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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

The Donald Continues his Feud with Rosie; Michael Jackson may be Selling Neverland

Aired December 21, 2006 - 19:00:00   ET

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


A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: Is Michael Jackson saying beat it to Neverland? Is he about to sell his famous ranch on TV? I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
SIBILA VARGAS, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: And young, wild and famous, are some of Hollywood`s biggest stars flushing their careers down the toilet? I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the Donald strikes back. Tonight, only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT speaks with Donald Trump about two shocking stories. First, it`s Rosie versus the Donald, and it`s really nasty. Tonight, the ugly war of words between Rosie O`Donnell and Donald Trump. Have they crossed the line and has Rosie finally gone too far on "The View?" SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the fired up battle everyone is talking about.

And Miss USA checks into rehab. Tonight, what`s the real story behind Tara Conner`s alcohol abuse?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TARA CONNER, MISS USA: I wouldn`t say that I`m an alcoholic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Does she really have a problem or is this just a publicity ploy? Plus, Miss USA`s startling connection to Lindsay, Paris and Britney. It`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report.

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

HAMMER: And I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And all I can say is buckle your seat belts because Donald Trump is on the warpath tonight. The war of words between Trump and Rosie O`Donnell absolutely went through the roof today. And when you see what happened when I sat down with the Donald this afternoon, you will understand why. In fact, I could hardly believe what Trump was saying to me about Rosie. We will be bringing you the explosive exclusive interview with Trump throughout our show tonight. And I can definitely tell you this, never, ever invite Donald Trump and Rosie O`Donnell to the same party.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): It`s Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": Rosie`s a loser. She`s always been a loser.

HAMMER: Versus Rosie O`Donnell. And it`s getting personal.

HAMMER: She`s unattractive in every sense of the word. From a physical standpoint, she looks like hell. Inside she`s far worse than she is on the outside.

HAMMER: Really personal.

ROSIE O`DONNELL, "THE VIEW": He annoys me on a multitude of levels.

JO PIAZZA, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": Next thing we know Rosie is going to tell Donald to meet her out by the bike racks after school.

HAMMER: It`s a schoolyard brawl that everybody`s watching, and the Donald himself tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he`s ready.

TRUMP: I learned a long time ago, when you are dealing with a bully, you hit them between the eyes.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you the blow by blow details of this clash of the TV titans.

NICKI GOSTIN, "NEWSWEEK": It`s always fun to see celebrities fight. It`s the best.

HAMMER: It all started with Donald Trump`s highly publicized press conference, where he proudly told the world that he was not firing Miss USA Tara Conner for her reported heavy partying and underaged drinking.

TRUMP: In the case of Tara, she made some very, very bad choices, some foolish choices.

Tara is going to be given a second chance.

HAMMER: The next morning on "The View," Rosie went after Donald.

O`DONNELL: And there he is, hair looping, going, everyone deserves a second chance.

He`s the moral authority. Left the first wife, had an affair, left the second wife, had an affair, had kids both times, but he`s the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America. Donald, sit and spin, my friend.

HAMMER: After going after his hair and his marriages, Rosie hit Trump where it hurts, his business.

O`DONNELL: I just think that this man is like, sort of, one of those, you know, snake oil salesman in "Little House on the Prairie."

HAMMER: She accused Trump of using his father`s money to bail himself out of bankruptcy. She seemed to predict that Trump would take umbridge at her comments.

O`DONNELL: He`s going to sue me, but he will be bankrupt by that time, so I won`t have to worry.

HAMMER: Rosie was right. Donald wasted no time going after Rosie O`Donnell. He`s now calling her fat. He`s jokingly threatening to send someone to steal Rosie`s partners, Kelly Carpenter, and yes, he is threatening to sue Rosie.

(on camera): As the Donald Trump/Rosie O`Donnell war of words reaches the boiling point, I decided I needed to go right to the Donald himself so he could set the record straight on exactly how he feels about Rosie O`Donnell.

(voice-over): And the Donald was on fire.

TRUMP: You take a look at Rosie`s moral competence. I mean, this woman is a disgrace.

HAMMER: Are you going to follow through with your threat to sue her?

TRUMP: Well, you know, taking money out of her big fat ass would be probably something that`s very easy, and we probably will follow through with it, yes.

HAMMER: Observers tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, this is all vintage Trump.

GOSTIN: And we all love him, but he is incredibly cheesy. And yes, of course she`s right to call him on that.

PIAZZA: I think he`s just pretending to be angry as yet another publicity stunt to get more publicity for him.

HAMMER: And what does queen Barbara, aka "View" co-host and co- executive producer Barbara Walters, have to say about this latest "View" controversy, which all took place while she`s on vacation. In a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Walters, along with "The View`s" executive producer Bill Getty, says, quote, "Both Rosie and Donald are high spirited, opinionated people. Donald has been a friend of "The View" for many years. And Rosie, of course, is our enormously popular moderator. We cherish them both and hope the new year brings calm and peace.

On her next appearance on "The View," Rosie only made a brief reference to her Trump dustup.

O`DONNELL: Look who is here today, Kelly? I was afraid to leave her at home in case somebody with a comb over came and stole her from me.

HAMMER: She indicated she may be done talking Trump.

O`DONNELL: Frankly, here`s my comments to him.

HAMMER: Whether or not Rosie really is done talking Trump, we are waiting to see if the schoolyard fight between Donald and Rosie really will become a court room fight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Well, I think we know exactly where Donald Trump stands now. That was just the start of his fiery response. When I sat down with him at his Trump Tower office, right here in New York, the Donald did not hold back whatsoever. I asked him exactly what he thought when Rosie called him, among other things, a snake oil salesman?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, Rosie`s a loser; she`s always been a loser. I`ve always understood it. She failed with her magazine. She failed with her show. As you know, at the end it was very poorly, in terms of the rating. Rosie is really somebody that`s unattractive in every sense of the word. From a physical standpoint she looks like hell. Inside she`s far worse than she is on the outside. And I understand Rosie. Rosie inherently is a loser.

The other thing, "The View" has been doing very poorly. She came in, the ratings went up a little bit, because she suckers people like me and other people to go onto to the thing. But the fact is, "The View" will be very badly hurt by Rosie. Now "The View" has not been doing well. In fact it`s been doing poorly. It just came off its worst year ever. Rosie will destroy that show, in my opinion.

HAMMER: Even though the ratings have gone up since she`s come on board?

TRUMP: The ratings have gone up a little bit because of some controversies that she`s had with Kelly Ripa, because she tries to drive people a little bit insane. The fact is that Rosie is a bad person. Rosie will destroy that show. Barbara Walters, if you ask her, and if she tells you what she`s really thinking, she is not thrilled with Rosie. Believe me.

HAMMER: So you think your friend Barbara didn`t make a good choice in hiring her for that program?

TRUMP: Well, Barbara Walters called me yesterday. She is a friend of mine, and she is not a big fan of Rosie.

HAMMER: Some would say some of the words that you`ve used to respond to this, calling her a slob, among other things, that she looks like a truck driver and some of the things you just said, pretty harsh.

TRUMP: Well, no, look. Rosie is an extremely unattractive person. Rosie is a woman that talks about my moral compass, and the compass with Miss USA. She`s somebody that didn`t want to give this young woman a break. She didn`t want to give her a second chance. She`s a young, wonderful woman that got caught up in the swirl of New York City and, frankly, I wanted to give her a second chance.

Rosie didn`t want her to have a second chance. Rosie gave -- I can tell you one thing. Rosie gives plenty of women second chances, but Rosie didn`t want to give her a second chance.

HAMMER: What about what she said about you being the moral compass for 20 year olds in the country, taking exception, saying left the first wife, had an affair, left the second wife, had an affair?

TRUMP: Look at Rosie`s moral compass. You tell me about a moral compass. You take a look at Rosie`s moral compass. I mean, this woman is a disgrace.

HAMMER: Specifically what is...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: And here`s the other thing. She says the Miss Universe Pageant and the Miss USA -- she talks about Miss USA. Miss USA is a big show on a network. She mentioned that Miss America is the big show. Miss America got thrown off the network because it didn`t get the ratings. Miss USA gets great ratings, and now we`ll probably get better ratings than we ever had before.

But we`re on NBC. Miss America got thrown off. She was building up Miss America, that`s the big show. It`s on a small, country cable network. It got thrown off network. My show is on NBC network.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: OK, Donald. Well, in a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, here`s what Barbara Walters told us, quote, Donald Trump is a personal friend of mine and has been a good friend to "The View" for many years. I`m sorry there is friction between Donald and Rosie. That said, I do not regret for one moment my choice to hire Rosie O`Donnell as the moderator of "The View." I certainly hope and expect that this tempest will pass quickly. If you thought you heard it all, wait until you see the second half of my one-on-one interview with Donald Trump. He addresses Rosie`s bankruptcy claim about him, and much more. You will not want to miss it. It`s coming up at 30 past the hour, here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

VARGAS: Well last night a huge SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special event, we named Britney Spears the most controversial celebrity of 2006. So we asked you the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, Britney Spears, do you think she is the most controversial celebrity of 2006? So far 26 percent of you say yes, 74 percent of you say no.

A couple of e-mails, Monica from Georgia thinks we got it wrong. "She`s not controversial. Angelina Jolie better meets that definition."

And Claire, originally from Louisiana, who says she lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, offers this, "I would like to know what Britney has done for here home state of Louisiana. Her marriage/divorce is of such little importance."

Keep voting at CNN.com/SHOWBIZTONIGHT. Send us e-mail at SHOWBIZTONIGHT@CNN.com. And you can also vote on the question of the day by sending a text to 45688. To vote yes, write SHOWBIZ yes. to vote no, write SHOWBIZ no. Once again, send the text to 45688.

HAMMER: Sibila, all this Miss USA drama has everybody talking. I`m curious, when you saw Miss USA the other day saying she`s not an alcoholic, but she is, in fact, heading into rehab, what did you think? Did you buy it?

VARGAS: It just didn`t make any sense to me though, you know, because it`s sort of a contradiction, and if you`re not an alcoholic, you don`t go to rehab, right?

HAMMER: Well, I can`t really be the one to answer that, but it does have us asking the question, if Tara Conner really does have an alcohol problem or, perhaps, is this just a publicity ploy, as some have suggested? More of my exclusive one-on-one interview with Donald Trump will include that information.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Taking money out of her big fat ass would be probably something that is very easy and we probably will follow through with it, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: And I will have the Donald`s fiery response to Rosie O`Donnell`s stunning words about his finances, and Trump will tackle the Miss USA scandal, my exclusive one-on-one interview.

VARGAS: And George Clooney teaming up with a bad guy to pull off the biggest robbery yet. Your first look at "Ocean`s 13" in tonight`s SHOWBIZ Showcase. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Thursday night. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Time now for a story that made us say, that`s ridiculous. Call it a holiday miracle.

Now`s when you say it`s a miracle. Oh, you guys are terrible. Listen to this, a plastic baby Jesus, stolen last Christmas right out of a family`s front lawn in Buffalo, New York, has found its way home. Everybody is smiling tonight. Whoever stole Jesus took him on an eight- month road trip of New York state.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s pictures of him wearing the seat belt. There`s pictures of him in the shower. They kept him clean. There`s pictures of him camping. There`s a drink, so he`s well hydrated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was in a house making brownies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They didn`t go anywhere real expensive and spend a lot of money on Jesus, but they showed him a really good time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: It`s just a travesty. Now, as you saw, the Jesus-nappers even pictures together. They did a book and they called the book, "The Baby Jesus Chronicles." In this season of giving, the family is forgiving, though. They`re just happy to have their statue of the baby Jesus back home. But we still say bah humbug, swiping this statue of the baby Jesus, that`s ridiculous.

All right, you`ve been hearing my explosive interview with Donald Trump tonight. There is more coming up in just a few moments. Trump confirmed with me today that Miss Usa, Tara Conner, is now, in fact, in rehab. Trump said that she could continue her reign as long as she behaved. Other allegations fired at Tara included drug use and sleeping around, so who better to talk to about the party girl than the woman who wrote this book by the same name, Anna David, author of "The Party Girl," and she is with us tonight from Hollywood.

Anna, it`s nice to see you

ANNA DAVID, AUTHOR, "THE PARTY GIRL": It`s nice to see you, A.J.

HAMMER: Well let`s start off talking about Miss USA, who is off to rehab, as I mentioned. I want to take a look at something that she said during the press conference when she was asked whether or not she is, in fact, an alcoholic. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONNER: I wouldn`t say that I`m an alcoholic. I think that that would be pushing the envelope just a little.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: All right, Anna, you`ve been through rehab. You`ve been sober for six years, I know. From your experience, can you understand how somebody could be headed to rehab for a problem with alcohol, yet not be an alcoholic?

DAVID: Well, it`s interesting. I mean, on the one hand, it`s sort of like going to a fat farm or a spa and saying oh, I don`t need to lose weight. I`m just going. On the other hand, and I can only speak about my personal experience, when I went to rehab, I actually didn`t think I was an alcoholic. I, you know, admitted that I sort of had a problem with drugs, but I didn`t think I was an alcoholic. And I went to rehab believing that. So it`s certainly possible. I don`t know if it was a great idea to go and say that. If you`re doing a sort of mea culpa, and showing that you`re, you know, sorry for your behavior, it`s probably not a great idea to say, I`m going to rehab, but I don`t think I`m an alcoholic. But it certainly is possible to go there and not think that.

HAMMER: Yes, I mean, I guess situation is individual, can possibly be different, and we have heard similar questions raised about Lindsay Lohan, when she revealed she was going to AA meetings. Now she says she`s not an alcoholic, yet she`s continued drinking. Now, you`ve beaten this. Is it the kind of a thing where either you are quitting or you`re not quitting?

DAVID: Well, first of all, when you say I`ve beaten this. I mean, it is something -- it`s sort of like alcoholism, doesn`t go away. It`s something that you sort of deal with. I am in recovery from it. And it`s really, really hard for me to talk about somebody else`s alcoholism, or lack of alcoholism. It`s a completely self-diagnosed disease. And I`m, you know, by no means a spokesperson for alcoholism or rehabs or anything like that.

But it is a disease where people slip all the time. It is a disease where there`s a lot of denial, so people don`t think they are alcoholic when they are. But, you know, there are a lot of people, you know, who everybody hears about, who sort of, you know, fall off the wagon, or whatever it is. But I do think it kind of gives rehabs a bad name if people in the public eye go to rehab, and then everybody sees them drinking, and then people go, oh, well rehab doesn`t work.

HAMMER: Yes, I think we are seeing the case where maybe they are talking out of both sides of their mouth.

DAVID: Yes, and, I mean, it doesn`t mean that rehab doesn`t work. It`s an individual disease and it`s self-diagnosed. It`s really hard to talk about other people`s. I can only talk about mine.

HAMMER: I just have a few seconds, is there any kind of advice you would give to these young ladies, who are out there and partying all the time? Some people are saying they`re just out having a good time.

DAVID: You know, look, you can be having a good time. If it starts to make your life unmanageable, and it starts to make your life worse, then it`s probably something to look at, but if you are just having fun, go have fun.

HAMMER: That goes for the starlets and everybody else. The book is called "Party Girl," and it`s due out in June of 2007. Anna David, I appreciate you joining us tonight.

DAVID: Thank you.

HAMMER: We have got more of my exclusive explosive interview with Donald Trump, more of what he has to say about Tara Conner`s trip to rehab, his ugly rift with Rosie O`Donnell and whether or not he thinks Rosie owes him an apology. I bet you can guess that. That`s at 30 past the hour.

VARGAS: Well, in tonight`s SHOWBIZ Showcase, "Ocean`s 13." It`s the third, and last, of the series, which started out as a remake of the 1960 classic starring Rat Packers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior. Now in 13, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and the crew team up with bad guy Andy Garcia to pull off their biggest robbery yet.

Here`s your first look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL PACINO, ACTOR: I know people highly invested in my survival, and they are people who really know how to hurt, in ways you can`t even imagine.

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: Well, I know all the guys that you hired to come after me. They like me better than you.

I know how that makes me feel. I know what that makes me want to do.

BRAD PITT, ACTOR: I was really hoping to avoid that this time.

CLOONEY: Let`s go, boys.

ANDY GARCIA, ACTOR: Think he`s going to fall for this?

CLOONEY: You did. You ready?

GARCIA: I was born ready.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VARGAS: I`ll say it, they are hot. A fully functioning casino was built for "Oceans 13," pretty cool. It opens in June of 2007.

HAMMER: Well here we are at the end of 2006, Sibila. What a year it`s been for people like Lindsay, Paris and of course we have Britney and the pantiless partying. It makes me wonder, don`t any of these stars out there in Hollywood just go and, I don`t know, check out a museum or something?

VARGAS: I don`t know. You know, Paris doesn`t think it`s hot.

HAMMER: And I think you should where your panties if you go to a museum. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has some good advice that could save these ladies` careers. We`ve also got this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Taking money out of her big fat ass would be probably something that is very easy and we probably will follow through on it, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: You`ve got to love Donald Trump and he has some explosive things to say about Rosie O`Donnell`s career. What an ugly battle this is. More of my exclusive, one-on-one interview with Trump, including the advice he gave to Danny Devito.

VARGAS: And Michael Jackson saying beat it to Neverland? Is he about to sell his famous ranch on TV? The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Truth Squad is on the case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VARGAS: Time now to call in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Truth Squad. Tonight we`re opening the file on Michael Jackson, and his adventures in real estate. There were some reports that Jackson wanted to sell the Neverland ranch with the help of a reality show. Well word on the street was that the ranch would be part of Bravo`s million dollar listing series. Well, Jackson`s people tell the SHOWBIZ Truth Squad it`s totally untrue, and even call the reports a malicious attempt to damage Jackson`s character. So there you have it, Neverland ranch, not for sale.

HAMMER: Darn it. All right, Jessica Simpson has certainly had an interesting year, trying to make a big comeback, and she`s making a stunning decision about her singing. The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Truth Squad is on that case. And that`s coming up.

VARGAS: A.J., what could that be? Well, some of Jessica`s fellow young stars -- we`re talking Lindsay, Paris, Britney -- out of control. Tonight, some special advice from SHOWBIZ TONIGHT to help them avoid throwing their careers away. We`ve also got this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Taking money out of her big fat ass would be probably something that would be very easy and we probably will follow through with that, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: That is just the tip of the iceberg. When I was at Donald Trump`s office today, he totally let Rosie O`Donnell have it. We`ll have much more of my revealing, exclusive interview with Trump. Rosie and Donald`s ugly war of words continues, and what advice Donald gave Danny Devito. We`re coming right back.

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

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

HAMMER: Well, tonight, Donald Trump on the warpath. His battle with Rosie O`Donnell is just getting nastier by the minute. First, Rosie criticized Trump`s handling of the Miss USA scandal, calling him "a snake- oil salesman," among other things. And then Trump fired back, and - well, he`s still firing away.

I had the chance to sit down with Mr. Trump himself, and I - I asked him about Rosie`s accusation that he`s desperate to revive the Miss USA ratings, and her allegation that Trump had once declared bankruptcy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: She said I went bankrupt. I`m on the cover, this month, of the Forbes billionaires, the Forbes 400. I`m on the cover. I`m more - look, I don`t want to talk about money. I`m worth many of billions of dollars. Many billions of dollars. Every one knows it. Forbes knows it. Every body knows it. All you have to do is look at the assets. Every body knows it. She knows it.

But what she does is she lies. She said I went bankrupt. I never went bankrupt. She said in the early 90s I went bankrupt. I don`t like it when some body says I went bankrupt. She said it. Except there`s only one problem: it never happened.

She said Miss USA isn`t the big one, it`s Miss America. Miss America`s on cable; Miss USA is on network. Rosie lies.

HAMMER: Going to follow through with your threat to sue her?

TRUMP: Well, you know, taking money out of her big fat ass would be probably some thing that`s very easy, and we probably will follow through with it, yes.

HAMMER: So I`m taking it you don`t feel you owe Rosie any kind of an apology here. Do you feel she owes you an apology?

TRUMP: Well, she lies about things. I mean, she lied about the Miss USA pageant. That`s the big deal right now. Not Miss America. Miss America`s relegated to cable television.

The big deal is the Miss USA pageant, and the biggest deal of all is the Miss Universe pageant. And those are the ones. Once she says that I went bankrupt - and now she realizes that I didn`t go bankrupt - she certainly owes me an apology.

I don`t want an apology. I want her to pay me a lot of money.

HAMMER: Tara Conner has gone into rehab. She says she`s not an alcoholic. What`s your take?

TRUMP: Well, Tara Conner is a very nice person who I think deserves a second chance. She is now in rehab. She went in today. I think she`s coming out hopefully as soon as possible. And she`s going to have a great life.

And I think she`s going to be an inspiration for a lot of young people.

HAMMER: In terms of going on though, a lot of people would say, Well, why would she go in if she`s not an alcoholic? Just trying to set the record straight (INAUDIBLE).

TRUMP: Well, I don`t know too many alcoholics that think they`re alcoholics.

HAMMER: Simply put.

You and I have had this discussion before when controversy has surrounded things that you`ve been with. There are those would say, this whole big thing, a big publicity stunt. What do you say to that?

TRUMP: Well, a lot of people think it`s a publicity stunt for "The Apprentice," which goes in a couple of weeks.

It`s not. It`s not. Look, Rosie O`Donnell attacked me. I didn`t attack her, she attacked me. The only difference is, I attack back. I attack "The View," too, because I saw what they did to a friend of mine. I have a friend named Danny DeVito. I saw a clip of his show. He was brilliant. He was fantastic. He was really funny. They said he was drunk. They put out a release that he was drunk. He wasn`t drunk; he was funny.

And I actually called him. I said, You ought to what I do now. I mean, I go and attack. If somebody attacks me, I attack back, OK? So Danny didn`t want to do that. I think he made a mistake; everyone says, Is he a drunk? Is an alcoholic? He`s not. He`s a great guy. He`s a brilliant guy. He didn`t fight them back.

You got to fight back. When people lie about you, I think you have an obligation to yourself and to your family to fight back. Rosie O`Donnell said very dishonest things about. I hit her between the eye. Today she didn`t even talk; she didn`t even say anything. She didn`t - she was fumbling and nervous. She looked like hell. She was on the program today - every body saw it - she`s stuttering. She`s fumbling. She`s all nervous.

You know why? Because somebody hit right between her big fat eyes.

HAMMER: She almost seemed to toss off the idea when it came up of the lawsuit, like, Yeah right. That was sort of the implication of her look at that time.

TRUMP: She didn`t do anything. She didn`t even talk. She brought out her little girlfriend there, and they sat. And I guess she needed some comfort from her girlfriend.

See, Rosie usually bullies people around. I watched what she did with Kelly Ripa, who`s another friend of mine. That wasn`t right. That wasn`t right. Somebody puts a hand in your mouth, when you`re on television - by the way, that wasn`t right what she said about Kelly Ripa. But Kelly - I think Kelly should have been tougher on Rosie.

But they don`t like to attack Rosie because Rosie`s a bully. I don`t mind. I learned a long time ago, when you`re dealing with a bully, you hit them between the eyes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Well, if you`ve been paying close attention to what`s been going on, this is really jus the latest in what`s become a rather long list of incidents with Rosie on "The View."

First, of course, we had Rosie`s on-air battle with Kelly Ripa. And then Rosie offended members of the Asian community. Now it`s Rosie versus Trump.

So tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has just go to ask: is Rosie out of control?

Joining me from Hollywood, senior writer for "TV Guide" Mary Murphy.

Hello, Mary.

MARY MURPHY, SENIOR WRITER, "TV GUIDE": Hi, A.J. How are you?

HAMMER: I`m good. I`m having a lot of fun with this story, and I guess I got to go right to the - the - the heart of this matter, Mary: is Rosie out of control on "The View"?

MURPHY: I think on the contrary. I think Rosie is in control on "The View."

I think it`s amazing what she has done: raised the level of controversy on "The View," and raised the ratings on "The View."

I think what`s happened with Rosie is that when she was out of the limelight and she faced a lot of controversy, she came back stronger and tougher. And just like Donald said, he`s - he`s tough. He`s - he`s fighting back.

Rosie is not pulling any punches, and it`s just amazing to see what she`s done with "The View."

HAMMER: Yes, and it`s amazing what you can do with any job when, I guess, you realize, It doesn`t matter if I lose this job, which - which Rosie has always made it clear, she doesn`t need the work.

I - I do like your point though that she has invigorated the show. The ratings certainly have gone up, despite what Donald Trump was telling me earlier today. The ratings have gone up since joined up. The show is getting an awful lot of press. They may lose a couple of viewers over this thing or other little scandals, but not many.

Is there a downside at all to having her on the program?

MURPHY: Oh, yes, there`s downside.

I mean, I - I think that the - the problem is that this - the way the show is now structured, it really is the Rosie O`Donnell show. And I`m sure that`s causing a lot of controversy, you know, behind the scenes. I mean, there was so much controversy about Star Jones; Rosie has really taken over.

But I think that the truth is, is that she is so no hold barred that people really want to tune in to see what she has to say. My question is, What got under Trump`s skin so much.

HAMMER: Oh yes.

MURPHY: .about this?

HAMMER: Yes. Yes. He was pulling no punches with me today talking about her, and some of the language, I think, really exemplified that.

And - and he.

MURPHY: And he said he - he said he was standing up for his friends, but I - I think something really, really - what she said really bothered him in the most personal way, and he fought back so personally.

HAMMER: Yes, well and I - I think particularly as it pertains to his business, and when she talked about his business in what he considered an unknowing way - well, that was it. The gloves came off.

You know, all of the controversy that has been surrounding "The View" in the past couple of months really has been because of Rosie. As I mentioned, Kelly Ripa saying that he - she made homophobic remarks about Clay Aiken. Her offending the Asian community - members of the Asian community. And now the Trump mess.

Could it get to the point, Mary, as it did with Star Jones, where ABC and "The View" are saying, You know what? It`s just not worth it anymore. And then they let her go?

MURPHY: I don`t - I don`t think so at this point, because one of the reasons they let Star Jones go is that the ratings slipped because of Star Jones, because she alienated people. I think Rosie is not alienating people; she`s forcing them to tune in and say, What is she going to do next?

Rosie is her own woman, and Donald Trump - I just hope that over the Christmas holidays, we stopped talking about it.

HAMMER: Yes. Yes. I`m with you on that.

Trump, though, quite the contrary, thinks that Rosie is going to destroy "The View." This is what he told me today. He said this - quote - "Barbara Walters called me yesterday. She`s a friend of mine, and she is not a big fan of Rosie."

Now Barbara told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the complete opposite. She`s told me in the past that she completely supports Rosie and loves her on the show.

What do you think the truth is here?

MURPHY: I think Trump is probably telling the truth in this one. I think probably all the people on "The View" are behind the scenes saying, We don`t like this at all, but guess what? You`re not stopping it now. As long as the ratings are high, Rosie is going to go forward, and you`re just going to have to live with it.

HAMMER: And the future looks "Rosie."

Mary Murphy of "TV Guide," thanks for joining us. I appreciate it.

MURPHY: Thank you.

VARGAS: Well, A.J., remember when Jessica Simpson botched the lyrics to the "9 to 5" and got a chance to do it over for a TV special?

HAMMER: Right. Yes. Yes. Yes. So we`re hearing now, Sibila, that the do-over that she did for the TV special didn`t go so well, either. So the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Truth Squad is all over this case. That`s coming up.

We`ll also have this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROB LOWE, ACTOR: I think anybody in their 20s, you know, is - is going through a stage in life where they want to get wild and they want to have a good time. And I think everybody probably does it. It`s just tough when you`re doing it in the public eye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Ah, to be young and famous. Coming up, some advice for the Paris, Britneys and Lindsays of the world from the Hollywood partiers of the past.

VARGAS: And Carson Daly knows a thing or two about Hollywood`s young and restless. We`re going to take his take on the Brit Pack coming up on the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready Y-sound (ph) for the promo. Roll Y, and dissolve sound.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: .up music under. More Truth Squad now. Stand by. Pre-set Camera 1. Open his mike. Dissolve Q.

HAMMER: That`s right, Gnarls (ph). It is time once again to call in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Truth Squad.

Right now, we`re opening up the file on Jessica Simpson. Now you may remember her little performance for the Kennedy Center Honors. She kind of flubbed the lyrics to "9 to 5" during a tribute to Dolly Parton.

If you don`t remember - well, this will refresh your memory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JESSICA SIMPSON, SINGER: (SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Oh, not so good in front of the president, no matter what you think of him.

Simpson got a do-over for the TV special, which airs the day after Christmas. But then we started hearing the buzz that she actually didn`t like that performance, either, and pulled out of the show entirely.

Well, it in fact is true. Simpson`s rep tells the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Truth Squad she really wasn`t happy with her performance and wanted it to be perfect for Dolly. So sadly, she will not be a part of the show.

VARGAS: Well, they are young, they are famous and they are out of control. We are talking about Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The trio`s late-night partying could put an end to their careers.

So what do these ladies have to do to get their careers back on track so they can make news for what they are doing instead of what they aren`t wearing?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT talked to some of Hollywood`s biggest stars to get some sage advice.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VARGAS (voice-over): Britney partying all hours of the night (INAUDIBLE). Paris Hilton partying and getting arrested on DUI charges. Lindsay Lohan attending AA meetings.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you all hope is not lost for these three ladies of late-night partying.

Actor Rob Lowe has been there - young and caught up in scandal. He made not one, but two sex tapes with underage girls in 1988. Lowe rebounded after a stint in rehab, eventually going on to star on "The West Wing."

LOWE: It`s a long night, and we`re not done yet.

VARGAS: But Lowe told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT while every one in their 20s is probably going to party, celebrities like Lindsay, Paris and Britney take an even bigger chance because they do it in the public eye.

LOWE: I think anybody in their 20s, you know, is - is going through a stage in life where they want to get wild and they want to have a good time. And I think everybody probably does it. It`s just tough when you`re doing it in the public eye, you know? And hopefully, you know, you come out the other end of it.

VARGAS: And staying clean and sober is something actor George Clooney has managed to do his entire career. He tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that launching his career later in life is probably the thing that kept him grounded.

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: I didn`t get to be famous until I was 33 years old. I had been around the block a few times, you know? And I - I would image if I was 20 years old, I would have been, you know, shooting crack into my forehead and.

VARGAS: And crankling her forehead when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asked Bette Midler about Lindsay, Paris and Britney`s late-night hijinks, Madame Bette said too much time and no good advice is keeping these ladies down.

BETTE MIDLER, ENTERTAINER: I just think it`s maybe too much money and too much time, you know? And not enough - and not enough - not enough - I think they`re not getting good advice somehow.

(SINGING)

VARGAS: And when it comes to getting good advice and making great music and movies, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT says Beyonce has got it going on.

In fact, she tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, when it comes to public scrutiny or the pressures of the job, she`s not about to let it all come crumbling down.

BEYONCE, ENTERTAINER: And I can`t do anything about it, so I have to - either I`m going to fall under the pressure and, you know, go to drugs or alcohol or give up or be depressed, or I`m going to say, this is not personal. This is my life. And that`s what I choose to do.

VARGAS: And choosing to follow good role models is what Beyonce did right.

COOPER LAWRENCE, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: She had parents who taught her that self-esteem comes from her talent, and who she is inherently, who she is inside, and not from who she knows, not from how many magazine covers she`s been on or she`s dating or what drugs she should be doing. She really is a testimony to real identity.

VARGAS: And being identified by who you are and not what you are or aren`t wearing - are you hearing this, Britney? - will never get your career back on track.

Even Madame Bette Midler agrees with that.

MIDLER: So wear your underwear.

HAMMER: Wear your underwear. That`s a piece of advice.

MIDLER: Because you never know.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VARGAS: There you have it.

Linsday, Britney, Paris, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT just gave you some good advice, and we are hoping you use it.

HAMMER: Now on to somebody who knows an awful lot about the young and famous. In fact, he is going to be hanging out with some of them on New Year`s Eve. That is because Carson Daly, host of "Last Call" with Carson Daly, is counting down to the New Year for NBC this year with an hourlong special called - great title - "NBC`s New Year`s Eve With Carson Daly."

Carson Daly here in New York. I think I`ve said your name 16 times.

Good to see you, man.

CARSON DALY, "NBC`S NEW YEAR`S EVE WITH CARSON DALY": Genius. Thank you, A.J. Good to see you, too.

HAMMER: How are you, bud?

DALY: Did something happen with Donald Trump today?

HAMMER: Yes. Yes. Yes. More on that later.

DALY: I`m hearing a little bit - what happened?

HAMMER: Donald`s a little upset with Rosie O`Donnell.

DALY: Really? Unbelievable.

HAMMER: Yes, he had some choice words.

But we were just talking about the Hollywood stars being out of control.

DALY: Yes.

HAMMER: And we had a pretty big night here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT last night. We named our most controversial celebrity of 2006.

DALY: Take your pick. It`s a pickum (ph).

HAMMER: Britney Spears was at the top of our list.

DALY: Yes.

HAMMER: And - and she got the award.

Now you were with her back in the "TRL" days.

DALY: Hey, hey, hey. Don`t.

HAMMER: What I meant to say was, back in the "TRL" days, when her career was just getting fired up, you were spending some time professionally with her.

What do you make of her (INAUDIBLE)?

DALY: Well, she was - she was young. She was regularly wearing underwear at that point. She was making a lot of music videos. She was on top of the music world.

And, you know, she`s grown up, and she`s - she`s having a lot of fun right now, and she`s partying. She`s letting off some - some steam, clearly.

HAMMER: Do you think it`s a little out of control though? Because she`s a young mom; she`s got the two kids at home. The publicity she`s getting, not for the best of reasons (INAUDIBLE).

DALY: Yes. I think the - I think the media`s infatuation with celebrities in general is what is more mesmerizing than the acts themselves.

I mean, we all see it, and it - it seems like - well, that was dumb, getting out of the car with no underwear on. And then you do it again the next night, and again the next night. But it`s, like, you know, I - I - I don`t care. I`m kind over it. Yet everybody now - because of the Internet, everybody needs their news, and they want to make these stories and just hold on to them as long as they can.

So I think it`s a - I think it`s a - a sad case for everybody involved.

HAMMER: OK. I mean, so - so do you think though, more specifically to what they`re doing - look, they`re young.

DALY: Yes.

HAMMER: They`re living in Hollywood. Should they just be left alone? I mean, obviously the paparazzi are going to follow them.

Or does somebody need to get a handle on the situation? Because they are role models for a lot of young women.

DALY: Well, you can answer that in two different lights.

I mean, I think on a more sort of parental - you know, I look at a lot of that younger Hollywood contingency as sort of like, you know, younger sisters - I`ve known a lot of them since they were small. And, you know, I feel bad for them. Yes, you wish someone would sort of shake them, and - and - and you - you want them to act appropriately.

But on the other side, you know, they`re going to go out; they`re going to have fun. And we live in an age where the camera lenses shoot - shoot you at all times.

I mean, live in L.A. now after a year. It`s amazing the paparazzi out there. And they`re - they`re pretty - they`re pretty terrifying. So they know when they go out that it`s going to show up on the Internet the next - the next day. So they should act accordingly. It shouldn`t surprise them.

HAMMER: Yes, you`ve had that perspective, too, because you lived for a long time here in New York, as I - I do.

DALY: Yes.

HAMMER: And when I go out there, it is a whole different story.

DALY: Yes, absolutely.

But in L.A. - I mean, the nightlife, just around two or three places in Los Angeles, and certainly in Malibu where - where Britney and Kevin lived - I mean, that whole place, the - the paparazzi out there is really unbelievable. It`s like a militia. It`s - it`s crazy.

And I used to not be sympathetic towards celebrities. My whole thing was, Hey, you guys make all the bucks. You`re loaded. You know, your life is public domain now, so, you know what? Like, cry me a river.

But it - it - it`s pretty crazy.

HAMMER: Danny Bonaduce on our show last night, saying, Hey, I owe it to you. You - you paid for me to.

DALY: Yes.

HAMMER: .say whatever you want me to say. If you have a question for me, come up and ask me. So he - he feels very strongly that they have lost the right to privacy.

DALY: Yes, I - I also agree with that to - to a large extent. But, you know, that`s because Danny and I were broke for many years, and now appreciate everything we have.

HAMMER: Well, here we are at the end of the year, and as you get set to do your big New Year`s Eve countdown on NBC.

DALY: Yes.

HAMMER: And as you mentioned, take your pick of the wild stories that came out of 2006.

Was there one that you followed along and you just to yourself, Oh my God, I cannot believe that that happened? You got a lot to pick from.

DALY: You know, there are a lot. And we`re going to look back on New Year`s Eve, aside from having some great music and being live in Times Square for NBC this year - and also we`re on MSNBC and CNBC and Bravo - we`re doing this whole multi-plat (ph) rollout for our show, which is exciting. I think, to me, though, the biggest story of the year that I just, is - is - is awesome and is hard to wrap my head around is this whole "Time" magazine person of the year, this - this notion of the digital democracy.

And I think that`s - I think the Internet has just - is the biggest story of the year and will continue to change us. The technology that`s happened - it changes the way that we look at entertainment news, in - in your show and in late night and my show and television and - and - and the globe.

So I think that`s probably one of the - the biggest stories that I think we`ll focus on on our show.

HAMMER: Do you see a real danger, that, you know, everybody is - is looking to the blogs now, and any - anybody can write anything about anything..

DALY: It`s unbelievable.

HAMMER: And - and really, I have read so many things that have been untrue about so many things. Yet people believe the written word, and a lot of celebrities have told me they think there`s such a danger in that, as - as new generations come up.

DALY: It`s true.

You know, everybody has this sense of - whether it`s warranted or not - this sense of entitlement to an opinion. And via the blog, via the social networking tools that are now out there, communities have been formed. People can talk to one another. And they`ve sort of - they`ve band together and they`ve created this whole online movement. And every little action that anybody takes, whether it`s in entertainment or politics, there`s this giant backlash of this digital democracy that now has this megaphone, and they reach.

And you see the magazines. I mean, I was reading a - a magazine the other day, and the news I was reading - to me, it was just two days old.

HAMMER: Well, hopefully people will handle it responsibly.

DALY: I agree.

HAMMER: Carson, good to see you. Happy New Year to you, man.

DALY: Good to see you, too. Thank you very much.

HAMMER: Carson`s Daly "NBC`s New Year`s Eve With Carson Daly" will start at 11:30 New Year`s Eve on NBC.

VARGAS: Well, we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Britney Spears: Do you think she`s the most controversial celebrity of 2006?"

Let`s take a look at the votes so far: 26 percent of you say yes; 74 percent of you say no.

Here`s some of - more of the e-mails that we`ve gotten.

Anne from Virginia writes, "I don`t find Britney Spears to be controversial at all. She`s simply trailer trash. All her actions confirm that fact."

Sharon from California writes, "Mel Gibson is the most controversial celebrity for 2006. Every one expects Britney to be a total mess."

Keep voting at cnn.com/showbiztonight. Send us e-mail at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

And you can could also vote on the "Question of the Day" by sending a text to 45688. To vote yes, write "SHOWBIZ Yes." To vote now, write "SHOWBIZ No." Once again, send the text to 45688.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back. Stick around (INAUDIBLE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VARGAS: Last night, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Miss USA Going to Rehab: Is it all a publicity stunt?"

Eighty-four percent of you say yes; 16 percent of you say no.

Some of the e-mails we got:

Linda from Texas writes, "Miss USA did nothing but cry fake tears and play the blame game. She took no personal responsibility"

Mario writes, "Of course it`s all about publicity. It`s Donald Trump. That`s the only that he knows to get attention for his awful show."

HAMMER: Here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT:

Tomorrow, it`s the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Holiday Wish List." We`ve been nice all year; we`re just asking for a few things. For example, we want Brad and Angie to get married. We want Britney to tone it down with the partying, and wear panties.

Find out what else is on the SHOWBIZ Christmas list tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, once upon a time in Hollywood, a handsome man and a beautiful young woman fell in love. They`re the star love stories that make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Or is that the eggnog? Fairy tale couples, tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Thanks for watching.

VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. Good night, every one.

"GLENN BECK" is next, right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News.

END

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