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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Anna Nicole Speaks!; Gay in Hollywood; Spinning the Split; Madonna Media Blitz; Ripped from the Headlines!; Katie on Ratings; I Approve This Message

Aired November 2, 2006 - 23:00:00   ET

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


BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CO-HOST: ... boyfriend sets the record straight on reports that they were getting death threats.
I`m Brooke Anderson in New York. A.J. Hammer has the night off.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CO-HOST: And Tom Cruise gets a new job.

I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative news show starts right now.

ANDERSON: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Anna Nicole Smith speaks out. For the first time, Anna Nicole talks about the strange mysterious death of her son, Daniel, about who she really believes is her baby girl`s father, and why she says she`s a prisoner in paradise.

Plus, startling new information about what was in her son`s body when he died in her hospital room. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, with a new Anna Nicole twist and turn.

It`s an all-star night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the powerful interviews you won`t see anywhere else. "American Idol`s" Kelly Pickler breaks down in tears and brings us to tears.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLIE PICKLER, FINISHED SIXTH ON "AMERICAN IDOL" 2006: I`m trying to put a piece of my life into each one of these songs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Chevy Chase, on his controversial role inspired by Mel Gibson`s anti-Semitic tirade.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHEVY CHASE, ACTOR: I`ve never been a bigot and I`ve never said certain words so many times in my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: They are the all-star dramatic interviews you`ll be talking about. And the only place you will see them is on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

VARGAS: Hello, everyone. I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.

ANDERSON: Hi, there. I`m Brooke Anderson in New York. A.J. Hammer has the night off.

Anna Nicole Smith is silent no more. For the very first time since the death of her son in her hospital room, her affair with her attorney and so much more. Anna Nicole is speaking out about the strange series of events that have turned her life into something right out of a pulp fiction novel.

And if that weren`t enough, tonight there is startling new information about her son`s death. So, buckle your seat belts and all aboard the latest trip on the wild Anna Nicole ride.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): She`s given birth to a daughter, whose real father is still a matter of debate.

Then she lost her only son, Daniel, in a death still shrouded in mystery.

Now, in an emotional interview with "Entertainment Tonight," and the "Insider," Anna Nicole Smith is finally speaking out about everything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anna Nicole Smith out of the shadows.

ANDERSON: The "Today Show" aired big chunks of the "Entertainment Tonight/Insider" interview, where Anna Nicole broke down while talking about the death of Daniel.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you the latest on shocking new details of Daniel`s death and the additional twists and turns that we are seeing in the fascinating topsy turvy world of Anna Nicole Smith.

"Entertainment Tonight`s" Mark Steines, who interviewed Anna Nicole in the Bahamas, told the "Today Show`s" Meredith Vieira that despite her new baby, who we saw on TV for the first time, Anna Nicole is still a woman in pain.

MARK STEINES, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT" REPORTER: The minute I walked into the house, you could feel the despair that lives there.

ANDERSON: In the "E.T." interview, a sobbing Anna Nicole says about Daniel`s death says, quote, "I don`t understand why God took him and didn`t take me. I just don`t understand. He was only 20 years old."

And about all the media scrutiny that followed his death, she said, "It`s horrible, you know, that everyone now is just throwing everything on us at our lowest point in life." "E.T.`s" Mark Steines says nothing was off limits in his chat with Anna Nicole, including the drug use blamed for her son`s death.

STEINES: She opened up about it. She told me she was aware of certain aspects of that.

ANDERSON: Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings a shocking new detail in the death of young Daniel. There are new reports that when he died in Anna Nicole`s hospital room this past September, just days after she had given birth to a baby girl, he may have had more drugs in his system than previously reported.

Soon after Daniel`s tragic death, Anna Nicole hired Forensic Pathologist Cyril Wecht to do a private autopsy on Daniel`s body. Wecht soon went on "LARRY KING LIVE" to share his findings.

CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: He died tragically and I believe quite accidentally as a result of the cumulative effect of three brain depressant drugs.

ANDERSON: Now, it turns out the number was seven. Yes, seven drugs. A deadly mix of antidepressants, over-the-counter medicines, methadone and a sleep aid.

DR. ERIC BRAVERMAN, BRAIN RESEARCHER: This kind of seven-drug cocktail is dangerous to everyone and anyone.

MICHAEL BRYANT, "COURT TV": The talk now is not that it`s any sort of accident, that it couldn`t be because these drugs total eight times the lethal dose for a human death. So, how could that be accidental?

ANDERSON: In the E.T. Interview, Anna Nicole also spoke for the first time about her relationship with her former attorney. She says she initiated their romance, saying quote, "I wanted more than a lawyer relationship, and then started kind of flirting with him and we kind of got it on. I just kind of attacked him and that was it. I kissed him first. Hew as the shy one...I knew I was in love the first time I kissed him."

And "Entertainment Tonight`s" Steines tells the "Today Show," they`re sticking by their story about who fathered her new baby.

STEINES: Without doubt, without hesitation, with a point blank question, who is the father of this child, she says it is Howard. She believes it is Howard.

ANDERSON: Anna Nicole`s former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, begs to differ. He filed a paternity suit against Anna Nicole to force her to submit the child to a DNA test.

In response to the "E.T." interview, Birkhead`s attorney tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, quote, "The public will learn shortly that much of what Anna Nicole Smith has stated publicly is simply not true. While I sympathize with Ms. Smith`s suffering over the loss of her son, my main concern continues to be the child and my client`s rights as a father."

ANDERSON: Even though Birkhead isn`t impressed with Anna Nicole`s interview performance, the reporter who interviewed her tells the "Today Show" that he is. And he thinks America will be as well.

STEINES: I left that interview seeing a fighter, someone who is very weak, someone who is very fragile right now, who`s been through a lot. But also Anna Nicole Smith is a fighter.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (on camera): In that "Entertainment Tonight" interview, Anna Nicole Smith and Howard K. Stern also address other controversies, including the effort to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on the Bahamas home she`s been staying in. "Entertainment Tonight" airs the second part of the interview tomorrow.

And while Anna Nicole Smith is speaking out, there are still so many unanswered questions.

Joining me now in Hollywood is Investigative Journalist Pat Lalama.

Hi Pat.

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Hi, how are you doing?

ANDERSON: Doing well, thank you. OK, here we have Anna Nicole Smith speaking out, once again insisting that Howard K. Stern is the father of her baby daughter.

Now, Pat, here`s what I don`t get. If she`s so eager to have everyone believe her, then why doesn`t she just submit to a paternity test, get it done. Cooperate. Get it over with.

LALAMA: You`re making things much too easy, Brooke. It can`t be that easy with her. It has to be a crisis.

Simply stated, I think it`s a full court pres. It is an attempt to scare the heck out of Larry and keep him away. I think they feel that they can beat him down. And I think this whole interview thing is part of the P.R. baloney.

ANDERSON: On to the next bizarre thing that Anna Nicole said. Howard K. Stern, her longtime attorney, she said that suddenly they kissed and she knew she was in love.

LALAMA: Yes.

ANDERSON: Does their relationship seem a little bit strange to you?

LALAMA: A little?

ANDERSON: Or a lot.

LALAMA: Look, I mean, God love them if they`re happy, Brooke, but it seems so manufactured to me. Again, you know, the law states in many places that on a birth certificate, a child`s father will be presumed to be the man that`s living there with her until someone else comes along and fights it.

And it`s just going to take Larry Birkhead and Debra Opri to go out there and say we`re going to demand that a test be done. Why it hasn`t been done yet, I`m going to have to call Debra and find out. But that`s what it`s going to take.

And by staying in the Bahamas and by putting up this wall, I think they`re trying to, like I said, beat him down and hope that he just gets tired and be afraid of fighting them.

ANDERSON: Hopefully, as you say, Anna Nicole and Howard are happy.

LALAMA: Yes.

ANDERSON: We do hope that.

Now, on to strange revelation number three, Pat.

LALAMA: Yes.

ANDERSON: Anna Nicole says she wants to escape the media glare, so what does she do? She gives a high profile interview to one of the biggest entertainment news shows in the world. Now it`s being reported all over the world. If she wanted to escape the glare, wouldn`t she just shut up?

LALAMA: Brooke, why do you think they pay for those big P.R. people? I mean, this is what this is all about. We all know that if you believe in your cause and you don`t feel like you have to excuse yourself -- and me thinks thou dost protest a little bit too much, Anna Nicole -- I think that this is what this is all about.

Pick the place where you`re going to be treated nicely. Mark Steines did a great job, and in the end said, oh, I think she`s a fighter and I`m behind her. I mean, that`s exactly what she wants. That`s exactly what`s going to work for her in the eyes of the public. And we all know the public can be forgiving and this is what she`s hoping for.

ANDERSON: So this is a P.R. strategy in your eyes?

LALAMA: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: And now while all this goes on, there is still that other bizarre Anna Nicole story that we cannot forget about. The very long legal battle over the estate of her late 89-year-old oil tycoon husband.

LALAMA: Right.

ANDERSON: J. Howard Marshall. How does that play into this bizarre story? I mean, we`re talking hundreds of millions of dollars here.

LALAMA: Well, this is all very important. Remember, the Supreme Court of the United States of America decided back in February that it would consider this case.

Remember, don`t make the mistake of thinking that she won. All they said was all right, let`s decide whether we even want to hear this.

ANDERSON: Right.

LALAMA: And that`s what they decided to do. And what she wins could play a big part of who ends up being the daddy.

ANDERSON: Hmm, while it all is very strange; to me, it is more sad than anything else.

LALAMA: Yes, it is. It truly is. It truly is.

ANDERSON: OK, Investigative Journalist Pat Lalama, thanks so much.

LALAMA: You`re welcome.

VARGAS: Well, now we want to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Anna Nicole Smith: Do you feel sorry for her? Vote at cnn.com/showbiztonight, or send us an e-mail showbiztonight@cnn.com

And remember, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show that let`s you express your opinion on video. Just look into your video camera or webcam and send us a piece of your mind via video e-mail. It`s really easy. Head to our Web site, cnn.com/showbiztonight, to learn just how to do it. All you have to do is click, attach, and send. Remember, your videos have got to be 30 seconds or less. Watch for your video e-mails only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Well, Tom Cruise gets a new job. We will tell you how Cruise is back in control in Hollywood. That`s next.

ANDERSON: Plus, Lance Bass`s boyfriend sets the record straight about reports that they were getting death threats after Lance came out. Reichen Lehmkuhl, coming up in the interview you will see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

We`ll also have this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: How difficult was it to sing about your mother and what you went through?

PICKLER: It was really hard. I really...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: It`s the interview everyone`s talking about. Kelly Pickler, overcome with emotion. We`ll show you what brought her to tears, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in New York. A.J. has the night off.

Time now for a story that made us say...

UNIDENTIFIED MALES: That`s ridiculous.

ANDERSON: There we go. It was probably not the best choice for a Halloween costume. A man in New York state went out trick or treating -- get this -- wearing an orange jumpsuit from when he was in prison. He was taking his son door to door, when authorities spotted him and thought he was an escapee on the loose. Prison officials think he smuggled it out of jail when he was released in September after a four-month stay for probation violation.

Now, we don`t know what kind of candy he got. But that costume choice cost him a petty larceny charge for taking the jumpsuit.

Trick or treating in your old jail jumpsuit. Now, that`s ridiculous.

VARGAS: Well, Tom Cruise is back in control in Hollywood after being dumped by Paramount and bashed in the press by Sumner Redstone. Cruise and his producing partner have been put in charge of the United Artist Studio.

Cruise`s partner, Paula Wagner, will be chief executive of the company. Cruise will appear in United Artist films, but will also be allowed to star in movies from rival studios.

ANDERSON: It`s the interview everyone is talking about. And it happened right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Kellie Pickler, from "American Idol," is out with her debut solo album. And when we talked about the song, "I Wonder," about her mother who abandoned her at age 2, things got very emotional. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: The song brought tears to my eyes the first time I listened to it. It must have been incredibly difficult -- you`re crying right now. I know, it`s hard.

PICKLER: I`m sorry.

ANDERSON: It`s hard. How difficult was it to sing about your mother and what you went through?

PICKLER: It was really hard. I really...

ANDERSON: It`s OK.

PICKLER: I think it`s -- probably, it was definitely the hardest song on the album to record. And I -- it`s sad that I have to sing those words. And it was a hard choice for me to make. But, you know, I think it is just important that, you know, with the fans, you know, that I`m honest with them as much as I am with myself. And I just -- I wanted this album to be about my life. And I`m trying to put a piece of my life into each one of these songs. And yes, that was the hardest song to do. Sorry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Kellie is so strong and so courageous, an inspiration. And her album, "Small Town Girl," which is fantastic, is in stores now.

Another big reality show star, Reichen Lehmkuhl, who won "The Amazing Race," has been getting a lot of attention for another reason -- his relationship with `N Sync Superstar Lance Bash, who recently revealed he is gay.

Lehmkuhl, a former U.S. Air Force captain, says he was sexually abused as a cadet in the Air Force Academy, and lived in fear throughout his military career because he is gay.

He tells all in his gripping memoir, "Here`s What We`ll Say: Growing Up, Coming Out and the U.S. Air Force Academy."

Reichen Lehmkuhl is with us tonight in New York.

Welcome, Reichen.

REICHEN LEHMKUHL, "THE AMAZING RACE" WINNER: Hi Brooke. How are you doing?

ANDERSON: Doing well, thank you.

Now, there have been conflicting reports that since you published this book about being gay in the Air Force, you and Lance have received threats.

LEHMKUHL: Yes.

ANDERSON: Set the record straight, yes.

LEHMKUHL: Yes, without giving too much attention to people who behave in a threatening way, no, I can set the story straight. We have not received any death threats. And you know, anything that has come through like that in the past, I`ve reported to the proper people. And, you know, we`re safe. And no one who behaves that way toward us is going to really stop me from, you know, saying what I need to say about gays in the military and the don`t ask, don`t tell policy.

ANDERSON: So it doesn`t frighten you?

LEHMKUHL: No, it doesn`t frighten me. No, I`m OK.

ANDERSON: OK, since Lance Bass came out very publicly in July, before that you two were living your life in private. But now you are living your life in the spotlight as a gay famous couple. How different is it?

LEHMKUHL: You know, it`s really great. It`s just, it`s good to always live in the truth and be out about yourselves. And Hollywood has really been the easiest place for us because, you know, when we do these events or we do red carpets together, they ask us the same questions that ask to, you know, a straight couple. They don`t even mention the fact that we`re gay. They ask us, you know, what we do for the weekend and where we like to go, where we like to eat. So, it`s been great.

ANDERSON: Are you happier now? Is it liberating? Are you relieved in a sense?

LEHMKUHL: Yes, absolutely. I mean, I think everyone`s always happier when they`re just, you know, living their lives as they want to live and to be the person that they are.

ANDERSON: Living it honestly.

LEHMKUHL: Yes, honestly. It`s great.

ANDERSON: In this book, you claim that you were sexually abused at a point during your nine years in the Air Force. You reveal that you told some friends in your first year at the academy that you were gay. And then you write very openly and specifically about being sexually abused. What happened?

LEHMKUHL: Well, basically it was during my freshman year. It was a time when -- it`s a time in a cadet`s career when you`re very vulnerable. For someone who`s gay or for someone who people might suspect as being gay, they`re going to know that you have nowhere to go. There`s no place to report an abuse like this.

Cadets who get into the academy, they go through a congressional nomination process from their congressman or the vice president of the United States just to get into the academy. And then, you know, you have to get accepted, which means you have to have stellar grades and you might have to be a valedictorian. I mean, this is the cream of the crop.

ANDERSON: Absolutely.

LEHMKUHL: So your career is everything to you when you`re a cadet. So, you know, rather than reporting it for me, I just kept it quiet.

And basically what I went through is two, what I think were upper classmen, came in in the middle of the night, covered my head and you know, the rest you`ll have to read in the story because I won`t talk about it right here.

ANDERSON: Yes.

LEHMKUHL: But, you know, it was a traumatic experience. And the point of it was, though, that I couldn`t report it. And also, another point of it is that it`s not about going after the people who did it. This is a leadership issue. There is homophobia that runs rampant in our nation`s military academies and in our nation`s military. And that`s what needs to be addressed.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. I read it and I was horrified and heartbroken for you. And you say the point is that you couldn`t report it.

You are famous, now a celebrity, well known. You`re planning to fight the don`t ask, don`t tell policy. Do you think you may get some resistance there? Maybe more threats?

LEHMKUHL: Yes.

ANDERSON: Are you nervous about that?

LEHMKUHL: Yes, I mean, I`m not nervous about it, but that`s to be expected. I mean, the don`t ask, don`t tell policy speaks for itself. It basically says we know you are here, we know you are gay and in the military, but we don`t want to deal with you and we don`t know how to deal with you. And, you know, the Department of Defense continues to fail miserably at providing any reasonable rationale for this ban on gays in the military, and it`s time to speak up. I want the next presidential candidate to answer to the atrocities that I write about in my book. It`s time.

ANDERSON: Let me ask you this. After Ellen DeGeneres came out, it seemed that it just changed the whole landscape for celebrities who are gay. Because before it was really unthinkable a lot of times for celebrities to come out like that so publicly.

LEHMKUHL: Right.

ANDERSON: Do you think the gay stigma is gone in Hollywood finally?

LEHMKUHL: Well, it`s certainly not gone, but it`s getting better. I mean, when we go out and just be ourselves and hang out and just live our lives in a normal way, I mean, it just shows that that`s exactly what it is. It`s very normal. And, you know, people are starting to use the term instead of sexual preference, gender preference.

ANDERSON: Right.

LEHMKUHL: And I think it`s just a better way to explain it because the difference of a gay person from a straight person is not just that they have sex with somebody else. It`s all about your lifestyle, who you choose to be with, who you choose to love.

ANDERSON: Well, we are happy to hear that you and Lance are happy and that you feel safe.

Reichen Lehmkuhl, thanks so much for being here.

LEHMKUHL: Thank you.

ANDERSON: And the book is called, "Here`s What We`ll Say: Growing Up, Coming Out in the U.S. Air Force Academy." It`s in stores now.

VARGAS: Well, coming up, Cameron Diaz unplugged. We`ll tell you why Cameron says she`s made peace with the paparazzi, next.

ANDERSON: Plus, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe`s shocking split. What was behind the timing of the announcement? We have the strategy secrets of how the stars go public with their breakup, coming up.

We`ll also have this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHEVY CHASE: You`re working for leaches detective, who sucked the money right out of his town, he sent it to Israel so they can make bombs and (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VARGAS: Your first look at Chevy Chase in his Mel Gibson inspired role in "Law & Order." And Chevy tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT why it was so hard to play the part. That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VARGAS: Cameron Diaz has had her run-ins with the paparazzi, but she says she has put all the drama in a good place now. Cameron looks stunning with her jet black hair in a photo shoot with a magazine. And just as stunning as what she had to say about photographers who constantly follow her around, she says something that has happened in the entertainment industry is an explosion of really aggressive paparazzi, but that after being aggravated for many years, she has come to terms with it. She says, quote, "Now I`ve made peace with it. I realize I can`t change it. That`s a part of what society expects of people in my position, to catch our lives in certain moments. And I want to make movies, so I will participate on a certain level."

You can pick up your copy of "W" magazine on newsstands November 17.

ANDERSON: The Madonna media blitz continues. Coming up, we have your first look at Madonna`s interview with "Regis and Kelly," about her controversial adoption.

VARGAS: Plus, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe`s shocking split. What was behind the timing of the announcement? We have the strategy secrets of how the stars go public with their breakups, coming up.

We`ll also have this.

CHEVY CHASE: You`re working for leaches detective, who sucked the money right out of his town, he sent it to Israel so they can make bombs and (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Your first look at Chevy Chase in his Mel Gibson inspired role in "Law & Order." And Chevy tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT why it was so hard to play that part. That`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Keep it right here for Thursday night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWBREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m Brooke Anderson in New York.

VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

Tonight, Chevy Chase is back. And he`s on an episode of "Law & Order," only this time his role is a little provocative, controversial and definitely darker. We`re going to be talking to him in a few moments. But that`s coming up a little later.

ANDERSON: That`s right. And he has some really interesting things to say about it, Sibila.

But first, their breakup shocked Hollywood, but when these stars called it quits publicly, it was no surprise to them.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going to show you the secret strategy celebrities use when they split and you may never look at it the same way again. Latest case in point, the announcement this week that Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe are calling it quits after seven years of marriage.

With us tonight to blow the lid off the secrets of the stars is Harvey Levin, the managing editor of TMZ.com. He joins us from Glendale, California.

Hi Harvey.

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: hi Brooke.

ANDERSON: All right. Let`s start with Reese and Ryan. They released a statement to TMZ on Monday, announcing their split. This was after Ryan`s new movie, "Flags of our Fathers," hit theaters and everyone was saying, wow, we just saw them at the premiere and they were together, they were walking the carpet. But this is no coincidence is it, Harvey? It`s all part of the strategy, isn`t it?

LEVIN: Well, on this one, Brooke, I can`t be fully -- I can`t disclose everything that I know, but I can tell you this.

ANDERSON: Oh, come on.

LEVIN: Well, I`ll tell you this much. This was not something that had been planned for weeks in terms of all of this coming out. And the information that I can share is that I don`t think Reese and Ryan really shared this with a whole lot of their own people. And I think in some ways this came as a surprise to many of them.

ANDERSON: Interesting. Another secret we want to talk about, secret to the strategy, is to try to release the announcement when you get little to no press play at all.

In the case of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, they dropped the bombshell on the eve of a major holiday -- thanksgiving, the night before Thanksgiving. Entertainment newsrooms were cleared out for the holidays. Everybody was checked out. Timing is everything, isn`t it?

LEVIN: Yes, I mean, just connect those dots and you`ll understand the M.O. of all the publicists in town. That`s exactly the way it works. I mean, what they try to do oftentimes is right before a holiday, they`ll drop the bomb and they`ll hope that by the time business starts up again, maybe after a weekend, it becomes old news, so nobody really covers it at all or it`s covered marginally, and that`s the plan.

Some of these stories have legs so that you can`t really do that effectively, but in some cases, it really works.

ANDERSON: Announcing before a holiday or late on a Friday. I can`t tell you how many times I`ve been called in for the weekend on a Friday. I know you have as well.

LEVIN: Well, I don`t leave. That`s the problem.

ANDERSON: You live at work. I know you do.

Another strategy is the wording of the statement. We have a copy of the statement from Reese and Ryan right here. And there`s one particular sentence I want to highlight. It`s about their children. And it reads, quote, "They remain committed to their family, and we ask that you please respect their privacy and the safety of their children at this time."

Harvey, mentioning the kids here really tugs at the heart strings, doesn`t it?

LEVIN: Well, it does. And there are two types of breakups where they use this. And one, and I think this is the case with Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, I think they genuinely are concerned about their kids. And that`s kind of -- maybe that`s a little too harsh to say because I`m sure that most, if not all parents are. But some of them really do care about the publicity value and they`re trying to kind of get the press to lay off, and that`s the motivating reason. In the case of Ryan and Reese, I really believe that the kids were their motivating factor.

But sometimes in other breakups, you know, I think it`s just the default position that some celebrities and certainly publicists use just to say, hey, back off. They are not fair game.

ANDERSON: The next part of the strategy I want to get to is to put the best spin on it. For example, when Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt announced their split in January of 2005, the wording of it made it seem like they were the best of friends. But it didn`t quite work out that way, did it?

LEVIN: No, I mean, you know, that was kind of an interesting see saw, Brooke. At times they were getting along, and at times they weren`t. I mean, I think there was kind of this -- the underpinning of that was, was there another woman, namely, Angelina Jolie. I do know that they tried financially to make it as easy as possible. And my information is for the most part financially, it was a peaceful split. But in terms of emotionally, maybe not so much.

ANDERSON: I`m sure it was very difficult.

Harvey Levin, managing editor for TMZ.com. As always, thanks for joining us.

LEVIN: Bye Brooke.

VARGAS: Well, Madonna is continuing her media blitz as she fends off criticism over her controversial adoption of a baby boy from Malawi.

Just yesterday, speaking to the "Today Show`s" Meredith Vieira, Madonna said that she followed the letter of the law. Madonna also said that she specifically offered the boy`s father money to raise him himself. And also Madonna says, the boy`s father declined.

Madonna already appeared on the "Oprah" show last week. Next on her media tour, "Live with Regis and Kelly."

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, "Regis and Kelly" definitely kept things a little bit lighter on the show. But Madonna first offered Kelly a chance to audition to be a backup dancer, but the interview eventually turned to the adoption.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your first look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REGIS, CO-HOST, "LIVE WITH REGIS & KELLY": Madonna, congratulations on the new addition to the family.

(APPLAUSE)

MADONNA: Thank you.

While on the subject of auditions, I wanted to know if you wanted to audition to be the godfather because I don`t have a godfather for him.

REGIS: David`s godfather?

MADONNA: Yes.

REGIS: I would love to.

MADONNA: Would you?

REGIS: Oh, absolutely.

MADONNA: Well, what are your credentials?

REGIS: My credentials is that I am a father to begin with and I happen to love this little guy.

MADONNA: Are you good with kids?

REGIS: Oh, very good. Look what I did with this one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VARGAS: I`ll audition for the godmother. The Madonna interview airs tomorrow on "Live with Regis and Kelly."

ANDERSON: OK, it`s time for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s newest feature. This week`s "SHOWBIZ Staff Picks." These are the things that we are absolutely loving right now.

At the movies we are absolutely loving, "Shut Up and Sing." No matter what you political belief or your feelings about the Dixie Chicks, this documentary about the trio`s President Bush bashing and the backlash that followed is compelling, riveting and extremely entertaining.

On TV, we love "Prison Break," on FOX. One of our over-caffeinated producers -- I`m going to call her out, Lori -- she was almost hyperventilating as she gushed that the story was amazing, suspenseful and filled with cliffhangers that make you sit there scratching your head. We then sent her off to get some decaf.

In music, he SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s staff is also loving Yo La Tengo`s latest album, "I am not Afraid of You and I will Beat your Ass." The title alone is reason to buy it.

And after 20 years of making (INDISCERNIBLE), the band is back with yet another start to finish masterpiece.

And right now we are loving anything with Alec Baldwin. He shines in the hit movie, "The Departed." He nearly steals the movie from Annette Bening in "Running with Scissors." And frankly, his role as a hard nose TV executive is just about the only reason to love the NBC show, "30 Rock."

And finally, we are definitely so loving Channel`s black satin nail polish. To quote one of our producers, it`s so hot. And no, the producer is not named Paris Hilton. Her name is Amy.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that dark nail polish is all the rage this fall. And it`s so hot, you may just have to search on eBay to find it.

Those are this week`s "SHOWBIZ Staff Picks."

VARGAS: OK, so there`s bad behavior that would get any one of us kicked out of a place. But the reason one man got kicked out of his gym made us all say, that`s ridiculous. And that`s coming up.

ANDERSON: Also ahead, my sit down with Emmy winner Chevy Chase, who stars in "Law & Order`s" dramatization of the Mel Gibson arrest. Hear what Chevy told me about playing the controversial character and what he thinks about Gibson`s future in Hollywood. It`s the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

We`ll also have this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They try to amuse us, for instance, with a shrub representing President Bush.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So (UNINTELLIGIBLE) strategy from Iraq?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VARGAS: Campaign season is here, and there`s no shortage of ads, saying the same two words. The fun is how politicians are using those words. The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s special report. That`s coming up. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in New York.

Time now for another story that made us say...

UNIDENTIFIED MALES: That`s ridiculous.

ANDERSON: Thank you guys.

Every gym has its rules, you know, no cell phones, wipe the machine down after use. But the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Fitness in upstate New York has signs up warning people not to grunt. One man found out the hard way that the gym`s owner takes that role very seriously. Apparently, Al Argabay (ph) let out a grunt or two while lifting 500 pounds -- who wouldn`t let out a grunt or two, right? The gym owner says Argabay (ph) was asked to stop the noise. What happened next isn`t clear. But bottom line, the owner called police to kick the grunter out of the gym. He`s demanding an apology. The gym owner says rules are rules. We say, calling the police over grunting in a gym, now that`s ridiculous.

Another Hollywood A-Lister gets pulled over for a DUI and goes off on an anti-Semitic rant. Well, sort of.

Chevy Chase is starring in a "Law & Order" episode ripped from the headlines. And if it sounds familiar, it should. It`s loosely based on Mel Gibson`s headline-making arrest back in July. I had a chance to speak with Chase and asked him about going from the usual comedic role we know and loved him for, to this darker, dramatic role.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHEVY CHASE, ACTOR: This is a great opportunity to try drama. I have never done it. I have been basically retired for 10 years, raising my three daughters through adolescence and puberty with my wife. And that`s been one heck of a job.

When I was sort of given the all clear to some degree, I out of the blue, was offered the role. It turned out it was ripped from the front pages, as you know, and basically it was about a bigot, which I`ve never been, who`s -- I don`t want to tell too much of the story, but, and the son was affected by that. And I`ve never been a bigot and I`ve never said certain words so many times in my life as I did in this episode.

You`re working for leaches detective, who sucked the money right out of his town, he sent it to Israel so they can make bombs and (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

But I found that doing dramatic role was fun.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Was it hard for you to say those things? Because "Law & Order" does have a history of creating storylines that are ripped from the headlines, as you mentioned. Obviously, this one is loosely based on Mel Gibson`s recent arrest, his anti-Semitic tirade. Was it difficult for you to do that?

CHASE: You know, I grew up with basically the cusp of East Harlem with Puerto Ricans. I went to school with Jewish guys, black guys. I mean, I never had that in me. So I, in fact, I, you know, I did sit-ins and marches and all that stuff. I`m from that generation. It`s just -- it was a little difficult to continually say that same word over and over again. But I understood it.

And just as an aside, Mel`s an old friend, and I never saw that in him. I understand that his father somehow had explained to him when he was a kid that there was no holocaust or something idiotic like that. And so I can see where that came from. But, you know, obviously anybody whose got that problem ought to get it taken care of.

ANDERSON: You mention that Mel is an old friend. Have you talked to him since the incident? Have you contacted him about doing this episode?

CHASE: No. No, I haven`t. I think it`s so loosely based that, I mean, people are obviously going to make the connection. But if I had thought it was a direct rip off of what happened with Mel, and I don`t know exactly what happened, I may have said no. But it was loosely based, and so I thought it was an important role to do.

ANDERSON: And the name of this episode is "In Vino Veritas." And Mel Gibson has alluded to the fact that -- or actually, clearly stated that it was the alcohol talking in his situation. Do you believe that? Or do you believe that everything a person says comes from somewhere within?

CHASE: Frankly, I don`t care. I mean, whether it`s the alcohol or not, whatever loosens your tongue and that comes out, you need education, you need help. It`s a shame. And of course, alcohol is going to make you say things you wouldn`t normally say. I don`t know how drunk he was or wasn`t. I don`t know exactly what he said. I can`t really answer.

ANDERSON: Well if there`s anything that you think the whole Mel Gibson event and experience has taught people, what would that be or what would you say to Mel?

CHASE: First of all, Hollywood`s got a very short memory. Mel makes a lot of people very happy with the amount of money he makes for the studios, whatever, producers, so I don`t think it will last a long time. He probably didn`t make a lot of friends.

There are a lot of people who are Jewish who run these studios and they probably felt it was -- but, the fact is, when you look at it objectively, as I said, as I understand it, his father had taught him somewhere in Australia or upstate New York that there was no holocaust. That`s idiotic.

I think Mel will learn from it and I don`t think that his career will be influenced heavily by it He`s still a real artist. And he`s a good guy at heart.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (on camera): Chevy also told me that he`s really glad he took a break from Hollywood to raise his children because he didn`t really use his comedic acting skills during that time. And now that allows him to focus more on drama, which he said he`s really enjoying.

That episode of "Law & Order," starring Chevy Chase, airs tomorrow night on NBC.

VARGAS: Well here`s a story for you that got us here in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom saying -- ready for this? Katie Couric says she`s not in it for the ratings. Recent numbers show Couric, who`s hosting the "CBS Evening News" in third place in the evening news cast. But she tells Larry King that she doesn`t really pay attention to the ratings anyway.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATIE COURIC, "CBS EVENING NEWS" HOST: Bottom line is, Larry, I didn`t take this job for ratings. I took this job for the challenge and for the ability to really work on editorial content, to do serious news stories, the opportunity to work on "60 Minutes."

I think anyone who`s worked with me would tell you that I`m blissfully unaware of ratings. Obviously, if they do well and obviously if we have a big sampling the first couple of days or so, it`s nice to hear. Oh, that`s nice. A lot of people watch. But it`s just not something that I dwell on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VARGAS: Couric also said she`s happy with her move from the "Today Show," to the "CBS Evening News," and has had no second thoughts about it.

ANDERSON: Katie`s first major test in the anchor chair will be election day, this coming Tuesday. And with the election just days away, politicians are also in high gear.

And I don`t know about you, but I can`t escape the campaign ads on TV. Believe me, I`ve tried. And one thing that stands out, all of the ads contain the same two words -- I approve. The fun is in how they use them.

Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You`re now in...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Twilight Zone.

MOOS: The zone right before an election, when it`s impossible to tune out all the campaign ads. They scare us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Homosexuals are mocking holy matrimony.

MOOS: They apologize to us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should you forgive me...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And for that, I am sorry.

MOOS: They try to amuse us, for instance, with a shrub representing President Bush.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what`s our (UNINTELLIGIBLE) strategy from Iraq?

MOOS: And even if we don`t approve, they do.

JON TESTER, U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I`m John Tester, and I approve this message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I approve this message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I approve this message.

MOOS: But these days candidates are trying to improve on how they approve.

SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: I`m Hillary Clinton and I`m delighted to approve this message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I approve this message even though I know it may not be what you want to hear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I approve this message because I won`t let them make me someone I`m not.

MOOS: Back in 2004, when candidates were first required to state that they approved the content of their ad, campaigns tended to think it was a waste of a precious five seconds. Now they are trying to make their approvals more interesting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and I approve this message because Mrs. Hanneman (ph) was the best teacher I ever had.

MOOS: Sometimes their approval reeks with disapproval of their opponent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I approve this message because Brad Miller is out of touch and soon he will be out of Congress.

ANGIE PACCIONE, RUNNING FOR CONGRESS: I`m Angie Paccioni, and I approve of this message because if Marilyn keeps lying about my record, I`ll keep telling the truth about hers.

MOOS: Sometimes one approver just isn`t enough.

NED LAMONT, RUNNING FOR SENATE: I`m Ned Lamont and I approve this message.

TOM KEAN JR., RUNNING FOR SENATE: I`m Tom Kean, Jr., and I approve this message.

MOOS: Guess he hasn`t heard that children should be seen, but not heard.

CHRIS CARNEY, RUNNING FOR CONGRESS: I`m Chris Carney and I approve this message because I want to make Pennsylvania proud.

BRIAN KENNEDY, RUNNING FOR CONGRESS: I approve of this message to defend our border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I approve of this message and of traditional American values.

MOOS: Leave it to Beaver, not to politicians.

JON TESTER, RUNNING FOR SENATE: I`m Jon Tester and I approve this message. I approve the haircut too.

MOOS: I`m Jeanne Moos and I approve this story because somebody had to.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And that was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

VARGAS: Last night we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Madonna`s Media Tour: Did she really need to explain herself? 22 percent of you say yes; 78 percent of you say no.

Here are some of the e-mails we got.

M.J. from South Carolina writes, "She doesn`t need to explain herself. Why would anyone want to stand in the way of the kind of life she could give that boy?"

And Sue from Ohio writes, "I don`t think it`s anyone`s business that Madonna is adopting this child. I give her credit. He would have lived in poverty."

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back, but keep it right here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VARGAS: We`re asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Anna Nicole Smith: Do you feel sorry for her?

Keep voting at cnn.com/showbiztonight. And write us at showbiztongith@cnn.com. We`ll read some of your e-mails tomorrow.

And remember, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show that lets you express your opinions on video. That`s right. Just look into your video camera or webcam and send us a piece of your mind via video e- mail. It`s really easy. Head to our Web site, cnn.com/showbiztonight, to learn how to do it. All you have to do is click, attach and send. It`s that simple. Remember, your videos have got to be 30 seconds or less.

Watch for your video e-mails only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: It is time now to see what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Charlie, glitz that SHOWBIZ marquee.

The Anna Nicole Smith mystery gets stranger by the minute. Tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we`re going to talk one on one with the main players in this tragic story, including the pathologist Smith hired to investigate her son`s sudden death.

We`ll also talk to the attorney representing the man who claims he`s actually the father of Anna Nicole`s baby daughter.

These are the interviews you will see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. You don`t want to miss them.

Also Friday, our continuing coverage of the "SHOWBIZ Weigh Watch," and Hollywood`s obsession with body image. We`re going to talk to the fashion team David Evangelista (ph) and Daphne Brogden (ph). Is the fashion world to blame for creating unrealistic body images? We`ll explore the pressures of staying thin in Hollywood and beyond.

That`s tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

VARGAS: That`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you so much for joining us. I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.

ANDERSON: Have a great night, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson in New York.

Glenn Beck is coming up next, right after the latest headlines from "CNN HEADLINE NEWS."

(NEWSBREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END

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