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Junior Seau`s Apparent Suicide; Lady Antebellum Rocks SHOWBIZ; Ashton Outrage; Charlie Sheen Versus a Strip Joint?; Eva Mendes Bullied; Fake Photo Fight

Aired May 3, 2012 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, inside the devastating coast-to-coast emotional reaction to the apparent suicide of former NFL superstar, Junior Seau, as we reveal the real story behind the heartbreak and the tears. How could such a thing happen?

Also tonight, Ashton outrage. The angry claims that Ashton Kutcher`s over-the-top dating spoof video is racist.


ASHTON KUTCHER, ACTOR: I was in a milking contest and I won it.


HAMMER: Ashton`s brown-faced spoof. Funny or just plain racist?

Fake photo fight. A 14-year-old girl`s remarkable battle to stop magazines from airbrushing photos. Can stuff like that really contribute to eating disorders?

Lady Antebellum rocks SHOWBIZ. Would the country hit makers ever be judges on a reality show? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT starts right now.


Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer. And it is hard to describe, let alone capture the remarkable emotional outpouring today over the death of former NFL superstar, Junior Seau. His apparent suicide, shooting himself to death, is shocking enough.

But how do you explain why this has struck such a powerful chord from coast to coast? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that there are many reasons for that, from the painful outcry we`ve seen from his family and his former teammates and from moms and dads everywhere, worried about the speculation that maybe, just maybe, the head injuries Junior suffered on the gridiron could be a warning sign that their own children, who play America`s most popular sport, could be putting themselves in danger.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Junior Seau, another NFL great, gone too soon.

HAMMER: Today, the death of NFL star Junior Seau is resonating across the country, from the heartbreaking agony of Junior`s mother -

LUISA SEAU, MOTHER OF JUNIOR SEAU: But I pray to God, please, take me!

HAMMER: To an emotional on-camera breakdown by a former teammate.

MARCELLUS WILEY, FORMER TEAM MATE OF JUNIOR SEAU: We knew you were a superstar. We knew you were a super person.

HAMMER: To moms and dads everywhere -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why it could be a morning to teen athletes across the country.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the Junior Seau tragedy is about much more than football.

CARLOS DIAZ, SPORTS ANCHOR, "MORNING EXPRESS WITH ROBIN MEADE": There are so many emotions involved in this story.

HAMMER: From the moment Junior Seau was found dead in his home from a gunshot wound, questions started swirling. The biggest one -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This case at this point is being investigated as a suicide.

HAMMER: If this is a suicide, why would a beloved 43-year-old father of three end his life without even reaching out to those who loved him most? That was the question his ex-teammate, Marcellus Wiley, agonized over on ESPN.

WILEY: We were there for you, man. Come out and tell us you needed us.

HAMMER: Carlos Diaz, sports anchor for HLN`s "MORNING EXPRESS" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT these football heroes we idolize just aren`t wired to ask for help.

DIAZ: When you have a bunch of tough guys coming out of the NFL and not wanting to share their hurt, not wanting to share what`s going on with them both physically and emotionally.

HAMMER: Former NFL star, Tiki Barber, said much the same on CNN.

TIKI BARBER, FORMER NFL STAR: There is a facade that sits around athletes. They wear these strong, emotionally strong powerful beings. But behind the scenes, when you go home and lay down in bed at night, that`s when those problems surface. And if no one`s there to catch them, bad things happen.

HAMMER: Those bad things may have been what led two other NFL stars to kill themselves in recent months. Some blame those deaths on the repeated blows to the head football players suffer during their careers.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: What CTE is a form of dementia typically related to repeated blows to the head.

HAMMER: CNN`s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta says a disorder called CTE has been linked to the kind of dementia and depression that often precede suicide.

GUPTA: They have found evidence of CTE in people as young as 18 years old.

HAMMER: And that`s got to scare the countless parents of teen football players who want to emulate their NFL heroes.

BARBER: Kids feel like they have to be tough, because their favorite athlete was tough. But the long-term effect can be very, very dangerous, and we need to keep talking about it. These types of stories, as tragic as they are, are learning examples for everyone in the sport.

HAMMER: So whether it`s a learning example, a devastating personal loss, or a rallying cry to make America`s favorite sports safer, the effects of Junior Seau`s death will reverberate for a long time to come.


And there`s no doubt in my mind that we are already seeing the effects of Junior Seau`s death play in and out in football. Such a sad, sad story. And we have to wonder, what was going through Junior Seau`s mind? Such a mystery tonight.

With me from Atlanta, I`m so pleased to welcome, Coy Wire, who played for the Atlanta Falcons and the Buffalo Bills. Coy is also the author of this book, "Change Your Mind."

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Nischelle Turner is also with us tonight. Nischelle was a sideline reporter for the NFL. And guys, I want to begin by showing you a picture that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT just obtained of Junior Seau taken this past Monday.

Look at him, there he is, smiling. That`s at a charity golf event. Coy, on the surface, he obviously looks happy. But obviously, something was very, very wrong. Does any of this this add up to you at all?

COY WIRE, FORMER NFL STAR: Well, you know, he can be smiling on the outside, but we don`t know what he was going through on the inside. We can see him during the day, smiling and laughing with friends.

But what was going through his mind at night when he`s laying in that bed all by himself? Was anxiety there? Was depression there? Were panic attacks happening?

Players, when they leave the league, there goes a paradigm shift that they`re often not prepared for. Their sense of self-worth is gone, and it`s gone forever. And that`s tough to deal with.

And that`s what happens with - there`s speculation that this is what happened with Seau for now. But we know from the other players who have had tragedy strike, they were dealing with severe difficulties, mental, psychological issues that were tough for them to cope with and they just didn`t know how to do it. They need help.

HAMMER: Yes, and they`re not able to ask for help in so many cases. And that`s why I want to talk about something that really stuck out to me, what HLN "MORNING EXPRESS" anchor, Carlos Diaz - sports anchor for HLN - said this morning, about football heroes not being wired to ask for help when they need it.

There`s no doubt that Junior had people in his life that cared greatly for him. Nischelle, you interviewed Seau back in `08. You spent a lot of time around football players as an NFL sideline reporter. Why do you think he didn`t just reach out?

NISCHELLE TURNER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT CORRESPONDENT: You know, A.J., first of all, let me preface this by saying, I love football. I love the game. I grew up on it.

But let`s be real here. Football is a violent sport. It`s a brutal sport, and it`s a sport where men are taught to play through pain, to shake off anything that ails them, and not say a word about it.

You know, one of the things that Junior did in the game, he played it so violently, but he played it so tough. And I have to tell you, it has to be hard for people, when that is drilled into your head every single day, to be tough.

And if you`re soft, you fail, it`s hard to not take that home with you off the football field. So that`s why I believe that these men have so much trouble reaching out and asking for help when they need it.

But Coy, I wanted to also kind of ask you, because so much has been made about these recurring concussions that football players have endured.

It used to be called just getting your bell rung, but now, we know that something else could be involved with this, maybe it being a factor in the sudden increase of football players committing suicide.

Have you ever experienced this? And just kind of shed some light on the whole concussion issue for us.

WIRE: There is an evolution in the sport of football right now. Thank you so much for asking that. The game is changing and it must. When change is necessary, not to change is destructive. Lives are being lost.

The average life span of a former NFL player is 20 years less than that of the average American. If that doesn`t wake you up, I don`t know what will.

There`s been a hallmark that unconsciousness, being knocked unconscious is a concussion, when in fact the reality is that less than 10 percent of all concussions actually result in unconsciousness.

It`s the repetitive, tiny hits to the head over the course of a player`s career that add up and destruct the player`s mindset, their mentality, physically.

The chronic traumatic encephalopathy sets in and the tau proteins form and wreak havoc on the brain of an athlete.

And like you said, you brought up a great point. Players are trained and it`s ingrained that they`re tough, physically and mentally. They wear that like a badge of honor.

So for them to give that up and to humble themselves, to reach out for help, makes them feel like they`re less of a man -

HAMMER: So tough.


WIRE: And not the man that they have always been for their entire career. There is an evolution going on, and we need to raise the cognizance of what`s really happening and the consciousness in our public.

TURNER: Agreed.

HAMMER: Hopefully, some lessons will be learned here. Great insight, Coy Wire. Thank you so much. Nischelle, thank you, as always.


HAMMER: Well, we move on tonight to some Ashton outrage. There`s absolute fury over Ashton Kutcher`s online dating spoof. Critics are calling it racist.


KUTCHER: Hot and spicy, like Kardashian hot. I would give that dog a bone.


HAMMER: Tonight, the great debate, Ashton`s brown-faced spoof - funny or racist?

A 14-year-old girl faces off with a teen magazine for airbrushing photos. Can stuff like that really contribute to the eating disorders?

Well, Virginia Madison is here. She is weighing in on the faux photo fight. It`s another headline-making SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

"The Amazing Spiderman" star, Andrew Garfield, reveals to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT why he has been watching reality TV lately.


ANDREW GARFIELD, ACTOR: Reality television is valued when you want to switch off. And that`s all I watch right now. Because I`m doing this play, I need to do something with the mind. So there is a use for it.




HAMMER: Did you see this? From Paris to London to right here in New York City. Eleven-year-old Willow Smith, rocking like a rock star. It`s a brand-new video for "Do It Like Me."

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith`s other uber-talented offspring, Jayden, also makes a cameo. And I`ve got to say I kind of love it.

Lucky for Willow Smith, she never had to audition for one of those reality competition shows, but guess who has? One of the members of the multiple Grammy Award-winning country trio, Lady Antebellum.

Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood are actually set to perform in the finale of "The Voice." And when I sat down with them, I had to ask if they would ever consider being a judge on a singing competition show?

You`ve got to hear what Lady Antebellum told me in this SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.



(on camera) Obviously, you embrace the music competition shows. You`re about to do "The Voice." Would you guys ever entertain the idea of being judges or mentors on a show like one of those? If your schedule allowed, obviously, which would be tough.

CHARLES KELLEY, BAND MEMBER, LADY ANTEBELLUM: I think for us, we`ve always kind of said we always just want to keep it about the band and just our music.

And I think for us, I don`t know if we`d ever - we`ve talked about that a couple of times. I think we`d always just want to kind of keep doing what we are doing as long as we can, you know.

HILLARY SCOTT, BAND MEMBER, LADY ANTEBELLUM: I think the mentoring thing for, like, an episode or something would be really cool. But I don`t think - nothing could pull us away from touring right now, honestly.

HAMMER: Hillary, I am still just fascinated and blown away by the fact that, not once, but twice "American Idol" judges just turned you down. You didn`t get anywhere in the competition. First of all, when that did happen, were you devastated?

SCOTT: I think I remember shedding a few tears, just knowing that I hadn`t performed at my best because I was so nervous. I mean, I had never done any kind of audition like that before.

And so if anybody has gone and auditioned, it`s a lot of pressure. There are thousands and thousands of people in line to try to make it down to what will be a final 12, you know?

It`s really - it`s nerve-racking. But honestly, I would go back and do it again in a heartbeat, you know. I have no regrets.

HAMMER: And by the way, when you did play "American Idol," did a producer pull you aside and say, "Wow, we really screwed up"?

SCOTT: You know what? I don`t have any hard feelings, and truthfully, it was pretty validating, standing up there.

HAMMER: Obviously, the best thing, the hidden sort of thing here was maybe it was one of the best things that probably happened to you, because this probably wouldn`t exist.

SCOTT: Definitely. It wasn`t that long after, and I had a development deal on another label in Nashville as a solo artist and did a showcase and was all excited and hyped up about it and thought that I, you know, was going to get this record deal.

And then they said no and they passed. And it was the biggest, most heartbreaking career moment of my life at that point. And literally - that was in March of 2006. I met Charles and Dave in May of 2006. So when God shuts a door, he opens a window.

HAMMER: Something that I also know is very important to you and, obviously, it does involve the band, is giving back. I know that`s a huge deal.

You`re getting set to play the tornado relief benefit concert in Louisville on May 16th. The proceeds to benefit the Henryville, Indiana community that was destroyed. And you`re doing this prom party for a school in Henryville, Indiana.

DAVE HAYWOOD, BAND MEMBER, LADY ANTEBELLUM: You know, it started with a tiny idea that Hillary had a year ago. You know, we were in the studio recording "Dancing with My Heart."

She said, "We should totally go play somebody`s prom, and that would be so cool. And it`s turned into a much bigger thing now, and it`s something we can do for the whole community of Henryville and to give back.

And you know, we`re going to be there and Lipton is matching money that we donate as well. And it`s really -

KELLEY: For every dollar, up to the $50,000, so it`s been really cool.


HAYWOOD: It`s really a great thing.

HAMMER: It`s going to be amazing. I mean, can you imagine? Put yourselves in their shoes. You know, you guys, I know it probably still doesn`t hit you how enormous you are, except for all the attention that you get.

But think about it. If whoever the equivalent band would have been in your time came to play for your school.

SCOTT: There`s nothing better than doing something and seeing a smile on their face. And I think that`s the other reason why I`m so excited about this Henryville event that we`re doing. It`s just - it`s going to be really, really cool.


HAMMER: They`re so cool and humble and what they`re doing is so incredible. You want to find out more about Lady A`s benefit show, check out their Web site,

Well, a couple of people who know exactly what Hillary Scott went through on "American Idol" are the "Idol" finalists, getting down to the wire now.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there speaking with the top five last night in Hollywood and they revealed to us their strategies of winning.


PHILLIP PHILLIPS, "AMERICAN IDOL" TOP 5 FINALIST: I`m not really too competitive. You know, I`m just out there having fun, dude. Whatever happens, happens. You know, if it`s my last week, it`s my last week. If it`s not, I`m going to keep pushing through it and try to do my best each week.

SKYLAR LAINE, "AMERICAN IDOL" TOP 5 FINALIST: I`m just going to have to do what I have to do every week, you know, just come out here and just do a rocking song and then maybe a ballad.

If I make it through to next week, I plan to do the same thing. And I`ll just kind of show myself.

HOLLIE CAVANAGH, "AMERICAN IDOL" TOP 5 FINALIST: It`s definitely scary to think about tomorrow. I mean, you know, you could feel so good about your performance, but it`s all up to America.

And as you know, on the show, you never know what could happen. So it`s scary.

JOSHUA LEDET, "AMERICAN IDOL" TOP 5 FINALIST: I surprise myself every week. I don`t think I could get any better than the performances that I gave. And each week, the judges give me even greater feedback, so I`m like kind of like, "Oh, my gosh. where do I go?" I don`t know the next thing I`m going to do.

JESSICA SANCHEZ, "AMERICAN IDOL" TOP 5 FINALIST: I was a front-runner and I did get standing ovations. And I feel like, it`s like slowly going down. I need to prove myself once again, and that`s what I`m really, really trying to do.

But I`m also in that momentum where I`m like, you know, whatever happens, happens. You know, I made it this far, top five out of thousands of people. I mean, come on. And every week, I just sing my heart out.


HAMMER: She is amazing. They`re all so talented so we wish them all the best.

Moving to a fake photo outrage controversy tonight from a 14-year-old girl. Tonight, an eighth grader takes a national teen magazine to task for airbrushing its photos. Can photo retouching lead to eating disorders?

Award-winning actress Virginia Madsen knows all about being on these magazine covers. I`ll get her take in a must-see SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.

Also, fury over Ashton Kutcher`s online dating spoof. Funny or racist? The great debate, coming up. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

"Jersey Shore," the musical. The star of Broadway`s "Porgy and Bess," David Alan Grier tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT it could happen.


DAVID ALAN GRIER, ACTOR: If it`s good and funny, because I don`t think that`s going to be a heavy melodrama, and they do it the right way, just like "Rock of Ages," and if they do it right, it will be good. I`ll go see it, "Jersey Shore," the musical.



HAMMER: Congratulations, Grandpa Trump. Yes, Donald Trump`s about to welcome yet another grandchild. Donald Trump Jr. just tweeted the news that he and his wife, Vanessa, are expecting baby number four in the fall.

I can already see Donald Sr. looking at that baby in the eye and saying, "You`re hired."

Ellen DeGeneres has hired two little sensations who are babies no more, and they are stealing the spotlight. Viral sensations Sophia Grace and Rosie - yes, they are back. Eight-year-old Sophia and five-year-old Rosie are taking their tutus and tiaras and learning how to dance hip-hop style.

They visited choreographer Twitch from "So You Think You Can Dance" for some tips. You`ve got to watch what happened during rehearsal.



SOPHIA GRACE BROWNLEE, CHILD STAR: Can you do the running man?

TWITCH, DANCER: The running man?


TWITCH: Can I see it?

TWITCH: That`s it? Nice!


HAMMER: That is amazing to me. Now, if you thought that was impressive, you`re not going to believe Sophia Grace and Rosie`s final performance on "Ellen." Watch this.



TWITCH: You guys are awesome!


HAMMER: Come on, you know you`re smiling. I mean, look at the lives they`re leading already. Is there anything they can`t do?

Sophia Grace and Rosie return to the red carpet for Ellen. They`re going to be at the Billboard Awards in just a few weeks.

It`s time now for the SHOWBIZ lineup - here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Charlie Sheen`s war against a strip joint. You heard me right. A New York strip club names a room after Charlie. Tonight, why Charlie may sue. I can`t imagine he`s worried about his reputation.

Also this -


EVA MENDES, ACTRESS: Yes, I was bullied. I had a serious bully when I was something like seventh grade to ninth grade. For a couple of years, it was torture for me.


HAMMER: Really? Tonight, Eva Mendes bullied? She`s considered one of the world`s most beautiful women and now she`s revealing to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT why her younger years, they weren`t so pretty. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

TEXT: Report: Lady Gaga splits from actor boyfriend, Taylor Kinney. R & B singer D` Angelo to give fist performance in 10 years at Essence Music Festival.



KUTCHER: I`m looking for something hot and spicy, like Kardashian hot. I would give that dog a bone.


HAMMER: Big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - Ashton outrage. Ashton Kutcher`s new video spoof sparks a firestorm. Is it funny or just plain racist?

Taking a stand. A teen girl`s new fight against airbrushed cover girls. Do doctored photos contribute to eating disorders? And what does Oscar-nominated actress Virginia Madsen think of this hot debate? Well, Virginia`s right here for a headline-making SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.

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


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, and thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer with the Ashton outrage tonight. Ashton Kutcher starring in an outrageous dating ad that was meant to be a spoof.

But today there are a whole lot of people calling the spoof racist because of Ashton`s brown-face portrayal of a Bollywood producer. Take a look at this.


KUTCHER: I`m raj, a Bollywood producer, and I`m looking for the most delicious thing on the planet.

I`m Nigel and I`m looking for higher planes of consciousness.

My name is Sword Fish. I`m looking for something hot and spicy.

Like Kardashian hot. I would give that dog a bone.


HAMMER: All right. So tonight, SHOWBIZ asks the burning questions. Did Ashton go too far? Is the ad racist? I want to bring in TV and radio host, Michael Billy, and Amanda Seales, host of MTV`s "Hip Hop POV."

Guys, it`s been a tough year for Ashton, the fallout from his split from Demi. Now, you`ve got this new ad for the company Pop Chips backfiring with a lot of people. Amanda, do you think this went too far?

AMANDA SEALES, HOST, "HIP HOP POV": Well, you know, I always say jokes prevail. So it`s kind of like, if it was funny enough, we wouldn`t be responding this way. But he`s just not funny, so it ends up just being racist.

HAMMER: And the truth is, you know, this happens 12 times an episode on "South Park," but if he had done black face?

SEALES: If he had done black face -

HAMMER: Amanda, I don`t know why this is really different. Michael?

MICHAEL BILLY, TV AND RADIO HOST: Not at all. It`s not different at all. I`m more outraged that it`s not funny.

SEALES: Yes. That`s what I`m saying. A.J., look, you`re white. Attention, white people. It`s not OK to do brown face. It`s not OK to do black face. It always backfires.

HAMMER: Yes. And really, this brought to mind, I think, for a lot of people the Mary J. Blige commercial we were talking about last month.

She did the chicken commercial for Burger King. She got accused of perpetuating stereotypes. That ad was eventually pulled.

SEALES: But that was an extra. That`s silly, like you sing about chicken and you`re black. And now, you`re perpetuating chicken? Come on, chicken is really good.

But this is really just another case of Ashton just not making a smart decision, which he has been, you know, doing regularly for the last year. And then, on top of it, it`s racial and it`s not even funny. Like, of it was funny, I`m telling you -

HAMMER: So it`s offensive in a multitude of ways and not being funny is one of them.

BILLY: In so many levels.

HAMMER: Well, we did learn late today on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Ashton`s part of the ad has been pulled. And today, the company behind the ad, which first vowed to stand their ground, has issued an apology.

Let me read that to you in part. They said, "Our team worked hard to create a light-hearted parody, featuring a variety of characters that was meant to provide a few laughs. We did not intend to offend anyone."

Do you think, Michael, that Ashton needs to make a public apology, seriously separate from it not being funny, but for portraying himself this way?

BILLY: Yes. I would put it out there because it`s ignorant to not know that this type of thing is offensive. It never flies with people. Apologize for the commercial and please apologize for "Punk`d," and the last few years of anything he has done in entertainment in its entirety, please.

HAMMER: "Two and a Half Men," really?

BILLY: I was not happy.

SEALES: Yes, especially! But you know what? Sacha Baron Cohen does something similar, but he gets away with it because people actually find it funny more often than not. So "The Dictator" is not really far from this. But you know, it is kind of more shticky. And this is just, you know, sticky.

HAMMER: Sad. Well, today, I should tell you that the guy that Ashton replaced on "Two and a Half Men," Charlie Sheen - he is now saying that he`s offended, too, but for a much different reason.

Right now, he`s actually fighting to not be associated with a New York strip club. This really - I mean, this caught me by surprise. Times have certainly changed.

Charlie Sheen reportedly spent some time in the club last year, so the club`s owners did what they thought was a good thing and set up a VIP room called "The Charlie Sheen Room."

And that`s a place where you can eat sushi off nearly naked women. Well, Sheen`s camp is saying this to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "The room is a concoction by a strip club trying to cash in its 15 minutes of fame."

But the club`s owner says they`re not breaking any laws. They have pictures of Charlie all over the room. Michael, what is the world coming to when even Charlie Sheen wants to distance himself from strippers?

BILLY: My favorite part of this, Charlie`s lawyer says this is going to hurt his persona. Are you kidding me? Hurt his career and persona? Who`s he going to sue next? The last three years of his life? My goodness! Are you kidding me?

SEALES: I mean, honestly, I think that that`s a bunch of BS. I think it`s more so, like, "If you`re going to have a room with my name on it, cut me a check."

HAMMER: "Pay me and pay me now." Michael Billy, Amanda Seales, great to see you both.

Well, right now the always-gorgeous Eva Mendes gets personal with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, revealing her childhood torment at the hands of a bully. We caught up with Eva and her co-star Sierra Ramirez as they were promoting the new movie "Girl in Progress."

It touches on bullying, and this is when Eva revealed her own private pain and how she found the strength to confront her bully. Watch what she told us.


MENDES: Yes, I was bullied. I mean, I had a serious bully when I was like seventh grade to ninth grade, for a couple of years. It was torture for me. I was just a very skinny little girl.

I didn`t want - you know, I had a mouth on me, definitely, a big surprise, but I wasn`t violent. I didn`t have, you know, I`d never been in a fight.

And I had this girl who bullied me and tortured me, and preyed on the fact that I was so scared and would avoid her. So I`d see her coming down the hall, and I`d be like, oh, god.

And I`d have her in a certain class, and I would just try to make myself smaller in size. It was torture. And because I had older sisters, but they were so much older, they were already in college, I couldn`t bring them in, you know.

Then you`re calling your parents - you know, I was stuck. I didn`t know what to do. I couldn`t turn to my parents. I couldn`t turn to the principal, because then you`re just the - it gets worse, sometimes.

So I literally had to deal with it on my own, and it took me two years to figure out how to do that. And one day I was in PE class with this girl, you know, with my bully. And I remember, my mother was working two jobs at that time and she had saved up to buy me a pair of L.A. Gear, which you probably know what that is, but they were the very popular in like early `90s.

Early `90s - forget about it, L.A., especially west coast. She bought me a pair of L.A. Gear with palm trees on the side and a sun, I will never forget. And I was in PE and here comes the bully, and she says something to me, and I`m just like, uh.

And she said, "New shoes?" And I said, "Yes." And she stomped on my feet so hard, and that didn`t haven`t bother me, because I was like, I can take that.

But I looked down and saw my mother`s beautiful little face and I saw all her effort, I saw all her hard work, and I looked up to this person. And I said, that`s it, I said, "You are going down."

I totally like became someone else, you know, like, in my mind, you can mess with me, but not with my mom! And I went off on her, and I told her, after school. And you know, I did what she was doing to me this whole time.

And you know, big surprise, but guess who didn`t show up after school.


HAMMER: Well, Eva, my guess is your former bully is regretting the day she messed with you and your L.A. Gear. "Girl in Progress" opens next Friday, May 11th.

So "True Blood" star Anna Paquin is making personal revelations of her own tonight. She`s always open and honest, but it`s her new confessions about being bisexual that really have people buzzing tonight.

Fake photo fight. A teen girl takes on the magazine world with her campaign against airbrushing. Do doctored photos really do any harm? The ever-talented Virginia Madsen right here for a headline-making SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview. I can`t wait to get her take on that debate.

And wait until you hear how Virginia is changing the face of Hollywood itself. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Scarlett Johansson tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT how her mom shaped her career.


SCARLETT JOHANSSON, ACTRESS: For me, my mom is always - one of the most important things that she did growing up was that she always said to me that I could do whatever I wanted, as long as I really, really, really wanted it.

And you know, it kind of - it allowed me to constantly sort of reassess what my priorities were and to kind of - it grounded me, I think, in a way and allowed me to kind of come back to square one and say like, "What am I doing here? Why am I doing it?"

And you know, that`s something that I think is important for mothers and fathers to tell their children, you know, no matter what, that they should, you know, be doing something because they`re passionate about it. and, you know, for no other reason.




JULIA BLUHM, ACTIVIST: I know how Photoshopped pictures in the media can affect girls. And it can really lower their self-esteem and lead to some bad things. And I`m a teenage girl, so I know how it affects people my age and I wanted to do something to help.


HAMMER: And that is exactly what Julia Bluhm is doing. She is just 14 years old, but she is sick and tired of magazines airbrushing photos that make her and her friends feel bad about their bodies.

Well, now she is on a brave mission to get fashion magazines to shape up.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is just remarkable how Julia is taking a stand. I love this. Bravo to her, right, everybody?

I mean, come on. She has had it. She believes that Photoshopped ads are a danger to girls and their self-esteem, so she`s doing something about it.

She`s starting for an online petition, calling for "Seventeen" magazine to stop the airbrushing and commit to printing at least one photo a month that has not been touched up.

Well, with me tonight, someone who has been in more magazines than we can possibly count, Oscar-nominated actress, Virginia Madsen, now starring in a brand-new series called "Jan."

It airs something called WIGS, which is a brand-new YouTube channel geared to women. I`m so excited to hear about that. And it`s great to have you back here.


HAMMER: It`s so nice to see you.

MADSEN: I can`t believe it`s been so long since I`ve been here.

HAMMER: It`s been a long time. We have a lot to talk about with this new WIGS thing. I want to find out all about that. But let`s talk about this Julia Bluhm. I think this is amazing what she`s doing.

MADSEN: Good for Julia Bluhm. Good for you.

HAMMER: Yes. She says that portraying young well as too perfect, too skinny is hurting teenage girls. And we spoke with her earlier about her mission. She`s very passionate about seeing real girls in magazines. Let`s watch.


BLUHM: That`s really what girls want to see. And I think that would be great if all of the media, like magazines and commercials could understand that, and how helpful it would be to make girls feel better about themselves, if we saw the different shapes and sizes and different types of girls.


All right, Virginia. You`ve been a star for a long time. You know how the industry works in the entertainment business and the fashion industry. Are you with Julia on this mission?

MADSEN: I`m so with her on this. And I mean, if there`s anything I can do to lend my support - but let me say that I started in this business when I was 18.


MADSEN: And there was so much focus on my weight and I, you know, was - I had curves, but I wasn`t by any means, you know, when they say overweight, I always want to go, "Over whose weight?"

And you know, oh, my god, there was always this pressure about, you know, lose 10 pounds before the movie. It was always this magical number. And the thing is, they`re still doing it to young actresses no matter what their size.

And I think a lot of these ads are not just making them look thin, they`re making them look deformed. You know, like the arm looks like a finger, and the legs are out of place.

And you know, they do it to celebrities on covers and it really is, it just - it`s not just sending a wrong message. It really makes them feel really bad.

And I remember - I mean, I`m sort of like, you know, I always talk about my real age, but I remember when I was a little girl and it was Farrah in that red bathing suit and that famous poster, and that made me feel terrible.

Because I had kinky hair that wouldn`t do the Farrah thing, and I had, you know, not little tiny breasts like hers, and I had thighs.

And I just - oh, god, it was just a - it was so prevalent, because they were very, very into slim, slim women at that time. So it goes back and forth. You`ve just got to be true to yourself.

HAMMER: It`s got to be so tough. And it the does seem so dangerous. The last time I checked, by the way, she`s doing some good here. This online petition Julia started has over 40,000 signatures on it. And she did get to meet with the editor of "Seventeen" magazine.

MADSEN: I love that. That`s progress.

HAMMER: I want to read you what they told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, so something is happening. The editor said, "We believe that Julia left understanding that `Seventeen` celebrates girls for being their authentic selves and that`s how we present them."

"We feature real girls in our pages and there is no other magazine that highlights such a diversity of size, shape, skin ton tone and ethnicity."

MADSEN: I don`t think that`s true.

HAMMER: However, they`re not saying that they`re changing anything.

MADSEN: I don`t think that that`s true and I don`t think they`re going to change anything. And what`s great about you airing her story is that we`re seeing the way real girls feel and real girls at all different sizes.

And you know, if I could give some advice to them, I would say, don`t buy that magazine.


MADSEN: You know, get your information elsewhere. And stay true to yourself. Don`t go on a diet. You know, don`t try and look like something different than you are. And that`s very hard for a teenage girl to do that.

HAMMER: Very hard. There is so much pressure, particularly when you`re bombarded.

MADSEN: But she`s doing it.

HAMMER: She is.

MADSEN: She`s a role model.

HAMMER: Hopefully, people are paying attention and you speaking out will have people paying attention. And the fact that you are also showing how real women are now in your new show on the YouTube channel WIGS - this is a huge thing that they`re doing, focusing on women.

You have Jennifer Garner, Julia Stiles, Dakota Fanning, my favorite, Allison Janney, some of the biggest stars in Hollywood on this YouTube channel.

And you`re in a series called "Jan." I want to watch that right now with you. Let`s roll that, Charles.


MADSEN: I`m not nice. It`s not that I don`t want to be nice. I`ve tried it a few times, but it doesn`t work. And you know why? Because I`m not nice. I`m effective.


HAMMER: OK. So first of all, you have to explain to me what the concept of WIGS is and how women will relate to this new series "Jan" on YouTube.

MADSEN: Well, you know, there`s - we`ve made like eight or nine different series. We shot them like movies, but they`re divided up into different kind of YouTube episodes.

So you can watch - you can basically make your own programming through this new Google channel. And all the stories are about women. They`re all about their - and they`re three-dimensional women.

I mean, just going back to our original subject, we look like real women. We act like real women. We deal with the complex issues that we face in relationships and friendships.

And in "Jan," one of the things that really appealed to me, and that`s Caitlin Gerard, who`s a brand-new actress - wonderful.

And I`m a very tough cookie in this. I`m a very tough professional photographer and she`s my intern. And I`m not very nice to her.

But I take a liking to her and that`s why I wanted to do it because I loved that there was a friendship between us. It`s always easy to make women, you know, go after each other.

HAMMER: And be bitter and have fights.

MADSEN: And that`s not really what most of us are about. So I liked it for the subject matter, not the medium. It was the material.

HAMMER: It looks great. And the fact is this new channel is really where the future is headed.

MADSEN: It is the future.

HAMMER: It`s so, so great to see you, Virginia.

MADSEN: It`s so good to see you too.

HAMMER: Thanks for being here.

MADSEN: Thank you.

HAMMER: Make sure you check out Virginia in her new series "Jan." It`s on YouTube, debuting May 14th. It`s WIGS.

All right. We move on now to a "True Blood" star`s true confessions. Anna Paquin, now married to her co-star Stephen Moyer. So why is she saying her bisexuality is not a thing of the past? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Time now for the SHOWBIZ buzz list. This is what the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff is buzzing about this week.

Well, after three bands and a multitude of hits, Jack White has finally released his first solo album. It`s called "Blunderbuss."

We can`t wait to belly up to Bravo`s new show "Around the World in 80 Plates," with Curtis Stone and Cat Cora. It debuts next Wednesday.

We love being dictators. Download "The Dictator" app and channel your inner Sacha Baron Cohen before the movie "The Dictator" comes out on the 16th.

If you`re not into dictators, you can start your own horror adventure with "Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir," for Nintendo 3DS.

And the wait is over. "The Avengers" opens tomorrow. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Ready for another bout?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:: What, you getting sleepy?



HAMMER: "True Blood" star, Anna Paquin, doesn`t hold back. Tonight, her new confessions about being bisexual.

Also, playing Aretha. Aretha Franklin picks actress Audra McDonald to star in the Aretha biopic. So what does Audra think?

And it`s a girl for my friend, "Dancing with the Stars" champ, J.R. Martinez. That story tops "The Buzz Today."


(voice-over) J.R.`s new belle of the ballroom. "Dancing with the Stars" champ, J.R. Martinez, has just become a new dad. He and his girlfriend, Diana Gonzalez-Jones, welcomed a brand-new baby on Wednesday in Los Angeles according to "People."

J.R. tells the magazine his daughter`s full name is Lauren Annabel Martinez(ph), but they`ve already given her a nickname, Belle.

The proud new dad gushes, "She has a couple of cute little freckles on her cheeks, a full head of hair, and the cutest little lips."

Anna`s bisexuality defense. Anna Paquin may be happily married to her "True Blood" co-star, Stephen Moyer, and expecting a baby, but she is still speaking out about being bisexual.

Anna came out as bisexual in a public service announcement back in 2010, and in a brand-new interview with "Zoe" magazine, offers an explanation on her sexuality.

"I`m sure for some people, saying they`re bisexual feels less scary than making a statement that they`re gay. For me, it`s not really an issue because I`m someone who believes being bisexual is actually a thing. It`s not made up. It`s not a lack of decision."

Audra`s Aretha honor. Aretha Franklin has just found a new favorite to play her in the upcoming movie about her like, actress Audra McDonald.

Audra, who is widely known for TV`s "Private Practice," was just nominated for a Tony for her role in the Gershwin`s "Porgy and Bess."

Aretha saw the show and declared to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the Broadway star was her pick. At the Tony Awards luncheon, Wednesday, Audra told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she`d be thrilled to play the Queen of Soul.

AUDRA MCDONALD, ACTRESS: So the thought that she even has thought of me is an honor. Oh, god, I`d say yes. What a talent. What a wonderful challenge that would be.


HAMMER: I think she would be terrific in that role. As we move on tonight, Kelly Ripa reveals a challenge she will not take on. Kelly says that she and her husband, Mark Consuelos, have their limits. What`s the one thing Kelly says she`d never do with him?


HAMMER: Kelly Ripa reveals the one thing that she won`t do with her husband, at least not on her television show. Kelly has been joined by a long list of guest hosts on ABC`s "Live with Kelly" ever since Reg left the show last November. Still, there`s always been that whisper that maybe, just maybe, her husband, Mark Consuelos, could be named as the replacement for Reg.

But in brand-new interview, here`s what Kelly is telling "Vanity Fair." She says, "No one would make me happier than Mark, but he values our marriage and he says that he doesn`t see how we could stay married and both do that show."

You can read the full interview with Kelly in the June issue of "Vanity Fair." I think they would be great together. I guess that`s not going to happen.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I am A.J. Hammer. You can catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusively, weeknights at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, right here on HLN.

Stay right here for "DR. DREW" next. Tonight, "Jersey Shore`s" Vinny talks candidly about his struggles with clinical anxiety. "DR. DREW" starts right now.