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Could Paris Hilton Have Actually Found God?; Stephen Baldwin Gives Insight
Aired June 12, 2007 - 23:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: Angelina Jolie taking a swipe at Hollywood starlets like Paris Hilton. And "Sopranos" creator David Chase speaks out about the fan fury over the season finale, and whether or not he will do a "Sopranos" movie. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.
On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, why we love to hate Paris. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the stars speaking out about why there`s no love lost for Paris Hilton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: Read a book for 23 days. Try that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Plus, as Paris` parents come to see her in lockup, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks the tough questions; are mommy and daddy Hilton to blame for their daughter`s mess? Can Paris ever grow up? It`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report; the problem with Paris.
Also, holy Paris. Paris now says she`s found God. But come on, has she become a spiritual socialite or is all this praying a ploy?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": It`s funny how jail birds and porn stars always say "oh God."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Actor Stephen Baldwin, who is now a minister, is all fired up about this. And he is here in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
Hello I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wants to know why do so many people just love to hate Paris Hilton. It`s a SHOWBIZ special report coming up.
But first tonight, there`s something else we want to know, has Paris Hilton really gone from sinner to saint? Come on, I`ve got to tell you the skeptics, and obviously that includes me, we are having a field day over Paris` claim that after just a couple of days of being locked up, she`s found god and spirituality, and she`ll never be the same. I cannot wait to hear what actor Stephen Baldwin -- he`s a born-again Christian, want to hear what he has to say about her when he joins us in just a couple of minutes.
One thing I can tell you for sure, it would be a good thing if Paris has, indeed, seen the light, because she is facing some very dark days.
HAMMER (voice-over): She first got attention as Paris, the party girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police now are driving her back to the courthouse.
HAMMER: She had just launched a media firestorm as Paris, the on again off again inmate. And now a new incarnation of Paris Hilton is drawing attention, Saint Paris. Just days after being dragged back to jail, virtually kicking and screaming, Paris phoned Barbara Walters, who recounted the call on "The View."
BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": She said I`m not the same person I was.
HAMMER: As Walters told a shocked nation, Hilton is vowing to change her ways by retiring what she claimed was just a dumb blonde act.
WALTERS: I used to act dumb. It was an act, and that act is no longer cute.
HAMMER: Finding religion.
WALTERS: She said I have become much more spiritual. God has given me this new chance.
HAMMER: And working for charity.
WALTERS: I know now that I can make a difference, that I have the power to do that. I want to do different things when I`m out of here.
HAMMER: And now people are lining up to tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT they don`t have a lot of faith in Paris Hilton`s newfound faith.
GREG MATHIS, "THE JUDGE MATHIS SHOW": I have never met one criminal that does not become a Christian.
TONY POTTS, CORRESPONDENT, `ACCESS HOLLYWOOD`: I seek spiritual counseling when I get pulled over by the CHP, because I`m thinking good lord, just get me out of this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s going to have to prove herself to me.
HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking, are we saying good-bye to the Paris Hilton we all knew and loved, or loved to hate, or is she putting us on again? Ever since she burst on to the celebrity gossip pages, there`s only been one image we`ve seen of Paris Hilton, that of the pampered, prosperous party girl.
That image is the central theme of her reality show with Nicole Richie "The Simple Life."
PARIS HILTON, "THE SIMPLE LIFE": River is 49 degrees.
HAMMER: That image wasn`t always funny. Stories of her bad behavior reached tabloids and were on full display in this disturbing home video of a partying Paris Hilton letting fly with one offensive slur after another.
HILTON: We`re like two (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
HAMMER: But once it became clear Paris was going to jail for driving on a suspended license after a DUI charge, we have been seeing a different Paris, one who walks around clutching Bibles and talks to Barbara Walters about her spiritual conversion.
WALTERS: God, she said, has released me.
RAY RICHMOND, "HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": I don`t believe for a second that this is a real spiritual anything for Paris.
HAMMER: Ray Richmond of the "Hollywood Reporter" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Hilton`s spiritual conversion is nothing but a PR spin from a troubled starlet who knows how to manipulate her image.
RICHMOND: I don`t believe for a second that three days in that suddenly she`s reexamined her priorities because of a few bars in front of her, and decided, oh, man, have I been doing it wrong. I guess I`m going to do good for the world. No, I think that lasts at most until she gets out.
HAMMER: But Paris has always hinted there`s more to her than meets the eye.
HILTON: I have been really highly involved in charity my whole life. I donate money all the time, and I`m always doing things.
HAMMER: Last year she told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that she`s always been involved with charity work.
HILTON: That`s also something that people don`t know about me. I do it for myself, so it makes me feel good. I don`t need to bring a camera crew like most other celebrities do.
HAMMER: TMZ.com`s Harvey Levin tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that no one image of Paris tells the whole story.
HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: I think she`s like any other person. She`s complicated. I mean, most people are not the exact same in every respect in every part of their life, so I don`t think you can say she`s one thing. I think the issue is what will she be when she gets out, and she has to decide that for herself.
HAMMER: Of course, it`s easy to be skeptical of Hilton`s plans to give us a new more charitable Paris. But those who doubt if Hilton will be able to create a public persona that may or may not have a basis in reality should remember one thing, she`s done it before. She could do it again.
HAMMER: So is Paris Hilton done? If she really does, in fact, drop her dumb act when she gets out of jail, will Paris even have a career left? Joining me tonight from Hollywood, former TV news anchor and TV talent coach Terry Anzur; here in New York tonight, criminal defense attorney and TV host Lauren Lake.
Lauren, Terry, it`s good to see you both. I`ve been giving this some careful and astute thought while sitting in my office here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT today. I`m thinking Paris renouncing her dumb act would kind of be like Merrill Streep renouncing acting or, even bigger, Kermit the Frog renouncing being a frog. I mean, this is why they are famous. Tell me, Lauren, what if she does drop this dumb act? What`s left with her?
LAUREN LAKE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, she can drop the dumb act, and that would be great if she did. I mean, a metamorphosis would be wonderful. However, will that really happen, or is this a momentary kind of thing while she`s confined and she`s reflecting and her spirituality -- I hope it is real, because, honestly, her running around the nation acting like a knuckle head and making money off of acting like a nincompoop is absolutely ridiculous, and too many little girls look up to her.
That`s the problem. She`s had every opportunity in the world. Money for days, and you can`t do anything better with your life than act like an idiot for money? No, that`s not acceptable.
HAMMER: Lauren, I couldn`t agree with you more. I also hope that this, in fact, does take place, that this metamorphosis does indeed occur, but the fact is, I don`t think anybody is really going to care if it does happen.
LAKE: Probably right.
TERRY ANZUR, TV TALENT COACH: Oh, give her a break.
HAMMER: Terry, let me ask you this, because you are, after all, the image consultant on our little crew right now, without the dumb act, what can Paris possibly do? She has built her entire being, her entire career on this thing.
ANZUR: A.J., this is a red letter day. We still have a few hours to go, but Paris Hilton has managed to spend almost an entire day in jail without doing anything outrageous to make headlines.
ANZUR: This is very good news for her, because it`s the beginning of what has to happen for her to be the comeback kid. First of all, she did the crime, she`s got to do the time. And humility is really going to help her in this situation. Second of all, she has to have a plan when she comes out. She needs to not make news while she`s in jail, so it`s even bigger news the day she gets out of jail, because that will be when she has a chance to send a message to the media and the world about how serious she is.
Is she going to take the spiritual route? Will there be a spiritual advisor by her side? Will she be devoting herself, say, more to charity work and less to this so-called dumb act? But this is going to be her opportunity. And what she has to do during this time in jail is really soul search and be prepared to speak from her heart, because she`s only going to have one chance to get this right.
HAMMER: I got to tell you, Terry, suddenly I`m feeling optimistic here. You know, she`s had a day without making headlines. I guess we`re on to something. On "The View" today, of course, Barbara Walters had to, one more time, talk about the conversation that she had with Paris Hilton from jail. Barbara basically said that we got to wait and see what Paris does, kind of like what you are saying.
Let`s take a listen to what Barbara said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTERS: But what she is saying is I`m going to try to change. I`m going to try to be different. Somehow when bad things happen to you, that is perhaps when you pick up the most spiritual books, including the Bible. I mean, what we have to see is does she come out and lead a somewhat different life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Yes, um, Paris has basically built her career on attending any red carpet that she could get her high heels on to. She still profits from that sex tape that came out and basically made her famous. None of these things, of course, spiritual in any sense of the word. Lauren, how do you think that Paris will be able to make any cash if she does turn her back on the dumb thing and moves on to this new place. Isn`t this really who she is? Isn`t it in the fiber of her every being?
LAKE: Well, A.J., how much more cash does she need to make? She doesn`t need any more cash. That`s why this whole situation is so ridiculous, because this woman is behind bars for doing something that she could afford not to do. She didn`t have to drive on a suspended license.
Likewise, when she comes out of jail, what does she have to lose to get her life together. So what she doesn`t get a million dollars to come to a party. So what she doesn`t get another TV show where she`s made out to be an idiot. She has plenty of money. She should just get herself together.
HAMMER: Terry -- I`m sorry. Lauren, I don`t think that Paris would see it that way. I hate to say it. I`ve got to play for you guys --
ANZUR: A.J., I think Lauren has a point though, because I have spent the last five years living near Palm Beach, Florida. And I can tell you there are plenty of these wealthy, beautiful young women, these trust fund daughters, who have managed to do a lot of good work for the causes they believe in and managed to have a pretty good life without being a national scandal.
And Paris could definitely take a page from that book, realizing that, you know what, it`s not a disaster if she just says no once in a while to the red carpet and her advisors right now have to weed out the bad things, like the liquor ads and the clubbing and stuff that`s going to not go along with the new image she`s trying to send out.
HAMMER: I could see that happening. Real quickly, Lauren, do you think that`s even possible, though?
LAKE: I definitely think it`s possible, because if you look at it, her sister Nicky does not have this reputation. So as we look at this family, we`ve got one daughter that is completely gone to the left, and the other one has gone to the right. Nicky, her reputation is -- her reputation is as a businesswoman, you know, a confident, smart girl.
Then Paris is the party girl. So I think she should take a page with her sister, maybe go on a retreat, maybe spend some more time with her sister and learn how to bring it down a few notches, because I honestly think, A.J., to tell you the truth, Paris is not really stupid. She is, like she said, playing stupid. And how ridiculous is that?
HAMMER: Maybe just a little bit, but I don`t know. Maybe you`re giving me more reason to be optimistic. Terry Anzur, Lauren Lake, I thank you both for joining us tonight.
I really want to know though, because it seems to be coming up all the time, why do we just love to hate Paris? Well, tonight I`ve got the stars speaking out about why there seems to be no love lost for Paris Hilton. And it`s not just the stars. You, yes, the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT audience, overwhelmingly hates Paris Hilton as well. A SHOWBIZ special report, the problem with Paris, coming up at 30 past the hour.
I don`t buy the fact that Paris says she has found God. I don`t think that can happen in just a couple of days. Maybe I`m wrong. Has she really become a spiritual socialite, or is all of this praying, as most would think, a ploy? I have actor turned minister Stephen Baldwin here. He is all fired up. It is the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
And Angelina Jolie taking a big swipe at Hollywood starlets. Why they should definitely quit complaining about their so-called problems, according to Angelina. Coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTERS: She said I have become much more spiritual. God has given me this new chance.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that`s great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of prisoners find God.
JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": They all find all find God in prison.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: And that is what Paris Hilton told Barbara Walters when she just happened to make a cell phone call from jail over the weekend. Get it, cell phone? Judging from the audience and most of "The View" co-hosts` reactions, the idea that Paris Hilton has, in fact, become more religious being behind bars, well, it`s kind of hard to believe.
Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. So Paris Hilton does say she is more spiritual. She plans to change her ways. Certainly nothing wrong with that.
How did she go from Hollywood wild child to child of God in a matter of a couple of days? If there is anyone who can relate to Paris` new spiritual outlook on life, it`s my old friend Stephen Baldwin, former self- confessed Hollywood bad boy, now a born again Christian, a minister and author of this book, "The Unusual Suspect." Stephen Baldwin, in Dallas tonight, nice to see you.
STEPHEN BALDWIN, ACTOR: Good to see you, A.J. How are you doing, brother?
HAMMER: I am doing all right. I think we`re both doing a little better than Paris Hilton right now. But we did just hear, Stephen, that she said God has given her this new chance. She also said that God has released her from her previous life playing that dumb superficial girl. Now, Stephen, you have always been very candid about the wild life you lived in Hollywood, the drinking, the drugs, life in the fast lane.
Now, you found your spirituality over some time. She found hers in a couple of days. Shed some light on this for me. Is that possible?
BALDWIN: Absolutely, it`s possible. You know, I mean, listen, I can have a lot of fun with you right now, but I will say this, God does work in mysterious ways. The apostle Paul murdered Christians before he became the great apostle that he became. And all I can say to you is my dear friend Christian Hasoy (ph), legendary, world-renowned skateboarder came to faith and Christianity when he was incarcerated.
It`s totally possible. What`s going to speak louder than any words are Paris` actions once she gets out. There`s a bunch of people in Hollywood that are friends of mine that have wonderful, authentic, genuine Bible studies, that are real people in that environment, functioning as believers and doing really well. I could plug Paris into all those people any time she wants.
HAMMER: But certainly you can understand why there are a lot of skeptics out there. One of the things that you and I have talked about before is that your hard partying ways, as far as you put them, were all part of God`s plan. So when you look at what Paris has in her past, she has the sex tape, the reckless alcohol-related driving charge, now her time in jail, do you think that all of this was God`s plan for Paris?
BALDWIN: Well, I could just say this: you know, it`s possible. You know, God will allow certain things to happen to certain people to bring them to a point of submission. That`s absolutely possible here in the case of Paris Hilton. Here`s what I love the most. If she`s become a Christian, that`s a wonderful thing. That`s -- absolutely, that`s more important than anything else, in my opinion.
But, you know, the thing that`s interesting is I love this statement she made that, you know, hey, I was playing the ditz game. I was playing the -- you know, I know a lot of very, very famous celebrity women who later in their life, in their older years, when they were retired or whatever, admitted, hey, I played a lot dumber than I actually was because that was my schtick.
I think it`s wonderful that she`s being honest about that aspect of her existence.
HAMMER: Yes, but a lot of people are wondering how honest she is really being about this spirituality. We saw that picture -- I think we have it -- of her walking around with her new reading material. I mean, that`s a little posed, Stephen. We know that, you know, that is not something that happened by accident. She`s got the Bible and "The Power of Now" facing out so we can all see it.
Nothing against people finding spirituality, but do you think that she is definitely genuine when it comes to how she is right now, because it seems like she`s selling herself awfully hard to try to convince us.
BALDWIN: Well, I mean, certainly when people get into these types of situations there is always the opportunity, like a lot of politicians right now, you see them playing the Jesus cards. Honestly, A.J., I have no idea. I genuinely hope for this young lady`s well being and for her future that she finds a sense of perspective and guidance and balance. And there`s none better, in my opinion, than becoming a Christian. I hope it`s genuine and authentic. And I definitely think it`s possible.
HAMMER: Well, Stephen, I so appreciate your insight on this, because, man, you have been through it, and maybe she can certainly learn something from you. I appreciate you joining us.
BALDWIN: I appreciate it, A.J. I think she would be a wonderful representative.
HAMMER: We will talk to you soon. Now we would like to hear from you, the viewer, for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day; Paris Hilton finds God, do you believe her? Vote at CNN.com/SHOWBIZTONIGHT or email us at SHOWBIZTONIGHT@CNN.com.
If you look at some of the recent SHOWBIZ TONIGHT questions of the day, it`s pretty obvious that you, our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewers, love to hate Paris. Coming up at 30 past the hour, a SHOWBIZ special report, the problem with Paris. Get ready, our panel is all fired up.
Angelina Jolie also really fired up. Why she thinks that young Hollywood stars, like Paris Hilton, need to stop complaining, because, you know, compared to what she`s seen, they don`t have it tough at all.
And there has certainly been a lot of complaining about "The Sopranos" season finale, even our camera man Duffy. He wasn`t real pleased with how the show ended. Boy, a lot of fans are on Duffy`s side, going ballistic. The show`s creator is speaking out about the outrage. That`s coming up next.
HAMMER: Well, you can bet Angelina Jolie probably wouldn`t have any patience whatsoever for Paris Hilton`s complaining, considering the suffering that Angelina has seen all around the world. In a very revealing interview in "Esquire Magazine," after traveling to war-ravaged Sierra Leon, Jolie realized what an easy life she had, and that kicked off her drive to help others.
This is what she says: quote, "It was as if someone slapped me across the face and said, oh my god, you silly young woman from California. Do you have any idea how difficult the world really is for so many people?"
That is when she got out of herself really quickly. You can read more in the July issue of "Esquire," which you`ll find on new stands now.
As you probably know, a lot of fans just furious about the way "The Sopranos" ended its long run.
And that was it. A lot of people are wondering, well, number one, did my cable go out? Did mob boss Tony Soprano get whacked or did he survive? Well, series creator David Chase is speaking out. If you think David Chase has some answers, forget about it. He tells the "New Jersey Star-Ledger," quote, "I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting, or adding to what is there. No one was trying to blow people`s minds or thinking, wow, this will tick them off."
And it sure did. By the way, I actually did not hate the way it ended. As for him doing a movie, Chase said he doubts it, but never say never. Certainly not a black and white answer from David Chase, kind of like "The Sopranos" final moments. You have to love the music, Journey, "Don`t Stop Believing."
I love the fact that Ridley Scott (ph) has a new gangster movie out called "American Gangster." I`ve got your first look at that coming up.
Also, Paris Hilton hasn`t done gangster in jail, as far as we know, but what about this mess? Are Paris` parents, Rick and Cathy, to blame? Just one part of my blowout special report; the problem with Paris, stars speaking out. And let me tell you, it ain`t pretty. All that and more coming next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: The problem with Paris. She`s the inmate we love it hate. Why is there so much animosity toward her? From coast-to-coast among stars and regular folks, it`s hard to find a Paris support in the bench.
Plus, we`re asking are the parents to blame for her bratty behavior? Could Paris` mom and dad have done anything to change the way she turned out? Tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report, "The Problem With Paris" starts right now.
Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
I want to get you up to date on the very latest with Paris. Right now, Paris is in the medical ward of a maximum security detention center, where her parents visited her today. Paris may be locked up, but her agent has cut her loose. People.com says her talent agent dropped her Friday. That was the day she was ordered back to jail from home confinement. The agency isn`t giving any reason for the decision to drop her as a client.
And that`s just one of Paris` problems. Tonight in our SHOWBIZ special report, we`ve got a lot of questions to ask. Just is it that we love to hate this woman, Paris Hilton? Is it just for fun or do we really have some kind of a right not to like the woman?
We`re also asking -- are Paris` parents -- are Kathy and Rick Hilton to blame? They visited her in the detention facility today and everybody is wondering are they simply the one who created this monster? Could they have changed the way she turned out?
And will Paris ever grow up? She says she`s a changed woman. She wants to help the world, but will she make good on those promises once she`s out of the slammer?
Tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going coast to coast with this special report, here in New York, criminal defense attorney and TV host, Lauren Lake and David Caplan, who is the senior correspondent at VH-1. Joining us from Hollywood tonight, Jane Velez-Mitchell, author of the new book "Secrets Can Be Murder". Also, media image consultant Michael Sands.
Panel I appreciate you all being here. Lot of ground to cover. Let`s just fire it off with you, Lauren. Why is it we love it hate her so much?
LAUREN LAKE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, right now the ones loving to hate her because Paris is the poster child for classism in this country. Now classism I kind of like this evil that is woven in the fabric of our country. We don`t talk about it. We love to talk about racism, and that`s a big red flag, but classism, we don`t always talk about, A.J.
And I`m here to tell you, what we have seen is the blatant different treatment of rich people than what poor people would be treated like. As a defense attorney, this is why I`m so offended by case. I have represented people, poor people, that have done far less than Paris that have spent far more time in jail. They cannot afford lawyers. They don`t have people pushing buttons and shaking hands, and paying off -- allegedly, behind closed doors. I`ll throw that in there.
But that`s why people love to hate her. Because she represents something in this country that is despised, and that`s classism.
HAMMER: It`s not just the way that she is treated differently. Jane Velez-Mitchell, I want you to chime in on this. It also, I think, has a lot to do with the way she treats other people, or she treats life in general.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, AUTHOR, "SECRETS CAN BE MURDER": She is a living, walking symbol of elitism, A.J., and Lauren is absolutely right. That`s why this is a recipe for rage. We are increasingly becoming a society of haves versus have-nots. Just read an article this weekend about how the richest 1 percentile is becoming not just richer but exponentially richer. And this girl has done nothing to deserve her elitism and her privilege. She has not invented something on the Internet that`s making all of our lives easier. She won the DNA lottery.
When you add that attitude on top of that, her elitist attitude for privileged -- I am up here, you are down here attitude -- and then flaunting the law and then getting special treatment, it is a recipe for rage.
HAMMER: Hold on. She won the DNA lottery. I love that, Jane.
I want to go to Michael Sands.
Michael, this is what you do for a living. You are a media image consultant. Part of your job, you have to gauge and then you have to fix how the public views celebrities. You had great success in the past with other big-time stars.
Between claiming that she`s found God, and then issuing that statement that we should be more worried about the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, I don`t know. It seems pretty darn contrived to me. Do you think she`s overdoing it with all that?
MICHAEL SANDS, MEDIA IMAGE CONSULTANT: I don`t think she`s overdoing it. I think that she has no control. It`s definitely a media ploy. I worked with the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I do view their image as well as Hollywood celebrities. And can I tell you that, unfortunately, Paris, what they want us to buy about her, just doesn`t cut the ice.
I think that Paris is really a poster child for the privileged. She`s a privy. But you know, as far as being Mother Theresa, she`s not. When she says that we -- I should say, excuse me -- her media person, her PR person, says that we should focus on the troops in Iraq, I don`t see Paris touring Walter Reed, or signing any autographs that I know of for any troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, or any military base throughout the world.
HAMMER: Yeah. I don`t see her coming up with the idea to do that either. I think you have it exactly right. It`s her people, and she doesn`t have a good handle on that.
I have some raw numbers here because if you want to get a good sense of exactly how much people dislike this woman, you really need to look no further than our show biz tonight question of the day. And the ones that we have been asking over the past couple of weeks, I want to show you a couple of the results that we`ve received.
The response overwhelmingly the same. Look at this. When we asked the question, Paris Hilton going to jail, why did she get -- did she get what she deserved? Look, 95 percent said yes; 5 percent, no.
Let`s flip on the next one. We asked, Paris Hilton going to jail, are you concerned for her mental state? Only 2 percent said yes; 98 percent said, no.
Another question we asked, Paris Hilton, blame game, should she shut up and do the time? Look at this, 96 percent of the people who responded said yes.
David Caplan, are you at all surprised by how later lopsided this whole thing has been? And it`s more than what she just showed you.
DAVID CAPLAN, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: I`m not surprised because Paris Hilton, she really does rub in our faces her position of power and privilege that she enjoys. I think the reason why so many people, at the end of the day, just don`t like Paris Hilton, and hate her, is because they don`t think she has done anything to justify being a celebrity.
With most celebrities they`ve traditionally done something essentially artistic, whether an actor, singer, musician. Paris Hilton she really gained celebrity status before doing anything to deserve it. It was after the fact she sort of became a singer and author, and I think people are, like, why are you famous? What`s your claim for fame, exactly?
HAMMER: You make a really good point that she loves to rub that entitlement in our faces. Nobody likes it when should be flaunts all of that.
Lauren Lake, let me go to you on that on that very subject. Was it really Paris` DUI arrests, and all that followed, just the icing on the cake for people who probably didn`t care much for her already?
LAKE: Well, honestly, a lot of people didn`t pay any attention to Paris before this. But, yeah, when the cases came up and then her sentencing came up, and then all of a sudden her release from jail came up, and three days for medical reasons. That is when the uproar started, A.J. I am here to tell you that girl had nothing more than a panic attack and a temper tantrum in that jail cell. And that sheriff let her out? I am still outraged about that. People die in jail. They have cancer, diabetes, AIDS. Who goes home because they have a temper tantrum?
HAMMER: Lauren, she was freaking out, though, you know?
LAKE: Oh, A.J., come on now. She needs to do some push-ups like the rest of my clients.
HAMMER: You know, I agree with you. You know, Hollywood seems to be running the other way as well. I want to play for you what Samuel L. Jackson recently told us about her situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: They took you out of the general population and they put you in a special place. Go there and hang out. Read a book for 23 days! Try that! (LAUGHTER)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Yes, see? Now, nobody is coming to her defense. Not just regular people, the stars as well. I think Nicole Richie who is also sort of famous for nothing, also not coming to her defense.
Jane Velez-Mitchell, let me go for you to you, because it seems that when other stars have gotten in trouble, and it`s been happening throughout the history of Hollywood, their star friends seem to rally around them. Why is that not happening here? The silence is deafening.
MITCHELL: You`re right, A.J. In fact, the only family rallying around Paris, it turns outs is a fictional family, and it`s a big PR gimmick to promote a TV show "The Darlings." They don`t even exist. But real people in Hollywood are not supporting her because at the end of the day Hollywood looks like a big party, but it`s all about the work. It`s about what you do in your craft. She really hasn`t done anything.
Now, somebody like Robert Downey, Jr., who has had his share of struggles, people give him a lot more leeway because he is one of the finest actors of our generation and sometimes we recognize that artists have torment and they have struggle. And that`s what makes their work so brilliant. So we give people like Robert Downey, Jr. a lot of leeway.
But somebody like Paris who is famous for being famous inspires a lot of jealousy because all these actors are furious that she is more famous than they are and she hasn`t done anything.
HAMMER: Yeah, in fact, in the recent past we only need to look as far as Lindsey Lohann who a lot of people will come out and say, yeah, she has problems, but she`s got talent. So let`s hang in for her.
Panel, I want to thank you all for being here for this segment. Don`t go anywhere. We`ll be back with you in a couple of minutes. We need you to sound off on whether Paris` parents are to blame in all of this?
We`ve been asking you to vote on tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day: Paris finds God, do you believe her? Keep voting at cnn.com/showbiztonight. E-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org. We`ll get into some of those e-mails tomorrow.
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Well, Paris says she has found God, but you know, I think her parents should have found something else, namely, a way to reel her in long before now. But can we really blame the parents for the way Paris turned out? We`ll go back to our panel of experts, coast to coast, for the heated debate, coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most thing in business is honesty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bribery, extortion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Integrity, hard work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: This looks good. Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe starring together in director Ridley Scott`s new movie. It`s called "American Gangster." It`s based on a true story. Your first look is still ahead.
HAMMER: Paris Hilton`s mother, Kathy Hilton, she has stood by her daughter`s side and was right there to visit her today. But does Kathy Hilton share the blame for the mess that Paris is in? Or is Paris a grown up adult, and simply responsible for her own actions?
Welcome back to this special SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report, "The Problem With Paris". I`m A.J. Hammer in New York and you are watching TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.
So, with Paris Hilton in the county jail`s medical unit, seeming to almost have a nervous breakdown while she was locked up, tonight, we are asking -- why is it so easy to hate Paris? And real question a lot of people are asking, are her parents to blame for her above-the-law attitude? Back now with our coast-to-coast panel, appreciate you all being here and being so passionate about everything.
I want to start with you, Michael Sands, media image consultant. Now, Paris, obviously, did not become the way she is on her own. A lot of finger-pointing is possible, particularly at her parents. Do they share the blame for what Paris turned into?
SANDS: Well, you know, I have been with Paris. My son and I were with Paris last year, and I found her to be incredible one-on-one. I think it`s all of this is of Paris` own making, but her mother and father have definitely made Paris emotionally dependent on them. She can`t make a move without them. She`s not grown up.
But I mean, listen, today`s day and age, everyone is famous for something. And that`s OK. You can`t begrudge someone for that, whether it`s a sex tape, or whether a book, or whatever. But her parents have really gone overboard, especially when her mom spoke to Barbara Walters. If she really found God and spirituality, you don`t have to announce it to the world. I`m with Mike Tyson or Alec Baldwin, and they don`t announce it to the world.
This announcement kind of throws me for a loop because she actually had me believing that she`s going to change her ways. But her mother and father keep pampering her. And they always have a mattress in which to catch her.
SANDS: And I think that Paris is still in jail. And it`s still jail no matter how you pad it, whether it`s in the medical ward, or whatever. The food is horrible there. And she`s really having to deal with herself now, which she may grow up from, if people and her handlers, her parents, will leave her alone.
HAMMER: Yeah. I think the enabling from the parents is something that you`ll be hard pressed to find anybody to disagree with the fact that that`s the cause for a lot of this. Including even actress Jamie Lee Curtis. She posted an open letter on huffingtonpost.com, basically saying that she hopes the mothers of girls like Paris are worried sick.
I want to read to you what she wrote, quote, "Where did our children get the message that rules don`t apply to them? And where did we, the mothers, get the message that if we abdicate our responsibilities as mothers, the universe will do our job for us?"
Lauren Lake, I want to go to you, criminal defense attorney and TV host. Pretty strong words. I think she`s dead on. She`s basically accusing mothers like Kathy Hilton of being almost guilty of negligence. What do you think?
LAKE: I think there`s definitely a problem here. As we talk about the Barbara Walters incident, isn`t it interesting that they call Barbara Walters to talk about the spirituality, but when the sentence was handed down, and they were ready to go into jail, where was the whole media blitz then?
Where were the parents, where was her mother saying, you have done something wrong, you broke the law for absolutely no reason. I am your mother, I love you, and I will support you. However, we need to stand before the public, the people, that look up to you, your fans, and say I have made an error, and we, as your parents, expect you to go to jail, serve your sentence. And we`ll be by your side throughout.
We didn`t see that, A.J., and that`s the problem. Now when it`s time for Barbara Walters to get called, here comes the drama all over again. This is problematic. And we are not seeing the type of parenting that we need to see. And Jamie Lee Curtis is right.
I mean, I hope mothers out here now see that these young girls who look up to Paris Hilton, we need to pay attention to this, and begin to talk to our daughters more because this is not the road to tow.
HAMMER: Jane Velez-Mitchell, can you imagine you`re having a problem as a kid and your parents pick up the phone to call up Barbara Walters and tell everybody on TV how good you`re doing and how much you`re going to change?
MITHCELL: Well, A.J., again, I agree with Jamie Lee Curtis as well. Let`s put a mirror on ourselves and look at our own behavior because I think society as a whole can learn a lot from this entire experience.
The Hiltons are sort of a dramatic example of what`s happening across America. Kids are growing up in tremendous affluence. They`re given everything. They don`t have to rake the lawn, or wash the car. They grow up with this tremendous sense of entitlement and feeling that they are so special that it almost becomes like a malignant narcissism that cripples them in adulthood. This is happening across America. Let`s look at ourselves. As we point the finger a little bit, let`s realize we`re all guilty of this.
HAMMER: I want to remind people what Paris told Barbara Walters, that she`s now a changed woman. She wants to change the world. She`s found God and spirituality. VH-1`s David Caplan, let me go to you. Do you think at 26 years old it is possible, Paris Hilton, may finally be growing up and taking some stuff on for herself?
CAPLAN: I think she`s realizing she`s going to taking a lot more responsibility now, but even before, in the past, she was pretty responsible for certain matters of her life because she`s the one who is responsible really for building the Paris brand. She is a smart businesswoman, But, again, I don`t think we`re going see a whole newly transformed, reborn Paris when she comes from jail. I just don`t believe it. It would be such a turnaround for her. I don`t think she`s capable of it.
HAMMER: Image consultant Michael Sands. I mentioned this before. It`s pretty clear to me somebody has been giving her guidance to rescue her image, as this out-of-control brat that everybody knows her as. What would you tell her, man, because you have saved people in the past, and she is just a mess.
SANDS: In order to really reinvent Paris, A, I would put her on a plane for Iraq or Afghanistan. I have never seen a person who is a drunk ever go to jail peaceably unless they were really sober. And I think she could do a lot of charity with young kids to actually roll her sleeves up - - without a court commitment, you know, and without community service -- and go and help others, and really and truthfully not say a word before you are going to do it.
She`s actually giving us a road map. She knows the terrain. This is definitely her handlers talking, but there`s two words she`s going to learn in jail. And they`re the most important words that she`s going to really have a new sense of awareness of, which is please and thank you. Those are the two words Paris is going to learn, and that`s really taking the baby steps -- excuse me -- the baby steps necessary to changing her image.
That`s what I would do. It`s not about money, prestige, and power, Paris. It`s about dressing up, showing up, and being of service to the community, wherever you can help.
HAMMER: Michael, yes or no, can she change? Yes or no, Michael?
SANDS: I believe she can change if she does it on her own.
HAMMER: I take that as a yes.
HAMMER: Got to wrap it there.
Lauren Lake, I thank you. David Caplan in New York; in Hollywood, Jane Velez-Mitchell and Michael Sands, I appreciate you all being with us tonight.
I think we got something accomplished. Moving on now, Ridley Scott is coming out with a new movie. This is on the true story of a drug kingpin in Harlem and the cop who makes it his mission to take him down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most important thing in business is honesty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bribery. Extortion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Integrity, hard work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Your first look at "American Gangster" coming up next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
In tonight`s SHOWBIZ "First Look", "American Gangster," a new movie from Ridley Scott. He, of course, is the director of "Gladiator." Ridley`s new movie has a powerhouse cast, including Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. It tells the true story of a drug kingpin from Harlem, and the cop who tries to take him down. Here`s your first look at "American Gangster."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man I work for had one of the biggest companies in New York City. He didn`t own his own company. White man owned it, so they owned him. Nobody owns me, though.
Most important thing in business is honesty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bribery. Extortion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Integrity, hard work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Murder, racketeering.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Family. Never forgetting where we came from.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is this guy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you are what you are in this world. That`s either one of two things, you are either somebody or you ain`t nobody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whose house is that, Frank?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is your house, Mamma.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mine?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got all the fight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to be you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My investigation indicates that Frank Lucas is above the mafia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who does he work for, which family?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is not Italian. He`s black.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No black man has accomplished what the American mafia has in 100 years!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tried to kill my wife!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frank Lucas is the most dangerous man walking the streets of our city.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my home, my country. Frank Lucas don`t run from nobody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: "American Gangster" will blast into theaters on November 2nd.
It is time now to find out what is coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Tomorrow in defense of Paris Hilton. I know, kind of hard to believe, but there are actually people out there who say Paris is getting a raw deal and deserves our sympathy, which kind of makes my head spin. But I`m willing to look into that, and we will investigate the truth tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks a lot for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
This guy, is coming up next right after the latest from CNN "Headline News". Have a good night.
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