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Chad Johnson Jailed for Butt Slap; Should Paris Jackson Have a New Legal Guardian?; Justin Bieber Accused of Harassing Photog; Outrageous Game-Show Host Billy Eichner Up for Daytime Emmy; Interview with Scott Thorson; Interview with Bobby Flay of Bar Americain

Aired June 11, 2013 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Tonight on the SHOWBIZ Countdown, "SHOWBIZ Justice Shockers." The Paris Jackson 911 call revealed. And Chad Johnson`s butt slap outrage. The former football player locked up for giving a locker- room slap to his attorney in open court.

What`s the No. 1 "SHOWBIZ Justice Shocker"? Plus real-life secrets from HBO`s hit movie "Behind the Candelabra."


MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ACTOR: I want to be everything to you, Scott. I want to be father, brother, lover, best friend.

MATT DAMON, ACTOR: I`ll do whatever you want.

DOUGLAS: I want you to make Scott look like this.


HAMMER: Hi, I`m A.J. Hammer in Hollywood.

And tonight Liberace`s former lover Scott Thorson is here revealing why he got plastic surgery to look just like Liberace. Will his story top the other top stories of the biggest newsmakers?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT starts right now.

I`m A.J. Hammer in Hollywood.

And tonight, we are counting down the top three "SHOWBIZ Justice Shockers" of the day. We kick things off with the butt slap heard across the country.

Today NFL star and reality TV bad boy Chad Ochocinco Johnson asked a Florida judge to reconsider her decision to lock him up for butt slapping his attorney in open court.

Johnson was on the verge of having a judge sign off on a plea deal so he could avoid jail for violating his probation on domestic violence charges. But in a moment of celebrating his attorney`s legal prowess, he did what most NFL stars do and, well, he gave his lawyer a little pat on the back side. It did not take long for him to regret that play.

The judge took the deal off the table and had Johnson locked up for 30 days.

Today his butt slap battle has a lot of people fired up on both sides of the debate.


SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, ABC`S "THE VIEW": You talk about an abuse of power. You make an example of somebody because you don`t like them. You know, it was not disrespectful. And you`ve got to look at when people are relieved they hug, they shake hands. He was a football player. That`s what they do.

WENDY WILLIAMS, TALK SHOW HOST: You respect a judge. When you go into court, all he had to do was stand for another two minutes and he`d be free. But no. In my mind that was the act of a self-entitled person who`s been coddled through his life.


HAMMER: Yes. So the views of Sherri Shepherd saying that the judge went too far and there you had Wendy Williams with no sympathy at all for Johnson. Should anyone feel sorry for him?

In Atlanta we have entertainment attorney Ryan Smith who is the host of "EVENING EXPRESS." You can, of course, see that right here on HLN at 5 p.m. Eastern.

In New York tonight Jenny Hutt...


HAMMER: ... host of the Sirius XM show "Just Jenny."

Ryan, let me start with you. Now Johnson`s attorney reportedly has asked that judge to reconsider her decision. There is a hearing for that on Monday. Do you think the judge will consider cutting Johnson a break at that time?

RYAN SMITH, HLN ANCHOR: I don`t think she will. Because he learned the most important lesson of a courtroom: Never tick off a judge. Ever.

What he doesn`t understand is that is her house, not his. It`s not a comedy routine. It`s not a joke. And even though people might think, well, maybe she overstepped, the thing is you have to have seriousness and decorum in that courtroom.

Think about what he was brought in there for. Violating probation as a result of a domestic abuse claim. That`s serious business. And as much as he might have thought, "Oh, I`m trying to be funny because that`s who I am. I like to show that I`m funny," that`s a problem. He learned the biggest lesson of all.

And the second biggest lesson is when you make a plea deal it`s still up to the judge. So you`ve still got to walk in there, you know, your hat in your hand, and say, "I`m sorry for what I did" and act contrite. He didn`t do that. I don`t think she reconsiders.

HAMMER: I think the problem is he wasn`t thinking at all. I`m guessing it was a totally unconscious thing when he did that little butt slap there. So Jenny, we have this little debate that`s been going on since the story broke.

We do talk a lot about the sanctity of the courtroom and honoring the judge, people praising the judge for coming down on Johnson. But of course, some are slamming her, too. Do you think there`s any fairness there?

HUTT: Yes, I don`t -- I don`t think she should be slammed. I happen to agree with what she did.

As a lawyer when we`re in law school, we`re taught that we have to be respectful of judges when we`ve done nothing wrong. So if you`ve done something wrong, where is the contrition and where is the understanding that what you`re in trouble for is domestic violence? That`s not something to take lightly. Do the right thing. Stand up. Act like a man. Take your punishment or your plea deal in this case.

What a lucky guy he was, getting this break that he wasn`t going to have to have jail time.

HAMMER: No kidding.

HUTT: And shut your mouth, frankly, and don`t slap the tushy of the - - of your lawyer. That`s just a wrong move all around, A.J. So I`m with Wendy Williams. And I -- please.

HAMMER: No, I totally agree with you. It is -- hey, look, it`s a funny story to talk about, but the truth is going to the courtroom with your brain fully engaged, if that`s possible.

HUTT: Right.

HAMMER: All right. Now we have to ask the question: is another court fight in the Jackson family`s future? A possible fight over Paris Jackson in at No. 2 on our "SHOWBIZ Countdown" tonight.

So TMZ is reporting that Michael Jackson`s family is angry. All right, now we have to ask the suggestions that have been flying around that Debbie Rowe, who of course, is Paris Jackson`s true birth mother, could become the girl`s legal guardian.

Now, we all know Paris tried to commit suicide last week. Portions of that emergency call were released today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): Female (REDACTED). O.D.`d on 20 Motrin and cut her arm with a kitchen knife.


HAMMER: So Paris, of course, has been hospitalized. A judge has ordered an investigation into that apparent suicide attempt, and that has some asking if the judge actually might take guardianship of Paris away from Michael`s mom, grandma Katherine, and perhaps give it over to Paris`s mom, Debbie Rowe.

Now, Debbie hasn`t actually pursued this matter, but if she does, TMZ is reporting the Jackson family will fight Debbie, quote, "tooth and nail."

But Ryan, by all accounts, Paris has been bonding with her mother, Debbie Rowe, lately. Which is obviously a good thing. Given Paris`s troubles, do you think, hey, you know, maybe a change of scenery does, in fact, for her?

SMITH: I don`t, because they have the whole family supporting them. And I know people have a lot of criticism for the Jackson family, but remember first, Katherine is a guardian, but there`s also a nephew who`s a co-guardian, T.J.

Not only that, Paris has a bunch of support around her. I know that this situation is a disturbing one for many people. But the thing is switching guardianship requires a lot of different things to happen.

First, Debbie relinquished her rights a long time ago. Secondly, Katherine has the legal right. Now with T.J. If something happens to her that right, actually, the guardian is Diana Ross according to the documents. That may have changed, but still, I don`t think this is the right move to switch guardians, and I`d be surprised if it happened.

HUTT: Yes.

HAMMER: I just hope -- go ahead, Jenny.

HUTT: I just want to say that my fantasy, of course, is for Diana Ross to swoop in and take care of this child, because I`ve seen the girls and the children that Diana has raised, and I know Tracee a little bit. She`s raised great girls and great kids, and I think she would do right by Paris. And I think Paris needs some real help, real assistance and real direction.

HAMMER: You need to sit down and talk to that judge.

I just hope that the Jackson family, if guardianship continues as it is, they are equipped or become equipped to really handle Paris`s needs.

But right now we must get to No. 1 on our "SHOWBIZ Justice Countdown" tonight. Justin Bieber`s alleged campaign of aggression against photographers. That is actually the language Miami photographer Jeffrey Binion is using today. He`s suing the Biebs. He`s accusing the singer of having his bodyguards rough up Binion, threatening him with a gun, and taking his memory card out of his camera.

Now, Bieber has frequently been accused of roughing up photographers. TMZ reports that just hours before his run-in with Binion, Bieber was caught on tape actually ordering his bodyguards to snatch another photographer`s camera. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s our camera. Don`t take it, please.

JUSTIN BIEBER, SINGER: All right, all right. We`re going to give you your camera back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, Justin, please.

BIEBER: I`m going to take your SIM card, though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t take it, please.

BIEBER: Get him out of here.

Grab the camera. Get that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) camera out of here.


HAMMER: Pretty wild to hear. Everything is caught on tape. And again, that`s not the incident that Bieber is accused or being sued over, not yet anyway. And we have no way to confirm that that is, in fact, Bieber on the tape.

But Ryan, look, this seems to be a real pattern for Justin Bieber here.

SMITH: It`s a little bit of a pattern. But A.J., I`ve got to say this. Is this photographer an innocent little lamb? Is he just some guy who casually walked up to Justin and took a little picture and then walked away? No. He`s followed by these guys 24/7, A.J. And they harass the guy.

He`s just barely out of teens. And they harass him constantly. So he`s trying to draw a line.

And for this guy to come out and say, "He should act with respect, I was just trying to take a picture." He`s paparazzi. This is the name of the game. And Justin Bieber tried to strike back a little.

HAMMER: I`ve got to say it`s a tough line to walk. I do have to end it there, Jenny, but...

HUTT: Oh, no.

HAMMER: ... it`s tough for the Biebs and it can be tough for the photographers, too. And I thank you both for being here, Ryan and Jenny. Appreciate it.

We move on now. Let`s move forward a few light years to Chewbacca versus the TSA.


BILLY DEE WILLIAMS, ACTOR: I had no choice. They arrived right before you did. I`m sorry.

HARRISON FORD, ACTOR: I`m sorry too.


HAMMER: Well, the actor who plays the world`s most famous Wookiee just met his match. Why did the TSA want his light saber? It`s a "SHOWBIZ Newsmaker Countdown." Will Chewie`s epic showdown come out on top?

Plus it is SHOWBIZ at Daytime Emmys. I am talking to the man who has just changed the world of game shows forever.


BILLY EICHNER, HOST, FUNNYORDIE.COM`S "BILLY ON THE STREET": Miss, for a dollar name three white people. Go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three white people?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could be dead or alive?

EICHNER: Yes. Famous, please.




EICHNER: He was not white.




HAMMER: Billy Eichner is so great. He may be the wildest and perhaps the funniest game show host ever. Can you believe this guy, almost out of nowhere, up for a Daytime Emmy against Alex Trebek? I`ve got to ask Billy what it`s like to be battling for Emmy gold against a TV legend.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The best and brightest in daytime television return to HLN.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Emmy award goes to...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much. Woo!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Daytime Emmy Awards. Sunday, June 16, 8 Eastern. Only on HLN.



HAMMER: And now SHOWBIZ at the Daytime Emmys. Tonight I am going one on one with the breakout new host in the world of daytime TV. I`m talking about the great Billy Eichner. He is raw; he is hilarious; and his hit Fuse series "Funny or Die`s Billy on the Street" is all about getting in your face.


EICHNER: True or false? True or false? Lea Michele can play the flute!

Sir, it`s wedding bells for Julie Benz from "Dexter." Oh, boy.

Sir, it`s wedding bells for Julie Benz from "Dexter."


EICHNER: Good. Me, too.

Katy Perry! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!


HAMMER: Can you believe that`s a game show?

Billy`s guerrilla street antics are so outrageous, totally hilarious, as you obviously see. And this game show upstart is actually up for a Daytime Emmy in a world dominated by shows that have been around for decades. How`s he feel about that? Well, Billy is right here to tell me.

Great meeting you, man.

EICHNER: You too, A.J.

HAMMER: I mean, how mind-blowing is that? You and Alex Trebek nominated in the same category.

EICHNER: I know.

HAMMER: Could you ever have imagined?

EICHNER: I never could have. It`s very, very bizarre. Very bizarre. But an honor. You know. I mean...

HAMMER: I`m sure. And I`ve got to tell you, I think you`ve got a good shot here.

EICHNER: Really?

HAMMER: Well, you`re the next generation.

EICHNER: I don`t think I have a good shot.

HAMMER: Taking nothing away from Alex and all that. Well, we`ll going to see. You`re going to be all dressed up in there on Sunday night.


HAMMER: What I love about your show, particularly as a New Yorker, is you`re right there in the streets. You`re running up to people, as we saw. Half the people, they are potential contestants who want to talk to you. The other half seem to want to run away.

EICHNER: Oh, yes. A lot of people just run right past me, and then I run after them.

HAMMER: Let`s watch how that happened.

EICHNER: OK, great.

HAMMER: Roll that, Charles.


EICHNER: OK, guys. It`s Billy. I`ve got cash in hand, and I`m ready to give it away if I can find anyone who knows a damn thing. Let`s go.

Sir, for a dollar. Are you ready?


EICHNER: Name three Seven Dwarves, three of the Seven dwarfs. Go.


EICHNER: That`s one.


EICHNER: One more.


EICHNER: It`s yours. There you go! Take it!


HAMMER: You know...

EICHNER: It`s very sophisticated.

HAMMER: Sophisticated. But it`s dangerous, Billy. It`s New York City.

EICHNER: That`s true.

HAMMER: What`s the most extreme reaction that you`ve gotten that perhaps you`ve never actually been able to put on?

EICHNER: An old lady slapped me across the face. Just like really slapped me hard. Which I loved. Because I was like that`s a guarantee of another season.

HAMMER: Were you able to include that in one of the shows?

EICHNER: We were not, because she didn`t sign the release. But she was very mad at me.

HAMMER: I love it. You run up to them and you chase them down. You ask them something. Then somebody has to run after them to get them to sign a release.

But you`ve gotten stars to do wild things. Pink went through a lightning round of questions while you were suspended from a trapeze with here.


HAMMER: Rachel Dratch ran an obstacle course in Brooklyn.

What I`m going to do right now is I`m going to flip things around, break some celebrity news. I`ll give you a dollar if you can tell me what celebrity has turned down what when you asked.

EICHNER: The rapper Nas. Do you know Nas? He`s a rapper. He really did not like me. And he`s the only rapper to turn down the prize that I gave him, which was a bird cage. Because we made him play -- he`s like a hardcore rapper. We made him play a game called "Does Nas Know Anything about Cher?" Which is very me. But Nas did not get that joke.

HAMMER: Was he embarrassed by the idea that...

EICHNER: I think he was embarrassed by everything that was happening. Yes.

HAMMER: How much money have you actually spent? And does it come out of your own pocket?

EICHNER: My own pocket? No. No. It comes out of the deep pockets of Fuse.

HAMMER: Big-time production budget of fuse.

All right. Well, here`s your dollar.

EICHNER: Thank you.

HAMMER: Best of luck.

EICHNER: Thanks so much.

HAMMER: I`m pulling for you on Sunday and for all of your fellow nominees. It`s going to be great to see.

EICHNER: Good luck to you, as well.

HAMMER: Thank you very much.

Daytime TV`s biggest night just days away, all firing up at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. That`s this Sunday. I`ll be live on the red carpet. That`s where HLN`s Christi Paul and I will be interviewing the biggest stars, including Billy.

Then at 8 p.m., Robin Meade and "Good Morning America`s" Sam Champion will join me to host this year`s show. The only place to see the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards is right here on HLN.

And tonight I can`t wait. I`m one on one with celebrity chef Bobby Flay. His show, "Barbecue Addiction," also nominated for a Daytime Emmy.


HAMMER: You said you were at Food Network for 17 years.


HAMMER: What, did you start when you were 10?


HAMMER: How old are you?

FLAY: I`m 48.

HAMMER: Forty-eight?

FLAY: You say that because you`re surprised?

HAMMER: I am surprised. Young-looking guy. You know?

FLAY: You know, I`ve been working hard.


HAMMER: SHOWBIZ at the Daytime Emmys. I`m on location with the legendary chef Bobby Flay.

And get ready for a fascinating "SHOWBIZ Newsmakers Countdown." I`m taking you behind the scenes of the amazing new movie about the always over-the-top Liberace. The late star`s former lover, Scott Thorson, right here, spilling all the secrets about their 40-year age gap. But will he top our "SHOWBIZ Newsmakers Countdown"?




CHRISTINE MILIAN, ACTRESS: The best advice my dad`s ever given me was (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

DON CHEADLE, ACTOR: Just to really enjoy it all and know that fame is fleeting and be appreciative every day.


HAMMER: Right now "SHOWBIZ Parent Power. Don Cheadle and Christina Milian tell us the best advice they got from their dad.

It`s all part of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S tribute to dads everywhere. Just days before we celebrate Father`s Day.

Also celebrating the best of daytime TV this weekend during the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. I`m going to be hosting with the amazing Robin Meade, who of course, is also the host of HLN`s "MORNING EXPRESS."

Robin`s got a lot to celebrate this week. She is performing two of the original song nominees at the Daytime Emmys. And today she is releasing her second album. It is now out. Robin wrote seven songs for this album. The album`s called "Count on Me." I couldn`t wait to talk to her about it and find out how it all came together.

I gave this thing a listen. I`ve got to tell you, I think this album really has songs for every music lover.


ROBIN MEADE, HOST, "MORNING EXPRESS": I hope so. Because I think sometimes people will say, oh, it`s a country album or a rock album or this album. And suddenly you feel like you are included in that album or not, depending on what style of music you like.

This is characterized as a country genre album. However, I`m going to say that it borders on Americana or has a rootsy feel to it.

And I`ve also, in addition to writing the seven originals, there are a few covers on here, as a child of the `80s, that you are going to recognize, whether you`re a country fan or not. And I don`t want to ruin the surprise. But let`s just say that many country fans nowadays listened to rock in the `80s. And so I covered a couple of the songs that made them a little bluegrass-y.

HAMMER: I`m going to -- I`m going to ruin one surprise because I love that you did "True Colors." It`s one of my favorite songs of all time. I mean, come on.

MEADE: You know what? Perchance that Cyndi Lauper would be so huge right now. Winning a Tony earlier -- well, six Tonys earlier this week. And so we covered that and made it into a version that would be perfect for the Grand Ole Opry, which I performed that Saturday night. And they had such a great warm reception to a bluegrass version of "True Colors."

HAMMER: People love working with you. I know we`re going to hear with you Lee Brice on this album.


HAMMER: You worked with Sugarland`s Kristian Bush. How incredible is that?

You`ve been hanging in Nashville all the time. In all the time you`ve been out there or been involved with making up your two albums, have you come up with sort of that dream duet partner, whether in writing or in performing?

MEADE: Yes. I`m lucky because on this album, yes, there`s a collaboration with Lee Brice, who`s a platinum seller right now on country radio. And Keb Mo, who`s a blues artist. I got him to also write with me and appear on this album.

Kenny Loggins appears as part of the Blue Sky Riders singing backup. Kenny Loggins singing backup. Come on. I mean, that`s a dream right there.

Before the next -- the next album I still would love to sing with Bono, although I might melt right there. And Bonnie Raitt, I admire her and look up to her for her abilities. Let`s see. And my buddy Kenny Chesney. That`s pretty diverse.

HAMMER: I love the fact that you recorded with Kenny Loggins, though, because Robin, you are somebody who likes to live in the danger zone.

MEADE: I love it. I love it. It was all I could do not to break out with that "Top Gun" song in the studio.

HAMMER: So Robin, we`re going to have a great time this weekend at the Daytime Emmy Awards. Can`t wait to hang with you. We`re going to have so much fun hosting the show. And I`m dying to see what you`ll be wearing.

MEADE: I don`t know yet. But you, my dear, and our viewers who are fans of daytime television, you put a song in my heart. Aww.


HAMMER: It is easy to see why everyone loves Robin Meade. You`ve got to pick up her new album "Count on Me." It is in stores at Target today and also on iTunes.

And catch me and Robin on Sunday. We`re going to be at the Daytime Emmy Awards. I will kick things off with a live red carpet special at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Then on to the big show that kicks off at 8 p.m. Eastern right here on HLN.

We move now from Robin`s big hits to big buzz over Chewbacca. This is nuts. The star behind one of the most iconic "Star Wars" characters finding out that the force may not be with him. At least not in the airport.

HBO`s hit movie, "Behind the Candelabra," reveals the shocking story of the love affair between a 64-year-old Liberace and 16-year-old Scott Thorson, played in the film by Matt Damon. Now Scott himself right here revealing his stunning story to me. Tonight, did he really have plastic surgery to look like Liberace? Who`s today`s No. 1 SHOWBIZ newsmaker?




DOUGLAS: I want to be everything to you, Scott. I want to be father, brother, lover, best friend.

DAMON: I`ll do whatever you want.

DOUGLAS: I want you to make Scott look like this.


HAMMER: Right now the "SHOWBIZ Countdown," today`s top three "SHOWBIZ Newsmakers."

The man portrayed by Matt Damon in HBO`s hit movie "Behind the Candelabra" tells all about his love affair with Liberace. Scott Thorson is right here, revealing his stunning story to me. His plastic surgery to look like Liberace. His thoughts on Matt Damon`s portrayal of him. But will his outrageous story be topped by a flustered "Star Wars" icon?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had no choice. They arrived right before you did. I`m sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry, too.


HAMMER: So the star behind the iconic "Star Wars" character Chewbacca finds out the hard way that traveling with a lightsaber may get you in hot water at the airport. Did airport security go too far? What will we name today`s number one SHOWBIZ newsmaker? "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" continues right now.

Welcome back to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." Thank you so much for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer. I`m in Hollywood tonight. And right now we are kicking off our SHOWBIZ Countdown of today`s top three newsmakers. We begin at number three with the man portrayed by Matt Damon as Liberace`s secret lover in HBO`s hit movie "Behind the Candelabra."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to be everything to you, Scott. I want to be father, brother, lover, best friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ll do whatever you want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to make Scott look like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will make me feel so .


HAMMER: (inaudible) and that much buzzed about film is based on the powerful tell-all book "Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace." It`s written by Liberace`s ex-lover Scott Thorson. It chronicles Liberace`s secret life and the great extremes he took to keep everything under wraps. Scott joining me tonight from New York for this "SHOWBIZ Newsmaker" interview. Great having you here, Scott.


HAMMER: Wow. What an incredible story you`ve had to tell. And with the HBO film and your book you really did shed new light on your story. And I understand that the movie really in no way tells it all. But the thing is your story is not always flattering to you or quite frankly the late Liberace. So why did you want to put it all out there?

THORSON: Well, I think it`s a story that needed to be told. And we were just delighted -- I`m delighted in how it all is coming together. I think that the movie is pretty factual. It gets down to the truth of the story. And I think Mr. Weintraub did a wonderful job and Mr. Douglas and Damon and Soderbergh, I mean, boy, what a great cast and what a great bunch of producers and directors I`ve got. And it`s just - you know, it`s we`re just delighted. We`re overwhelmed. And as you know, I was just released from jail. Mr. Dennis Huff (ph) bailed me out at the bunny ranch. And here I sit. You know, it`s just amazing how it`s all come together.

HAMMER: Yeah, what a life you have led.


HAMMER: And it must have been such a relief to see the movie come together, so well, why to have Matt Damon portraying you. But let me just put it out there, Scott, because you know. I mean, it`s your life. In the movie you came across as somewhat of the bad guy, abusing drugs, stealing to fuel your habit.


HAMMER: Did you love Liberace, or was it really at that time all about the money and the fame and what it could all afford you?

THORSON: Well, OK, you`ve got to realize one thing. OK? Where my drug addiction started was with Liberace. I was just 16 years old. Liberace was 48 years my senior. Now, Liberace did drugs right along with me. Now, he`s the one that went to the plastic surgery. He`s the one that ordered the doctor to put me on the drugs. And this is how I started my drug addiction. Lee and I, we had a great relationship. We had some bad times, but we had more happy times.

HAMMER: OK. That`s fair enough. Although when we look at the movie, and if you read the book I know there are a lot of people out there shaking their heads saying, wow, there`s no way that some of the things that you wrote about or were portrayed in the movie actually happened in your life. But you say that`s the way it was. And one of the most remarkable parts, Scott, is you say Liberace paid for you to have plastic surgery to look like him. Do you ever ask yourself -- I think the question that so many people ask about that, what were you thinking?

THORSON: Well, you know, you have to realize my background, you know. I was in 17 foster homes. And then all of the sudden, you know, meet Liberace, thrown in with all this glamour, wealth, and fame. So I did anything to please Lee. Now, Lee did that for one reason. Liberace did that to throw the public and especially the press off because he didn`t want anybody to know about the love affair that we had going on. So he wanted -- he adopted me. He had my face changed. And he threw the press off by saying that I was his son.

HAMMER: Well, yeah. Certainly one way around all that. So I have to ask you in the end, though, do you think Liberace would have been OK with you telling the story even now?

THORSON: You never know.


HAMMER: And I guess we`ll never find out.

THORSON: I doubt. I think he`s shining down laughing at all this right now. And Lee was a great sport. So I think he might be laughing.


HAMMER: Laughing and sitting in front of a big glittery piano. All right, Scott Thorson. It`s great to have you here. Thank you so much.

THORSON: OK. Great. Thank you.

HAMMER: Scott`s book, the book is "Behind the Candelabra." It is also available in stores right now.

All right, let us move from a music legend to a big-screen icon to get to number 2 on tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Newsmaker" countdown. May the force be with you. Even at the airport. So actor Peter Mayhew created big buzz online after he tweeted these pictures of himself. He was detained at the Denver airport. If you don`t recognize the name, here`s a little bit of a hint.


[Chewbacca noises ]


HAMMER: There`s only one. Mayhew best known as the beloved sidekick Chewbacca from the "Star Wars" trilogy. He`s been using this custom-made lightsaber cane to get around because he has knee problems. And this morning on CNN, Peter Mayhew and his wife talked about why that cane is so important.


ANGIE MAYHEW: Our job is to see to it that people have a good time.

PETER MAYHEW: Yep. That`s what (INAUDIBLE) what we`re here for.

ANGIE MAYHEW: Yeah, if the Wookiee arrives in a foul mood, nobody`s going to have a good time, I promise.



HAMMER: Hey, look, don`t mess with the Wookiee. Joining me now from New York, Jenny Hutt, the host of the Sirius XM show "Just Jenny." With me in Hollywood, Hyla who is the host of "The Daily Buzz" on

So, guys, when "Star Wars" fans got this tweet from Mayhew and you know "Star Wars" fans are passionate, so right away, wow, they got into it, they started retweeting and ripping the TSA online. The TSA is telling news outlets today that, you know, the cane was heavy, it was unusual, they wanted to check it out. So they sent Chewy on his way in about five minutes after checking it out. In the end we have a true saber victory for Chewy.


HAMMER: Hyla, I begin with you. And to Mayhew`s point, is the message here, look, you don`t mess with the Wookiee, come on?

HYLA, Yeah. Exactly. I mean someone who defeated the galactic empire and had Han Solo as a right-hand man, he also rescued Yoda, not to mention that he`s over seven feet tall and he has this rabid twitter "Star Wars" audience that we talked about. But the TSA, you know, they`ve got a hard job. You know, first you have the pocket knives that were allowed, now they`re not allowed. You know, there`s no clear ruling on where lightsabers are. Maybe the "Star Trek" phasers is going to be an issue next time around.


HYLA: So I appreciate their due diligence on this because you don`t want to be on an airline with someone with a lightsaber, do you, A.J.?



HYLA: No, no. It could be very dangerous for sure. And the question is when you do play Chewbacca, do you drop that in the questioning? You know, do you say don`t you know who I am? Because when he was being detained, Mayhew did give the TSA a little nudge revealing his identity. This morning on CNN he and his wife talked about the TSA`s reaction.


ANGIE MAYHEW: But I will say at that point their attitude changed. And within a couple of minutes not only did they give Peter his cane back and clear it, but they asked us very specifically to be sure and tweet that the cane had been returned.


HAMMER: Okay. See, this is why we carry these devices with us. Because you get on there, you tweet a little something. It has incredible power. Perhaps not as much power as a lightsaber. But let me point out something. Just -- I was doing a little fact checking. I believe I have this right. I will get angry mail from "Star Wars" fans if I`m not. Chewbacca not being a Jedi knight. I don`t think he`s actually supposed to carry a lightsaber.


HAMMER: But Jenny - Jenny .


HUNT: I mean come on.

HAMMER: Are you with the TSA on this? You want - are they right to give them a pass in Santa Mona`s (inaudible)

HUNT: I`m thrilled they gave him a pass and sent him on his chewy way. And I get why they stopped him. They didn`t realize it. And now once they realized it, they did the right thing. And I`m pleased as punch that he went on Twitter and did what he did. I would have done the same thing had I been Chewbacca with a lightsaber.

HAMMER: Now, Hyla, help me out. Am I wrong about that? I do recall battles with Chewbacca and the lightsaber. I think he`s perfectly entitled as a - as a .

HYLA: You know, I`m more of a "Star Trek" guy. I`m more of a "Star Trek" guy, "Star Wars" is not my area of expertise. But if he`s not a Jedi, and he`s not supposed to have one he`s not supposed to have one and we can`t just bend the rules for any Wookiee or walkie that walks through the door.


HAMMER: Stop now, I`m getting angry tweets from "Star Wars" fans now. I don`t know - we have to end it, we`re getting in trouble.


HAMMER: All right, so - so here`s the thing. If Liberace`s ex- lover and Chewbacca are not number one on our newsmaker countdown tonight, what possibly could be? The answer to that question is coming right up. And just when you thought you`ve seen it all, there`s this


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A deer stuck in a bag. A deer stuck in a jar. A kitty stuck in a hole. This is the story of critters in over their heads.


HAMMER: What is going on here? It`s animals gone, uh, wild. What happens when animals get caught in awkward situations? We are here to show you. Comedy all-stars. Cars, coffee. These are the ingredients to a truly awesome new season of "Jerry Seinfeld excellent Web series.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not drinking coffee if you`re not drinking it black, don`t you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don`t think.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you like to monkey with it?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the most beautiful car in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this thing going to take off?


HAMMER: I love it. It`s our moment of SHOWBIZ Awesomeness you don`t want to miss. This is "SBT," "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" on HLN.


HAMMER: Welcome back. Tonight on the SHOWBIZ COUNTDOWN we are counting down tonight`s top three newsmakers. Coming in at number 3, Scott Thorson. Liberace`s former lover opens up to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT all about his secret life with the legendary performer. And at number two, iconic "Star Wars" actor Peter Mayhew speaks out about his battle with the TSA over a lightsaber cane. May the force be with you. That takes us to the big reveal. Who is number one on our countdown? Of tonight`s top three SHOWBIZ newsmakers? It is daytime Emmy Award nominee Bobby Flay, host of Food Network`s "Barbecue Addiction." Flay facing off in one of the most heated competitions at the daytime Emmys this year, competing for most outstanding culinary program. Well, I just spoke with him at his New York restaurant, Bar Americain. And I had to ask him what this Daytime Emmy nomination means to him.


HAMMER: What a great New York City establishment this has become.

BOBBY FLAY, BAR AMERICAIN: Yeah, Bar Americain has been here for eight years now and it`s really become, you know, a mainstay in Midtown.

HAMMER: That`s amazing. I mean it is a tough business and I don`t need to tell you that the fact you`ve been here for so long is great. So, Bobby, do you know the exact name of the category in which you are nominated?

FLAY: I believe it`s an outstanding culinary program.

HAMMER: Culinary? OK. Everybody listening? He said culinary.

FLAY: You say culinary?

HAMMER: Culinary or culinary.

FLAY: Right. I say culinary.

HAMMER: Can we go with that as the official?

FLAY: But I`m a high school dropout. So don`t go with me.



FLAY: I`m the last person to go with.

HAMMER: You`re also if nobody`s told you a very successful person in restaurant .

FLAY: In the culinary.

HAMMER: In the culinary business. So ..

FLAY: (inaudible)

HAMMER: No, no, well, congratulations on that. You won last year. But I know that doesn`t take away the excitement.

FLAY: Oh, no.

HAMMER: I mean there`s so many people that I`ve been speaking to who have gotten so many accolades throughout their careers, but for people who didn`t start out in TV I find that it`s a particularly exciting thing.

FLAY: Well, it certainly is. I mean and also - you also want to win for all the people that are involved in the show. You know how production is. I mean we`ve all seen you on TV, but there`s lots of people behind the scene who also deserve credit too. So I love that part of it as well. I think - I think you get to see the people who are behind the scenes actually making the show what it is as well. You know, I`ve done a lot of shows on Food network. You know, I`ve been there for 17 years. And this is I think my fourth outdoor cooking show. "Barbecue Addiction." and before that I had "grill it," "boy meets grill," and "grilling and chilling." And if you use the word "grill," I had a show named after it. "Barbecue Addiction," the latest show.

HAMMER: And also something I know you`re very passionate about. I`m a lover of the grill. I`m a lover of barbecue. Why do you love this show so much?

FLAY: Well, because I get so excited about the flavors and the aromas of this show. I know you can`t really actually smell and taste it when you`re watching TV. But that`s my job, to get you to think that you actually are tasting it and smelling, you know, what it smells like.

HAMMER: You take us behind the scenes for a moment .

FLAY: Sure.

HAMMER: If you (inaudible) What happens to all the food? Does the crew get a big feast when you`re done?

FLAY: Oh, totally. And you know, I cook -- I cook for real. I`m not cooking TV food. You know, as a chef, I mean, that`s the only way I know how to do things. So I cook through the breaks as well to make sure everything is seasoned well and tastes as good as it can possibly taste. And yeah, I mean my job is to make sure that the crew is happy. Because you know, they have the camera. So I want them to make me look good. You know, if I`m not feeding them well, you know, you never know what they can do with that lens.

HAMMER: That`s right.

FLAY: I promise I`ll feed you after, OK?

HAMMER: Exactly. Just making sure. You have the cookbooks. You have the food network show. TV host. All of these things. I`m going to answer my own question to you which is how do you balance it? But I imagine it`s all based on passion.

FLAY: It all sort of relates to each other. So it`s not like I am have my sort of arms in lots of different things. It`s all based on food because you`re right, that is my passion. But I just -- you know, sleep is, as they say, overrated .


FLAY: And I just go to work.


HAMMER: You just couldn`t tell how good it smelled there. My thanks to Bobby Flay. We, of course, wish him the best of luck on Sunday. There are five incredible daytime Emmy nominees for outstanding culinary program. But which will cook up the big win on Sunday? Going head to head this year, you have Bobby Flay`s "Barbecue Addiction." Also from the Food Network, "Best Thing I Ever Made." Food network`s Giada at home. The syndicated show "recipe rehab" and "Trisha`s Southern Kitchen," also from the Food Network. Don`t forget to meet me right here on HLN. The Daytime Emmy Awards happen on Sunday night. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S" live red carpet coverage will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. That`s followed by the big show, the 40th annual daytime Emmy Awards at 8:00 p.m.

Well, too bad there are no awards for getting stuck in awkward situations.


MOOS: A deer stuck in a bag. A deer stuck in a jar. A kitty stuck in a hole. This is the story of critters in over their heads.


HAMMER: Did you see this? It was a rough day in the animal kingdom. So how did these guys get out of these predicaments? Their wild stories are next. Plus, wait till you see what we name as our moment of "SHOWBIZ Awesomeness." This is "SBT," "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" on HLN.


HAMMER: Did you see this? Talk about your sticky situations. A deer with his head stuck in a Doritos bag. Another with his head caught in a jar. Even a kitty stuck in a hole. All these images surfaced on the very same day. What the heck`s going on in the animal kingdom? And how the heck did all of this go down? Well, here is CNN`s Jeanne Moos for "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" with the critters who lost their heads.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A deer stuck in a bag. A deer stuck in a jar. A kitty stuck in a hole. This is the story of critters in over their heads. In this case in a Doritos bag. A sheriff`s deputy on patrol spotted this deer at the side of the road after midnight down in the Florida Keys.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I suspect that the deer was just trying to get to that last Dorito in the bag.

MOOS: And this deer didn`t get this bag by regular Doritos. Judging from the color of the packaging, the green is a giveaway that the deer was hankering for chili lemon chips. The animal was passive as the deputy pulled off the bag and then it scampered away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can save all the lives in the world and nobody pays attention and then you remove a bag from the deer`s head and it`s all over the country.

MOOS: At least this deer in Minnesota could see. But it couldn`t eat or drink. It kept showing up in Janet Murphy`s yard with its head stuck in a plastic jar. Janet turned for help to an animal rescue organization called Wildwoods. They showed her how to use a catch pole. Sort of like a dog catcher uses. Janet managed to get the loop around the jar.

NANCY WOLFE, PRESIDENT, BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF WILDWOODS REHABILITATION: And the apparatus tightened up. The deer stood up, started jumping around, and it was a little bit of a rodeo.

MOOS: This struggle lasted a few minutes.

WOLFE: Eventually, she just gave it one hard tug and the jar came off the deer`s head.

MOOS: The deer seemed dazed after days without a drink and it headed for water. Is this what they mean by curiosity killed the cat? Don`t worry. In this case it wasn`t fatal. This kitty in Oregon was found with her head stuck in a hole under an air-conditioning unit.

KAREN BURNS, SHELTER MANAGER, HUMANE SOCIETY OF CENTRAL OREGON: When she was tranquilized and relaxed we were able to push her back through the hole. We had to jimmy a rope around her to kind of pull her down to a bigger hole.

MOOS: When they finally popped her out .


MOOS: She was uninjured. She`ll be put up for adoption. One lesson from these jarring images is that when people litter animals are left holding the bag. Even a bag of Doritos.


HAMMER: I`m just glad everything turned out OK. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." And now I`d like you to brew yourself a cup of coffee and start your motor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not drinking coffee if you`re not drinking it black, don`t you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don`t think.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you like to monkey with it?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the most beautiful car in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does this thing - going to take off?


HAMMER: Jerry Seinfeld back with the brand new season of his amazing Web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." I`m telling you, it`s more fun than a monkey. It`s your SHOWBIZ "Moment of Awesomeness." This is "SBT," "SHOWIBZ TONIGHT" on HLN.


HAMMER: Time for "SHOWBIZ Awesomeness where we name the most awesome story of the day. And tonight it is more of the Web show about nothing from the creator of TV`s show about nothing. We`ve got your very first look at the new season of Jerry Seinfeld`s "Comedians and Cars Getting Coffee." My favorite series on the Web. And this season another wild ride is in store with comedians like Chris Rock, and Don Rickles. Seth Meyers. Sarah Silverman`s even in this thing. And yeah, we`ve got some of Jerry`s amazingly hot wheels.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This car is no nonsense.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But are you in the mood for coffee?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s America. Of course I`ll have coffee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, that`s nice. That`s so nice.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I`m going to watch an old Jew eat a salad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m extremely cautious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, the car`s out of gas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a little toy whip. He`s whipping the baby.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want an orgasm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a face like a sock puppet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, did you actually say that line to your wife?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would advise against that as your counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make you nervous?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little, yeah.

HAMMER: Run. Run for your life, man. That is disgusting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I went through a terrible depression.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me. May I have the half and half?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of all the stories. Was it that much of an emergency?


HAMMER: Oh, boy. That`s just so brilliant, I can`t wait for season 2. It debuts next Thursday on "Comedians in Cars Getting

Next on "Dr. Drew on Call," former cop Brett Seacat just found guilty of murdering his wife. Did his own arrogance lead to the verdict? That starts right now.