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Susan Boyle in the Spotlight; Spelling Family Feud; Johnston vs. The Palins

Aired May 29, 2009 - 23:00:00   ET



A.J. HAMMER, HOST (voice-over): Now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Susan Boyle cracks -- under pressure.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did it add to the pressure for tonight at all?



HAMMER: The YouTube sensation now in tears. And a judge pleads with the public to back off Boyle.

Tonight, has Susan Boyle packed her bags? Or will she show up to the finale of the show that made her a superstar?

Jon and Kate under fire: Brand new developments in the Jon and Kate saga. Why the Gosselin family is now under investigation? Are the kids in danger?

Tonight, brand new family feud: Candy versus Tori. Is Candy Spelling blaming Tori for Aaron Spelling`s death?

A shirtless Levi Johnston versus the Palins. Did the Palins really try to break up his relationship with Bristol? Levi`s brand new interview.

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


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

Tonight: Is Jon and Kate under fire after a brand new investigation targets their show? Are the kids safe?

But first tonight: Is Susan Boyle on the brink? We have got the inside story behind what many are calling Susan Boyle`s big meltdown. The Internet superstar captured the world`s attention, of course, after she sang her heart out on "Britain`s Got Talent." Well now, just as she advances to the finals of the competition, she`s getting slammed for losing her temper big-time.

But, what`s the real story here? Is the spotlight too much? Will Susan the star really turn into Susan the sore loser?

No matter what happens, I can promise you Susan`s wild showdown is the making big news right now.


HAMMER (voice-over): She`s arguably the biggest singing star in the world right now. And with finals of "Britain`s Got Talent" coming this weekend, Susan Boyle`s star might get even bigger. But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you: Now, Boyle is reportedly embracing another perk enjoyed by a long line of her fellow singers -- the public meltdown.

KATRINA SZISH, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: It`s very interesting seeing this woman who everybody foresees is a wallflower and very quiet with an amazing voice suddenly turn into a very fabulous celebrity.

HAMMER: "SuBo Goes Loco" blares one newspaper`s account of Boyles` tantrum at a London hotel this week. And a judge on "Britain`s Got Talent" is telling CBS that Boyle has talked about bailing on the show that made her famous.

PIERS MORGAN, "BRITAIN`S GOT TALENT" JUDGE: She even threatened to leave the show yesterday at one stage because of the sheer amount of pressure on her.

HAMMER: OK. No one`s saying that Boyle is in Amy Winehouse train wreck territory just yet, but people are wondering, in the days after Boyle`s voice cracked at the start of her most recent performance -- is Boyle herself starting to crack under the pressure of international stardom?

SZISH: People are really concerned about this woman who has spent almost 50 years in complete anonymity and suddenly is in a spotlight.

HAMMER: It`s hard to believe it`s been just over a month since this 48-year-old from a small Scottish town wowed the world with her first performance on "Britain`s Got Talent." It`s gotten more than 100 million hits on YouTube.

SZISH: She really has this amazing story that was really a Cinderella story.

HAMMER: But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, that story has now turned bittersweet. Headlines all over the world splashed details of Boyle`s reported tirades at a London hotel this week.

Britain`s "The Sun" claims that while watching a performance by 12- year-old Shaheen Jafargholi, another contestant on "Britain`s Got Talent," Boyle lost it when judge Piers Morgan praised her rival.

MORGAN: I think that pound-for-pound that was the best singing performance we`ve heard in the semifinals.


SZISH: Apparently, she threw out some expletives and really had a full on celebrity hissy fit.

HAMMER: And there was another reported Boyle tirade at the same hotel on Wednesday, after she was allegedly harassed by a pair of journalists.

SZISH: She started screaming and yelling and pretty much went crazy to the point that the police had to be called.

MORGAN: I think she -- maybe she had overreacted, I don`t know what happened, she denies apparently some of the things that have been reported.

HAMMER: "Britain`s Got Talent" judge Piers Morgan told the CBS "Early Show," the pressure of the spotlight got so intense Boyle actually threatened to quit the competition.

MORGAN: I feel really sorry for Susan. From what I heard, she`s been in tears the last two days.

HAMMER: But like the song her young rival sang -- Susan is telling us she`s not going either. In a statement posted on the "Britain`s Got Talent" Web site, Boyle says, quote, "I want nothing more than to stay and sing in the `Britain`s Got Talent` final. I`ve spent weeks rehearsing -- it`s all I`ve been thinking about. I`m not going to throw away my big chance now."

So Boyle is getting ready for Saturday`s final performance -- a performance that Morgan told the "Early Show" won`t just affect the competition, but the rest of her life.

MORGAN: Now, she knows that she`s got this amazing career ahead of her if she can nail that song on Saturday. This is it. This is the two minutes that will define Susan Boyle`s life.

HAMMER: How is that for pressure?

SZISH: Susan Boyle has spent a very quiet life dreaming about a professional singing career. She`s finally gotten her chance in front of the world. This is a lifelong dream that can be smashed.

HAMMER: Proof that instant international fame can be enough to turn anyone loco.


HAMMER: Well, despite what the media and Piers Morgan have been saying, the official line is that everything`s just fine with Susan Boyle. In fact, on the "Britain`s Got Talent" Web site, a spokesperson says that reports of Boyle`s outbursts and threats to leave are, quote, "have been taken out of context and are not serious or true."

Well, the question is: Is the pressure of worldwide fame just way too much for Susan Boyle to handle and could actually derail her chances of winning the big prize this weekend?

Joining me tonight: In New York is Cooper Lawrence. She`s a psychology expert and author of the book, "The Cult of Celebrity." In Hollywood tonight: June Sarpong. She`s a British TV personality and founder of

There have been so many reports floating around, guys, that Susan is just cracking under all the pressure of this incredibly newfound fame. And now, we`re learning that she`s even gunning to hiding so she can prepare for the big finale on tomorrow night`s show.

Cooper, what do you think? You`ve seen these kinds of things before, are you at all surprised that her overnight fame has possibly put her in some kind of fragile mental state?

COOPER LAWRENCE, AUTHOR AND PSYCHOLOGIST: Not at all. This is a big secret about fame and celebrity. And frankly, what my entire book is about. I don`t usually plug my book, but this is so relevant.

You know, people look at fame and celebrity, they see all the good side. They see the bling and they see the cars and they see everyone treating them so well. But the flip side is the pressure and the idea that you have to be everybody else`s discovery. And people all have an opinion about you and some of it is very negative. You`ve got to deal with that.

This is the big secret about celebrity and when it actually happens to you, it`s not so glamorous.

HAMMER: Yes. And I`m happy for you to plug your book, too, Cooper.


HAMMER: Because it`s a great read, it is.


HAMMER: Some would say that public tantrums, of course, are just part of life of a rock star. You know, we`ve seen this throughout history. What do you think, June? Could Susan maybe just be trying to keep up with the best of them? Hey, I sat right here last night, I`d actually like her more if she was throwing the F-word around.


HAMMER: It makes her more real, right?

JUNE SARPONG, BRITISH TV PERSONALITY: Exactly. You know, what I`m going to do for Susan is I want to get her a copy of Cooper`s book. I think that would tell exactly what she`s got to expect. But, no, no problem, honey.

No, on a serious note, I do think that, you know, the whole thing with Susan Boyle is, you know, she does come from this really sheltered background. You know, she is completely innocent and has been thrust into this spotlight. I mean, she was quite fragile anyway, we mustn`t forget that. She has had problems in the past. So, we shouldn`t be surprised that she`s reacting this way.

And you know what? It does make her more lovable.


SARPONG: It makes her an even bigger star. We expect that from some of our stars.

HAMMER: Yes, I really .

SARPONG: So, Susan, she`s a real rocker now.

HAMMER: I`m with you. Absolutely. Hey, she has the black leather jacket that we`ve seen since the big transformation.

SARPONG: Exactly.

HAMMER: But the truth is anybody who`s giving her a hard time, I really think people need to back off on her a little bit.


HAMMER: Now, "Britain`s Got Talent" judge Piers Morgan confirms that Susan is feeling the pressure of all of this attention. In fact, this morning on the "Today Show," Morgan told Meredith Vieira the advice that he gave the very fragile Susan Boyle.

Take a look at that.


MORGAN: Look, you know, you really have to concentrate on the bigger picture, which is that on Saturday night, for two minutes, you are singing for the greatest prize imaginable. You know, you`re going to have an amazing career out of this -- probably whatever happens -- but if you can win the show and sing beautifully, and then a whole world is, again, going to rally around Susan Boyle.


HAMMER: Yes. Morgan says that Boyle has an amazing career ahead of her whether she wins or loses. But, Cooper, if Susan Boyle is having trouble now with the media attention, isn`t it just going to be magnified times 100,000 if she does win "Britain`s Got Talent" tomorrow night?

LAWRENCE: Of course, it will. I almost hope she doesn`t win because I want her to have her career on her terms. I don`t want her to be thrown into this machine, because clearly, she`s not prepared for it. Yes, she has this amazing voice that we all want to her the singing voice, but we don`t want to see her break down.

HAMMER: Well, Piers Morgan not the only one coming to Susan Boyle`s defense. Oprah, Ashton Kutcher, even Demi Moore -- all said they`re big Boyle fans.

Demi even posted some words of encouragement for Boyle on her Twitter page, of course. Here`s what she said, "To the lovely Susan Boyle, trust that the whole world is rooting for you whatever the outcome. You have nothing to lose, just keep sharing your light."

The stars are falling for her. To be sure, what do you think -- is it possible, June, that she can put all of this behind her and just pull out a huge win tomorrow night. I`m feeling it. I don`t know about you.

SARPONG: You know, A.J., you know I am the biggest Susan Boyle fan. But I`m going to say, I actually think that Shaheen is going to win. I know the British public and I would not be surprised if they voted for the little kid in the end.

But, Susan is going to have a great career.


SARPONG: She`s such an amazing character. You love her. We want to see more of Susan Boyle.

HAMMER: Absolutely.

SARPONG: But I don`t think she`s going to win, I don`t.

HAMMER: Well, we`ll have the complete recap live at 11:00 a.m. on Monday morning Eastern Time. Cooper Lawrence and June Sarpong, I thank you both for being here.

Well, just when you thought that the feud between Tori Spelling and her mom Candy couldn`t get any worse, here we go again. This time, Candy is going after Tori and blaming her for the death of Aaron Spelling. Are you kidding me?


CANDY SPELLING, TORI SPELLING`S MOTHER: My daughter one day decides that she wasn`t speaking to my husband, myself and my son. And it was sad because that`s what killed my husband, actually. He just didn`t want to live after that.


HAMMER: I just think this is unbelievable. Can we get these guys from therapy, please?

And Levi Johnston take some mere shirtless shots and take some shots at the Palin family at the same time. Did the Palins really try to break him with their daughter?

We have also got this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s time to play whack-a-kitty.


HAMMER: OK. Have you ever played whack-a-mole? Well, how about whack-a-kitty? Can seeing cats getting whacked actually be cute? We`re going to show you the video that is causing an Internet sensation just ahead.


Now, the showbiz news ticker -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom, making news right now.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

Tonight -- Baldwin`s reality revealed. Stephen Baldwin is headed to the jungle with the wife of disgraced ex-governor, Rod Blagojevich. The two are among those starring together in a reality show, "I`m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here." So, when I sat with Stephen, I had to get his take on Patti Blagojevich, who`s not exactly a celebrity, joining the cast of the show. Stephen also told me exactly what he`s packing in his suitcase for this surreal "Swiss Family Robinson adventure."


STEPHEN BALDWIN, ACTOR: They say they`re going to provide for us everything we need other than what they told us four days is all we can bring.


BALDWIN: Three pairs of sox.

HAMMER: Right.

BALDWIN: Three pairs of underwear, that`s it.

HAMMER: And the company that you`re keeping. Let me just run down this for you. Among those that you will be with in the jungle there for the show -- Janice Dickinson, the self-proclaimed first supermodel on the planet.


HAMMER: You`re there with Sanjaya, who we all, of course, know from "American Idol" and you`re also there, Stephen, with Rod Blagojevich`s wife Patti. Now, we all remember Rod is facing indictments for corruption in Illinois.


HAMMER: And he wasn`t allowed to do this show. The judges, they don`t want him leaving the country. So, his wife Patti is doing the show. The show is called, "I`m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here." Can you help me reconcile this? I mean, you`re a Baldwin. You`re with the guy from "American Idol." I get that. Her -- not so much.

BALDWIN: Right. Well, let`s just say that, I think that the producers of the show have kind of circumvented certain perspectives in order to create some very interesting television. I think that a mixed martial arts smackdown between Torrie Wilson, Janice Dickinson and Patti Blagojevich might be some good TV.

HAMMER: OK. So, they actually know exactly what they`re doing, and by the end of the show, we`ll have a new definition of celebrity perhaps.

BALDWIN: I think so.

HAMMER: Now, I got to ask the tough question. What do you think your biggest challenge is going to be there in Costa Rica other than perhaps hanging out with Sanjaya?

BALDWIN: I think that -- wait, let me -- I have done "Celebrity Mole," I won "Fear Factor," I did "Celebrity Apprentice," I have done a lot of this silly stuff. And I got to tell you, I`m very scared this time around. I`m the most scared about "I`m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" than anything, because they`re keeping it such a secret.

They gave us a psychological test -- 550 questions. I`m scared. I`m creeping out. I don`t know why they`re putting us through such rigorous preparation.

HAMMER: We`ll be watching, best of luck on that.


HAMMER: Wow. OK, you`re also working alongside your daughter, it`s her directorial debut. This thing is called "Cupman" and it`s a short to promote Planet Smoothie. I have to imagine working with your daughter was pretty spectacular.

BALDWIN: Yes, I had a goofy fun idea. I just got brought on board as spokesperson for Planet Smoothie and they`ve got three new locations in Penn Station in New York City. And I said to these guys, "Look, if we`re going to do something, let`s do something fun." So in a very kind of Charlie Chaplin-esque short film, silent film kind of way, we did this thing with their mascot named Cupman. And it just turned out fantastic.

In the very last second, my daughter, who is just supposed to be an extra in the background, I threw her in, she was 100 times better than I ever anticipated.

HAMMER: No kidding.

BALDWIN: It worked out just great.


HAMMER: Let`s see if he can survive the jungle, though. You can catch Stephen Baldwin in the premier of "I`m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here," June 1st on NBC.

Well, everybody`s got an opinion about "Jon & Kate Plus 8" and whether or not they should keep the reality show on the air and the "Showbiz on Call" phone lines, they haven`t stopped ringing, I`ll tell you. In fact, I think our "Showbiz on Call" operators deserve a cut of Jon and Kate`s reality show check. Look at them go.

We got call on "Showbiz on Call" from Joann in Nevada who says the show needs to be canceled.


JOANN, CALLER FROM NEVADA: Regarding "Jon & Kate Plus 8," the problem is, Kate is in love with being a celebrity. The show has gone to her head, clearly noticeable over the past four seasons. They need to cancel the show and rejoin the real world.

Between the show and approximately $75,000 an episode over four years, her book and speaking engagements, they have made a nice little nest egg. They need to now give their children a more normal lifestyle. Enough is enough.


HAMMER: Thanks a lot, Joann.

We also heard from Theresa calling in from Missouri into "Showbiz on Call" saying the whole family needs a TV time out.


THERESA, CALLER FROM MISSOURI: I just think this family is absolutely wonderful and I think they need to take their family off the air. The kids are being exploited. Kate needs to cool down. And I tell you what, get out of the limelight and, you know, I think, maybe they can make it if they work on it. What did they renew their vows for?


HAMMER: Thanks a lot, Theresa.

We`d like to hear from you, too. Call the "Showbiz on Call" to let us know what you`re thinking about this, or anything at all. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are open 24 hours a day. They never turn off. You can call 1-888-SBT-BUZZ, 1-888-728-2899.

Well, tonight, here we go again, Tori Spelling and her mom Candy are locking horns again. Now, Candy is going after Tori and blaming her -- listen to this -- for the death of Aaron Spelling. Are you kidding me?


SPELLING: My daughter one day decided that she wasn`t speaking to my husband, myself and my son. And it was sad because that`s what killed my husband, actually. He just didn`t want to live after that.


HAMMER: It is the dramatic never-ending Spelling smack down. Does this family need some therapy or what? Hey, I got an idea. Maybe they should stop broadcasting their dirty laundry.

Also, a shirtless Levi Johnston takes another shot at the Palin family and reveals more of himself than, quite frankly, anyone never really wanted to see. Did the Palins really try to break him up with their daughter? You won`t believe what Levi is saying now.

And brand new secret photos of President Obama revealed -- candid snapshots of a young Barack Obama smoking and mugging for the camera.


Now, the showbiz news ticker -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

Tonight, there`s big competition at the box office between a heavily-animated film and a hellish thriller. Disney-Pixar`s "Up" is in theaters, as well as the frightening flick called, "Drag Me to Hell." So, which is going to win the box office crown?

I sat down with "People" magazine film critic, Leah Rozen, to get her take on the box office showdown.


HAMMER: Let us start out with the Disney-Pixar film "Up." This looks like a movie about floating the house with balloons or something like that.


HAMMER: All right.

ROZEN: This one, I`m just going to quote my nephew Fred, who`s nine now. He turns -- we went to the screening, he turns to me at the end and he nails it. He just turned to me and goes, "Pixar never disappoints." And he`s right, this is just -- it is lovely. It`s about this old guy who floats his house on a balloon, big adventure accompanied by a little 8- year-old stowaway.

But it`s Pixar remembers, it`s characters and story that count. This one -- if you`re an adult, you`re going to shed a tear or two, I`m telling you out.

HAMMER: Oh, good.

ROZEN: Kids are going to laugh. Really terrific.

HAMMER: Kids are going to laugh, parents are going to cry. You tell (ph) this a lot of the time, isn`t it?

All right. Let`s move on to "Drag Me to Hell." This actually looks really scary. Is this one of those really scary horror films? Or is it scary funny?

ROZEN: This is one of those scary, funny, smart horror films. This is co-written and directed by Sam Raimi, who did the whole "Spiderman" trilogy. But Sam Raimi got his start as a horror movie director. And his proving (ph) you can go home, especially if that home is a hunted house. A young woman is as cursed, she was bank clerk, she`s cursed by a woman who`s alone, she won`t extend -- very bad stuff starts happening. But a lot of it is very funny.

So, this is one of those smart horror films, even people who don`t like horror films will be amused but you`re also going to jump.

HAMMER: All right. Quickly, take me to, you know, "Easy Virtue," Jessica Biel is back. And .

ROZEN: This is based on a Noel Coward play. It`s got this terrific English cast. Jessica Biel plays the sort of American in the middle of it. But you kind of go, one of these things is not like the other. One of these -- "The Sesame Street" song.


ROZEN: She`s trying hard, but she`s outclassed by the British cast.

HAMMER: And is she beautiful in the film because she says the movie has got in a way of her being .

ROZEN: She looks lovely and sexy in an evening gown.

HAMMER: OK. That`s always good to know and we`ll bring in an audience just from that alone, I`m sure, Leah Rozen. I thank you, as always.

ROZEN: You`re welcome.

HAMMER: And as always, for more picks and pans, get a copy of "People" magazine on newsstands right now.


HAMMER: And right now, it`s time for the showbiz lineup. Here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Jon and Kate under fire -- brand new developments in the Jon and Kate saga. The Gosselin family is now under investigation. The question is: Are the kids in danger?

Plus, Candy Spelling is blaming Tori for Aaron Spelling`s death. Are you kidding me?

And a brand new interview with a shirtless Levi Johnston. Did the Palins really try to break up his relationship with Bristol?


Now, it`s time for the showbiz news ticker. Here`s come more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom, making news right now.



HAMMER: Now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin in the middle of an explosive legal drama. A huge new investigation is underway. Are there eight kids in danger?

Levi Johnston blasts the Palins again. The shocking new tell-all interview with Levi. Plus, Levi Johnston shirtless and his baby boy naked as part of a magazine spread.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s time to play whack-a-kitty.



HAMMER: It`s the viral video that`s got everybody talking, but is it perfect or just plain wrong? You won`t believe what the world`s biggest animal rights group PETA has to stay about it.

Plus, more stories breaking from the showbiz news ticker.

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


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

Tonight, "Jon & Kate Plus 8" is under investigation. The Department of Labor is now monitoring whether the TV show is breaking child labor laws. It`s just one of so many stories making big news right now.

Tonight: Is "Jon & Kate Plus 8" breaking child labor laws? Well, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor wants to know. Could the show be in danger? And are Jon and Kate really exploiting their kids?

Plus, it`s the clash of the mother and daughter. Tori Spelling`s mom Candy is saying some pretty outrageous things about her daughter. Why she claims Tori may have been responsible for the death of her father, famous TV producer, Aaron Spelling.

Also new tonight: Sarah Palin has got to be fuming at this truly bizarre "GQ" photo spread. Look at it. It shows a shirtless Levi Johnston changing and hugging Sarah Palin`s grandson. This has got to be beginnings of one heck of a family feud.

Joining me tonight in New York is Cooper Lawrence. She`s a psychologist and author of the fantastic book, "The Cult of Celebrity." And tonight in Hollywood, June Sarpong is a British TV personality and founder of

And we begin tonight with surprising and really unsettling news, the TLC hit show "Jon & Kate Plus 8" being investigated by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor to make sure that they`re not breaking any child labor laws. And get this -- an official at the Labor Department tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, this was sparked by an anonymous complaint.

Cooper, there are obviously a lot of people out there gunning for Jon and Kate to get pulled off the air. Are you at all surprised they`re being investigated?

LAWRENCE: No, and I`m one of them, A.J. I mean, if they want to stay on the air, they can go on a reality show with just the two of them. But those children did not consent to be on the show. If you watch the show, you see poor Joel is so vulnerable and nobody seems to be caring that they`re setting these kids up for major anxiety disorders.

You know, the kids are -- do not want to be on camera at all times. Kids do not want to do that. They just want to please their parents. And in their family, the way you get love is to do cute things on camera so that we get more and more money. It`s a terrible message they`re sending.

HAMMER: And everybody -- and I`m wondering, of course -- is the show itself in danger? TLC, for their part says, they`re not worried about this investigation. In fact, they tell SHIOWBIZ TONIGHT, they do comply with all the laws.

And here`s what they`re saying, quote, "For an extended period of time, we have been engaged in cooperative discussion and supplied all requested information to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor. We will continue to engage the appropriate officials and meet any standards or regulations that are applicable to TLC Productions."

Now, TLC says right there, "Hey, we`re following the letter of the law," and I`m happy to hear that. But, June, that doesn`t necessarily mean that the kids are in a healthy situation, does it?

SARPONG: No, completely, I just think it`s wrong. And I also think that actually what Jon and Kate should be doing is using this time to work on their relationship. There`s obviously a lot of trouble in that household, that`s what they should be focusing on, not trying to get publicity, more and more publicity. And I think, you know, those children get older. They should allowed to just be children and not puppets, which is what we`re seeing at the moment.

HAMMER: All right. Let`s move on to another big story making news right now -- it`s Tori Spelling versus Candy Spelling. Are you ready for this?

Tori Spelling`s mother Candy is saying some down right shameless things about Tori. She`s out promoting her new book. And while she was doing a radio interview, Candy Spelling told a Massachusetts radio show that Tori Spelling basically played a big hand in her father Aaron Spelling`s death.

Listen to this.


SPELLING: I have always tried to work on the relationship. I don`t know what the anger is. My daughter one day decided that she wasn`t speaking to my husband, myself and my son. And that`s how it`s continued for the last, oh, gosh, four or five years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel for you. It`s a very sad situation because I know I would want my mom -- I mean, she is a part of my kids lives and I would love to see that for you, because you`ve got two beautiful grandchildren.

SPELLING: Yes. And, you know what? And it was sad because that`s what killed my husband actually, he just didn`t want to live after that. You know, he had done everything in -- you know, he could possibly do for his daughter and then she wanted no part of him once he couldn`t do anything for her.


HAMMER: Wow. I mean, you know, we all know that the Spellings are famous for their big-time explosive family feuds. But, Cooper, don`t you think that this claim from a mother about her own daughter maybe just a little over-the-top even for them?

LAWRENCE: A.J., the big story here is that Tori Spelling causes cancer because that`s what he died of. So, I mean, this is preposterous. It`s despicable.

And if read any of her book, which, of course, I have, she says some pretty outrageous things about her mother in there and you start to think - - well, you know what? It must be true. This woman must be the witch that she is portrayed as. Because who says that about their daughter and then expects to have a relationship with her and her grandchildren?

HAMMER: Yes. She`s just taking a huge jab at her about this. So, everybody, of courses, wondering what does Tori Spelling think of all this? She tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "no comment."

But Candy Spelling, however, speaking out again, defending her inflammatory accusations in an editorial today. It was posted on "Huffington Post."

This is what it says: "I was asked a question about my daughter not speaking with my family and I answered truthfully. My husband was very ill and he had stopped eating and taking liquids. He called Tori on a daily basis, and never stopped asking if Tori had returned his call. We had to say no every day."

June, does it strike you as a little odd that Candy Spelling would take such a deeply, personal, disturbing thought and broadcast it to the entire world?

SARPONG: Yes. You know, like I say, A.J., it`s all gone, Pete Tong. I mean, this isn`t making the American family look good. So, thank goodness to the Obamas.

I mean, I think Candy should keep this stuff to herself. You know, they`ve got problems with the family, make it a private affair. And also, shouldn`t she become worrying about seeing her grandkids? She should be reaching out to Tori. You know, she`s the older one of the two. She should take the higher ground here.


SARPONG: I think it`s embarrassing that a mother would behave this way.

HAMMER: I think it`s just great that you said, it`s all gone and Pete Tong. That`s for our British audience members tonight.


HAMMER: All right. We have to move on to another whopper of a story that`s making news right now -- Levi Johnston`s racy photos. Take a look at these. Sarah Palin has got to be freaking over these photos of her grandson Tripp with Levi Johnston. This is in "GQ" magazine, and Levi, in some of these pictures, shirtless, holding his naked son.

And here`s odd fact. The photos were taken at some motor lodge in Wasilla, Alaska. Now, Sarah Palin, I got to imagine is just fuming, not just over the photos but over Levi`s new claims that the Palins always had it in for them, always wanted that Levi and Bristol to be apart.

What do you think, Cooper, he seems to be building a family bridge to nowhere, doesn`t he?

LAWRENCE: You just explained exactly why he did those photos, because they have not been supportive of him. They`d made him feel like an outsider. So, he thought, well, I`m an outsider. Let me do something that`s going to really tick you off.

And, frankly, he`s not as hot as I thought he was. So, I`m not -- I`m not all that moved by those pictures, anyway.


HAMMER: OK. So, you count yourself among the disappointed.

LAWRENCE: Yes, please, disappointed here.

HAMMER: All right. You know, and you see the photos and you can`t imagine that the Palins actually signed off on this photo shoot. But the bottom line is, Tripp is also Levi`s son, not just Bristol`s son. What do you think, June, is Levi at all in the wrong for taking these kinds of photos with his son, even if -- maybe they`re in poor taste, as some may see it, or in Cooper`s opinion, he`s not that hot?

SARPONG: Yes. I agree with Cooper, he`s not that hot at all, I think he would work on the body a bit more.

I just think has the boy gone mad? He`s really antagonizing the situation. He was complaining that he wasn`t getting to see his son enough. Well, I can assure you, the Palins aren`t going to want him to see the baby much more now, are they? Because they think he`s going to do these sorts of shoots?

Leave the kid out of it. If he wanted to do a shirtless "GQ" spread, fine. You don`t need to put the baby in there because he doesn`t - - you know, the baby is not making him look better.


HAMMER: Cooper, what do you think, very quickly, do you agree with that?

LAWRENCE: Yes, I definitely agree. I mean, there`s no reason for the baby to be there. And I agree with June, it doesn`t give him any incentive to let him see the baby again, because where is he going to end up next, what magazine?

HAMMER: Yes. Very good.


HAMMER: Cooper Lawrence, June Sarpong -- hey, thank you for both being here, I really appreciate it.


HAMMER: All right. So, with all of this family feud drama, we want to hear from you. Here`s what we`re asking in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. "Jon & Kate Plus 8" controversy. Is it unfair to criticize the reality show stars?

Well, you can continue to vote at, or you can email us at

Well, tonight, the brand new "American Idol" controversy. Tonight, did "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi out Adam Lambert on national television? Does Kara think all the mystery cause the flamboyant frontrunner the win?

Also tonight, the pictures of President Obama from the `80s that were kept top secret during the presidential election -- and now, they`re going on display for the entire world to see. They are the secret Obama photos revealed -- coming up.

Also this --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s time to play whack-a-kitty.



HAMMER: Whack-a-kitty, it`s the outrageous new sensation on YouTube. You could call it shock-and-oh, or is it kitty abuse? We got the surprising answer from the world`s biggest animal rights group -- coming up.


Time now for the showbiz news ticker -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s time to play whack-a-kitty.



HAMMER: All right. What do you think? Outrageously cute or shockingly awful? Did you see this? It`s the YouTube sensation that`s got everybody talking, including the world`s biggest animal rights group PETA.

Well, we got the video you don`t want to miss it. And PETA`s surprising reaction -- that`s coming up.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. We`re going to have more on those kitties in just a moment.

But first tonight, secret Obama photos revealed. We can confirm that the president of the United States, Barack Obama, was one cool dude some 30 years ago when she was in college. We have got some revealing photos to prove it.

For the very best time, we`re seeing these pictures of a young Obama that were taken by a fellow student. And now, these pictures which have been untouched and tucked away in a box for some three decades are now a part of a brand new art exhibit. Plus, the shocking reason why they were kept a secret until after the presidential election.

Here`s CNN`s Kara Finnstrom for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


LISA JACK, PHOTOGRAPHER: I mean, look, he`s so cute. He`s so charming here, and then he moves up and he`s thoughtful.

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Portraits of a young Barack Obama back when he went by the name Barry. They were snapped almost 30 years ago.

JACK: He`s got his flip-flops. He`s got his high-waist jeans. Remember those? He was very fashionable.

FINNSTROM: Lisa Jack was a photography student at Occidental College near Los Angeles in 1980, when chance brought her in contact with the future president. He was an accidental classmate.

JACK: A friend of mine said, "Oh, you have to meet and take a picture of this really handsome guy and his name is Barry." I said, "Really?" And she said, "Yes."

FINNSTROM: She asked him to pose for a class assignment. He agreed. She shot a single roll: 36 pictures.

JACK: I think I captured youth. I think I captured confidence, fun and seriousness. I mean, you can also see that he had quite a thoughtful and pensive side. I think they sort of show the complexity of the man already at that age.

FINNSTROM: Some of them show Obama with cigarette in hand.

JACK: Everybody smoked because it was cool then.

FINNSTROM: For decades, the negatives sat in a box untouched.

JACK: I think it was around the Republican National Convention last year when I recognized that these were historical.

FINNSTROM: But Jack kept the existence of the photos a secret until after the election, fearing they might become a campaign issue.

JACK: I just didn`t want anything to be used politically. I`m not political and these are not political.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t think anybody was going to come.

FINNSTROM: A big crowd turned out as the photos went on display Thursday night at a gallery in West Hollywood. They`re online too and prints are on sale starting at $1,000 each. Jack doesn`t know if the president has seen them. She`d like to give him one of the portraits of his younger self.

JACK: I still think Michelle should pick it out. He is her man, you know?

FINNSTROM: The offer is out there, for use.

JACK: Absolutely. Of course. Of course.


HAMMER: I think the president has seen them. He watches SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, right? Kara Finnstrom is joining me now from Hollywood.

What a crowd there they seem to have at the gallery, Kara. Has it been pretty much a mob scene since these photos went up on the wall?

FINNSTROM: Well, A.J., the gallery, the director tells us more than 1,000 people showed up last night. The exhibit isn`t packed today. But the real mob scene has been online. The director tells us that the gallery`s Web site has actually gotten more than 1.7 million hits just during the last 24 hours.

HAMMER: Wow. And now, of course, in one of those pictures, you see Obama, he`s holding a cigarette. Certainly, we have seen him caught on tape smoking before. But do you think this, especially because it`s, you know, so long ago when he`s kind of looking cool, do you think it`s going to cause some controversy?

FINNSTROM: Well, like you say, at this point, the fact that he smoked cigarettes is no revelation. It did spark those discussions during the campaign. So, the photographer stressed to us that that`s why she held on to these photos because she wasn`t sure what could be made of that or anything else that was on the photos. She didn`t want them to be interpreted or used in a political way.

HAMMER: Well, the photographer you mentioned, Lisa Jack, had said that she would like to give a picture at least to the first lady. Do you know if she`s found out if Michelle seen them or if she might be interested in one of them?

FINNSTROM: She still doesn`t know if the Obamas have seen them. We did, though, actually reach out to the White House to try and find out for ourselves, haven`t heard back yet at this point, A.J.

HAMMER: All right. CNN`s Kara Finnstrom for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, thanks so much.

And we move on now from one cool cat to come cute kittens getting whacked. Now, I know what you`re thinking because usually, if you hear something like that, it sounds like animal abuse, right? And I`m a big animal advocate. But these getting whacked actually pretty cute and it`s sparked an all-out Internet sensation.

So, what does the animal rights group PETA think? Here`s CNN Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Do you know that old arcade game whack-a-mole? Holy molly, look what it spawned.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s time to play whack-a-kitty.



MOOS: Maybe you`re asking yourself, am I allowed to laugh at this?

ROBERT BELLUSO, CO-CREATOR, WHACK-A-KITTY: No kitties were harmed in the making of this video.

MOOS: Family Doctor Robert Belluso of Monongahela, Pennsylvania, made the video, but the game was his fiance`s idea. Lynn-Anne Daugherty saw how much their five kittens enjoyed playing in boxes with holes. So, she took it a step further.

LYNN-ANNE DAUGHERTY, CO-CREATOR, WHACK-A-KITTY: This is just a paper towel role and electrical tape.

MOOS: Now, whack-a-kitty has gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of view, animal Web sites have gone batty over it. Comments are almost all favorable, "I just cried laughing," "weird but funny." One website called it a case of cruel and unusual cuteness.

(on camera): Now, maybe some of you out there think it`s just not nice to whack a kitty and maybe you`d like to whack a reporter just because I`m telling you this story.

(voice-over): As one person posted, "what kind of sick so-and-so are you?" "Time to call PETA." But we called the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and even they didn`t mind. "The video is cute. We don`t see any abuse."

So, Robert has been subjected to occasional abuse for this.

BELLUSO: They want to kill me.

MOOS: On the Web, cats have turned the tables.

Pink here tried to whack a fake mouse. One Web site compiled the five best whack-a-kitten. Those cats who are the ones doing the whacking from fingers, to our favorite, whack-a-ferret. And we mean a real ferret.

As for the five stars of whack-a-kitty, Timothy here was the last one waiting to be adopted. Whether it`s a cat whacking a ferret -- or kitties being whacked by humans, the cats aren`t commenting, as they say, if cats could talk, they wouldn`t.


HAMMER: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Well, moving on, "American Idol" runner up Adam Lambert`s new controversy. Now, Adam has not talk about his sexuality. But did "Idol" judge Kara spill the beans for him on television? Tonight, we`ve got the shocking new interview -- next.


Now, the showbiz news ticker -- it`s more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is time for Making It Work. This is where we reveal the secrets of how stars make their relationships work.

And tonight, we`ve got Rita Wilson. Of course, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been married now for a longtime, 21 years. Tom has risen to superstardom during that time. Rita has been doing well, producing movies in recent years, including, of course, the blockbuster hit, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Rita`s just produced a follow-up called, "My Life in Ruins."

With two busy careers, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT had to ask how she and Tom make it work.


RITA WILSON, TOM HANKS` WIFE: Tom and I sort of have a rule that we`re never really apart more than two weeks. So, we definitely make that happen. And we are big travelers. We like traveling with -- alone, with the kids, with friends, and I think that`s really important. Making, you know, making time for yourselves as a couple.

And he`s -- there`s nobody really on the planet I would rather spend time with than my husband.


HAMMER: "My Life in Ruins" is terrific. It opens up on June 5th.

Well, tonight, "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi gets more than a little personal about Adam Lambert`s sexuality. The "Idol" runner-up has been dodging gay rumors from the very start of the contest. Lambert has never confirmed or denied anything. But that may all be over after Kara was asked by Barbara Walters on "The View" if all of that mystery cost Adam the win.


BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Do you think that that made any kind of a difference?

KARA DIOGUARDI, "AMERICAN IDOL" JUDGE: Well, first of all, I hope not, because we should be judging on talent and, you know, viability in the music industry. And they both had that. You know, I don`t think that Adam was ever in. So I`m not, you know -- I think he was always openly out.

WALTERS: Do you think he was always openly out? Because that`s not the perception that people have.

DIOGUARDI: I think he was. I mean, you know, from what I`ve seen on various forms of things, I do. I never thought wasn`t.


HAMMER: Well, Lambert tells that all these people who are worried about whether he prefers men or women romantically needed to, quote, "calm down."

On Thursday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. "American Idol" voting scandal: Should there be a recount? Only 37 percent of you thought so; 67 percent of you said, no, there shouldn`t be.

Here are some of the emails we got. Julie in California writing, "There cannot be a recount for `Idol` but they should look into the voting procedure to stop this illegal voting from occurring in the future."

D Jones from Pennsylvania writing, "I don`t believe there should be a recount. I think Kris Allen should be able to enjoy his win without all of this whining."

Well, thank you for your e-mails. Thank you for watching. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

You can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11s: 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, and weekday mornings at 11:00 a.m. Eastern here on HLN.