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Why Leann Cheated; Elizabeth`s New Struggle; Jackson Bombshells; Teen Mom Outrage; The Politics of Bieber

Aired September 16, 2010 - 23:00:00   ET



A.J. HAMMER, HLN CO-HOST: Big news breaking today on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Leann Rimes` shocking new cheating confession: for the very first time, the country star reveals why she had an affair. The "Showbiz Flashpoint" today, should anyone have any sympathy for Leann?

Elizabeth Edwards, has she forgiven her cheating estranged husband? Her dramatic emotional new interview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you forgiven him?


HAMMER: The unbelievable Gabby Sidibe cover controversy today. Startling allegations that Gabby`s skin was lightened for a major magazine shoot.

The politics of Bieber?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell everyone to vote again in 2010.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they won`t do it for you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- ask them to do it for Bieber.


HAMMER: The fired up debate today. Is it ok to use the Bieb to get out the vote?

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

HAMMER: Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City.

BROOKE ANDERSON, HLN CO-HOST: Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood with big news breaking today. Why Leann cheated.

HAMMER: It`s pretty amazing. And what you`re about to hear may be one of the most blunt, honest and, quite frankly, emotional star cheating confessions ever. For the very first time, Leann Rimes is explaining today why she cheated on her husband and left him for her TV movie co-star.

In a brand-new interview just revealed today, the country music superstar who once was considered America`s sweetheart makes incredible revelations that like it or not, I think a lot of married and divorced couples will identify with.

But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got to ask, should we now have sympathy for Leann?

With me in New York is Sunny Hostin, who is a contributor, legally speaking on "In Session" on our sister network TruTV. In Hollywood, Jim Moret, is the chief correspondent for "Inside Edition." Jim is also the author of this fine book called "The Last Day of My Life."

I got to tell you I found it just remarkable these bombshells that Leann dropped, one after the next after the next.

Brooke Anderson, exactly what is she saying?

ANDERSON: Yes, A.J., Leann is really opening up about the breakup of her marriage to her backup dancer Dean Sheremet in the October issue of "Shape" magazine revealed today. And she revealed why she thinks their marriage fell apart.

Here it is. "My relationship with Dean was great but ultimately it wasn`t a fulfilling marriage for either of us. We got married so young. I was 19, and he was 21. So as we got older, we grew apart.

I understand why people are disappointed in me, especially since I grew up as America`s sweetheart. I think any relationship is hard to get out of, and I don`t think the way I did it was right. I truly believe there are lessons in it for me to learn, cultivating strength from rough situations is the most important thing. After going through this, I know I can face anything."

Sunny, I got to hand it to her, she`s open, she`s honest, I appreciate that. But I think she missed a golden opportunity here to redeem herself, because she did not directly clearly apologize.

Instead, she tried to justify the whole thing and she hurt a whole lot of people. But at the same time, a lot of people will identify with what she is saying. So what do you think, should she be forgiven now?

SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, "IN SESSION": No, no. I can`t forgive her and I have to tell you, I agree with you, Brooke, she should have apologized not only to her ex-husband but how about apologizing to her new man`s wife that she stole him from?

How about apologizing to her? This was for me one of the most selfish sort of --


HOSTIN: -- explanations for failing to just leave a marriage and get a divorce.

HAMMER: Let`s bring in Jim Moret --

ANDERSON: Yes, a lot -- Jim, a lot of people called her a home wrecker. What do you think? Should she be forgiven?

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": You know I don`t know that she`s asking for forgiveness, frankly. I think she`s trying to justify what she did. She may be confessing but I didn`t hear an apology. People make mistakes in all parts of their lives.

ANDERSON: Of course.

MORET: And, you know when, when you make a mistake and you say, I`m sorry --


MORET: -- that`s different from what we`re hearing now. I didn`t hear her say, "I`m sorry, what I did was wrong."

ANDERSON: It was a non-apology.

HAMMER: All right.

So I think a lot of people clearly can relate to Leann and her husband marrying very young. They grew apart as they matured. Get it, got it.

But I`ve got to say, I am glad she acknowledged that the way that the marriage ended was very immature.

But let me get to the "Showbiz Flash Point." Should we have sympathy for Leann? And Sunny, I want to go to you for this. I`m guessing based on what you just said, no.

HOSTIN: No, no. I -- I don`t think so. I mean sympathy for someone who, again, stole someone else`s husband and cheated on her own. I always say there`s a special place in hell for people that like to steal other people`s men.


HOSTIN: She`s there, A.J. she`s there`s, it`s hot. Fire is hitting her.

HAMMER: All right, Jim, to the "Showbiz Flash Point" do you think we should have sympathy for her?

MORET: I don`t think she`s looking for sympathy. I think she`s looking for justification, for an explanation, and it takes two to tango in this situation.

You know, I think Brooke is right. She missed a great opportunity just to say "I`m sorry."

HAMMER: Ok, but hopefully the honesty that she has come out with -- with what she did say will at least be a good platform, a launching pad, if you will, for her to move forward with her life and hopefully an honest life.

Let`s move on now to another bombshell interview revealed today with Elizabeth Edwards. Nate Burkis is making his debut on his very own syndicated talk show this week. He just sat down with Elizabeth and she is now revealing how she and John Edwards are getting along since she first divorced him.

He was carrying on an affair, of course fathered a child with his mistress, Rielle Hunter. Watch this.


ELIZABETH EDWARDS, JOHN EDWARDS EX-WIFE: We have found new way of interacting with one another that is healthy and I think for the kids and really easy for us, which is great.


HAMMER: All right. Elizabeth is also dropping big bombshells about possibly forgiving John. You`ll want to hear that. We`ll get into that in just a moment.

But first there is new Michael Jackson shockers to talk about. Brooke Anderson, what is happening there?

ANDERSON: All right, A.J., here`s the big news breaking today. Michael`s mother, Katherine Jackson, has just filed a lawsuit against AEG. Follow me now. That`s the company that was putting together Michael`s comeback tour.

In court papers revealed today, Katherine is claiming that the company was negligent in their hiring of Michael`s doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, who is now charged in connection with Michael`s death.

Katherine Jackson is claiming that AEG was negligent for hiring him. Ok, you got that. But in an interview with CNN`s Anderson Cooper back in July of last year, AEG`s CEO claimed that it was Michael who demanded Dr. Murray be his doctor during the tour. Watch.


RANDY PHILLIPS, CEO AEG: We spent a lot of money to take Dr. Murray, Conrad Murray, out of his practice, ok. Well, but he went public with the deal. The $150,000 a month, plus travel, plus hotels, plus per diems.

As producers of the show, it made no sense with the doctors and the medical what you have in London --

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "AC360": But Michael Jackson demanded that doctor?

PHILLIPS: He demanded.

COOPER: That wasn`t a doctor you selected. That was a doctor he insisted on?


ANDERSON: Ok, Sunny, according to Randy Phillips there, Michael insisted they use Dr. Murray. If that is true, do you think that Katherine Jackson even has a case here?

HOSTIN: I don`t think she has a case. And I think it is true and I think the evidence supports that. Michael Jackson knew Dr. Murray outside of his relationship with, you know, this, promotion company.

And so it really doesn`t make much sense that they are responsible for hiring Dr. Murray. It makes sense that Michael Jackson insisted on it, because we know he -- we think at least he was addicted to Propofol.

And so, of course, this was a doctor that would give it to him. So why blame anyone else other than Michael Jackson for what happened in terms of hiring Dr. Murray?

ANDERSON: Yes, Jim, it sounds like a stretch to me, if, indeed, it was Michael who insisted on Dr. Murray caring for him.

MORET: Well, this is the problem. You`ve got a mom who lost her son. Katherine Jackson --


MORET: -- is looking for some recourse here.

If AEG has this doctor on the payroll, Katherine Jackson`s point of view is he is an agent of AEG. AEG`s point is this, Michael Jackson said, that`s the guy I want. AEG says why? We want a doctor in London. We don`t want him. Michael Jackson, therefore, said you have to have him.

AEG`s point is going to be this doctor may have been paid or was supposed to be paid by AEG but was never actually paid. He wasn`t an agent of AEG, wasn`t representing AEG. Anything that this doctor did is on the doctor, not on AEG.

HOSTIN: And by the way, Michael Jackson was an adult here.

ANDERSON: Sunny Hostin and Jim Moret, thanks.

And late today SHOWBIZ TONIGHT received a statement from the attorneys representing AEG in response to Katherine Jackson`s new lawsuit. Here is what they said. "The lawsuit is inaccurate, unsubstantiated and meritless. Dr. Murray was Michael Jackson`s long-time personal physician. AEG did not choose him, hire him or supervise him.

`That said, and in honor of our professional relationship with Mr. Jackson and his estate, we will have no further public statements."

HAMMER: All right, time to move on to the unbelievable Gabourey Sidibe cover controversy. Big news breaking today: there are startling allegations that Gabby`s skin was lightened for a major magazine photo shoot.

The politics of Bieber. Yes, we`ve got the fired-up debate today. Is it ok to use the Bieb to get out the vote here in the USA?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To vote again in 2010.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they won`t do it for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask them to do it for Bieber.


HAMMER: All right, I`ve got Bieber fever, too, in fact I`m on medication for it. But come on, he`s not even American, he`s Canadian.

The politics of Lady Gaga today: I can tell you, she is trading tweets with one of the most powerful senators on Capitol Hill. Could Gaga get the military`s "don`t ask, don`t tell" policy about gays serving our country repealed?

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, News and Views.

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


HAMMER: Well, it is just about that time again for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT to name the most provocative celebrity of the week and this week the nominees are, Lady Gaga for her meat dress shocker; Oprah and the controversy over her free Australia Shore; and "Jersey Shore`s" "The Situation." You know, he`s got a bigger head than his abs. He says "he`s such a big star now he`s even bigger than Kim Kardashian."

I want to know who you think is the most provocative. Do you think we should have named somebody else as a nominee? You can vote now. E-mail us at, head over to Facebook where for your ShowbizTonightHLN there. We`ll reveal who we name and who you pick tomorrow.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Brooke Anderson is in Hollywood.

And today, has Elizabeth Edwards finally forgiven John?

ANDERSON: In a brand-new, dramatic and very emotional interview revealed today, Elizabeth Edwards showed some signs of finally making peace with John Edwards after his very public cheating scandal.

In New York is Robi Ludwig who is a psychotherapist and contributor to

Robi, in a new revealing interview on "The Nate Burkis Show" Elizabeth talks about her current relationship with John. Now, the full interview airs on Friday and today SHOWBIZ TONIGHT got a first look. And in the chat, Nate asks her about forgiveness. Watch.


NATE BURKIS, HOST, "THE NATE BURKIS SHOW": Have you forgiven him?

EDWARDS: Forgiveness is a hard word. Because I don`t know that I know everything, you know, yet. Maybe and that`s part of what I say. I may never --

BURKIS: Right.

EDWARDS: -- know -- you know what -- what really happened in my life.

So it`s really hard to use a word like forgiveness. But we`ve found a new way of interacting with one another that is healthy, I think, for the kids and really easy for us, which is great.


ANDERSON: Robi, it sounds to me like she`s not quite there yet in terms of forgiveness. And who can really blame her --


ANDERSON: -- but do you think she`ll ever get there?

LUDWIG: Well, forgiveness for anyone is a process. And certainly if you make it your intention to forgive, you certainly have a better chance of getting there. And the reason why we think forgiveness is so important emotionally and even physically is because it takes a lot of energy to hold on to that anger.

And also, if you`re holding on to that anger, and listen, sometimes it`s deserved anger you`re really making yourself a victim in life.


LUDWIG: So if you can somehow find a way to think about your situation differently, it`s tremendously liberating and freeing. And for a woman who is sick, you really certainly want to get there just for your own mental health.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Well, also in Elizabeth`s very candid interview revealed today with Nate Burkis, she talks about what life might have been like if she and John had been able to save their marriage.

She reveals that at one point she was actually embracing her role as a stepmother to John`s love child with his mistress, Rielle Hunter. Take a look at what she said.


EDWARDS: When John and I were trying to make it work, I actually was sort of looking forward to my role as stepmom. It`s hard for me to think of a child as anything but a wonderful gift. I mean, I love children. I love spending time with them. I love getting things for them. I`ve walked with them in through malls and think I didn`t have much reason to go in Gap Baby before --

BURKIS: All right.

EDWARDS: -- but maybe I get to go in again.

BURKIS: There`s a baby around now.

EDWARDS: There`s a baby around I can go in.



ANDERSON: She`s so selfless. I find it fascinating that Elizabeth seemed genuinely happy about the possibility of becoming a stepmother to the child given all that had happened.

Robi, are you surprised?

LUDWIG: It`s just hard to believe. I would think that that child symbolizes where the marriage went wrong.

But if she truly loves children, then perhaps she found a way to not make that child responsible or to somehow see that child in a different light. And if you are very invested in saving your marriage, there are women who manage to somehow come to terms with seeing that child separately and redefining --


LUDWIG: -- what their family looks like.

ANDERSON: And, of course, that child is innocent in this whole debacle so, anyway, I appreciate Elizabeth`s honesty in this interview and applaud her for speaking out again about something that has to be so terribly painful.

Robi Ludwig --

LUDWIG: Certainly trying to take the high road.

ANDERSON: That`s right.

HAMMER: Brooke, as we move on, our "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have been ringing all day today after brand-new reports surfaced that Jennifer Lopez has signed on to be a judge on "American Idol" for $12 million.


HAMMER: So we asked you, if she does become a judge, will that make you want to watch the show?

ANDERSON: A.J., we got a call from Sue in Tennessee, and she thinks that J.Lo is the way to go.


CALLER: I will definitely watch "American Idol" with J.Lo on there. She`s much better than the ditsy Paula. So she`s worth the $12 million.


ANDERSON: Thanks Sue.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke we also heard from Shirley in Texas who says no to J.Lo.


CALLER: I would have no desire to watch "Idol" with that Jennifer Lopez on there. I don`t think she`s a good match for the show. I would have preferred Paula Abdul.


HAMMER: All right, Shirley, thank you.

What do you think? Let us know at "Showbiz on Call" about this or anything else that`s on your mind.

ANDERSON: That`s right, and the "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are open 24/7; 1-888-SBT-BUZZ, 1-888-728-2899. Simply leave a voice mail; we will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Lots of you are fired up today about J.Lo possibly becoming a new judge on "American Idol." Well, we have uncovered startling new evidence today that those "Idol" producers could be making a huge mistake by hiring J.Lo. If you want to listen up you guys, we may save you $12 million. No charge either.

Tons of outrage over MTV`s "Teen Mom" show. The "Teen Moms" defend themselves today against the explosive claims that the show is glamorizing teen pregnancy.

And get "The Situation" to go. Now, I`m going to reveal how you can have the "Jersey Shore" star in the palm of your hand wherever you are. Sanitizer not included. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, News and Views.

Time now to roll out the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.



TAYLOR MOMSEN, ACTRESS: Do you guys mind moving down a couple of steps? I`m sorry, but you know the whole nuance (INAUDIBLE) anything and if the girls see you up here, they`re going to take it as a sign of weakness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We get it. We can`t leave. No offense --


HOLMES: Little Jay, big slam today. Taylor Momsen who plays spoiled brat Jenny Humphrey on CW`s "Gossip Girl" and today she is being called a "brat" in real life by a big star.

X-O-X-O. And, Brooke, there are no X`s or O`s from Taylor Momsen today from "Project Runway" star Tim Gunn.

ANDERSON: That`s right A.J., he is totally tearing into Taylor. Tim just shot a guest appearance on "Gossip Girl" and listen to what he told E! News about 17-year-old Taylor. "What a diva. She was pathetic. She couldn`t remember her lines and she didn`t even have that many. I thought to myself, why are we all being held hostage by this brat?"

And A.J., Tim didn`t stop there. If he were on the show more often, he said that he would tell Taylor, "You know, young lady, there are hundreds of thousands of girls who are just as attractive and even smarter than you. Why are you acting like this show is a huge burden on you?"

HAMMER: You know, Brooke, he makes a good point. It kind of sounds like Blair Waldorf may need to open up a can of whoop-ass on little Jay in real life, I`m thinking.

ANDERSON: Oh boy, bringing Blair into this thing that would cause even more trouble. Let`s leave her out of this.

But Tim also says that Taylor was on the phone during every shooting break and that she annoys the entire crew.

HAMMER: Yes, that`s no good. My advice to her, Brooke, is if all this is true, Taylor, "Hey look, you`re only 17. If you want a long Hollywood career, you`ve got to start treating people better."

ANDERSON: Yes, great advice, A.J.

Ok, still lots of you going at it on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page about the controversy over the free trip to Australia that Oprah gave to her audience.

Autumn L. writes this, "Her audience is so lucky. The only people complaining are the ones that don`t get to go."

Now, Jeanette L. isn`t mad about the trip but she doesn`t like the way Oprah is getting credit for it. "What`s wrong is when Oprah makes it sound like she is paying for the whole trip, and she`s not. The Australian tourism board is picking up a huge amount of the tab."

HAMMER: It`s time now for the "Showbiz Line-up." Here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

The unbelievable Gabby Sidibe cover controversy today. Wait until you hear this, there are startling allegations that Gabby`s skin was lightened for a major magazine photo shoot.

The politics of Bieber? Yes, there`s a fired up debate going on today, is it ok to use the Bieb to get out the vote?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. They`re going to vote for much of anything other than things they imagined that Justin would like. You know, like hair care initiatives.


HAMMER: The politics of Lady Gaga today. I can tell you she`s tweeting with one of the most powerful senators on Capitol Hill. Will Gaga get the military`s "don`t ask, don`t tell" policy about being gay repealed?

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN News and Views.

Now to the "Showbiz News Ticker" these are more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom that are making news today.


HAMMER: Big news breaking today on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

The unbelievable Gabourey Sidibe cover controversy today. Startling allegations that Gabby`s skin was lightened for a major magazine shoot.

The politics of Bieber. Is Justin Bieber being exploited for political purposes?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To vote again in 2010.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they won`t do it for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask them to do it for Bieber.


HAMMER: Talk about rock the vote. The fired up Bieber debate today.

Lady Gaga gets political. A powerful U.S. senator responds today to Lady Gaga`s gay rights tweet. Could Gaga help get "don`t ask, don`t tell" overturned?

Plus, breaking today from the "Showbiz News Ticker," Lady Gaga breaks a world record.

And your first look at Megan Fox`s sexy new commercial.

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


It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood with big news breaking today.

"Teen Mom Outrage": The great debate exploded today over whether or not MTV`s hit reality TV show "Teen Mom" is glamorizing teen pregnancy.

In a brand-new interview today, cast members from the show defended themselves saying they`re not trying to be celebrities, they`re just trying to show their reality.

Right now in New York is Sunny Hostin, who is a legal contributor for "In Session" on Tru-TV. Also right now in New York is Roshumba Williams who is a celebrity journalist.

Ok, ladies, I think personally that these kids have enough to deal with having children as children, let alone have to defend themselves against critics who accuse them of trying to get famous, but there they were on the "Today" show this morning doing just that.

Take a look at what two "Teen Mom" cast members said when they were asked if they think their reality show glamorizes teen pregnancy. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like if you really sit down and watch the show that I don`t think like -- I don`t think it shows any single thing of glamour in teen pregnancy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think it`s glorifying (ph) by anything. Because it`s -- I mean, it`s -- I mean, they want, I mean, all of a sudden the show is real. All the show was legal up here. In Macy and Farrah and everybody else, I mean, there is no way it`s glamorizing anything.


ANDERSON: Here`s my take, anybody who`s seen the show knows that it depicts the countless challenges these kids face as teen mothers.

Sunny, off to you, do you believe these kids when they say there is no way the show glamorizes teen pregnancy?

HOSTIN: I disagree with that, I don`t believe that. I think certainly it glamorizes teenage pregnancy. They`re on television, it`s a reality show, it`s a popular reality show, only second to "Jersey Shore" with Snooki.

I mean, let`s face it they were on the cover of "Us Weekly." And that`s -- that`s a very popular magazine, everyone reads it. You can`t say that it hasn`t glamorized them.

ANDERSON: Yes. But Sunny --

HOSTIN: -- on the top of -- on the cover of the magazine.

ANDERSON: -- the show spotlights their harsh reality. They are struggling in so many ways and it doesn`t sugar-coat that.

HOSTIN: It doesn`t sugar-coat that and I -- I agree. However, you can`t say that all of this publicity and the fact that they are television stars, albeit reality stars, doesn`t give someone the idea that, "Hey, I get pregnant and I have a baby as a teen, I could have my own show too."


Roshumba, what`s your take?

ROSHUMBA WILLIAMS, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: Well, I mean I -- I have to agree with Sunny. Look at Bristol Palin, for example. Why is she famous? Yes, her mother is a famous politician but she is a -- she was a pregnant teen.

Now she`s on "Dancing with the Stars" on covers of magazines, fighting with her boyfriend/fiance, whatever he is and she`s constantly on television and there is absolutely nothing glamorous about being a pregnant teen.

I take the --


ANDERSON: No, absolutely not.

WILLIAMS: I take the subway in New York often, I see the kids, they are struggling with baby carriages up and down the steps, having a hard time.

It`s not -- it`s not glamorous at all.

ANDERSON: Yes, it`s not glamorous, it`s not pretty, it`s tough.

And this debate really exploded when those teen moms started making it on the covers of celebrity magazines, it got everybody asking are they celebrities? Are they living the high life? The answer is, no.

In fact, teen mom Caitlin Lowell explained on the "Today" show this morning why her show she feels is more education than entertainment.


CAITLIN LOWELL, TEEN MOM: I`ve had a lot of mothers tell me like, I sit down on my shoulder and I watch the show, because I think that they say that they think like it`s a good show to show their children. If you have sex and get pregnant, like these are all the struggles that you`re going to go through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A cautionary tale.


LOWELL: Right.


ANDERSON: I have to say to me this show is the perfect birth control for teens. And even though "Teen Mom" is the second most watched show on MTV behind "Jersey Shore," Sunny I`m not sure that these girls should be blamed for all the attention that they`re getting.

HOSTIN: Well, I don`t think they should be blamed, but, certainly, I still believe it glamorizes teen pregnancy and the life of a teen mom. My mom was a teen mother, my dad a teen dad. It was not an easy road in my home and, of course, perhaps some people would say we`re a success story but it wasn`t easy and I think when you put something like this -- on television --

ANDERSON: And it`s not -- I think you`re a rarity, Sunny because it`s not always a success story.

HOSTIN: Absolutely, absolutely.

ANDERSON: Yes. And I`ve got to tell you their lives as they knew them; cheerleading, proms, dating, school, ceased to exist as they knew them and I think the show really shows that in great clarity.

But I got to move on now because there is another big great debate that broken out. And it`s a re-photo of Oscar nominated star Gabourey Sidibe.

So A.J., did somebody actually lighten Gabby`s skin in a picture.

HAMMER: Oh Brooke that`s actually the million dollar question. There is big outrage today after Gabby is featured right here on the cover of the brand new issue of "Elle" magazine.

I mean, obviously she looks beautiful. But you go online today. Everywhere you look people are saying it looks like the magazine touched up her face to make her skin look lighter.

Take a look at this. It`s the "Elle" cover side by side with an "Ebony" cover featuring Gabby in March clearly different.

And here it is again next to a photo of Gabby. Look, I`m willing to believe this was stylistic -- it`s a result of how this was shot.

Sunny, what do you think, does it seem to you that it was touched up to make her skin intentionally look lighter?

HOSTIN: I don`t want to believe that, I don`t believe that and I struggle with it as a person of color, as a woman of color and I hope that we`re not in that place now when magazines do it.

But I think that most people remember Gabby as the woman in "Precious."

HAMMER: Right.

HOSTIN: As the teen in "Precious" and that was a very dark film. There wasn`t a lot of lighting --

HAMMER: No makeup.

HOSTIN: -- and no makeup.

And so perhaps when you think of that image and you see this gorgeous woman on a magazine cover you`d think something is amiss.


HOSTIN: But I don`t believe that this was intentionally retouched to make her lighter.

HAMMER: Yes, I think it was stylized -- a stylistic decision. "Show Business Tonight" did reach out to Gabby today; we wanted to find out what she thinks. She hasn`t gotten back to us as of show time.

But here`s what "Elle" magazine told us today about this. They say, "Nothing out of the ordinary was done. We have four separate covers this month, and Gabby`s cover had no more work than any of the others. We had 25 cover worthy subjects in our portfolio and we chose Gabby because of who she is. We shot this as a story of young women changing the world."

Look, I don`t question their explanation one bit. I do get why people have reacted to the photo.

Roshumba, let me put this to you because I know you`ve been a cover girl.


HAMMER: I know you`ve done countless photo shoots. How do you see it, is this so out of the ordinary?

WILLIAMS: Well, I`ve worked for "Elle" magazine and I`ve been on the covers. But A.J., you and I both know that this is the age of the retouch. When you do makeup, retouching and lighting this is what you get.

Now I`ve not seen Gabby`s skin color up close except from a distance at the Academy Awards and I don`t really know what her skin tone is. But she looks beautiful.

And I`m celebrating the fact that "Elle" made a bold choice to put this unusual beauty on the cover of their magazine out of everyone they could have chose. I think it`s amazing. She looks astounding. She is beautiful and I`m proud of her.

HOSTIN: Absolutely.

HAMMER: Yes and the thing is -- and this is another point that "Elle" makes this is different than when there are paparazzi shots --


HAMMER: -- which is what people are more accustomed to seeing.


So, again, I don`t think -- I do think people may be reading a little too much into this.

Sunny Hostin, Roshumba Williams -- I thank you both.

ANDERSON: There is brand-new Lady Gaga controversy today, and it`s not a raw meat dress this time, but raw politics. One of the most powerful senators in the country responds today to Gaga`s gay rights tweet. Could what Gaga tweeted help repeal "don`t ask, don`t tell?"

Now, even Justin Bieber is getting political today, and he isn`t even old enough to vote. Is the Bieb being exploited for political purposes?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I doubt that they`re going to vote for much of anything other than things they imagine Justin would like, you know, like hair care initiatives.


ANDERSON: From six-pack abs to his very own app, it`s "The Situation" for your iPhone.

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN News and Views.

HAMMER: Time now for the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.




HAMMER: Oh, baby, the Bieb caught up in a swirl of controversy today. Is Justin Bieber being exploited for political purposes?

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

ANDERSON: A.J., Bieber fever gets political today. The teen singing sensation now finds himself the star of a brand-new political ad, and not only is he not old enough to even vote, he doesn`t even endorse this ad.

The big debate today, is the Bieb being exploited to attract voters?

Here`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Kareen Wynter.


JUSTIN BIEBER, SINGER: You guys, all of you guys got me to where I am right now.

KAREEN WYNTER, HLN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And right now, YouTube sensation and teen heartthrob Justin Bieber is dominating the entertainment world.

And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you everyone wants a piece of him -- including the liberal voter outreach group, Campus Progress, who some critics say have gone too far with this political ad featuring the pint- sized pop star.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Asking you to vote for celebrities who can`t.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Celebrities like Justin Bieber.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And whoever we elect in the 2010 midterm elections will impact his future.


WYNTER: "The Washington Post" Alexandra Petri slams the video calling it the worst political ad ever for shamelessly using Bieber.

ALEXANDRA PETRI, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Is the approach of them dragging him in to try to get enough votes that I think is the sort of deceptive part of it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell everyone to vote again in 2010.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they won`t do it for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask them to do it for Bieber.

WYNTER: No apologies from Campus Progress who wanted to light a fire under young voters and what better way to bring the heat than with Bieber, who is dominating social media.

Campus Progress` Sarah Halmariem tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the mere invention of the Bieb`s name coupled with video of the singer has electrified their voter campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask them to do it for Bieber.

WYNTER (on camera): But wait a minute, Justin Bieber, who, by the way, didn`t endorse this ad, is Canadian, and he`s too young to vote. So what`s the point?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bieber`s fans will be impacted by the outcome of the midterm elections. What takes place on November 2nd will impact Justin Bieber and it will absolutely impact them. This video is intended to just get people`s attention.

WYNTER (voice-over): And to get people to the polls says Campus Progress, but "The Washington Post`s" Alexandra Petri tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she rather some sit this one out.

PETRI: I sort of want to start my own sort of counter-campaign to say, you know, if you`re one of those people, and you see this ad and you earnestly think the best reason to go out and vote is because it will impact Justin Bieber`s future, just do us all a favor and maybe don`t vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not just about Justin Bieber, but I`m glad that we did get your attention by satirically suggesting that it is.

We`re trying to get young people to vote. I think that`s something or at least I would hope that`s something that we can all agree and -- and decide that`s a very important thing.

PETRI: I doubt that they`re going to vote for much of anything other than things they imagine Justin would like, you know, like hair care initiatives.

If they actually have their desire to pick, though, then the polls will be flooded with crazy people.

WYNTER: Crazy wouldn`t be what marketing experts I recalled called the idea. He says Bieber`s target audience may be 12-year-olds, but if they are talking about this viral political video, you can bet their parents are listening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Teenagers are a very powerful force, and they can get their parents to do all sorts of things for a number of reasons.

WYNTER: Bieber`s camp hasn`t commented on Campus Progress`s political ad, but the teen star knows all too well about the power of the digital universe.

BIEBER: You know, YouTube and Twitter and MySpace and stuff, all that, like Internet, social media stuff has definitely helped my career.

WYNTER: Campus Progress hopes Bieber`s fans will also propel their political message to new heights by tapping into disenfranchised voters who just may cast a ballot even if it`s simply on behalf of the Bieb.


HAMMER: Ok. That was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Kareen Wynter with Bieber fever, and all of this leads to our "Showbiz Flashpoint" today. Is the Bieb being exploited for the sake of politics?

With me in New York is Brian Balthazar who is the editor of And this reminds me of that infamous John McCain ad during the 2008 presidential campaign. He got a lot of heat for comparing Barack Obama`s celebrity to the likes of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

We all know how that turned out, Brian, and so to our "Showbiz Flashpoint," is the Bieb being exploited for the sake of politics here?

BRIAN BALTHAZAR, EDITOR, POPGOESTHEWEEK.COM: Not too terribly, maybe a little bit, but shocking that a child star would be exploited -- Britney Spears, anyone? I mean, he`s not, it`s not terrible. They`re drawing attention to it maybe, but half the people that -- that are Justin Bieber fans are voting for student council president. They`re not voting in a major election.

HAMMER: Let`s face it, they`re really goofing around with the premise here, but obviously it is getting people`s attention and quite frankly, Bieber is just fun to say.

All right. Let`s move on. Jennifer Lopez`s new "American Idol" shocker is what we have to talk about, Brooke. What exactly is going on here?

ANDERSON: All right, A.J., one day after reports surfaced that J.Lo signed a $12 million deal to join "American Idol," SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can now tell you there may be little love for Lopez, because here`s what we asked in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Exclusive Poll.

Jennifer Lopez, if she`s a judge on "American Idol," will that make you watch the show?

The results just in late today, only 18 percent of you say yes; an overwhelming 82 percent say no.

So J.Lo could get $12 million and then potentially nobody watches? Brian, are you with the 82 percent who say they won`t watch or the 18 percent who say they will?

BALTHAZAR: Well, I -- I`m going to watch. I think everyone is going to have a curiosity factor, but I wonder if we did that poll when Paula Abdul was coming out if people would have reacted the same way. She also doesn`t have a great voice but has a great personality.

So I would like to suspend my disbelief and say that people will give her a shot. I think she deserves this.

ANDERSON: You`re going to reserve judgment maybe for a little while to see how it goes.

Well, speaking of Paula Abdul, Brian. There is one person who might be enjoying this J.Lo bombshell, and that is Paula --

BALTHAZAR: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: -- and that`s because there are reports that $12 million is the exact amount that Paula asked for to stick around for another season on "Idol."

And our "Showbiz on Call" phone lines were full of people who were firmly Team Paula like this call from Janet from New York. Listen.


CALLER: I didn`t know if I was going to still watch it, but now that Jennifer Lopez is there, definitely not. She cannot shine Paula`s shoes.


ANDERSON: Brian, very quickly, can she fill Paula`s shoes?

BALTHAZAR: I don`t think anyone can fill Paula`s crazy shoes, but I think she`s got a presence. She`s got a track record, people know who she is. She`ll -- she`ll deliver something.

ANDERSON: Brian Balthazar, thank you so much.

HAMMER: Got to move on to Lady Gaga. She is getting political. Lady Gaga trades tweets with one of the most powerful senators on Capitol Hill about gay rights. Could Lady Gaga of all people actually help get "don`t ask, don`t tell" overturned?

The senator`s stunning response today.

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN News and Views.

It`s time nor for the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you put it over by the window?



ANDERSON: There is big news breaking in "The Buzz Today." Jennifer Hudson says she is ready to show off her new body on stage. And big bucks for "Big Bang," how much will the stars of the hit TV CBS show get now?

Plus, Lady Gaga gets political swapping tweets with one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill about gay rights. The new signs Gaga could help get "don`t ask, don`t tell" repealed.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Gaga in politics?

Lady Gaga may have scored a political victory in the Senate. Gaga just tweeted her political stand on behalf of gays in the military, telling her more than six million followers, quote, "Gay veterans were my VMA dates. Repeal `don`t ask, don`t tell.` Call Harry Reid to schedule senate vote."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid then tweeted Gaga back, saying "A vote is scheduled for next week," and quote, "Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so."

Big Bucks for "The Big Bang"; CBS just announced the cast of the hit sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" is getting a big raise. The three main stars will reportedly get $200,000 an episode this season. They were getting just $60,000 per episode last season.

According to the Hollywood reporter, the cast is guaranteed raises of $50,000 a season going forward. CBS says it`s moving the show to a new time slot with hopes the hit show will help launch its new season of primetime comedies with a bang.

Thin is in for Jennifer Hudson. The Oscar winner says she can`t wait to get back on stage with her new svelte figure. Hudson says changing her eating habits with Weight Watchers helped her drop five dress sizes.

She`s currently a spokeswoman for the company in a campaign targeting obese teenagers. Hudson says she plans to return to singing with a 2011 concert tour.


ANDERSON: Ooh. Looking fabulous, girl. Hey, A.J., I hope Jennifer Hudson brings her brand-new concert tour here to Los Angeles.

HAMMER: And then here to New York where I am because I got to check that out, Brooke.

Hey by the way, while you`re going to the concert, you can get "The Situation" to go today because the "Jersey Shore" star now has an app for your iPhone. Yes, RadarOnline says this app has a workout plan also in GTL finder of course that helps you locate the nearest gym or laundry mat, GTL stands for Gym, Tanning, Laundry they`ve talked about that on the show all the time.

The app it`ll cost you $4.99. Now the "Sitch" happens to be one of our nominees for "Most Provocative Celebrity of The Week"; Lady Gaga, too, for that raw meat dress and Oprah for the controversy surrounding her free Australia trip. Who do you think is most provocative? E-mail us at or go to Facebook and search SHOWBIZTONIGHTHLN -- the results tomorrow.

And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is now live at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday.

HAMMER: And still TV`s most provocative entertainment news show seven days a week at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific here on HLN.