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Lindsay Lohan`s Part Time Rehab; Brandy Faces Vehicular Man Slaughter Charges

Aired January 29, 2007 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: A shocking recommendation in a fatal car crash involving R&B star Brandy. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: And the "Grey`s Anatomy" cast changes its tune toward co-star Isaiah Washington. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, livid at Lindsay. Tonight, why Lindsay Lohan`s fellow rehab patients are completely fed up with her and might even revolt. The outrageous shopping trips, the stunning special treatment. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wonders, has Lindsay`s Wonderland rehab become a joke?

Shocking Jennifer Lopez secrets. Tonight, why J-Lo is heading to go court to keep her ex-husband quiet about what allegedly went on under the covers. Scandalous sex claims, allegations of adultery. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates why J-Lo wants to keep all this on the down low.

Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: Hi there everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And does Jennifer Lopez have some sensational secrets she doesn`t want you to know? In just a few minutes, why she is taking her ex-husband to court to keep him quiet. We`ve got that inside story coming up.

HAMMER: It`s fascinating and salacious. But first tonight, I got to tell you, talk about an awkward night. It was almost a little uncomfortable to watch and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there at the SAG Awards, as "Grey`s Anatomy" was a big winner, but its star Isaiah Washington was both a winner and a loser.

ANDERSON: Yes A.J. Washington was not there to share the glory because he was cooling his heels in rehab, following his gay slurs that outraged everybody, especially his own cast mates.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Isaiah Washington seems to have a new nickname with the "Grey`s Anatomy" cast, the one in rehab.

CHANDRA WILSON, "GREY`S ANATOMY": It`s about those ten cast members sitting over there and the other one in rehab. I mean, you all are just holding me together.

ANDERSON: That`s Chandra Wilson, who plays Miranda Bailey (ph) on "Grey`s," accepting her SAG Award for outstanding female actor in a drama series. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there as Wilson seemed to be lightning up what`s been a very heavy mood ever since the Golden Globes when Washington dropped this backstage bombshell, denying that he called his cast mate T.R. Knight an anti-gay slur.

ISAIAH WASHINGTON, "GREY`S ANATOMY": No, I did not call T.R. a faggot. It never happened.

ANDERSON: Katherine Heigl, Washington`s co-star, basically had to fight off the press at the SAG Awards, probably because of how outspoken she was in an interview with Access Hollywood immediately following the Globes.

KATHERINE HEIGL, "GREY`S ANATOMY": I`m going to be really honest right now. He needs to just not speak in public, period.

ANDERSON: But when Katherine stopped for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT cameras Sunday night, we didn`t see any of that anger. Instead, Katherine told us she is proud of Isaiah for making the right move and entering rehab.

HEIGL: I am grateful that he is taking steps to sort of change his mind set. And that`s all you can hope for anybody, that anybody would do. And it`s hard, it`s really hard to see that you maybe don`t see things the way you ought to. I am very hopeful that that will be successful for him.

ANDERSON: Washington may have lots of support from his cast mates now that he`s in treatment, but not everyone is buying the rehab thing, especially comedian Wanda Sykes who didn`t hold back when she appeared on "Ellen."

WANDA SYKES, COMEDIAN: You know, the whole thing with Isaiah going on -- they sent him to rehab, which I don`t understand. What is that?


SYKES: What is that? What is gay rehab? What is that? Are you watching "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy?" Is Rosie giving him a good talking to?

ANDERSON: Joe Levy of "Rolling Stone Magazine" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Isaiah`s entry into treatment seems like more of quick fix for a bad case of foot in mouth disease.

JOE LEVY, "ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE": This is something that he had to do. I don`t know if he had to do it in exactly this way, but I doubt very much that he was left any choice. Whether or not his superiors said you needing to this facility for this kind of counseling, it doesn`t matter. They have been so clear in their denunciation of him that he had no choice but to show the public he was addressing the situation.

ANDERSON: And now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you it seems he is winning over his cast mates.

JAMES PICKENS JR., "GREY`S ANATOMY": We`re one as a cast and we always will be and that`s all that matters.

ANDERSON: James Pickens Jr. plays Dr. Richard Webber on "Grey`s Anatomy," and, like most of his cast mates, tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, he is standing behind Washington.

PICKENS: I`ve spoken to him and he`s fine. He`s doing great. He`s in a good space.

ANDERSON: Chandra Wilson told us Isaiah isn`t alone. She says, most people reach a point where they go through a personal rebirth.

WILSON: That`s how we become better human beings, so he is no difference than any other human being out there. It could be any one of us five minutes from now.

ANDERSON: "Entertainment Weekly`s" Jennifer Armstrong tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the "Grey`s Anatomy" cast which, himself also won the SAG Award for best drama ensemble, is doing exactly what they need to do, working as a united front.

JENNIFER ARMSTRONG, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": I am sure that there have been lots and lots of behind the scenes meetings on this topic with as high up as they could possibly go at ABC and Touchstone. Everybody here is making a lot of money off of this, and it behooves everyone involved for them to be able to eventually move past this. Of course, they have to deal with it and they know that now.

ANDERSON: And now, with support from his cast mates, maybe the wounds Washington caused can start to mend, which seems fitting for a show that`s all about healing.


ANDERSON: More "Grey`s" news out there today, reports are circulating that T.R. Knight is thinking about quitting the show over the way the whole Isaiah Washington mess was handled. Well, we called ABC and Knight`s publicist. Both told us the rumors are completely untrue.

HAMMER: Some stunning new developments involving R&B star Brandy and that fatal car accident she was involved with last month. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned that the California Highway Patrol is recommending that she be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Now it`s up to the Los Angeles attorney`s office whether or not to move forward. If convicted, Brandy could face up to a year in jail and a 1,000 dollar fine.

Police say Brandy failed to slow down on a freeway and caused a four car wreck. The accident claimed the life of a 38-year-old mother.

Sexy singer Jennifer Lopez is trying to stop a steamy tell-all book, written by her ex-husband Ohani Noah (ph), from going public. And I can certainly understand why. This is reportedly jam packed with lots of unflattering details about what he calls J-Lo alleged cheating and man- stealing ways.

Lopez has been married to singer Marc Anthony for the past two years. She sued her ex Ohani last year when she found out he was shopping around this 12 chapter bombshell. And J-Lo`s lawyers contend that Jen even bought her ex` permanent silence with 125,000 dollar court settlement back in October of 2005. So what does J-Lo have to hide? And will she be able to keep these private detail about her life private?

Joining me from the Court TV studios here in New York, Ashleigh Banfield, host of Hollywood Heat on Court TV. Hello Ashleigh.


HAMMER: Well, from the sound of it, this tell all is going to paint an extremely unflattering picture of J-Lo, with some seriously salacious claims, including that she was unfaithful. What is Ohani alleging about her unfaithfulness?

BANFIELD: Well, he`s suggesting that she was unfaithful with one of her cast mates from the movie "Anaconda." He is not suggesting, at least publicly yet, which one. Do you want me to read the list of who it could be, though? Ice Cube Eric Soltz (ph), Owen Wilson, John Voigt; I don`t know. He is also suggesting that Marc Anthony cheated on his wife while she was still Miss Universe. You know, and I think he is also talking about their very first sexual encounter too. So there`s some personal nasty stuff in there.

HAMMER: Has she responded at all to these specific allegations?

BANFIELD: Well, in a way yes, and in a way no. She hasn`t said anything about the allegations, but there is a fight about how they are going to fight over these allegations, and it`s whether they are going to fight publicly or privately. And there is a whole sort of litany of law suits between the two of them prior to this, that outline that it should be fought privately.

HAMMER: But they already, from what I understand, tried to deal with this before, as I mentioned, back in 2005. So explain to me, because I`m confused, what the deal is here. Wasn`t there this small amount of 125,000 dollars that was supposed to be hush money in a court settlement to keep this thing from getting out there?

BANFIELD: Yes, I mean, you did your research and you got it right on. The only problem first amendment laws across this country say you can`t pay anything to hush anybody. Contractual law, on the other hand, suggests that if he does talk, he might just have to pay. So while he can`t be bound not to talk, it may just cost him, and all of that stems from a lawsuit he launched against her, because he was mad that she fired him as a manager of her restaurant.

So, in dealing with that whole ugly lawsuit, there was this 125,000 dollar contract settlement, in which she had asked him, you can`t talk about our private details. Again, you can`t compel someone not to talk. It just might cost him.

HAMMER: See, I`m hearing this, and I actually have some sympathy for J-Lo, because it kind of seems to me like she is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If she ignores the allegations and lets him publish this book, all this nasty stuff is out there. It`s in the ether, whether or not it`s true. If she goes after him, it kind of looks like she has something to hide. So what`s a star to do Ashleigh, please?

BANFIELD: Well, don`t we all have something to hide?

HAMMER: I don`t know about you --

BANFIELD: Did I just say that out loud? That`s my inner monologue.

HAMMER: I believe you did.

BANFIELD: But the truth of it is everybody has got a little secret or something that they have to hide and some ex-spouses think it`s a bigger and better deal in print. I think, honestly, if she fights this, she can fight this for private arbitration and, therefore, nothing becomes public. But, if it does go to court and she fights it with him there, then she kind of has to talk about what`s in the book. What will that do? Well, we`ll all find out, stuff we I think already know. But, also, it might diminish his book sales, because if we already know it, why do we need to read it?

HAMMER: Then the long term question is, in terms of the upshot of this whole thing -- so if these allegations were really to get out ether, could it actually hurt her career and her reputation, because obviously this is stuff that happened so long ago?

BANFIELD: Well, she is no Julia Roberts, as my friend Jamie Foyd (ph) likes to put it. So there is this perception -- she has already married three times, divorced within a few months each time -- or two prior times - - So what is her public perception right now anyway? And then the other thing is, you know, people who are on TV, you and me included, we don`t have the right to privacy like Joe Schmo on the street. He has more of a right to privacy than we do, and J-Lo has even less than you and I do, because she is such a huge celebrity. So there`s some things, look, I`m sorry J-Lo. These are the prices of fame. Some stuff`s going to get out there.

HAMMER: We give it up when we take the job. Ashleigh Banfield, host of Court TV`s Hollywood Heat, I appreciate you being with us.

BANFIELD: Always love it.

ANDERSON: A.J., Miss USA Tara Conner, fresh out of rehab, did you happen to catch those pictures of her?

HAMMER: Oh, yes, talk about a little spin control going on there, huh?

ANDERSON: Absolutely, well tonight, we have your first look at the first video of Tara back home. Plus her stunning about face and alcohol admission. That`s next.

HAMMER: Also livid at Lindsay; tonight why Lindsay Lohan`s fellow rehab patients are completely fed up with her. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wonders has Lindsay`s Wonderland rehab become a joke? We have also got this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: African Americans still are sort of at the back of the bus in many ways when it comes to Hollywood.


ANDERSON: A bunch of African Americans honored so far this award season, but has progress really been made? The Reverend Jesse Jackson joins us straight ahead.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Monday night. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. It`s time now for a story that made us say, that`s ridiculous!

hey, watch out Starbucks, because you got a little competition with some nearly naked ambition. Cow Girls Espresso Coffee Chain is apparently pouring Java with a jolt. I`m talking about piping hot coffee, served by hot, scantily clad women. These (INAUDIBLE) beauties are part of a growing trend of coffee shops with a gimmick, trying to grab sales from Starbucks.

It seems to be working, because there are imitators of the imitators. You got the Sweet Spot Cafe. You go the Bikini Express, even my favorite, Naughty Latte. But we got to say, these Star-butts, I mean bucks, wannabees, that`s ridiculous!

Well, tonight all is not well in Lindsay Lohan rehab land. As we know, Lindsay checked herself into rehab, reportedly to beat a drinking problem, but then came all these stories that Lindsay was also frequently checking herself out to have lunch with her friends, to get her car serviced, shop, walk around. You know, a girl can`t live on rehab alone.

Now tonight, get this, her fellow rehab patients at the Wonderland facility are reportedly livid at Lindsay, claiming she is getting special treatment. Joining me tonight from Glendale, California, Harvey Levin, managing editor of Hello Harvey.


HAMMER: All right, so from what you`re hearing, Lindsay not making a lot of friends at this Wonderland rehab facility, and she is actually leading some people to leave?

LEVIN: Yes. One member of my staff spoke with somebody who was in the facility, and the bottom line is, this person was ticked off, saying that Lindsay Lohan was getting all sorts of special treatment, and it seemed like the facility, to at least this person, was more about that than it was rehabilitation. And he kind of left in disgust.

HAMMER: Rehab seems like a bad place to make enemies. Let`s do a little Lindsay Lohan rehab recap, shall we? Since she checked in, she checked out to get her Mercedes serviced. She was photographed having a beautiful lunch. She paid a visit to the set of her next movie, "I Know Who Killed Me." Doesn`t she get how bad this looks, Harvey?

LEVIN: Well, look, her rep told us on Friday that this is not the Betty Ford Clinic. It`s not that kind of an in-patient clinic. And the rep was basically saying, you know, get out of her life right now, because, you know, it`s Lindsay that`s trying to deal with this, and it`s not that type of facility. That`s their position.

HAMMER: Well, that being said, when Lindsay checked into rehab, everybody was talking about how she had said that she wanted to show that she was getting serious, that she was taking her career very seriously, because she knew it could be in jeopardy, nobody would want to hire her if she was some kind of a liability. That really seemed to be what was going on. From the looks of it, for me, for you, doesn`t seem like she is doing much to help her cause, or maybe are we judging her too quickly here?

LEVIN: Well no, I think you`re right. I think the fact that, you know, she said, look, I was in A.A., wasn`t working. Now I`m in rehab. Everybody thought she was kind of stepping it up, and then we seeing her go into her condo and going shopping, like you said, and all the other places. I guess to the average Joe it doesn`t look like she is taking it all that seriously, but the people who really count right now, you`re right, they are the people who are making movies that may star Lindsay Lohan and I think she has got some proving to do. I`m not so sure how much this helped.

HAMMER: Yes, I mean, if it`s a simple question of satisfying whatever the insurance writers are for these films she has to work on --

LEVIN: Absolutely.

HAMMER: You just have to show that you`ve been to a facility, and I guess this might be accomplishing it. So it seems to me, with all of this going, Lindsay is getting more attention just for being in rehab.

LEVIN: Right.

HAMMER: Isn`t she just a big-time attention junkie when it comes right down to it?

LEVIN: I mean, I don`t want to be too harsh with her, but I thought it was really telling last week that one of the places she went was a restaurant called the Newsroom Cafe.

HAMMER: That`s one of my favorites restaurants, by the way. And, of course, right across the street from the Ivy in Hollywood there on Robertson Boulevard.

LEVIN: And what`s at the Ivy?

HAMMER: A little bit of paparazzi.

LEVIN: A little bit of the parazzi. So, of all the places she chose, she chose a place where she knew it would be swarmed with paparazzi. So did she want attention? It`s hard for me to believe she couldn`t think of another good restaurant in L.A.

HAMMER: She had better not start ruining the reputation of the Newsroom, one of my favorite places to get a healthy meal. I`m telling you right now. It`s funny we`re talking about it with the parazzi, but it is truly a fairly low-key place, of course, as we said, right across from the Ivy.

Harvey Levin, from, I appreciate you joining us Harvey.


ANDERSON: Now onto another celebrity dealing with rehab. Tonight a look at the very first video of Miss USA out of rehab. Last month Tara Conner was not fired by pageant co-owner Donald Trump after allegations of steamy sex-capades and alcohol abuse came out. Instead she was shipped off to rehab. On "The Today Show," it looks like she has chilled out a bit.


TARA CONNER, MISS USA: I spent my birthday, Christmas, New Year in rehab. And these are the cookies that were made for me when I got back. She made them.


Now, remember, Tara denied having a drinking problem, but now that she spent that month in rehab, she has changed her story, telling "People Magazine," "I didn`t think I had any kind of issue going into rehab, but I have realized I do have an issue. I suffer from the disease of alcoholism and addiction. I`m a completely different person out of rehab. Before I entered rehab, I hardly knew who I was. I felt like I was floating and I just needed someone to pull me down."

HAMMER: Well, on Friday we asked to you vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, 28 days in rehab -- will Miss USA change? Most of you don`t think it`s going to help her out at all. Only 17 percent of you say, yes, she will change; 83 percent of you say, no, she won`t.

Couple of e-mails, one from Jeremiah in Florida, who says: "I don`t think Miss USA will ever change because once an alcoholic always an alcoholic."

Sarah in Oregon thinks "Miss USA won`t get clean. She might do that stuff again. Clean up or resign your crown!"

ANDERSON: A.J., you know New York`s Fashion League, just around the corner, right? But they aren`t banning skinny models.

HAMMER: And they should.

ANDERSON: What`s going on with that? Coming up next in the SHOWBIZ Weight Watch, we`re going to have stars who are speaking out about the growing outrage over these super-skinny models on the runway, and we`ve also got this.

HAMMER: A movie that`s definitely going to cause controversy. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with a special first look at the U.S. feature film, the first one set in the Iraq war. We`ve got one of the stars of the film right here.

ANDERSON: And Kevin Federline outrage; what he did this time that`s got burger flippers everywhere flipping out on him.


HAMMER: And now more of the SHOWBIZ Weight Watch. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT covers Hollywood`s obsession with body image like no other entertainment news show. Tonight, the battle of super-skinny models on the runway and the dangerous messages about eating disorders they are send to women around the world, comes to the United States this week. New York`s Fall 2007 Fashion Week kicks off on Friday. Organizers here are not banning rail thin models like Madrid did.

So what do you think? It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day -- super-skinny models, should they be banned from fashion shows?

Vote at E-mail us at

ANDERSON: Well body image was on everybody`s minds at last night`s Screen Actors Guild Awards here in Hollywood. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there as starts, both on and off stage, spoke about the non-stop pressure to stay skinny in Hollywood and the growing outrange of using dangerously thin models on the runway.


AMERICA FERRERA, "UGLY BETTY": I think that it`s very responsible. I mean, I think this whole thing with the models goes beyond image and vanity. It goes into a health topic. And then we`re talking just about medical help. And so I think that the fashion industry should have to be responsible for young women that they employ and for their own good help them to be healthy or to be at a certain weight.

CHANDRA WILSON, "GREY`S ANATOMY": Just to be able to take this thing home, to my girls in particular, and hold it in front of them, and say, look what this skin, and this nose, and this height, and these arms, you know. I`m here! Thank you Screen Actors Guild for taking me as I am. Thank you.


ANDERSON: I love her, what a great speech. Chandra, by the way, took home best actress in a TV dram for playing Dr. Miranda Bailey on "Grey`s Anatomy."

HAMMER: Big stars come out for a big Iraq war protest. We`re talking about Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, even Jane Fonda beating the anti-war drum again. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there. We`ve also got this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: African Americans still are sort of at the back of the bus in many ways when it comes to Hollywood.


ANDERSON: A whole bunch of African Americans honored so far this award season, but has progress truly been made? The Reverend Jesse Jackson joins us coming up.

HAMMER: And Kevin Federline outrage, what Britney`s soon to be ex did this time that`s got burger flippers everywhere flipping out on him.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Monday night. Here it is, 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. You are watching TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

HAMMER: Now Brooke, you know me pretty well. You can`t imagine me, I`m sure, coming for - to the defense of Kevin Federline of all people/

ANDERSON: I can`t imagine, no.

HAMMER: And - and I`m not saying I`m going to. But I`m thinking that perhaps political correctness has run amok. It all involves a scandal involving Kevin Federline you will not want to miss. We`ll get into that in just a few minutes.

ANDERSON: It seems K-Fed just can`t do anything right these days, A.J.

Also, A.J., we`re going to have your very special look that`s sure to stir up some controversy. It is the first feature film set in the war in Iraq. And one of its stars is going to join us, straight ahead.

But first, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Special Report": "Black in Hollywood." With the awards season in full swing, it would seem that things have never been better for African-Americans in Hollywood. Jennifer Hudson, Chandra Wilson, Forest Whitaker and Eddie Murphy were among the black actors who were big winners last night at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is here to tell you, Hold on just a second.

Joining us tonight from Hollywood is the Rev. Jessie Jackson, who is here to give us a very powerful and eye-opening reality check. We`re going to be speaking Reverend Jackson in just a moment.

But first tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates: has there been real progress, or are the accolades merely skin deep?


WILL SMITH, ACTOR: You got a dream, you got to protect it.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Will Smith protected and fulfilled his dream. His Oscar nomination for "The Pursuit of Happyness" is the latest in a long list of accomplishments as an actor in Hollywood.

SMITH: Don`t ever let somebody tell you you can`t do something.

ANDERSON: Smith is among five black actors nominated for Academy Awards this year. And the musical "Dreamgirls," with its nearly all-black cast, got the most nominations of any film.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON, OSCAR NOMINEE, 1995: They are just great, great, great roles and great films that happen to have people of color in them. I mean, it`s not long overdue. It`s just the fact that those were the films that were very good this year.

ANDERSON: But for every high-profile award-winning African-American star, like Samuel L. Jackson, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry or Forest Whitaker, there are countless other black actors toiling away in obscurity, hoping to get their break in an industry criticized for discriminating against actors of color.

RUSSELL ROBINSON, UCLA SCHOOL OF LAW: African-Americans still are sort of at the back of the bus in many ways, when it comes to Hollywood.

ANDERSON: UCLA law professor Dr. Russell Robinson recently conducted a survey of casting announcements, and found that only up to 8 percent of all roles are written specifically for black actors.

ROBINSON: It`s this sort of unthinking assumption that white has to be the choice, that the central character has to be a white man. That is, I think, sort of the - the most pervasive explanation for the discrimination that we see.

ANDERSON: A look at, a popular Web site actors use to get casting announcement, doesn`t disprove Robinson`s finding. Caucasian, Caucasian, Caucasian, white or Hispanic, white or Hispanic. Caucasian, African-American, Caucasian.

This particular description calls for an African-American drug dealer with a tooth gap and devious look in his eyes.

ROBINSON: There`s some really cruel choices that actors have to make. If they want to work, they have to demean themselves and demean their identities.

ANDERSON: Actor and director Harry Lennix, who stars in the new film "Stomp the Yard," says he has to fight against being stereotypes.

HARRY LENNIZ, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: I had terrible routs (ph) last year with, you know, big Hollywood executive producers who tried to put a character I was playing on television in a really demeaning light. And I would not do it.

I think we all have the power of "no."

ANDERSON: It isn`t just black actors who are underrepresented in Hollywood. Of the more 13,000 members of the Director`s Guild of America, fewer than 5 percent are African-Americans.

One reason, Robinson asserts, why more blacks aren`t featured in front of the camera.

ROBINSON: The various people that are deciding in terms of casting are -- are - are people that are mostly white men. And so it`s not surprising that they would sort of replicate their identities in the casting process.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: Look at me. I`m your (INAUDIBLE) black people. Without me, you`re just another black man in Africa, all right?

ROBINSON: Even in movies that are about Africa, like "Blood Diamond," you know, where it`s about Africa, but it starred a white man, you know? And the black characters are just sort of there to help the white man develop in some way.

ANDERSON: Film critic Elvis Mitchell says the tide may really turn when African-Americans are recognized for their work behind the character.

ELVIS MITCHELL, FILM CRITIC: It`s great that African-Americans have been nominated. But I`ve often said that, you know, when we start an African-American director nominated, or an African-American screenwriter nominated and win, that`s when we see there`s been a real shift in this.

FOREST WHITAKER, ACTOR: Together, we make this country better!

ANDERSON: Oscar nominee Forest Whitaker is hopeful and feels progress is being made.

WHITAKER: There`s, like, so many people working. It doesn`t mean that there`s still not some difficulty. But there`s people behind the camera, director. There`s people, like, producing. There`s people, like - there`s - there`s many stars.

ANDERSON: Casting director Twinkie Byrd agrees, and says the black film community has the power to change things.

TWINKIE BYRD, CASTING DIRECTOR: They have to write and stop sitting around and waiting for people to write for us. We have stories to tell; let`s tell them. What are we waiting for?

We have money to pool together. We - we have - we have people to pull together. We have resources. Let`s utilize them.

SMITH: You want something, go get it. Period.


ANDERSON: So are black actors in Hollywood getting a fair shake?

With us tonight from Hollywood, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow Push Coalition.

Welcome, Revered Jackson.


ANDERSON: All right. As we just heard, this year`s Oscar race includes five black actors among the nominees in the top categories. And, you know, Reverend Jackson, many were huge winners at both the Golden Globes and last night`s Screen Actors Guild Awards.

What do you think? Are you satisfied?

JACKSON: Well, that`s progress. That is excitement. It`s one of those huge moments.

You can think about the impact Denzel Washington has had, and this year, Will Smith and - and Whitaker and Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson. This is a big deal. And it`s been a long time coming.

It shows we`ve never had a talent deficit, only an opportunity deficit in the infrastructure in the pipeline of writers and producers and screen directors and access to capital. And while we will celebrate these winners this year and hope they will be real big winners on - on Oscar night, the study from UCLA shows 70 percent of all roles are written for white males, and 8 percent for African-Americans, and 5 percent for Latinos, 1 percent for Native Americans.

We must in fact demand more access to that pipeline. To put it this way, Brooke: we did not know how good baseball could be until everybody could play. We don`t know how good performances can be until - until all can act and act in roles more natural.

ANDERSON: Well - well, it`s very interesting because of the roles these actors who are getting recognition, the roles that they`re playing and that they`re winning for - Reverend Jackson, you`ve got Jennifer Hudson, a role based on one of the original Supremes; Eddie Murphy playing a role based, you know, loosely on the late James Brown; Forest Whitaker playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Even Will Smith playing a real guy in "The Pursuit of Happyness," Chris Gardner.

These are real stories. Is - isn`t what we need here good stories that are reflective of the black community?

JACKSON: But, you know, it`s - and that`s a good thing. And when some of these stories are there, screenwriters cannot get the job, or they cannot get access to capital. And that is a big deal.

But, you know, I`m also concerned about just the culture. Fifteen years ago - remember Arsenio Hall on nighttime TV? And now there`s not one African-American hosting a nighttime TV show or even hosting a TV show, except Tavis Smiley on PBS. And so it`s - it`s kind of all day, all night, all white.

And so many Latino Americans and blacks are locked out. We want the door to open and to have a more even playing field.

I feel good this year about these actors being - and actresses being nominated, or two African-Americans in the Super Bowl. But all it proves to me is that whenever there`s an even playing field, no matter how difficult the task is, we score; we do well.

ANDERSON: As I just reported in my piece, to bring it back to the acting, according to this study, only 8 percent of roles, all roles, are written specifically for black actors.

Now, Reverend Jackson, that`s obviously disproportionate to the population. Why do you think there is such an imbalance?

JACKSON: Well, there`s this - this history - this historical history of - of lockouts, and assumptions about - about - about white males.

But now we`re showing, and they - I hope this is a breakthrough moment - that there`s a growing African-American movie-going market. And market is a - is a factor in this. And the Will Smith, for example, on Chris Gardner`s life story, had his first - his roots in - in the black American market. And it`s a big hit. That`s a breakthrough. The "Dreamgirls" used that market in - in a big way.

It`s been a long journey from Sidney Poitier to "Lilies of the Field" to where we are now. And that journey is not over. And I think what excites me - I`m meeting tomorrow night with about 100 producers, writers, screenwriters and those who need access to capital to produce more. I think once we tighten up the pipeline, you`re going to see more talent and more diversity.

There are blacks who can Shakespeare.


JACKSON: There - there`s nothing we really can`t do.

ANDERSON: You mentioned the pipeline a couple of times. You are talking about the producers, the directors, the writers. And as we know, according to the statistics, the majority of those people are white.

Are you concerned that they`re out of touch with reality?

JACKSON: Well, they`re at least culturally isolated. And part of our struggle has been to overcome their isolation, that to end the era of will- not (ph) quarterbacks. We cannot see the whole market.

We won that battle in baseball in `47. We - we won that battle in cultures, 42 years after the Voting Rights Act, with Dungee (ph) and Love.

We`ll win the battle in Hollywood. We keep raising the issue, and keep just playing what we`ve seen this year. That`s awesome talent that has been craving much success. I think it`s going to - it`s going to attract people to us.

I put it this way: if - if we.


JACKSON: .no matter what people think about us, Brooke, if we develop the cure for cancer, (INAUDIBLE) going to beat a - going to beat a path to our door.

The success of this year`s movies is going to create more opportunity.


JACKSON: I want to congratulate those who have gotten there. I think this is a high moment. A high moment.

ANDERSON: Yes, I`m sure this discussion will continue.

Reverend Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow Push Coalition, we do have to end it there. Good to talk to you again. Thanks.

JACKSON: Thank you.

HAMMER: You know, there`s an old saying: if Crystal Gayle`s tour bus is a rockin, don`t come a knockin. Or something like that.

Well, coming up, we`re going to tell you why the singer`s stolen tour bus is getting washed down with bleach. Trust me; you`ll want to hear this.


Plus, we have your first look at Kevin Federline`s Super Bowl commercial. And we`re going to tell you why there`s already a controversy brewing over it.

We`ll also have this:


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop! Stop! Stop killing! Stop shooting!


HAMMER: A dramatic new movie set during the current Iraq war. We`re going to have the star of "The Situation" joining us next, in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand by to your break. A.J.`s going to desk with trackie (ph). And (INAUDIBLE) black now.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

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

Crystal Gayle can rest easy tonight, sort of. Her stolen tour bus has been recovered, but it might well need a thorough disinfecting.

Now on Friday, we told you that the tour bus was allegedly stolen by a prison escapee in Tennessee. Well, police spotted the bus when the fugitive dropped off a prostitute in Daytona Beach, Florida. They arrested the guy.

Crystal Gayle is taking it all in stride. She said that she is relieved no one was hurt in that - quote -- "the bus has been rocking and rolling with a prostitute onboard. And we`ll have to do some cleaning with Clorox."

Picking up a hooker in Crystal Gayle`s stolen tour bus? Now "That`s Ridiculous!"

ANDERSON: She`s got a good sense of humor about it.

All right. So Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend. And if the game isn`t your thing, there are always the commercials, right?

Well, lo and behold, one of them features none other than K-Fed himself. And guess what? It`s already causing controversy.

Federline is in a Nationwide insurance commercial that implies that his career has fallen so low that he`s a fry cook at a fast-food restaurant. The National Restaurant Association is complaining about it, saying that it`s demeaning and offensive to restaurant workers.

Take a look and judge for yourself in "The SHOWBIZ Showcase."



What? Rolling VIP.




ANNOUNCER: Life comes at you fast.


ANNOUNCER: A Nationwide annuity could guarantee income for life.


ANDERSON: Ah, Nationwide Insurance is brushing off the complaints, saying the commercial is all in good fun.

HAMMER: Yikes.

Hollywood came to Washington over the weekend. Some big-name stars were showing up for a massive anti-war demonstration. We`re talking about people like Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, who gave passionate speeches to tens of thousands of people who were gathered on the National Mall to protest the war, and said it is the job of every American, stars included, to speak out.

And Jane Fond was there. She, of course, was an icon of the Vietnam War protest movement. And she said she had no choice but to step up again after all these years.


JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: .spoken at an anti-war rally in 34 years, because I`ve been afraid that because of the lies that has - have been and continue to be spread about me and that war, that they would be used to hurt this new anti-war movement.

But silence is no longer an option.



HAMMER: Certainly not.

Tim Robbins and Danny Glover were also among the stars who took part in this protest.

ANDERSON: Tonight, the very subject of those protests is being dramatized in the first U.S. feature film to deal with the occupation following the Iraq war. The film is called "The Situation."

And joining me here in Hollywood, the star of "The Situation," Connie Nielsen.

Connie, good to have you here.

CONNIE NIELSEN, ACTRESS: Thank you very much. I`m blessed (ph) to be here.

ANDERSON: Now we just talked about Jane Fonda, Sean Penn, protesting the war.

You as well as I know that public support for the war almost non- existent.

What do you think about the war? Do - do you think American troops, it`s time for them to pack their bags and head home? How do you feel about it?

NIELSEN: Well, I think of it this way: if it was my son who was over there, I`d want him to come right now.

I believe that we had a moment, despite the fact that I never would have gone into war myself, and I am definitely going into war under those premises and in those circumstances - I would never have done it. But there was a moment where we could have done something, and it was done wrongly, badly, and we ended up with a very bad situation.

How to get out of it now, that`s the big question; no one seems to know exactly what to do.

I certainly would not give my son for what`s going on right now and the way it`s being done. I do not trust the people who are at the top to care about his life the way I care about it.

ANDERSON: How old is your son?

NIELSEN: He`s 17.

ANDERSON: Very protective mom you are.

NIELSEN: Definitely.

ANDERSON: Rightfully so.

NIELSEN: Now in this movie, you play a journalist. The film was also written by a journalist, covering the war in Iraq.

Tragically, journalists have died in this war. In researching the movie, what did you learn that surprised you most about the dangers journalists face in covering the war in Iraq?

NIELSEN: I was always aware that it was dangerous. I read lots of books about different war - wars and people in those wars, including soldiers or journalists, people in various situations in a war. So I knew it was bad.

But I did take extra time this time to be very specific about this war, and the people who have worked covering it. So I`ve talked to people from Christiane Amanpour, but also to people like Mr. Glamps (ph) or Mr. Enders (ph), who came over there as Pacific Radio correspondents, and who wrote books about their experiences. I`ve also talked to Reed Rogue (ph) from "The Los Angeles Times." And I`ve spoken to several other people who have spent time there, including, obviously, the writer of our story, and her friend as well, who were also over there.

What I discovered is that there is extremely - psychologically very hard for a journalist. And I tried to really get that across, that living under that kind of pressure - that seeing this - this level of destruction, the - the tearing apart of limbs and so on, it just literally gets to you.

ANDERSON: It takes a lot of courage.

NIELSEN: It takes a lot of courage, but it also takes a lot out of you.

ANDERSON: And - and as I mentioned, one of the things that distinguishes your film is - is that while there have been a number of documentaries made about the Iraq war, this the first feature film to do that.

Why do you think that is? Are people just afraid to - to broach this subject?

NIELSEN: Well, I think it was the same with "Brothers," that I did two years ago, which was I think also the first - as far as I know yet - the only film also made about the war in Afghanistan.

And now this film, "The Situation" - I don`t know about you, but I personally feel a need to understand what - what`s going on in my life. I need to understand, who are these people that we are over there with? What are we there for? And - and what are they going through?

ANDERSON: A need to delve deeper.

NIELSEN: Yes. The need to understand that these are people, like you and I, except - you know, they`re not like you and I. They - they live in a war.


Well, Connie Nielsen, we will look forward to seeing the film. Thanks so much for being here.

And "The Situation" opens Friday in New York, then February 9 in Los Angeles. And nationwide over the next few months.

HAMMER: Well, it`s more than a month since James Brown died. So how come he hasn`t been buried yet? We`re not the only ones who want to know. Even Eddie Murphy says he`s weirded out by the whole thing. It`s coming up next.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

Well, it has been more than a month now since the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, died. And his body still has not been buried. And it could be awhile.

Brown`s body is sealed in a gold-painted coffin. It`s being kept in a climate-controlled room at this house in South Carolina. Now Brown`s six children want his body to be put into a mausoleum, and they want to turn the estate into a memorial museum and park.

But there has been some fighting about who will actually control what happens to the estate. The kids or - the kids or three of Brown`s business managers.

And on top of that, Tommy Rae Hiney, who married Brown in 2001, has filed a lawsuit, claiming half of the estate for herself and her son, James Brown Jr. This really makes for a strange situation, one that has not gone unnoticed in Hollywood.

In fact, last night at SAG Awards, Eddie Murphy said that Brown is the father of all contemporary hip hop, and this legal wrangling is downright bizarre.


EDDIE MURPHY, ACTOR: I was very sad when James passed. And I`m even - I`m weirded that James is - hasn`t been buried yet. It`s the strangest thing in the history of show business. Really. It`s very odd.


HAMMER: Odd indeed. We`re going to have much more on this story tomorrow night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Deborah Opry is going to be here; she`s the lawyer representing Brown`s six children.

ANDERSON: New York`s fashion week starts Friday. But unlike Madrid, New York isn`t taking any steps to keep rail-thin models off the runways.

So we`ve been asking you to vote on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." And it is this: "Super-Skinny Models: Should they be banned from fashion shows?"

Keep voting at You can write to us. Here`s the address: We will read some of your thoughts tomorrow.

And don`t forget; SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show that lets you express your opinion on video. So to send us a video e-mail, just go to our Web site. Again, it is, and you can learn how to do it.

HAMMER: Well, let us now find out what is coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Tomorrow, single and happy in Hollywood. You know, in Tinseltown and beyond, more and more women are putting off marriage or saying they don`t need it at all. People like Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, even Oprah. "Unmarried in Hollywood." That`s tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, finding love outside Hollywood. Some of the biggest stars on the planet find the secret to marriage success by marrying people who aren`t famous. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes a look at why the star plus non- star formula works so well for these couples. That`s tomorrow.

And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks a lot for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: Have a great night, every one. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

"GLENN BECK" is coming up next, right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News. Keep it right here.


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