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Real Housewives Suicide and the Pressures of Reality TV Fame; The Anthonys to Reveal All; Ambercrombie and Fitch`s Diss on the Sitch; Big Beyonce Controversy

Aired August 17, 2011 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: More big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about the Real Housewives suicide. Tonight, explosive new questions. How did the pressure of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" affect Russell Armstrong. How will Taylor deal with her ex`s death? And will Bravo cancel the show?

Casey Anthony`s parents about to reveal all. Dr. Phil snags the very first interview with George and Cindy Anthony. Tonight, we`re asking you, what do you want to ask them?

Hey, Situation, don`t wear our stuff. Tonight, why Abercrombie and Fitch wants Sitch to ditch their clothes. And they`re even willing to pay the "Jersey Shore" star a ton of money to stop wearing them.

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show breaks news right now.

Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with big news breaking tonight -- the tragedy of reality.

There is explosive new fallout today after the suicide of Russell Armstrong. Russell`s wife, Taylor, a star of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" just filed for divorce a month ago.

And now, many are asking whether the pressure from the show actually led to this tragic outcome and why so many others are drawn to the reality TV shows despite the risks. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the tragedy of reality.


MATT LAUER, ANCHOR, THE "TODAY" SHOW: The real-life tragedy for a reality TV show.

HAMMER (voice-over): This morning, TV news programs ran wild with the latest details of a shocking reality show tragedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The estranged husband of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star, Taylor Armstrong, has apparently committed suicide.

HAMMER: Today, the Los Angeles coroner made it official, ruling Russell Armstrong`s death a suicide by hanging. He killed himself exactly one month after his wife Taylor filed for divorce to end the turbulent marriage millions have watched unravel on the Bravo hit show, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

TAYLOR ARMSTRONG, REALITY TV STAR, "THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS": It`s obvious Russell and I have been having a tough time of late.

HAMMER: And this morning, TV viewers watching the coverage heard one talking point over and over again -- the role the Armstrongs` reality show fame may have played in Russell`s death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people are saying it`s because of the show.

LAUER: Do you think this is a case where people don`t fully understand how their lives will change once they allow cameras in?

HAMMER: Armstrong`s death comes in the exactly same week that we saw two other big reality show events. On Monday, TLC officially cancelled "Kate Plus 8" --



HAMMER: The reality show some say helped rip apart Jon and Kate`s marriage. And this Saturday, Kim Kardashian plans to marry NBA star, Kris Humphries --

KIM KARDASHIAN, REALITY TV STAR: We definitely talked about, you know, our future together.

HAMMER: A wedding and a marriage that will become a big part of Kim`s reality show on E! And today, those events lead SHOWBIZ TONIGHT to ask, is the Armstrong tragedy the latest example of another family destroyed by reality show fame?

And should this be a warning to Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian as they prepare to let cameras into their upcoming marriage?

T. ARMSTRONG: I`m trying to keep my family together.

HAMMER: Today, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT obtained the season premiere of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" originally scheduled to debut this Labor Day. And like in the first season, the Armstrongs` crumbling marriage was front and center.

T. ARMSTRONG: We`re working on things. We may depend on so much psychotherapy and I`m sick of myself.

HAMMER: But the Armstrongs` off-camera troubles were much worse. After filing for divorce last month, Taylor accused Russell of verbal and physical abuse.

AMBER GOODHAND, "RADAR ONLINE": He was in immense financial dire straits. He had a $1.5 million lawsuit filed against him.

HAMMER: "Radar Online`s" Amber Goodhand tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about a brand-new detail revealed today, that, in his final days, Russell reportedly was anxious about an upcoming tell-all book.

GOODHAND: The details that he found out that were going to be in the book really upset him.

DYLAN HOWARD, "RADAR ONLINE": Russell spoke to someone that I know only in the last seven days and said, quote, "It`s funny how a reality show can ruin your life."

HAMMER: Former reality stars, Jon Gosselin, "Jon & Kate Plus 8," Nick Lachey of "Newlyweds," and Hulk Hogan of "Hogan Knows Best" all have something in common with Russell Armstrong. They, too, have placed some of the blame for their family troubles on their time in the reality show spotlight.

DR. LILLIAN GLASS, RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: Reality stars are not prepared for what goes on.

HAMMER: Relationship expert, Lillian Glass, tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT --



HAMMER: Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries should be careful as they vie to become TV`s next big reality show couple after Saturday`s wedding.

GLASS: I would tell Kim and Kris to really get to know each other and to communicate off air before they communicate on air, to not do things just to make good TV, because it will have a lasting effect on them and it could have bad repercussions for that marriage.

HAMMER: It may be a stretch to say reality shows lead to suicide as some think happened in the Armstrong case. But the trail of destroyed reality show marriages and families is too long to ignore. Still, for many, the allure of reality show fame is too strong to resist.

GLASS: It really makes you stop and think, wow, is it worth it? And in many cases, it`s not.


HAMMER: This really is such a tragic story all around. And today, there are new reports claiming that it wasn`t just reality TV fame that led to Russell`s death. An upcoming tell-all book may have been to blame as well. So is it unfair to blame the show for this unbelievable outcome?

SHOWBIZ breaks news right now with Ronald Richards, Russell Armstrong`s attorney who is joining me right now from Hollywood for the SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview. Ron, I do appreciate you being here with us tonight.


HAMMER: So here it is now, 24 hours since the news of Russell`s death broke and you and I first talked. There are brand-new reports that came out late today claiming that Russell`s family is so upset about his death that they`re actually placing the blame on Bravo and that they may consider suing.

Now, you told me yesterday, Ronald, that you didn`t think the show could be held accountable in any way. Is that still how you see it?

RICHARDS: Yes, of course. I mean, I spoke with Russell`s biological mother and father just within the last two hours. And the claims made on "Radar Online" are by stepbrothers and extended family. They have no standing to sue Bravo in any capacity.

HAMMER: What else can you tell me do you feel comfortable telling me about what the mother and father of Russell Armstrong told you in terms of what`s happened and unfolded in the last more than 24 hours now?

RICHARDS: Well, Russell was planning on going back home to stay with his dad for a while. And they`re more interested in getting the remains back to the Great State of Texas where he was from and burying him there.

That`s what they`d like to accomplish, but I believe that Taylor is right now taking over the authority of handling the funeral arrangements. And they`re going to let us know so I can let his parents know so they can attend the funeral. But right now, we`re sort of hostage to Taylor.

HAMMER: Were his parents completely blindsided by this? Or do they know Russell was severely depressed as he must have been?

RICHARDS: Oh, no, no. They`re very devastated and shocked and surprised. They had no idea that Russell would ever do something like this. And he didn`t confide that to them in any way.

HAMMER: And our condolences, obviously, going out to them tonight. We all know that Russell was going through a lot of hardships in the recent months.

There are reports today that a tell-all book was allegedly in the works and it was going to expose Russell`s secret life as the reports go. Ronald, what did you know about this book?

RICHARDS: I knew absolutely nothing. I don`t believe there`s a book. I believe this is a smear campaign because it`s an anonymous source. That`s one of the primary functions of our engagement, is to remove negative comments off the Internet.

And if there was any suggestion there was a book, that would have been front and center on my deployment protocol in the assistance of Russell.

HAMMER: OK. And obviously, Russell`s financial situation has been the subject of much conversation since he died on the first season of the "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Of course, we saw Russell and Taylor living the typical lavish Beverly Hills lifestyle.

And today, there are reports that when Russell fell on hard financial times, the stress of that situation was worse, because, quite frankly, he felt like he had to keep up appearances for the TV cameras. Ronald, how much financial pressure do you think came because of the show itself?

RICHARDS: Well, that I think the show caused a lot of financial pressure because the show was sort of the baby of Taylor. And anything that Russell would do to affect the show`s success would be negative in their marriage. So Russell tried his best to keep this fictitious lifestyle going by overspending by a large degree.

HAMMER: And there were also new reports today that Bravo obviously is still trying to figure out what they`re going to do with season two of the show. Taylor and Russell`s marriage problems were, as far as we understood it, to play heavily into the plot line this season.

Ronald, do you believe that Russell was worried about how he was going to be portrayed in the upcoming season of the show?

RICHARDS: He was absolutely terrified about how he was going to be portrayed, especially on the issues of domestic abuse and how it would affect him as a dad and affect his business.

And he was doing his best to make sure that none of the other housewives would just, you know, casually defame him and only stick to facts that people had personal knowledge of.

HAMMER: And I have to ask you quickly before we go -- now that there`s been some time, do you think the best thing for Bravo to do at this point is cancel the season?

RICHARDS: Well, again, Bravo needs to do what they want to do. But I think it would be very bad form to have this whole fiasco and fake crisis regarding Russell`s marriage and whether they`re going to reconcile when the man`s dead. I think they should do something other than go forward as is.

HAMMER: Well, again, I appreciate you taking the time with us. Ronald Richards, thank you so much.

RICHARDS: Thank you.

HAMMER: All right. Now, I want to turn it over to you. What do you think? It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive poll -- "Real Housewives Suicide Shocker: Do reality shows really destroy people?" Yes, they`re dangerous. No, people who do reality TV know what they`re getting into. Vote at or E-mail

Much more on the "the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" suicide coming up. Is there too much pressure on reality TV? Should Bravo cancel the series?

Tonight, Omarosa, right here. She knows reality TV. She`s been on more than 20 shows. Wait until you hear what she tells us about the dangers of reality TV in the SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.

Hey, Situation, don`t wear our stuff. Tonight, why Abercrombie and Fitch want the Sitch to ditch their clothes. And why is A & F willing to pay the "Jersey Shore" star so much money to stop wearing them?

Also, Dr. Phil snagging the first interview with George and Cindy Anthony, Casey`s parents. Tonight, we ask, what do you want to ask them? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Time for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: Indiana state fair cancels Janet Jackson, Lady Antebellum concerts. Katy Perry ties Michael Jackson`s record of five number one singles from one album.




GAIL GELLMAN, MANAGER, SUGARLAND (through telephone): Well, they were in the bunkers in a prayer circle, waiting to go on stage, and the tour manager had held for a few minutes because of the weather. And if she hadn`t held, everybody would have been on the stage.


HAMMER: Oh, this is unbelievable. That`s Sugarland`s manager revealing how a last-second decision by the band`s tour manager likely saved the band`s lives.

The tour manager made a decision to hold everyone backstage just moments before a gust of wind caused the stage to collapse in the Indiana state fair. Of course, five died and many more were injured.

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

Tonight, SHOWBIZ justice. Well, today, a judge tells NBC`s hit show, "To Catch a Predator" that they engaged in entrapment. A U.S. sailor was acquitted of all charges of attempting to have sex with an online decoy who was posing as a 13-year-old girl. The judge threw the whole case out. But was that the right thing to do?

Joining me right now in New York is Midwin Charles who is an attorney with Midwin Charles and Associates.

Now, the man who was acquitted of all charges had a pretty interesting defense here. He said that his online chats with the young girl were innocent. His lawyer called it entrapment.

Of course, we all know this show has been heralded for taking down a lot of accused sex offenders. Midwin, what`s going to happen here? It seems like a dangerous precedent to me. Are we going to start seeing a lot of the charges reversed or dropped of people who have been nailed by them?

MIDWIN CHARLES, ATTORNEY, MIDWIN CHARLES AND ASSOCIATES: Well, I don`t know. I mean, mostly, people who have been arrested as a result of the show have been found guilty. So this is one of the few cases where the judge disagreed.

Listen, the key with entrapment is you have to show that you were forced to commit the crime, that you never really intended to go all the way with the crime that you`ve been charged with.

But had it not been for those investigators, would you not have gone down that road. And I guess his attorneys were successful in showing that.

HAMMER: So it`s not as if the people who are in jail now, because they were captured after being on the show can start waving a flag on appeal or anything like that --

CHARLES: I doubt it.

HAMMER: Saying, "Hey, what about me?"

CHARLES: I doubt it.

HAMMER: Good. Let`s hope. All right. I do want to move on right now to another explosive case tonight. It`s the Jackson family feud that`s going on here.

"Radar Online" reporting today that the Jackson family is just duking it out over this upcoming "Michael Jackson Forever" tribute concert. Michael`s mom, Katherine, wants his three children to be at the show.

Michael`s brothers, Jermaine and Randy, are saying the kids need to stay in school and should not be used for publicity. But Katherine tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter in an exclusive interview the kids are really excited about the show. Check out what she told us.


KATHERINE JACKSON, MOTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Even the children are excited, so we`ll be there.


K. JACKSON: They were asking, "When is it going to be?" And they said, "I can`t wait."


HAMMER: Yes. You know, maybe the kids simply want to attend their father`s tribute concert. What do you think, Midwin? Should the kids be left out of this because there is a perception by the brothers, as you saw, that this is being done for publicity, using their names?

CHARLES: You know, I don`t think so. Jermaine and Randy, I think, have too much time on their hands. If Katherine wants to take these kids to that concert, I don`t see what the big deal is.

The concert is about their father. It`s something that celebrates his legacy, his life, his artistry. And it`s different from the trial that`s coming up, which is really going to be not so nice for everybody to kind of rehash those facts.

HAMMER: Right. And of course, that`s another sore point here, because the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, who, of course, is accused of giving that final lethal dose of propofol to Michael Jackson the day he died, is going to be going on exactly the same time as this concert.

I`m personally thinking I get Katharine`s point. She wants people to focus on something good as opposed to the drama.

CHARLES: Yes, that`s right, because remember, Conrad Murray won`t be the only person on trial. Michael Jackson`s actions and choices will also be on trial --

HAMMER: Right.

CHARLES: His choice to engage in this risky behavior that ultimately, unfortunately, led to his death.

HAMMER: You can understand why she`d want that distraction. Midwin Charles, thank you so much. Now, coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, why Abercrombie and Fitch is saying, "Hey, Situation, don`t wear our stuff."

Tonight why A & F want the Sitch to ditch their clothes. In fact, they`re even willing to pay the "Jersey Shore" star a heap of money to stop wearing them. This is unbelievable.

Also, SHOWBIZ trending tonight, a street named after Justin Bieber. Does he deserve a baby, baby, baby boulevard though? The big Bieber Boulevard debate, coming up next. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Time now for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: Actors Amber Tamblyn and David Cross are engaged. Kelly Preston says she and hubby, John Travolta, were trying to have a baby for years.

HAMMER: Time for the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT buzz list. These are things we cannot stop buzzing about this week. "Country Crooner." We love Jeff bridges` brand-new country music album.

Fall fashion, can`t get enough of it. The big new September issues of the fashion magazines -- we are loving them.

Hungry for "The Hunger Games." We are buzzing all about the new "Hunger Games" book and the upcoming movie with the lovely Jennifer Lawrence.

Ratings strike! Cinemax`s new action series "Strike Back" is too good to miss, and we`ve got the ratings to prove it. And what not to miss, the new season of "What Not To Wear." It just premiered on TLC.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So chic and professional.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being more presentable, I think that I`ll have more opportunity at work. I`ll feel good going to the office.



HAMMER: SHOWBIZ trending tonight. A street named after Justin Bieber. And legendary rockers ACDC get into the wine business? We`d love for you to join the debate right now. You can tweet @ShowbizTonight with #ACDC and #JustinBieberWay.

We`ll get right to Carrie Keegan, host of VH1`s "Big Morning Buzz Live" who joins me from Hollywood.

So Carrie, an 11-year-old girl won this contest. She got to be mayor for a day in the town of Forney, Texas. Very cute. And a lot of shows were talking about this today like the "CBS Early Show."

But instead of commissions an impact study, let`s say, of the feasibility of the new development zone or even, I don`t know, cutting a ribbon at the opening of a grocery store, Caroline Gonzalez used her massive power to rename a street "Justin Bieber Way."

And I`m a bit concerned about this, Carrie. Do you think "The Bieb Boulevard" is a good idea? Is it so cool? Or does this kiddie mayor perhaps need to be impeached because this is some questionable spending, really, in a time of serious financial turmoil, isn`t it?

CARRIE KEEGAN, HOST, "BIG MORNING BUZZ LIVE": I actually think it goes a little deeper than that. I think this is what -- it`s perfect example of dirty politics. I think the real mayor of the town is using an 11-year-old girl --


KEEGAN: To tell everyone he`s got Bieber fever, and I think that is just unacceptable.

HAMMER: I`m glad you pointed that out and helped us get to the truth here. By the way, the sign was only up for one day, so I don`t really know what impact it had.

But I want to move on to this ACDC wine. We love the hard rockers from Australia and they`re coming out with a Black in Black Shiraz, Highway to Hell Cabernet, and even You Shook Me All Night Long Muscatel.

I don`t know about you. I love the ACDC, but I crank them up and knock back a cold beer. I`m not sure the wine is a good idea. Am I missing something here?

KEEGAN: You know what? I like to play a game at home called "drink what`s under the sink." And so I`m very excited about this ACDC wine. I think ACDC is now Australian for wine and I`m OK with that.

HAMMER: Well, if you drink what`s under the sink, I imagine you are. All right. Sounds like money talks here. Carrie Keegan, thank you so much.

We move now to the SHOWBIZ lineup. Here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" suicide drama. Why some people tonight are actually pointing fingers at the show for Russell Armstrong`s death.

Up next, someone who knows about all the pressures of reality TV, Omarosa. She has been on "The Apprentice" and, get this, more than 20 reality shows. She`s right here on the SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.

And a big Beyonce controversy tonight. Her hubby, Jay-Z, actually says Beyonce is the second coming up Michael Jackson. Can you believe that? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

And now, it is time for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: Films starring Nicole Kidman, Robert De Niro, added to Toronto Film Festival. Princess Victoria of Sweden expecting her first child.


HAMMER: Big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT -- Abercrombie and Fitch takes on the Sitch. Tonight, why Abercrombie and Fitch is willing to pay "Jersey Shore`s" Situation to not wear their clothes.

Explosive new questions about the "Real Housewives" suicide. Did the pressure of the show take a toll on Taylor Armstrong`s husband?

Plus, the dangers of reality TV revealed by reality star, Omarosa. She is right here in a SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.

Casey Anthony`s parents tell all to Dr. Phil. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks you, what do you want to ask George and Cindy Anthony?

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 in New York with big news breaking today -- real danger?

Fans and fellow reality stars alike are still shaking their heads in dismay tonight wondering exactly what drove Russell Armstrong to suicide.

The husband of "the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" Taylor Armstrong took his own life days before the premiere of the show`s new season. And some people are pointing their fingers squarely at the undeniable 24/7 pressure of reality TV fame.

As somebody who has been in that white-hot spotlight is reality star and producer, Omarosa. Omarosa is joining me now from Hollywood for the SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview tonight. It`s great to see you, Omarosa. I appreciate you being here.


HAMMER: It`s hard to believe. I was reading through your history and your bio and everything today again. You`ve been on more than 20 of these reality TV shows. I look at you. You`re here with us now. You`ve gotten through it seemingly just fine.

Obviously, there are others who have been through quite a bit, driven to rehab and jail and divorce. And now, of course, we`re here talking about this because of Russell`s tragic death.

So do you think the pressure of living life in front of the cameras can certainly, you know, be a trigger if not the cause of these troubles?

STALLWORTH: Oh, absolutely. If you don`t have a good sense of who you are and who you`re about, and you go on these shows, you can either crumble under the pressure or you`ll thrive under the pressure.

And as we can see, Russell crumbled under the pressure. On my first season of "The Apprentice," we actually had a show psychologist who was on set every single day, because the pressure of being in the boardroom and being filmed 24 hours a day was too much for many of the 16 contestants.

I wonder if now Bravo will now have a show psychologist to help the different people on the show deal with the different pressures.

HAMMER: And quite frankly, we`re not sure whether or not they actually do, but you can certainly understand that, you know, there is no hand for this. So I`m glad to hear at least, in your experience, there was somebody there to kind of hold your hand through it.

Now, you got divorced just as your reality star was on the rise on TV. But for the most part, as I said, you really avoided the reality TV pitfalls. Aside from the person on the set there, what really helped you survive the pressures of reality TV? Was it just your own self-awareness?

STALLWORTH: Well, I had a wonderful family to keep me grounded, to say, "Hey, that`s how you are in the boardroom, but when you come home, you still have to take out the trash. You still have to run errands. You still have to be the Omarosa that we all love and know."

But I will tell you the true danger of reality TV is that you are no longer anonymous. When you go to the grocery store, people know who you are. That means if you are on "Biggest Loser" and you come home and you are going through a drive through for a big burger, people are going to say, "Hey, here is the guy who is supposed to be losing weight. Now, he`s eating a quarter-pounder."


STALLWORTH: That means that if you have a mental breakdown, everyone knows your name and they will witness it and they`ll talk about it.

HAMMER: Yes. And let`s face it, Omarosa, you know, people said some unkind things about you. I mean, you were called "the woman America loves to hate." Of course, you did a great thing with that --

STALLWORTH: Absolutely.

HAMMER: Spun it into a franchise including your two books. There are reports tonight that Russell may have been overwhelmed trying to keep up with that Beverly Hills persona as well.

In fact, his attorney told me that was very, very tough for him. Is there a lot of pressure to keep up the persona on and off camera because of what viewers expect?

STALLWORTH: OH, there is an incredible amount of pressure because people expect because you`re on television, all of a sudden, you have tons and tons of money and tons and tons of wealth.

And that`s just not the reality for reality contestants. And you know, I just want to point out that reality may be getting a bit of a bum rap in this case. I understand that Russell had a lot of debt before he went on the show.

He had a lot of pressures before he went on the show. What the reality television program does is magnify any problems that you had prior to going on. And you have to live that in front of an audience and you get tore down on the blocks every single day.

HAMMER: Yes. That can`t be easy. Let me ask you very quickly before we go, what do you think Bravo should do with the new season of "Real Housewives"? Their problems, Russell`s problems were going to be front and center. Should they re-cut it? Should they cancel it?

STALLWORTH: Well, A.J., there`s a precedent with the Bravo "Housewives" series. They had a house husband or fiance who actually was killed on the "Atlanta Housewives."

HAMMER: Right.

STALLWORTH: And they actually decided to go ahead with the show and keep the footage of him in. It wouldn`t surprise me at all if Bravo decides to continue with the season and keep Russell`s parts in, because this is reality television and this is a real situation.

HAMMER: Well, Omarosa, I really appreciate your special insight into all of this. Thanks so much for being with us tonight.

More big news just in today, Fitch versus the Sitch. Tonight, this is the most ridiculous celebrity smack-down perhaps in the history of celebrity smack-downs. You know, the suits over at Abercrombie and Fitch are actually offering a substantial payment to "Jersey Shore`s" The Situation so that their clothes don`t wind up in his gym-tan-laundry- routine ever again.

The A & F "Jersey Shore" ban causing fury from shore to shore tonight. That brings me to the SHOWBIZ Flashpoint, is this situation real or just a real big publicity stunt?

Let me go to radio and TV host, Michael Billy. Michael, I can usually figure these things out. I know when a publicity stunt is happening. I can smell them. I`m not sure here. What do you think?

MICHAEL BILLY, RADIO AND TV HOST: A little bit of a publicity stunt. Let`s face it. OK. First of all, Mike, The Situation, past around that 30-year-old age, you really shouldn`t be wearing Abercrombie and Fitch, up to 25 in public, after 25 in private at home or to the gym alone.

But I`m surprised that Abercrombie is doing something like this when they`ve been criticized for being racially exclusive to a certain amount of people. And now, they`re saying, "Don`t wear my clothing," to an Italian guy? I don`t know.

HAMMER: I don`t think it`s more -- I don`t think this is ethnic-based. I think it`s more behavior-based, if you will.

BILLY: Right.

HAMMER: But I want to go to Carrie Keegan, the host of VH1`s "Big Morning Buzz Live," joining me now from Hollywood.

Carrie, let me read you part of a statement just released by Abercrombie and Fitch. This is fantastic. They say, "We believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand and may be distressing to many of our fans."

I`m here to tell you I actually get their point. Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that MTV released their own statement today. MTV does think this is just a big publicity stunt, Abercrombie and Fitch, in their mind, riding the success of the show, "Jersey Shore."

Carrie, what do you think? Is the Fitch diss real or PR stunt?

KEEGAN: Well, who knew that there was homicide, suicide and now "brandicide"? But they have to be really careful, you know. They`re playing both sides.

They`re saying, "We`re just having a little fun." At the same time, they`re very much distancing themselves from the "Jersey Shore" and all the characters. I think they`re running the risk, however, of sort of VanDutch-ing themselves. And I hope they don`t go out of business because of it.

HAMMER: Yes. And I have to tell you it may not be what they like to think of as -- pardon the big word -- psychographic nature that their customers watch "Jersey Shore." But of course, there`s crossover there, of course, because of the age range.

And by the way, it may be a big mistake, too, because Abercrombie and Fitch`s stock, whether or not related to this, has dropped some nine percent, since this story broke, which is unbelievable to me.

And I did a little digging around today. Can we please put this shirt up here? This is a t-shirt that was once sold by Abercrombie and Fitch. Look, it says "The Fitchuation" on it.

I`m no brain surgeon, but I think that`s actually a play on the Sitch`s name. This big money payoff could possibly be the best thing that`s ever happened to The Situation.

Michael, I`m thinking he should take the money and run that`s being offered by Abercrombie. And I think he should start embarrassing other companies to get more money.

BILLY: Yes, really, this is a brilliant marketing move. Just behave as badly as possible and wear the nicest clothes as possible. It`s really a money-making scheme.

HAMMER: For the richest possible companies. Now, this is reportedly not the first designer debacle involving "Jersey Shore." Oh, no. Watch this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you don`t want to go in the water with your --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give me your purse.



HAMMER: Yes. There are actually reports that luxury brands have sent Snooki pricey handbags, which is not really a shocker. Stars get free swag all the time.

Here`s the rub with this, and please follow me closely. This is very fascinating. Allegedly, companies weren`t sending their own fancy stuff. They were actually sending their competitors` stuff because they didn`t want the drunken face plant Snooki associated with their brand.

Again, fantastic. Now, "Jersey Shore" cast members have become brands unto themselves over these past few years, of course. But Carrie, let me go to you. Do you think this could be perhaps the start of some bigger designer backlash?

I mean, are you thinking maybe you got to send back your Gucci because of Snooki?

KEEGAN: Yes. I mean, I think the whole entire fashion industry has sort of come down to operation Snooki sanitation. And you know, they`re trying to just keep away from this whole "Jersey Shore" phenomenon.

I think it`s awful, honestly. I think the whole thing is just sort of sad. But you know, it kind of is what it is, and I agree with you. I think they should just take the money and run.

HAMMER: Take it and run. All right. Michael Billy, Carrie Keegan, I thank you both. Got to move on tonight, because Casey Anthony`s parents are about to tell all. Now, Dr. Phil snagged the very first interview with them.

This is a big day. So why are George and Cindy Anthony actually speaking out now? And if you had the chance, what would you ask the Anthonys? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wants to know.

Wait until you hear this. Jay-Z`s huge marriage confession. He says his wife Beyonce is just like the second coming of Michael Jackson. Yes, he said it. Did Jay-Z just put his foot in his mouth big time? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Time now for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: Snooki tweets she will not be on the next season of "Dancing with the Stars." "Gossip Girl`s" Taylor Momsen, 18, says she`s retiring from acting.


TAYLOR MOMSEN, ACTRESS: I don`t think I need you as my mentor anymore.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And tonight, ask the Anthonys. Dr. Phil is taking on Casey`s parents, and there is explosive reaction today.

George and Cindy Anthony will be speaking out in their very first interview on "Dr. Phil." This is the first one since Casey was acquitted of murdering her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, their grandchild.

So everybody wants to know, what are the questions Dr. Phil has got to ask the Anthonys? And why would the Anthonys want to do this interview in the first place?

We did get a little insight into that today when Cindy Anthony released this statement through Dr. Phil to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "We knew that we`d want to speak at some point and we figured there would be no better place than with Dr. Phil."

"We are hoping that by doing this interview, we will be able to help other people who may be experiencing struggles of their own. We certainly don`t want anyone to experience what we have these last three years." I understand that.

With me in New York tonight, Jane Velez-Mitchell, the host of HLN`s "ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL." Of course, Jane was all over the Casey Anthony trial from top to bottom here on HLN.

So Jane, does it make sense to you why the Anthonys would want to speak out to Dr. Phil?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST, "ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL": Absolutely, because I think he`s the best person to talk to, frankly. He`s a trained psychologist with a lot of insight.

He has the highest-rated daytime syndicated talk show, and they`re also not getting money. The money is being given directly to Caylee`s Fund, which is a nonprofit that`s going to help find missing kids.

So I think that`s absolutely appropriate. But as far as helping other people, she`s got to get honest if she`s going to help other people. Both of them do.

Remember, there`s a lot of people that think Cindy perjured herself on the stand. She`s got to start talking the truth now to Dr. Phil.

HAMMER: She does, and you make a great point, because I think a lot of people were concerned when they first heard this, that they were doing it for the money. But you point out that the money is going to be going to Caylee`s Fund.

Midwin Charles, from Midwin Charles and Associates, let me ask you. Do you understand, number one, why they would want to speak out? And if they`re going to speak out, why to Dr. Phil, a TV doctor?

CHARLES: I do. I mean, all the reasons that Jane listed, I think, are appropriate. He`s, you know, a trained professional. People like opening up to him. And it`s a venue where perhaps they`ll feel a little bit more safe and they won`t perhaps being attacked if they were in another venue, I think.

But I think this is the time for them to open up. They probably have been beaten for years now since this happened. They`ve been kind of treated really poorly. And they come from a family that, let`s face it, is not the Brady bunch. There`s a lot of dysfunction there. So this is probably an outlet for them.

HAMMER: It`s interesting, though, because I was thinking, oh, yes, maybe it`s a safe place. But Dr. Phil, for his part, is saying, "Hey, you know what? This is going to be a hard-hitting interview."

Here`s what he tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exactly about how this interview went, "I looked them straight in the eye and asked them some very tough questions. Despite living under a media microscope for years, their story has never really been told. Nothing is off limits during this interview."

So if nothing is off limits, I`ve got to ask, what are the necessary questions that we want to see Dr. Phil asking the Anthonys? We posed that question on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook wall. Let me get to a couple here.

Yasiris said this, "He should ask do they think Casey killed Caylee?" Jane, do you think if we see Dr. Phil asking that question, is that out of line? Or is it a must-ask?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think it`s a must-ask. It is the key question because a lot of people who feel after that 31 days, even though Cindy and George were out searching for Caylee, because of sightings, that they knew in their heart of hearts that their daughter had done something untoward to their grandchild.

And there are even reports that George, at one point, confronted Casey, "I know did you something!"

HAMMER: But even after all those years of defending her and taking the stand in her defense, can you actually imagine them saying, "Well, yes"?


HAMMER: Really?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because she has put them through the ringer. She`s accused her dad of molesting her. She`s accused her brother of molesting her. She spat in her mother`s face basically and refused to meet her after she was acquitted.

HAMMER: So if it`s a show, you don`t think they need to keep it up anymore?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, because she was acquitted. They can`t put her in jail for it now.

HAMMER: All right. Well, overwhelmingly, in our Facebook wall, people were outraged that Dr. Phil even would do this interview with the Anthonys.

This one coming from, Karen O., who writes, "I love Dr. Phil`s shows and they are very informative. But I am boycotting anything that has anything to do with the Anthonys. Sorry, Dr. Phil."

You know, this might be a concern because we`ve seen, Midwin, all these shows distance themselves from the idea of interviewing Casey Anthony. So what do you think? Is it a bad idea? Could there be backlash?

CHARLES: I don`t think it`s a bad idea. And if there is backlash, so be it. Everyone has the right to decide whether or not this is a show that they want to watch. I don`t think that he shouldn`t do the interview, so long as they`re not being compensated.

HAMMER: Yes. That`s true, but they`re not, according to the Dr. Phil folks and the Anthonys. Everybody is going to be watching this thing. I guarantee it. Jane Velez-Mitchell, Midwin Charles, I thank you both.

We`ve got to move on to Jay-Z`s stunning revelations about his wife, Beyonce. He does he really think she`s the second coming of Michael Jackson? And K-Fed does it again. Britney`s ex-becomes a daddy for the fifth time. All this is in "The Buzz Today."


(voice-over) Federline`s fifth. This just in to the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom -- Kevin Federline is a dad again. "People" magazine reports that Kevin and girlfriend, Victoria, welcomed daughter Jordan Kay on Monday. This is Kevin`s fifth child. He has two sons with Britney Spears.

Jay-Z`s marriage revelations. Jay-Z has just confessed he thinks his wife, Beyonce, might be the second coming of Michael Jackson.

In a brand-new interview with 99 Jam, Jay, who`s famously tight-lipped about his marriage, opened up about what his wife has taught him professionally.

JAY-Z, RAP ARTIST: What I`ve learned from her is the same thing I learned from Michael, you know. And I know it`s blasphemy to compare the two, you know, because Mike was such an innovator, you know. But I think she`s like the second coming.


HAMMER: We have more of Jay-Z`s surprising marriage confessions coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Why is Jay opening up about his marriage to Beyonce, really? I mean, he`s kept quiet about it for so long. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

And this is the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: Jay-Z and Kanye West`s "Watch the Throne" breaks iTunes first week sales record. SHOWBIZ first look: Daniel Radcliffe`s first post-"Potter" film, "The Woman in Black."


HAMMER: Check this out. It`s your first look at Beyonce`s brand-new cover for "In Style`s" big September fashion issue. She looks marvelous as always. And get this, right inside the magazine, she talks about "Jersey Shore."

That`s right. It turns out B is a huge fan of the show. I`ve got to wonder if the Sitch knows. Actually, I`ve got to wonder if her hubby, Jay- Z, knows.

Of course, just a few minutes ago, I told you how Jay-Z said that his wife, Beyonce, is like the second coming of Michael Jackson. Now Jay-Z himself even called the remark blasphemy just seconds after he made it.

And what may be the more surprising here is how openly he`s gushing about his wife because, of course, this couple -- they`re infamous of keeping details of their three-year marriage hush-hush.

I want to go to Carrie Keegan. She`s the host of "The Big Morning Buzz Live" on VH1.

Now, Jay-Z of course, Carrie, never talks about Beyonce publicly. He finally decides to get chatty and this is what he says -- she`s the second coming of Michael Jackson. What the heck is going on here?

KEEGAN: Honestly, I think Jay-Z`s album is doing extremely well. Beyonce`s album is not doing as well. So he poses -- you know, his wife is posing the question, who runs the world? And I think that the real answer was known today.

It`s actually Katy Perry, because Katy Perry is now head-to-head with Michael Jackson having five singles number one of the same album. So I think the real answer to his question is, Katy Perry is the second coming.

HAMMER: Carrie has now completely confused me and my head is going to explode. But yes, am I gathering you don`t find this to be a foot-in-mouth moment from Jay-Z? Because I hear that and I`m thinking, maybe this is exactly why they don`t talk about each other publicly in interviews.

KEEGAN: No, I think they actually play it very well in the media. And I think they`re trying to keep their lives and their showbiz very separate. And I think that`s wonderful for them.

But at this point, Beyonce`s album is not doing so well, so Jay-Z had to step in and do something. And he`s riding the success of his album to help her.


I get it now. Thank you, Carrie. I understand. All right. We`ve got to move on because Anne Hathaway is busting out with her own rhymes with a gangsta-style rap.


What got Anne so mad she had to throw down on Conan? You`ll find out, next.


HAMMER: Anne Hathaway, the rapper? Yes, that`s right. Hathaway is spitting out the rhymes, going gangsta on the paparazzi. Apparently, she`s sick of all the paps that are hounding her outside the set of the new "Batman" movie that she`s shooting. So she went on Conan O`Brien and let them have it. Watch this.


Anne, we love you here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Please don`t make us feel your pop.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. You can catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusively Monday through Friday at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right here on HLN.

Stay tuned for Dr. Drew starting right now on HLN.