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Oprah Book Club Choice a Fake?; Lindsay Lohan Claims She Never Confessed Bulimia; Postage Change Surprises Some; Ben Stein Talks about Famous "Ferris Bueller" Role
Aired January 10, 2006 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.
HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Oprah`s book club bombshell. She hyped the book "A Million Little Pieces" to millions of readers. Now, shattering allegations the gripping memoir may be a tall tale. Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the shocking, inside story of the war over "Pieces."
Plus, Colin Farrell`s unwanted exposure. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the tape all America will be talking about. He tried to stop a secret sex tape with a Playboy bunny from seeing the light of day. Tonight, how did this dare-devil encounter find it way onto the Net? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the tale of the tape.
Julia Roberts` rare appearance. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is there as the new mom steps back into the public eye. We`ll tell you why America is buzzing about America`s sweetheart, what surprises she`s got up her sleeve, and why being Julia seems to mean being unstoppable.
TERRENCE HOWARD, ACTOR: Hey, you guys. This is Terrence Howard. And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: Hi there. I`m Brooke Anderson live in Hollywood.
HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer live in New York City.
Lots to cover tonight, including a war of words that`s erupting between Lindsay Lohan and "Vanity Fair."
But we begin first with a simple question. Was Oprah scammed?
Tonight there are some shocking allegations that Oprah Winfrey and all of America was hoodwinked by the man who wrote the book everybody is reading right now, "A Million Little Pieces." Tonight, James Frey`s story is being shattered into a million pieces by critics who say he fabricated the book.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas has more from Hollywood -- Sibila.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A.J., Oprah`s choice of the book made it shoot straight to the top of almost every best-seller list. The book is Frey`s account of his drug and alcohol abuse and his tussles with the law.
Tonight, the author is coming under fire because there are shocking allegations his tale may be a tall one. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is all over the controversy that has all of America talking about it.
VARGAS (voice-over): His book is a best-seller, second only to Harry Potter. And since Oprah Winfrey picked "A Million Little Pieces" for her book of the month club, James Frey`s memoirs have sold over 3.5 million copies.
OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: "A Million Little Pieces" is an experience, and when you finally reluctantly turn the last page, you want to meet the man who lived to tell this tale.
VARGAS: It`s a book that Oprah Winfrey can`t get enough of. The latest in her book club, "A Million Little Pieces" has become one of the most popular books of the year.
WINFREY: At 23, James has no money, no job, no home and is wanted in three states.
VARGAS: It`s a dark tale of addiction to crack cocaine, alcohol and a deep criminal record.
WINFREY: At age 10, he was drinking alcohol. By 12, he`s doing drugs. From there, James spends almost every day the same, drunk and high on crack.
VARGAS: It`s a story that immediately drew scrutiny when it first hit shelves in 2003. How could such an incredible tale be true? Frey has consistently stood by the book.
JAMES FREY, AUTHOR, "A MILLION LITTLE PIECES": I didn`t invent anything. Everything I wrote about happened.
VARGAS: That`s what he told Matt Lauer on NBC`s "Today Show" back in 2003, and people believed him. But now, since his fame has skyrocketed from Oprah, that scrutiny has grown more intense.
And now, blockbuster revelations by the investigative web site SmokinGun.com.
ANDREW GOLDBERG, THESMOKINGGUN.COM: There`s been zero indication from anyone, anywhere, any record, anything, that he is being honest when he says this is my true story. Zero indication. Zero.
VARGAS: SmokingGun.com, a web site that specializes in finding documented proof behind big stories, says Frey is fibbing.
GOLDBERG: What we found was that his criminal past is, in many ways, puffed up and, in even more ways, fabricated totally. And major portions of the book are just made up.
VARGAS: Frey claims in his book that he had warrants for his arrest in three states. Smoking Gun decided to unearth court documents, mug shots and the like and see what they could dig up.
GOLDBERG: So then we went back and forth. You know, we talked to police over and over again. Nobody could find any record. There were no court records. That`s when he sort of said to us, "Look, I had my records expunged."
VARGAS: At the center of the controversy is an excerpt from the book where Frey, high on crack cocaine, gets in a huge scuffle with police officers, is arrested and does jail time. But SmokingGun.com got the actual police report, and they say that`s not at all what happened.
GOLDBERG: He was listed in the report as polite and cooperative.
VARGAS: But James Frey says he continues to stand by his book. He says, quote, "In an effort to be consistent with my policy of openness and transparency, I thought I should share it with the people who come to this web site and support me and my work. So let the haters hate. Let the doubters doubt. I stand by my book. And my life. And I won`t dignify this (expletive deleted) with any sort of further response."
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT hit the streets today to see whether all this controversy betrays the millions of people who have been buying "A Million Little Pieces."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It would be really upsetting. Like, I saw him interviewed on Oprah and I really liked -- like, he seemed like a nice guy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly, I don`t think that they`re true. I don`t see how it could have taken years for them to come out if they are true.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s upsetting. I think that the book was that much more powerful, because I thought it was real. But I still think it`s powerful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he`s right on. I don`t feel betrayed.
VARGAS: We reached out to Oprah today. So far, no comment. But Smoking Gun says she`s going to have to talk sometime.
GOLDBERG: It`s everywhere. And I don`t think that you can just ignore it if you`re Oprah Winfrey. I think you have to at some point either say, "I`m going to stand behind this book and I trusted this author, and you know, that`s where I`m going to go." Or you`re going to say, "Look, you know, I have doubts now, and we trusted this guy and I feel betrayed, as well."
VARGAS: James Frey is scheduled to break his silence tomorrow tonight on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE." And Oprah is scheduled to announce her next selection for her book club this coming Monday.
A.J., back to you.
HAMMER: Thanks very much, Sibila. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.
ANDERSON: Tonight, big, breaking news about Lindsay Lohan`s reported confession that she did, in fact, suffer from an eating disorder. Late today, the teen pop and movie star claimed she said no such thing.
The information is still coming in. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Adrianna Costa is live with the latest in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom. Adrianna, give us an update.
ADRIANNA COSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Brooke. Yes, a messy situation. First of all, let`s take you back to last week and the story that made headlines around the word.
Now, Lindsay Lohan did an interview with "Vanity Fair" magazine and talked all about the kinds of rumors that have been swirling around her. The 19-year-old pop and movie star admitted that she did once do drugs and reportedly the reason she got so thin was due to an eating disorder.
Now, "Vanity Fair" reported Lindsay admitted she suffered from bulimia but had kicked it now. However, late today, Lindsay lashed out at "Vanity Fair," denying that she had said that she ever had bulimia.
In a statement to "Teen People," Lohan said, quote, "The words that I gave to the writer for `Vanity Fair` were misused and misconstrued, and I`m appalled with the way it was done." Lohan had been interviewed by "Vanity Fair" contributing editor Evgenia Peretz, who spoke with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT when the article first came out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EVGENIA PERETZ, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "VANITY FAIR": She started to lose weight when she was in the hospital. She was hospitalized during the filming of "Herbie: Fully Loaded" and she lost about 15 pounds in the hospital. And then, when she got out of the hospital, she really liked the way she looked, and I think she felt OK, well, this is fun to be really thin.
But she definitely took it too far and she really talked about how she, you know, didn`t eat so much and certainly had bulimic episodes to the point that it got very scary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTA: However, late today, a spokeswoman for Lindsay Lohan told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that she never mentioned bulimia, and "Vanity Fair" tells us it`s sticking by its story and has the whole interview on tape. So this could get a little bit more interesting as the days go on, Brooke.
ANDERSON: It certainly looks like it.
COSTA: Yes, we`ll keep you posted. Back to you.
ANDERSON: All right. Thanks, Adrianna. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Adrianna Costa.
HAMMER: Well, whether you want to send a piece of fan mail or just pay a bill, the cost of having something signed, sealed and delivered just got a bit pricier. A stamp for a first class letter, now 39 cents instead of 37. But not everyone is remembering to ante up.
Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If the postal rate increase caught you by surprise, a measly two-cent stamp featuring a Navajo necklace could save your neck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got 200 of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need 45 cents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only eight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need 10, actually.
MOOS: We recall when the even lowlier one cent stamp was married to the 33 cent stamp a few postal increases ago. Not since that match up has there been such a rush on such a puny stamp.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I came here last night, the line was out the door.
MOOS: But for those who didn`t stand in line, who didn`t make it to the stamp machine...
(on camera) I need 200 two-cent stamps.
MOOS (voice-over): We took up our post next to a Manhattan mailbox.
(on camera) Hold on, hold on. Did you put the right postage?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
MOOS: Thirty-seven or 39? Oh, you need a stamp. Postage went up today. I`m going to be your good Samaritan.
(voice-over) Never has a two-cent gift been received with such appreciation.
(on camera) You`ve got the wrong postage. Don`t put that in there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, so do you have any stamps? Wow. Good thing I ran into you. You`re an angel right here. Thank you.
MOOS: I`m a sort of postal angel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It went up?
MOOS: It went up, yes. Just call me the stamp fairy.
(voice-over) Sure, charity is cheap for this stamp fairy. Two hundred two-cent stamps cost us a mere four bucks.
(on camera) No, that`s not enough. Here, I`m going to give you two cents. I`m with CNN, it`s OK. Don`t be afraid.
(voice-over) But many were afraid.
(on camera) Hold on, hold on, hold on. OK. It doesn`t -- I didn`t mean to scare you.
Careful. Do you have enough postage?
(voice-over) Would you mail a letter in a mailbox with a stamp fairy perched atop?
(on camera) Wait a minute. It won`t go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it will.
MOOS (voice-over): This desperate woman put two 37-cent stamps on her letter because she lacked the two-cent stamp.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I just did this because it needs to go today.
MOOS (on camera): Hold it, sir. Do you have the right postage on there? Do you need that extra two cents?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
MOOS: I can`t even give these things away.
(voice-over) Back in 1885, a two-cent stamp alone was all you needed to send a letter.
Some were so taken aback by the stamp fairy that they chose to ignore her.
(on camera) Ma`am? Are you sure you have the right postage? I`d be happy to give you some. No, but they`re going to send those back to you.
(voice-over) She`ll be seeing those envelopes again, marked...
ELVIS PRESLEY, MUSICIAN (singing): Return to sender.
MOOS: At least Elvis ended up on a stamp worth more than two cents.
HAMMER: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
Well, coming up, Colin Farrell is starring in a new video. This happens to be one role he doesn`t want you to see.
ANDERSON: And plus, the "Brokeback Mountain" backlash. Critic Gene Shalit has something else to say about "Brokeback Mountain" on the heels of his controversial comments.
Plus a Utah theater owner explains why he banned "Brokeback."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN STEIN, ACTOR: Bueller. Bueller.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: What do Ferris Bueller and Richard Nixon have in common? Well, it`s this guy, Ben Stein. The man who`s famous for taking role has taken on surprising roles of his own. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT talks to Ben Stein, live.
ANDERSON: But first, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." On TV`s "Night Court," Judge Harry Stone had a fanatical devotion to what classic crooner? Billy Eckstine, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Junior? Think about it, and we will be right back with your answer.
ANDERSON: So again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." On TV`s "Night Court," Judge Harry Stone had a fanatical devotion to what classic crooner? Billy Eckstine, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Junior? The answer is B, Mel Torme.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s only live entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer.
Tonight, an apology from Gene Shalit over his controversial comments on "Brokeback Mountain." The "Today Show" critic came under fire from gay rights groups for calling Jake Gyllenhaal`s character "a sexual predator."
Well, today, Shalit responded, saying, quote, "I regret any emotional hurt that may have resulted from my review."
Meanwhile, the Utah theater owner who banned "Brokeback" from his multiplex is speaking out. In a radio interview, Larry Miller, who also owns the Utah Jazz, tried to explain his decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY MILLER, UTAH THEATER OWNER: I think it`s something that I have to let the market speak to some degree and not consider myself, because I don`t think I`m qualified to be the community censor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: "Brokeback" star Heath Ledger is reportedly lashing out at news of the ban. According to an interview in Australia`s "Herald Sun" newspaper, Ledger says, quote, "Personally, I don`t think the movie is controversial, but I think maybe the Mormons in Utah do. I think it`s hilarious and very immature of a society."
Ledger`s rep tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that some of his comments in the review and in that interview were taken out of context.
Well, now we want to hear from you on this issue. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. "Brokeback Mountain", is it OK for theaters to ban it? If you`d like, go to the web to vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight or send us your e-mail at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We`ll read some of your thoughts later in the show.
ANDERSON: It is time now for a "SHOWBIZ Sitdown" with Ben Stein.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEIN: Bueller. Bueller.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Of course you remember Ben Stein playing the role of the most boring economics teacher ever in "Ferris Bueller`s Day Off." But Ben Stein, it turns out, has worn many other hats besides actor, including anyone, anyone? Former speechwriter for presidents Nixon and Ford, economist, attorney, screenwriter, author and he`s even been a game show host.
The 20th anniversary DVD edition of "Ferris Bueller`s Day Off" is out now. And live, here in Los Angeles, with quite an impressive resume, Ben Stein.
Good to see you.
STEIN: Hi. Honor to be here.
ANDERSON: It`s great to have you. Now walk me through it. How does someone go from a speech writer for presidents to being cast as one of the most famous characters in `80s teen comedy?
STEIN: Richard Nixon introduced me to a man named Bill Safire, who`s a "New York Times" columnist. He introduced me to a guy who`s an executive at Warner Brothers. He introduced me to a guy who`s a casting director. He introduced me to John Hughes. John Hughes and I are among the only Republicans in the picture business, and John Hughes put me in the movie.
I was just going to do it off camera, but the student extras laughed so hard when they heard my voice that he said do it on camera, improvise, something you know a lot about.
When I gave the lecture about supply side economics, I thought they were applauding. Everybody on the set applauded. I thought they were applauding because they had learned something about supply side economics. But they were applauding because they thought I was boring.
Well, I`m not really boring. I`m really very exciting. When I give speeches, people cry and laugh.
ANDERSON: You`re very funny. And bottom line, it pays to be connected, right?
STEIN: Connections are everything. They are everything. Human capital is everything.
ANDERSON: Well, let me ask you this. We`re in the thick of the confirmation hearings for Judge Samuel Alito. What do you think about him?
STEIN: Yes. Fellow Yale Law School graduate.
STEIN: I think he`s a great guy. I think he`ll make a great Supreme Court justice. And I don`t think the Democrats have any right to subject him to more rigorous questioning than they suggested -- subjected their own Clinton appointees to. And I predict he`ll get all the Republican votes and a few of the Democrats and he`ll sail through. And he`ll be a great justice.
ANDERSON: Your being a Republican in Hollywood, you`ve been very open about...
STEIN: It`s like being -- it`s like having two heads.
ANDERSON: How tough is it?
STEIN: It`s very tough. Extremely tough.
ANDERSON: You live here. You spend a lot of time here.
STEIN: People think I`m crazy. They think I`m pulling their leg. I say, "No, I really am Republican. I really love George Bush. I really think he`s a great leader. I loved Richard Nixon. I thought he was a great peace-maker." And they think I`m crazy, but we know it. We know it`s true.
ANDERSON: All right. Well, moving now, you were a game show host.
STEIN: Yes, we won seven Emmys.
ANDERSON: "Win Ben Stein`s Money."
STEIN: Won seven Emmys.
ANDERSON: Yes, you did. Now we want to have our own little game show.
STEIN: Go ahead.
ANDERSON: Little pop quiz here for "Ferris Bueller."
STEIN: Go ahead. OK.
ANDERSON: Are you ready? What type of car did Ferris borrow for his day off?
STEIN: Ferrari California.
ANDERSON: And it was red.
ANDERSON: Good. All right. One for one so far. OK, moving on, what two songs did Ferris perform in the Chicago parade?
STEIN: "Danke Schein" and "Shake it Up Baby."
ANDERSON: "Twist and Shout," wasn`t it?
STEIN: Shake it up baby, twist and shout.
ANDERSON: That`s right. Technically you got it right. Two for two.
OK, finally, finish this line for me. "In 1930, the Republican- controlled House of Representatives in an effort to alleviate the effects of the..."
STEIN: Anyone, anyone -- the Great -- anyone -- Depression, passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act which -- anyone -- raised, lowered -- anyone -- any way, I know. Believe me, I know it.
ANDERSON: You only had to give me a few words. You went on...
STEIN: I know. It was the best day of my life.
STEIN: The happiest day of my life. Everybody come to Hollywood, it`s great.
ANDERSON: And I`m sure that folks still recognize you for that role.
STEIN: Everywhere I go. I cannot go through an airport without 10 people saying, "Bueller, Bueller" to me.
ANDERSON: Well, Ben Stein, it`s been an honor to meet you.
STEIN: It`s an honor to be here.
ANDERSON: Thanks so much for being here. I appreciate it.
STEIN: The best teen movie ever.
ANDERSON: All right. It is, I agree.
You can pick up a copy of the "Ferris Bueller`s" 20th anniversary edition, "Bueller, Bueller edition." It is in stores now.
HAMMER: Time now for the "SHOWBIZ Guide," where, throughout the week, we help you decide where to best spend your dollars on movies, music, DVDs and more.
Tonight, in "People`s Picks and Pans," new music from "American Idol" runner-up Bo Bice and country albums from Ryan Adams and Joe Nichols. Joining us live in New York to tell us about them, is "People" magazine writer Anne Marie Cruz.
I promise not to quiz you on anything other than music. And let`s get to "American Idol" runner-up Bo Bice. He lost "American Idol," but he still got a recording contract. Let`s take a listen to "Vehicle." This comes from his debut album, "The Real Thing."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Anne Marie, "Idol" audiences clearly loved him. Is it a good album? Does it translate over?
ANNE MARIE CRUZ, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Well, you know, the energy that he brought to the show has been pumice stoned off because they kind of shoved him into the "Third Eye Blind" kind of Bon Jovi-esque rock style, and that`s not really him. He`s sort of more like really raw and throaty, over-emotive stuff.
He came through the "People" offices and performed "Drift Away" for us, the Dobie Gray song.
CRUZ: And it was just so fantastic to see him just kind of go at it. Here, they just take away that element.
HAMMER: That`s not the sound that made him on "Idol."
CRUZ: No, no.
HAMMER: OK. Let`s move on to a guy who`s known as a rocker. He`s actually more of a crooner, from what I understand, on his album, "29." Ryan Adams. A quick listen to "Blue Sky Blues."
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CRUZ: ... break up, I would stay very far away from this album because it is so heart-breaking. I mean, as usual he has a couple songs where if you listen it, I guarantee you will be weeping by the end. So I mean, it`s a fantastic album but warning to the sensitive people.
HAMMER: OK. And not the sound that we`re used to from him. Let`s move on to Joe Nichols. "Three" is his latest album. Is he, like, country`s next big, huge thing?
CRUZ: You know, if you like Kenny Chesney, you will love Joe Nichols. He`s got the novelty hit right now, "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off," which Kenny actually passed up on, but he made it into this really nice, Merle Haggard-y kind of jokey song.
And so yes, I think he`s going to take country to the traditional end and keep it going.
HAMMER: He`s on his way. And in case you missed that qualifier, the next big, huge thing.
Anne Marie Cruz, thank you very much for joining us with your insight tonight.
CRUZ: Thank you.
HAMMER: And of course, for more "Picks and Pans," you can grab your copy of "People" magazine, on newsstands now.
ANDERSON: Coming up, which star`s style has been described as "a cut- rate Rapunzel"? Well, Mr. Blackwell is out with his no-holds-barred look at Hollywood`s fashion flops.
HAMMER: Plus, we`ve got Julia Roberts` big night out. She trades "mommy talk" for "movie talk" and finds Hollywood is waiting with open arms. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the story of Julia`s jubilant comeback.
ANDERSON: And Colin Farrell stars in the upcoming film "The New World," but he`s concerned about the "nude world." A sex tape that he`s fought to keep under wraps has surfaced. We`ll have those details, coming up.
ANDERSON: All right. We all know Michael Chiklis as Detective Vic Mackey, the tough as nails cop from "The Shield." But is he ticklish? Ellen finds out on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show" in our "Talk of the Day."
ELLEN DEGENERES, TALK SHOW HOST: You`re not ticklish at all?
MICHAEL CHIKLIS, ACTOR: I am not.
DEGENERES: In no way?
CHIKLIS: In no way ticklish.
DEGENERES: Take off -- take off this shoe.
CHIKLIS: Are you serious?
CHIKLIS: All right. OK. I`ve got to go straight to...
DEGENERES: Will you take your socks off?
CHIKLIS: No, I have the ugliest Fred Flintstone feet in the history - - oh, my God.
DEGENERES: He wouldn`t take them off.
ANNOUNCER: The results are in. Chiklis, not ticklish.
HAMMER: I would have hit the floor in the first two seconds.
Well, coming up, a celebrity sighting of galactic proportion. Julia Roberts in a rare public appearance leaving even the stars star-struck.
ANDERSON: Plus, Nick and Jessica`s love nest has a new owner, and he`s no stranger to family squabbles. We`ll tell you who snapped up the former newlyweds` digs.
HAMMER: And the sex tape Colin Farrell didn`t want you to see is out. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got it. You`ll see it, coming up.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 31 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And you are watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.
A.J., a sex tape Colin Farrell made with an ex is now out. It`s public. It`s on the Internet. You may remember he fought legally to keep this thing under wraps, but to no avail. Coming up in the "Legal Lowdown," we`ll have the tape, and we`ll also find out how it became public and who could get in trouble for this.
HAMMER: He is not happy about it.
ANDERSON: No, he`s not.
HAMMER: Also on the way, it`s been over a year since Julia Roberts gave birth to her twins. Well, last night she made a rare public appearance to honor a friend. Of course, our cameras were there. We will show you what happened, coming up in just a few, as well.
But first, let`s get to tonight`s "Hot Headlines." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Adrianna Costa joining us once again, live in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom.
COSTA: And it is good to be here, A.J. I have to tell you.
It`s the night that fashion-challenged celebrities fear every year. Mr. Blackwell is out with his worst annual dressed women. For women -- here we go, people -- Jessica Simpson, number three on the list. Now, Mr. Blackwell says she looks like -- get this -- a cut-rate Rapunzel, slinging hash in a Vegas diner." His words, not ours.
Number two goes to Mary-Kate Olsen for what Blackwell calls "bag lady rags." And the number one worst-dressed woman -- drum roll, please -- Britney Spears, everyone. Blackwell says she looks like an over-the-hill Lolita. Ouch!
OK. I`m done with that.
Other Jessica Simpson news tonight, sort of a gentler variety, OK? The house that she shared with Nick Lachey is finally off the market. Actor Justin Berfield, who plays Reese on "Malcolm in the Middle," reportedly bought the house for an undisclosed price.
Heath Ledger is reportedly striking back at the Utah theater that banned "Brokeback Mountain." Ledger told Australia`s "Herald Sun" newspaper that he doesn`t think the movie is controversial at all, but, quote, "I think maybe the morons in Utah do." He says he thinks that the ban is both immature and hilarious. Ledger`s publicist says some of his comments were just taken out of context.
That is all we have for you guys tonight with your "Hot Headlines." A.J., back on over to you.
HAMMER: I would never come and correct you, Adrianna. Do you say "morons"?
HAMMER: Mormons is what Heath Ledger said. It`s OK.
COSTA: I am so sorry. Did I...
HAMMER: You have to go to sleep. You have a big day tomorrow.
COSTA: Listen, I was on my kick. I was on my kick. I was getting -- having so much fun with Mr. Blackwell and the whole thing. Excuse me, Mormon.
HAMMER: No problem. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Adrianna Costa. Now Adrianna has to go to bed because she has to get up early to be on for the entertainment reports, which you can catch every Monday through Friday, 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. on "ROBIN AND COMPANY," here on CNN Headline News.
Well, on the topic of "Brokeback Mountain," our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day" is: "Brokeback Mountain": Is it OK for theaters to ban it? We would like you to vote on it by going to CNN.com/showbiztonight. You can also write to us at showbiztonight@CNN.com. Your e-mails at 55 past the hour.
ANDERSON: Last night was a big night for Hollywood, as big time stars turned out for the Critics` Choice Awards. And arguably the biggest star there was the rarely-seen Julia Roberts. Even though she had no movies to promote or awards to win, the mother of two still stole the show. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas is in Hollywood with all the latest on the power of Julia.
VARGAS: Hey, Brooke.
Well, it`s rare we see Julia Roberts here in Hollywood these days. Still, there`s been lots and lots of talk today about Julia`s dazzling appearance last night in Santa Monica at the Critics` Choice Awards. Even though she stepped out of the Hollywood scene the raise her two kids, she`s still considered one of the most powerful women in Hollywood ever.
VARGAS (voice-over): Reese Witherspoon, Philip Seymour Hoffman...
ANG LEE, DIRECTOR: Thank you so much.
VARGAS: ... and the "Brokeback Mountain" crew were all big winners at last night`s Critics` Choice Awards. But it was a rare Julia Roberts appearance on stage that was clearly the highlight of the evening.
JULIA ROBERTS, ACTRESS: I can`t believe they asked me to do this, George. It is live television, so I can`t say much.
VARGAS: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was at the Critics` Choice Awards as Julia Roberts presented pal George Clooney with the Freedom Award. And we watched as she captivated the audience with the same poise and presence that has made her arguably the number-one star in Hollywood.
ROBERTS: Your talent, George, is giving a voice to us all and giving all of us hope and fortitude.
VARGAS: Julia and George became good friends while making "Ocean`s 11" and "12." But we haven`t seen much of Julia on screen or off since "Ocean`s 12" released.
ROBERTS: You`re doing recon work on our anniversary?
GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTRESS: Tess...
VARGAS: Pregnant while filming "Ocean`s 12," Julia took a hiatus from Hollywood to give birth to twins, Hazel and Phinnaeus -- now over a year old -- and to hang out with cameraman hubby, Danny Moder. But the break hasn`t dimmed her star. JD Heyman of "People" magazine told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Julia has power and staying power.
JD HEYMAN, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: You know, Julia Roberts is a star. There are very few people working in Hollywood who have star quality. They`re once-in-a-generation actors who have it. She happens to have it. If she could, you know, explain it or if I could explain it or sell it or, you know, market it to everybody and we could all have it, then, you know, we`d have a million Julia Robertses. But the point is, is that there is only one.
VARGAS: Julia is the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, still earning a staggering $20 million per film. "Hollywood Reporter" put Roberts at the top of its power list in 2005 for the fourth year in a row, even though she didn`t even make a movie last year.
HEYMAN: This is a woman who did not make a movie last year, who topped power lists, who is still in magazines, who can still sell magazines, who can still hold the public`s interest. Her irresistible appeal is going to continue for a long, long time.
ROBERTS: You`re talking 24 hours a day. It`s going to cost you.
VARGAS: It`s hard to forget 1990`s "Pretty Woman." The role skyrocketed her to fame. And the rest was cinematic history.
ROBERTS: I`ve got moves you`ve never seen.
VARGAS: Best known and loved for romantic comedies...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re a lawyer?
ROBERTS: Hell, no. I hate lawyers. I just work for them.
VARGAS: It was 2000`s "Erin Brockovich" that brought her Oscar gold and also made her the first actress to cross the $20 million salary line.
ROBERTS: What`s missing from tonight?
VARGAS: But after more than 15 years in film and the challenge of motherhood, Julia`s taking on a new challenge: Broadway. She`ll make her debut in Richard Greenberg`s "Three Days of Rain," which opens in New York this spring. Expect big crowds.
HEYMAN: This will be a buzz event for the New York theater season. I think that everybody will be talking about this performance. It`ll be much-watched. This is a big deal. And I think she`s taking it very seriously. She wants to do a great job, and I`m sure she will.
VARGAS: And I`m sure critics will have lots to say about Julia on stage. Preview performances begin at the end of March, and "Three Days of Rain" opens April 19th. It`s 12-week engagement ends June 18th.
Brooke, back to you.
ANDERSON: She`s headed back to work. All right, Sibila. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas, thanks so much.
HAMMER: Well, in tonight`s "Showbiz Showcase," everyone, of course, knows "American Idol." A new movie is poking a little fun at the show. The movie is called "American Dreamz," with a "z." It has an all-star cast in it. And if you look carefully, you might just think Hugh Grant was playing Simon Cowell. Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore and Willem Dafoe also appear in the film. Let`s take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s my guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m kind of busy here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doing what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reading the papers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What for? We got people to do that for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you know that there are two kinds of Iraqistanis? I mean, actually three.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you mean Sunnis and Shiites and Kurds?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You knew about this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) I beg you. Don`t make me do it. Don`t make me do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone`s ready for you, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. Terrific. OK. Let`s go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome back, America. I am so delighted to be back with another exciting season of "American Dreamz." We have some amazing dreamers who are going to perform for you tonight. Only one will become America`s newest sensation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have been selected to perform on the show.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop screaming. You`re going to have come out all over again, because we didn`t get it on camera.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m bored, bored, bored of these contestants. I want some variety. I want an Arab.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Luck be a lady tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president hasn`t made a public appearance for the last three weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are rumors he`s gone bonkers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going on a publicity blitz to show the world that you still have the common touch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is going to be a guest judge on "American Dreamz."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you sure that`s dignified?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello. It`s Omar at home, please? You must get to the championship round. When you are on stage with the president, you will have smuggled in an explosive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if I don`t make it to the final round?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Folks don`t call me the Torturer because I don`t like to torture people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s time we broke up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your life is here. My life is...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s weird. One can become quite detached from reality when one`s famous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a real pleasure to meet you. I`m a big fan of your work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheeto?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m good, thanks.
HAMMER: Well, for better or for worse, it has the potential to be a smash. "American Dreamz" will be in theaters on April 14th.
ANDERSON: A sex tape of Colin Farrell has surfaced online. But it could put some folks in a compromising legal position. That`s coming up next in the "Legal Lowdown."
HAMMER: Plus, quirky comedies rule. Most of the actors nominated for Golden Globes in TV comedies share an unconventional link. And we`re going to connect the dots for you. It`s coming up in our "Gold Rush" series.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s only live entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer.
And now, our Golden Globes coverage, an in-depth look at the best performance by an actor in a comedy television series category. Now, this is the year of the quirky men. Battling it out in this category, Zach Braff from "Scrubs," Larry David from "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Jason Lee from "My Name is Earl," Charlie Sheen from "Two and a Half Men," and Steve Carell from "The Office."
Now, with the exception of Charlie Sheen, all these guys play quirky characters in offbeat shows.
HAMMER (voice-over): From neurotic to idiotic, sophomoric and moronic, four of the five men nominated in the best actor in a TV comedy series star in quirky comedies. Maybe the quirkiest of them all, Larry David in HBO`s "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
LARRY DAVID, ACTOR: Is that a problem for you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me.
DAVID: Yes, that`s exactly right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could you be a little bit nicer about it and just go by?
DAVID: A little bit nicer? You`re making this big sigh. I`m just trying to get by.
HAMMER: Larry plays himself, a neurotic, big-time television producer in an off-kilter comedy about his private and often bland life.
STEVE CARELL, ACTOR: So you`ve come to the master for guidance? Is this what you`re saying, grasshopper?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, you called me in here.
HAMMER: That`s Steve Carell in NBC`s "The Office." Carell plays Michael Scott, the pompous and deluded boss of a paper products company in Scranton. Carell came to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and gave me some insight into his character.
He`s like a big doofus and everybody has one of these guys in their office.
CARELL: Well, they say that, if you don`t know one of these guys, then you are one of these guys.
HAMMER: You are that guy, right.
Jason Lee has received rave reviews for his starring role in NBC`s freshman comedy "My Name is Earl."
WHITNEY PASTOREK, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": I think the minute they stuck that mustache on him, everybody knew that Jason Lee was going to be a star.
HAMMER: Lee plays Earl, a hapless crook who has an epiphany after winning a small fortune in the lottery. Determined to change his karma, he sets out to right all the wrong he`s inflicted on people.
JASON LEE, ACTOR: Do good things, and good things happen to you. Do bad things, it will come back to haunt you.
HAMMER: And then, there`s Zach Braff. He plays the lovable and fresh-faced intern doctor, J.D. Dorian, on "Scrubs." He`s trying to make a career at a hospital full of unpredictable staffers and patients.
ZACH BRAFF, ACTOR: (INAUDIBLE) on three. One, two, three. First, do no harm!
HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, getting the answers on why these quirky men have become leading men.
PASTOREK: It gives both viewers and critics a chance to feel like they`re in on some kind of inside joke. You feel like you`re kind of part of something.
MARY MURPHY, "TV GUIDE": The off-beat sitcoms not only have a cult following, but they`re smart, they`re hilariously funny, and they have tapped into the psyche of America, which is what we`ve been missing in comedies for the last decade.
HAMMER: Still, critical praise doesn`t always translate into strong numbers. Take a look at "Scrubs." The show just returned to TV, after being bumped from NBC`s regular fall lineup because of not-so-great ratings.
MURPHY: It got bumped because of ratings. And they bring it back because the writing`s so good and the acting is so good.
HAMMER: So far, "Scrubs" has aired twice, averaging between seven and eight million viewers an episode. That`s far below the 12 million that "My Name is Earl" brings in each week. "Earl" now anchors NBC`s all-important Thursday night.
PASTOREK: People have been really been attracted to its sort of offbeat, white-trash charm.
HAMMER: It`s in the same slot that "Cheers" and "Seinfeld" called home. "The Office" now follows "Earl" on Thursday nights, a move critics and executives hope will bring more viewers to the show.
PASTOREK: Steve Carell has really taken off, not just as a leading man in "The Office," but obviously a leading man in movies.
HAMMER: Carell has also been in "Anchorman" with Will Ferrell. He also had one of this past summer`s biggest hits, with "The 40-year-old Virgin"...
CARELL: No, Kelly Clarkson!
HAMMER: ... which was a recent number-one DVD. This is a trend we`re seeing with almost all the nominees in the male comedy category.
MURPHY: It is definitely a trend this year for movie stars to be on the small screen. Look at Charlie Sheen. Look at Jason Lee, Steve Carell, Zach Braff. They`re just -- they`re movie stars who are doing TV.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you really retarded?
MURPHY: It`s completely accepted now. Everyone`s doing it. It`s always going to be this way from now on.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP (Singing): Afternoon delight...
HAMMER: Well, as far as predictions go, it`s going to be tough. Mary Murphy from "TV Guide" is putting her bet on Jason Lee from "My Name is Earl." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will have live Golden Globes coverage next Monday.
ANDERSON: It is time now for the "Legal Lowdown." And this is a look at what`s going on in the world of entertainment legal news.
Tonight, the Colin Farrell sex tape is available on the Internet. Three years ago, the actor and "Playboy" playmate Nicole Narain made a 15- minute sex tape. They promised each other they`d keep it under lock and key. But the playmate reportedly tried to sell the x-rated tape of the a- list star. So he sued to keep it from seeing the light of day and wanted copies of the tape given back.
But wouldn`t you know it, tonight, the tape made its way online. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has it. Joining us live from Hollywood, investigative journalist Pat Lalama.
Pat, what is going on here? Wasn`t there a court injunction to prevent this tape from being released?
PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Oh, right you are. But there are ways around this. Let me quickly explain what happened. Last July, an L.A. superior court judge says no one who`s named in this lawsuit shall release this tape. That includes a company called ICG, which has a Web site called malecelebrities.com. That includes a certain broker who wanted to peddle the tape. And that, of course, included the woman who had sex with Colin Farrell.
All right. So be it. But guess what? It ended up on the Internet anyway. Now, here`s the deal. Here`s the big mystery. It`s the whodunit.
I spoke with the company. They said, "Hey, we didn`t do it. It`s not in our interest to do it. We wanted to make tons, millions of money, when it was legitimate to do it. Nicole didn`t do it because we`re paying her money right now to promise to give it to us later."
So who released the tape? Remember, by law, if it just happened to drop in someone else`s hands who isn`t in that lawsuit and they put it on the Internet, they are not liable. So this remains a mystery tonight.
ANDERSON: Well, how can it be found out who released this thing? Is there some sort of Internet CSI that has to happen here?
LALAMA: Well, you know what? Herein lies the problem in all the sex tape cases I`ve covered. It`s the same story. By the time you try to track it down -- for instance, if you went on to that Web site and you found it, you could trace the Web site to a certain name and number. I think it was somewhere down in Florida.
But the information is fraudulent. Anybody can buy a certain amount of time, make a certain amount of money, and get the heck off the Internet. My understanding is now it`s really hard to find, that it`s not there anymore.
So now we go back to -- by the way, you know, we go back to court on January 20th on this matter to see if the judge will lift the temporary injunction.
ANDERSON: Well, Pat, what about the people who download this thing?
LALAMA: No problem. You can do that. You know, the court presumes that you don`t know whether there`s any injunction on this. I mean, and that includes a person who would put it on the Internet who wasn`t aware that there was an injunction.
They`re really -- they don`t really go after those people. The people who could be in trouble are the people, like I said, named in that suit, but how are you going to prove that they may have leaked the tape? It`s really interesting. But meanwhile, you know, who doesn`t like it, and that`s Colin Farrell.
ANDERSON: It could be tough to prove. All right. Pat Lalama, thank you so much for your insight. We appreciate it.
LALAMA: My pleasure.
ANDERSON: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT got word minutes ago that the Web site selling the download of the Colin Farrell sex tape was no longer available, and now we know why. We just received a statement from Farrell`s representative saying, quote, "A Web site attempting to distribute an unauthorized tape of Colin Farrell was shut down today. Mr. Farrell will take legal action against anyone who tries to distribute this tape."
Stay with us. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
Now, throughout the show, we have been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." And it is this. "Brokeback Mountain": Is it OK for theaters to ban it? The vote so far: 31 percent of you say, yes, it is; 69 percent of you say, no, it isn`t.
Some of the e-mails we`ve received tonight. Evida from Connecticut writes, "If you are offended by the movie, guess what? You have the option to not pay $10 dollars to watch it."
Bertha from Texas says, "Theaters have the right to ban `Brokeback Mountain.`" She writes, "Thank God someone is making a stand for what they believe in and standing up to Hollywood."
Keep voting at CNN.com/showbiztonight.
HAMMER: Well, movie theaters have marquees, so you know what`s going on, and we have one here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Time for the "Showbiz Marquee." Showbiz Marquee Guy, take it away.
MARQUEE GUY: Tomorrow, keeping up with the Jones. Star Jones- Reynolds on her new book, her new look, her marriage, "The View," and the wedding everyone was talking about. We`re seeing Star, tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
Also tomorrow, Jessica Simpson isn`t chicken, or is that tuna? She`s back. Her first big public appearance since she went to Splitsville with Nick Lachey. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there. Jessica Simpson`s big comeback, tomorrow.
This is the Marquee Guy, safe and sound in Marqueeville, just north of Splitsville, just south of Marquee De Ville (ph).
HAMMER: Now, can you imagine being Jessica Simpson having to do press tomorrow? Do you think anybody`s going to ask her about her and Nick?
ANDERSON: Some people might ask. And you know, she is opening the show tonight for the People`s Choice Award, A.J., performing live, so we will wait and see how that goes.
That is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson.
HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer. CNN Headline News continues next.