Return to Transcripts main page


Controversy Over The `Moment of Truth`; The Britney Spears-Michael Jackson Connection; Whoopi Goldberg Receives Apology from Oscars; A Revealing Interview with Valerie Bertinelli

Aired February 27, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Will a $100-million lawsuit against "Dateline" "To Catch a Predator" series ever see the light of day? I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And Whoopi Goldberg gets an Oscar-sized apology. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, truth and consequences. A firestorm of controversy over the game show "Moment of Truth" that asks unbelievably personal questions that could destroy relationships.


MARK WALBERG, HOST, "MOMENT OF TRUTH": Since you`ve been married, have you ever had sexual relations with someone other than your husband?


HAMMER: Tonight, the game show that some people are saying is anything but fun and games. But is the joke really on the audience? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates "Moment of Truth."

The shocking connections between Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. Once music superstars, now famous for scandals. Plus, Michael is in danger of losing Neverland ranch. Is Britney headed down the same path? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the surprising connections.

And Valerie Bertinelli`s shocking confessions about drugs, the breakup of her marriage and what about those rumors of a feud with Kirstie Alley? It`s the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: Hi there, everyone, I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you tonight from Hollywood. Not far from Neverland ranch which Michael Jackson may never see again. The former child star rocked with scandal in and out of court, and a comeback in tatters. Sounds awfully familiar, doesn`t it? Britney Spears is in the middle of the same issues. Coming up, I have a warning for Britney. Watch out or you could end up like Michael.

But first, tonight, it is the shocker that all of America is talking about. What in the world would possess a woman to go on primetime TV with millions of families and kids watching to confess that she cheated on her husband? I mean, come on, is this what passes for entertainment in our country these days? We`re talking about the TV show "Moment of Truth." But I`ve got to ask, is the truth that we as viewers fell for, hook, line and sinker?


WALBERG: Since you`ve been married, have you ever had sexual relations with someone other than your husband?

HAMMER: It could be a new low in reality TV. And that`s saying something.

WALBERG: Have you ever taken off your wedding rings to appear as if you were single?

HAMMER: On the hit lie detector game show, "Moment of Truth," this young couple appears to take a wrecking ball to their marriage on primetime TV in hopes of winning a ton of prize money. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you everyone is talking about the shocking display.

JO PIAZZA, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": It was very nerve-racking to watch this episode of the show.

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": It`s a pretty gross show.

HAMMER: The hosts of "The View" were indignant.

HASSELBECK: I`m upset like I shouldn`t be even involved in it.

HAMMER: And Jimmy Kimmel live used it to make an easy sight gag.

WALBERG: Have you ever pretended to be asleep in order to avoid having sex with your husband`s friend?

HAMMER: But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you there are some who don`t find it funny.

PIAZZA: Now, they`re doing all the television rounds, there talking to the press in hopes of getting fame and fortune out of their misfortunes. And it`s just creepy.

WALBERG: This is the "Moment of Truth."

HAMMER: Since its debut, "Moment of Truth" has become a smash hit with its novel concept.

PIAZZA: Contestants are hooked up to a lie detector test before the show and then live on stage are asked these really difficult questions about their person lives. And in they answer truthfully, they keep climbing up the pyramid and winning more and more money. If they lie when they`re on camera, the game stops and they leave all the money they`ve accumulated.

WALBERG: Warren Cleri, this is your moment of truth.

HAMMER: On Monday`s episode, with her husband Frank and her family watching, 26-year-old Lauren Cleri answered painful questions about her marriage.

WALBERG: Do you believe you might have been in love with a former boyfriend on your wedding day?

HAMMER: But they got harder, especially when host Mark Walberg, no relation, brought out an old boyfriend to ask her a shocking question.

FORMER BOYFRIEND OF LAUREN CLERI: Do you believe I`m the man you should be married to?

LAUREN CLERI, CONTESTANT, "MOMENT OF TRUTH": I want to be honest and say yes.

HAMMER: And as the husband looked like he couldn`t take it anymore, Lauren was hit with this doozy.

WALBERG: Since you`ve been married, have you ever had sexual relations with someone other than your husband?

L. CLERI: I`m going to have to say yes.

HAMMER: Now, the couple is taking their dirty laundry to the press, telling "The New York Post" that Frank knew about the infidelity beforehand and they had planned to split any prize money.

FRANK CLERI, HUSBAND OF LAUREN CLERI: I think I`m in a state of shock. It didn`t seem real.

HAMMER: The couple spoke up about the show to "Access Hollywood." They acknowledged problems with their marriage but Lauren said crucial parts of her answers were edited out.

L. CLERI: I didn`t necessarily have sexual relations. It was just like premeditated. I just thought of it. And I didn`t get a chance to explain myself.

HAMMER: Now they say their marriage is up in the air.

L. CLERI: I`m really got to say, "I`m sorry," now.

F. CLERI: We`re going to figure out what would be better for both of us, whether to stay together or go our separate ways.

HAMMER: "Moment of Truth" is an international phenomenon, and controversy has followed it around the world.

PIAZZA: In the Columbian version of the show, a woman actually admitted to hiring a hit man to off her husband. After which, of course, the show was taken off the air. At least, she didn`t try to kill him. She just cheated on him and was in love with another man.

HAMMER: The ultimate irony of the show -

PIAZZA: She didn`t even up winning the money in the end.

HAMMER: That`s because Lauren was caught lying on this question.

WALBERG: Do you think you`re a good person? So your answer is?

L. CLERI: Yes.

FEMALE VOICE OVER: That answer is false.

HAMMER: But it`s hard for anyone who saw this spectacle to feel good about the fact that a couple looking to cash in from their damaged marriage is now considered primetime entertainment.


HAMMER: I`ve got to say, I love that she didn`t win the money, but let`s face it. A lot of what`s on reality TV these days makes you just want to put your head through a wall and kind of wonder what the heck is wrong with these people? But with "Moment of Truth" is it officially out of control?

Joining me tonight from Miami, Steve Santagati, the author of "The Manual." And in Washington, D.C., Melissa Henson, Director of Communications and Public Education for the Parents` Television Council.

Steve, Melissa, I appreciate you being here. I`ve got to say, when I watched this episode, I was sad for humanity. And I only watched the episode because I read about it and I wanted to know if it was really worth all the fuss and I have to say it was. What do you think, Steve? Should confessing to having sex outside your marriage on primetime TV qualify as entertainment?

STEVE SANTAGATI, AUTHOR, "THE MANUAL": A.J., I don`t know why anybody is shocked. America is so obsessed with train wrecks these days, whether it`s celebrities or watching reality television. It doesn`t matter. The girl next door, a reality show, it`s a train wreck. People have been taught - So there`s two things here. People have been taught if you`re a train wreck on television, you can spin that like William Hung was on "American Idol" into making money.

But the regular people out there that don`t have agents and managing lawyers looking after them, they didn`t think it through. You have to have a plan in place so you can direct traffic. The second thing is, good for her. She goes on television shows. She wanted to expose her marriage to make money. It`s a sleazy business with a sleazy outcome.

HAMMER: Well, but Steve that`s just to my point. And to be clear, I`m not shocked that this is on television. And Melissa, maybe you can chime in on this. I just don`t think it should be on television.

SANTAGATI: Don`t show anything about Britney`s downside either.

HAMMER: Melissa, what`s your reaction?


SANTAGATI: I hope so.

HENSON: How much are we willing to justify or excuse in the name of entertainment? You know, I think this is terrible. You know, if you are what you eat, I think you become what you watch. Garbage in, garbage out. And if this is what our culture has to resort to for entertainment, I think we`re in pretty sad shape.

SANTAGATI: It`s lack of education, Melissa. People aren`t getting educated in this country, and that`s the problem. This is an entertainment show, so let`s keep it to entertainment. Bottom line is, from an ethical standpoint, she made a bad choice. She was going to make money off a system that`s in place. And you know what? She didn`t think it through so she didn`t make any money. If you don`t want to watch it in America, you don`t have to turn it on. You can just go click and change the channel. Discovery Channel is wonderful.

HAMMER: Let`s take a look one more time at what people are so up in arms about with "Moment of Truth." Charles, roll the clip.


WALBERG: Since you`ve been married, have you ever had sexual relations with someone other than your husband?

L. CLERI: I`m going to have to say yes.


HAMMER: All right, look, I work in the business. I get TV producers and networks wanting to push the envelope in the name of ratings. Back to you point, Steve. You know, you talk about education, but at what point does someone who`s putting this stuff out there have to take responsibility? And we need to get away, perhaps, from the argument, "Hey, you can always shut off the TV or change the channel." Because we are, after all, talking about something that is on in main stream network primetime television.

SANTAGATI: A.J., as long as there is a demand, there`s going to be a supply. When people start getting smart and wanting to watch educational television or entertaining programs that happen to be educational, then they won`t put this crap out there anymore. But until that time, the sleaze is just going to keep coming up. I don`t watch it, but I know it`s there.

HAMMER: Well, it is a snowball effect, Melissa, isn`t it?

HENSON: I don`t -

HAMMER: I mean, the show is a world wild phenomenon, as we said. The ratings are huge. They wouldn`t be serving it up if people weren`t eating it up.


HENSON: I don`t know that there is a huge global or even national demand for this kind of programming. I mean if you look at Nielsen Data, for example, based on buzz, or based on what people are talking about, you might assume a show like "Nip Tuck" was the highest rated show on basic cable, but it wasn`t. Disney`s "High School Musical" was the number one highest rated program last year. So I think that indicates that there is -

SANTAGATI: That`s unethical.

HENSON: A substantial audience for family-friendly programming and this doesn`t fit the bill. Even if you look at broadcast TV on Fox Network, the same network as "Moment of Truth. You have "American Idol" which is programming that the family can sit down and watch together. And that is always tremendously successful and tremendously profitable for the Fox Network. So to produce this kind of programming -

SANTAGATI: Yes. But we can`t censor television, Melissa. We can`t censor television or we`d have to cancel the entire presidential election.

HAMMER: Well, Steve, I don`t know about that, but I`m going to wrap it up there. Man, I think a lot of people are angry about this and we will continue to talk about it. Melissa Henson, Steve Santagati, I appreciate you being here.

SANTAGATI: Thank you.

HENSON: Thanks.

ANDERSON: Oscar says, "I`m sorry." Everybody on "The View" got all riled up when Whoopi Goldberg was left out of a montage featuring lots of former Oscar hosts. Well, now Whoopi has received an apology. So, did she accept? We`ve got that, coming up. And also this -


HAMMER: And one of the stories you tell us when you`re going and signing the paperwork with the priest and you both have cocaine on you.


HAMMER: That`s a bad sign.

BERTINELLI: Yes. What part of this tells you that you can get married.

HAMMER: That`s not a good sign. Yes. What`s the deal?


HAMMER: I sat down with a very candid Valerie Bertinelli. I`ve got to tell you, we did not shy away from the tough subjects. You want to hear this, talk of drugs, her marriage to Eddie Van Halen, cheating, her weight. Man, we covered it all. Valerie Bertinelli`s shocking secrets are coming up, and that`s in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: Also coming up tonight, the shocking connections between Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. In a showbiz report coming up at 30 minutes past the hour, we`re going to a look at the really stunning similarities. They were both stars at such a young age, then became world famous for their music. And, now, if you think about it, they`re both much better known for their personal dramas. Stay right where you are. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates the shocking connections between Michael Jackson and Britney Spears.


HAMMER: Breaking Britney Spears news. A federal judge has rejected claims filed by an attorney who says Britney`s civil rights are being violated by her dad, being put in charge of her affairs. That attorney, Jon Eardley, says he`s only just begun to fight. In a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he says, quote, "I will not stop until there is no one left standing."

ANDERSON: All right, welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And tonight, we`ve got three more hot stories that are new right now.

Paris Hilton is back. "Us Weekly" magazine reports that she`s shopping around her new reality show. The point of it? She`s looking for a new best friend. Yes, Paris, we have a few ideas for you right here.

Also new right now, Whoopi Goldberg gets an apology from the Oscars. She was visibly upset, Monday, when her co-hosts pointed out that she wasn`t part of the Oscar`s montage of magical Oscar moments. So did she accept the apology?

Plus, Pam Anderson files for divorce from hubby Rick Salomon again. All right, Pam. What`s up? This is the second time in three months I`ve had to say this. So I`m wondering if she`s divorced from reality.

Joining me tonight to hash it all out, in New York, senior editor of "In Touch Weekly" Carolina Bermudez. And tonight in Hollywood, Michael Yo, host of "E! Entertainment" radio on XM and Sirius.

All right. Carolina, Michael, I want to start with this whole Paris Hilton thing. Another reality show in the works in which she`s looking for a new best friend. Hilton is quoted as saying in "In Touch" magazine, quote, "I`m really excited about this concept. I`m going to meet a lot of great girlfriends. I never got to go to college and this will be my chance to be in a sorority and have that experience."

Good grief, this is train wreck TV if I`ve ever seen it, but I`ll bite. Carolina, who do you think should be Paris Hilton`s new BFF?

CAROLINA BERMUDEZ, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Well, you know, I think "The Simple Life" was very successful because Nicole Richie was so charismatic. She was funny, and Paris kind of played off of her. But who is left in Paris` life that wants to hang out with her? Just the paparazzi. I think that would be a better show than finding some innocent bystanders to be her best friend.

HAMMER: Yes. I just don`t want her to corrupt any sweet, innocent bystanders or girls or anyone. And she says that she wants the chance to have the experience of being in a sorority. I`m wondering, what happened to the, "I`m going to change the world" promises? Michael, she`s 27 years old. Is it time for Paris to get a grip?

MICHAEL YO, HOST, "E! ENTERTAINMENT": Yes, and Paris needs to get a grip. I don`t understand this reality show. But speaking about Paris Hilton, I have the perfect friend for Paris Hilton. Who should be her best friend? Hillary Clinton. I mean this works out perfectly. Paris Hilton can dress Hillary Clinton because she dresses like a man, and all the designers actually tried to dress her -


YO: And Hillary Clinton can teach Paris Hilton about self-respect and if your man cheats on you, how to deal with that.

YO: Don`t insult Hillary that way, Michael.

BERMUDEZ: Oh, Michael!

YO: I`m serious.


YO: It will work out fine and Hillary Clinton is going to have enough time after she loses to Barack Obama. So she`ll have plenty of time to do a reality show.

ANDERSON: Oh, boy. You are terrible, Michael. All right, we will leave that there. We can all agree Paris Hilton is out of touch with reality.

I do want to move now to Whoopi Goldberg. She got an apology from Oscar`s producer, Gil Cates, for not being featured in an Oscar`s montage of magical moments. She actually seemed pretty choked up about it on "The View." Take a look.


SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Did you make somebody at the Oscars mad?

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Undoubtedly. Undoubtedly. I pissed somebody off again.

SHEPHERD: That`s not right.

GOLDBERG: You know what? I don`t - I don`t know.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I think you were a great host.


SHEPHERD: Four times.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I think we should do our own montage of you to make up for it.

GOLDBERG: This makes up for it.


ANDERSON: Cates called Whoopi and apologized, saying it was just a big oversight, pure and simple. It seems like she`s accepted the apology. But, Carolina, you know, I think she may still be really peeved.

BERMUDEZ: I think so, too. You know, I think it really was an oversight. I could see if she was insulted if she was left out of the program entirely. But she was in another montage. So this is kind of much ado over nothing. And if she really wanted to talk to Gil, she didn`t have to take it to the form on "The View." I mean, she could have just given the guy a call them and said, "Look, this really bothered me, hurt my feelings," and it could have all been done. I think this was a lot of hoopla over really nothing.

ANDERSON: Yes. I`m glad that they resolved that. And finally tonight, I want to talk about Pam Anderson. She files for divorce, again. All right. Let me try to explain this, if I can. She and Rick Salomon got married in October. It`s been on again, off again more times than I can count. Now, she says she wants the marriage nullified based on fraud. Keep in mind this is the third marriage for both of them. Michael, what do you think? Should Pam Anderson just be banned from ever marrying again? I mean it`s been a mess.

YO: I feel like I`m in an episode of "Ground Hog Day." Seriously, the movie, she gets married, divorced. Gets married, divorced. Gets married, divorced. And it seems like the marriages are getting shorter and shorter from Tommy Lee to Kid Rock.

Now, I just think Pam really, right now - she just needs to stay away from men. I know that`s hard for her to do, but she needs to stay away from men. And yes, she has lost a sense of reality right now, absolutely.

ANDERSON: And maybe Rick Salomon oversold himself a little bit. We do wish her health, happiness, you know, single or married. We do wish her the best. All right, Carolina Bermudez, Michael Yo, we will leave it there. Thank you both.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, nice. All right, you may remember this big controversy about Dateline`s "To Catch a Predator" series. One of the men who got caught up showing up to meet a 13-year-old boy actually killed himself and his family wants to sue the show. Well, now, a judge has made a decision about that. You don`t want to miss it. I`ll fill you in next.

ANDERSON: Also, the shocking connections between Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. Once music superstars at the top of their game, now famous mostly for scandals. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the surprising connections you just have to hear for yourself, coming up. Also this -


HAMMER: And one of the stories you tell us when you`re going and signing the paperwork with the priest and you both have cocaine on you.


HAMMER: That`s a bad sign.

BERTINELLI: Yes. What part of this tells you that you can get married?

HAMMER: That`s not a good sign. Yes. What`s the deal?


HAMMER: Well, I sat down with a very candid and might I say a terrific- looking Valerie Bertinelli and I`ll tell you, we did not shy away from the tough subjects. Drugs, her marriage to Eddie Van Halen, cheating, her weight. We covered it all. You will not want to miss Valerie Bertinelli`s shocking secrets, all coming up in the interview you`ll see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Here are some more stories that are new right now. DUI charges for "O.C." actress Mischa Barton. She`s been charged with several misdemeanors including DUI and marijuana possession. Barton was pulled over in December in Los Angeles. Her arraignment is all set for Thursday.

Well, some lucky kids in Massachusetts are about to get some wisdom and guidance from this guy. Yes, Bobby Brown. A magistrate in Massachusetts says Brown doesn`t have to face criminal charges after police found him sitting in an SUV in a hotel parking lot with a small amount of cocaine. The magistrate is instead recommending that Brown volunteer to mentor young people. Oh, good.

And a judge has ruled that a lawsuit against Dateline NBC and "To Catch a Predator" series can continue. The lawsuit involves a former Texas prosecutor who was confronted by police officers and a Dateline camera crew when he was expecting to meet up with a 13-year-old boy. Fifty-six-year- old Lewis Conrad committed suicide and his sister is knew suing NBC for $100 million.

ANDERSON: You are not going to believe this. Tonight, we`ve got the shocking connections between Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. In a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report at 30 minutes past the hour, we are taking a look at the stunning similarities.

They were both stars at a very young age, then became world famous for their music. And now if you think about it, they`re both much better known for their personal dramas. Stay right where you are. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates the shocking connections between Britney and Michael, straight ahead.

Also straight ahead, Valerie Bertinelli opening up like never before when she and I go one on one.


HAMMER: And one of the stories you tell us when you`re going and signing the paperwork with the priest and you both have cocaine on you.


HAMMER: That`s a bad sign.

BERTINELLI: Yes. What part of this tells you that you can get married?

HAMMER: That`s not a good sign. Yes. What`s the deal?


Clearly, we did not shy away from the tough subjects. Drugs, her marriage to Eddie Van Halen, infidelity. Man, we covered it all. Wait until you hear as well what Valerie had to say about body image and losing 40 pounds. That`s coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

But first, stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news with our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. You can just head on over to, click on "sign up for newsletter"; it`s a link at the bottom of the page. And we`ll send it to you every single day.



HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the startling connections between Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. Nasty court battles, dramatic money problems, career comebacks in big trouble. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks the provocative question - is Britney heading down the same dangerous path as Michael? It`s a showbiz special report.


HAMMER: And one of the stories you tell us when you`re going and signing the paperwork with the priest and you both have cocaine on you.


HAMMER: That`s a bad sign.

BERTINELLI: Yes. What part of this tells you that you can get married?

HAMMER: That`s not a good sign. Yes. What`s the deal?


Tonight, Valerie Bertinelli like you`ve never heard her before. We cover explosive topics, like drug use. I get the one day at a time star to open up about her marriage to Eddie Van Halen, talk of cheating by both of them. And what about the reported fight between her and former Jenny Craig pitch woman Kirstie Alley? It`s the shocking interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you tonight from Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

Tonight, a startling, very close call for Michael Jackson. He is this close to losing his Neverland ranch to foreclosure. Unless Michael comes up with $25 million in cold hard cash, he`ll never see Neverland again. They`ll auction it off - the mansion, the amusement park, the zoo. I`ve been there and it is something else. It`s all just one more chapter in the dramatic story of Michael`s life, from pop star to pop wreck.

And it made us here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT think a former child star, turned superstar with legal troubles and a rocky financial picture. Wait a minute. Britney Spears, watch out. This could be you. Tonight, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report, the Britney-Michael connection.

Joining me from Hollywood, co-anchor "Extra" Dana Devon. Also CNN entertainment correspondent, Kareen Wynter. And from New York, host of "In Session," Lisa Bloom. Ladies, welcome.

And first, I want to just take a look at just some of the many fascinating similarities between Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. Take a look at this. They were both, of course, enormous child stars. Both are legendary performers. In recent years, both have had lengthy legal battles. You know, both of them are international superstars who started as child performers at a very early age. Kareen, how does that sort of thing affect the rest of one`s life, going from obscurity to major fame so young?

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Well, first of all, when you`re that successful at such a young age, the word "allowance" probably doesn`t mean a darn thing to you, right? You`re calling the shots. In essence, you develop a sense of entitlement. You take things for granted.

And Brooke, really, if you don`t have the strong solid outside force, be it a mom or a manager guiding you, kind of pulling in the reins when you venture out, you could be in a world of trouble. And before you know it, the fortunes that you`ve amassed over time, it will be in the toilet basically. You`ll develop these bad spending habits and again, be in a world of trouble.

ANDERSON: Yes. And Dana, let me ask you this. It`s got to be tough. You know, one day, you`re outside playing with your friends and the next, you`re on a world tour. It is not a normal childhood.

DANA DEVON, CO-ANCHOR, "EXTRA": It is not a normal childhood. Brooke, we have all seen the end of this movie and it doesn`t end well. The list of child stars gone bad is long and it`s getting longer and longer every day. It seems to be really damaging to a child when they`re developing their self-image and their self-esteem.

And you know what? Every day here in L.A., thousands of parents are taking their kids to auditions hoping they`re going to be the next child star. So we don`t appear to be learning anything from these stories.

ANDERSON: Yes. It could be very dangerous for a child and their growth. As we know, Michael built an empire from his long and successful career. Britney has an empire of her own. Both are still very wealthy, but their empires are showing signs of crumbling because of their legal troubles. Lisa, are these legal troubles, what do you think, making them un-hirable regardless of their talent?

LISA BLOOM, HOST, "IN SESSION": Well, that`s an interesting question. Unlike me, they don`t have to suck up to a network and worry about their next contract because they`re musicians. They`re musicians. They may have to worry about their recording studios, but if they have a hit song now and then, they`re going to be fine. Britney has hit songs on the charts right now. She`s raking in $700,000 a month. I think she can squeak by on that.

ANDERSON: A little more than $400,000. I think she can. And Britney and Michael also both struggle with personal demons. Britney with mental illness and Michael has had child molestation charges leveled against him. He was acquitted. Dana, do either of them stand a chance of swaying public opinion about their private lives and making real comebacks in their professional lives?

DEVON: That`s a really good question. With Michael`s case, I don`t think so. There`s a real stigma with child molestation cases even though he was acquitted. That`s a really hard one to overcome.

Britney? Maybe. But she needs to get some pharmaceuticals. She needs to get some rest and relaxation. She needs to get some therapy. She needs to get back in shape. And then I actually think she has a real shot at a comeback. And I think secretly a lot of people are kind of rooting for her to come back. But she`s got to do a lot of work before that`s going to happen.

ANDERSON: Kareen, what do you think? Everybody loves a good comeback.

WYNTER: Of course they do. You know, Dana, I have to disagree with you. I think Michael Jackson is such a big star. Despite what happened in the past, we`re a forgiving society, right? I think he still has a shot.

Britney Spears, we were mentioning comeback and Britney. Do we all have short minds? Didn`t she just stage one and was it just an absolute disaster. OK. "Blackout," it didn`t go platinum, while it didn`t flop. The record label said, you know, what it wasn`t nearly a success as we expected. Some of her songs on the top 73 Billboard charts right now, which is really, really not good. So with Britney Spears, if she`s thinking about a comeback, she better do it soon, I think.

ANDERSON: Well, maybe the next time she tries to stage a comeback it will go a little better than the first time. And you know, Michael`s sister Janet has no doubt about her brother`s superstardom and told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about her hopes for a Jackson 5 reunion. Listen to this.


JANET JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S SISTER: And one of my brothers - he has had a solo career and he kind of - You have to respect it. He may want to just stick with his solo career. And you have to respect that. So I don`t know. He`s kind of on the fence with that, but I`m not giving up.


ANDERSON: All right. There are rumors that Michael could open a show in Las Vegas. Lisa, what do you think about his chances for a comeback?

BLOOM: He will always have legions of fans, but don`t forget, he paid millions of dollars to boys who said that he molested them. I think Britney is in a different category altogether. She`s a sad, troubled young woman, but she`s never been accused of harming anybody, not even her own children. She`s accused of being such a sad sack that she can`t take care of them. But I wouldn`t put the two of them even in the same sentence.

ANDERSON: OK, not even compare the two? Well, we know that Britney`s career is nowhere near as long as Michael`s, but I want you to listen to what she said a few years ago about what she`d like to aspire to be.


BRITNEY SPEARS, POP STAR: I really idolize Madonna, I think she`s brilliant. And I think she`s such a smart business and totally respect and admire that.


ANDERSON: OK, if Britney turns things around, Dana, do you think she can become as legendary as Michael Jackson or her idol Madonna?

DEVON: OK, look, like you said, Michael Jackson is a legend. He wrote, produced, sang, performed all his music. He`s still an influence today. He`s an incredible talent. He`s heralded as the biggest talent since Elvis Presley. Britney simply is not as talented. She can definitely be big. But as big as Michael Jackson? Absolutely not. I think Lisa Bloom said it right. They`re not even in the same sentence.

ANDERSON: Kareen, what do you think Britney could learn from Michael?

WYNTER: That no matter how big you are, how huge you are, you can fall just as quickly. But again, she has youth on her side, Brooke. She`s still quite young and she is talented. There is a huge public obsession when it comes to Britney Spears. So she still has somewhat of a window. It`s closing and if she`s going to capitalize on it, she`d better do it quickly.

ANDERSON: Lisa, what do you think? Do you think some of her family and friends, people who are trying to protect her now, can see the warning signs and can see the people who have gone before her and their careers, their person lives have collapsed and said, "Hey, let`s not let this happen to you, too?"

BLOOM: I absolutely think that is the case. I think her parents genuinely love her. Since they`ve been in the picture this time around, she`s kept a low profile. Hopefully, she`s getting the help that she needs. She`s a young woman. We`re all rooting for her. And I think she really can make the comeback that America wants for her.

ANDERSON: Yes. I am optimistic that Britney Spears and Michael Jackson can both make tremendous comebacks. We`ll wait for that. Dana Devon, Kareen Wynter, and Lisa Bloom, thank you all. Good to see you.

And hey, we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. It is this - Michael Jackson may lose Neverland: Do you think he can ever make a comeback? Keep voting at E- mail us. Here`s the address:

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, I`ll tell you, somebody else who definitely needs a comeback. Lindsay Lohan. I mean think about it. She`s got the talent, obviously. But with the rehab, the drunk driving. Well, tonight, Lindsay`s little sister is opening up and even despite all of what Lindsay has been through, she says that she wants to follow in her big sister`s footsteps. You`ve got to hear what little sis is saying. That`s coming up next.

Also, big news about Matt Damon, guys. Everybody is happy to hear about this, myself included. Hey, Matt, you`re probably going to have to get yourself a good pair of running shoes. Don`t go anywhere if you want to find out what this is all about. We will also have this -


HAMMER: And one of the stories you tell us when you`re going and signing the paperwork with the priest and you both have cocaine on you.


HAMMER: That`s a bad sign.

BERTINELLI: Yes. What part of this tells you that you can get married.

HAMMER: That`s not a good sign. Yes. What`s the deal?


HAMMER: It just struck me as very strange. Having cocaine when you`re seeing the priest and about to get married. Well, tonight, Valerie Bertinelli, like you have never heard her before. I am getting the "One Day at a Time" star to open up. I mean everything, drug use. We talk about the shocking cheating that went on in her marriage. This is the explosive interview that you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.



BERTINELLI: Yipee! I`m just excited. I`m the only kid I know who goes to confession and has to make up things.


HAMMER: I love seeing that. Takes me back to my childhood. Valerie Bertinelli playing of course the oh-so-squeaky clean Barbara Cooper in that 70s, 80s hit, "One Day at a Time." You can get the music along.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. Valerie Bertinelli certainly was one of America`s sweethearts. She could do no wrong. But even though Valerie might have played the perfect daughter on "One Day at a Time" her real life was far from perfect.

Well, in her brand-new explosive memoir called "Losing It," she opens up about everything, from experimenting with drugs to a bumpy 20-year marriage to rocker Eddie Van Halen and her emotional up and down weight battle. I sat down with Valerie for a very candid interview and I even got her to set the record straight for me about that reported feud between her and former Jenny Craig pitch woman Kirstie Alley.


(on camera): The image that you had as a result of doing "One Day At A Time" show when you started at 15 years old vastly different if I may be so bold just to say from some of the things we learned about you.


HAMMER: And I`ll get right to it. I mean you`re very candid about the drug use.


HAMMER: Fame obviously came very quickly at you when you were 15 years old. What was it, though, that actually led to you beginning to do cocaine as you talk about doing with Mackenzie Phillips and other people?

BERTINELLI: Well, I think I was a product of the age, too. I mean I know not everybody in the late `70s and `80s tried you know, drugs. But I think that has more to do with the era, and experimentation at that age. Luckily, I didn`t like it that much, so I didn`t - so I stopped doing it. I didn`t do it for too long of a time. And of course, I loved food so much more, so nothing could take the place of that.

HAMMER: And you talk about how you were still dabbling in the drugs when you first got together with Eddie Van Halen. You were 20 years old?

BERTINELLI: Well, actually - Yes, I was 20 when I met Ed. I`ve done some drugs with Mac, not that it was her fault. We were just, you know, experimenting. And then I was with a man who didn`t do drugs at all, so I didn`t do any. And then I met Ed and I started doing them again.

HAMMER: And one of the stories you tell us when you`re going and signing the paperwork with the priest and you both had cocaine on you.


HAMMER: That`s a bad sign.

BERTINELLI: Yes. What part of this tells you that you can get married?

HAMMER: That`s not a good sign. Yes. What`s the deal?

BERTINELLI: These are two people that don`t know how to actually enter into a marriage so they shouldn`t be doing it. But we did anyway. And we got a great son out of it, so there you go.

HAMMER: You got a beautiful son in Wolfy(ph), Wolfgang. And you were married for 20 years. Now, another thing you speak candidly about is the infidelity that took place. But you talk about your infidelity. You talk about Eddie`s infidelity. You said that you had this son, nonetheless who turned out to be the great beauty of it all. But you were together for 20 years and the infidelity happened pretty early on in the marriage.

BERTINELLI: You know, I was surprised. Actually, I didn`t remember it that way until I went back over my journals, and it was only four years into our marriage and I - looking back now, I can see we started drifting apart so much earlier than I really thought we did. Because we had so much love for each other that that really kept us going through a lot of the really terrible things we were doing to one another. So I guess I didn`t realize that it started so early. But yes, it pretty much did.

HAMMER: So then, what was the deal with you guys staying together for so long after that in hindsight? Because I think a lot of people watching right now may relate in that they don`t make it through even that first infidelity. That`s it, game over.

BERTINELLI: Well, it should be, too. I mean I think I really truly believe in monogamy. Back then, I didn`t know how to deal with the complexities of a relationship and how you treat one another and avoiding pain when I just brought on more pain by putting infidelity into the marriage. So I don`t know. I guess older is wiser.

HAMMER: Makes sense to me.

BERTINELLI: You know, you make that mistake. You really shouldn`t make it again. You don`t want to make it again.

HAMMER: You talk about your love for food. You talk a great deal about your body image issues, the up and down weight struggles. You talk about the rock bottom that you hit and I guess it pertains to your weight when you saw yourself on screen doing the TV movie "Claire" and what you write book is quote, "the sight of myself was too much for even me to tolerate." How bad was it at that moment? How bad did it get?

BERTINELLI: God, I just looked at it and I think I had been able to live in denial for a length of time there, that when I did see my image, I just - who is that? I didn`t recognize her any longer. "Who is that old, ugly fat woman?" is exactly what I remember saying out loud. I was in a room by myself. And that was a very - a good starting for me to say I can`t. I`m not going to live this way any longer.

HAMMER: You`re having such great success with Jenny Craig. We loved seeing your progress on the commercials. You`ve lost around 40 pounds. Is that the deal? Is it something, though, that you still live in fear of falling off the wagon? Is it a battle, a struggle every day?

BERTINELLI: It`s a challenge, but I don`t have a fear about it. I really, for the first time in my entire life, feel like I`ve got control to the most degree with this. Because I have people I can lean on now. Every time I go on a diet before, it was almost hiding from it, "Well, I`m not really dieting. No one needs to know this." But when you finally stop hiding and stop the facade and you would just out and out say, "Well, this is what I`m doing. And I need help and I want this from you. Can you help me?" You can`t hide anymore. That`s the whole point is just to be up front and live your life. And be joyful in it.

HAMMER: I need you to set the record straight on something. You`re probably just going to have a laugh. But here`s what I read on the papers. You know, you come on to the Jenny Craig program. There you are doing the commercials originally with Kirstie Alley. You`re younger -


HAMMER: I`m reading - everybody`s saying she`s younger. And now the two of you are mortal enemies and -

BERTINELLI: I don`t know how that happened. Honestly, I don`t. It`s almost like society doesn`t think that two women can actually be friends and get along and have a good time working together, but it`s true. We`re not all catfights all the time. We`re real people, you know. But that`s from, you know, living in a patriarchal society. What are you going to do?


HAMMER: I`ve got to tell you, she was absolutely glowing. What you see is what was happening there and very candid obviously, a lovely lady. Valerie Bertinelli`s new book "Losing It and Getting My Life Back One Pound at a Time" is available right now.

ANDERSON: Well, tonight, I can tell that Lindsay Lohan`s sister wants to grow up and be just like her, hopefully minus the rehab, the drunk driving and all the out of control stuff.

In a revealing interview in the April issue of "Teen Vogue" magazine, 14-year-old Ali Lohan says this, "I grew up watching Lindsay. It made me do what she does. Just the whole vibe. Being there, being on camera or on stage, with everybody listening to you, it`s so cool when people look up to you."

Yes, but Ali, with all due respect, your sister really hasn`t been someone to look up to recently.

HAMMER: All right. Are you guys ready for some big Matt Damon news? Very, very exciting. I`ve got to tell you, if you`re a fan of his movies, you are not going to go anywhere because what I`m going to tell you - well, let`s just say Damon better have a good pair of running shoes. That is next.

Now you can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT any time at all. To do that, you simply need to download our podcast which happens to be completely free. Won`t cost you a penny. You`ll find the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT podcast on our website, or download it on iTunes. Just type "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" into the search box. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming straight back.


HAMMER: I have excellent news. Jason Bourne will keep on running. Yes, tonight I can tell you that Universal Pictures is in fact going to make a fourth "Bourne" movie starring Matt Damon as the former government killer who just can`t remember his old life. "Bourne Ultimatum" just won three Oscars for editing and sound.

ANDERSON: A.J., I am psyched that they are doing another one. I really enjoyed those movies. Hey, welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And here some more stories that are new right now.

Justin Timberlake is going to induct Madonna into the Rock `n Roll Hall Of Fame next month. J.T. who was in diapers when Madonna first came on to the pop scene in the early `80s has been working on her new album, which is supposed to come out this year.

Tonight, "Maxim" magazine is eating crow. Get this, so "Maxim" reviewed the "The Black Crowes" new album, "Warpaint." They gave it 2 1/2 stars out of five. The problem is, the writer didn`t even listen to the entire disk. It was an educated guess because "The Crowes" didn`t release advanced copies. "Maxim" has apologized to its readers, but the fans wants an apology and I think they deserve one.

Stop right now, thank you very much. And say goodbye to these ladies, The Spice Girls. They wrapped up their 10-year reunion tour in Toronto, Tuesday night. That`s probably the last time they`ll ever perform together.

HAMMER: I`m sorry. That`s just terrible news. All right. On Tuesday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "`American idol` loses viewers: Is it time to change the show?"

Wow, I`m pretty surprised about these answers. Eighty percent of you saying yes; 20 percent of you saying no. A lot of emails came in, too, including one from Chiana(ph) in Kentucky. Here`s what Chiana writes, "I am so sick and tired of `American Idol.` The only reason why people even watch is for the auditions and that is getting old. I think America has suffered enough."

We also heard from Casey in Virginia who has a different feeling. "I feel that if we all wanted a change, we would stop watching. Yet we watch it week after week. As they say the proof is in the pudding. 30 million people are watching too."

All right, Brooke. I don`t know. They`re probably going to be around forever. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks a lot for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer with my tissues in New York.

ANDERSON: Oh, you`re really sad. Sorry about that news. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. The latest from CNN HEADLINE NEWS, coming up next.