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Gun Culture in the NFL?; Battle of the Baby Bumps, Burning Questions for Paula Deen; Chased by Giraffe

Aired July 1, 2013 - 23:59   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Tonight on the SHOWBIZ countdown, SHOWBIZ justice shockers. Including Jamie Foxx`s Trayvon T-shirt at the BET Awards.


JAMIE FOXX, ACTOR: I got a chance to meet Trayvon`s mom and father on the -- on the red carpet with my daughter who`s 19. Anyone out there who`s black, white, red or brown, should be able to have their kids alive.


HAMMER: Jamie Foxx makes a powerful public show of support for Trayvon Martin. And his message for George Zimmerman`s family, too.

Plus the burning Paula Deen questions countdown. The great Paula Deen and Alec Baldwin debate tonight. So why is Alec getting a pass for his shocking gay slurs while Paula Deen keeps paying the price for her racially charged remarks.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT starts right now.

Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer and tonight in the SHOWBIZ countdown we`ve got the top three SHOWBIZ justice shockers that are breaking today. We`re kicking off the countdown with number three. It`s the great Zimmerman debate. Stretching from the courtroom in Sanford, Florida, where George Zimmerman is on trial, all the way to Hollywood tonight.

Gripping testimonies seen today during HLN`s live daily broadcast of the trial of George Zimmerman who of course is charged with second-degree murder for shooting teenager Trayvon Martin, a shooting that so many claimed was racially motivated.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is bringing you these dramatic show of support for Trayvon and his family by arguable one of the biggest stars in the world, Jamie Foxx. Look at that T-shirt that he was wearing, with Trayvon`s image on it. This was last night while he was walking the red carpet at the BET Awards. And you`ve got to watch what he told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


FOXX: I got a chance to meet Trayvon`s mom and father on the -- on the red carpet with my daughter who`s 19. We shared something that was special as parents. And so I said, I`m going to wear this shirt, not for the left, not for the right, not for any agenda except for our kids. Your heart breaks for Trayvon Martin and his family. Your heart also breaks for George Zimmerman`s family.


HAMMER: Wow, I mean, that is so interesting to me. Jamie Foxx saying he feels for both families there.

Alex Ferrer is the host of TV`s "Judge Alex Show." He`s with us from Sanford, Florida, tonight.

Always great to have you here, Judge. And I know being a long-time judge, you`ve presided over so many criminal trials where the families on both sides are there every day. I have to wonder if it`s even possible that the jury in this case is feeling equally sympathetic for Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman`s families, kind of in a way that Jamie Foxx does.

JUDGE ALEX FERRER, HOST, "JUDGE ALEX": It`s certainly possible, A.J. In fact, it may very well be warranted in this case as it was in many cases that I handle. What a lot of people don`t realize is families suffer sometimes much more than the defendants themselves. The defendants often think of themselves but not of the repercussions.

I`ve had women and children who were evicted from their homes when the father, the house -- head of household was sent to prison. And they end up suffering along with them. So you have to feel sorry for the families who are left behind regardless of what the -- what the defendant did. I think -- I think that Jamie Foxx is 100 percent right on this one.

HAMMER: Yes, if you step back from it, I mean, this is just a tough, tough case on so many different levels and so many different ways. I want to go to actress and TV personality Sheryl Lee Ralph. She`s in Hollywood. Always got something to say.

And Sheryl, I know you`re also watching this trial very closely right here on HLN. So I`m really curious, are you feeling what Jamie Foxx just told us? Does your heart break for both families in some way?

SHERYL LEE RALPH, ACTRESS/TV PERSONALITY: How can it not? And I think that it was wonderfully human and brave of Jamie to say exactly what he said. I feel for both sides. I have a teenage child. We all want our children to be able to be safe out there in the world. And I am holding his family up, but at the same time I am not forgetting what the other side might be going through. And we all look for justice.

That`s what we`re all thinking. That`s what we`re all feeling. And I love that he had the guts to come right out and say it just the way he said it.

HAMMER: Yes, and the truth is, people do pay attention to what Jamie Foxx is saying.


HAMMER: And may not be thinking about it in the same way and now maybe they are. And while Jamie Foxx is calling for justice, some of the friends of George Zimmerman, you`ve got to see who is leading the charge here. George Zimmerman`s neighbor, Frankie Taaffe, has been making the most noise about this. He just appeared on HLN`s "DR. DREW ON CALL" and you`ve got to watch what he told Dr. Drew`s "Behavior Bureau." He`s trying to justify the shooting here.


FRANK TAAFFE, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FRIEND: George is on his way out to Target. To pick up lunch items. To make lunch that week. And lo and behold, he sees Trayvon Martin up in my house on private property. Then we move forward.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are we saying about young black males? What are we saying -- Frank, address the question. What are we saying? Are you lumping them all together?

TAAFFE: You know what, Mark? It had a tendency to be all black males that were committing these burglaries so I`m not lumping all black males. Just particularly the ones that were robbing my neighborhood.


HAMMER: OK. I have to say, Taaffe obviously walking a very fine line there with these comments, Judge Alex. Are you buying his argument?

FERRER: Well, I understand what he`s trying to say but here`s the problem. I mean, let`s turn it around and say that it was white males breaking into the neighborhood. I imagine Mr. Taaffe would not like that everybody lumps him into the category. Sees him walking down the street and immediately profiles him. So I understand his concern that he feels the burglaries are being done by a particular group.

But especially if you`re a white male and you are part of that category and now imagine you`re your whole life you`ve kind of been treated as if you`re part of that category, that`s why you have to be very, very sensitive and careful about that kind of profiling, and that`s why it`s not tolerated.

HAMMER: Yes. A really good way of looking at that. And then there`s this. This really struck me. It`s what so many are calling a brand new shocker from a member of George Zimmerman`s defense team. It`s the daughter of Zimmerman`s attorney Don West, yes, the very same guy who made that bad "knock-knock, who`s there" joke during his opening arguments, so she posted this Instagram photo, if we could put it up, there it is. Showing the family enjoying ice cream after West wrapped up a day in court.

But it`s really in the description below the picture that`s got everybody buzzing today. Look at what it says. "We beat stupidity. Celebration cones. Dad killed it."

Wow, I mean, poor wording to say the least by West`s daughter there. But Sheryl, I`m with all the people who think that Don West needs to address this. I think he actually needs to apologize. This was just stupid.

RALPH: Not only does he need to apologize, he needs to apologize for that bad "knock-knock joke" to begin with. And this Instagram he needs to apologize for that, too. It was so offensive I didn`t think it was real.

HAMMER: Right.

RALPH: I thought somebody was trying to punk them.

HAMMER: Yes. I mean, it just looks goofy. It looks silly and like something they would make up.


HAMMER: Now listen, as the accusations in the Zimmerman trial kept on flying today, I`ve got to get to news of another SHOWBIZ justice shocker. This is about Michael Jackson.

At number two on our SHOWBIZ countdown a bombshell new report that Jackson molested some two dozen boys over a period of 15 years and paid as much as $34 million to cover it up. Now this is in the British paper "Sunday People." They claimed they have seen files that offer -- that were offered up by a private detective who once worked with Jackson`s private investigator.

Well, listen, no one from the Jackson camp is commenting on this at all. And this -- in so many ways this is so highly suspect to me.

I mean, Judge Alex, we`re talking about two dozen boys, millions of dollars in this report, who knows how many dozens of lawyers, investigators, you know, family members and not to mention one of the most recognizable figures in the world, all involved here. That doesn`t compute to me. It sounds completely farfetched that no one would have peeped a word about this or leak anything before now.

FERRER: That actually is very amazing, A.J. that, you know, there`s that saying, the only way to keep a secret with two -- between two people is if one of them is dead. I am surprised that so many knew about this and we only heard just occasionally a rumor about it.

I think most people are not shocked at hearing this news. What I would like to see is I`d like to see those types of settlements outlawed, where you cannot legally buy silence a criminal offense, a felony of that nature, and in that way there won`t be any of this, you know, quid pro quo, I`ll pay you money and never mind the fact that we destroyed your child`s life.

HAMMER: Now, Judge Alex, from a legal standpoint, I mean, I`m sure the Jackson family is outraged that this is happening yet again. They`ve been through this before. Is it best that they leave this lie at the moment or should they be going after anybody involved with putting this report out there?

FERRER: Well, I`m not sure they`re going to be able to let it lie. I mean, they may go after the people if there -- if there are settlement agreements, they may go after them to try to get a -- if there really were settlement agreements that bought silence to try to get their money back, but that does more bad P.R. than just letting it go. But these people are already talking. It`s starting to circulate.

I doubt it`s all of a sudden it`s going to snuff itself out. We`re probably going to hear a lot more details and a lot more of this to come.


FERRER: And some of the comments they made about mothers who knew were horrendous.

HAMMER: But, quickly, Sheryl, the whole thing just sounds so farfetched, doesn`t it?

RALPH: The whole thing sounds so farfetched. And just like the judge said, there`s a saying in Jamaica that says, dead man can`t chat, meaning dead men have no voice.

HAMMER: Yes. A shame in this case, but I think, you know, this is one of those things I do not want to rehash at this point.

This takes us to our number one SHOWBIZ justice shocker in the countdown. I`ve got that big reveal coming up in just a moment.

Judge Alex, Sheryl Lee Ralph, I need you both to stay right where you are. Please.

And I`ve got another must-see SHOWBIZ countdown. It`s heading your way. We have burning Paula Deen questions tonight.


PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: I live my life the way I believe. And like I said, if you`ve never committed a sin, please pick up that rock, pick up that boulder, and hit me as hard as you can.


HAMMER: OK. So is it fair that Paula is getting vilified for admitting that she once used a racial slur while Alec Baldwin seems to be getting away with a brand-new homophobic Twitter rant. Which burning Paula Deen question is going to top our countdown?

Plus Jessica Simpson`s baby boy has just arrived. Well, I`ve got a special edition of SHOWBIZ "Quick Hits" not to be missed. Battle of the baby bumps. Will Jess beat Kim K to the punch in the battle for the first baby pic?



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And tonight in the SHOWBIZ countdown, we are counting down today`s top three justice shockers. And now I have for you the big reveal. Up number one, it`s another NFL star arrested. I mean, will this ever end?

First, of course, it was New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez being charged with murder. Now Indianapolis Colts safety Joe Lefeged has just been arrested on gun charges. Cops say he was carrying a firearm without a license.

Now listen to this. Twenty-seven NFL players have now been arrested since the Super Bowl. Yes, I said, 27. What in the world is going on here? Is there a gun culture that no one wants to talk about?

Well, CNN`s Jason Carroll investigates for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Aaron Hernandez is the latest NFL player caught up in a gun-related crime but certainly not the first. December of 2012 Kansas City Chief linebacker Jovan Belcher shoots his girlfriend then takes his own life. The incident put NBC sportscaster Bob Costas squarely at the center of the gun debate.

BOB COSTAS, NBC SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It`s infinitely more likely that something bad will happen if you`re armed than that something good will happen.

CARROLL: 2009, former New York Giant Plaxico Burress serves jail time after pleading guilty to a weapon charge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a media amplification factor here when a player like Plaxico Burress shoots himself in the leg and it gets, you know, in the newspaper and on television for days. And it doesn`t do that for a regular person.

CARROLL: How many players in the NFL actually own firearms? Statistics are anecdotal. The league doesn`t keep numbers, but players and sports analysts we spoke to estimate the number near 60 percent compared to roughly 45 percent of the general population, according to the National Rifle Association.

THOMAS JONES, FORMER NFL RUNNING BACK: You can say there`s a gun culture in any, you know, group of people, you know, I mean there could be a gun culture, you know, people working at CNN.

CARROLL: Former NFL running back Thomas Jones says he and many other former and current players legally own guns for protection.

JONES: Unfortunately people will try to take advantage of you in any way they possibly can. I mean, like I said, I`m not a gun advocate, but I`m a life advocate, I`ll say that.

CARROLL: Jones points to the incident involving Washington Redskins star safety Sean Taylor. In 2007, intruders shot and killed Taylor in his Miami home.

CHRIS JOHNSON, BALTIMORE RAVENS CORNER BACK: If he would have had any type of protection in his home, he could have pretty much defended himself.

CARROLL: Chris Johnson is a Baltimore Ravens corner back. Gun violence has touched him personally. His sister killed by gunfire, her boyfriend charged with her murder.

JOHNSON: I took the extra step to go and get my concealed handgun because the way the world is starting to turn, a lot of people, you know, are using guns for the wrong reason.

CARROLL: The union representing NFL players set up a gun safety course, knowing a sizable number in the ranks own guns. Players like Cleveland Brown safety T.J. Ward says he does not own a gun. He was 17, he lost a friend and high school teammate Terrence Kelly to gun violence.

(On camera): Have you ever had a conversation with another player about guns?

T.J. WARD, CLEVELAND BROWN SAFETY: Yes, there`s been plenty of conversations.

CARROLL (voice-over): Ward says gun ownership in the NFL may go beyond the need for protection.

WARD: I mean, if you`re trained to live a certain way your whole life, that training is not going to stop. People that act grown up in a certain environment or bad environment, you know, you have the same friends, you have the same people you hang out with, and it`s hard to kick someone you`ve known or a group of people you`ve known your whole life just -- you know, because you`re in NFL now.

CARROLL: Even to this day, Ward`s mother still worries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every day it concerns me. I know my son doesn`t have weapons, but again, it`s not him, it`s the other people that carries the weapons.

CARROLL (on camera): It should be noted that an overwhelming majority of those who do own guns in the NFL do so without ever having a run-in with the law. The NFL commissioner declined our request for an interview for this story. But a spokesman did say when it comes to any crimes, gun related or not, committed by NFL players, he said the average arrest rate for NFL players is consistently lower than the general population.


HAMMER: It is a pretty big deal. That was CNN`s Jason Carroll. And I want to bring back Judge Alex Ferrer who`s with me from Sanford, Florida. In Hollywood, the always delightful Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Judge Alex, I mean, you look at this. It seems like there are too many players taking the wrong turn here and with numbers like this you`ve got to wonder if the NFL does need to step up. Do something. Make some kind of dramatic statement about here. Get control over this.

FERRER: Well, I see two -- I see two points here, A.J. One is, of course, they are celebrities and they are well-paid celebrities, and they`re also rather massive in size. So if somebody, an assailant is going to try to take them, they`re not likely to choose hand to hand combat with them. So I do recognize a need for them to protect themselves more than others.

And by the way, this is football. If -- I`m not so surprised about it. If you told me the badminton club had a lot of gun violence, I`d be a little surprised, but football is a very violent sport. If you`ve ever heard what happens at the bottom of the pile, of a football pile, with broken fingers and eye gouging and all that, frankly if they had guns in the pile, we`d see shootings in the bottom of that pile.

So with a violent sport like that, it`s not so surprising to me that you have a higher incidence than you do in the other areas.

HAMMER: Yes. Really interesting insight. Thank you so much, Judge. Sheryl, thank you as well. Great having you both here tonight.

And now I need for you to get ready for another amazing SHOWBIZ Countdown. We have burning Paula Deen question. So what would the real-life Olivia Pope do to save Paula Deen`s empire?


KERRY WASHINGTON, ACTRESS, "OLIVIA POPE": I am very good at what I do. I am better at it than anybody else. It`s not arrogance, that`s fact and I`m definitely better at it than you and your boys at the White House. You need me if you`re going to survive this.


HAMMER: Yes, he`s a great idea. What if the brilliant character from ABC`s "Scandal" could help Paula Deen in real life?

Plus you will not believe the real-life connection between the hit TV show and Paula Dee. I am showing that to you, coming up next. But before I get to that number one burning Paul Deen`s questions. Here`s another burning question. What`s this giraffe doing?

Yes. That`s a mild-manner giraffe. The gentle giant of the Safari world, right? Go on the attack here. I have got the whole caught on tape insanity. You have got to see this. The shocking two-yon close encounter in SHOWBIZ Gone Wild animals.

Plus what did you see. Well, we have named tonight as our moment of SHOWBIZ Awesomeness.



And we all love the fictional fixer on "Scandal." But now Paula Deen has hired the woman who actually inspired Olivia Pope. What can she do to keep Paula from losing everything?

Plus we`ve got a special edition of SHOWBIZ "Quick Hits" coming up. The battle of the baby bumps. So Jessica Simpson`s baby boy is here. Is her baby`s unconventional name possibly better than baby North West?



HAMMER: Now our special edition of SHOWBIZ "Quick Hits." Battle of the baby bumps. Tonight Jessica Simpson pops. Of course Jess just gave birth to a brand new baby boy so now Jessica has her little tyke Ace Newt Johnson. Yes, that`s his name. Kim Kardashian, of course, has North West, and now we`re all just waiting around for Duchess Catherine`s big day. So if you`re getting a bit worried that the battle of the baby bumps is nearly over, well, never fear, my friend, I can tell you that it is just getting under way.

Let`s get to tonight`s special SHOWBIZ "Quick Hits." This is where we zip through the burning questions in 30 seconds or less.

Maggie Furlong is the West Coast editor of HuffPost TV, she`s in Hollywood tonight.

So, Maggie, we don`t have a second to spare here, getting right to our question number one. It`s the battle for the best baby name. Kim Kardashian names her boy North West. Jessica, Ace Knute.

Thirty second, Maggie, which name is better? Why?

MAGGIE FURLONG, HUFFPOST TV WEST COAST EDITOR: It`s actually Ace Knute, which makes me think it`s not actually so cute. I think the K is not silent. It`s a very Kardashian move on Jessica`s part but it doesn`t quite work. You have to give it to North West. That`s a brand that people can get behind. I feel like the opportunities for promotion other brands, Northwest Airlines, bring it. Money everywhere for North West. That is hands down the better baby name.

HAMMER: I just think it`s so much more fun to say Knute, which is why I will continue to say Ace Knute until I get some angry e-mail from Jessica.


And of course we`re still waiting for Duchess Catherine`s big day. You want to take a little guess of what she`s going to name her baby. I`m thinking, to compete with this, it will have to be something like, I don`t know, liquid salt. How do you like that?

FURLONG: Yes, absolutely, very regal, very royal. I am predicting that we`ll have a trifecta. I think it will be a girl. I really do believe -- everyone`s kind of guessing, and we don`t really know for sure yet, but I think, obviously, that Diana has to be a name that`s in the running --


FURLONG: -- for Prince William and his first baby. I think Diana Elizabeth would have a nice ring to it and it`ll be a good honor for the whole family.

HAMMER: I think it would be perfect and I think it would be very normal, which would be very refreshing.

Let`s get right to our next "Quick Hits" question.


HAMMER: In the battle of the baby bumps. Who will release their baby pic first? Jessica or Kim K? Putting up the clock, Maggie, 30 seconds, who`s going to do it?

FURLONG: You know, Jessica got $800,000 from "People" magazine with her first baby, Maxwell Drew, but she also was known to kind of want to share things on Instagram and on Twitter. Kim has been a little more reserved. Not tweeting as much lately. I think they`re planning something big. I`m surprised we haven`t seen North West already. But I definitely think Kim is going to want to get ahead of this, and get the big paycheck and get that baby on a magazine cover first.

HAMMER: Yes, I think --

FURLONG: For sure.

HAMMER: I think most people would agree with you. All right. Well, we can pretty much say for sure that Kate won`t personally be profiting from her first baby pictures. But we can`t say that about Kim and Jessica as you know because there is a fortune to be made. Who will get more money for the first baby pic, Kim or Jess? Thirty seconds.


FURLONG: Do I have any -- 30 -- Kim, done. Out. It has to be Kim Kardashian. Again Jessica got $800,000 from "People" magazine. And "People" is actually known for giving the biggest baby picture paychecks. The Kardashians have the relationship with "Us Weekly." They don`t pay as much but it`s the Kardashians. So Kris is behind it, managing something. If Kanye has anything to say about it, she`s going to get at least seven figures.


FURLONG: I`m very curious to see how high it will go.

HAMMER: The Kardashian cash register with the K will be ringing for sure.

Maggie, thank you very much.

And I am firing up a must-see SHOWBIZ countdown of burning Paula Deen questions tonight including this burning question. Why does Alec Baldwin get a pass on his brand-new Twitter rant that`s being called homophobic when -- yet Paula Deen continuing to lose millions? Will that question top the SHOWBIZ countdown?

Plus SHOWBIZ gone wild. Animals. All right. Don`t adjust your set. That is a giraffe attacking a group of tourists. I get the whole bizarre rampage caught on tape. I`ll show you why this gentle giant flew into a 30-mile-an-hour rage.



HAMMER: Right now the SHOWBIZ countdown, today`s big burning Paula Deen questions. Tonight Alec Baldwin enters the Paula Deen meltdown mega story. How does his brand new homophobic Twitter rant compare to Paula`s racist slurs? So why is Alex getting a pass while Paula`s cooking empire crumbles.

Plus Paula turns to the woman who inspired ABC`s hit show "Scandal" which has us asking what would "Scandal`s" Olivia Pope do?


WASHINGTON: If I`m very good at what I do. I am better at it than anybody else. That`s not arrogance. That`s a fact. And I am definitely better at it than you and your boys at the White House. You need me if you`re going to survive this.


HAMMER: Can Olivia Pope save Paula Deen? Which Paula Deen will top our SHOWBIZ Countdown.

Tonight forget about the man-eating lion. It`s the leaf-eating giraffes that you really need to work about. The shocking caught on tape. "Giraffe Attack." You have got to see. It`s SHOWBIZ gone wild over animals.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues right now.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer and we are boiling down the SHOWBIZ countdown to today`s top three burning Paula Deen questions. Now Paula Deen`s food empire seems like toast, sponsors bailing left and right after racial slurs were revealed. So why in the world is it that Alec Baldwin seems to be getting a pass for his seeming homophobic rant on Twitter. And this happened right after Alec and his wife Hilaria were at James Gandolfini`s funeral.

A reporter from Britain`s "Daily Mail" accused Alec`s wife of tweeting about her wedding anniversary and a TV appearance during the service. Well, Alec went off on the reporter. Here`s what he tweeted. "I`m going to find you, George Stark. You toxic little queen. And I`m going to expletive you up. If I put my foot up your, expletive, George Stark, but I`m sure you`d dig it too much."

Well, with that we start the SHOWBIZ Countdown of the day`s burning Paula Deen questions with number three. Why does Alec Baldwin seem to get a pass and Paula Deen gets skewered?

Let`s ask actress and TV personality Sheryl Lee Ralph, who`s in Hollywood tonight.

So, Sheryl, Alec apologized to the gay and lesbian and transgender advocacy group GLAD, and as we know Paula has apologized for using the N word. The thing is, and I just don`t get it, she`s lost more than a dozen endorsements worth millions of dollars. Alec seems to be untouched at this point. I mean, I didn`t see Capital One`s commercials, you know, the ones that are very funny, they feature Alec, getting pulled today.

I didn`t see that happening at all. So how do you explain this? It doesn`t make sense to me.

RALPH: I don`t know if I can possibly, truly explain it all. Except for the fact that Alec works for Capital. And we all know they love cavemen and Alec might just fit that bill. I`m sure he swings Hilaria around by that ponytail of hers, but the hard part for Miss Dean is the fact that she`s used the N word not one or two times, she loves a good plantation wedding, and she -- we saw and heard her say that my friend is as black as that chalkboard.

And in fact, if you put him up in front of it, you would not be able to tell him from the chalkboard.

Paula, we do not believe you are a card-carrying racist. Girl, just say out loud, I am sorry. They are bringing you back and the pig candy, Paula. Come on now.

HAMMER: Well, you know, these are obviously two very, very difficult situations.

Let me go to Marvet Britto, Marvet, I mean, you are a publicist who`s represented some of the biggest stars in the world. Marvet, by the way, also the president and CEO of the Britto Agency. So how do you explain this? Why does it seem that Alec is getting off here certainly compared to Paula Deen.

MARVET BRITTO, PUBLICIST: I think a large part of it is that we`re becoming desensitized to Alec Baldwin`s bad boy behavior. We`re not surprised when we see yet another infraction, insult or a mishap happen around Alec Baldwin and his brand.

In fact his empire is now bow being built around his mishap. He`s made such light of all his infractions that has become a big part of his DNA. Unlike Paula Deen`s infraction, which , no slurs should ever be accepted. However, it has become accepted in Alec Baldwin`s case and become a big part of the fabric of who he has become.

HAMMER: Yes, that was so much of the debate that I was seeing online today that it`s more about who made the offense than what the offense necessarily was. We kind of have come to expect it, Sheryl, in a way, from Alec, at least, you know, seen him go off on a rant. Not so surprising.

RALPH: It`s not so surprising. Remember what he said to his own daughter, and the way that he said it, and we all heard it. So he -- I mean, nothing is off-topic for Alec Baldwin --


RALPH: -- to go off on.

HAMMER: Well, I have to say, it is just stunning, when you just step back and look at how much Paula Deen has lost here. I mean, wow, check out these numbers, "Forbes" magazine estimates that Paula Deen made $17 million last year from her endorsement deals, the restaurants and of course her Food Network shows. Since her inward deposition disaster, well, she`s been fired by the Food Network, she`d been dropped by Target, she`s been dropped by Wal-Mart, and the Home Depot. And at least six other companies have said bye y`all to Paula.

That brings us to number two on our SHOWBIZ countdown of today`s burning Paula Deen questions. Is Deen really done? Well, maybe not because think about it, Paula is hardly the first celebrity to flame out after a crushing scandal.

Here`s CNN`s Christine Romans for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, ANCHOR, CNN`s YOUR MONEY (voice-over): Martha Stewart went to prison for lying about a stock sale.


ROMANS: She is. Last year, her company did nearly $200 million in revenues.

NFL star Michael Vick also did time for bankrolling a dogfighting ring. Post-prison he became an ambassador against animal cruelty.

MICHAEL VICK, NFL STAR: I encourage you to love your -- your animals or whatever you -- whatever animal you have, whether it`s a dog, a cat, it`s a reptile, you know, if it`s a horse.

ROMANS: Today he`s got an NFL contract worth $100 million.

Golfer Tiger Woods survived an infidelity scandal to regain the world`s number one ranking. And yes, sportscaster Marv Albert gradually rebuilt his career following an embarrassing sex scandal that ended with a misdemeanor assault plea.

But such comebacks are not guaranteed. Cycling legend Lance Armstrong fell from grace following a doping scandal. A confession to Oprah wasn`t enough.

OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: Yes or no, did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?


ROMANS: The scandal cost him millions in endorsement deals, forced him to step down from the charity he founded. But did Paula Deen cross an unforgivable line because her comments were about race?

Sports commentator Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder was fired by CBS in 1988 for this.

JIMMY SNYDER, FORMER SPORTS COMMENTATOR: The black is a better athlete to begin with because he`s been bred to be that way.

ROMANS: Mel Gibson`s career had suffered since racist rants were caught on tape. Then there`s Don Imus, the broadcaster`s offensive comments about the Rutgers women basketball team cost him his radio and television show. But a few months later he was back on the airwaves. Gibson, Snyder and Imus all apologized for their remarks. But will remorse save Deen?

In a tearful "Today" show appearance she insisted she is not racist. And she got biblical.

DEEN: If there`s anyone out there that has never said something they wished that they could take back, if you`re out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me.


HAMMER: CNN`s Christine Romans for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, bringing up an interesting question there, Marvet. Did Paula Deen cross such an unforgivable line with her racist comments that she can never re-claim her empire?

BRITTO: Well, as a brand strategist, I don`t believe that anyone is out of reach of returning and recalibrating their brand, and Paula Deen included. I think the difference, though, particularly the way her against athletes and those who have made racial slurs is that Paula Deen is yet to apologize. And I think that`s a big part of it.

The African-American community should not be underestimated when it comes to the lucrative buying power that we have. And I think that has to be respected. And we have yet to see Paula be transparent and honest, yet in her interview she talked about the pain her friends were going through and the pain that her grandson was going through yet she never said, I`m sorry, to the African-American community whose southern roots have been deeply impacted by her use of the word.

HAMMER: What do you think about that, Sheryl? Is that perhaps a reason why may be she won`t every be able to rise again?

RALPH: You know something? Just like the South, I am sure she might rise again, but that Marvett Britto is one smart woman and she has hit the on -- hit the nail on the head.

Like I said, just say you`re sorry, Paula. We do not believe that you are a card-carrying racist but you have grown up in a time and things have changed now. Say you`re sorry, let us move on.

HAMMER: All right. Marvet and Sheryl, stay right there, we are moments away from the number one burning Paula Deen question on the SHOWBIZ Countdown. What would Olivia Pope do?


POPE: I am very good at what I do, I am better at it than anybody else. It`s not arrogance, that`s fact. And I am definitely better at it than you and your boys at the White House. You need me if you`re going to survive this.


HAMMER: Yes, here`s a great idea. What if the brilliant character from ABC`s "Scandal" could help Paula Deen in real life? Plus you will not believe the real-life connection between the hit TV show and Paula Deen. I am showing that to you coming up next.

But before I get to that number one burning Paula Deen question, here`s another burning question -- what`s this giraffe doing?

Yes, that`s a mild-mannered giraffe, the gentle giant of the Safari world, right? Going on the attack here. I have got the whole caught on tape insanity. You have got to see the shocking two-ton close encounter? In SHOWBIZ "Gone Wild Animals."

Plus wait until you see what we have named tonight as our moment of SHOWBIZ Awesomeness.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, and tonight on the SHOWBIZ countdown, we are here to count down today`s top three burning Paula Deen questions. Here`s where we are so far. Number three, Alec Baldwin apologizes for gay slurs that he tweeted about a reporter, so why in the world is Alex get a pass and Paula Deen gets vilified for using the N word.

Number two, is Paula Deen really done? From Martha Stewart`s Tiger Woods. Think about it. Lots of stars have rebounded from shocking scandals. Sometimes they return to the limelight even bigger than ever.

Well, tonight there`s revealing evidence that Paula may be able to do the same.

That takes you to number one in our SHOWBIZ countdown of the burning Pamela Deen questions tonight. What would "Scandal`s" Olivia Pope do? I`m thinking it might go down something like this.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a look on your face.

WASHINGTON: Because you are wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am not wrong.

WASHINGTON: I am very good at what I do. I even better at it than anybody else. It`s not arrogance, that`s fact and I am definitely better at it than you and your boys at the White House.


HAMMER: That is the incredible Kerry Washington. It`s such a great show. ABC`s Hit "Scandal." Well, in a -- you can`t make this up twist of faith. Paula Deen actually just hired crisis manager Judy Smith. Now Judy Smith is the inspiration for the Olivia Pope character. So it begs the question, what would Olivia Pope, the fictional fixer, do for the queen of food, Paula Deen?

Let me bring in Maggie Furlong who`s in Hollywood tonight. She`s a West Coast editor for HuffPost TV.

Maggie, I mean, come on, how do you ignore this stuff? What do you think Olivia Pope would do in this case?

FURLONG: You know, it`s one of those things where if you watch Paula Deen`s supposed apology on the "Today" show, the one where she never actually said, I`m sorry, you could just see people pulling their hair out. If she had a publicist that was controlling anything, it was not going the way that they planned. You know, she was crying about certain things but not really, definitely saying, I`m sorry.

I feel like Olivia Pope would get in there and said, you have to own this. We have to own the situation. And that`s what she does every week on the show and that`s what we want to see Paula Deen do. You have to control the spin that`s happening around this disaster.


FURLONG: And so far she hasn`t really done it.

HAMMER: Yes, Olivia Pope wouldn`t be having any of the behavior we`ve seen so far because on "Scandal," we see the fact that this woman never beats around the bush. She tackles a crisis head on with the truth just goes for it. I mean --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know what you`re used to dealing with, Miss Hope. We`re just normal people.

WASHINGTON: Bill, the press is accusing your wife of having an affair with one of the most polarizing political figures right now so normal is over. Normal ended hours ago.


HAMMER: . Yes, well, as we know normal for Paula Deen ended when the deposition about her racist comments surfaced.

Marvet Britto is here. She`s kind of like Olivia Pope, except she never had an affair with the president. She is however the president and CEO of the Britto Agency here in New York. She`s handled some of the biggest celebrity crises ever.

So, Marvet, I got to know from your vantage point, doing this kind of work, what would Olivia Pope say is Paula Deen`s new normal?

BRITTO: I would imagine that Olivia Pop would say that her new normal has to be rooted in the two pillars that allows for anyone to have a successful comeback. And it`s the two pillars most important in a crisis campaign. And that is, transparency and truth.

I would imagine that Olivia Pope would look forensically for those two things particularly from her client. We haven`t seen that yet from Paula Deen. So we need to see truthfulness from Paula Deen. Ownership and transparency. We need to be clear on what took place.

For any strategist, in order for us to crack the campaign, we have to have an arrogance knowing that when we start the battle we`re not going to step on any unnecessary landmine. So that`s why truth is paramount in having a successful comeback. And I don`t know that we`ve seen that yet from Paula Deen but hopefully with Judy`s guidance we`ll be able to unearth what really took place.

That`s the only way that Paula Deen will able to successfully recalibrate her brand from this tragedy.

HAMMER: Yes, I mean, you know it better than most people, Marvet. It`s all about spin control and that is something that Olivia Pope is huge on obviously and she`s also huge on big drama. In fact, I was watching as you mentioned a moment ago, Maggie, that Paula Deen interview with Matt Lauer on the "Today" show and it made me think that if Olivia were advising her, the might have told her, you know, that whole bold biblical challenger to her critics avoid that.


DEEN: If there`s anyone out there that has never said something that they wished they could take back, if you are out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me. Please, I want to meet you.


HAMMER: OK. Maggie, do I have that wrong? I mean, do you think that Olivia Pope would have actually encouraged that kind of talk? Or would she say, you know what, forget the scripture and your critics, and as you said earlier, just own your mistake?

FURLONG: Yes, leave God out of it, own your mistake. I feel like, A, that felt so rehearsed. And I know that Paula asked for a couple of extra days and kind of postponed that "Today" show interview, but it showed. She definitely had one in there telling her cry, you have to be crying, you have to show kind of remorse, you have to make people feel like everyone has this mistake. That is absolutely the wrong way to do it and I think Judy Smith will turn it around. Olivia Pope certainly would.

You need to own what you did, but you also need to make any sincere -- you know, any crying feel sincere. Any emotion, any apology, and that felt very rehearsed, very forced. And I think people saw right through it.

HAMMER: So, Marvet, I`ve got to ask you, from one professional to another, looking at your colleague in the business who`s now taking on this case, the woman who inspired Olivia Pope`s character? is she going to be able to pull this off? Is it going to work?

BRITTO: A lot of that will depend on Paula Deen`s willingness again to be transparent and to be honest. You know, we really don`t need to hear what everyone else has done.


BRITTO: And this isn`t about what -- how other folks would be measured. And I do believe that Judy will step in and push Paula Deen to the truth. We have to get Paula to the place of truth and to the place of ownership.


BRITTO: And we all -- you know, we`re talking about this as if it`s easy for celebrities to do.

HAMMER: We`ll see what happens. I`d actually like to see Carey Washington take it on.

Maggie, Marvet, thank you both.

All right. From those burning Paula Deen questions to these tourists` burning desire to get away from a giraffe on a rampage.

Don`t worry, no people, no animals were harmed in making this video. But you`ve got to see why this leaf-loving giraffe is going on the attack. Showbiz gone wild over animals.

And what until you see what we name as our Moment of Showbiz Awesomeness. This is SBT, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.


HAMMER: All right. You`ve got to check out this incredible video. It`s a giraffe is chasing a group of tourists on an African Safari. Now when you`re on the safari, yes, you might fear being faced by a lion or charged by an elephant, but you probably wouldn`t think you`re sticking your neck out when it comes to giraffes, right?

CNN`s Jeanne Moos reports on a chase that seems a bit like dinosaur de ja vu.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Don`t look now. But something`s following us. Step on it or we`ll be neck and neck with a giraffe.

The guy who describes shooting this video says they were on an African Safari following a wedding when a giraffe started chasing their jeep. Chased it three miles. Remind you of anything? Say a tyrannosaurus rex?


MOOS: Forget "Jurassic Park," welcome to "Giraffic Park." As the giraffe chase went viral, the comparison was irresistible.

Now the T-Rex is terrifying. But a giraffe? Someone posted, "Why is she panicking? What`s it going to do?" Obviously he hasn`t seen Animal Planet`s "Untamed and Uncut."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a shocking display of animal-on-animal brutality.

MOOS (on camera): It`s called necking. There is nothing romantic about it. It`s just how male giraffes fight using their necks as clubs.

(Voice-over): Fortunately this giraffe didn`t try to neck with the tourists. When they yelled and the park ranger beat on the jeep, the giraffe finally stopped.

(On camera): Of course there was the usual Internet squabble over how the video was shot. This versus this.

(Voice-over): "Say no to vertical videos" was met with, "Actually if your subject is very tall like, let`s say, a giraffe, it`s quite acceptable."

Both the "Jurassic" and the giraffic chase scenes had happy endings.

BLUM: You think they`ll have that on the tour?

MOOS: In no time some YouTuber put the sound track from one over the other.

GOLDBLUM: Come on, come on. We`ve got to get out of here. We`ve got to get out of here. Now. Now. Right now. Let`s go.

MOOS: If you`re ever chased by a giraffe, you know what to tell the driver.

GOLDBLUM: Must go faster.

MOOS: Faster than a giraffe`s top speed of about 35 miles per hour.


HAMMER: Look out for the duress. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moss for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT> Well, we move on now to a legendary moment with an R&B legend, Charlie Wilson getting a little help from his friend at the BET Awards.

The great Farrell, Snoop Lion, Justice Timberlake in a star filled performance which brought down the house at the BET awards. The whole groove shaking thing in tonight`s moments of SHOWBIZ awesomeness.

This is SBT, SHOWBIZ tonight on HLN.


HAMMER: It is time for our SHOWBIZ awesomeness. This is when I revealed the most awesome story of the day. And tonight, I`m telling you, you can`t get any more star power than this if you tried.

R&B legend Charlie Wilson bringing down the house with his amazing voice at the BET Awards from Los Angeles. But that just wasn`t enough for the crowd there at the Nokia Theater. Wilson got a visit and some help from Snoop Lion, Farrell and Justin Timberlake.

This is one of the most incredible local tributes I have seen in years, and it was all to celebrate Charlie Wilson`s four decades of R&B power. Look at this.


Wow, it sounded good. Charlie Wilson received BET`s Lifetime Achievement Award. I think that was the night`s top moment.

Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you so much for watching. I`m AJ Hammer. Watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and this week at a special time. Midnight Eastern and 9:00 p.m. Pacific. HLN continues right now.