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Charlie`s Explosive Confessions; Big, Big Oops?; Gaga`s Secrets Revealed

Aired February 14, 2011 - 23:00:00   ET


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


HAMMER (voice-over): It`s my exclusive one-on-one with Aretha Franklin. Her very first reaction to her amazing all-star Grammy tribute.


HAMMER: Plus, what Aretha really thought about Lady Gaga`s bizarre Grammy egg.

BROOKE ANDERSON, HOST (voice-over): And the secret behind that Gaga egg. Showbiz breaks more news today with Lady Gaga`s creative director. She`s speaking out for the very first time about the egg and the shocking allegation that Gaga ripped off Madonna.


HAMMER: Charlie Sheen`s explosive new interview today. Talking about crack? I`ve got to ask, is he digging a bigger hole for himself?

VOICE OF CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: Unless you can manage it socially, if you can manage it socially, then go for it. But not a lot of people can, you know?

ANDERSON: Oprah`s long-time boyfriend opens up today. His dramatic new revelations about their relationship.

HAMMER: TV`s most provocative entertainment news show --

ANDERSON: Starts right now.


HAMMER (on-camera): Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City.

ANDERSON (on-camera): Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood with big news breaking today. An explosive new interview with Charlie Sheen. Charlie speaks out today for the very first time since his reported porn and drug fuelled bender last month. His amazing new revelations about returning to work and getting clean.

HAMMER: But first, our blockbuster showbiz exclusive with Aretha Franklin. I went one-on-one today with the Queen of Soul just the day after she was honored with that star-studded tribute at the Grammys. Now, Aretha`s taped Grammy message, her very first public appearance since she revealed she was battling a medical problem has people buzzing.


ARETHA FRANKLIN, SINGER: Thank you, ladies, I love you all. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and members of the Grammy Academy. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be with you this evening.


HAMMER: Look at her. When I spoke with Aretha today, she did not hold back one bit in talking about what she really thought of the Grammy show and her eventual return to the Grammy stage, and she tells me, she`s feeling great. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT now with the queen`s speech.


HAMMER: Your appearance last night, showing up on the Grammys, looking as great as you did really served to show any doubters out there that you really are doing well with your recovery from your illness.

FRANKLIN: Oh, yes.

HAMMER: But as much as I`m sure, you wanted to be there in L.A., Aretha, I got to tell you, I was happy that you didn`t push it. I take it that rest is still paramount for you right now, so we can see you back on the road before too long?

FRANKLIN: Well, my down time is up, and I am getting out now and getting around. I just want to be sure that I don`t overdo it.

HAMMER: That is exactly the right thing. My mother would tell me that all the time. So, I`m glad you`re taking it easy.


HAMMER: That was just an incredible tribute to you at the Grammys last night with Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Florence Welch, Martina McBride.

Let`s take a look at some of the highlights from that right now.




HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there at the Grammy Awards, and Florence Welch told us, Aretha, she was really nervous about performing a tribute for you. Let`s watch what she said.


FLORENCE WELCH, SINGER: Aretha, thank you so much for being such an incredible inspiration, and I really hope that tonight we can do you justice.


HAMMER: All right. Aretha, so you got to tell me, you`re sitting there at home having a little popcorn, watching on your --

FRANKLIN: I was sitting here having a little banana pudding. A friend of mine, Ron Fleming (ph), made me a banana pudding, and I was sitting right in front of my flat screen, 75 inches, watching everything and loving it. I really loved when Yolanda Adams did with "Spirit in the Dark" and Christina was on. She was into it, and Jennifer was good, and the other young lady from Britain was good. Everybody was good.

HAMMER: We got to talk about Lady Gaga, Aretha. She arrived at the Grammys, of course, in a large egg, why not? And then, she emerged from that egg to perform. I got to ask you, are you loving the whole Lady Gaga package or do you think, sometimes, the talent can kind of get overshadowed by all that showmanship?

FRANKLIN: No, I like her choreography. She always has very good choreography. And inside the egg was a very, very grown, grand entrance. She made a very grand entrance. It looked Egyptian to me as well.

HAMMER: Can we count on seeing you on that stage next year?

FRANKLIN: OK, absolutely. You will. I`m going to make it a point to go to the Grammys next year.

HAMMER: Deal. I just wrote it down, Aretha. You`re locked in.



HAMMER: And the queen of soul knows her fashion. Aretha tells me who she thinks rocked the red carpet and who didn`t. She gives her take on Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, and Heidi Klum.

ANDERSON: Right now, Charlie Sheen`s explosive new drug confession. Charlie is making big news today speaking out for the very first time since the reported porn and drug fuelled party that got him sidelined from his hit show "Two and a Half Men." In a brand new interview today with syndicated sports radio host, Dan Patrick, Charlie talks about using drug, getting clean and returning to the set.


SHEEN: I was coming back to work, and, you know, I was banging on the stage door, where is everybody? I don`t know what happened, I guess they`re closed.


SHEEN: Nobody told me. Nobody told me. I just figured supposed to go back to work because I`m ready.

PATRICK: You`re on hiatus.

SHEEN: No, forced hiatus. They said you get ready, we`ll get ready. And I got ready. I went back, nobody`s there. Nobody`s there. I`m here, and I`m ready, they`re not. Bring it, you know?


ANDERSON: OK. I want to bring in HLNs Jane Velez-Mitchell and author of the great new book, "Addict Nation." Jane, I can imagine your head is about to explode. Charlie says that he`s clean, but he`s not using the word sober. Are you buying Charlie`s story here?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST, HLN`S "ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL": I am not buying anything Charlie Sheen says. This is an addict in the throes of his disease, Brooke. He is just wreaking of denial and defiance, and even if he is technically peeing clean right now, he`s also talking about how he doesn`t like AA, and when he was sober for five years, he felt like he was bored out of his mind. So, clearly, he is not embracing sobriety. This sounds very, very temporary to me, which is called white knuckling it. I worry for him.

ANDERSON: Charlie also set the record straight or tried to about the controversial pep talk that he recently gave to the UCLA baseball team, telling them just last week, stay of the crack. Drink your chocolate milk. Enjoy your moment. Charlie explains to Dan Patrick that he had been hitting baseballs near where the team was practicing, and the coach talked him into talking to the team. Here`s that.


SHEEN: So, I walked over and said, hey, guys, congratulations on the World Series last year. So, he gave me my first line which is good. A good place to start, right?


SHEEN: And then, I thought, well, people kind of know that I`ve had some problems lately and this and that and I`m sort of notorious for, you know, surfacing, you know, going deep under cover, deep underground. So, I said stay away from the crack, which I think is pretty good advice. Unless you can manage it socially, then -- if you can manage it socially, then go for it. But not a lot of people can, you know?

PATRICK: Did you think that you could?

SHEEN: Sorry?

PATRICK: Did you think you could?

SHEEN: Yes, yes, but that kind of blew up in my face. Like an exploding crack pipe.


ANDERSON: What is he even doing? What is he even talking about? Is Charlie seriously saying he could take crack, socially? TV and radio host, Michael Billy, joins me from New York. Michael, it seems to me that Charlie is not taking any of his wild ways seriously at all.

MICHAEL BILLY, TV AND RADIO HOST: Well, look, it`s not like you can`t be an addict and still work and perform your duties at work. We know that that`s possible, but is he ready for life is the question. Is he ready for repercussions, reality? And that`s not something we`re seeing. And that`s true addict behavior. I`m not ready for life. There`s not a problem. It`s your problem, not mine. I can handle myself. That`s an age old excuse.

ANDERSON: Well, as we know, "Two and a Half Men" is on production hiatus because of Charlie`s behavior, and the show`s fate really hangs in the balance today with everybody hoping that Charlie gets himself back together so that they can go back to work. But, Jane, I got to ask, has Charlie dug a bigger hole for himself by speaking out?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely, Brooke. He`s talking about having done crack socially? That`s absurd. It`s mind boggling. Crack is addiction on steroids. One hit, and you`re hooked, and it requires detox and long-term rehab. This is a guy who is clearly entrenched in immaturity. Everybody now can hear it. He shot himself in the foot by talking about it. He`s scattered, he`s edgy and I really am scared for this guy. This is --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It`s scary.

ANDERSON: It`s extremely concerning, so scary. You know, I just hope psychologically he can get to a place where he really wants to get better because by the sound of this interview, that is not where he is. But CBS and Warner Brothers, the companies that produce "Two and a Half Men" tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that they`ve got no comment about Charlie`s explosive interview today. All right. Jane Velez-Mitchell, Michael Billy, thanks.

HAMMER: All right. Moving on to big Grammy shockers today. Showbiz breaks news.


HAMMER (voice-over): Wait till you see our exclusive interview with Lady Gaga`s creative director. She is speaking out for the very first time about the startling allegation that Gaga ripped off Madonna at the Grammys.

LAURIEANN GIBSON, LADY GAGA`S CREATIVE DIRECTOR: I`m not inspired by Madonna as far as choreographically. For me, the comparison to the blond ambition tour, absolutely not.

HAMMER: But wait, there`s more. We`re also about to crack the secrets behind Gaga`s bizarre Grammy egg.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Barbara`s big "Glee" diss. Barbra Streisand slams "Glee." Today, Babbs (ph) sets the record straight. Is she a Gleek or a hater?

HAMMER: Steadman speaks. Oprah`s long-time boyfriend opening up today. Wait till you hear his dramatic new revelations about their relationship.

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, news and views.

Now, time for the "Showbiz News Ticker." These are more stories from the "Showbiz Tonight" newsroom making news today.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We usually spend it together and write each other love letters and nothing big. It`s kind of mellow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You write love letters? That`s so cute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. For holidays, we write each other love letters, and he writes (INAUDIBLE).



HAMMER (on-camera): Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Well, Brooke, Justin Bieber gave a great performance at the Grammy Awards last night, but he did fall short when it came to bringing home some awards.

ANDERSON (on-camera): Yes. He went home empty handed, A.J., and the big question today, has Bieber fever cooled off? We`re going to get to that in a sec.

Plus, Jennifer Aniston added another blow to the Bieb`s bumpy weekend.

Barbara Streisand clears the air with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about her big "Glee" diss.

And the king`s ransom for the king`s speech. It`s all making big news in "The Buzz" today.


ANDERSON (voice-over): The king`s royal domination. The king`s speech concurred the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards in London.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why should I waste my time listening?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I have a voice.

ANDERSON: The Oscar front-runner picked up seven awards (ph) including Best Picture, Best Actor for Colin Firth, best supporting actor for Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.

Barbara Streisand`s big "Glee" diss. Babbs just revealed to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that she didn`t mean to slam the hit show when she told the reporter she wouldn`t appear on "Glee" if she could help it. In a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Streisand cleared the air saying, "When asked if I would ever appear on "Glee," I should have said, you never know. It was wrong to say not if I can help it."

"What I meant was that I`ve been overwhelmed preparing for my performances on music cares, the Grammys, recordings and two movies. So, I couldn`t take on any more work. And besides that, I wasn`t asked." The singing legend also calls the entire cast of "Glee" gifted."

Aniston cools Bieber fever?

ADAM SANDLER, ACTOR: You sick of me?

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: Yes. Well, that`s why we`re getting a divorce.

ANDERSON: Aniston stole the top spot at the box office from Justin Bieber`s feverishly high, "Never Say Never." Aniston just go with it earned more than an estimated $31 million while Bieber finished in second with just over $30 million. The animated film, "Gnomeo and Juliet" in 3D finished in third.


HAMMER: Well, congratulations, Jen Aniston, but Bieber missed the top spot in the box office in addition to being shut out at the Grammy Awards. Two big Bieber bummers. So, the big question today is, should we feel sorry for the guy? I`m thinking, you know, 30 million bucks at the box office for his first movie, 16 years old? It`s nothing to cry about, but let me turn to K. Foxx. She`s a New York City morning radio host for Hot 97. She`s in Hollywood right now out there for the Grammys. K., should Justin feel bad at all about second place?

K. FOXX, MORNING RADIO HOST, NEW YORK HOT 97: No. You know what, no one felt bad in the actual audience. I was there, and I`m actually happy that -- her name is Esperanza Spalding, I believe.


FOXX: I`m happy that we have some young African-American woman actually being recognized at the Grammys. I think it`s a big thing, and Justin Bieber is definitely going to get his chance. I mean, come on, he`s young. He`s with Usher. He`s going to get his just due.

HAMMER: Yes. And you`re talking about Esperanza Spalding who`s the best new artist win her over Justin Bieber who, you know, for most people was the shoe in, but the very same weekend, he left the Grammys empty handed. So many people did think he`d at least get that best new artist trophy. As we mentioned, Esperanza Spalding got that, but Justin tells MTV that it did actually hurt to lose that award. Watch.


JUSTIN BIEBER, SINGER: I didn`t -- I had no clue what was going to happen. You know, I worked really hard this past, you know, few years, and, you know, I was definitely -- I`m not going to lie, I was disappointed. But, you know, I`m going to come back next year, and we`ll take a few home.


HAMMER: I think that`s the right attitude. Sure he`s disappointed, but come on, two Grammy nominations at 16, a huge career, his movie is at number two at the box office. I want to move very quickly to Barbra Streisand`s "Glee" diss. Streisand telling SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she didn`t mean to sound dismissive of the show when she was asked if she would ever appear on it. She says, all she meant was that she was too busy.

So, K., I`m thinking, when Barbara`s schedule does clear up, you know, maybe she should put her money where her mouth is and appear on the show. Good idea?

FOXX: You know what, if she wants to save face, it will be a good idea, but we`re talking about Barbara Streisand here. If she felt that way what she said originally, it`s her prerogative. It`s Barbra Streisand. If she feels that way about the show "Glee," then let her do that, because I`m sure when she wakes up in the morning, hey, should I appear on "Glee" today is not on her to-do thing.

HAMMER: Yes, but she`s an icon, and I do firmly believe that she did not mean any harm by what she said. K. Foxx, thanks so much.

FOXX: You`re welcome.

HAMMER: All right. Well, I think the Grammys starts (ph) a tribute to Aretha. Amazing. Today, my incredible showbiz newsmaker interview on one- on-one with the Queen of Soul.


HAMMER (voice-over): Her very first reaction to the tribute. And she`s telling me what she thought about all the red carpet fashions.

FRANKLIN: Eva Longoria is always beautifully gowned, but last evening I couldn`t quite make up my mind about what she was wearing.

HAMMER: Showbiz breaks news with Aretha Franklin coming up.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Showbiz breaks more news today. LeAnn Rimes, her brand new emotional revelations to me about being slammed over and over again about her affair.

HAMMER: And Whoopi Goldberg is furious today with the "New York Times."

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, HOST: It`s hard to not take it personally. It`s very hard not to take it personally. You know, there`s a lot of stuff that, you know, people say and do, but this is sloppy journalism.

HAMMER: Whoopi opened up a can of whoop you know what on "The View." That`s next. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, news and views.


HAMMER (on-camera): Now, the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re going to be headed home from the Grammys tomorrow, so hopefully, we`ll have a Grammy in our arms to celebrate, but, you know, we`re going to go home, and we`ve got a lot of dogs. So, we`ll probably spend it with our dogs at home, and cook dinner as we chill.




ANDERSON: This is so cute and sweet. Katy Perry took grammy to the Grammys. One of Katy`s dates to the Grammy Awards was her 90-year-old grandmother. Her other date, her husband, Russell Brand. So cute.


ANDERSON (on-camera): Oh, boy. Is Whoopi Goldberg furious today? Whoopi totally went off on the "New York Times" this morning on "The View." "The Times" did a piece this weekend on how there`s a lack of African-American Oscar nominees this year. The article mentioned some previous black Oscar winners, but Whoopi claims the writers made a big oops and forgot to mention Whoopi`s best supporting actress win for "Ghost."


GOLDBERG: I am embarrassed to tell you it hurt me terribly. I -- when you win an academy award, that`s part of what you`ve done, your legacy. I will always be academy award winner Whoopi Goldberg. And to have been dismissed and erased by the "New York Times" film critics who should know better because not only am I an academy award winner and just in case there`s any damn question --


GOLDBERG: So, this omission, I don`t know what to say about what you`ve done. There`s just nothing I can say except that you`re sloppy in your work, and you`re supposed to be better than this. This is the "New York Times." It`s not some bozo newspaper from Huchi Kuchi land.


ANDERSON: All right. The spokesperson for "The New York Times" is standing by a story saying the story is correct, but "Times" says the error seems to lie in the way some people are misreading the article, and that the point of the piece was not to name every black actor or actress who has ever won an Oscar.

HAMMER: Where is Huchi Kuchi land, anyway?

Well, a huge debate is going on right now on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook wall. Did Lady Gaga actually rip off Madonna at the Grammys? Here`s one.

Catherine P. says, yes, disaster. She`s a Madonna wanna-be and not even a good Madonna. She`s a huge fail.

Now this from Charlene M. who says, everyone chill. Club music can sound alike sometimes due to the beats and bass and `born this way` can`t stand on its own.

ANDERSON: So, is there anything to the claims that Gaga ripped off Madonna? Here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


ANDERSON (voice-over): A showbiz exclusive. Lady Gaga`s creative director breaks news. She is speaking out for the first time today about the Gaga- Madonna controversy.

And another huge showbiz exclusive. We are within-on-one with Aretha Franklin. Aretha breaks news who she thought rocked the Grammy red carpet and who she thought was a flop.

Plus, why is Justin Bieber crashing Johnny Depp`s press conference? We are going to show you and tell you.

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, news and views.


HAMMER: Now, the "Showbiz News Ticker." These are more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.





HAMMER (voice-over): Big news breaking today on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Cracking the secrets behind that Gaga egg. It`s a showbiz exclusive. Lady Gaga`s creative director right here speaking out for the very first time about Gaga`s incredible egg outfit, and the allegations that Gaga is a Madonna copycat.

GIBSON: I`m not inspired by Madonna as far as choreographically. For me, the comparison to the blond ambition tour, absolutely not.

HAMMER: It`s the headline making interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: LeAnn Rimes jaw dropping new confession. LeAnn talks to me exclusively her brand new emotional revelations about getting slammed for her affair.

HAMMER: Steadman speaks. Oprah`s long-time boyfriend makes a surprising declaration about Oprah.

Plus, breaking today from the "Showbiz News Ticker," showbiz at the Grammys. Selena Gomez reveals her Bieber love and Rihanna`s big win.

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


HAMMER (on-camera): Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City.

ANDERSON (on-camera): And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood with big news breaking today. Gaga`s secrets revealed. Lady Gaga had us shell shocked with her outrageous Grammy entrance, carried on to the red carpet inside a giant egg. And today, we`ve got exclusive insight into how that wild costume came to be, but that`s not the only news Gaga is making today. There is a fire storm brewing around Gaga`s brand new single "Born This Way."

Some people are saying it sounds an awful lot like Madonna`s "Express Yourself." And some are even suggesting that Gaga took a page from Madonna`s blond ambition tour. There it is with the long blond ponytail that she`s rocked while performing at the Grammys. I spoke exclusively with Gaga`s choreographer, Laurieann Gibson. I asked Laurieann in my showbiz newsmaker interview what she thought about this whole Lady Gaga- Madonna copycat controversy.


GIBSON: For me, musically, I don`t get that. It`s message music. I understand, you know, how it feels and the inspiration, but Madonna is amazing. That`s great. That`s to be celebrated.

ANDERSON: She is inspired by Madonna.

GIBSON: Well, I can`t speak for her, because I`m not inspired by Madonna as far as choreographically.


GIBSON: For me, the comparison to the blond ambition tour, absolutely not. I mean, the fashion was more Cunningham, more a company, more a race. A pony tail does not belong to blond ambition. I mean, the black girls in the hood would give you a pony tail long before Madonna. So, I stand the ignorance of these type of comparisons, but Lady Gaga is just brilliant and original, and you know what, the album is amazing and "Born This Way" is message music, listen to it, get into it, and understand that God makes no mistakes.

ANDERSON: Laurieann, the red carpet stopped. Everyone stopped what they were doing, turned, and followed Lady Gaga as she came down in that egg shaped vessel. You call it a vessel. And everyone`s first question was, what the heck is that? Where did this idea come from? You were the creative director/choreographer behind the whole concept. How did you conceive this?

GIBSON: I called her, I said we need to birth a new race. And then, what`s amazing about her as a writer, artist, she just runs. The collaboration is so fearless. And the vessel, designed by an amazing, incredible artist. It was about incubating during this process of preparation to birth this new race, birth this album, birth this time for her.

It`s symbolic on many levels, and I`m sure she will elaborate as she goes on, but it was a representation of a period where you get rid of the bad stuff and then, choreographically, for me, you birth the hope, the victory, you forget about the pain, and you become anew.

ANDERSON: What can we expect to see? What are the secrets from her upcoming "Born This Way" music video?

GIBSON: Artistically, it gets even better. I mean, if you were affected by the vessel, you`re going to completely be affected by her visual choices for the video, and the choreography is amazing, so get ready.


ANDERSON: And catch Laurieann`s new show, "The Dance Scene," premiering April 10th on E! Well, yes, we are ready to be surprised with anything from Lady Gaga, but what about all these copycat claims against her.

Here`s our `Showbiz Flashpoint," is Lady Gaga really copying Madonna or is she just trying to express herself. Let`s go to E! Online senior editor and columnist, Mark Malkin. Mark, you were there on the red carpet too as Gaga made a big splash arriving in that egg. To our "Showbiz Flashpoint," do you think Gaga is copying Madonna?

MARK MALKIN, SR. EDITOR & COLUMNIST, E! ONLINE: I don`t think she`s copying Madonna, but I think there`s obviously very strong inspiration, if you close your eye, you hear "Express Yourself." I mean, I think it was hilarious. On Twitter, people were calling it egg-spress yourself.


ANDERSON: Yes. That`s clever. Now, to BET host, April Woodard. To our "Showbiz Flashpoint" to you April, do you think Gaga is copying Madonna?

APRIL WOODARD, CORRESPONDENT AND HOST, BET: You know, I had to take a moment and listen again to both of the tracks, and it does sound very much like egg-spress yourself. But I also have to say that, you know, Madonna was copying people. Madonna was looking at Marilyn Monroe. She was styling her hair like her. So, I think that all of us have been inspired by other people that have come before us, especially, as artists. And, I think that, you know, perhaps, this is a bow down to Madonna from Lady Gaga.

ANDERSON: Yes. And it doesn`t make Lady Gaga any less talented.

WOODARD: Exactly.

ANDERSON: And you know, you can see a little bit of Michael Jackson in some of what Usher does.


ANDERSON: You can see a little bit of Michael Jackson in Justin Timberlake. All very talented people, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I do have to move now, though, guys to more big breaking controversies from the Grammys. I wants one-on-one with LeAnn Rimes on the red carpet, and frankly, I was surprised that LeAnn really opened up to me about her brand- new engagement to Eddie Cibrian, and the heat she and Eddie have taken over the course of their relationship. You may remember, they both ended their marriages in order to be together. Watch how their showbiz newsmaker interview with LeAnn unfolded.


ANDERSON: Your life has changed dramatically, not only professionally, but personally. You`ve taken a lot of heat. What do you say to that?

LEANN RIMES, SINGER: You know what, life is life. I mean, life is messy. And, you know, I`m taking and as it comes. I`m really happy. Eddie`s really happy. The kids are really happy, you know? I hope one day everything can be one cohesive unit. I mean, that`s all you hope for. I mean, this happens every day in real life. And, you know, I`ve talked about it a lot, and I think I`ve had to address it just because I`ve been in the public eye since I was 13, but, you know, I think it`s time to move on.

It`s been 2 1/2 years. My music is my music. That`s what we should be focused on. Unfortunately, because of the tabloids, people are very interested in celeb life, and unfortunately, 90 percent of it is not true. So, you have these people, you know, across America making their decisions and basing their opinions off of lies. So, it`s hard to take, but I also have a really great man behind me, and I know how much I love him, and I love his children, and we have great life. So, you know, I`m -- I`m pushing forward. I know that things will get better. I really do.

ANDERSON: You`re engaged now?

RIMES: We`re engaged.

ANDERSON: When are you getting married and what can you tell us about that?

RIMES: Well, since everything has kind of been known before we know, and it hasn`t been true. We`re going to actually keep that private, and you`ll be the last to know. But I -- you know, we are planning, and he`s been very much involved in it, and we`re having a great time. the kids have been involved in it, and you know, it`s just -- I don`t know. It`s very -- marriage, I know it`s sounds strange to be married the second time around.

I got married at 19. So, you know, I love my ex-husband to death. He`s a wonderful man, but I think that, you know, marriage the second time around, you kind of realize like what it is about. I start crying and planning. It`s kind of weird. It`s like oh, my God, like, you know, you really are committing your life to someone, and so I don`t know. It`s been really fun, and it`s been really -- it`s been really emotional all at the same time.

ANDERSON: So, this is forever, for both of you?

RIMES: We`re very much committed. We really are. And I know we have crazy lives and we juggle and with his children, we juggle. With our lives and businesses, we juggle, but we`re very, very happy.

ANDERSON: Does it bother you when people are critical?

RIMES: I think any human being it would. But we all have to remember we`re human beings. So, at the end of the day, we make mistake. So, we pick ourselves up. And I think that`s what`s most important is when you can pick yourself and move on in most positive way possible and become a better person. And I think when you learn from your mistakes, you don`t continue to make them. That`s when you grow.

And that`s what we`re both doing. And so, I hope, one day, people can really can see they don`t have to be empathetic with our situation, but at least, they can see that we`re trying our best and we love each other and that`s what`s important.


ANDERSON: Mark, LeAnn sounds like she is in a good place. I really think she is convinced that she just followed her heart, and this is where she landed. So, do you think her harshest critics may actually turn a corner now and be happy for her and Eddie?

MALKIN: Listen, I think everybody wants everyone to be happy. You know, (INAUDIBLE) that way, but her harshest critics, they`re not going to forgive them. These are people who just, you know, don`t believe that you should be cheating on your spouses or your significant other. So, they`ll never forgive them. But I do think that they could come back. Obviously, LeAnn has an amazing voice.

They are very happy together. I asked them what they were doing for Valentine`s Day, and she told me they were spending it with his kids. ANDERSON: Yes.

MALKIN: You know, so, this is obviously someone who`s very dedicated to this relationship.

ANDERSON: Yes. And she said that, yes, she has made mistakes, and she`s just going to pick herself up and try to be a better person. And I respected that she realized she has made mistakes, and she wants to kind of turn things around going forward. All right. We`ll leave it there for now. April Woodard, Mark Polyanna Malkin, thank you both.

HAMMER: And right now, I got to move on to Oprah`s brand new boyfriend bombshell,


HAMMER (voice-over): Steadman speaks. So, wait until you hear what Oprah`s man just had to say about her right in front of her.

Also, my Aretha Franklin exclusive. I go one-on-one with the Queen of Soul. We`re talking about which stars were fabulous and which ones flop at the Grammys with their fashion.

FRANKLIN: Eva Longoria is always beautifully gowned, but last evening, I couldn`t quite make up my mind about what she was wearing.

HAMMER: Showbiz breaks news with Aretha Franklin.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Did you see this? Justin Bieber crashes Johnny Depp`s press conference. Surprise.

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.

ANDERSON: Who`s your Valentine? All your fans want to know, is it Justin Bieber?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I love them very much. I think anybody would be lucky to have him as a valentine.

ANDERSON: So, you, guys, are just staying friend?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s a very important part of my life.



ANDERSON (on-camera): I can`t wait for this, A.J. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood with A.J. Hammer in New York.

HAMMER (on-camera): Yes, I mean, who would believe this? Aretha working for us, Brooke. I just had a fantastic one-on-one conversation with Aretha Franklin. The queen speaks here, and by the way, she works for no one. Aretha talked to me about her incredible Grammy tribute and also had a whole lot to say about the Grammy red carpet fashion.

She told me about all the looks that she absolutely loved and all the looks that she wasn`t so crazy about. Let me tell you, Aretha is one honest queen of soul. She does not mince words. So, let the fashion critique begins.


HAMMER: Let`s start with Jada Pinkett-Smith. What do you think of this outfit?

FRANKLIN: I thought that Jada had on the most beautiful and the most exquisite beading dress of the evening. I thought she had the dress of the evening. Absolutely gorgeous. And I love the total look, her hair, the dress, everything.

HAMMER: Of course, Heidi Klum showed up on the red carpet with her husband, Seal, who has told me in the past what an enormous fan and how much respect he has for you. What did you make of what Heidi Klum had on?

FRANKLIN: I liked what she wore. She wore it beautifully. Gorgeously gowned and the gold with the spaghetti straps and drapy sleeves. I like that a lot.

HAMMER: What about "Desperate Housewives" Eva Longoria. She was a Grammy presenter last night. What was your impression of what she was wearing?

FRANKLIN: Eva Longoria is always beautifully gowned, but last evening, I couldn`t quite make up my mind about what she was wearing. It just wasn`t reading well to me. I just -- I couldn`t figure out exactly what was happening with it. You know what I`m saying?


FRANKLIN: But she`s always gorgeously, gorgeously gowned, and I loved her in the soap operas playing Isabella. She was a real huggy (ph) playing Isabella against Paul.

HAMMER: Nicki Minaj came to the Grammys all decked out and some pretty unbelievable (INAUDIBLE), and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there with her on the red carpet. Now, Aretha, we told her that we were going to be speaking with you and talking fashion, and she had a message for you today. Watch this.


NICKI MINAJ, SINGER: Dear Miss Aretha, I think this outfit embodies your fierceness. So, think about me, OK, when you make a decision.


HAMMER: All right. So, she had on this leopard print getup. Did it, in fact, Aretha, embody your fierceness?

FRANKLIN: I like Nicki Minaj. I think that she knows exactly where she`s going with, what she`s doing, and she`s right on the one with it. I like her. I think she`s very, very colorful, and she`s a lot of fun.

HAMMER: Colorful to be sure. All right. Talk to me about Jennifer Lopez. I hear you were loving what she had on last night.

FRANKLIN: I loved her shoes, you know, the little open toe shoes. I thought the shoes were really, really hot.

HAMMER: Well, Showbiz Tonight also met up with Sean Diddy Combs at the Grammys last night, and I got to tell you, he had a very special fashion message for you. Take a look at what he told us.


ANDERSON: Our fashion analyst is Aretha Franklin.

SEAN DIDDY COMBS, RAPPER: Well, you know, she`s the queen. Treat me good, ma. Treat me good.


HAMMER: All right. Well, first of all, he called you ma. Second of all, I got to get your take on what he had on. Did you have a chance to see Diddy?

FRANKLIN: Yes, I did. He had a short ideal on last evening. His tuxes, I love his tuxes. I went to his store down on Fifth Avenue, and he has some of the most beautiful tuxes that I`ve ever seen out there. I went down one Christmas to buy my son a tux out of Diddy`s store. I also -- I really, really love his lounge wear for men. his Lounge wear is very, very, very sexy.

HAMMER: Tell me what you thought about the black cat suit and high heels.

FRANKLIN: On the piano.

HAMMER: On the piano, yes.

FRANKLIN: It wasn`t very adorned as I recall. It was just simplicity. That pretty much was it.

HAMMER: And jumping around on stage, in shoes like that, cannot be easy, Aretha.

FRANKLIN: Oh, no. Too many women have gotten thrown off of these six-inch heels an d twisted and turned their ankles and thrown over. I wear four- inch.

HAMMER: Well, Aretha Franklin, I must say, I feel privileged that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has been able to have you on talking Grammys and giving us your fashion expertise. It truly is an honor. We`re so happy to hear how well you`re doing, and we`ll look forward to seeing you not only out on the road but when you come to New York, you got to come by and say hello.

FRANKLIN: I absolutely will. I loved it all.


ANDERSON: Even four-inch heels can be quite a challenge. That`s impressive Aretha.

All right. Steadman speaks. Revealed today a brand new rare interview by Oprah`s long-time boyfriend.


STEADMAN GRAHAM, OPRAH WINFREY`S LONG-TIME BOYFRIEND: I`m not threatened by her fame or her success or money or all that. So, that`s who she is.

ANDERSON (voice-over): His dramatic new confessions about dating Oprah next. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, news and views.


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


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re very secret, top secret. I don`t want anyone taking my original ideas. I work very hard on them.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I talk to people, they`re pretty cool. (INAUDIBLE). Yes, it`s pretty cool. Heading up the Miley Cyrus band over here, we got my dad, Billie Ray Cyrus.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Miley actually loves fake Miley today. Miley Cyrus tells "Access Hollywood" she`s a big fan of the SNL skit called "The Miley Cyrus Show," and the actress who plays her, Vanessa Bayer. Miley actually hosts SNL next month.

Johnny Depp, Justin Bieber. two colossal (ph) superstars and their first dramatic face-to-face meeting caught on tape today. Did you see this? Our good friend, Hyla, from the "Hollywood Five" was right there for Johnny Depp`s dramatic revelation. Are you ready? Depp a belieber. Johnny Depp`s got Bieber fever. He loves him. Now watch what happens when Justin Bieber surprised Johnny Depp at a press conference for Johnny`s new film.

JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: OK now. We just established that I`m a belieber.



ANDERSON (on-camera): Just wanted to say hi. See. Ever stars get star truck.

HAMMER: Something very strange about that to me.

All right. Steadman speaks. Oprah`s long-time boyfriend, Steadman Graham, opens up in a rare and candid interview. Graham and Oprah have been dating since 1986. And over the years, Steadman has rarely spoken publicly about his relationship with Oprah Winfrey. But now in season 25, Oprah behind- the-scenes on Oprah`s own network, Steadman reveals the secrets to being in a relationship with Oprah and how he and the queen of talk make it work.

GRAHAM: We have what a lot of people who are in a relationship and we`ve been in a relationship for a long time. We want each other to succeed. And, you know, I want her to succeed and be as successful as she possibly can. So, I encourage it. That`s not always an easy thing to do when you`re a man in a relationship with a very powerful woman. And so, I`m not threatened by her fame or her success or her money and all of that. So, that`s who she is. It doesn`t have anything to do with how I define myself.


HAMMER: You know what, Brooke, sounds like he`s got the right formula there. I have to say I have a lot of respect for Steadman and the way he`s managed to navigate that spotlight that`s always around Oprah.

ANDERSON: Yes. Absolutely, I agree.

HAMMER: Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We thank you for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is live at 05:00 p.m. eastern, Monday through Friday.

HAMMER: And we are still TV`s most provocative entertainment news shows seven days a week at 11:00 p.m. eastern and pacific here on HLN.