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New Developments on the Chris Brown-Rihanna Alleged Assault; White House Party Secrets; Jessica Simpson Speaks Out; Bizarre Octu-Mom Twists

Aired February 11, 2009 - 23:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - breaking new developments in the Chris Brown-Rihanna alleged assault. Tonight, why hasn`t the DA filed charges yet? And why has the case been sent back to cops?


HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ: That, in my head, means that they`re looking at multiple charges.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Plus, shocking new word from Brown`s former stepfather. And more major fallout affecting both Rihanna and Chris Brown`s careers. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the latest on the Chris Brown-Rihanna alleged assault.

Jessica Simpson speaks out. Tonight, in her first live TV interview since getting slammed for putting on a few pounds, Jessica opens up. How is she doing?

And bizarre new octu-mom twists. Is there a wild connection to Angelina Jolie? And is the octuplet mom getting a reality show?

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.


Hello. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, broadcasting from New York City. A.J. Hammer and Brooke Anderson are off tonight.

Tonight, new outrage over the octuplet mom. Has the mother of the miracle eight really been offered a reality show? People are really fired up over this one. Plus, who is footing the bill to care for Hollywood`s tiniest new celebrities? The outrage times eight coming up.

But first, the Chris Brown-Rihanna drama. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you this disturbing case is back in the hands of the police after the Los Angeles DA asked for further investigation. But why? What exactly are they looking for?

On top of that, there has been major new fallout from the scandal and it`s all making news right now.


(voice over): The criminal case marches on. Careers are damaged, perhaps permanently. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT sorts out the newest details in the horrific domestic violence case involving singers Chris Brown and Rihanna.

RUSSELL WETANSON, "POPSQUIRE.COM": Given the high-profile nature of this case, the authorities are taking special care and certainly are looking into every aspect of this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you as Los Angeles prosecutors decide whether to file more charges against Chris Brown, they`re putting the cops back to work, sending the case back to the LAPD for more investigation.

The DA`s office tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the reason was, quote, "insufficient evidence."

WETANSON: Like many domestic disputes, there are a lot of unanswered questions in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s what we do know - early Sunday morning, the day the superstar couple was supposed to appear at the Grammy Awards, cops were called after Brown and a woman got into a heated argument in a vehicle.

Police say the woman suffered visible injuries and said Brown attacked her. Sources close to the couple have confirmed to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that the woman involved was the multi-platinum singer, Rihanna.

WETANSON: Sources say that Rihanna is cooperating with police. And that could mean additional evidence and facts are coming out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brown was arrested and booked on suspicion of making a criminal threat. And more criminal charges may be in Chris Brown`s future now that prosecutors have kicked the case back to the police.

WETANSON: They`re saying two things, "We need you to go back and look at this investigation. And we need additional evidence." This allows the DA`s office to figure out how exactly to proceed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, the cops are leaving no stone unturned in the case. TMZ has photos of the Lamborghini Brown was driving that night.

LEVIN: The Lamborghini is in an impound yard right now. And it will pretty much almost certainly be used as evidence in the case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL Meanwhile, the incident is affecting both of the stellar music careers. Rihanna reportedly has canceled another major performance, a concert in Indonesia. Earlier canceled in Malaysia.

And for Brown, the alleged attacker, the career damage looks to be more serious.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some radio stations in Cleveland, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh reportedly have stopped playing his music. And "`s" Russell Wetanson tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Brown is losing endorsement deals.

WETANSON: This is a situation where businesses want to distance themselves from someone whose reputation may be going through the mud.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But with the way the case is unfolding, some are saying lost endorsements are the least of Brown`s troubles.

LEVIN: Certainly, based on the photographs that we know exist and what those photographs show, I don`t think there is any doubt the DA is going to file charges in this case.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are so many unanswered questions in this alleged assault case. Here to sort out the breaking developments tonight in New York, Ashleigh Banfield, who is the anchor with the Legal Network`s "In Session." And in Hollywood, Ken Baker, executive news editor for "E! Entertainment."

Well, let`s start with the big news. The L.A. district attorney wants police to further investigate the Chris Brown incident before they decide whether or not to press charges.

Ashleigh, why do you think they sent this case back to the cops?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": It could be a couple of reasons. By the way, it is not that unusual. Doesn`t happen all the time, but it`s that not that unusual that something is sent back to the cops. Could be some missing statements. Investigators didn`t get a statement from say, a witness or a victim.

And it could be as simple as being a hot potato. I don`t want this until it is perfect. Cross every T. Dot every I. You know, the police chief has already told all of his underlings, "I don`t want this going anywhere out of protocol. I want this handled exactly to the book." And maybe that`s the way the DA is reacting as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can understand that. Ken, you have covered so many of these cases. What do you think they`re looking for?

KEN BAKER, EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR, "E! ENTERTAINMENT": I think, as Ashleigh said, it could be a number of things. But one thing I don`t think it is, is that there is insufficient lack of evidence for them to eventually bring charges. They are probably just dotting the I`s and crossing the T`s as Ashleigh alluded to.

This is why - because, you know, the facts that have come out as "E!" has reported, it`s pretty gruesome. Let`s be honest here. What has been alleged that Chris Brown did to Rihanna, if true, is something that I can`t imagine the DA`s office couldn`t act on.

Look, the microscope is on, and it`s on full power. We`re here. We are all talking about it. There is an intense public interest. You better believe the DA`s office wants to make sure they have it right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that raises a question, Ashleigh. Why didn`t they file any additional charges?

BANFIELD: It has only been three days. And the thing is when you file charges, you start the ball rolling. And then your time is limited. They`ve got plenty of time before the first appearance. I think it is early March.

So it`s not a good idea just to throw those charges out there before you are absolutely certain. And then, I can`t stress enough how profile this is. Everybody wants to get it right. You don`t want to have to withdraw them if you made a mistake and charged it too quickly. And again, only three days - it`s not that long for an investigation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Ken, TMZ posted these photos of Brown`s Lamborghini in police custody, apparently being dusted for fingerprints. Now, aside from the fingerprints, what kind of evidence do you think they are hoping to find?

BAKER: Yes, "E!" has just got video of the car. That car is still impounded. Of course, that is evidence. It could be key evidence. We don`t know if there are bloodstains, if there`s hair. Maybe there was someone else in the car. They`re checking for fingerprints.

This car is where the alleged beating occurred. And you`d better believe that is a crime scene. That is a crime scene on wheels. And you`d better believe that that is going to be looked at very closely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. And -

BANFIELD: It may also provide some corroboration to what the witness statements are. For instance, somebody got hit with a high heel and went through the window; you want to find that corroboration in the forensic evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. You want to see the windshield damage. I hear you.

BANFIELD: Whatever it is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. New tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that several radio stations around the country are refusing to play Brown`s songs until this case is settled. Not only that, but advertisers are backing out of their deals with Brown including Wrigley Gum.

Meanwhile, Rihanna`s deals - well, advertisers are still going strong with her. Covergirl, which has Rihanna as their spokesperson, standing by her through this ordeal. Ken, are advertisers kind of jumping the gun on Chris Brown?

BAKER: Well, I spoke to a source at the NBA. Chris Brown had to cancel an appearance this weekend for the NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix. And this source told me that they were happy that he wasn`t coming. It`s too controversial. It is too hot to handle.

And it doesn`t surprise me. Advertisers tend to be very conservative. The celebrities are endorsing their brand. They`re sort of almost co- branded with the brand that they`re selling. And of course, there is going to be skittishness.

Now, are they jumping the gun? Well, in a legal sense, yes. We have not heard from him. There aren`t any charges that have been formally filed. So, in that sense, they are jumping the gun.

But from a PR image, they almost have a gun to their head and they need to do something like this because the it is very controversial right now to put him out there endorsing a brand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s two different stands, essentially. This is new information right now. Rihanna just canceled a second major performance this time in Indonesia and is reportedly keeping a very low profile. She is not talking to anyone. But the "Los Angeles Times" reports that she is cooperating with police in this investigation.

Now, Ashleigh, here`s what I want to ask you. She doesn`t have to take part in this investigation but apparently she is taking part. What does that mean for this case?

BANFIELD: Well, it`s huge. I mean, in any kind of domestic violence situation when the victim is cooperative, it helps immensely. They don`t have to have that, though, for a case.

Apparently, there were several witnesses. Neighbors, apparently, were the ones to call 911. And you could hear the victim screaming in the background. Those neighbors could help to make this case as witnesses in the case. But it is very helpful when you have the actual victim saying what happened to her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let`s get back to the media. The media, advertisers, and even some entertainers have basically condemned Brown before all the details have been brought to light.

Ken, we don`t have confirmation on many of the details in the case. Is it really fair to assume Brown is guilty just based on what we have heard?

BAKER: Yes. Now, of course, there shouldn`t be a rush to judgment. Unfortunately, a lot of these cases nowadays -they`re pretty much tried in the media. And right now, I would say that Chris Brown - he needs a strategy. He needs a PR strategy because if he doesn`t have a PR strategy, it almost doesn`t matter what the outcome is legally here. Because people are already jumping to their own conclusions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`ll leave it right there. But we are innocent in this country until proven guilty in a court of law.

Ashleigh Banfield, Ken Baker, thank you so much for your insights.

I`ve got to tell you, this octuplet mom story keeps getting more and more bizarre. Coming up, brand new outrage. Has the new mother of eight - and she`s got 14 in total - actually been offered a reality show? Plus, is there a stunning connection between octu-mom and Angelina Jolie?

Also, Jessica Simpson is speaking out. Her very first live TV interview since she got slammed for putting on a couple of pounds. You know, this weight debate has really exploded. And now, Jessica is revealing just how it is affecting her.

I`ve got your first look at the brand-new thing Michelle Obama is doing. Only one other first lady has done it before.

Also, amazing White House secrets, an exclusive looks at all the presidential parties being planned, from Sasha and Malia`s sleepovers to fancy state dinners. This is all on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Happy birthday, Jennifer Aniston! She turns 40 today, Feb. 11th. "E!": Madonna and Demi Moore will host post-Oscar party for second year in a row.)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Obama is in "Vogue" literally. Tonight, here`s your first look at the First Lady on the cover of the March issue of "Vogue." She is only the second first lady to ever be on the cover of the magazine. Hillary Clinton was the other. The pictures were shot by Annie Leibovitz. And in case you`re wondering, that`s a Jason Wu dress, the same fellow who designed Michelle`s inaugural gown.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in New York. Time now for the "SHOWBIZ Obama Watch," White House party secrets. Well, maybe the folks over at "Vogue" will let Michelle Obama raid their closets. She is going to need a ton of clothes for all the social events she`s going to be hosting over the next four years.

CNN "American Morning" entertainment correspondent Ogunnaike joins us right now. Lola has got an exclusive sit-down with the woman who is managing the president`s social calendar. Lola, I want to hear this.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT, CNN`S "AMERICAN MORNING": Jane, I had a great chat with America`s first African-American White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers. And she gave me some amazing details on what the party agenda will be for the first family.

While she made it clear the Obamas are still adjusting to life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, she assured me state dinners and pajama parties for the kids are on the calendar.


OGUNNAIKE (on camera): Besides the Obamas, you are probably the most popular person at the White House.

DESIREE ROGERS, WHITE HOUSE SOCIAL SECRETARY: Well, I don`t know about that. I think people certainly want to come to the White House. Once they figure out that I am the social secretary, people do tend to gravitate over.

OGUNNAIKE: Now, what have the Obamas told you they want you to do exactly? What do they want from you, Desiree?

ROGERS: Well, I think that his latest book, "The Audacity of Hope" has been very clear about what he would look the White House to reflect. And that really is being inclusive, that really is being the house for all people.

OGUNNAIKE: So are you going to have, say, Joe the Plumber or Jane the Waitress mixing it up with Gordon Brown or Nicholas Sarkozy. Do you see that happening at a state dinner?

ROGERS: Why not? Why not? I think one of the things that has been really interesting for me is the staff that has worked here over the years and really getting them to relax a bit, you know -

OGUNNAIKE: Were they a little stiff?

ROGERS: As we were setting things up, saying, you know, this is going to be more casual. Maybe we don`t need as much glassware or silverware, all of those things that put you on guard when you enter. You know, "Oh, my gosh! Look at all those glasses. I don`t know what to do with all of those." Or forks or knives or whatever it is.

OGUNNAIKE: Salad fork, dinner fork?

ROGERS: You know, those are things that put people on guard and that`s the last thing that we want to do.

OGUNNAIKE: I`m sure you have been flooded with requests.


OGUNNAIKE: How do you go about turning people down? Do you have a line yet, say, "It`s not you. It`s me."

ROGERS: Well, I say to them, "We have four years. You know, we just got here." I think that line will probably have to go away soon. But I am going to use it for at least for the next six months. Give us a chance. Give us a chance.

OGUNNAIKE: The first time that we have had kids in the White House for decades. Slumber parties? Are you planning those? Are you planning the birthday parties, the sleepovers?

ROGERS: Well I think, you know, it is going to be up to the girls. I mean, I think the big thing that everyone is anticipating is the dog.


ROGERS: What will the dog be like? What kind of dog will it be? When is the dog coming? I hear that every other week. Do you have the dog yet? We don`t have the dog yet.

OGUNNAIKE: OK. Give us a hint.

ROGERS: I really don`t know anything.

OGUNNAIKE: Come on, Desiree.

ROGERS: I really don`t.

OGUNNAIKE: A Labradoodle?

ROGERS: It will be cute. It will be cute. Probably sassy.


OGUNNAIKE: So I couldn`t get any dirt from Desiree about what type of dog the Obamas are getting. But I bet it will need a social secretary of its own.

Also, Jane, you mentioned the First Lady`s cover. I`ve have got to tell you about a great interview I did with "Vogue`s" editor-at-large, Andre Leon Talley. He is revealing a lot of really interesting stuff about that photo shoot with Michelle Obama. So tune in to CNN`s "American Morning" tomorrow for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lola, whatever dog they get, I do hope it is a rescue, and so do many people. Thank you for that, Lola.

The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have been ringing off the hook with people calling in about the octuplet mom. People really fired up over her.

We got a call into "Showbiz on Call" from Sarah in Georgia.


SARAH, CALLER FROM GEORGIA: I think it is a little scary for everyone, you know, to see that someone is willing to do that for eight children. I don`t think she is a healthy individual. When you have eight and then six kids already at home, you know, that adds up to 14. And I think she should give some up for adoption.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much, Sarah. We also heard from Sheila calling in to "Showbiz on Call" from Minnesota.


SHEILA, CALLER FROM MINNESOTA: This is America, folks. We don`t get to decide who gets to have children and how many we get to have. If we did, it would be awful sad how many people would lose their kids just because they didn`t have money. I don`t think she should have that many kids either, but it is not my decision.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you for that, Sheila. Remember you can call us at "Showbiz on Call" and let us know what you think about this or anything else that is on your mind. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are always open. Call 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; that`s 1-888-728-2899. Leave us a voicemail and we will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And your calls to "Showbiz on Call" are also now online on our homepage,

Now, we want to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. There is talk tonight that the octuplet mom has been offered a TV and book deal. So - "Octuplet Mom: Should she get her own reality show?" Vote at E-mail us at

Well, I know people are going to get fired up over this - a reality show, any show for that matter? Is it a good idea? You`ve got to hear this.

Tonight, there are also reports of a bizarre connection between octuplet mom and Angelina Jolie. I`ve got that outrage coming up.

Plenty of outrage over Jessica Simpson for getting slammed for putting on a couple pounds. I think it is horrible. She looks great. Tonight, Jessica speaking out in her first live TV interview since the great weight debate exploded.

And brand-new Alex Rodriguez controversy. Is A-Rod getting a ballpark named after him after he admitted he used steroids? All of this and so much more tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

And now the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Showtime renews "United States of Tara" for a second season. Brad Paisley leads Academy of Country Music Awards nominations with six.)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, did you see this one? One happy story to come out of Australia`s devastating and deadly wildfires. A fire fighter offering up his water bottle to a koala. This poor koala`s paws were burned. She obviously was in pain. So the fire fighter grabbed a bottle and the koala actually drank from it. And by the way, Sam, the koala is expected to recover.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell with some more stories that are making news right now. New York Yankees` slugger Alex Rodriguez is still getting his baseball field. Even though A-Rod shocked everyone by admitting this week that he has used steroids, the University of Miami is still moving forward with a dedication ceremony this Friday for the Alex Rodriguez Park.

The school is in a tough spot because A-Rod donated nearly $4 million to build the field. But for now, A-Rod`s name stays put.

New developments in the John Travolta alleged $25 million extortion case. A Bahamian judge denied the request to lower the bail of an ambulance driver held since January 23rd. Tarino Lightbourne`s bail was set at $50,000. He is one of two people charged in the conspiracy of demanding millions from Travolta; otherwise, they would release a document about Travolta son`s death.

"People" magazine reporting the prosecutors now trying to fast track this trial. It could get on the calendar just months after an April court date. Jett Travolta died tragically of a seizure just last month.

And tonight another "Grey`s Anatomy" star speaking out about the blockbuster report that both Katherine Heigl, who plays Izzie, and T.R. Knight, plays George, are both of them leaving the show?

Eric Dane, who is Dr. Sloan on the show, wouldn`t 100 percent confirm that those two are leaving. But on today`s "Ellen," Ellen DeGeneres insisted his face revealed the truth.


ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": Reports say just because people are interested, Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight are leaving the show. Is that accurate? Are they leaving? You can`t say.

ERIC DANE, ACTOR: Well, no. I don`t - you know, I don`t really comment. That`s more of a Shonda Rimes thing.


DANE: And until she says those two characters are no longer on the show. I worked with them this morning. And they were both very present.

DEGENERES: OK. I don`t know. I keep hearing all these things. And of course -

DANE: No. I know you want to know and I get it.

DEGENERES: No, I know. I want -

DANE: Until the boss says this is going down, it`s not happening.

DEGENERES: Right. Right. OK. But I see from your eyes they`re leaving. So -


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She is so funny. Well, if Heigl and Knight are leaving, I hear octu-mom may need a babysitter or two. Here is the showbiz lineup. What is coming up bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Bizarre new octu-mom developments. Is she really getting a reality show? And is there a startling connection between her and Angelina Jolie? She wishes.

For the very first time since getting slammed for putting on a few pounds, Jessica Simpson is speaking out in a live TV interview.

And brand-new Michael Phelps` pot smoking scandal outrage tonight. There are reports of arrests - yes, arrests.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Tim Gunn and Robin Roberts to host Oscar pre-show. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams ("The Notebook") top "Fandango`s" list of sexy screen duos.)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, octuplet mom outrage. The brand- new bombshell interview with octuplet mom. Why she decided to have 14 children. And what she says about all the rumbling she kind of looks like Angelina Jolie.

Plus, your fired-up phone calls to "Showbiz on Call."

Jessica Simpson speaks, her first major TV appearance since all the great debate over her weight.

Plus, more stories breaking from the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker."

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show continues right now.


Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, broadcasting from New York City. A.J. Hammer and Brooke Anderson are off tonight.

Tonight the octu-mom outrage is growing at lightning speed. The questions are piling up as the world finally hears the whole story from the octu-mom herself in an exclusive interview with NBC. Now, the outrage over 33-year-old Nadya Suleman`s story and concern for her children is growing by the minute. The new details are just shocking.

Plus, there is talk of a reality show that Nadya is reportedly mulling over - all of this on the heels of Nadya`s bombshell interview that includes her refuting reports from a strange connection to Angelina Jolie to not being on welfare.

And our "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have been absolutely overwhelmed by the reaction to Nadya Suleman`s story. And we are going to play some of your calls.

Joining me tonight in New York, Ashleigh Banfield, who is an anchor with the Legal Network`s "In Session." And in Hollywood, Dayna Devon, who is a correspondent for "Extra."

Delighted to have both of you tonight. We have to begin - have to begin by showing you this Web site, the Nadya Suleman family Web site. There is actually a place to click on to donate to this family. Is this outrageous? Or is this ingenious, Dayna?

DAYNA DEVON, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": Oh, my gosh. I think it is outrageous. I think it`s ridiculous. And really, quite honestly, I think it is sick. I think this woman is selfish, egotistical and probably disturbed.

And you know, the biggest victims here, unfortunately, Jane, I think are her kids. And I think people should be wary. I mean, if you are going to donate to this woman, it might actually go into her lips instead of towards her kids. So be careful.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh. Ouch, that hurt. But Ashleigh, she may have created this situation. In fact, she did create the situation. But desperate times call for desperate measures, don`t they?

BANFIELD: Well, I agree. And I agree with what Dayna said to the extent that the biggest victims here are all of these children. Because we don`t know what kind of lifestyle is about to await them all when the eight arrive home, if they arrive home, I might add.

But here is the sad part. Whenever there is a multiple birth like this, companies step in to help out and sponsor. But there are no Huggies, no Pampers, no home, formula companies who have come to these children`s defense. Not to her defense; to the children`s defense, because you can`t put Huggies into plastic surgery expenses. I am saddened to see that the kids aren`t getting support in that respect.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a fascinating insight. And I totally agree with you. Then, there are new reports that the octuplet mom is shopping a reality show. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has reached out to her publicist. And yes, she has a publicist, people. As of show time, we have not heard back.

But Dayna, if that is true, do you think that is a good idea or a very, very bad one?

DEVON: Huh! Bad, bad, bad. First of all, I don`t agree with any children being in reality shows. But we have seen from the past that reality shows are extremely stressful. We have seen marriages broken up by reality shows. We have seen families broken up by reality shows.

There are cameras everywhere. You add that into the six kids meeting these eight kids for the first time. No father. Limited parenting because of the ratio kids to a parent. And obviously, you know, it`s all in a three-bedroom house. I mean, this is insane. This is crazy. And I do not think any of this would be for the benefit of the children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, the words "freak show" come to mind. Ashleigh, if she does this, would that be exploiting these kids who have already got a very tough road ahead of them?

BANFIELD: You know, here is the answer to that. There is a very successful TLC show called "Jon and Kate Plus Eight." I don`t know if anybody would say that these kids are being exploited. I might be wrong.

But it seems to be a very healthy environment that these kids, albeit hectic, are living in. I don`t think that the personality bases by which the kids are going to be sort of living under is an appropriate environment for a reality show.

And I agree with Dayna - it is extraordinarily stressful, not a healthy environment. But you know what else? They need some kind of help since no one else is stepping up to the plate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right. They may be boxing themselves into a corner. And then there is this - probably the most outrageous detail to come out of the story. There are some wild reports that Nadya has been getting plastic surgery to look like, of all people, Angelina Jolie. We are not making this up. Take a look.

There they are. From her full lips to the long hair and even emulating her by having such a large family. Watch what octuplet mom says about this one.


NADYA SULEMAN, OCTUPLET MOM: I have never even thought of Angelina Jolie, except the last time I saw a movie, that was like, years ago. This is so far away from the place I`m in right now to think of any celebrity.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ashleigh, why don`t you pick up on that? Should we accept what she is saying?

BANFIELD: I am having a tough time accepting what she is saying because I have already heard her stretch the truth a few times especially about public assistance. Because she has been proven to be on the food stamp dole. So she has had to alter and massage some of her comment already.

But the truth of the matter is, all you need to do, Jane, is look at the before and after pictures of this young woman and then the witnesses, her neighbors that said it was just before, I believe, she went in for her seventh in vitro operation that she went and got the collagen implants in her lips and it was much, much worse back then. And what we are witnessing now is actually a calmed version of the surgery she had.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Ashleigh, this whole Jolie connection started as some kind of a throw-away notion on the blogs. Why do you think it took off the way it did? Can we trust the blogs? This story certainly doesn`t need any more drama.

BANFIELD: No, it doesn`t really need any more drama. And certainly, this young woman does not need any more drama. I think her life, as she knew it, is completely altered. I don`t think she knows what her life has in store.

Look, Jane, I have two kids and I work full time. And I earn a good living. And I have a degree. I`m struggling. I am having a tough time. I have a nanny and an extra helper.

So I don`t know where she thinks her degree is going to help her to raise this kind of a family. I did some math, by the way. It costs a preemie about $40,000 in the first year of their lives.


BANFIELD: Where is she going to come up with just that? And now, the taxpayers in California are being asked to foot the medical bills ...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Where did it get to that?

BANFIELD: ... for the time that she is spending in - that the kids are spending in ICU.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In her "Dateline" interview, the octuplet mom also tried to clear the air about getting welfare. In the initial interview, Nadya told Ann Curry that the family was living on disability checks and no government assistance. Now, she is changing her story. Listen to what she said.


SULEMAN: No, I am not living off of any taxpayer money. If I am, if it is food stamps, it is a temporary resource. We receive no cash. And it`s every month, $190, and that is only for food. That is an excellent resource if used appropriately and not for too long. So I - it`s not affiliated with welfare.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Dayna. She said that it is temporary, but this cannot be helping her image in the court of public opinion.

DEVON: You know, it is so funny. Everywhere you go, people are talking about this. First of all, the story is so strange. If you read this in a book, you wouldn`t believe it. You can`t write this stuff.

But, you know, in the hair and make-up room, they were talking about this today. In the nail salon the other day, they were talking about his. My nanny was talking about this. I mean., everywhere you go, people are talking about this and not kindly towards Nadya and really not kindly towards the doctor who many want to see his license taken away. And they hope he never, ever practices medicine in California again so this won`t happen to any other kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to tell you, everyone, I agree, is talking about this story. It is a shocker. And people just can`t get enough information.

Our "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have been flooded with calls about her. Listen to what Amy from Pennsylvania has to say.


AMY, CALLER FROM PENNSYLVANIA: I think this mother is absolutely the most selfish person I have ever met. I think this should be investigated. How dare she bring so many, children into this world? For one. And how dare she bring them into the world without a father in their life? Every child deserves to have a mother and father.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you for that, Amy. Ashleigh, if Nadya invites cameras into her home for a reality show, isn`t she setting herself up for more criticism?

BANFIELD: Oh, I think without question. But I really doubt that anybody wants this reality show. Advertisers don`t like negative publicity. And I think this has become such a hot potato and so controversial. I don`t think there is a reality show in the offing.

The sad part here, though, is again that we have all of these children who - it is not that they are going to have a tough go of things. They may not have enough food if they`re already on food stamps.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Oh yes, this is scary stuff. Ashleigh Banfield, Dayna Devon, thank you so much for your insights.

Coming up, Jessica Simpson speaks out. It is her first major TV appearance since that uproar over all those nasty headlines about her weight. That`s coming up.

Plus, burning outrage over Michael Phelps` pot scandal. He is losing endorsements. But does the punishment fit the crime? Lots of heated debate on this one. We will also have this?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They will eat your house.



MOOS: Even if it is the White House?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hot Dog, the Westminster dog show. One breed was a star because it might be the kind of dog the Obamas end up getting. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

And now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Justice Department looking into proposed TicketMaster/Live Nation merger. Comcast asks FBI to investigate Super Bowl porn glitch.)



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jessica Simpson looking fantastic and sounding better than ever singing her hit "Pray Out Loud" on CBS` "The Early Show" in her very first TV appearance since getting slammed over her apparent weight gain. So what did Jessica have to say about the great weight debate?

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in New York.

Tonight, Jessica Simpson breaks her silence in her very first TV interview since the whole weight debate started. Jessica reveals what got her through the ugly criticism over her less-than-flattering pictures. And you have got to hear her special message to her loyal fans.

Also brand new outrage over the punishment swimming star Michael Phelps is facing over his marijuana photo scandal. Now, some people are actually calling for a boycott of Kellogg`s for dropping Phelps as a pitchman.

Meanwhile, eight people are reportedly arrested, eight of them, in connection with the same party that started this whole pot mess. Has this punishment been too harsh?

With me now here in New York is Katrina Szish who is a celebrity journalist. And in Hollywood tonight, Ken Baker - he is the executive news editor for "E!"

Let`s take a look, people, at the video of Jessica Simpson that launched a million headlines about her weight. Jessica got some really harsh and really mean, let`s put it that way, criticism for apparently putting on just a few pounds.

But now, it is Jessica`s turn speaking out about the weight gain rumors on CBS`s "The Early Show." Watch this.


MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ, ANCHOR, "THE EARLY SHOW": You look absolutely beautiful. Everything going OK? I know you have been through a lot lately.

JESSICA SIMPSON, SINGER: Yes. Everything is really great. It`s all about keeping faith.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jessica says everything is great. And you saw her wearing a tight, black dress. Ken, do you think Jessica handled this just right? Or should she have come out swinging after all of those catty attacks on her weight?

BAKER: Well I think she handled it very well. And by the way, I thought she looked kind of hot. I mean, she looked really good in that appearance. And you know, Jane, did you ever get a picture taken of you at a party or a lot of pictures, and then you see, like, there are like 20 of them and they all look bad? Then you look at one, and you`re like, "That looks good."

I`m starting to wonder if that picture of her in those jeans was just sort of like the one bad photo, because she looked great. And she has been through so much. You could tell, you know.

I have been around Jessica a lot throughout her career and I can tell this is bothering her. And who wouldn`t it bother? And I think that she handled it in a classy way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Ken, you`ve said it. We have all taken a bad picture. Jessica`s country music fans were probably her most rabid defenders during the height of her weight debate. That is something Jessica told "The Early Show" that has been quite overwhelming for her. Take a look.


RODRIGUEZ: Last time, when we spoke, you were in New York, just getting ready to launch this country turn and you weren`t exactly sure how it would go. You`ve got to be so pleased with how much support you have gotten from the fans?

SIMPSON: Honestly, I am right where I am supposed to be. And I am so very, very happy. Everybody has just been so warm and welcoming and lots of hugs. I like that.

RODRIGUEZ: I know. I know.

SIMPSON: Texas style.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Texas style. Jessica has said she really credits her fans with getting her through this. Katrina, I am sure her fans comforted her. Let`s be real, girl to girl, she looks fantastic. Do you think she let the criticism get to her or do you think she has been dieting?

KATRINA SZISH, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: Hey, I think Ken had a great point. I mean, of course, this has to bother her. She wouldn`t be human if this didn`t bother her. But then again, Jessica has been the kind of woman who has always embraced a voluptuous figure.

In 2007, she told "Harper`s Bazaar" that she didn`t get the whole rail-thin thing. She prefers her curves. She recently told "In Style" magazine that she wants to create a line of clothing for women of all shapes and sizes.

So this isn`t the kind of woman who is just going to starve herself in response to some nasty remarks. But then again, in this very public situation, most people might kind of run to the gym and maybe cut back on the carbs. And has Jessica done a little bit of that? I wouldn`t be surprised.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, she`s probably eating healthy. Let`s move on the outrage over Michael Phelps punishment after being caught on camera smoking marijuana at a party at the University of South Carolina last November.

Now eight people - count them, eight - have apparently been arrested in connection with this party. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have been heated up over this.

Kathy, who called in to "Showbiz on Call," thinks that Michael Phelps isn`t above the law and should be punished. Listen to this.


KATHY, CALLER: I just think that he is breaking the law, and I don`t think that it`s right. He`s got millions of dollars, endorsements and - smoking pot is breaking the law. What`s the message out there? What`s going on with our world today?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Phelps already losing millions in endorsement deals and has disappointed lot of fans. Ken, isn`t that a severe punishment enough or does he really need to be arrested, too?

BAKER: You know, look, in the strict legal sense, if laws were broken, I assume there is a lot of pressure on this local law enforcement figure to do something about it, particularly if it is a conservative area.

But I have to say though he really has been raked over the coals. I mean, he is suffering. We have seen video of him just clearly in pain and he is apologetic. But at the same time, he did do what he did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Katrina, 10 seconds - your thoughts?

SZISH: Well, you know what? I think that Michael screwed up once when he got that DUI back in `04. He screwed up again. It`s easy to write off the first time. The second time, not so much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I always say, "Don`t throw - " What`s the saying? The one with the glass house?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Katrina, Ken, thank you so much.

Time for Hollywood`s A-list tonight. Somebody who has recently become a star, by landing a plane in the Hudson River. U.S. Airways Captain Chesley "Sulley" Sullenberger has been in the media spotlight ever since he safely landed his plane in the river. He has been hailed as a hero, got the key to the City of New York, was interviewed on "60 Minutes." And the attention isn`t letting up. But Sulley tells CNN`s Larry King he just wants to go back to work.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Sulley, do you have any apprehension?

CAPT. CHESLEY SULLENBERGER, PILOT, FLIGHT 1549 OF THE U.S. AIRWAYS: No, I will be going back to work as soon as I`m ready.

KING: And that would be when?

C. SULLENBERGER: When my sleep schedule allows. My sleep has been disrupted ever since the incident. And it`s going to take me some time to integrate this experience into my persona and get my sleep schedule back to normal.

KING: You mean it is in your head?

C. SULLENBERGER: It`s distracting, and it`s hard sometimes to turn off my brain at night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to love that guy. Larry King also asked Sulley`s wife, how being thrust into the national spotlight has been affecting them.


LORRIE SULLENBERGER, WIFE OF CHESLEY SULLENBERGER: It`s complicated. I tell people - for our family, it`s like a multilayered onion is how I describe it. There is various parts that was the accident. There was for us the celebration. People want to celebrate but we weren`t quite ready to celebrate and then all of the media attention. And it is hard - it`s something that your brain allows in slowly. So we`re slowly absorbing that into our reality.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The story has really captured the imagination of the entire country. We are all so grateful to Sulley - Captain Sullenberger - and the rest of the crew.

Coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, it was a best in show. But it was a hot diggity-dog at the Westminster dog show.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They will eat your house.

MOOS: Eat your house?


MOOS: Even if it is the White House?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coming up, the breed that got lots of attention because it may end up being the dog the Obamas choose for their own. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now. .

(CAPTION READS: Will Smith tops "`s" list of bankable stars. Kenny Chesney tells "Playboy" he blames himself for divorce from Renee Zellweger.)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you see this? He`s the top dog. A 10-year-old Sussex Spaniel named Stump won best in show at the Westminister dog show. He is the oldest dog ever to win best in show. Way to go, Stump.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Tonight, hot dog. It didn`t win at Westminster but people there were very interested in the breed that could be the top dog at the White House.

Here is CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


MOOS (voice over): At the dog show, there were fluffier dogs, more wrinkled dogs, great bigger dogs.

(on camera): I can see them in the Oval Office lawn. I could see him as the Oval Office rug.

(voice over): But there`s something about this dog that licked all the rest. It will be the first, first family to get licked to death. This is the year`s "it" dog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He knows he`s hip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Portuguese water dog.

MOOS: Oh, it is?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it`s brown. He has such a human face. It looks so human.

MOOS: Comes in various colors and even IN what they call a lion trim. Domino would actually match the White House.

President Obama has said his family has narrowed the White House dog search to two. A Portuguese water dog and a Labradoodle - that`s what you get when you breed a Labrador and a poodle. Westminster, what do you think of the Labradoodle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t like them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Designer dog - crossbreed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the Labradooble is not a recognized breed by the AKC.

MOOS: But lovers of the Portuguese water dog have a secret for the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think they`re just not ready for a dog like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When they get bored, they get very destructive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They could wreak havoc in the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

MOOS: Don`t get them wrong. They love these lovable dogs, very active, very intelligence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had one that could open any cooler and get food out of it. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Steals all the magnets off my refrigerator.

MOOS: Ah, but what a magnetic personality to bring to the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A sense of comedy, a lot of comedy.

MOOS (on camera): We could use comedy in the White House, the way things are now.

(voice over): Sen. Ted Kennedy has a pair of Portuguese water dogs. Experts say they need an alpha human to keep them out of trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:: She used to get into my sink and pull the drain out of the sink because the food gets stuck in there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They will eat your house.

MOOS: Eat your house? Even if it`s the White House? On the plus side -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Loves to lick your toes.

MOOS: Now, that`s a stimulus plan we can all support.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And that is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in New York.

Remember, you can catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 11:00 p.m. Pacific, and in the morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on HLN.