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The Trayvon Martin Frenzy; The Whitney Houston 911 Call; Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards Together Again?; "Sopranos," The Movie?; Ashley Judd`s Outrage

Aired April 12, 2012 - 23:00:00   ET


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


SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: We simply wanted an arrest. We wanted nothing more, nothing less. We just wanted an arrest, and we got it.


HAMMER: The Trayvon frenzy. George Zimmerman faces a judge today, booked for second-degree murder for shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Were Hollywood`s pleas for justice the turning point? What do stars rallying for Trayvon want to happen now? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with Hollywood`s first reaction to the breaking Trayvon developments.

The dramatic Whitney Houston 911 call revealed.


911 OPERATOR: OK, and you don`t know if she`s conscious or breathing at all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently she wasn`t breathing and she`s 46 years old.

911 OPERATOR: She was not breathing?



HAMMER: Tonight, the Whitney Houston death investigation closes just as the dramatic 911 call is released. The brand-new insight into what really happened the night Whitney died.

Charlie Sheen reunites with his ex-wife? Tonight, why Charlie is winning again with Denise Richards. The exes` brand-new plans revealed.

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


Hello and thank you for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with big news breaking tonight - Trayvon frenzy.

Dramatic new developments tonight in the Trayvon Martin shooting case. The shooter, George Zimmerman, has faced the judge for the very first time.

All eyes were watching as Zimmerman walked into a Florida courtroom today, a day after a special prosecutor announced that she would be charging him with second-degree murder for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon.

It`s a case that has been fueled by outspoken celebrities rallying for an arrest. And now, there are no signs that the spotlight on this tragic case is fading any time soon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was coming before the court or will be here soon, I understand.

HAMMER (voice-over): George Zimmerman faced the court and TV cameras today as he faced a second-degree murder charge for fatally shooting teenager, Trayvon Martin. Today, in that Florida courtroom, Zimmerman didn`t have much to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you`re represented by Mr. O`Mara, is that true?


HAMMER: And even though Zimmerman`s court appearance was brief, it was another riveting moment in this high-profile made-for-TV case.

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, "RADAR ONLINE": It has national, international attention. Everybody is focused on this. Everyone wants to see justice served for Trayvon.

HAMMER: And almost immediately after the special prosecutor announced Zimmerman would be charged, just about every site in this tragic case hit the air waves.

FULTON: We are happy he was arrested so he can give his side of the story.

HAMMER: This morning, Trayvon`s parents were on the "Today" show to discuss their reaction to Zimmerman`s charging.

TRACY MARTIN, FATHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: I feel as though he needs to be locked up and just prepare himself to be held accountable for what he did.

HAMMER: And on CNN`s "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT," Zimmerman`s brother shared his family`s different reaction.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, JR., GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S BROTHER: This is an unfortunate situation, we`re a strong family. We are prepared for it.

And we`re prepared for the rest of our American justice system to have its say in what ultimately should work out in the end to exonerate my brother.

HAMMER: Last night, Magic Johnson told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT everyone wants to see this case resolved.

MAGIC JOHNSON, FMR. BASKETBALL PLAYER: They want to know the truth, what happened. They want to make sure that if this man killed Trayvon, then he should pay for that, you know. And so that`s all. People want justice. That`s it.

HAMMER: "Justice for Trayvon" certainly has been a popular rallying cry. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you it`s a cause that tons of celebrities have supported.

TERESZCUK: The reaction to the Trayvon Martin shooting has been so celebrity-driven.

HAMMER: A petition set up by Trayvon`s parents that calls for Zimmerman`s prosecution is now the most popular petition ever on

That`s in part because celebrities like Spike Lee, Michael Moore, Sherri Shepherd and Joe Madden directed their millions of Twitter followers to that petition.

NICK CANNON, HOST, "AMERICA`S GOT TALENT": I`ve got my hoodie on.

HAMMER: Plus, tons of celebrities such as Nick Cannon showed support for the Justice for Trayvon Movement by wearing hoodies like the one Trayvon Martin was wearing the night he encountered Zimmerman.

911 OPERATOR: Did you see what he was wearing?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. A dark hoodie or a gray hoodie.

HAMMER: Lebron James tweeted a photo of his Miami Heat teammates decked out in hoodies. Pauley Perrette of NCIS and Jamie Foxx also tweeted hoodie photos.

Even "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant, Clay Aiken, wore his hoodie when he stopped by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

CLAY AIKEN, "CELEBRITY APPRENTICE" CONTESTANT: The reason that so many people are involved is because we realize this is something that could happen to anyone.

HAMMER: Still when she announced charges against Zimmerman, the special prosecutor was careful to point out that public pressure had nothing to do with the decision.

ANGELA COREY, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: Let me emphasize that we do not prosecute by public pressure or by position.

HAMMER: But Trayvon`s parents obviously think public pressure played a role. This morning on "Good Morning America," they thanked their supporters.

FULTON: I just want to say thank you. It`s just good to know that there are people that are supporting us and that people that were praying for us and people that signed a petition. It`s just overwhelming.

HAMMER: And as this case moves through the legal system, you can bet the stars watching it are going to continue to help focus attention on this tragedy.

TERESZCUK: And they`re going to be at the forefront of keeping up with the news and making sure all their fans know what`s going on.


HAMMER: And there`s no question that stars have fueled the massive attention on the Trayvon Martin case. And that brings us to our SHOWBIZ flashpoint - will the media frenzy around the Trayvon case actually prevent a fair trial?

With me in New York, Sheryl Lee Ralph, actress and author of a fine book called "Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dream Girl."

With me from Hollywood tonight, Danette Meyers who is a district attorney. And Danette is the prosecutor who handled the Lindsay Lohan case.

And I want to start with you, Danette, because as a prosecutor in so many of Lindsay`s cases, you very well know what it`s like when the public spotlight is shining brightly on a case.

Do you think that that could actually hurt the chances of a fair trial in the Trayvon Martin case?

DANETTE MEYERS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Not at all. I think that they`re going to be particularly watching to make sure that justice is done in this case.

I think that what the public did was made law enforcement take a second look at the facts and circumstances of this case.

And when they took a second look at it, the special prosecutor found that there was adequate evidence in this case to charge second-degree murder, an excellent decision on her part.

And I think that she`s very cognizant of the fact that the public is looking at it. She`s going to make sure he gets due process. She`s going to make sure it`s a fair trial, because when you have a fair trial and you have a fair outcome, the public is satisfied. And the presumption of fairness with the criminal justice system and that`s what we need in this case.

HAMMER: Yes. They have to be very, very careful when they have the eyes of the world on it. And it can only really help the justice system, it seems to me.

And as Zimmerman appeared in court with his lawyers, stars were out there tweeting away today.

In fact, Russell Simmons, who was one of the first stars to tweet out the petition pushing for the arrest of Zimmerman, tweeted this today, "Very proud of the work @GlobalGrind has done seeking justice for Trayvon. Zimmerman to be charged."

Everybody was getting the news out there. And stars like yourself, Sheryl Lee, have been front and center about this. Are you worried at all though that the very same public spotlight could have a reverse effect and possibly hurt the chances of a fair trial here?

SHERYL LEE RALPH, ACTRESS AND ACTIVIST: You know something? No, I`m not, because this is much deeper than public and public opinion and celebrity.

My grandfather was unjustly killed when I was young. And because the city and the state of Waterbury, Connecticut were involved and thought so much about him, they did everything to see that justice was served.

This case, the killing of Trayvon has brought about us the thought that we must rethink how we value or don`t value young men of color, especially young black men.

What about Sanford, Florida made them take so long to give us what we all thought we needed? And that was justice for this young man, no matter what color he was, no matter what he wore.

That`s what`s in all of our hearts and all of our minds right now, celebrities or no celebrities.

HAMMER: But there`s no question in many mind because the celebrities and all of the other people who brought so much attention to this case -

RALPH: It helps.

HAMMER: Because they did that, it really showed us and the world that this is a conversation that needed to be had. It`s like we were crying to it - crying to have it.

RALPH: Absolutely.

HAMMER: Well, earlier tonight Trayvon Martin`s mom, Sybrina Fulton, spoke with HLN`s Nancy Grace to clear up something that she had said in an earlier interview about her son`s killing being accidental. Let`s watch.


FULTON: The point I was trying to make was that if Zimmerman never gotten out of his vehicle, he would not have met Trayvon.

And I said that encounter was accidental, that Trayvon meeting Zimmerman was accidental. It was in no way, shape, form or fashion did I imply that this was an accident, that the shooting was an accident.

I don`t believe that it was an accident. I believe he got out of his vehicle. He had an intent in his mind. And he carried out that intent, and that`s why my son is no longer with us.


HAMMER: You just hear the pain in her voice. Danette, this is just the beginning of a very painful process for Trayvon`s parents.

From your experience with these high profile cases, does the magnified frenzy make it even more difficult?

MEYERS: It really does, because the spotlight is going to be on them. They`re going to be in court. They`re going to know that the media is looking at them. The cameras are on them.

They can`t mourn privately. It`s going to be such a public affair for them, and so it`s a long haul for them. And hopefully, at the end of the long haul, justice will have been served.

They`re never going to get their son back, and that`s something that murder victims always look to prosecutors for. They think, at the end it have day, the victims are going to come back. They`re not going to come back.


MEYERS: But hopefully, they will get justice, and I think they will.

HAMMER: And that`s why we heard before the word "closure" doesn`t actually apply as we might think it does. All right. Danette Meyers, Sheryl Lee Ralph, thank you both so much.

Moving on tonight to the dramatic Whitney Houston 911 tape revealed.


911 OPERATOR: OK, but she is breathing now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know. The person who called me was irate and I didn`t get much out of her.


HAMMER: The frenzied 911 call made the night Whitney was found dead. Just as Whitney`s death investigation comes to a close, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is uncovering the brand-new questions today surrounding that just-revealed 911 tape.

HAMMER: Listen to this. Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards reunited? Well, we`re going to tell you tonight why the famously bitter exes are winning again.

Ashley`s puffy face war. Ashley Judd coming out swinging at critics accusing her of having plastic surgery.


ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS: So I look fat. I`ve had work. I look too good. I`ve had work. It hurt me. It really hurt my feelings.


HAMMER: Tonight, Ashley Judd`s explosive faceoff with Hollywood and women everywhere. Was it right for her to speak out? Legendary supermodel Beverly Johnson right here to weigh in. It is a must-see SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview. 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: Melissa Gilbert returns with "gentle rehearsal" after concussion on "Dancing." Tina Fey addresses Alec Baldwin`s tweet about leaving "30 Rock."


TINA FEY, ACTRESS AND COMEDIENNE: As far as I know, he`s not leaving the show. We`re all in this together until the end. I think he just maybe means that`s the end of the show. We`re in six years. The end of the show is not - you know, it`s visible on the horizon.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need paramedics. Apparently, I`ve got a 46-year-old female found in the bathroom. That`s all I`ve got right now, but they`re requesting paramedics.


HAMMER: Wild to hear knowing they`re talking about Whitney Houston. The Whitney Houston 911 call revealed. For the first time, we`re hearing those frantic moments playing out just after Whitney`s body was discovered in a Beverly Hills hotel.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, Whitney 911 revealed.

Investigators have just released a never-before-heard 911 call. It was placed moments after Whitney Houston`s lifeless body was discovered face down in a hotel bathtub.

The call revealing panic and confusion in the room as a hotel security guard summoned for help. Investigators have now officially closed the case. But are there still lingering questions about Whitney`s death?

Let me bring in Danette Meyers from Hollywood who is a district attorney. Danette is the prosecutor who handled the Lindsay Lohan case, and she is joining me now for this SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview. Always good to see you, Danette.

MEYERS: Always good to see you, A.J.

HAMMER: So the Whitney Houston investigation now wrapped up. And it`s exactly two months from the day Whitney Houston died.

With the release of the 911 call, we`re actually learning some new information about what really happened that night. Let`s listen to it.


911 OPERATOR: OK. And you don`t know if she`s conscious or breathing at all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently she wasn`t breathing and she`s a 46-year- old.

911 OPERATOR: She was not breathing?


911 OPERATOR: OK, but she is breathing now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know. The person that called me was irate and I didn`t get much out of her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have security going in there now.

911 OPERATOR: OK. We`ll send police and fire over there now with a person not breathing. Did it sound like the person was still not breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that`s correct.

911 OPERATOR: OK. We`ll get them there for not breathing. Is there any way you can get in the room so I can try to do CPR?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we`re going there now.

911 OPERATOR: Can you get me into the room so I can try to give CPR instructions?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I`m sorry. No, because she kept hanging up on us.


HAMMER: Always scary hearing calls like that. Clearly, there was some confusion there as they try to get some help from the hotel.

Danette, you`ve listened to a lot of these types of calls. Did you hear any missteps in there that may have perhaps led to a different outcome?

MEYERS: I`ve worked many times with the Beverly Hills Police Department. They`re an outstanding police department. They thoroughly investigate every case.

And if they`re closing the case, it`s because they`ve done an absolutely thorough investigation, an excellent job. If they found nothing there, you can pretty much believe there`s nothing there.

HAMMER: I still think though that people have to wonder, as investigators have told us, that drugs were involved. And obviously, she had to get them from somewhere and somebody.

People wonder if the case could be reopened because of that. Why aren`t investigators taking it any further given that there were drugs involved?

MEYERS: Well, you have to have evidence that someone gave her the drugs. And you would only get that evidence probably from Whitney Houston, and she`s now deceased.

So they have no evidence that anyone gave her drugs. And without that evidence, you have no case. And I guarantee you, Beverly Hills -


HAMMER: I guess I`m thinking somebody obviously supplied her. She got them from somewhere. But you`re right. There`s really - I guess that would be sort of a dead end road.

I would think a high-profile case like Whitney`s would really set up the scenario for anything happening. Do you think at all there could be any scenario in which police would reopen their investigation and possibly pursue criminal charges? Or are you basically saying when it`s done, it is done?

MEYERS: Well, that`s not necessarily the case when it`s done, it`s done. If there`s new evidence to light, every law enforcement agency will reopen their cases.

And if there was some evidence, I guarantee you, in this case, that there was some criminality afoot, Beverly Hills Police Department, outstanding police agency, you would have heard about it.

Absent any type of criminality or any facts leading to it, there`s not going to be a criminal case going forward, and I think they concluded that.

HAMMER: It is good to know it. Good to hear your support for that police department because so many people are still concerned after what happened to Whitney. It`s nice to know that they`ve obviously done all they can do. Danette Meyers, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

MEYERS: You`re more than welcome.

HAMMER: Moving on now to Ashley`s puffy face war. Ashley Judd comes out swinging at critics who accused her of having plastic surgery.


JUDD: My puffy face moment is another person`s big butt moment. I think what happened to me is very common. It might look a little different than other people`s lives because they may not be public figures. But we all go through it.


HAMMER: Tonight, Ashley Judd`s explosive face-off with Hollywood and women everywhere. So what do you think? Was it right for her to speak out? Well, legendary supermodel, Beverly Johnson, is right here. Can`t wait to have her weigh in a must-see SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.

And they had one of the most contentious divorces in Hollywood history. Why are Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards teaming up again? I can`t imagine. I`m going to figure it out though. I`ll tell you why, coming up. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: J.K. Rowling`s first adult novel, "The Casual Vacancy," to be released Sept. 27th. Daniel Radcliffe tops richest young actors list in the U.K., Robert Pattinson is number two.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Gentlemen, what are you prepared to do?

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR., ACTOR: No offense, but I don`t play well with others.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Big man in a suit of armor. Take that away, what are you?

DOWNEY: Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.


HAMMER: Yes. It was amazing the all-star cast bringing the Marvel Comic Book series, "The Avengers" to life.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT just got an exclusive interview with the man behind the Marvel madness. "The Avengers" will definitely be a huge blockbuster.

And it is a dream come true if for "Avengers" co-creator, Stan Lee. In a brand-new SHOWBIZ newsmaker exclusive, Stan tells CNN`s Alan Duke why this movie is bound to be a hit.


STAN LEE, CO-CREATOR OF "THE AVENGERS": I think it`s the first time, in any movie, in any superhero movie of any type, where that many heroes are together in one movie, every one of them worthy of his own movie, and they`ve all had their own movies.

There`s The Hulk. There`s Captain America. There`s Thor, Iron Man. And then there`s Hawkeye and the Black Widow who haven`t had their own movies yet.

But after the public sees them, they probably will. All together in this one feature. The fans are so excited they`re going crazy. I think they`re just going to love it. And it`s directed by Joss Whedon. You couldn`t get a better guy for that.


HAMMER: I can`t believe Stan Lee is almost 90. Joining me now from Hollywood, CNN Wire entertainment editor, Alan Duke, who spoke with Stan Lee.

So Stan, of course, Alan, is behind "The Avengers," but also the Fantastic Four, Spiderman, X-Men. The list goes on and on. What a life. So Alan, at 89 years old, is he actually still creating new superheroes?

ALAN DUKE, CNN WIRE ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: Is he? He works seven days a week. I`ve gotten to know him personally. And I can tell you, he`s nonstop. He is creating, in fact, a Chinese super hero. A super hero from India.

He is traveling around the world to these comic conventions. He`s starting his own chain of comic conventions, starting in L.A. in September.

Stan Lee is a work machine, a superhero in real life, the most remarkable 89-year-old you will ever meet.

HAMMER: That`s stunning. Good for him. CNN Wire entertainment editor, Alan Duke, thank you so much for that. "The Avengers" is in theater next month. I cannot wait.

Now, the SHOWBIZ lineup. Coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the question everyone still wants answered, will there be a "Sopranos" movie.


HAMMER: And here we are now, five years, I guess it is, since `The Sopranos` went off the air?

EDIE FALCO, ACTRESS: Yes, five years.

HAMMER: Is Carmela totally out of your system?


HAMMER: Tonight, former "Sopranos" star, Edie Falco, breaks news to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about "Sopranos," the movie. Is this really going to happen?

And stars speak out about the Trayvon Martin developments. The burning question, did Hollywood`s outcry make the difference in George Zimmerman getting arrested? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: ABC renews "General Hospital" - the soap will celebrate 50th anniversary in 2013. Scarlett Johansson says she`s still not over "horrible" split from Ryan Reynolds.


HAMMER: Big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - Hollywood`s dramatic reaction to the breaking Trayvon Martin developments.

George Zimmerman charged with second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin to death. The first court date set. SHOWBIZ dares to ask, did Hollywood`s cries for justice make the difference?

Ashley Judd is fed up with body snarking. She is furious over all the speculation about the puffy face pictures snapped of her.


JUDD: When I look bad, I`ve had work. I look too good, I`ve had work. It hurt me. It really hurt my feelings.


HAMMER: Tonight, why Ashley says the horrified reaction is really all about woman-hating.

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


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with big news breaking tonight - Trayvon star power.

George Zimmerman now behind bars tonight and facing a second-degree murder charge for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. This obviously has just been an explosive case from the very start.

It has sparked a firestorm across the entire country. A lot of celebrities have been at the forefront pushing for Zimmerman`s arrest.

And tonight, we`re asking, were Hollywood`s pleas for justice the turning point?

Joining me now, three celebrities who have been very outspoken about this case.

With me in New York, Janet Hubert, activist and actress, best-known for her role as Aunt Viv in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Sheryl Lee Ralph, actress and author of "Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dream Girl."

From Hollywood tonight, so good to have Todd Bridges back. Todd, of course, starred on the iconic sitcom, "Different Strokes." Todd is also going to be seen in the new movie "That`s My Boy" alongside Adam Sandler, out this June. It is terrific having you all here tonight.

So let`s talk about what`s going on here, because this case is filled with so many hot-button issues that are still fuelling the outrage and all the interest in the case in Hollywood and beyond, of course.

And for one, race has been talked about a whole lot in this case. Some people are saying that if Trayvon Martin had not been African-American, an arrest would have been made right away.

Let me play for you what Trayvon`s mother said last night about race after Zimmerman`s arrest.


FULTON: I just want to speak from my heart to your heart because a heart has no color. It`s not black. It`s not white. It`s red. And I want to say thank you from my heart to your heart.


HAMMER: Wow. I mean, so impactful coming from mom there. Janet, for you, was race the hot-button issue in the Trayvon Martin case?

JANET HUBERT, ACTRESS: Absolutely not. Race was never the hot - race is an issue. It`s all a part of it. A hotbed is a conglomeration of many things, if you want to use the word "hotbed."

No, it was not for me. It was about the fact that I`m a mother, that mothers and fathers across the world felt and their heartfelt sorrow and sadness of hearing those cries of that young man begging for help.

We are all parents. We all have brothers and sisters. We have to all - and I think what happened is that we all put ourselves in her place and said this could have been any of us, granted it happens a lot more with young African-American males than any other race.

HAMMER: Sheryl, I can`t help but watch you sit here getting emotional. And is it - on the race issue, was that a hot button for you, among the many other things?

RALPH: I think it`s just so many things, A.J. And I think, you know, when you listen to his mother from the goodness of her heart, they say very often that children are a reflection of their parents.

Well, when you look at his parents and what stellar human beings they have been throughout this thing, then you can only imagine what kind of child that they had. You know what I`m saying?

HUBERT: Exactly.

RALPH: I`m the mother of a 19-year-old young black man. I pray for my son in his comings and goings -

HUBERT: Every day. Every day.

HUBERT: Every day I pray for my child. And had Mr. Zimmerman not called him a name during one of those 911s, it wouldn`t have been about race.

HUBERT: Exactly.

HAMMER: Allegedly, of course.

HUBERT: It wouldn`t have been -

HAMMER: But I`m sitting here watching these tears coming out of your eyes and I just can`t help but think this is what has been going on across America though ever since this case came to light in particular, but certainly for decades and really forever.

Look, as we know, Trayvon was wearing a hoodie the night that he was killed. That has really struck a chord with so many people.

And we`ve seen the hoodie rallies. We`ve seen countless stars posting pictures of themselves in hoodies supporting Trayvon.

Todd, for you, was the hoodie the hot-button issue in the Trayvon Martin case?

TODD BRIDGES, ACTOR: Well, I think it was letting us know that - to me, just because you have a hoodie on doesn`t mean that you`re a thug or you`re a bad guy.

You know, like, for me, I wear a lot of hoodies because I don`t have hair. When you don`t have any hair, you`ve got to have a hoodie on because it`s cold outside sometimes, you know.

And especially when you live back east or, you know, somewhere that it`s raining, you use a hoodie. But like I said, to me, it was never about race.

It was always about - this guy had an issue about violence, and he hasn`t been stopped. And he didn`t get stopped because he had a father who had something to do with the court system, who kept getting him out, bailing him out.

And this was the last final day that this guy decided, "I`m going to do what I want to do and nobody is going to stop me."

So he tried to make it into a race issue and it was really about, "I`m going to get somebody tonight. I`m going to defend my territory." And it wasn`t even his house. It wasn`t even his neighborhood.

RALPH: Wow. That`s interesting.

HUBERT: There`s the other point. This was a child.

RALPH: Young man. Young man.

HUBERT: He was a young man. He was a little boy basically, really, going out to get a package of Skittles and an iced tea, all right? What in the world was Zimmerman thinking to stalk him, approach him?

It was so heinous the way it was done that I think anybody with a heart, like she said, anybody with a heart had to feel something about this case.

RALPH: But there`s something about that image. There is a very old film with a 12-year-old Laurence Fishburne called "Cornbread, Earl and Me." And the star character -

BRIDGES: Oh, yes. I remember that one. My favorite movie.

RALPH: Yes. And the star character is dressed in a hoodie with a basketball.


RALPH: And they shot him only because he was dressed in a hoodie with basketball.

BRIDGES: He had a hoodie and an orange soda in my hand.

RALPH: That`s it.

BRIDGES: One of my favorite movies.

RALPH: "Cornbread, Earl and Me."

HUBERT: You`ll have to remember something. The images that the media perpetuates of young thugs is also - has been an issue with this whole thing.

HAMMER: That`s right. That`s absolutely right.

HUBERT: The image that the media perpetuates on black men.

HAMMER: And again, this comes into the whole conversation.

HUBERT: Of Hollywood.

HAMMER: Trayvon was shot on February 26th. After his killing, his parents put up that online petition calling for an arrest.

But it wasn`t until three weeks later that this petition was getting some major traffic. And that, of course, was after celebrities like Russell Simmons, Spike Lee and others were tweeting out the petition link.

That`s a matter of fact. That`s is how that - trajectory-wise. Let me get to the SHOWBIZ hot-button question here.

BRIDGES: Go ahead. Go ahead.

HAMMER: Did the celebrity outcry help get George Zimmerman charged? I`ll start with you, Todd.

BRIDGES: Well, my whole point to you is you have to look at who Zimmerman`s father was. He was a major judge in that town. This kid has been getting out of trouble all of his life.

So of course there was going to be time and it was going to take time to get Zimmerman on charges. When he was arrested, I believe the original officers would have charged him.

But somebody high in the order came down there and got him out. And who was that guy that came and got him out?

RALPH: You know - and also, this was not a very early cause celebre. It was not. In the early days, it took a while for that fire to be fanned and become a fire.

HAMMER: But the fire was fanned.


HAMMER: And again, that was with celebrities really spreading the word.

HUBERT: I don`t think celebrities had one thing to do with it. I think that the tenacity of those two parents, I think that the tenacity of the Martins to not step down or stand down and allow their son to be murdered in the manner he was murdered in.

I think we`ve got to remember who the true stars of this are and stop giving credence to Hollywood people who go around tweeting and whatever. This petition came to me.

RALPH: But Janet, you have to honestly say - you have to honestly say though, Janet, though it does not hurt when you get folks involved.

HUBERT: I think the Rev. Al Sharpton`s involvement had a lot of - a lot of help to do with it.


HUBERT: He`s not one person - he`s not a person to stand down and, you know, take it.

HAMMER: Well, I think - and this is something we spoke about earlier in the show. I think, now, that charges have been filed, the man is going to have his day in court. Celebrities hopefully will keep the attention on it. I think that can only -

RALPH: The public, yes.

HAMMER: As we discussed before, and the public stays involved because that will keep people accountable. I do have to end it there, Todd. Sorry about that. Janet Hubert, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Todd Bridges -

BRIDGES: I want to say quickly - let`s just hope -

HAMMER: I thank you all. We must move on to Charlie`s winning move? Charlie Sheen`s big reunion with his ex, Denise Richards, for his brand-new comedy on FX.

This blows me away. SHOWBIZ dares to ask, could it lead to even more with those two?

Ashley`s puffy face pushback. I`m so glad she`s doing this. Ashley Judd slammed the horrified reaction to pictures of her with a puffy face as woman-hating.


JUDD: My puffy face moment is another person`s big butt moment. I think what happened to me is very common. It might look a little different than other people`s lives because they may not be public figures. But we all go through it.


HAMMER: Tonight, why Ashley thinks this kind of body criticism is really all about bashing women. Supermodel and reality star, Beverly Johnson, right here to join me with her bold take on Ashley Judd`s puffy face controversy. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Bob Marley doc, "Marley," to be streamed on Facebook during theatrical release. Nicki Minaj takes number one spot on Billboard Hot 200 chart.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer back in New York with Ashley Judd`s puffy face fight.

Judd is speaking out for the very first time in a brand-new interview slamming critics who suggested her fuller face meant that she had had plastic surgery.

She says she has not had any work done. Instead, the recent puffiness is because of medication that she`s been taking.

This whole controversy blew up after Judd blogged about it, taking women to task for being so harsh on each other. So why is Ashley`s outrage still sparking so much buzz today?

With me right now from Hollywood, I`m so pleased to welcome beauty icon and supermodel, Beverly Johnson. She`s now starring in the reality show "Beverly`s Full House" on OWN. It`s great to have you here, Beverly.

BEVERLY JOHNSON, SUPERMODEL: Thank you. Thank you so much, A.J. Thank you for having me.

HAMMER: Our absolute pleasure. So you see what`s going on here. Ashley understandably seething mad about these comments that were made about her puffy face. I want to show you what she just said on the "Today Show" this morning. Let`s roll that.


JUDD: There was an incredibly nasty, vitriolic and gloating tone about it. I look bad, I`ve had work. I look to good, I`ve had work. It hurt me. It really hurt my feelings. My puffy face moment is another person`s big butt moment. I think what happened to me is very common.


HAMMER: I`ve always said I think this kind of criticism is just completely despicable. But Ashley even made a point of saying, you know, she normally doesn`t respond to these kinds of things.

She did get a little prodding from her husband, so she did decide to write about it. But Beverly, do you think that she was right to put it out there like this and really challenge people on their thinking?

JOHNSON: Absolutely. I mean, what about, you know, her health? I mean, people are so concerned about the physical appearance. And here, she`s a tremendous actress.

And she`s obviously a smart and centered person that she really came out and said, "Hey, guys. You know, it`s for medication."

And nobody is concerned about her health. They`re just concerned about the way she looks and whether she had plastic surgery or not. Please, stop it.

HAMMER: Yes. They really need to stop it. And I really hope her speaking out about it changes this conversation moving forward.

JOHNSON: Absolutely.

HAMMER: And Beverly, look, you know full well what it`s like being in the public eye. People are always going to say unkind things about you. They don`t even know you and they`ll say it because they can.

How would you respond, I`m curious to know, if anyone dared to criticize your appearance publicly? Which I couldn`t imagine anyway.

JOHNSON: Oh, they do it all the time. You know, the weave is not right, you know. Can`t you afford a better wig? Listen, that`s the world we live in now.

I think the most important thing is that we remain compassionate people and that we respect one another and also we care about one another.

And I`m like Ashley. I don`t look at what they say and read what people say because it`s very easy to, you know, go on the Internet and, you know, kind of vomit all over someone in the privacy of your room or computer.

But I think that it`s really important that we remain human about it. And you know, spread the love. Spread the love.

HAMMER: I`m right there with you on that.

JOHNSON: Where`s the love?

HAMMER: I know. Well, we`ve got some love going on right here. And I do want to move to perhaps restored love. Could it be? From Ashley`s puffy face moment to Charlie Sheen`s strange commercial for his new show on FX, and news that his ex-wife is joining him. Let`s watch.


ANNOUNCER: Charlie Sheen died. And went to FX. "Anger Management" premiers June 28th only on FX.


HAMMER: OK. Apparently, Sheen has a sense of humor about his divorce from ex, Denise Richards, too, because she`s joining the show.

Now, Beverly, I know you went through a really difficult divorce yourself. Do you think that Charlie working with his ex is actually a good idea? There was some awfully bad blood there.

JOHNSON: Yes, I think it`s a wonderful idea. And it`s wonderful idea for the children, because all kids want to see their parents together.

And it sends a great message that, you know, mommy and daddy are not together, but they still love and like each other. And that really makes children very happy. I think it`s a really positive thing to do.

HAMMER: Man, would it be great if they put that bad blood behind them. So you`re now putting your own family out there in "Beverly`s Full House," your reality show with your daughter and her family.

And on the show, we see you and your daughter trying to repair your relationship that has been strained since you lost custody of her to your ex when she was just a child. Has the show helped strengthen your relationship?

JOHNSON: Oh, I think so, absolutely. What happened was I did lose custody of Anansa. I was divorced from her father at a very young age, and she was very young.

She never knew us together. And then she was with him for five or six years. And then she came to live with me at 11 years old, so I got the teenage years.

And - but also, I really think that it`s really important sometimes to take a look back so that you can know what`s going on in the present and know what`s going on in the future.

I think that the show is a constructive reality show in the way that it really teaches everyone about communication, and for me, about listening. And hopefully, other people will take away a lot of tools from it. I think it`s a tremendous experience.

HAMMER: Sounds very healthy to me. Beverly Johnson, it`s great to have you on. Thank you so much and good luck with your reality show, "Beverly`s Full House." You can catch it on OWN.

So is there a "Sopranos" film in the works?


HAMMER (on camera): Here we are now, five years, I guess it is, since "The Sopranos" went off the air. Is Carmela totally out of your system?


HAMMER: I am one on one with the great Edie Falco in a candid SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview. She`s spilling secrets to me about whether or not she`s ready to revive Carmela for the big screen.

Time for the Showbiz buzz list. Here`s what the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff is buzzing about this week.

Thank heavens for "GCB" on ABC. We love every back-stabbing moment.

Well, admit it. You love TMZ. Now, there`s a new app for your iPad so you don`t miss a minute of Hollywood`s best train wreck moments.

Read all about it. "Newsies," the musical based on the 1992 Disney movie, is Broadway`s newest must-see hit.

Our new guilty pleasure is "The Client List", starring Jennifer Love Hewitt on Lifetime. And we are totally obsessed with Kris Allen`s new video for "The Vision of Love." This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.



HAMMER: Tonight, Edie Falco and the secrets of "The Sopranos." Ever since "The Sopranos`" final episode five years ago, the now "Nurse Jackie" star has never spoken so candidly about the show that changed her life and TV forever.

What was it like being a Soprano? Is she over the trauma of the show ending? Is there ever going to be a "Sopranos" movie? I`m one on one with Edie Falco in an incredible SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.


(on camera) I need to read this to you, what James Gandolfini, as you well know, said. I assume you read this article.

FALCO: I didn`t read the article. I do know what he said.

HAMMER: Well, he said, "I`m still in love with Edie. Of course, I love my wife. But I`m in love with Edie. I don`t know if I`m in love with Carmela or Edie or both. I`m in love with her." That`s pretty profound coming from James Gandolfini.

FALCO: That`s intense.

HAMMER: What do you say to that.

FALCO: That`s intense and surprising. And listen, we were married for 10 years, you know. And if you take your job seriously, the line gets a little fuzzy, you know.

I mean, not really, but kind of, like I didn`t know quite so much about James` personal life when we were working together. I don`t know if I did that on purpose, but you know, we were very professional.

So all I ever knew him as was Tony, my husband, you know. So it starts to really - it takes hold in a way, in a pretend way. But it`s pretty - it`s pretty encompassing.

So I mean, I know what he`s saying. And you know, I also know that we`ve both been in this business long enough to know what`s real and what isn`t.


FALCO: But it`s deeply flattering and profoundly sweet.

HAMMER: How many people in your life, other than a significant other, do you really have that kind of intense relationship with?

FALCO: Family, which is what that felt like.

HAMMER: And here we are now, five years, I guess it is, since "The Sopranos" went off the air.

FALCO: Yes, five years.

HAMMER: Is Carmela totally out of your system? Does it creep back in from time to time?

FALCO: No, she`s gone. She`s gone. Unless, you know, I get a call to be on the set of the movie, then, you know, she would come back very quickly.

But no. You know, she very much existed within a certain space and time, on that set, with those people and that jewelry and fingernails, you know what I mean? Other than that, she doesn`t lurk around the corner. So -

HAMMER: Since you brought up the movie that we all, of course, want to see, what is the reality of that in your mind? What does your gut tell you?

FALCO: I`m always the last person to know is what my gut tells me. So I would tend to think it`s probably not going to happen, but you know, I`m wrong about everything.

HAMMER: David Chase calls you up and says, "We`re firing up the set again," whether for a new series or the movie. Your schedule allowing, are you there in a heartbeat?

FALCO: Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. It was never for a moment not exciting, challenging, rewarding. And I don`t believe anything is ever completely over.

I mean, I can`t imagine a circumstance in which you would have to say, "Oh, my gosh. There`s always more that`s going to happen to people, and even pretend people, you know.

There will be storylines for those people. But I also think on some level, the people who write them, you know, may not feel the same way.


FALCO: And I respect that.

HAMMER: We can wish and hope, as we respect that.

FALCO: Indeed.


HAMMER: Love Edie Falco. Be sure to check her out in the season premiere of her Emmy Award-winning show, "Nurse Jackie," this Sunday on Showtime.

And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Thank you for watching.