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Russell Armstrong Murdered?; Outrage Over Gwyneth Paltrow`s Remark on Cheaters; Madonna Slams Gaga?; Eddie Murphy`s 2012 Oscar Hosting Gig

Aired September 7, 2011 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: More big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - Russell Armstrong murdered? Tonight, disturbing new claims about the death of the husband of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star, Taylor Armstrong.

Why Russell`s family now thinks his death was not a suicide, and the dramatic actions they are reportedly taking to prove it.

Gwyneth Paltrow defends cheaters? Tonight, the growing outrage over Gwyneth`s explosive new words about staying faithful. Does she really defend cheating?

Madonna slams Gaga? Tonight, Madonna disses Lady Gaga. What made Madge so mad?

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 - murder plot? Yes, just when you thought the very real drama surrounding the "Real Housewives" suicide tragedy had reached its peak, well, tonight, there is a disturbing new twist.

Now, on one side we have "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" Taylor Armstrong, who is grieving over the suicide of her estranged husband, Russell. On the other side, Russell Armstrong`s family who is now apparently convinced that Russell did not kill himself and they`re ready to launch their own investigation into exactly how he died.

So the big question tonight, could this tragic death really be a case of murder? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.


(voice-over) It`s a death that`s casting a cloud over the sun-drenched glamour of the "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never saw any of it.

HAMMER: The suicide of "Real Housewives" cast member, Taylor Armstrong`s husband, Russell, has left the cat-fighting cast of the Bravo reality show reeling as we saw on this Sunday`s season premiere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think a lot of us have some guilt about not seeing this coming.

HAMMER: But today, TMZ is reporting a shocking new theory, that Russell Armstrong`s suicide may not have been a suicide at all.

DAX HOLT, PRODUCER, TMZ: Sources are telling us that Russell Armstrong`s family does not believe this was just a suicide. They believe that he was actually murdered.

HOLT: TMZ`s Dax Holt tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT some of Armstrong`s relatives are so convinced that Russell may have been murdered they plan to hire a private investigator to look into the possibility. And what do they think he was killed over?

HOLT: Family members are insistent that he was, you know, having a lot of financial problems so that he was being wrapped up with the wrong people.

HAMMER: After Russell`s body was found hanging in a California house on August 15th, his friends revealed that he`d been depressed over crushing money problems. The fact that Taylor filed for divorce in July didn`t help matters.

RONALD RICHARDS, RUSSELL ARMSTRONG`S ATTORNEY: The show caused a lot of financial pressure.

HAMMER: Russell`s attorney told me right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the pressure to maintain the high-flying lifestyle seen on "Real Housewives" helped lead Russell down a deep financial hole.

RICHARDS: Russell tried his best to keep this fictitious lifestyle going by overspending by a large degree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think in the town that we live in, your financial status is so important that there`s this need to keep up this front of what you have.

HAMMER: On Sunday`s season premiere, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast also discussed the Armstrong`s financial troubles and its effect on Russell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s all he ever wanted to be, was, you know, successful and be a venture capitalist. It was something that was very, very important to him. And when it all went down the tubes, it was too much pressure.

HAMMER: Russell`s grieving mother told HLN`s Jane Velez-Mitchell she blames Russell`s wife, Taylor.

JOHN ANN HOTCHKISS, RUSSELL ARMSTRONG`S MOTHER (through telephone): The marriage absolutely drove my son into poverty. Taylor, in her next marriage, should be sure it`s a millionaire or a billionaire, because that`s all that could afford her.

HAMMER: And TMZ`s Dax Holt tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT some of Russell`s relatives think his money troubles provide a possible motive for murder.

HOLT: They believe he must have done some deal with the wrong person, never paid them back, and in the long run, they murdered him.

HAMMER: There`s another interesting twist in Russell`s tragic case. A friend and business associate of Russell also killed himself.

HOLT: The day after Russell committed suicide, this other man actually drove car up on Mulholland, got out and shot himself.

HAMMER: And the two incidents had something in common.

HOLT: There was no suicide note in either one.

HAMMER: As of now, there is no evidence the two deaths are linked and absolutely no sign that Russell was murdered.

HOLT: The coroner did decide this was a suicide by hanging.

HAMMER: But as is often the case in tragedies like this where there are so many unanswered questions, people go to great lengths to find answers.


HAMMER: So despite the fact that Russell Armstrong`s death was confirmed to be a suicide, is it conceivable that Russell`s family may be on to something and he was murdered?

Let me bring in my good friend, Carlos Diaz, from HLN`s "MORNING EXPRESS WITH ROBIN MEADE."

This, to me, is playing out just like an episode of "Law and Order." I mean, look at this - you`ve got Russell`s body. Mysteriously, he`s found dead, no note. He was apparently in grave financial jeopardy.

On top of that, his business associate reportedly committed suicide just 24 hours after Russell, also no note. Carlos, does at least the suspicion of murder make sense to you?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "MORNING EXPRESS WITH ROBIN MEADE": You have to consider it. And A.J., you make a great analysis there because it is like "Law and Order." The only difference is, this is really life.

And the more real it gets, it`s going to be big problems for the reality show, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," and I`ll tell you why. Because if it`s an ongoing investigation, there could be a gag order put in where they can`t talk about this.

Because if it`s an open-and-shut case or a suicide, great, let`s talk about it. You know, I mean, I have to applaud, you know, the "Real Housewives." I watched. They have a suicide prevention line they`ve put up now, the whole thing.

But if it`s not an open-and-shut case and they called it a murder and it becomes an investigation, then they have to watch out. The show has to watch out as to what they can say about it, and that takes away the drama.

HAMMER: Yes, that`s a great point. And separate from the fact of how he was found, suicide made sense to a lot of people. They thought the combination of the financial problems and the fact that Taylor Armstrong had filed for divorce really could have pushed him to commit suicide.

Armstrong`s mother told HLN`s Jane Velez-Mitchell that Russell was tormented by being on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Listen to what she said about that.


HOTCHKISS (through telephone): Before he took his life, he said, "Mom, they`re just going to crucify me this season." And he said, "I don`t know what to do." He said, "I`ll never survive it."

And I thought he meant business-wise or something. Now, perhaps, there was a double meaning there. I don`t know.


HAMMER: Well, that`s what Russell`s mom said just a few weeks ago. She blamed the show in great part for Russell`s demise. Now, it seems the family is shifted into believing that Russell was killed.

Let`s get some legal counsel on this. Let me turn to Atty. Sunny Hostin, who is a legal contributor for "In Session" on Tru TV.

Sunny, what do you think? Is it plausible? Does this murder idea make sense to you?

ATTY. SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, TRU TV: It does make sense. I mean, I think you have to follow all leads. And you know, I`ve been a prosecutor for quite some time.

And bottom line is suicides usually are accompanied by a suicide note. So I think that that it`s odd. And I think two suicides, people that are connected together without any sort of suicide pact - that is something that warrants more investigation, definitely.

HAMMER: But what about the fact that the coroner did rule it a suicide? Can they backtrack on that?

HOSTIN: They can. Coroners make mistakes. I mean, coroners certainly act independently from law enforcement. So just because you have this cause of death, means of death, doesn`t mean that the investigation could not uncover something else.

But A.J., I think the sad thing about it is it`s possible that he committed suicide because of the exposure of the inner workings of his life.


HOSTIN: We`re such voyeurs right now. And I just think it`s so sad that this may be why he committed suicide if he did.

HAMMER: I`m with you, and I get the family is looking for answers.


HAMMER: And maybe, to them, it seemed implausible that he would commit suicide. But at the same time, it is keeping this story alive and keeping it going.

And we were all watching the controversial premiere of the new season of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" on Bravo on Monday. They did put together a segment with all the ladies talking about the suicide.

The network says they will continue to edit the show. But if Russell`s death becomes an investigation, if something suspicious does turn up, Carlos, to my point, it seems that this will just keep the dark cloud hanging over the series permanently, don`t you think?

DIAZ: Oh, I agree. And you know, the thing that you have to realize here - we`re talking about real lives. You know, I`ve done - we`ve talked on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for years now.

I had someone from a reality show call me a few years ago and say, "Hey, man, you were making fun of me. I`m a person. I`m not a star." And you have to realize these are not stars. These are people.


DIAZ: And when you talk about a certain lifestyle, they don`t get paid millions of dollars to do the show. They get paid just a few thousand dollars to do the show. So you know, it`s a situation where they`re not used to handling the pressure that goes along with being a celebrity.

HAMMER: No question about it. And if it does become a real murder investigation, maybe then it will be time to cancel the show for now. I think Bravo has handled the series in the best way that it could without taking the show off the air.

We did ask in our SHOWBIZ Flashpoint exclusive poll, "`The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills` Addresses Russell Armstrong`s Suicide: Do you think the show handled it the right way?"

Here are the results. Thirty-six percent of you said yes. Sixty-four percent of you said no, not the right way. We`ll have to leave it there for tonight. Sunny Hostin, Carlos Diaz, I thank you both.

Got to move on now to Gwyneth Paltrow. Is she defending cheaters? Tonight, there`s growing outrage over Gwyneth`s explosive words about staying faithful. Does she really defend cheating.

And a guy breaks into Celine Dion`s house, which, of course, is messed up in itself. But wait until you hear what he did there. I can tell you it involves Celine`s kitchen and bathroom and maybe a pain au chocolat.

And Madonna slams Gaga? What`s going on here? Well, tonight, Madonna is dissing Lady Gaga. I`m going to tell what you the heck made Madge so mad. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Black Eyed Peas raise $1.3 million for Josh Duhamel`s North Dakota flood benefit. Kim Kardashian says the paparazzi made her end her honeymoon early.


KIM KARDASHIAN, REALITY TV STAR, "KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS": There were helicopters. There were boats in the water with lenses. So we actually cut our honeymoon short because we thought, you know, we want to try to find someplace else that be would a little bit more private.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s transmission. We just need to know which direction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On day one, there were two people and then four, and then 16. In two months, it`s a million. That`s where we`re headed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re calling out the National Guard and they`re moving the president underground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People will panic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will tip over. The truth is being kept from the world.



HAMMER: Please pass me the Purell. A super duper fast spreading virus is killing off everyone in the brand-new movie, "Contagion." But please, have no fear. CNN`s own Dr. Sanjay Gupta is on the case.

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

Move over, Matt Damon. Matt may be starring the in the new Steven Soderbergh film, "Contagion," alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet.

But I`ve got to tell you, I got the really big star of the movie here with me. Joining me, host of "SANJAY GUPTA, MD," CNN`s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

People have been asking you for autographs for years. The game`s been raised.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, HOST, "SANJAY GUPTA, MD": Matt was so disgruntled. His name appeared lower than mine in the credits. I don`t know what happened.

HAMMER: As it should, Sanjay. All right. Let`s talk about what you`re doing in this film. You`re playing yourself, you know, not too big of a stretch there. And I want to take a look at the scene -

GUPTA: Yes. Well, harder than you think it is.

HAMMER: It actually is. I know that. I want to look at a scene right now to show people what you`re doing in this. You`re opposite Laurence Fishburne`s character who is a doctor with the CDC.

Jude Law is playing a blogger who claims the CDC is actually with holding drugs that could save people from this mad virus. Let`s take a look at Sanjay in "Contagion."


GUPTA (on camera): The drug Rubbivern(ph) has been shown to be effective against this virus. Yet, Homeland Security is telling the CDC not to make any announcements until stock piles of the drugs could be secured.

LAURENCE FISHBURNE, ACTOR: Well, Dr. Gupta, there continue to be evaluations of several drugs. Rubbivern(ph) is among them. But right now, our best defense has been social distancing. No handshaking, staying home when you`re sick, washing your hands frequently.

GUPTA: Let me bring in Alan Krumwiede in this debate as well. Alan is a freelance journalist. He was the first to track the Schinkel(ph) bus man video.

Alan, today on Twitter, you wrote that the truth about this virus is being kept from the world by the CDC, by the World Health Organization, to allow friends of the current administration to benefit from it both financially and physically.

JUDE LAW, ACTOR: There are therapies we know are effective right now, like forsythia, but they don`t even appear on the CDC Web site.


HAMMER: OK. Sanjay, here`s the deal. I`m already a bit of a germ-o-phobe myself. I`m the guy rings for the elevator with my knuckle. Are people going to walk out of this film and never want to hug each other or shake hands again? I`m a little fearful. All of a sudden, it`s a social breakdown.

GUPTA: Yes. Well, you know, it is unsettling, to be honest. It`s completely plausible and that was one of the things that I think Steven Soderbergh really wanted to get and the writer, Scott Z. Burns, really wanted to get across.

They talked to a lot of people about this ahead of time. But it is unsettling. And you know, in the midst of making this, in the pre- production part, you had H1N1. So it`s actually - you know, you`re seeing real life examples of what they were talking about.

I think the message here for a lot of people ultimately is that, yes, simple things, like good hand-washing, being careful about spreading germs, you know, from person to person, can make a huge difference as it potentially could have in this scenario.

HAMMER: So people shouldn`t laugh at me when I go for the fist bump or the elbow knock.

SANJAY: I do the elbow bump myself.

HAMMER: Yes. And I know you worked directly with Steven Soderbergh in keeping the realism in the film alive. That was very important to him. So you have Kate Winslet. You`ve got Matt Damon. You`ve got Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne.

I heard that germ-o-phobia was rampant on the set. From what you were able to glean from the people you got to encounter, who is the biggest germ-o-phobe of them all?

GUPTA: I think Kate might be. I was talking to her this morning. I think she may be the biggest germ-o-phobe. But -

HAMMER: Can I back up? You were talking to Kate Winslet?

GUPTA: Yes. We were talking about this. We were talking about this and she played an epidemiology officer in this. And she - you know, it`s a very significant role.

But you know, it`s funny when you talk to celebrities and you do this all the time, how much of an impact that role has on them. But she said, you know, "You`ve got to make sure to wash your thumbs with your hands as well," like what we`re doing. Yes.

HAMMER: Up to your arms. All right. Sanjay Gupta, great to see you. Congratulations. We can`t wait to see you in your new film, "Contagion." Look for Sanjay Gupta on the big screen when the movie opens in theaters this Friday.

Right now, we have to move on to some serious business - Jimmy Kimmel`s tearful goodbye to his uncle, Frank Potenza. Potenza played the security guard on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

Frank was actually Jimmy`s blood relative. He died on August 20th. He`d been battling cancer. On Jimmy`s show back since his Uncle Frank`s death, he gave what was really an emotional tribute. You`ve never seen Jimmy like this before.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": I`m going to try to do this without crying, but I`m probably going to fail. But just turn away or something because it`s embarrassing. It really is.

As you may have heard, my Uncle Frank, who - already -has been a fixture on our show since our first night on the air in January of 2003, passed away over our vacation. He hated vacation, so he decided to ruin ours.

Uncle Frank loved being a part of this show. And I want to say thanks to my co-workers who talked to him and visited him and picked him up 12 hours early for work. He loved you.

And thanks to all of you who came to the show and who watched, for indulging me and letting me put my crazy uncle on television.


HAMMER: Well, Jimmy, all of us here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT send you our deepest condolences. We loved your Uncle Frank on the show as well.

And we move on tonight to Madonna slamming Gaga? Tonight, Madonna disses Lady Gaga. What made Madge so mad at her? Are these two really at war?

Someone reportedly breaks into Celine Dion`s house. Now, wait until you hear the bizarre stuff the guy reportedly did inside involving Celine`s kitchen and bathroom and perhaps a pain au chocolat. 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: Lil Wayne`s album, "Tha Carter IV," tops weekly album sales chart, moving 964,000 copies. Christian Bale`s "Dark Knight" co-star, Tom Hardy, on being afraid of Bale -


TOM HARDY, ACTOR: When I first saw Christian Bale, I put on a lot of weight and I looked at him in the makeup (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and I was like, "I`ve got nothing to worry at all." I was looking forward to this, actually.

Then, we had the screen test. He put on the Batman costume. And he came in and I got really nervous. I felt three. I felt like three years old. I said, "Oh, my god. It`s Batman."


HAMMER: SHOWBIZ trending tonight - a guy gets arrested for not turning off his cell phone on a plane. Yes, a Southwest flight was landing in El Paso, Texas. A guy reportedly turned on his cell, which, of course, is a big no- no.

Now, the dude was asked to shut it off. He didn`t. So when the plane got up to the gate, the guy got a first class seat in the slammer. But should he have been arrested?

Join the debate right now. Tweet @ShowbizTonight and #ShutYourCell.

Let me bring in my good buddy, Carlos Diaz, of HLN`s "MORNING EXPRESS WITH ROBIN MEADE," who I know would never violate these rules.

And Carlos, let me be perfectly clear, I do not want to in any way minimize the importance listening to the flight crews and any safety issues here. I`m a big proponent of please turn your cell phone off if you`re supposed to have your cell phone off.

But what do you think? Was arresting this dude the right move? Maybe they should have sentenced him to a week inside an airplane bathroom or something.

DIAZ: Do you know how much of a jerk you have to be to tick off Southwest flight attendants? Those people poop rainbows. They`re happy 24 hours a day.

And what was this guy doing? You know, "Listen, I`m on my flight that I paid $40, but I`ve got to get on my cell phone to close this million dollar deal."

No. I mean, can`t you wait 20 seconds until those back wheels touch down? Then you can call whoever you want. Why turn on your phone with 5,000 feet left? I don`t understand.

HAMMER: Yes. And the airline`s symbol on the stock exchange is love, after all. Listen, you and I have both been on flights. And we`ve seen celebrities who are not turning off their cell phones.

And I do have a few theories of my own as to why the story is getting so much buzz online. But why do you think it is trending so hotly today?

DIAZ: I think a lot of people, you know, hate it when people get on their cell phones because, in their estimation, it endangers the entire plane.

Never mind the fact that as the plane reaches 5,000 feet, it got cell phones all around it on the ground. But people on the plane don`t feel safe. Never mind that fact.

But people on the plane don`t feel safe. But you`ve got to follow protocol. It is iPad until 10,000 feet, book and then, when you hit the ground, you go with the cell phone.

HAMMER: Exactly.

DIAZ: You`ve got to know the hierarchy right there, all right?

HAMMER: Carlos Diaz, thank you very much. And please, my friend, fasten your seat belt.

Got to move on now to the SHOWBIZ lineup - here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Gwyneth Paltrow defends cheaters? Tonight, I`ve got the growing outrage over Gwyneth`s explosive new statements about staying faithful. Does she really defend cheating?

So Eddie Murphy is going to be your 2010 Oscars host. Do you think Eddie can actually deliver the goods at the Oscars? I`ve got that big debate coming up. I`ve got mixed feelings about it myself. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Fox`s canceled series "America`s Most Wanted" picked up by Lifetime. "The Wire" star Idris Elba has been named the new face of SmartWater.


HAMMER: Big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - Gwyneth Paltrow defends cheaters? Outrage over her explosive new worlds about staying faithful.

Madonna slams Gaga? Tonight, what made Madge so mad at Lady Gaga. Are the two huge pop stars at war?

Tonight, the ultimate "All My Children" cliffhanger. A real life bombshell from Susan Lucci. The news could be devastating for soap fans everywhere.

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. We`ve got big news breaking today does Gwyneth heart cheaters?

Did Gwyneth Paltrow really say she respects and admires cheaters? Well, not exactly. But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell what you she did say got a lot of people fuming today.

Gwyneth weighed in on the Tiger Woods of the world and she says, "You know what? I get why people cheat." Tonight, her comments are sparking an explosive debate. The big question, is Gwyneth right?

With me right now in New York is Dawn Yanek who is the editor-at-large for "Life and Style Weekly." Also joining us tonight from Atlanta, Carlos Diaz, from HLN`s "MORNING EXPRESS WITH ROBIN MEADE."

We`re going to get to the cheating outrage in just a minute. But first, we`ve got to talk about Lady Gaga versus Madonna.

There`s a Belgian magazine that is reporting that Madonna took a very direct swipe at Lady Gaga`s apparent obsession with her.

Here`s what the magazine quotes Madonna as saying, "As for Lady Gaga, I have no comment on her obsessions related to me because I do not know if it`s based on something profound or superficial."

So is this the beginning of a pop diva smack-down? Or maybe not. Madonna`s publicist actually says that Madge never uttered such nonsense. Dawn, it does beg the question - would there ever be a Madonna-Lady Gaga smack-down, a war of words? Who do you think would come out on top?


HAMMER: Really?

YANEK: Gaga is awesome, don`t get me wrong. But Madonna is Madonna. She`s the queen of pop. She invented the stuff that Lady Gaga has built upon and built upon well - don`t get me wrong.

And I think it was Rosie O`Donnell who said back in the day that when Madonna walks in a room, other stars get star struck. And I think that is true even today. You don`t want to mess with Madonna. And on top of it, I think she`d probably play dirty, too.

HAMMER: Well, there`s always a chance of that. I don`t know. In 2011, I think people are very star-struck by Lady Gaga as well. Let`s hope it actually never comes to that.


HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the two are friends enough that they appeared on "Saturday Night Live" together last year to mock the whole rivalry thing. Watch how that went down.


LADY GAGA, POP STAR: Hey, guess what, Madonna? I`m totally hotter than you.

MADONNA, POP STAR: Hey, guess what? I`m totally taller than you. What kind of name is Lady Gaga? It sounds like baby food.

LADY GAGA: The kind that never (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Behave, bitches!

LADY GAGA: Yes, we`re pop icons. Respect.

MADONNA: Respect.


HAMMER: Yes, that was pretty funny. Madonna just announced, by the way, she`s going to be releasing a new album in the spring.

Carlos, I`m thinking if there is any kind of a rivalry between Gaga and Madonna, they should just duke it out with their music. Whoever sells the most albums shall remain supreme, don`t you think?

DIAZ: Oh, I don`t know if you want to do that to Madonna at this point.


DIAZ: No. In all honesty, I think this is great for Madonna. Her publicist is saying that she didn`t say that. No, no, no. Say yes, Madonna said that. She had two fingers in the air when she did say it.

We need to have Madonna getting mean again. Make fun of Kevin Costner again. Get in there and duke it out. We need the old Madonna who is ticking off people left and right.

We don`t need this new Madonna who is like, you know, the motherly figure that everyone likes. We need Madonna to be controversial again and this is the ticket right here.

HAMMER: She`s British now. She`s proper.

DIAZ: Exactly.

HAMMER: Listen, I have to move on to this report in "The Daily Mail" today that implies that Gwyneth Paltrow is a cheater lover.

Well, it`s not exactly that outrageous, but Gwyneth does tell them this, "I am a great romantic, but I also think you can be a romantic and a realist. Life is complicated and long and I know people that I respect and admire and look up to who have had extramarital affairs."

"It like we`re flawed. We`re human beings. And sometimes you make choices that other people are going to judge."

HAMMER: Dawn, I get it. You know, this is something that goes on every day, in all facets of life, celebrity and otherwise. Do you get how couples who are supposed to be committed to be one other do end up cheating sort of based on the theory of Gwyneth Paltrow here?

YANEK: Yes. I mean, I think Gwyneth gets it right in the sense that relationships are really complicated. And just because you cheat, it doesn`t necessarily make you a bad person in every facet of your life.

And you have to look at Hollywood. I mean, people are cheating left and right. It`s unfortunate to say, but it`s true. But you look at a situation like this and you kind of raise a few eyebrows.

And you`re like, who in Gwyneth`s life cheated? Did she cheat? Did her husband cheat? Did somebody in her family cheat? Just think about it.

HAMMER: Well, she does say - yes, she says she does know people who have cheated -


HAMMER: Who she really admires and looks up to.


HAMMER: I think - and look, Gwyneth has always struck me this way. I think she`s just a realist.

YANEK: Yes, I agree. And I don`t think she`s giving license for people to cheat. I think she`s just saying, "Look, it`s not always as cut and dry as it may seem."

HAMMER: Well, Gwyneth says there are people, as I`ve mentioned, in her life that she respects. And now, she`s been married to Cold Play front man Chris Martin for seven years.

I`m thinking personally there`s no way that this could reflect what`s going down in other own love life. But Carlos, what about you? Do you get where she`s coming from on all this?

DIAZ: Wait. Really? Because, I mean, when I read that quote, I`m like, Chris Martin has got to go, "Baby, can you put out another quote that says I`m not the person you`re talking about?"

HAMMER: Come on. Come on, Carlos.

DIAZ: No. When I read it, I`m like, who do you admire that`s a cheater? Listen, I respect her for having an open mind. I truly believe that if you get married, you should never cheat because that`s what marriage is based on.

But I respect her for saying that. But please, Gwyneth, put out a statement that says, "I`m not talking about my rock star husband who is surrounded by groupies all the time." Please do that.

HAMMER: Here`s the problem - people just read too deeply into these types of things sometimes. I`m sure everything is fine with Gwyneth and with Chris. I don`t even want to suggest that there`s any trouble there. Carlos, take it back. Dawn Yanek, Carlos Diaz, I thank you both.

HAMMER: Well, I can tell you and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has deep knowledge that Gwyneth Paltrow officially loves hydrangeas. But Madonna, not so much. You`ve got to check out what happened when a fan gave Madonna a flower that, well, she absolutely hates.

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


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s enough to make a hydrangea wilt, insulted by Madonna in videos that have gone viral. There Madonna is at the Venice Film Festival when a fan among the press people gives her a flower.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re my princess. Thank you so much. I love you.

MOOS: But after Madonna tells him thank you, some say she rolls her eyes. Out comes the truth, barely picked up on an open mike. "I absolutely loathe hydrangeas."

MADONNA, POP SINGER: I absolutely loathe hydrangeas.

MOOS: Hydrangeas of the world unite. "Geez, Madonna, what did hydrangeas ever do to you?" The "B" word flew at Madonna, the one that rhymes with "witch." We went to Flowers of the World in Manhattan to see why anyone would hate hydrangeas.

ANDREA VOTE, FLOWERS OF THE WORLD: A lot of people think that they`re grandmother`s flower.

MOOS: On top of that, hydrangeas grow in people`s yards.

(on camera) Does that make it more lowly?

VOTE: Yes. I see it in other people`s yards. It couldn`t be that great of a flower.

MOOS (voice-over): But these hydrangeas are from the Netherlands and cost $20 or $30 a stem. Could Madonna`s loathing turn hydrangea into the new broccoli?

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do not like broccoli, and my mother made me eat it. And I`m president of the United States, and I`m not going to eat any more broccoli.

MOOS: At least Madonna doesn`t have to eat hydrangea. Madonna may run through fields of lilies.

She`s even accepted humble daisies and clutched them like a smitten schoolgirl. In the videos that have gone viral, hydrangeas get no respect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madonna, where is the flowers that I gave you?

MADONNA: My assistant took them.

MOOS: Madonna`s spokesperson says, "She`s entitled to like any flower she wants, and she didn`t want to hurt the feelings of the hydrangeas of the world."

Maybe, but her attitude was similar to that of the hoity-toity editor in "The Devil Wears Prada."

GLENN CLOSE, ACTRESS: Do I smell fresias?


MOOS (on camera): Do I smell hydrangeas?

HATHAWAY: No. I specifically told them...

CLOSE: If I see fresias anywhere, I will be very disappointed.

MOOS: If I see hydrangea anywhere, I`m going to be very disappointed.

(voice-over) But from the hydrangea`s point of view, Madonna stinks.

VOTE: It`s an unscented flower.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN -

MADONNA: Thank you.

MOOS: New York.

MADONNA: Thank you.


HAMMER: A little ungrateful there. Well, tonight, we`re moving on to how Katie got her groove back. Katie Couric back on television. She just had what I thought was an amazing interview with Sarah Jessica Parker. She really hit it out of the park. So SHOWBIZ dare to ask next, is this a good sign about Katie`s new talk show?

Celine`s bizarre burglar. Celine Dion suffers a break-in, but that`s not really headline here. Wait until you hear what this guy reportedly did inside Celine`s house possibly involving a croissant. Maybe it`s because he loved her. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Now, it`s time for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - these are more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: Elizabeth Taylor`s $30 million jewelry collection to be auctioned off in December. Lady Gaga is on the cover of October "Harper`s Bazaar" with no makeup.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. When Eddie met Oscar. SHOWBIZ breaks news tonight with the reaction at Eddie Murphy`s Oscar hosting gig from his "48 Hours" co-star.

Also Celine`s bizarre bandit. Celine Dion burglarized. The guy reportedly raids her fridge, not her jewels.

And Regis Philbin announces the date of the first day of the rest of life. We`ve got that and more in "The Buzz Today."


(voice-over) Regis` live goodbye. Regis Philbin has just revealed his official last day on "Live with Regis and Kelly," Regis leaving "Live" on Friday, November 18th. The 80-year-old Philbin announced back in January that he would retire this season after hosting the show for 28 years.

No replacement has been named to join co-host Kelly Ripa who said she`s looking for someone alive and breathing.

Celine`s baking burglar. Celine Dion has just reportedly had a houseguest she didn`t want in her Montreal mansion. "The Toronto Sun" reports the intruder broke into her house, ran himself a bath and even prepared himself some pastries before the police caught him.

The 36-year-old bandit was charged with breaking and entering, auto theft and causing property damage. Reports say the thief got into the house by stealing the keys to her husband`s car.

And the Oscar hosting job goes to Eddie Murphy. Eddie is going to be the newest emcee for Hollywood`s biggest party, the Academy Awards. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT spoke with Eddie`s "48 Hours" co-star, Nick Nolte, right after the big announcement and got his reaction.

NICK NOLTE, ACTOR: He is going to be great. You know, with Eddie, it`s pure genius, you know. You just don`t know what he`s going to say. He`ll bring a lot of humor, a lot of fun.

HAMMER: Murphy was nominated for an Oscar for his role in "Dream Girls," but this will be first time hosting the show. The 84th Annual Academy Awards will air on February 26th, 2012.


All right. There is no question to me that Eddie would have been very easy pick to host 1987 Oscars, but let`s face it. It has been more than 20 years since the glory days of "Raw" and the majesty of Eddie`s famously tight purple leather suit. So does he still have the stuff to deliver come Oscar night?

With me in New York, "In Touch Weekly`s" senior editor, Dorothy Cascerceri, and Sunny Hostin, who is the legal contributor for Tru TV`s "In Session."

Personally, I`ve got to tell you, I`ve always thought Eddie is a comedic genius, but that is really based on his works some 25 years ago.

There are a lot of haters out there who are all saying - a lot of traffic online, people writing that Eddie hasn`t been relevant for a couple of decades now. But listen to how Eddie`s "48 Hours" co-star Nick Nolte reacted to the news. This is what Nick just told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


NOLTE: Oh, that`s a big mistake! He probably won`t show up like I didn`t show up like I didn`t show up on "Saturday Night Live" way back then, you know. He`ll show up. He`s going to be great.


HAMMER: Yes. All right. So all joking aside, Nick thinks Eddie is going to be great. Dorothy, do you agree that Eddie can still deliver?

DOROTHY CASCERCERI, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": I think Eddie absolutely can deliver. He`s a perfect choice for the Academy because they`re trying to reel in a younger audience.

And with his current movie, "Shrek" and "Dr. Doolittle," he`s family favorite, so he`s definitely appealing to those younger people. But then, he also has that edge. He was that expletive, you know, yelling person in "Beverly Hills Cop" and those movies.

HAMMER: Right.

CASCERCERI: But he has a good combination of both. And if he can meld both of those personas, I think we`re going to have a really great show to watch.

HAMMER: But let`s remember, in Shrek we don`t see his face. We see the donkey. We hear his voice. I guess people will connect to that. I don`t know.

The jury is still out for a lot of people on this whole thing. Look, ever since the `90s, to your point, we`ve seen a lot of G-rated family films from Eddie with the "Shrek" franchise. He made a fortune playing that ass.

But I have to believe that the raw Eddie is still in there somewhere, the guy we used to see in those concert videos, the guy we used to see on "Saturday Night Live." And perhaps he could show up for a little encore performance at the Oscars. Sunny, we getting family Eddie. We`re getting raw Eddie. We`re going to get a little combination of both -

HOSTIN: We`re going to get a little combo of both, because, I mean, everyone loves Eddie Murphy. I know you`re talking about hairs out there. But let`s face it. We all remember "Saturday Night Live."

We remember raw. We remember really connecting with him. And now, a lot of people have connected with him with "Shrek." I think he went a little too far with all the baby movies and the "Daddy Day Care."

I mean, I have children and I`ve sat through them and they`re dreadful. But I really think we`re going to get a toned-down raw which strikes the right note. And I`ve got to tell you I don`t know how you both feel, but I hated the host last year. I didn`t like it. And I think this could change.

HAMMER: It was a common consensus.


HAMMER: It will certainly be a very interesting change. We`ll wait and see how that goes down in February. There`s another golden gig that`s making big news tonight.

Katie Couric just sat down with Sarah Jessica Parker. This was Katie`s first interview since she left CBS and joined up with ABC News. And I`ve got to admit the first time I heard this, I thought, kind of a strange choice for Katie`s big debut on ABC.

But Katie and the lovely Sarah Jessica Parker have terrific chemistry. Let`s take a look at a bit of that interview.


SARAH JESSICA PARKER, ACTRESS: I sing along all day long as I`m driving my minivan, dropping kids off.

KATIE COURIC, ABC CORRESPONDENT: Do you drive a minivan?


COURIC: Seriously?

PARKER: Respect the van.

COURIC: I`m a minivan mom, and I`m proud of my minivan.

PARKER: Me, too. Me, too. And you know, there was a moment prior to the actual leasing - leased, not bought.


HAMMER: Yes, it seemed like a genuine moment to me there. Dorothy, do you think this is proof that Katie Couric has, indeed, got her groove back?

CASCERCERI: Katie Couric has definitely gotten her groove back, although I don`t know if she ever lost it. Everybody loves her on the "Today" show doing all these softball-type interviews. You know, she was great on the "CBS Evening News" as well because she has that hardcore journalistic side about her.

But this interview with Sarah Jessica Parker talking about minivans isn`t exactly groundbreaking. It definitely shows the softer side of her that we all love and we all remember. And I think a lot of people are excited for her show.

HAMMER: Maybe the correct term isn`t "she got her groove back" but "she`s in her proper groove."


HAMMER: I look at that interview and I`m feeling like we`re seeing, as you mentioned, that softer side of Katie again. Do you think, as we get closer to the launch of her new talk show, that this is the Katie that we need to see more of?

HOSTIN: No question about it. I`m still stunned that Sarah Jessica Parker drives a minivan. I`m horrified by that. I haven`t given into the minivan.

HAMMER: Let me tell you something -

HOSTIN: I think that it`s ridiculous.

HAMMER: That, to me - no. That, to me, makes minivans cool because Sarah Jessica Parker is one of my favorite Hollywood celebs on the planet. Sunny Hostin, Dorothy Cascerceri, thank you both.

Well, tonight the biggest "All My Children" cliffhanger ever. Earth- shattering news from Susan Lucci that`s going to leave "AMC" fans gasping for breath.

After 41 years, at least seven marriages and, of course, that`s one historic Emmy, Erica Kane could be in for the most explosive plot twist ever. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger to star in "Expendables 2." SHOWBIZ first look: Elizabeth Hurley to guest star on "Gossip Girl."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: are you that guy in that movie?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes is the word.








HAMMER: Well, it looks like Susan Lucci`s week may have gone from bad to worse. First, she publicly blasted her boss at ABC for running on "All My Children" "into the ground" in her words in her new book.

And today, there are reports that Susan has rejected an offer to reprise her role on "All My Children" on the World Wide Web for the same salary she was getting for the TV gig.

With me right now in New York, Dawn Yanek, who is an editor-at-large for "Life and Style Weekly."

All right. So here`s the deal - Prospect Park is the production company which bought the rights to the Susan Lucci show, "All My Children." Of course, she`s the big star for all these years and the soap, "One Life to Live" as well.

They had plans to put both shows online. Cast members from "One Life to Live" have reportedly signed on. And that would include Michael Easton. He plays John McBain. Ted King, who plays Tomas Delgado, and Kassie DePaiva, who plays Blair Cramer.

But apparently, Susan has not agreed to sign on for the online version of "All My Children." Do you think that is a big mistake, Dawn, for La Lucci?

YANEK: No. Not necessarily. Look, she is not a stupid woman. In fact, she`s a savvy businesswoman. She has other brands. She has other ventures that she`s goes out and does.

And from the way daytime was kind of dumped unceremoniously from television, I think that it opens the door for her for other sorts of projects and other TV shows. I mean, can`t you see her being on "Desperate Housewives" or maybe on "Dallas" redo?

HAMMER: Sure. Sure.

YANEK: I think, of all stars, she has the best chance of crossing over.

HAMMER: She made so much money there -


HAMMER: So it surprises a lot of people that she wouldn`t sign on for the same salary. She was also looking to get more money apparently, work fewer hours, and she wanted a commitment for a primetime series.

Here`s the thing. Without Lucci`s character, Erica Kane, and tell me quickly, does the online version of the soap stand a chance?

YANEK: I think it`s in big, big trouble. Yes.

HAMMER: All right. Because she really was the draw and a big reason that (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


YANEK: Four decades.

HAMMER: It`s unbelievable. All right. Dawn Yanek, thank you so much.

YANEK: Thank you.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, for the very first time, we are going backstage with Nancy Grace and we are taking you there as she prepares for her "Dancing with the Stars" debut.

Plus, we`ve got to meet the man who was keeping our straight-shooting HLN friend on her toes. That`s coming up next right here on HLN.


HAMMER: Nancy`s "Dancing" countdown. In just days, our HLN pal, Nancy Grace, will shake her stuff on "Dancing with the Stars."

Now, she`s very hard at work. In fact, Nancy did take a little time- out to introduce us to the man that we hope will take her to victory, her dance partner Tristan MacManus.


NANCY GRACE, HOST, "NANCY GRACE SHOW": I met him today. Tristan is from Ireland and he was trying to teach me do the cha-cha. He`s pushing me around the ballroom dance floor.


HAMMER: We`ll be with you every step of the way, Nancy. Good luck to you and Tristan. And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Remember, you can catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusively Monday to Friday at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right here on HLN.

And stay right here for "DR. DREW," coming up next. Tonight, what happens now after a mistrial is declared in the death of a 15-year-old named Lawrence King who was killed by his classmate. "DR. DREW" starts right now.