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Jennifer Hudson`s Heartache Revealed; Senator Oprah?; Sandra Bullock and Jesse James` Divorce Finalized; Jessica Simpson`s Extreme Diet Confessions; Bret Michaels, the Right Guy for Simon Cowell`s Job?

Aired June 29, 2010 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Big news breaking today on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - Hudson`s heartache revealed. For the very first time, Jennifer Hudson speaks in agonizing detail about the murders of her mother, brother and nephew.


JENNIFER HUDSON, SINGER: It`s all like a blur. It was surreal. It was like I was outside of myself.


HAMMER: The Jennifer Hudson tragedy in her own words. Caught on tape. Senator Oprah? A startling new tape out today of impeached governor Rod Blagojevich talking about giving President Obama`s Senate seat to Oprah.


FMR. GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH (D-IL): She`s a kingmaker. She made Obama. She`s a Democrat.


HAMMER: Sandra Bullock, Jesse James - their shocking quickie divorce finalized. The "SHOWBIZ Flashpoint" today. Does Jesse have any shot of winning Sandra back?

Jessica Simpson`s brand-new extreme diet confessions today. A radical digestive cleansing? Suction cups on her body?

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


HAMMER: Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City with big news breaking today - Jennifer Hudson`s heartache revealed.

For the very first time, Jennifer Hudson is pouring her heart out about what she went through after her mother, brother and nephew were all murdered. The brand-new revelations out today come more than a year-and-a- half after the unimaginable tragedy left Hudson devastated.

Now, what you`re about to hear today will both astound you and inspire you, because SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you Jennifer Hudson`s tale of survival is a story you won`t soon forget.


(voice-over): She endured a rise to stardom few of us could ever imagine and a crushing tragedy none of us would ever want to.

HUDSON: I feel I have seen the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows.

HAMMER: On VH1`s "Behind Music" which premiered last night, Jennifer Hudson is finally opening up about the shocking killings of her mother, brother and her nephew almost two years ago.

HUDSON: It`s all like a blur. It was surreal. It was like I was outside of myself.

HAMMER: All of America is reacting today to the shocking new revelations from Hudson who never talked at length about her heartbreak until now.

BONNIE FULLER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, HOLLYWOODLIFE.COM: I`m sure it`s taken her this long, not just to process the grief, but to be able to speak out about it and speak out about it without just dissolving into complete tears.

HAMMER: In just three short years, Hudson had gone from a no-name Chicago girl with a big voice to the Oscar-winning star of "Dreamgirls." But in October of 2008, her dream rise to stardom turn under to a horrible nightmare.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Superstar Jennifer Hudson`s mother and brother were found dead inside the family home.

HAMMER: Her beloved mother, Darnell Donnerson, her brother Jason Hudson, and her seven-year-old nephew, Julian King, were shot to death in their Chicago neighborhood. William Balfour, Hudson`s estranged brother-in-law, was arrested for the killings. He pleaded not guilty. For months after the murders, Jennifer remained out of sight.

HUDSON: I was pretty much secluded from everything that was going on.

HAMMER: Now, for the very first time Hudson revealed to VH1`s "Behind the Music" she disappeared intentionally to avoid the intense media attention on the brutal killings.

HUDSON: Two years straight inside my world with just family and friends coming in and out, I mean, because, of course, the press was everywhere. And it was like, "Where`s Jennifer?"

HAMMER: And Hudson got emotional when she talked about what made put her red hot movie career to a hold.

HUDSON: I was asked to do a film a lot at the same time, and I was like, I have to get adjusted to who I am now. So I can`t be another character - be another character if I don`t know who I am.

HAMMER: But the world got an answer to another big question today. How in the world has Jennifer Hudson been able to overcome such a horrible tragedy?

HUDSON: I knew if I sit here and dwell on it, it is going to be harder.

HAMMER: She tells VH1`s "Behind the Music" she returned to the spotlight at Grammys in 2009 less than four months after the murders. There, she won her first Grammy and she brought down the house with an emotional performance of her song "You Pulled Me Through."

HUDSON: It made perfect sense, me singing that song. I was definitely thinking of my family when I was singing that song.

HAMMER: Now, Hudson`s career is back on the fast track. She sat down with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson in May at the Cannes Film Festival. She talked about her new film project as well as something that`s helped her bounced back from her tragedy, her new baby boy, David.

HUDSON: He`s such a blessing. And I love it. He`s the best baby. He`s so sweet. He`s such a sweetheart.

FULLER: I think that Jennifer Hudson has handled this tragedy as well as anybody could.

HAMMER: "`s" Bonnie Fuller tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Hudson is an example of how we all can bounce back from tragedy.

FULLER: She needed to heal as much as could be possible. And I think that that is the best thing that she could do for herself as a person and also, ultimately, for her career, because this way, she can now move forward.


HAMMER: Just amazing to me how much Jennifer has persevered through all the tragedy and done it with such grace and integrity. Wow. What an inspiration.

With me right now is New York is Janell Snowden. Janell is a host with VH1 News. From Hollywood, Wendy Walsh who is a TV journalist and a doctor of psychology.

And I`ve got to tell you. I`ve always thought it was really important that Jennifer not speak out about what she went through during that horrific time until she was absolutely ready to do it.

Now that she has decided to speak out, Janell, what, for you, struck you the most about such an incredible and heartbreaking story that she told?

JANELL SNOWDEN, HOST, VH1 NEWS: I think reliving the moment when she spoke about singing at the Grammys and singing to her family, seeing the emotion that she felt there. I was there when she sang and I remember having the biggest goose bumps ever. It was so chilling because she hadn`t spoken about it.

And you just knew without her having said it that she was definitely thinking of them and how incredibly difficult that must have been and to hear her say that she - to hear her brother saying to her, "You`ve got to go out. You`ve got kill this."


SNOWDEN: And I think also the access that VH1 was able to get her. You know, for such a superstar, to be able to have the access to her and the new baby is not something you typically get. And so for her to allow that and be so open, I thought it was pretty impressive.

HAMMER: Interesting perspective on the Grammy moment, because that is so pivotal, not just for her, but for her fans as well, sitting in that audience.

Wendy, for you, what struck you the most about her story?

DR. WENDY WALSH, TV JOURNALIST AND DOCTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY: Well, how she actually described classic symptoms of PTSD - posttraumatic stress disorder, when she talked about going into a room and not leaving it for two weeks.

Partly, that was hiding from the press. But it was also how she said she was outside of her body. I mean, people often describe that they feel numb or they feel nothing.

And this is brain`s way of protecting itself from really damaging emotions that could cause crazy behavior. So she kind of did the right thing in the short term, and then, in the long term, did the best thing of all, which is create a new life, some life-affirming action, that new baby, that new attachment, something that tells her that family will always grow and family will always be there.


WALSH: So I was delighted to see that, too.

HAMMER: And I was delighted to see now people are looking to her to see that, yes, you make it through anything. Look what I made it through. And wow, what an inspiration.

All right. I do want to move on now to the big news breaking in the Sandra Bullock-Jesse James divorce. As we first reported, the divorce has been finalized. It just happened.

But I can now reveal some shocking new clues today about the possibility that a reunion could take place down the line. That brings us to today`s "SHOWBIZ Flashpoint" - could Sandra and Jesse actually get back together? Or is that just an incredibly farfetched idea? Janell?

SNOWDEN: Incredibly farfetched.

HAMMER: Really?

SNOWDEN: This is Sandra Bullock. She is a tough cookie and she was already so resistant to marriage. So to be able to open herself up to not only the guy that hurt her so badly and embarrassed her so greatly, but to do it again - I just can`t see her going through that.

But I think that because of the relationship she has with the kids, she will have to get to the point where she`s cordial with him.

HAMMER: Right.

SNOWDEN: But if he`s looking to get back with Sandra, I think he`s got - yes, not going to happen.

HAMMER: Well, I hear you. But if you think it is incredibly farfetched, I do want you to take a look at some clues that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT uncovered today showing maybe - not so crazy.

Jesse James has just revealed that he`s moving to Texas so his girls can be closer to Sandra. Sandra told "People" magazine back in April Jesse would remain in her life and her son Louie`s life and described her relationship with Jesse as "bittersweet with a new understanding and one of forgiveness."

And then, there was Jesse`s interview on "Nightline" where he revealed that by hurting Sandy, he hurt his kids but he still had some hope. Take a look at this.


JESSE JAMES, SANDRA BULLOCK`S EX-HUSBAND: I still have hopes of saving, you know, some sort of relationship with Sandy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think you can change her mind?

JAMES: About divorcing me? No. We`re getting divorced - 100 percent sure of that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that what you want?

JAMES: Absolutely not. I didn`t want any of this.


HAMMER: Well, there you go and it`s happened. Wendy, to the "SHOWBIZ Flashpoint," do you think that all of these clues could make you think in any way they could possibly get back together?

WALSH: Well, I like to say, A.J., never say never. You don`t know the strength of those attachments especially when there are children involved. And she used the word "bittersweet." And "bittersweet" is also sweet, remember.

So there may be a time of vulnerability for her where she may fall back into his arms. Maybe the kids are up late with fevers and he`s there helping out late at night. And you never know what can happen in family life and what bonds that attach these people. Never say never.

HAMMER: You never know. But you know, I still - I don`t see it happening. Janell Snowden, Wendy Walsh, thanks, guys, I appreciate it.

Moving on now to Oprah for senator? This is wild. Caught on tape today, a startling new recording of impeached Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich. He`s talking about giving President Obama`s Senate seat to Oprah Winfrey.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thinking about the Oprah thing, I think that`s crazy.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yes. See, that`s where you`re wrong. She`s the kingmaker. She made Obama. We know she`s a Democrat.


HAMMER: Unbelievable. Also, Jessica Simpson`s brand-new extreme diet confessions today. A radical digestive cleansing. Suction cups on her body. It sounds kind of gross, right? But I`ve got to admit, I do want to know why Jess is putting all this out there.

Also making news today - Bristol Palin`s unbelievable brand-new revelations about her relationship with Levi Johnston.


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: A question for you, Bristol. What is your relationship like now with Levi and also it relates to him helping to raise his child?


HAMMER: It`s the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green get married on the big island of Hawaii. Britney Spears unveils new fashion line for Candies at Kohl`s stores.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with Bristol Palin baby revelations today. Sarah Palin`s daughter is getting ready to make her debut on ABC Family`s "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" in just days.

But everybody is wondering about the secret life of Bristol Palin. What is her life like as a mom? And is she talking to her ex, Levi Johnston. Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter just sat down with Bristol Palin. Kareen, joins me from Hollywood. So what is she saying?

WYNTER: Hi, there, A.J. Of course, I did speak to her Bristol as well as co-star, Francia Raisa. And A.J., I have to tell you, Bristol - she opened about everything, you know, from the difficulties of being a single mom to what it was like to do her very first TV show. But when it comes to talk about her ex, Levi, let`s just say she was a bit of a maverick.


(on camera): What is your relationship like now with Levi and also as it relates to him helping to raise his child?

BRISTOL PALIN, DAUGHTER OF SARAH PALIN: I`m not here to talk about any of that right now. We`re here to talk about the show and the impact the show does have on teens out there.

WYNTER: Do you think it is difficult, though, for teens in real life who have that type of relationship and maybe wanting to learn how to make it work?

B. PALIN: Do I think it`s what?

WYNTER: It must be very difficult, though, you know, as a single mom raising a child alone. And so that`s why I wanted to ask you that question because many young viewers are going to wonder, how you juggle it? How do you do it all?

B. PALIN: It`s a lot of work. It`s definitely a juggling act. But it`s possible and once you are in that situation of being a teen parent, you know, you have to deal with it. And you have to chip away at your education. You have to get a job to provide for your child.

WYNTER: And Levi`s relationship with your mom - they said not so nice things in the press. Have they made nice?

B. PALIN: I`m not here to talk about any of that. Thank you, though.

WYNTER: You, of course, have been so outspoken in your challenges as a young mother. And why was it so important to make an appearance on this ABC Family show?

B. PALIN: I just wanted to contribute to this show just because the show does open up so much dialogue between parents and kids and teens amongst each other.

WYNTER: What was it like just preparing for the lines and dabbling in this whole acting world? Exciting for you or a little bit unnerving?

B. PALIN: I was nervous, definitely, but I had a wonderful time. The cast was awesome and everyone here was awesome.


WYNTER: So there you go, A.J. Bristol all right about talking about the show. But anything else like Levi Johnston, it was like pulling teeth there. Bristol, by the way, will appear as herself on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." It airs Monday on ABC Family.

HAMMER: Yes. I mean, Kareen, I`m watching that and she seemed - I hate to say it, but a little uptight there. And it was obvious to me that Bristol was told to give that standard pat answer when asked anything about Levi.

But did you get a chance to ask her about her mom, Sarah Palin, and what she is like a grandmother towards little Tripp?

WYNTER: I sure did, A.J. As a matter of fact then, this is what she had to say.


B. PALIN: She`s a grandma. I mean, she`s great. She`s awesome with him.

WYNTER: Pretty strict, especially with the diet?

B. PALIN: No, no, she spoils him.


HAMMER: It sounds like Sarah Palin is doing a fine job as a grandma, Kareen. But I couldn`t help but notice that was the only moment Bristol kind of loosened up and smiled during the interview.

WYNTER: Just a little bit.

HAMMER: Yes. And look, I understand it can`t be easy of being the daughter of one of the most controversial figures in the country. Given that, do you think it`s a good idea for Bristol to be putting herself out there despite the good work that she`s trying to do? I mean, she`s sitting down and opening herself up to this.

WYNTER: Well, A.J., you just said it yourself. She is this, the daughter of this larger-than-life political star, Sarah Palin. So anything she does, she`s going to be criticized. If she`s sitting at home with her kid eating bonbons, they`re going to say she`s a rich kid living off mommy and daddy.

If she`s out there handling her business, talking to teens and educating them, acting, perhaps, they`re going to say she`s an absentee mom. So she needs to perhaps try to juggle it and have the best of both worlds there.

And we saw that a little bit recently when she did that PSA on teens and sex. Guess who was right there with her for the shoot? Her little son, Tripp.


WYNTER: So again, you can see her trying to, you know, handle both worlds, the responsibility of motherhood as well as taking care of her business. And she mentioned recently, too, that, "Oh, my mom said I had to get a job and I wouldn`t be accepting any handouts from the family." I find that very hard to believe.

HAMMER: Let me ask you this. Did she talk about any more plans to act or anything like that - more TV for her?

WYNTER: She was definitely asked. And look, hey, she is not ruling it out. You`re going to be seeing more of Bristol on the small screen, maybe big screen as well. But I think, right now, she`s taking baby steps. She is, at the end of the day, just 19 years old.


WYNTER: She has a baby. She`s a young mom. So much to juggle -

HAMMER: A lot.

WYNTER: And then you have the whole world out there watching you.

HAMMER: All right -

WYNTER: So it`s not the last we`re seeing her on the small screen.

HAMMER: As I said, not easy. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter. Thanks so much.

Moving on now, caught on tape, Senator Oprah? Startling new tape out today of impeached governor, Rod Blagojevich, talking about giving President Obama`s Senate seat to Oprah Winfrey.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thinking about the Oprah thing, I think that`s - that`s crazy.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yes, see, that`s where you`re wrong. She`s the kingmaker. She made Obama. We know she`s a Democrat.


HAMMER: You know, I don`t think the idea of Oprah in politics is so crazy, but like this? Yes, I`m thinking no way.

Yes. He was nearly dead a few months ago. And now, Bret Michaels ready to make a big comeback today. He says he`s ready to take over for Simon on "American Idol."

And what`s the deal with all these crying stars? Chris Brown just lost it at a Michael Jackson tribute. You want to grab your Kleenex because I`ve got an unbelievable look at the most outrageous star singing boohoo moments caught on tape.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Some performers cry a lot. Think Celine Dion. She cried so much she`s developed dramatic techniques for wiping away her tears. There`s the backhand.


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

TEXT: Lance Armstrong announces that this Tour De France will be his last. Tennis star Jennifer Capriati recovering after accidental drug overdose.


HAMMER: Susan Sarandon may be getting a TV show, a reality show - about ping-pong? Yes, Susan Is an investor in a new ping-pong nightclub in New York City. Sarandon is telling "People" magazine she wants to do a documentary series all about the club.

So I`ve got to find out. Do they play beer-pong in this club? Does anybody know? That would be a great field trip for the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff, I`ve got to say.

Well, Leo DiCaprio was really fired up today about the devastating gulf oil spill. In fact, he tells us it`s time to stop using oil for good. We just caught up with Leo while he was out promoting his new movie, "Inception." Take a look at this.


LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: I think that, obviously, was incredibly irresponsible. It was an accident that didn`t need to happen. I`m like everybody else.

I`m sort of looking to our president now to see what kind of choices he wants to make and, obviously, looking for BP to financially cover a lot of the damage that`s gone on and help the people there that are going to be suffering for years and years to come and help clean up the oil and help the environment and the animals that have been affected by this spill.

But I`ve been working with the NRDC and talking about ways to help the situation. But you know, I really call upon BP to come through with their promise of the recovery effort. I mean, it`s really - it`s their fault at the end of the day. But we need to watch companies like this very closely so stuff like this doesn`t happen again. And hopefully, at the end of the day, make a transition away from oil altogether. That would be the ultimate goal.


HAMMER: I couldn`t agree with Leo any more. By the way, Leo`s new movie, "Inception," will be in theaters on July 16th.

So there`s a lot of love going out to Sandra Bullock today on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page. I told you how Sandra and Jesse James` divorce was just made finale.

Well, that makes Michelle S. very happy, "I am so glad that she stayed strong and followed through with it. You go, girl!"

And Linda K. thinks Sandra - she`ll definitely not reunite with Jesse, "Good for her. She is a strong woman and a great role model. Rock on, Sandra!"

Love for you to join the debate on Facebook. You can go behind the scenes of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and get breaking entertainment news alerts. That`s all on Twitter. You can call us at "Showbiz on Call." And of course, there`s always E-mail. "SHOWBIZ Connects" - you`ll find it all at

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thinking about the Oprah thing, I think that`s - that`s crazy.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yes. See, that`s where you`re wrong. She`s the kingmaker. She made Obama. We know she`s a Democrat.


HAMMER: How crazy is this? Caught on tape, Senator Oprah? Startling new tape out today of impeached governor, Rod Blagojevich, talking about giving President Obama`s senate seat to Oprah Winfrey.

Jessica Simpson`s brand-new extreme diet confessions today. A radical digestive cleansing? Suction cups on her body?

And Bret Michaels big come back. Why Bret says today he is the right guy for Simon Cowell`s job. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Here comes the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - these are more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Marilyn Monroe`s chest x-rays sell for $45,000 at Las Vegas auction. Rob Lowe writing a memoir, will be out in May 2011.


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, caught on tape - Senator Oprah? A startling new tape out today of impeached governor, Rod Blagojevich, talking about giving President Obama`s Senate seat to Oprah Winfrey.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thinking about the Oprah thing, I think that`s - that`s crazy.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yes. See, that`s where you`re wrong. She`s the kingmaker. She made Obama. We know she`s a Democrat.


HAMMER: Jessica Simpson`s brand-new extreme diet confessions today. A radical digestive cleansing? Suction cups on her body? What is she doing?

Grandpa Gaga? Take a look at this guy getting down to Lady Gaga.


Plus, breaking today from the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - Kristen Stewart`s new "Twilight: Eclipse" secrets. And Steve Carell`s "Office" shocker.

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


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City with big news breaking today, caught on tape - Senator Oprah?

Well, today, we`ve got the top secret audiotapes of former Illinois governor and all-around train wreck, Rod Blagojevich, suggesting Oprah Winfrey take President Obama`s Senate seat. Can you imagine - Senator Oprah? Was this another whackadoodle idea? Or was he actually on to something here?

Joining me right now in New York is Janell Snowden who is a host for VH1 News. With us from Hollywood, Wendy Walsh, who is a TV journalist and doctor of psychology.

These brand-new tapes of Blagojevich considering Oprah for senator were just played at his trial - I`ve got to tell you, they`re just astounding.

Before Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption charges, before he became a reality star, he actually really considered appointing the queen of talk to the Senate. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thinking about the Oprah thing, I think that`s crazy.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yes. See, that`s where you`re wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I`m not. I mean, your political instinct are your political instincts. I just think, geez, it would certainly be way out there. I`m not sure what she stands for. I don`t know what her value system is or anything like that.

BLAGOJEVICH: Well, she`s the kingmaker. She made Obama. We know she`s a Democrat.


HAMMER: Look, it`s obvious Blagojevich`s chief-of-staff thinks he is a whack job for even bringing up Oprah`s name. But, actually, Wendy, breaking it down for a second, I think it`s kind of an inspired idea. What about you?

WALSH: I actually think that Mr. Impeached Governor finally had a good brain wave. I think it`s the smartest thing that he has ever said or done. Nothing would make me happier than to see Oprah as a senator. That`s for sure.

She`s one of the brightest, smartest, most business-savvy women on the planet. But unfortunately, I don`t think she would turn down her billion- dollar a year salary to take the cake.

HAMMER: Yes. I don`t see that either. Now, despite the skepticism from the chief-of-staff, Blagojevich was insistent that Oprah was a prime senatorial candidate. Listen to this part of the conversation.


BLAGOJEVICH: I think the thing I like about Oprah - can I give you what I like about it?


BLAGOJEVICH: Is there is nothing affirmative action about her. She is a huge success, a mega success in her own right.


HAMMER: Now, Janell, regardless of what a great candidate Blagojevich may think she would have been - you know, I`m with Wendy here. I think there is no chance that Oprah would have even entertained the idea.

SNOWDEN: Are you kidding me? He`s a hot mess, that guy. Can you imagine Oprah? I mean, he`s so transparent and she`s long said she`ll never run for public office because she has so much more power in the seat that she sits now.


SNOWDEN: I mean, she is the biggest media mogul in American society and we all know I want her to adopt me.

HAMMER: Yes. Well, there`s that. And less about the money and more about the power. I agree with you on that and Blagojevich was certainly right. Oprah a mega success in her own right and that brings us to our next story making big news today.

"Forbes" magazine today released its list of the world`s most powerful celebrities. They named Oprah number one. She raked in $315 million last year. Now, this is the fourth time Oprah has held the number one spot.

Last year, you may remember, she was ousted by Angelina Jolie. Angelina plummeted this year on the list all the way down to number 18. Wendy, you`ve got Oprah on top, not a huge surprise. But Angelina - all the way to number 18. Wow, I`m shocked.

WALSH: That`s amazing. Nothing affirmative action about that. I can`t believe he said that about Oprah. Isn`t that kind of racist?

HAMMER: You know, I was thinking about it and I was trying to understand what he was trying to get across in that. And I think what he was saying, it wouldn`t appear as if it was an affirmative action choice, maybe.


HAMMER: I don`t know - I don`t want to - look.


SNOWDEN: Or maybe she didn`t have an easy ride.

WALSH: I don`t even want to dignify that with a response.

HAMMER: No, let`s talk about Angelina Jolie. The idea that she`s number 18 on this "Forbes" list - that`s actually kind of shocking to me. I respect that she`s pulling back a little, concentrating more on motherhood, though. And that, I bet, has a lot to do with it.

SNOWDEN: I`m actually kind of inspired that she`s dropped a little bit. I mean, she is definitely the next closest thing to Mother Teresa.

HAMMER: I guess so. Yes.

SNOWDEN: But at the same time, like you said, she`s taking some time to be with the kids. And so she`s - you know, she`s the most influential in her household and maybe not for everyone`s household.

HAMMER: Well, there you go. But let`s take a look at some of the other people on this list. It`s quite an inspiring list. Number two, Beyonce. And actually, quite a few people at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT were surprised about that.

But James Cameron followed, Lady Gaga, Tiger Woods. Now, Lady Gaga is the highest ranked newcomer on the list. She just beat out Madonna. Madonna is at number 10 this year. Now, Wendy, as much as I get Gaga`s meteoric rise, I`m actually kind of surprised Gaga trumped Madge. What about you?

WALSH: I`m sure Gaga is very excited about that. She`s called Madonna her inspiration in life. I have been telling my kids for two years she is a Madonna knock-off. Now, she`s beat Madonna, so she`s standing on her feet in her own right.

HAMMER: All right. Well, I do want to move on now to another story that is making big news today. There is no sympathy for boohooing Chris Brown. Well, at the BET Awards on Sunday night, Chris Brown broke down during his tribute to Michael Jackson.

So, in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, here`s what we asked - "Chris Brown`s BET Breakdown: Did you think it was sincere? Did you think it was a publicity ploy?"

Charles, can we put these results up here from the poll? Because here`s what happened - only 36 percent said, yes, you thought it was sincere. So a whopping 64 percent said this thing was a publicity ploy.

Now, Janell, I know you were right there at the BET Awards on Sunday night. You saw the performance. Are you surprised that so many people aren`t buying what happened?

SNOWDEN: I guess I am because the general consensus in the audience was that it was a sincere moment. I have to tell you, I was sitting next to three rappers who shall remain nameless in the interest of preserving their street cred.

HAMMER: OK. Even if I know, I won`t say.

SNOWDEN: Please don`t. But they were all wiping their eyes. And one was actually sobbing. And so when we spoke afterwards, he said it was because he felt the sincerity in Chris Brown`s spirit and his emotion. I, for one, thought that as much as he might have been motivated by sadness at Jackson`s loss, perhaps he was more motivated -


SNOWDEN: By the fact that the audience so overwhelmingly received him and that`s a feeling he hasn`t felt in so long. So I think it was his triumphant moment. And that like, "They like me. They really like me again."

HAMMER: Yes. Or as I have said, I think the tears are real, but he was crying for his career more than anything else because, let`s face it, he pretty much threw it away and he knows he did that. .

Well, last night on his show, Jimmy Kimmel also not buying Chris Brown`s act. You`ve got to see what happened. Watch this.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": I`m not sure I buy that they were genuine tears. And based on the reaction in the room, I`m not sure the audience bought into it either.


KIMMEL: Next time he calls it Billie Jean.

HAMMER: I mean, come on, that`s pretty funny. But Wendy, I think it`s official on a lot of levels. There are a whole lot of people who now think Chris Brown is just a joke.

WALSH: You know, my new name for him is Mr. Flooding because I have actually seen this psychological phenomenon where his emotions flood him so much that it affects his behavior.

And while some people might say, "Is this real or is it not?" what we`re seeing is a flooding of tender emotions. But just as quickly, we can see a flooding of anger. This young man has poor impulse control. He needs to work on controlling his emotions across the board.

HAMMER: Yes. I mean, let`s face it. Whatever motivated the crying, it hasn`t done him any good. And when you see somebody like Jimmy Kimmel latching on to it so quickly which is going to continue to happen, you know, to some degree, he has kind of become a joke.

SNOWDEN: I don`t know if he`s become a joke, because I have to tell you, I was at the show last year. And when there was a mention of Chris Brown`s name, there was like a quiet boo. And this year, when he accepted an award soon after the performance, the crowd was in uproar.

HAMMER: All right.

SNOWDEN: So I don`t know that he`s a job. I think he`s maybe back on the block.

HAMMER: Well, we`ll see. But you know, Chris Brown, I must say, not the only star who`s boohooing these days with a big blubbering breakdown on stage.

That leads us to our next story making news today. CNN`s Jeanne Moos says it is a phenomenon.


MOOS (on camera): Some performers cry a lot. Think Celine Dion. She cries so much, she`s developed dramatic techniques for wiping away tears. There`s the backhand.


HAMMER: Well, Wendy Walsh, Janell Snowden, don`t go anywhere. In just a moment, a brand-new and quite hilarious expose. It`s stars who cried today.

And we move on now to Jessica Simpson`s new diet confessions. This is a little wild to me. Jessica revealing new details today about losing weight. But wait until you hear how she`s losing the weight and what suction cups have to do with it. Yes, I said suction cups.

Bret Michaels making news today. The death-defying rocker says he`s ready to replace Simon on "Idol." Also this -


HAMMER: This right here - one of my favorite videos today. Check out Grandpa Gaga. And just like Lady Gaga, Grandpa Gaga is controversial. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Steve Carell confirms today he is leaving NBC`s "The Office." Kristen Stewart reveals why Bella selected Edward and not Jacob in "Eclipse."


KRISTEN STEWART, ACTRESS: It feels like she picks on every one. And then, she finally owns it and gets it. She`s old enough to make that sort of decision.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Big news in "The Buzz" today - what may be the final word on whether Howard Stern will replace Simon Cowell on "American Idol." And Jessica Simpson reveals her new diet secret.


(voice-over): Jessica Simpson`s extreme diet confession. Simpson has just revealed the TMI details of a radical digestive cleansing that involved the vegan diet, Chinese tea and suction cups on her skin.

Jessica tweeted away about this, writing, "Has anyone ever tried cupping? When you know you`re doing something good for your body, the meditation creates intense visions. Love it!"

She also asks, "Who am I right now? This might be too clean." Visions and a clean digestive tract. Sounds like fun.

Can reality redeem the Lohans? There`s a brand-new report Lindsay Lohan`s family`s filming a new reality show. The "New York Post" reports it revolves around Lindsay`s mom, her brother and sister, and Lindsay will also appear.

Lindsay`s mom, Dina, tells "The Post" she hopes this series will convince people the Lohans are, quote, "a good, hard-working family and we don`t have the crazy lives that some people claim we do." So far, no one`s picked up the show.

No Stern for "Idol." Howard Stern`s wife has just told "People" magazine ignore the speculation Howard could fill Simon Cowell`s empty seat on "American Idol." Beth Ostrosky says her hubby would be great but, quote, "Do I think it is going to happen? No."


So Howard`s out. But there is big "Idol" news breaking today. Bret Michaels is revealing today he is in serious talks to take Simon`s now- vacant seat.

For the very first time, the rock star who was on the brink of death just a couple of months ago is revealing why Simon himself may have already given Bret his blessing.

Right now, in Hollywood, Michael Yo. He is a celebrity correspondent for "E!" Also in Hollywood, Kim Serafin. She is a senior editor for "In Touch Weekly."

Wow, what an incredible, unbelievable year Bret Michaels has had. I mean, take a look at this. He had an emergency appendectomy and a brain hemorrhage in April. He won "celebrity Apprentice" just weeks later.

And today, in a new interview released today on "," Bret drops the news he will actually be meeting with "Idol" producers in just a couple weeks. And Michael Yo, I also think that, you know, if Bret gets this gig, he`ll actually bring some of the street cred that some people thought was lost on the judge`s panel when Ellen was picked. Are you with me on that?

MICHAEL YO, CELEBRITY CORRESPONDENT, "E!": Absolutely, 100 percent. I was with Bret, actually, about three weeks ago on his tour bus. And he definitely wants to do this job. I think he does bring the credibility to the job, and he`s still living it.

He`s on tour right now with Lynyrd Skynyrd, so he`s actually still touring. So if you`re up there on stage and take his advice, you could actually be living the life he lives. So yes, total credibility with Bret Michaels being a judge.

HAMMER: Yes. He knows what is going on. And what an endorsement Bret says that Simon Cowell has even given his approval telling "" this, "Simon said that I would great judge. What he sees in me is the fact that I have lived this career from the basement up.

So again, more great credentials right there. Kim Serafin, would "Idol" producers have to be nuts not to sign up Bret Michaels?

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Oh, I think for sure. He would be such a good addition. I mean, you can`t just get a Simon Cowell replacement. You can`t just look for a mean guy with an accent because that`s not going to work.

You need to bring some new life into this and Bret Michaels has that. He has been around since the `80s. I mean, he`s performed with Miley Cyrus. He`s performed on the Tony Awards.

He is someone that understands reality TV, so he gets it. I mean, I would prefer to see the Bret Michaels from "The Apprentice" and not the Bret Michaels from "Rock of Love."

HAMMER: Right.

SERAFIN: But you`ll bring in a new audience. I mean, now, with the new age limit, the 15-year-olds. You`re going to see a lot of Justin Bieber wannabes.

But I think Bret Michaels would bring in a different audience, not just sort of Disney wannabes who watch the show. So I think he`d be so great. He would tell the truth. He`d be fun. He`d be excited. He`d be passionate. Such a good choice. They should definitely give him the job.

HAMMER: And keep this in mind, you know, when Bret Michaels shows up, it`s nothing but a good time. All right. I have to move on to Jessica Simpson`s extreme diet confessions. What am I going to say.

I really think Jess has taken TMI to a whole new level with this. Jess has just tweeted intimate details of her vegan diet which happens to include a Chinese cleansing tea and that she uses special suction cups to suck the toxins out of her body.

Let me read what she`s writing on Twitter, "Has anyone ever tried cupping? When you know you`re doing something good for your body, the meditation creates intense visions. Love it! Who am I right now? This might be too clean."

Michael, can we all agree that perhaps, now, Jess has just teetered over the line of tasteful tweets?

YO: You know what? I know it would be big news. Jessica Simpson wasn`t putting meat into her mouth anymore. I knew that was going to be a big story.

But the main thing is, everybody wants to be healthy. She`s a vegan but the main thing is, is she`s putting way too much out there in the universe. It`s like people abuse Twitter and she`s definitely doing that. I don`t want to know about your cupping. I really don`t.

HAMMER: Yes. And quickly, Kim, now, she says this whole thing not a diet, but it does sound like a diet to me. I think she`s actually afraid of using the D-word.

SERAFIN: Maybe, because there is so much speculation about her weight. No, I should just say, I am a vegetarian and eating a vegan diet is not shocking your system necessarily.

HAMMER: That`s right.

SERAFIN: That`s eating healthy.

HAMMER: I agree.

SERAFIN: But because there has been so much focus on her weight - and she did tweet earlier this month that she was trying to get into bikini shape. So -


HAMMER: All right. She`s just putting it out there, but maybe reel it back in a little, Jess. Thanks so much, Michael Yo and Kim Serafin.

Well, today, a brand-new Internet sensation is born. Did you see this? Grandpa Gaga -


That`s fun. Over 350,000 views so far on YouTube. It`s the granddaddy of all Gaga fans busting a move on the dance floor. Thankfully, gramps didn`t bust his pacemaker with all those kicks.

Now, I know a lot of people are buzzing about this today. And like Lady Gaga, Grandpa Gaga is controversial. Some say gramp`s "Poker Face" is actually someone disguised to look like a grandpa. Whatever. I think Grandpa Gaga is cool.

HAMMER: Is it me or have you also noticed - a lot of stars lately have been singing the blues. Chris Brown, of course, got slammed for his onstage crying - that during a tribute to Michael Jackson.

I`m here to tell you and I`m going to show you Chris is not the only big- name star getting all choked up trying to belt out a tune.


MOOS (on camera): Some performers cry a lot. Think Celine Dion. She cries so much she`s developed dramatic techniques for wiping away her tears. There`s the backhand.


HAMMER: This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views. Now, it`s the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Mel Gibson and ex Oksana Grigorieva due in court July 20 to deal with child custody issues. Former California beauty queen Carrie Prejean now engaged to NFL star Kyle Boller.


HAMMER: Chris boohoohoo. Chris Brown broke it down during his tribute to Michael Jackson. Now, Chris is just one of a long line of stars to get all choked up while trying to belt out a tune on stage.

This, now, is the most incredible crying star singing moments caught on tape. You might want to grab a hanky for this tearjerker. Here is CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.



JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First he danced, then he cried, and Chris Brown broke down at the BET Awards performing a tribute to Michael Jackson. It was one of those try-to-sing-but-nothing- comes-out moments.


Brown isn`t the first singer inspired by Michael Jackson that get choked up paying tribute to him. Usher was singing to Michael`s casket at his memorial service.

Stevie Wonder was, likewise, rendered momentarily mute in the middle of "The Way You Make Me Feel." The way he made everyone feel at this HBO "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" event was sad. We`re more accustomed to the singer making the audience cry, be it Sanjaya on "American Idol." Or Bette Midler serenading Johnny Carson with "One for the Road," the last guest on "Tonight Show."

But when the singer cries, be it Beyonce or Fantasia on "American Idol," they have the audience eating out of their tear-stained hand. A performer doesn`t have to be sad to cry.

Sometimes, the biggest meltdowns are just caused by nerves. After heading for a shoulder to cry on, all Hollie Steele wanted was a chance to start over again on "Britain`s Got Talent."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just found out we don`t have time to do it again, I`m afraid. I know it`s upsetting.

MOOS: They found the time.

(on-camera): Some performers cry a lot. Think Celine Dion.

MOOS (voice-over): She cries so much she developed dramatic techniques for wiping away her tears. There`s the backhand. The two-handed fling and the two-handed fling with eyes raised to the heavens. Sure beats Kleenex.


HAMMER: I liked the two-handed fling there. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Don`t laugh when that little girl cries if we played that again.

That`s it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer live in New York. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is out live at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday and still TV`s most provocative entertainment news show seven days a week at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.