Skip to main content
Search
Services


 

Return to Transcripts main page

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Bruce Willis Suing Paparazzi for Slander; Nicole Kidman Shares Beer and Chats with Paparazzi; Screech Selling T-Shirts to save his House; "Uncovered: The Hidden Lives of Miss USA"; "America`s Most Wanted" Profiled Criminal Captured; Michael Jackson Sued

Aired June 20, 2006 - 23:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Psychic detectives taking on cold cases. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And why Nicole Kidman is handing out beer to the paparazzi. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, caught on tape. A woman captures incredible scenes on video. Illegal immigrants crossing the border right into her front yard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t think anybody would believe it unless they could see it.

HAMMER: Tonight, the woman whose dream house turned into a nightmare. And why the nightmare is now a movie.

Also caught on tape, Beyonce ambushed by animal rights activists. She thought she was doing a favor for fans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m just saying we`re animal lovers.

HAMMER: But wait until you see what happened next. Tonight, the furor over fur that left Beyonce speechless.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Hi there, I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer in New York getting ready to see an ambush in the making. The target, Grammy Award winning singer, Beyonce Knowles.

ANDERSON: It really is an unbelievable story, A.J. and we`ve got the video that tells and shows it all. Here`s the setting, Beyonce Knowles shows up for dinner with fans, but it`s all a setup.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): It began as a dinner between a celebrity and her fans, but the meal at a trendy New York restaurant quickly became hard for Beyonce Knowles to stomach.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I say something that might be a little uncomfortable?

ANDERSON: Beyonce thought she was with a couple of fans who had won an auction to benefit the Music Education Foundation, Save the Music. But the two women were on a mission from PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Armed with a hidden camera, you see that video here, the animal rights activists grilled Beyonce about wearing fur and using fur in her clothing line, the House of Darien. The activist made her watch this PETA ad featuring Pam Anderson as well as graphic video of animals being killed. Beyonce sat stunned and silent. Her mother, Tina Knowles, stepped in and the PETA activist were eventually escorted out.

TINA KNOWLES, BYONCE`S MOTHER: You need to leave, now.

ANDERSON: The incident created a controversy. Harvey Levin, managing editor of TMZ.com, which was the first to post the video on-line, says the overall reaction is mixed.

HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: There are some people who believe that PETA crossed the line, it was unfair to do to Beyonce. There are others who say that Beyonce was completely out of line to upset at all about this that it just goes with the territory when you sell fur.

ANDERSON: The animal rights organization is known for its graphic commercials and aggressive tactics. PETA supporters in the past have pelted both Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintor and celebutante Paris Hilton with flour for wearing and promoting fur. And PETA stands by its ambush of Beyonce.

LISA LANGE, VP COMMUNICATIONS, PETA: We`ve been writing to Beyonce since 2002, we`ve written two letters, we ran an open letter advertisement in "Billboard" magazine. We`ve plead with her numerous times. This was a very friendly exchange that she had with PETA. We have.

ANDERSON (on camera): She might not thought it was friendly.

LANGE: Yeah, she may say that, but if we had a chance to do it all over again, we would do it.

ANDERSON: Beyonce has no comment regarding the encounter, but her father and manager, Matthew Knowles is reportedly fighting back. According to Levin, Knowles is angry PETA`s video was posted on the web and he`s demanding it be taken down.

LEVIN: This man was absolutely outraged and was doing everything he could and it fell on deaf ears with me.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Levin says that PETA obtained the video legally.

LEVIN: New York, where it was recorded is a one party state which means you don`t have to get the other person`s consent to record. It was done in a restaurant were there`s no expectation of privacy. There was nothing illegal about what PETA did.

ANDERSON: Maybe not illegal, but also maybe not in good taste. Beyonce`s supporters say she was trying to help a good cause, "Save the Music" and they believe it was outrageous to try to embarrass her this way.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Joining me now from Glendale, California, Harvey Levin, the managing editor of TMZ.com. Harvey, thanks for being here.

LEVIN: Hi Brooke.

ANDERSON: Hi there. OK, PETA gave you the video. You guys posted in on-line, as you say, as you said in the piece, it`s not a legal issue. But Harvey, is there an ethical issue with what PETA did. I mean, come on, Beyonce was not expecting this, she was at dinner with, who she thought were fans to benefit a good cause.

LEVIN: Oh, she was clearly set up, but I think when you ask, Brooke, is it an ethical issue, PETA would say, to Beyonce, right back at you. Their position is that animals are horribly tortured and electrocuted for vanity proposes and what they`re saying is they need to make that point so that people will watch. And the fact is, you`re airing it right now, so in many ways they accomplished their function.

ANDERSON: They feel they are justified. Now, Harvey, I know that you heard from Beyonce`s dad and manager, Matthew Knowles. Now, he`s not just upset by the overall situation, he`s pretty angry that you guys posted it on the Web site. What did he say?

LEVIN: Yeah, apparently we`re -- we`re the only ones he didn`t call. He called people strategically in our world and made threats and basically, you know, it`s the old Hollywood game that if you don`t do it my way we`re going to boycott you and that strategy not only will not work on TMZ, but anybody who tries it, I`m going to publish that they did. It`s just outrageous. That`s not the way this works. I`m not saying Beyonce is right or wrong to sell fur. But it`s a legitimate public debate if you look at our Web site, they all -- the comment on there. It`s a legitimate debate and we`re not going to be muzzled by a bully.

ANDERSON: Last I checked, the video is still on the Web site. Do you have plans to take it down or will it stay up indefinitely as long as this is a story?

LEVIN: It will absolutely stay up, Brooke.

ANDERSON: OK, now we haven`t heard from Beyonce, Harvey. She`s keeping mum about this. PETA tells me that they`re going to watch her. They`re going to see in the future if she wears fur again, if she uses it in her clothing line. Now PETA has a mission. Their focus, of course, the animals, that`s what they care about. Do you think they accomplished everything they set out to do here, or do they have more work ahead of them?

LEVIN: Well, I think they accomplished a lot in terms of getting this issue out the way they wanted it. Clearly, this is a polarizing issue. I mean there are some people who are outraged at what PETA did, but it brought the issue to the forefront and it`s interesting, we`re just about to publish something on our website that Paris Hilton apparently has sworn off fur. Not because of the Beyonce issue, but because Heather Mills apparently got to her. So, this is an issue that a lot of people, a lot of celebrities are talking about and I think overall PETA is probably is awfully happy with what they did.

ANDERSON: And Paris, in the past, has been pelted with flour for wearing and promoting fur. Now, Harvey, do you think this incident, Beyonce clearly there to benefit a good cause, do you think this incident could in anyway cause celebrities in the future to shy away from participating in events such as that, to benefit a charity for fear that they too will be duped.

LEVIN: I mean, I think that kind of overstates it a little bit. I mean, Beyonce has a fur line and this happens to be one of those organizations that is doing what it does. I mean a lot of people who are celebrities don`t have fur lines. But yeah, I mean, look, these are celebrities and a lot goes with being a celebrity. And, you know, I doubt that they`re going to stop doing charity work because they might become vulnerable. I just don`t think that`s the case.

ANDERSON: Hopefully no. OK, Harvey Levin. That`s all the time we have. Managing editor of TMZ.com. Thanks as always for joining us.

LEVIN: See you, Brooke.

ANDERSON: And now we want to hear what you think about it. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." PETA Targets Stars: Have their Fur Protests Gone too Far? Vote at cnn.com/showbiztonight, send us an email to that address, showbiztonight@cnn.com.

HAMMER: I would like to remind you that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is now on seven nights a week. That`s right, it is big news. We are bringing TV`s most provocative entertainment news show to your weekends. Be sure to tune in to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 Pacific.

ANDERSON: America`s favorite weatherman goes behind the scenes at beauty pageant. Al Roker is here to tell us all about it. It`s coming up in the interview you will only see on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Plus, Nicole Kidman makes nice with the paparazzi camped outside her house waiting for wedding news. We`re going to tell you what Kidman gave the photographers coming up next.

We`ll also have this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t think anybody believe it unless they could see it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Imagine waking in the middle of the night to Border Patrol in your own backyard. It happened to an Arizona woman who caught it all on tape. Coming up, how her documentary is fueling both sides of the illegal immigration debate. But first, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Which real-life musician was not portrayed in the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line?" Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, or Bob Dylan? Think about it. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Our fantastic director, Charles. Thanks so much.

Here we are again with tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Which real-life musician was not portrayed in the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line?" Was it Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, or Bob Dylan? If you answered D. Bob Dylan you got it right.

HAMMER: I got it right. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Time now for a little story that just made us say "That`s Ridiculous." And tonight it`s a lovely story of unrequited love. Yes, a lonely peacock who had found his one true love, a gas pump. We`d like you to meet Mr. P, a peacock in England who is looking for love in all the wrong places. Devoting the past three years of his life to romancing a gas pump. Now, everyday Mr. P walks the quarter mile from his roost to the gas station where he shows off his plumage until the station closes. Now experts say Mr. P is probably confusing the pumps` clicking sounds for mating calls and Brooke, I guess it seems to me that Mr. P is unbothered by the fact that object of his affection has gas.

ANDERSON: A.J..

HAMMER: I got a rim shot from Al Roker over there on the bench. That`s how bad that one was.

ANDERSON: That was terrible, first of all. But Mr. P, this is pretty sad, A.J., I think and some locals are saying that Mr. P is a pest, they want him removed, but others are saying he`s quite entertaining. He stays all day.

HAMMER: Protect Mr. P.

ANDERSON: That`s right. He stays all day until it closes at 10:00 every night. But a peacock who`s found love with a gas pump, now "That`s Ridiculous."

OK, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are in Australia for their upcoming wedding. Now they`re not saying exactly when it will be, but it`s already a love fest outside her house. Paparazzi are camped out there and today they got a real treat from the couple. They sent out a case of beer with note that said, "Enjoy. Nicole and Keith," you can see it there. Today is Kidman`s 39th birthday and when the paparazzi sang to her, Nicole even came outside to chat. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(SINGING)

NICOLE KIDMAN, ACTOR: I did. Thank you so much. Anyway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations Nicole.

KIDMAN: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nicole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nicole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please Nicole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One more please, Nicole.

KIDMAN: I feel embarrassed now. Anyway, OK. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you having a lovely day?

KIDMAN: Yes, I am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have you got planned?

KIDMAN: Um?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have you got planned?

KIDMAN: Not much. Dinner at my home. Boring.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: That was very sweet of her. Local news reports in Australia say Kidman and Urban with get married at a Catholic church near her family home in Sidney`s northern suburbs, this weekend.

HAMMER: So, do you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of a beauty pageant? Last minute drama, the tears, the joy, the anticipation. Well, the "Today" show`s Al Roker knows everything that goes on backstage and soon we will to, because Al`s the executive producer of a new documentary called "Uncovered: The Hidden Lives of Miss USA" it airs Wednesday on "E" the E Network. Al Roker, joining us for a "Showbiz Sit- Down."

It`s a pleasure to welcome you to the show.

AL ROKER, "TODAY" SHOW: Well, good to see you A.J. Thanks.

HAMMER: Nice to see you. I have to tell you and I mean nothing rude by this. Al Roker, beauty pageants. Where`s the connection?

ROKER: There is none other than I kind of watch them and, you know, like two years ago I was sitting with the current Miss USA at the time, at a charity function and she started telling me about, you know, her life and what she does and the fact that she, Miss Universe, and Miss Teen USA share a Donald Trump apartment on the upper west side. And I went, Ho! This is a show. And so I went to the folks at Miss Universe and Donald Trump, Paula Shugart, the president of Miss Universe and convinced them, we got a show - - you got a show here. We`ve got to do this. So we started out covering Miss USA. The 21 days before the pageant. You know, a lot of people don`t realize this thing actually starts 21 days before the pageant we see on the air.

HAMMER: So there`s all this drama that`s unfolding.

ROKER: All these women going -- you know, there`s estrogen, there are -- have you ever heard of chicken cutlets?

HAMMER: Well now tell me about this Al, because you at the "Today" show are certainly known as the food guru. You do all the great grilling segments and all of that.

ROKER: Right.

HAMMER: But I understand there`s a whole new meaning to this term chicken cutlets, maybe you can enlighten me, if we want to be enlightened.

ROKER: I hear chicken cutlet, I think Perdue. No, no, these are these silicone things that go into the women`s bras or bikini tops for the bathing suit that.

HAMMER: They`re falsies is what you`re telling us.

ROKER: Somewhat, but they look like chicken cutlets, so, but they`re made out of silicone. And.

HAMMER: No breading involved.

ROKER: There`s no breading, there`s no frying, sauteing. I`m actually wearing two right now, but not what you`d expect.

HAMMER: I don`t believe that for a moment.

ROKER: I am. I`ll let you frisk me later.

HAMMER: Well, take us further behind the scenes because we only see the smiles on stage, but I imagine there are a few things that sort of shocked and surprised even you.

ROKER: Well, you know what was amazing, first of all, like for example, one of the contestants had at tattoo in a spot that was a little provocative. So they actually had to cover it up with makeup. Another point during the rehearsals, one of the contestants, Miss Michigan falls, literally, falls into a hole and slices open her leg. I mean, there`s blood running.

HAMMER: I`m laughing, but it`s not funny at all.

ROKER: Yeah, no.

HAMMER: People falling off stage or falling in a hole.

ROKER: They keep going. They keep going. Miss Wisconsin during the preliminary evening gown is nauseous. I mean, really nauseous, but she goes out there, she does the whole thing, comes right off stage and -- boom. It`s Linda Blair time. You know?

HAMMER: This is going to be very interesting. You had it -- you were right on the money when you said we got a show here.

ROKER: We`ve got a show. It`s unbelievable.

HAMMER: Well, you had a show. You`ve been a part of the "Today" show for 10 years now.

ROKER: Full time, yeah.

HAMMER: Of course a couple of changes recently. Katie Couric, three weeks ago, you may have noticed celebrated her final day on the "Today" show.

ROKER: Actually I just thought she was on vacation.

HAMMER: I was out there, you were there. The champagne was being raised to here. And has it felt like that? Because it`s only been three weeks, granted you guys take -- has it set in yet because maybe.

ROKER: Yeah, you know, because I think we knew it was coming for a while. So, you know, so -- look, the good thing is, it`s not a sad thing in that -- you know, Katie`s getting to do what Katie has always wanted to do. This is a dream of hers, so, you know we`re thrilled for her. And yet we`re getting another fun person to come in, Meredith Vieira. And so, you know, it`s, I think it`s a win-win for everybody.

HAMMER: I always said before Meredith`s name was even thrown into the hat and was being bounced around, I said well, she would be perfect for the job. So, it`s so great to see. I`m curious; do you have sort of a ritual when you have a new person coming on board? I mean, she`ll be joining up with you guys in the fall. A little hazing or anything like that going on?

ROKER: We`re getting the spanking tunnel ready.

HAMMER: The spanking tunnel.

ROKER: Oh, yeah. Thank you sir, may I have another! Thank you sir, may I have another!

HAMMER: Who will be heading up.

ROKER: We got Kevin Bacon coming in. It`s going to be great.

HAMMER: That would be perfect. With is role in "Animal House."

ROKER: "Animal House."

HAMMER: You know, who should she be most afraid of?

ROKER: You know what, that`s the great thing. There is nobody there to be afraid of. You know, because, it is really -- I look at it -- and here`s why I felt good about her coming in. The sum is greater than the individual parts. You know, I think everybody on that show, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Natalie Morales, Campbell Brown, Lester Hold -- all; these -- they`re all great broadcasters. I think we work with a murder`s row of broadcasters. Separately. You put us together and it`s unbeatable.

HAMMER: The team is the magic.

ROKER: Yeah, it`s the team.

HAMMER: You have another 10 years in you there?

ROKER: I hope so. I mean, they`re going to have to drag me out of there screaming and kicking. You know, I mean -- or who knows, they may just, you know, change the locks and -- Hey, look, the key card`s not working.

HAMMER: The Security card`s no longer functional.

ROKER: It`s not working.

HAMMER: Al Roker, thanks for stopping by.

ROKER: A.J., thanks a lot.

HAMMER: I appreciate it.

ROKER: All right.

HAMMER: You can catch Al Roker`s documentary "Uncovered: The Hidden Lives of Miss USA" Wednesday on E Entertainment.

ANDERSON: You know, I want to remind you that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is now on seven nights a week. That`s right. We`re bringing TV`s most provocative entertainment news show to your weekends. So, be sure to tune in Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 Pacific.

HAMMER: Well, it`s going to take more than a bell to save the actor who played Screech on TV.

ROKER: Not Screech! Ah! Screech!

HAMMER: Yeah, it`s Screech, Al sorry. The drastic measures that that star is taking to save his house is what we`re going to tell you about.

ROKER: Screech!

HAMMER: Coming up on the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Maybe Al Roker will send him a dollar.

ROKER: Screech!

ANDERSON: Plus we`ve got psychic detectives on the hunt for clues in cold cases. We`re going to talk to two psychic detectives who are part of a new TV show, coming up. We`ll also have this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just making a record of life and death on the border.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Caught on tape. A woman captures incredible scenes on video, illegal immigrants crossing the border right into her front yard. Her story and the movie it became, coming up.

ROKER: It`s with Screech!

ANDERSON: And now -- and Screech. And now its SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Birthday Shout Out." This is where we give fans a chance to wish their favorite stars a very happy birthday. Tonight we`re sending one out to Nicole Kidman. She`s celebrating her 39th today.

JOE FREEDMAN, FAN: Hey, my name is Joe freedman from New York City. And I just wanted to wish Nicole Kidman a very happy birthday. I love all your movies. I have the whole box set and I hope you`re having a good time tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Tomorrow on epic film at the center of a biblical battle. Is the man of steel actually a symbol of Jesus? The upcoming blockbuster movie "Superman Returns" opens soon, but what can we expect? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates, Superman -- super hero or super natural?

ANDERSON: It is time now for the "Legal Lowdown," for that we go to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas, she joins us now from Hollywood.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Brooke. Well, a man who was profiled on "America`s Most Wanted" has been arrested in Redlands, California. Police arrested Jesse Anthony Caron, after allegedly taking a woman`s purse. She chased him down and two men helped tackle him. Caron is wanted in several states for burglary, assault, theft, and weapons charges. "America`s Most Wanted" profiled him back in February.

Well, Bruce Willis is in a suing a photographer for a millions dollars. Willis said a photographer slandered him by saying that Willis hit him outside a restaurant last week. In court papers, Willis said he simply held his hand in front of his face to shield his eyes from the camera flashes and didn`t hit anyone.

Well, jury selection is set to start on Monday on yet another Michael Jackson trial, this one over his money. Jackson is being sued by a former business associate for unpaid loans and expenses. And the trial is putting a spotlight on Jackson`s financial works. Attorneys say Jackson carried no credit cards or money and often ignored financial advice from people he hired. In a bizarre detail from his deposition, he said he got his spending money by leasing cows that lived on his Never Land ranch. And that`s tonight` "Legal Lowdown." Brooke, back to you.

ANDERSON: Leasing cows. Nothing surprises me anymore, though, Sibila. And it`s Michael Jackson, so.

VARGAS: Exactly. It`s a Michael Jackson, what do you expect?

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas, thanks.

HAMMER: Harsh words from Dan Rather as he leaves CBS. We`re going to tell you about his not so fond farewell, coming up. We`ll also have this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t think anybody would believe it unless they could see it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to Border Patrol in your own backyard. It happened to an Arizona woman who caught it all on tape. Coming up, how her documentary is fueling both sides of the immigration debate.

HAMMER: Plus psychic detectives, they are on the hunt for clues in cold cases. We`re going to talk to two psychic detectives who are part of a new TV show, and that`s coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Tuesday night, coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Tuesday night. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I am A.J. Hammer in New York.

Well tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has a raw account of an emotional debate that has spilled well beyond our borders. It is the heart of the immigration battle: illegal immigrant crossing the border. And it`s all caught on tape.

Now the unlikely a filmmaker: a woman who thought she was retiring to her dream home. Instead, what she got was a dose of reality. A heavy one at that.

Here`s CNN`s Ted Rowlands for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sixty-three-year-old retired schoolteacher Mercedes Maharis moved to Cochise County, Arizona, with her husband five years ago.

MERCEDES MAHARIS, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Well, we came here to spend the last years of our life hopefully in peace.

ROWLANDS: Mercedes says this is her dream home. It`s quiet, safe and peaceful here. At least that`s what she thought until one night shortly after they moved in.

MAHARIS: I actually thought I was going to have a heart attack that night.

This terrible, giant helicopter was just coming right up our drive. It hovered right here and was flashing lights around.

ROWLANDS: This is home video from that night.

MAHARIS: I ran back in, got my camera, came out and I was in my nightgown and I just started shooting.

ROWLANDS: Mercedes says about a dozen people were rounded up by the Border Patrol, and she got it all on tape.

MAHARIS: I didn`t think anybody would believe it unless they could see it.

ROWLANDS (on camera): This trail is how the people that Mercedes filmed that night got across the border. The border is just over this mountainside about two miles away. Mercedes that night thought she was filming something special. But she would later find out that what she saw that night was actually an almost-everyday occurrence.

(voice-over): Almost every night Mercedes says people coming across the border walked right by her house, leaving behind trash and objects like this backpack.

MAHARIS: This was at the bottom our - of our drive Monday evening.

ROWLANDS (on camera): And you haven`t opened it yet?

MAHARIS: No.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Inside, dirt-covered clothes, a toothbrush, some medication and deodorant.

Mercedes decided to use her video camera to document what was happening, not only to her but to other residents in Cochise County. So she started interviewing people.

MAHARIS: I talked to ranchers, activists, pacifists, Border Patrol.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say about - it`s about as close as about 98 percent that are Mexican nationals.

ROWLANDS: Mercedes also gathered photos and video from the sheriff and Border Patrol.

MAHARIS: I wasn`t going to make a huge production of it. I was just making a record of life and death on the border.

(SINGING)

ROWLANDS: But five years and more than 24 hours of videotape later, Mercedes has created a 70-minute documentary. (INAUDIBLE) say more than 20,000 copies of her DVD sold in the first month.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re here illegally, and something`s got to be done.

ROWLANDS: It`s a compilation of interviews, video and photos she`s collected. Mercedes even helped write the original music.

(SINGING)

ROWLANDS: And Mercedes set out to document the negative effects illegal immigration is having on her and her neighbors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

ROWLANDS: But she`s also been touched by those people she`s met, who risked their lives to get here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MAHARIS: To me, it`s very dehumanizing, you know, to have to go to the bathroom in the desert. And to not have enough water. You know, and ultimately, to give your life because you have the hope that you might send some money back home.

(SINGING)

ROWLANDS: She ends her documentary singing a song in Spanish with some very graphic photos showing people who died trying to cross the border.

MAHARIS: I just have a really difficult time understanding how it`s gotten to this point. I don`t know why there`s no energy that`s been put into this particular problem.

ROWLANDS: Mercedes Maharis has put her energy into her documentary. And with the current attention on the immigration issue, she hopes it might play a small part in solving the problem, so she can finally start enjoying her dream home.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Who would have thought? That was CNN`s Ted Rowlands for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: A reminder for you now: you can now watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT seven nights a week. That`s right; we are bringing TV`s most provocative entertainment news show to your weekend. So be sure to tune in: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Saturdays and Sundays, 11 p.m. Eastern, 8 Pacific.

HAMMER: You remember the show "Saved By the Bell," don`t you? Well, if you remember that program, you must remember Screech. Now what if I were to tell you Screech could very soon be homeless? All right, not exactly Screech, but the actor who played Screech, Dustin Diamond. He`s finding himself in that very real situation today.

So in an effort to save his home from foreclosure, Diamond is selling T-shirts to raise the $250,000 he needs to save his Wisconsin home.

Dustin Diamond joins me from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

(SCREAMING)

HAMMER: Nice to see you; everybody`s very excited that we have you on the program, Dustin.

DUSTIN DIAMOND, ACTOR: I hear that. How are you, A.J.?

HAMMER: Very well. Very well.

So obviously - you`re probably hearing this quite a bit; a lot of people are out there possibly thinking, Here`s a guy who was on a TV show for a long time, which is now in syndication.

DIAMOND: Right.

HAMMER: He`s got to have some money. So what happened? How did you get into this situation?

DIAMOND: My better half, Jennifer, and I actually lost our first child early last year. We didn`t have insurance - that knocked us back about $100,000 to $130,000. I`ve been traveling the country doing "Funny Bone" and improv, doing standup and doing really well. But I got myself into a situation out here with a guy who financed me himself for a home because I couldn`t get a mortgage loan due to credit issues.

HAMMER: Right.

DIAMOND: And I got this home on a land contract. Well, three years later they`ve developed in the area. The house has gone up in value, and he`s shaking me down through means that - because of a current lawsuit, I can`t go into too much detail.

HAMMER: OK.

DIAMOND: But I can - I can say that he`s trying to take my home. He`s given me 30 days to give him $250,000. So we`ve launched this Web site called getdshirts.com - D as in Dustin. And unfortunately, I`m - I`m going to have to ask people to be patient right now, because PayPal has decided to shut us down about a half hour before I got to the studio here.

HAMMER: OK.

DIAMOND: They say it`s their right. They know who I am; they`ve seen me on TV. They say they don`t care; they can shut down anybody at anytime anywhere.

HAMMER: But you don`t know why?

DIAMOND: So it`s now my opinion that PayPal sucks.

HAMMER: All right. That`s.

DIAMOND: So I want to - I want to share that with the world.

HAMMER: Your opinion.

But here`s - my question, Dustin - because I think a lot of people are wondering this, and I understand you`ve been out there working and doing what you can to make ends meet. But do you still have checks coming in from "Saved By the Bell"?

DIAMOND: Oh, yes, residuals, for, like, you know, $3, $1 here and there.

HAMMER: So it`s not as significant as people might think.

DIAMOND: No, no. There`s more detail - if you go to getdshirts.com you can read more in-depth. Obviously, we don`t have much time here. The T- shirt is $15, $20 if you want it autographed. And it`s - it`s got a picture of me in front of a dilapidated shack in the Wisconsin woods, all looking disheveled like Nick Nolte`s arrest photo, with a sign that says "Save My House."

On the back are the words, "I paid $15 to save Screech`s house."

If nothing else, it`ll be a cult classic.

HAMMER: And before - before you had your.

DIAMOND: Let`s face it: we gathered together to free Winona. Then we voted for Pedro. Now it`s time to save Screech`s house.

HAMMER: And before you had the problems that you`re experiencing right now selling the shirts, how`s it been going?

DIAMOND: I`m not sure yet. I just got off the road from Florida doing a comedy club out there, and I haven`t had a chance to talk to my Web guys yet. But they said that we`ve been getting a tremendous number of hits to the Web site - of course, before PayPal shut us down today. And - and I don`t know how much of that is translated into shirt sales. But we`re hoping quite a bit.

I know it`s just a week out. We`re nowhere near our deadline, and we`re trying to set up - tonight, hopefully tomorrow we`ll have up a new ecommerce. People who have ordered shirts already, don`t worry, you`re going to get your shirts. Trust the Dust.

HAMMER: Right.

DIAMOND: And feel free to keep checking back. Please be patient with us.

HAMMER: Trust the Dust.

Dustin Diamond, you have a lot of fans and we wish you the best of luck. We appreciate you joining us. And good luck raising money for the house, of course. Go to getdshirts.com for more information.

ANDERSON: Former news anchor Connie Chung delivers an unforgettable goodbye to MSNBC. That`s coming up. See the performance that`s getting more attention than her show ever did.

HAMMER: Also another controversial departure in the news world. Just ahead, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the details of Dan Rather`s less-than- amicable split with CBS.

We`ll also have this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Psychic detectives take on real-life cold cases. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT speaks directly to the paranormal investigators themselves. Are they really speaking to people beyond the grave?

That`s still to come on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE), stand by, A.J. Pre-set, Camera 4. Open his mic, dissolve 4, go.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I am A.J. Hammer in New York.

It is time now for another story that just made us say, "That`s Ridiculous!"

Connie Chung and Maury Povich - well, they didn`t last too long on MSNBC. The network canceled "Weekend With Maury and Connie" after just a few months. But it was Connie`s goodbye that - well, pretty much speaks for itself.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CONNIE CHUNG, MSNBC ANCHOR: (SINGING)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: All right, Connie. Connie`s unforgettable goodbye was an even bigger hit than her show. Three hundred thousand people viewed it on youtube.com. But we still say, Connie singing goodbye, "That`s Ridiculous!"

And Connie Chung`s former co-anchor on "The CBS Evening News" is making news himself. We are hearing that Dan Rather, who was briefly paired with Chung in a failed two-anchor experiment back in 1993, is officially leaving CBS. Rather has been working off and on for the network ever since giving "The CBS Evening News" back in 2005.

Now that departure, of course, came under a lot of controversy. And as Rather leaves CBS for good, many are asking, Is he retiring or is he just being pushed out?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RATHER, CBS ANCHOR: To each of you, courage.

HAMMER (voice-over): A round of applause greeted Dan Rather more than a year ago as he signed off his final newscast as "The CBS Evening News" anchor. But the applause has died down, and some are saying that the network Dan Rather helped build over his 44-year career is now giving him the shaft.

JIM LEHRER, JOURNALIST: I think it`s outrageous. I think the man deserved better than that.

HAMMER: Veteran TV newsman Jim Lehrer went off on CBS executives on Howard Kurtz`s CNN show, "RELIABLE SOURCES." Lehrer believes Rather`s distinguished career as a reporter and TV news icon is being overshadowed by one black mark: his infamous 2004 story that questioned President Bush`s National Guard service during the Vietnam War.

LEHRER: I don`t know whether (ph) Dan Rather did or did not do in this - the military-records issue. He was there, he was - he was CBS news for - you know, for 40 years. And now they`re saying, No, no, no. They what - they each destroy - it`s - it`s - as I say, it`s outrageous. It`s also very sad.

HAMMER: Since leaving the anchor chair last year, Rather has filed some reports for "60 Minutes." But he has openly complained about his lack of airtime, being virtually forgotten. And he says CBS ignored his offers to report on Hurricane Katrina, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Still, not everyone is sad to see Rather go. Conservatives, whose blogs led the charge against the Bush National Guard story, have long hated Rather, with his well-known tangles with Republican President Richard Nixon.

RICHARD NIXON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are you running for something?

(LAUGHTER)

RATHER: No sir, Mr. President. Are you?

(LAUGHTER)

HAMMER: And then-Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush.

(CROSSTALK)

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But I don`t have respect for what you`re doing here tonight.

HAMMER: In a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the president at CBS News says - quote - "There will always be a part of Dan Rather at CBS News. He is truly a reporter`s reporter. His legacy cannot be replicated."

Still, as Katie Couric prepares to take over "The CBS Evening News" anchor chair from Rather`s temporary replacement, Bob Schieffer, Rather`s exit from CBS News is becoming as divisive a topic as his tenure at CBS News.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Well, joining me now to talk about the end of the Rather era is media critic, newspaper columnist and CNN show host Howard Kurtz, joining me from "The Washington Post" newsroom in Washington, D.C.

Nice to see you, Howard. Thanks for being with us.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, CNN "RELIABLE SOURCES: Sure.

HAMMER: So as we just tell in our story, you were interviewing renowned newsman Jim Lehrer for your CNN show, "RELIABLE SOURCES," when he commented about how badly CBS is treating Dan.

Does Jim have a point there?

KURTZ: Well, a lot of people feel like, you know, Dan Rather had a 44-year career at CBS, went into war zones, interviewed presidents, was the face of CBS News, and now is being shown the door in what they think is a rather shabby fashion. There are others, of course, who think Rather should have resigned a year and a half ago when he botched very badly that story about President Bush and the National Guard.

HAMMER: I have to say, with the legacy that Dan Rather has, it just doesn`t seem like a real classy move on CBS` part.

But by many accounts, of course that story on President Bush`s National Guard service was really the beginning of the end for Dan Rather over at CBS. Now suppose the whole thing, that whole controversy, hadn`t been about a President Bush story, but maybe one that involved somebody like a corporate head or something like that. Do you think the fallout would have been as damaging for Rather or CBS?

KURTZ: Well, I think anytime you make a mistake while - while reporting documents that turn out not able to be authenticated, that you`re really going to take a hit to your reputation as an anchor. But to make those kind of charges against a sitting president in the middle of a re- election campaign just guaranteed it was going to be huge.

But, you know, not just Jim Lehrer thinks Dan Rather`s being treated badly. Dan Rather today says that he is unhappy with CBS. He says quite publicly that CBS did not live up to its obligations to allow him to do substantive work and that they wanted him to sit in an office with no assignments. You know, usually in these things you put out a statement saying, Thank you very much and I`m going to move on with my career. Dan did not play along.

HAMMER: Yes, and I actually want to address that part, because I thought it was very telling that Dan Rather declined to comment for the CBS press release that was issued today. That was really nothing but a love letter to Dan, and - and as you said, Dan released his own blistering words in his own press release. He says - quote - "My departure before the term of my contract represents CBS` final acknowledgement, after a protracted struggle, that they have not lived up to their obligation to allow me to do substantive work there."

Now the president of CBS News has told "The L.A. Times" that CBS respectfully tried and failed to agree on a contract extension for Rather. CBS is also doing this big primetime tribute to Rather in the fall. So it seems to me maybe this is a bunch of PR spin to hide the fact that CBS is showing Rather the door.

What do you think?

KURTZ: Well, there`s no getting around the fact that CBS management decided not renew Dan Rather`s contract. They say they tried to work things out, they couldn`t. They have too many people on "60 Minutes"; he didn`t fit in. Of course, he`s 74 and of course he carries the baggage of the National Guard story.

But it was an unusual spectacle to read this press release with all this glowing praise about his legendary career and he`s another Cronkite and he`s another Murrow.

HAMMER: Yes.

KURTZ: .when after all, it`s CBS that is ending his career at that network.

HAMMER: Well, hopefully they`ll do right by him in that tribute that they`re airing this fall.

Howard Kurtz, thank you for joining us tonight.

KURTZ: Thank you.

ANDERSON: The hit TV show "Cold Case" investigates unsolved crimes every single week. Now the show is coming to life and you can see these real psychic investigators in action. The new show on Court TV uses these sixth-sense detectives to come up with answers to unsolved crimes. "Haunting Evidence" puts together a paranormal investigator, a psychic profiler and a psychic medium to uncover new details to cases that have gone cold.

Joining me now from Los Angeles, psychic profiler Carla Baron. And from Atlanta, paranormal investigator Patrick Burns.

Carla, Patrick, welcome to you both.

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: Of course.

Now Carla, I`m going to begin with you; I want you guys to sort this out for me. You are the psychic profiler. What exactly is that?

CARLA BARON, "HAUNTING EVIDENCE": A psychic profiler is someone who can go on another level, just like a profiler would do for the FBI or the CIA. But yet we`re going to the unknown now; we`re going into a different realm. We`re tapping in to sort of the universal database I like to call it. And this is where I derive more information to lead us further in the case.

ANDERSON: OK.

Patrick, you`re the paranormal investigator. You`ve called yourself a "ghost geek."

What the heck is that?

PATRICK BURNS, "HAUNTING EVIDENCE": Well, I have a very strong background in IT, technical aspects. And I`ve sort of figured out a way to combine my knowledge of technology into - into paranormal research. So, hence the name "ghost geek."

ANDERSON: OK. So you`re more on the research side.

BURNS: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: Now - now Carla, tell me what happens: when you get to a scene where a crime has occurred, sometimes years and years before, what happens? You say that you see visions. How do they appear to you? Do they look like us? Do they look like ghosts? What happens?

BARON: You know, it`s - it`s the same place in your mind - let`s say you`re driving a car, and 20 minutes later you arrive at your destination. And you don`t know how you got there. You`re driving and you`re in automatic mode. It`s that same place where it - where it displays in the third eye area. And you`re actually seeing these things, everybody looks normal, everybody looks real, but the timeline is stretched.

(CROSSTALK)

BARON: I take a look at that timeline.

ANDERSON: So kind of like a dream-like state?

BARON: It`s not really dream-like because everyone`s moving in regular time. Nothing - you know, time really hasn`t slowed down. You`ve just sort of captured that particular - it`s a screen cap, let`s say. And I isolate it, I take a look at it, and I describe everything that`s around that particular point or event. New pieces of information that can help us propel us forward.

ANDERSON: Patrick, the strangest thing you`ve ever seen? Something that`s going to make the movie of the week.

BURNS: Boy, where - where to start? There have been a number of, you know, instances that I`ve had in my own personal life where I`ve been in an investigation and have seen what we refer to as an FBA. That`s a full-bodied apparition. You know, looking just like a solid, living person walking through the room. And then they sort of fade away. That`s happened a couple of times.

ANDERSON: Oh, how mysterious.

Now Carla, when you go into these cases, I - it`s - you don`t really dig too deep, right? You go and you kind of get the headline, and then you go in cold, right?

BARON: Well, what I do is - in any case, I like the first name - you just give me the first name, possibly the birth date, the date that they disappeared or were murdered, and I take a look at it from that aspect. Sometimes I`ll use cards in my work, regular playing cards or Tarot cards just to give my hands a little bit of a focus, so I can zero in. I`m - I`m like a laser. I zero in to that particular moment in time on the timeline. And I give you everything that rushes forward

Many times it`s disconnected. I don`t even know what it means half the time. But the person that I`m disseminating the information to, they are fully aware of what I`m talking about.

ANDERSON: It is all very, very fascinating. I`m skeptical - not cynical - but skeptical.

Carla Baron and Patrick Burns, thank you so much for joining and sharing it with us. We appreciate it.

And you can catch "Haunting Evidence" Wednesday nights on Court TV.

HAMMER: Just believe, Brooke. Just believe.

Well last night, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." We asked: "Celebrity Gossip: Would you want to be in the spotlight?" Apparently, not a lot of you want that: 12 percent of you saying yes, 88 percent of you saying no.

A bunch of e-mails came in, including one from Ari in Kansas. He writes: "No, I wouldn`t want to be chased by the paparazzi 24/7 because it will stress me out."

We also heard from Ronald in Texas. He says: "It would be worse than winning the lottery because you would never have any privacy for the rest of your life."

Hang out. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Time now to see what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Here is your "SHOWBIZ Marquee":

Well tomorrow, an epic film at the center of a biblical battle. Is the Man of Steel actually a symbol of Jesus? The upcoming blockbuster movie "Superman Returns" opens soon. But what can we expect? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates, Superman: superhero or supernatural?

Also tomorrow, star babies. You heard about Angelina, Britney and Katie. But some stars` births escape the media crush. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT examines, what does it take to get your baby in the celebrity spotlight?

Tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I am A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I am Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Thanks for watching. Stay tuned for more from CNN Headline News.

END

Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines