentric if I had to choose any adjectives out of those five you just gave. I mean, the sad thing is, he does kind of have talent. And I`ve done a lot of research on this guy.

I mean, he had several ideas about hurricanes and, you know, gravity being affected in the eye of the hurricane. And so, I mean, he does have a mind. But in the end, this is a man who desperately wanted to be famous and it is a sad mirror on society that people are more thirsty for fame than they are for the talent in which it takes to get to that fame level.

HAMMER: Yes. I was surprised by the amount of new evidence about his seeking fame that we got today. You know, he`s trying to contact William Shatner. He actually did succeed in reaching out to him. He reached out to Jimmy Kimmel.

And now, the newly-uncovered clips from his crazy "Wife Swap" appearances. And now, you have today`s astounding federal investigation into the whole off-the-wall alleged balloon hoax.

So Leslie, do you think that this new sense that we`re getting with these new revelations, is that feeding the anger that people are really feeling towards this guy? Or what are your radio listeners telling you? Is that helping them understand what may have really motivated him to do what he`s accused of doing?

LESLIE MARSHALL, HOST, "THE LESLIE MARSHALL SHOW": No. At least, my listeners, bloggers, et cetera, are all saying how disgusting for somebody to use their child. How disgusting to have so much desire and greed for success and fame in that 15 minutes.

You know, this is beyond the boy that cried wolf. How many emergency agencies, three helicopters from the National Guard - how much money did this cost for a publicity stunt, for a hoax?

They taught their child that lying is good, "Go hide in the box in the attic, sweetie. We might get a reality show." There are people talking about taking their children. There are people talking about him paying it back. And there are people even saying that he should serve hard jail time.

So I certainly hope he won`t be a celebrity because not only do my listeners view him as a criminal, but I think most of America does. I do.

HAMMER: Yes, I do, too. And I think a lot of people are really seeing it that way, you know, with this new interesting picture that people are painting of Heene.

But you know, I always say - and I do always say this - if you want an accurate look into someone`s personality, go right to the source. You have to check out Heene`s self-described mad scientist ways on "Wife Swap." Look at this.


R. HEENE: These are motors that I`ve been working on that use no gas, no electricity. There`s got to be a way to dissipate the tornado. Well, this is the tornado van.

MAYUMI HEENE, WIFE OF RICHARD HEENE: We are creating hover craft.

R. HEENE: We`d like to get this flying saucer into the storm to actually float around and take video.


HAMMER: All right. Carlos, what do you see? That`s not really so surprising what`s going on with this guy, is it?

DIAZ: Yes. He`s kind of kooky. That`s basically - that`s my scientific term for it. The bottom line is, if you really listen to this guy over and over again - I see this every day in Hollywood where people have a unique character trait or they have a unique way about them and somewhere along the lines, someone said, "You know what? You ought to be on TV" and that just sticks with them.

And they think, "I`ve got to be on TV and I`ll do it at all costs, including, allegedly, putting my kids in harm`s way and making my kids look like not they`re not brightest kids on "Wife Swap."

So I see this all the time and it`s a pathetic look into society and it`s Hollywood`s way of saying, "You know what? This is way that you`re going to be famous."

HAMMER: Yes. I want to get back to Leslie`s point about the anger the people are feeling, because as of today, we know this is a federal case. So, Leslie, here we are, five days since the whole hot air fiasco. And people are still seething over this. Do you think the only way they`ll feel satisfaction is if he gets ultimately thrown in the slammer?

MARSHALL: Yes. I mean, how many people waited that extra minute for emergency response that day? How many parents out there really have had children abducted whose faces are on milk cartons? This is ridiculous. And you know what?

What happens the next time? Does America say, "Oh, it`s just a hoax. They want a reality show."

HAMMER: Well, that`s the problem -

MARSHALL: Will a child really be in harm`s way?

HAMMER: Yes. The whole boy who cried wolf thing and we could suffer from it. Carlos Diaz, Leslie Marshall, I thank you both. But wait - there`s more.

We have still got to talk about the kids. What about them? Were they exploited big-time in this whole deal? And I`m not just talking about the Heene kids here. Coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, harsh reality for kids. We want to know, is it time to get kids out of reality shows?

ANDERSON: Rihanna hadn`t said a word publicly about the night Chris Brown beat her. But today she`s getting people talking with this, a brand-new photo topless wrapped in barbed wire. So what`s up with this racy photo? And is it the right move?

Also, could it be? Is Hollywood`s hottest bachelor lonely? For the first time, George Clooney is opening up about his struggles in relationships. You have got to hear this.

And controversial former beauty queen, Carrie Prejean, is locked in a brand-new battle with pageant officials. I`m going to tell you why they want the money for her boob job back. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: First Lady Michelle Obama set to appear on "The Jay Leno Show" this Friday. Man formally charged with breaking into Lindsay Lohan`s home.


HAMMER: A huge announcement from Oprah Winfrey. She`s having Sarah Palin on her show. Today, we learned Oprah and Palin will meet up for the very first time for an exclusive interview on November 16th.

After Oprah endorsed Barack Obama, she said that she wouldn`t have Palin on the show until the campaign was over. This will be Palin`s first interview to talk about her upcoming book "Going Rogue."

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

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson. Tonight, talk about a cheap thrill at the movies. All right. Get your mind out of the gutter. It`s not what you`re thinking.

Hollywood is getting recession-savvy with a movie that only took $15,000 to turn into a viral sensation. So how did "Paranormal Activity" scare up big numbers at the box office? Here`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter.


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it comes to horror, suspense ...


WYNTER: Hollywood has a history of getting more bang for its buck, low- budget films acquired by studios that become blockbuster hits. While these big-screen breakouts rarely happen, "Paranormal Activity," a new thriller from Paramount, is breaking rules in Hollywood and getting noticed.

MICAH SLOAT, ACTOR: My girlfriend, Katie - she thinks there`s something in the house.

DANIEL MYRICK, CO-DIRECTOR, "THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT": You don`t need to spend a ton of money to turn a profit.

WYNTER: That could be Hollywood`s new motto, says Daniel Myrick, especially in this economy, where studios are counting pennies. Myrick directed the 1999 surprise blockbuster, "The Blair Witch Project," shot on a $30,000 budget. The horror flick eventually grossed $140 million domestically.

Box office experts say within the last decade, no other micro-budget film has come close to "Blair Witch`s" success. But that could change.

SLOAT: This looks like something bit you.

WYNTER: "Paranormal Activity" which cost $15,000 to make, has already reeled in more than $30 million in four weeks.

MYRICK: Studios realize that you don`t need to spend a ton of money on marketing and talent and production values to generate profit. And I like to think the economy is going to force these studios to kind of re- evaluate.

WYNTER: Experts say Paramount Studios used a creative strategy that shifted from the classic marketing of print and broadcast to social media Web sites like Twitter.

(on camera): The grassroots viral campaign e-mailed and tweeted people, asking them to demand that "Paranormal Activity" be shown in their town.

(voice-over): Still, "Variety" magazine`s Ted Johnson cautions against calling "Paranormal`s" blueprint the new norm in Hollywood.

TED JOHNSON, MANAGING EDITOR, "VARIETY": It remains to be seen whether we`re going to see this big rush of people trying to find - snap up these $10,000, $20,000 movies. The ones that are really good are far and few between.

WYNTER: Besides, he says, marketing a movie on a meager budget, is one formula Hollywood is still trying to figure out.


ANDERSON: Another point Johnson makes, and this isn`t to take away from the film`s success. But Halloween is right around the corner, so filling seats for a scary movie may not be the most difficult thing. That was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter.

HAMMER: So Brooke, the "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have been scaring up a lot of people about the whole Balloon Boy saga. I want you to look at our "Showbiz on Call" operators. They are tethered to their stations answering the calls.

ANDERSON: All those operators better not float away, A.J., because people are really upset that the whole thing may have been a ploy to get a reality show.

Listen to this call from Cindy calling into "Showbiz on Call" from Michigan.


CINDY, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN: I think that if they ever get a reality show, all the proceeds should go to charities. And they shouldn`t profit from any of this because they`re exploiting their son and their chance for their own gain. They shouldn`t gain anything from this.


ANDERSON: Thank you, Cindy.

HAMMER: We also heard from Rebecca who called into "Showbiz on Call" from New York. And like a lot of people, she says her heart really was with the family at first.


REBECCA, CALLER FROM NEW YORK: It`s pretty stupid, because I was there praying, praying, praying and crying, praying for this little boy who wasn`t even in the balloon. So I think that the parents should really pay the price for doing that.


HAMMER: Thanks a lot, Rebecca. Remember, the "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are open all the time.

ANDERSON: Give us a ring - 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; that`s 1-888-728-2899.

HAMMER: All right. So if this whole thing was a ploy to get a reality show, what does that say about the dad here? Now, some people that he worked with in the past are now speaking out.


SLUSSER: Regular people out here say, "Wow. You know, really bad judgment, especially when he decided to try to drive into Hurricane Gustav. That was the final straw for me.


HAMMER: Brand new revelations from the balloon dad`s former colleagues. Plus, the great debate - is it ever OK to put kids on reality TV shows?

Also, when Tori Spelling is the other woman. Dean McDermott left his wife for Tori. And today, his ex-wife is talking about why Dean forced her to meet with Tori and what went down. It`s really juicy stuff.

Plus, a brand-new controversy for Rihanna. Look at this picture we found today. This is getting some people really fired up. Is this the right way for Rihanna to promote herself after everything she`s been through? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Wilmer Valderrama may star in TV series based on "dog whisperer" Cesar Millan. Demi Moore inspires new fragrance, "All You`ve Ever Wanted."


HAMMER: Well, divorce is never easy, certainly. But imagine going through it in public after your husband leaves you for Tori Spelling? Well, that`s what Mary Jo Eustace faced four years ago when Dean McDermott dumped her for Tori.

Now, today Mary Jo spoke out about it. She has a new book out called "Divorce Sucks." And on "Good Morning America" she talked about the day she learned the bad news in a hotel room with her newborn baby.


MARY JO EUSTACE, AUTHOR, "DIVORCE SUCKS": I was feeding my daughter in the hotel room. And he came back from his golf game and he seemed a bit tense. I thought, you know, maybe he had a bad score or something. I wasn`t exactly sure what it was.

But my intuition said something was a bit off. And I said, "What`s up? You`ve within acting weird in the last couple of days. Have you met somebody?" And he said, "Yes." And I said, "Is it Tori Spelling?" Because they had just done this movie together.

And he said, "Yes." And I said, "Did you sleep with her?" And he said yes. He said, "She`s my soul mate. She loves me unconditionally." And I said, "What conditions? You`ve known each other two and a half weeks."


HAMMER: Holy molly. She looks lovely, too. Get this - at the time, Mary Jo and Dean were living in Los Angeles. Mary Jo wanted to move back to Canada after their split but there`s a snag. She wasn`t allowed to take the kids out of the country without Dean`s permission which he wouldn`t give her until she met with Tori. And here`s how that went.


EUSTACE: It was interesting, but I was really determined because I didn`t want a huge drawn-out legal battle. So I said that I would meet her. And it was a three-hour meeting. She came to my house.

And apparently, in her book, she had a knife in her purse that I didn`t see. You know, I couldn`t see the outline of the knife. But apparently, she thought I might attack her or something like that.


HAMMER: Wow. Mary Jo also has some advice for women. She says, number one, don`t marry an actor.

ANDERSON: Well, everybody`s a comedian on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page. We asked what you thought about Marge Simpson posing for playboy.

I`ve got to tell you, we got some pretty funny comments. Here are just a few of them. Cindy F. writes, "As long as Marge doesn`t go after Charlie Brown, it`s all good."

And Renae W. has an interesting question, "So did Hef pay for Marge`s breasts to be `artistically enhanced` like so many other bunnies obviously had done?"

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

HAMMER: And now, the SHOWBIZ lineup. Here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Brand-new explosive details about the Balloon Boy`s dad`s possible ploy to get a reality show. Is it ever OK to put kids on reality TV?

Also, this racy new Rihanna picture. This is how she`s promoting her new music. But after everything she`s been through, we`ve got to ask - is it the right move?

And is Hollywood`s hottest confirmed bachelor lonely? George Clooney opens up about being unlucky in love. 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: Steven Seagal to star in new A & E reality series about his life in law enforcement. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys to perform at American Music Awards in November.


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the alleged reality show Balloon Boy hoax.


SLUSSER: Regular people out here go, wow. You know, really bad judgment, especially when he decided to try to drive into Hurricane Gustav. That was the final straw for me.


HAMMER: Brand-new revelations from the balloon dad`s co-workers about his push to get a reality show.

Also new today, Kate Gosselin says her eight kids are struggling. So tonight, the fired-up SHOWBIZ TONIGHT debate, kids on reality TV. Is it bad for them?

Rihanna`s racy photo shocker. Out today, Rihanna nearly naked, wrapped in barbed wire. Is this empowering for Rihanna or a terrible idea?

And the Carrie Prejean boob battle. Tonight why the former Miss California is in a nasty fight over her breast implants.

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

TV`s most first 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.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you tonight from Hollywood.

And tonight, harsh reality for kids. The brand-new drama surrounding the man behind the runaway balloon is exploding tonight as we learn more and more about the lengths Richard Heene went to in order to get his own family reality show.

Brand-new questions are coming to the surface about the safety of his kids. Is it ever a good idea for kids to be in the spotlight for the sake of a reality show? The ladies of "The View" had something to say about it today.


BARBARA WALTERS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Before these reality shows are put on, the networks should think of - although it`s not their responsibility, what is this doing to the children?


ANDERSON: And in a brand-new interview, reality TV mom Kate Gosselin is revealing for the very first time just how tough her split from her soon- to-be ex-husband, Jon, has been on the couple`s eight kids. A.J. What do you think? They are dealing with their parents` divorce in front of the entire world.

HAMMER: Yes. It`s not surprising, Brooke. I`ve said it all along - this whole thing cannot be easy on the kids.

Joining me tonight from Hollywood, Carlos Diaz who is a correspondent for "Extra." Also from Hollywood, Dr. Michelle Golland who is a clinical psychologist and contributor for

Let`s begin with the Heene family balloon drama. On "LARRY KING LIVE," a friend of Richard Heene, who worked closely with him on some research says that she wanted out once she saw Richard putting his kids in harm`s way. You have got to watch this.

SLUSSER: He loves those kids. He absolutely loves his kids. In the same vein, the rest of us, as parents or, you know, regular people out here go, wow. Really bad judgment, especially when he decided to try to drive into Hurricane Gustav. That was the final straw for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that when you parted ways with him?

SLUSSER: Oh, yes. Definitely. When I heard he was taking the family down there - no. Way too over-the-top. Too dangerous.


HAMMER: All right. So if this is true, Carlos, does it really go show that Heene would stop at nothing, including putting his kids at risk for a shot at fame?

DIAZ: Exactly. I mean, that`s the crazy thing. I was doing some research for this story and I was looking at some video. And I had to pause the video because I`m like, "Is that his kid in the back seat? He`s chasing storms with his kids. And these are little kids with him."

I mean, it`s one thing to use your kids in a cute way to try to gain success on reality TV. But when you`re chasing storms, you`re talking about big-time hurricanes, children should have no part in that.

HAMMER: Dr. Michelle, can you help us understand what parent would possibly be willing to put their kid right in the middle of such a dangerous situation just to get a moment in the spotlight?

DR. MICHELLE GOLLAND, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it`s a parent with extremely impaired judgment, that`s for sure. But it`s not just poor judgment. It`s abusive. It is illegal to bring your children and put them, knowingly and willingly, in harm`s way. That is what he`s doing by storm-chasing.

And it`s also illegal to have your children help you in the commission of a crime which is what he did with the hoax, if that`s what is true.

HAMMER: Well, that`s exactly why some people are saying that it wouldn`t be a surprise to see Child Protective Services brought into this.

GOLLAND: Oh, for sure.

HAMMER: And now, because of this alleged balloon hoax, the Heene kids may even face more trauma. A guy named Dr. Charles Sophy(ph) told Wolf Blitzer on "LARRY KING LIVE" that authorities do have enough reason to take the kids away from their parents. Take a look at what he said.


DR. CHARLES SOPHY, LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES: I think that it`s likely. At this point, I think they need to go in there and take a look at the judgment and the safety and the risk issues that these parents place their children at.

If they don`t take these children, they should at least put some services into place to help dad deal with his anger which apparently we see and a lot of the impulse control and a lot of the bad judgment that`s going on in these decision makings.


HAMMER: Yes. Bad judgment, as the doctor said. These parents could lose their kids just because they wanted to get on a reality show. Let me bring Brooke Anderson in here.

Brooke, you know, as somebody who`s been covering this stuff for a while and also as a new mom yourself, can you make any sense of why a parent would endanger their kids like this for fame?

ANDERSON: No, I can`t, A.J. And the fact that they may have coaxed their children into this elaborate hoax if, indeed, it was a hoax, and then forced their children to lie on television, so much so that one was getting sick, it`s selfish. It`s really poor parenting. And it is borderline abusive, I think.

And if this is indicative of how they treat their children on a daily basis then, yes, I agree. They should be in more capable, caring hands.

HAMMER: Yes. Well, I did speak with another new mom about this. Yes. "The View`s" Elisabeth Hasselbeck and I went one-on-one talking about this. Let`s not forget, she`s not only a mom. She also competed in the reality show, "Survivor." So she`s got some perspective here. And I asked her if she thinks it`s ever OK for kids to be in reality shows. Watch what she said.


ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I can`t imagine having cameras follow me as a child and trying to develop, learn and grow and figure out my place in a family. I think your role in a family and in an environment in the home should be safe. And it should be one that, in my opinion, should be is off limits.

Otherwise your role is then defined based on your surroundings. So if there`s a camera guy here and a producer there and someone else watching you at all times, how are you not then supposed to be affected?


HAMMER: And her words just mirror just exactly what our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewers are thinking. I want you to take a look at our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day results. We asked, "Is it ever OK to put kids in reality shows?"

Look at this, 89 percent said no way; 11 percent said yes. Carlos, clearly, the Heenes think that the risk was worth the reward of reality TV fame regardless of what people are thinking.

DIAZ: And A.J., you know, let`s just look away from the whole storm chaser fiasco with kids involved in that. If you look at "Wife Swap," you know, when Richard Heene was on "Wife Swap," his kids were dropping the F-bomb - the F-bomb on national TV.

And the look on his face was like, "Hey, way to go." I mean - and then, there was an inappropriate joke about, you know, the new wife in the "Wife Swap" couldn`t sleep with the kids. And that was a really funny, you know, weird joke by the kids.

I mean, obviously, it`s not just what he`s doing by putting the kids in harm`s way, he`s basically pimping them out, if you will, to make fools of themselves on national TV for his own gain.

HAMMER: And not mention he doesn`t even know who Wolf Blitzer is. Hang on one second, Dr. Michelle, because we need to move on some big breaking news today going on with Kate Gosselin.

Let`s roll into this - Kate`s speaking out in a new interview with firing back at her critics who say she`s exploiting her kids. Kate says, "The ones claiming we`re exploiting our children are the ones are exploiting our children."

Carlos, I want to go back to you on this because we get accused of this from time to time. But I think it`s a leap of logic for her here. She and Jon are the ones who signed off on "Jon & Kate Plus 8" four years ago. I think she`s missing the point. She`s the one making money off of putting her kids on TV.

DIAZ: Yes. It`s the old, "No, you are" defense. Because I`m not making any more money by talking about Jon and Kate on TV. I mean, Kate, in all honesty, if you guys go away, we`ll talk about something else tomorrow and the next day and the next day. I haven`t made a single dime off of talking about your kids. So no, I`m not exploiting your kids whatsoever.

HAMMER: Also, something interesting in this brand-new interview, Kate revealing that the kids not doing so well since she and Jon split up. She says, "I`m trying to give them the grace to see if they`re acting out of line. I`m trying to look deeper into why that is. Why the kids are acting out because it`s all interrelated. I mean, they don`t see it, but it`s all interconnected. They miss him. They say they miss him. I imagine they say the same thing when I`m away." Dr. Michelle, it is no surprise at all, is it?

GOLLAND: Can we - they don`t need grace. They need therapy. I mean, they don`t need grace, Kate. They need therapy. You need to help them by getting them professionals, by getting off television.

Jon did the right thing by pulling the plug. Even for whatever reason, it was still the right thing. And they should be off the air.

HAMMER: All right. Carlos Diaz, Dr. Michelle, thank you guys so much for being here.

And we want to know now what you think? It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Here`s what we`re asking, "Kids on Reality TV: Is it bad for them?" Let us know, or E-mail us at

ANDERSON: Could this brand-new photo out today be bad for Rihanna? Take a look at this. It`s Rihanna nearly naked, wrapped up in barbed wire. I think it is shocking. With everything Rihanna has been through, is posing for a picture like this a good idea?

Also tonight, the battle over Carrie Prejean`s breasts. You remember Carrie, the controversial former Miss California USA. Well, tonight, she`s being sued over her implants.

And George Clooney always seems to have a beautiful woman on his arm. But tonight, George is opening up about his love life. Could this guy really be lonely? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: U2`s concert this Sunday in L.A. to air live on YouTube. Swiss court orders Roman Polanski be kept in jail, says he is a flight risk.


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

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson.

HAMMER: Hey, Brooke, do you see this? All right. I`m a car guy. I love it when I hear an engine purr, but not literally.

Check this out. A cat stuck in a SUV engine in New York City. I hate this stuff. Now, the driver actually drove around for two miles with a cat right in the engine. Don`t worry, the cat is absolutely fine. I was just thinking maybe he was trying to get into cat and driver magazine - cat and driver, get it?

ANDERSON: Got it. Maybe so, A.J. OK, tonight, Rihanna`s provocative pose. It`s the pop superstar just months after her brutal beating in an S & M stance. Rihanna is topless in a brand-new photo out today to promote her new song "Russian Roulette." Is it empowering or just plain shocking?

Also, the extraordinary new lawsuit today against former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean. The woman at the center of a major gay marriage firestorm is now being sued for her breast implants.

And George Clooney, unlucky in love. Is the man who some called the sexiest guy on the planet lonely? Poor George.

With me now from New York is Suzanne Rozdeba. She`s a senior editor with "Star" magazine. Here in Hollywood tonight is Leslie Marshall - she`s the host of the syndicated radio show, "The Leslie Marshall Show."

OK. Suzanne and Leslie, let`s crank this up with this shocking Rihanna photo. It`s been eight months since that brutal attack by Chris Brown. Now, she has not said word one about the incident.

But today, she is promoting a new song with a photo of her, topless and wrapped in barbed wire. I`ve got to say, I`m speechless. Suzanne, after you picked your jaw up off the ground, what did you think?

SUZANNE ROZDEBA, SENIOR EDITOR, "STAR" MAGAZINE: You know, I have to say I think it`s very empowering. I think it`s got its own sex appeal to it. It`s very Madonna-esque. You know, she obviously does not want to become a spokeswoman for abuse.

I think she`s showing that she`s moving past the whole incident with Chris Brown. And she - you know, Rihanna is always a little bit shocking. She`s got her own gun tattoos. And she`s always out there trying to shock people. And I think this is part of that as well.

ANDERSON: Yes. It just looks really painful to me, even though I know she wasn`t really posing with barbed wire. It makes me cringe. And I know it probably is making a lot of parents out there cringe, parents who thought that Rihanna was sending the wrong message by not speaking out after she was beaten up.

I`ve got to imagine those same parents are going to be outraged by this picture. Leslie, is Rihanna going to face some major backlash for this outrageous picture, or is it just art?

MARSHALL: Well, it might be art and I agree with you. I was like, ouch. You know, this is a woman that is extremely talented. And a lot of young girls look up to her. And she doesn`t need to do this to sell her album.

And we`ve got to stop, ladies, girls, teaching our young girls that - you know, we can have a brain. We don`t need to show our breasts in barbed wire or have - showing whatever she`s showing. It`s not necessary. She`s so talented.

I think a lot of parents are going to be outraged because she didn`t speak out about the domestic violence, the abuse. And she is not speaking out now. "Russian Roulette" is a very good name for this album because wearing barbed wire - yes, it`s kind of like putting a bullet in and spinning the barrel.

ANDERSON: Yes. You know, you make some great points and she`s not targeting third graders here. But at the same, time it`s super-edgy.

OK. I want to get to this next showbiz shocker. Making news today, former Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean - you remember this girl caused an uproar with her anti-gay marriage answer at the Miss USA pageant.

Then, she got the boot for not following Miss California rules. Carrie sued over losing her crown. Now, Miss California officials are suing over the money for Carrie`s breast implants among other things. Suzanne, is this just wrong? Or should she pay up since she didn`t fulfill her duties?

ROZDEBA: You know, it`s obvious that someone`s trying to get back at her by exposing this information. She has a right to be a little bit upset about it. But you know what? If you don`t want people to find out about your boob job, maybe she should have paid for it on her own.

ANDERSON: And she did agree to repay the loan, according to Miss California officials. And Carrie does say, though, that she`s suing because Miss California officials revealed, quote, "private facts about her implants."

Now, I`ve just got to read what the Miss California Organization`s countersuit says, quote, "The alleged `private facts` ceased being private during the swimsuit competition in which Ms. Prejean walked the stage in a bikini."

Now, Carrie`s reps told us today that Miss California organizers are just out to destroy her reputation. They say it`s all because of her anti- gay marriage beliefs. Leslie, quickly, whose story are you buying here?

MARSHALL: Well, isn`t it weird she`s suing them? Now, they`re suing her. And on top of that, why are these officials paying for breast implants? She should have the implants taken out and delivered them with like some Hershey Kisses, flowers and put them on a platter.


MARSHALL: They don`t get the money, but they get their implants back.

ANDERSON: I don`t think that`s going to happen. OK. I`ve got to this, the biggest shocker of them all - George Clooney`s secret love confessions. The silver fox reveals in an interview today that sometimes he feels like a failure in the love department. What?

He tells London`s "Daily Mirror," "I`ve had some absolutely great relationships and some not-so-great relationships. I`ve been in some relationships where I felt terribly alone. Just because you`re with someone doesn`t mean you`re incredibly happy and complete."

Now, George, famously tightlipped about his love life. So Suzanne, very quickly, is it just shocking to hear him be so painfully honest about this?

ROZDEBA: It is a little bit because he actually is in a very happy relationship right now, long-term relationship. And it`s almost as if he`s fishing a little bit to get something out of his girlfriend.

So I`m not sure what his motivation is, if he`s got a movie coming out, something that he`s promoting. But it looks like he`s asking for a little bit of attention.

ANDERSON: He does have a little bit to promote these days. We hope George is happy. Suzanne Rozdeba, Leslie Marshall, thanks.

HAMMER: All right. Brooke, you know, I was hanging out on the set of "The View" yesterday with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. It was her first day back since she gave birth.

ANDERSON: Yes. You know, and she really does have her hands full, A.J. It is her third child, a baby boy named Isaiah Timothy.

HAMMER: Yes, really cute, Brooke. And while I was there, Elisabeth took time out to congratulation you on the birth of your beautiful daughter, Kate Victoria, and she wanted to give you a little mommy advice. Watch what Elisabeth said.


HASSELBECK: OK. Well, Brooke, I would just - repeat to yourself as often as possible. I`m a good mom. You`re a great mom and you`re not going to believe it all the time because you`re at work or doing other things or you`re driving somewhere or doing something that has nothing to do with your kids. But I think my strategy right now to avoid any sort of guilt or at least, deny it is just to repeat that phrase to myself at least 50,000 times a day.


ANDERSON: You know, that is great advice, A.J. Yes, and she seems to have adjusted to the whole work-motherhood, the balance. She seems to have adjusted beautifully and gracefully. She` got it all figured out. I hope I can do the same.

HAMMER: And she was very, very happy for you. All right. I know this alleged balloon family hoax - it`s a very serious deal. But you know, it is also just so strange.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The stories popped. Time to hand out the coveted Silver Saucer.


HAMMER: Yes. Tonight, we are picking out the best, the most shocking, the absolute weirdest moments of the whole balloon thing. I am calling them balloon whoppers. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Psychiatrist who treated Anna Nicole Smith says she was addicted to painkillers. Doctor who gave octomom fertility treatments has been kicked out of professional group.


HAMMER: Well, if the Balloon Boy saga was, indeed, a hoax - if it was, it would have involved a whole lot of acting, right? Well, did you see this? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the awards for the best and weirdest moments from what may well be the year`s weirdest story.

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



MOOS (voice-over): ... swallowed a canary, adrift in a balloon resembling an unidentified flying chef`s hat.


MOOS: Well, now that the story`s popped, time to hand out the coveted Silver Saucer.

(on camera): The Silver Saucer award for the most awkward moment goes to the parents reacting to their son. They seemed speechless when he told Wolf Blitzer -

F. HEENE: We did this for a show.


MOOS: For best PDA - public display of affection - we award the Silver Saucer to the dad.

R. HEENE: I am just so glad he is here, you know? I am really sorry I yelled at him.

MOOS (voice-over): Mom had a supporting role with comforting rubbing.

(on camera): We award the Silver Saucer for the most heartfelt tears to the mother.

(voice-over): During the 911 call.

911 OPERATOR: It`s a flying saucer?

M. HEENE: Yes. I just want to get my son.

MOOS: The Silver Saucer for worst acting goes to mom and dad during their reality show, "Wife Swap."

M. HEENE: No, I am talking from my heart.

R. HEENE: You are my wife. You`re a man`s nightmare.

MOOS: The Silver Saucer award for not acting but acting out goes to young Falcon. Before the family`s interview with Wolf Blitzer, Wolf introduced himself.

R. HEENE: Won`t you say hi to Wolf?



MOOS (voice-over): During the interview, Falcon made faces, took his dad`s phone and slapped his brother. But the kids also get the Silver Saucer for best hygiene when sneezing.

(on camera): The Silver Saucer award for best balloon cameo goes to "Saturday Night Live."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You bet. He will be home.


MOOS (voice-over): But the Silver Saucer for most genuine moment goes to Falcon`s brothers for their reaction when he threw up on national TV. Dad looks like he almost lost it.

(on camera): At least with a Silver Saucer award, you can eat it after receiving it.

(voice-over): Just don`t make yourself sick.

F. HEENE: I feel like I am going vomit.

(on camera): Not enough room there for a kid.



HAMMER: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Well, I think the whole Balloon Boy thing is, by far, the most bizarre story we`ve heard or seen in a long time, also one of the most serious.

The incident is now being investigated by the FAA. Charges against the parents could be filed next week. And here`s the other thing - quickly, Brooke. I don`t know why we are not calling him attic boy. He was not in the balloon.

ANDERSON: He was in the attic, right.

HAMMER: Exactly. I am calling him "attic boy" from here on now. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Attic Boy Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Remember, you can catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, and in the morning, 11:00 a.m. Eastern on HLN.