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Special Live Edition of Showbiz Tonight: The Shocking Deaths of Two of Hollywood`s Biggest Legends
Aired June 25, 2009 - 23:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Now, on this special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the shocking deaths of two of Hollywood`s biggest legends on the same day - Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the late-breaking developments.
Michael Jackson dead at the age of 50. What happened? How did he die? The overwhelming reaction to Michael`s death. Stars speak out. Huge crowds of Michael`s fans taking to the streets. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the latest on the shocking death of Michael Jackson.
Also tonight, Farrah Fawcett loses her brave battle with cancer. Ryan O`Neal`s heartbreak after he vows to marry her and how their son reached out to Farrah from his jail cell. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with late- breaking details on the deaths of two Hollywood legends.
A special live edition of TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.
Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York City. And this is a special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the shocking death of Michael Jackson.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT in breaking news mode on this story that still seems so hard to believe. Let`s get you up to speed on the latest breaking developments.
Tonight, confirmation that Michael Jackson, one of the biggest superstars of all time, is dead at the age of 50. Jackson died in Los Angeles today after suffering cardiac arrest and was rushed from his home to UCLA Medical Center. Officials say Jackson suffered cardiac arrest and his body was flown tonight to the coroner`s office to conduct an autopsy to determine exactly why he died.
Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show live with every late breaking development and the startled reaction from the world`s biggest stars.
Let`s get right to Los Angeles right now. We begin with CNN`s Ted Rowlands covering the story for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT at the UCLA Medical Center. Ted, what is the latest?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A.J., right now, there is a large crowd outside the UCLA Medical Center. You can see they have gathered here. It is a mix of emotion over there. There`s some people actually dancing to Michael Jackson`s music, and other people just sort of standing around, very somber.
Michael Jackson was taken here to the hospital from his home, which is only a few miles away - about a five or 10-minute drive - this afternoon. When 911 was called, Jackson`s personal physician was in the house with him. And apparently, they tried to revive Jackson, first at the house and he was brought here at about 1:15 local time.
He was pronounced dead at 2:26 local time after a team of physicians tried without success to revive him. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow here in Los Angeles. The body has already been removed from the UCLA Medical Center to the spot where the autopsy will take place. And authorities say they may have results from that autopsy as early as tomorrow. A.J.?
HAMMER: CNN`s Ted Rowlands in Los Angeles. Thank you, Ted. Well, Michael Jackson`s sudden death has literally shocked the world - only 50 years old and seemingly on the verge of a big comeback. His death couldn`t be any more expected. We have so much to cover tonight. Let`s get right to it.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT coast to coast. Joining me tonight in New York, Lisa Bernhard, who is a "TV Guide" magazine special correspondent. Also in New York is David Caplan, senior editor for "People" magazine. In Hollywood tonight is Howard Bragman, the founder of Fifteen Minutes P.R. Also in Hollywood tonight, Jim Moret, who is the chief correspondent for "Inside Edition."
Gang, what an extraordinary night - still, obviously, so many unanswered questions about the circumstances surrounding Jackson`s death.
I want to get right to the SHOWBIZ news line. Here`s exactly what happened. At 12:30 p.m., Pacific Time, the Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a 911 call at Jackson`s home. Jackson was not breathing and paramedics performed CPR. He was taken to the UCLA Medical Center under cardiac arrest.
And at 2:26 p.m. Pacific Time, Jackson was pronounced dead. Howard Bragman, let me begin with you. All of this today just unraveled so fast. It is almost incomprehensible, isn`t it?
HOWARD BRAGMAN, FOUNDER, FIFTEEN MINUTES PUBLIC RELATIONS: You know, I`m shocked but I`m really not surprised, A.J. It`s just the kind of life Michael lived. It just seemed that it was begging for an ending like this.
And as sad as it is, I just am not surprised. He was kind of a frail guy. He was kind of a controlling guy. He had a lot of people around him and he was clearly the king. It`s kind of surrealistic is the best way to put it, A.J., but I`m just not surprised.
HAMMER: Yes. It does feel very surreal. A lot of us still not even able to wrap our heads around this at this point. Obviously, there`s a lot of speculation as to the cause of death or what led up to his death. We still don`t know the official cause. An autopsy is going to be conducted tomorrow.
Jackson`s final moments were captured in this shocking picture. I want to put that up if we can, Charles. This is obtained by "Entertainment Tonight" as Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital.
Now, CNN did speak with Jackson family spokesperson Brian Oxman late today and he said that he was very concerned about Jackson`s use of medications. Listen to what he told us.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BRIAN OXMAN, JACKSON FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: His use of medications had gotten in the way. I do not know the extent of the medications that he was taking. But the reports that we have been receiving in the family is that it was extensive. And this is something which I feared and it is something which I warned about. This is a case of abuse of medications.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAMMER: Yes. That is a very big statement coming from the Jackson family camp. They don`t usually speak like that. David Caplan, as I bring you in for this, I would like to bring up that picture from "Entertainment Tonight," showing Michael Jackson shockingly being worked on by paramedics in his last minutes there.
David Caplan, back to what Mr. Oxman was just saying, have we ever heard such concern before about Jackson`s use of medications from the Jackson camp in particular?
DAVID CAPLAN, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE MAGAZINE": Never. I mean, there have always been rumors in past months and recent years. You know, a couple years ago, there was a biography that came out about him. They`ve made all sorts of claims about his health.
But we`ve never heard anything from the Jackson camp per se. So to come out that strong and to sort of point a finger at something that possibly could have led to him having really bad health is very surprising.
HAMMER: Well, earlier tonight, a naturally very shaken Jermaine Jackson gave a press conference about his brother`s cause of death. Watch what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: We believe he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of his death is unknown until results of the autopsy are known.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Jim Moret, from Los Angeles, you`re a correspondent for "Inside Edition." His family obviously has to be simply crushed by what has happened today, the death of Michael Jackson. But at the same time, this was a very complex family dynamic. And he was estranged from many of them, wasn`t he?
JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, yes, and I have to go back to what Howard said. I think Howard encapsulated this. The news is shocking, not all that surprising. The most surprising aspect of today, frankly, is what Brian Oxman said, comparing this death in many ways to Anna Nicole`s death, talking about enablers around Michael Jackson and suggesting, if not implying, that Michael Jackson was being given, if not fed, prescription drugs.
Michael Jackson clearly started with his family and then broke off and became bigger than anyone could have ever expected. I was really surprised, frankly, when 50 concerts were scheduled because Michael Jackson had been trying for a comeback for years. And he had reneged on a couple of deals that brought him into court with promoters. And it was really frankly very difficult to insure Michael Jackson for these performances because of his frailty and his physical condition.
HAMMER: And as recently as last month, Jim, we have the head of the company promoting the Michael Jackson concerts in London, the guy who put the deal together with him, and wanted to make sure he was in good health before signing off for millions and millions of dollars.
We had him saying Michael Jackson is in better shape now than he was at 30, obviously, clearly in stark contrast to what we`re now seeing as reality. Also, it`s word - go ahead.
MORET: Anybody who saw Michael Jackson during the criminal case, and it was a few years ago, and granted he could look very different today. But anybody who saw him then looked at him and saw a very frail person.
And as recently as just a few weeks ago, the British press was reporting that Michael Jackson had only attended two of 45 rehearsals and they were even raising the question of how could this frail individual withstand 50 concert dates? So I just have a hard time believing that he was in amazing physical shape.
HAMMER: Yes. Well, it certainly can`t be overstated what a worldwide phenomenon Michael Jackson was. And as word spread about his death, crowds certainly gathered in front of the UCLA Medical Center where Jackson died.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT in London tonight. When news broke of his death, just as the crowds were getting out of the bars, it was all anybody could talk about. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t believe it. I can`t believe it. It`s like - actually, everyone knows like - every conversation is about Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson. Do you know what I mean, like -
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s all you hear. People (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You hear is his name and people talking about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: And as the sadness and the shock was just as strong in Hong Kong. Fans there telling us they`re at a total loss over Jackson`s death. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a big loss to the world because Michael Jackson has always been a very big idol for everyone. And so he has some ups and downs, but still, we feel a big loss.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: You know, Lisa Bernhard, I mention again it`s difficult for me even to wrap my head around what has happened here. But moreover, it`s almost difficult to quantify how big a loss this is, isn`t it?
LISA BERNHARD, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, "TV GUIDE": It really is for somebody who shifted the pop culture landscape. You know, there`s something that he said to me in an interview almost a decade ago that really, really resonates and I can`t help but keep going back to.
I asked him - I had actually read a quote where he said, "If it weren`t for my desire to help the children of the world, I would kill myself. I would commit suicide."
BERNHARD: And I said, "Michael, do you really mean that? Would you really do that?" And he said, "Yes. Everything I do is inspired by that kind of innocence." And you just think of the sale of Neverland, the place that embodied all of that childhood innocence, gone - so much of his money gone.
And this tour which just felt like even though it was sold out, it was never going to happen. I mean, he told me almost 10 years ago - I said, "Will you tour again?" He said, "I don`t think I can." He said, "It takes too much out of me. I don`t think I can go back on the road."
So it just sort of seemed to me like this wasn`t going to happen. He was very aware then how tarnished his image was. He was very aware then that he would never be judged solely on the music - acutely aware, but despite still wanting to be called the "King of Pop" and all the rest of it. So just a very, very sad ending.
HAMMER: Yes. And we`re going to leave it there for right now. Lisa Bernhard, Jim Moret, David Caplan, Howard Bragman, I want you to all stay right where you are. Much more to talk about. That`s coming up in just a moment.
But first, coming up, we have more of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s continuing coverage of the shocking death of two of Hollywood`s biggest legends - hard to believe, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.
I`ve got all the late-breaking developments on Michael`s death. Huge crowds of fans taking to the streets, coast to coast tonight. And of course, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there.
Also, lots of big stars already speaking out tonight about Michael`s death, including Madonna, Brooke Shields and Britney Spears.
Plus, Farrah Fawcett loses her brave battle with cancer. Tonight, Ryan O`Neal`s heartbreak after he vowed to marry her and how their son reached out to Farrah from his jail cell. You`re watching a special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.
HAMMER: Just minutes after the shocking death of Michael Jackson was announced, fans overwhelmed with grief took to the streets, from the UCLA Medical Center where there was a desperate attempt to save Michael, to Michael`s childhood home of Gary, Indiana, to New York`s famed Apollo Theater where a young Michael Jackson`s career took off. And that`s where we`re headed right now.
Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s live coverage of the death of Michael Jackson. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Yes, fans from coast to coast and around the globe are really just trying to cope with the shock of Michael`s death in the best way that they can.
One of the most remarkable scenes has been right here in New York City at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem, a tribute right there, as you see on the marquee, where Michael Jackson performed one of his very first shows with the Jackson Five.
CNN`s Richard Roth is live for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT at the Apollo Theater tonight where fans have been gathering since the tragic news broke late this afternoon. And Richard, I know you`ve been out there since the news broke as well. What has it been like out there with Michael`s fans today?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may sound very strange considering what`s happened, but you might say this is Michael Jackson`s last concert. All of his music is being played here on the streets in front of the legendary Apollo Theater. You name it - "Beat It," "Billie Jean." It`s the whole album, the whole catalogue.
Yes, the people were stunned and they still remained sad. But as the hours have developed here in the evening on a hot height here in Harlem, it`s turned into a street party, a commemoration, a celebration of the life and music of Michael Jackson.
I have with me two people who certainly are fans of Michael Jackson. Shirley, how big a fan are you of Michael Jackson and your memories and thoughts today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Humongous. James Brown, Prince, Michael Jackson. I was stunned. To the last minute, I was hoping beyond hope that he may have been in a coma, that he was going to pull through, but he didn`t. So I`m here now at the Apollo Theater with everybody else.
ROTH: And what would you describe you`ve been doing here? There`s been dancing, candles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dancing, music - people just doing like "Soul Train," live dance with all his dance moves (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You name it. People at the Apollo love him.
ROTH: OK. Let me ask Danielle. What are your thoughts on Michael Jackson passing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think Michael Jackson has - gave us this huge passport of pop generation. And without Michael Jackson, we wouldn`t have Chris Brown, Soulja Boy, Usher.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justin Timberlake.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justin Timberlake - exactly.
ROTH: I mean, you`re pretty young. Your mom, you said, was big into Michael Jackson. Why are you big into him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, even though I`m 13 years old, I love Michael Jackson. I love his songs. I even dance like him at times. Like, just - when you don`t feel like listening to your own music, you can always listen to Michael.
ROTH: Did you believe the news when you first heard it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was like, "Michael Jackson did not die." I did not believe it. And I was crying. I was like, "This is not true. I love Michael. This did not happen."
ROTH: Shirley, what does Michael Jackson mean to the Harlem community here and to the legacy of entertainment?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He means everything. He has a profound impact on rock music, hip-hop, funk, soul. Anything you can name. He`s worldwide. He started here with his brothers at The Apollo in the `60s. Come on, it only makes sense.
ROTH: What about the people here? Are you shocked at how people have been dancing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People love Michael Jackson. It`s like everyone was growing up and they wanted to be like Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson. That was pretty much it.
ROTH: Shirley, Danielle, thank you very much. Just some of the mood here. Believe me, we`ve seen cars going by "Rest in peace, Michael Jackson." They have been screaming here, "Michael! Michael! Michael Jackson!" And I`ve heard some Michael Jackson songs I haven`t heard in 25 years.
It`s incredible. That`s the mood and the atmosphere here at the legendary Apollo Theater where Michael Jackson first played with the Jackson Five in the late 1960s. A.J., back to you.
HAMMER: Yes. Richard, you know, it`s interesting watching what`s going on there at the Apollo Theater. And I`ve been watching the feed since you got out there. The crowd has just been building.
I kind of liken this to what happened when John Lennon died and the crowds began to gather at "Strawberry Fields" and they didn`t leave for days. I`m getting the impression that these fans aren`t going home any time soon.
ROTH: That`s a pretty good insight. I mean, there are people on the streets. On the other side of the street, there is a thumping beat here in Harlem. I think, eventually, people will maybe go home. But I wouldn`t be surprised, obviously, as you hinted that there`s some type of memorial to develop here in front of The Apollo.
He was here, I believe, in 2002, a big concert for the Democratic Party. And Al Sharpton, who was here earlier, said that he has meant more to bringing culture to the masses than any other figure from the African- American community.
HAMMER: Yes. And all generations obviously touched people the world over. And judging by the age range of the fans out there, it didn`t matter, young or old, everyone loved Michael Jackson. CNN`s Richard Roth reporting live outside of New York`s Apollo Theater. Thanks so much, Richard.
Well, we have got much more on the deaths of two of Hollywood`s biggest stars tonight. It`s unbelievable - Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. There are new details coming in by the minute about Michael Jackson`s death and we have the very latest coming up right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
And also, we`re getting overwhelming star reaction tonight, some of the biggest names in Hollywood. I`m talking about people like Madonna, Brooke Shields, Britney Spears - everybody touched by Michael. And they`re all speaking out with their emotional thoughts about Michael Jackson tonight.
Also, Farrah Fawcett loses her brave battle with cancer. Ryan O`Neal`s heartbreak after he vowed to marry her and how their son reached out to Farrah from his jail cell. You`re watching a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.
HAMMER: Welcome back to this special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.
Tonight, shocking news. Just a few hours ago, we learned that Michael Jackson had died. I`ve got the latest developments on what happened to Michael coming up in moments.
As soon as the news broke, well, tributes just started pouring into the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom from all over the world. Michael had so many celebrity friends and admirers.
Tonight, I want to share some with you some of the very personal thoughts. We heard from Madonna who tells us, "I can`t stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever."
Quincy Jones, who produced his famous "Thriller" album tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. He was the consummate entertainer. I`ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."
We also heard from Dick Clark. Dick saying, "I knew Michael as a child and watched him grow over the years. Of all the thousands of entertainers I have worked with, Michael was the most outstanding. Many have tried and will try to copy him, but his talent will never be matched. He was truly one-of-a-kind."
Brooke Shields, also a long-time friend of Michael Jackson - Brooke Shields telling us tonight, "My heart is overcome with sadness for the devastating loss of my true friend, Michael. He was an extraordinary friend, artist and contributor to the world. I join his family and his fans in celebrating his incredible life and mourning his untimely passing."
Now, just a short time ago, we heard from Britney Spears, Britney telling us, "He has been an inspiration throughout my entire life and I`m devastated his gone."
Also, just a short time ago on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE," Cher spoke about her fond memories of a younger Michael. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHER, SINGER AND ACTRESS (through telephone): When I think of him, I think of this young boy, the teenager that I first met. This adorable boy that I met who, you know, loved to look at my beaded socks and you know, said to me once, "Cher, do you think we can just go to the movies?"
And we looked at each other and we went, "No, I don`t think so." We talked about - well, let`s a movie out and just bring all of our friends."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
I think you can`t put a number on the number of lives Michael Jackson touched - celebrities and average people alike.
Now the SHOWBIZ lineup - here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on the special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. More of the latest on the shocking death of Michael Jackson. We`ve got developments coming in all night long. One of Jackson`s brothers, Jermaine, now speaking out. We`ve got that.
Also, the death of Farrah Fawcett earlier today. Farrah Fawcett losing her courageous battle with cancer. We`ve got Ryan O`Neal`s heartbreak after he vowed to marry her and how their son reached out to Farrah from his jail cell. You`re watching a special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the deaths of two of Hollywood`s legends on HLN.
HAMMER: Now, on this special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the shocking deaths of two of Hollywood`s biggest legends on the same day, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.
Michael Jackson, dead at the age of 50. Tonight, the sudden death of the King of Pop. What happened? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the latest breaking developments and the overwhelming coast to coast reaction to Michael`s death.
Also, the death of Farrah Fawcett, the "Charlie`s Angels" star loses her brave battle with cancer.
A special live edition of TV`s most provocative entertainment news show continues right now.
HAMMER: Welcome back to this special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.
Tonight, the absolutely shocking and devastating news that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, died today at the age of 50. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has been working on all the breaking developments of this story.
Jackson, under cardiac arrest, was taken by paramedics to UCLA Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. this afternoon. Michael Jackson`s brother Jermaine held a press conference outside the hospital just hours ago. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. JACKSON: My brother, the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away on Thursday, June 25th, 2009, at 2:26 p.m. It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned that Jermaine, brother Randy and sister La Toya were all at the hospital when Michael died. His father, Joe Jackson, was on his way from Las Vegas.
Joining me tonight from Hollywood, just outside UCLA Medical Center where he`s been covering this tragic story all day, CNN`s Ted Rowlands. Ted, bring us up to speed on the very latest.
ROWLANDS: Well, A.J., a mix of emotions here outside the UCLA Medical Center. Hundreds of people have gathered here. And the crowds continue to get larger. Over here, you can see sort of a gathering.
In the middle there, there are people dancing and listening to Michael Jackson`s music. Obviously, a celebration of his life. Over here, you turn around and here is a memorial, a few candles here and people getting their pictures taken. And lot of people here to talk with each other about Michael Jackson`s life.
He was brought here after a 911 call was made at about 12:23 this afternoon Pacific Time. He didn`t get here until 1:15. His personal doctor was with him according to the family when he took ill. They worked on him at the house, which is only a few miles away from here, brought him here. They worked on him again for about an hour before he was pronounced dead at 2:26 this afternoon, Pacific Time.
One individual here that came down - Joseph, why are you here? What is your connection to Michael Jackson?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, my connection with Michael Jackson is that I was raised with him. I`m only five years younger than him, and it`s something special. He was something special to us.
ROWLANDS: Coming here - why come here? You said you were going to go out with friends. Why did you come here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, because although you see people rejoicing, there`s still a hole in their hearts. We`re covering up the pain. This really hurts bad. It`s painful, man. And just being around all the love, you get an opportunity to see that love. Wait a second - he was loved by all nationalities. What is the predominant culture here?
ROWLANDS: You`re right. You`re right. A lot of emotion here, A.J. Michael Jackson`s body has been removed from UCLA Medical Center. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow morning. They expect results as early as tomorrow afternoon. A.J.?
HAMMER: Ted, given how Michael Jackson touched so many people, it seems almost fitting, also given Michael`s energy, that people there seem to be celebrating as much as they`re mourning.
CNN`s Ted Rowlands. I appreciate you being with us. We`re going to check back with you in just a bit to get the very latest from the scene outside of the UCLA Medical Center where Michael Jackson was pronounced dead.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s coast-to-coast coverage continues live tonight. Joining me in New York is Lisa Bernhard who is a special correspondent for "TV Guide" magazine. In Hollywood is Jim Moret who is the chief correspondent for "Inside Edition." In New York tonight, David Caplan, who is a senior editor for "People" magazine. And from Hollywood, Howard Bragman, the founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations.
Again, all this began just hours ago. The reports started flooding into the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom that Michael Jackson was being rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest. We could hardly believe it now, he`s passed away.
Jim, I know you have covered Michael Jackson for years. Have you been able to wrap your head around what`s happened here?
MORET: Well, you know, we`ve seen so many problems in Michael Jackson`s life, whether they be health-related or these criminal-related allegations and money problems. You know, I`m not truly surprised. I`m very saddened, clearly.
His legacy is twofold. He`s a tremendous artist, and the legacy in music is undeniable and tremendous. But he also had another side. There was another side of Michael. He was reclusive. He felt he couldn`t go out in public. He had tremendous financial problems.
And these allegations, I think, tarnished him, certainly within the United States, less so overseas. But that tarnishing of his image, I think, took its toll on him.
HAMMER: Howard, to Jim`s point and what we`ve been talking about, shocking but not surprising?
BRAGMAN: It`s true. You know what`s striking me, A.J.? I was checking some e-mails during the break. I`ve already started to get invitations to clubs this weekend that are doing Michael Jackson tributes. Even on the way over here, people were selling Michael Jackson T-shirts on the streets of Hollywood already.
And when we think of this moment, we`re quickly, in the next couple of weeks, going to get beyond the shocking death and this is going to be Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley or John Lennon. This is a legend.
And when somebody dies relatively young like Michael did, their images are preserved. We don`t really watch them grow old. And their legacy, for some sort of odd reason, really grows stronger.
And I`ve never seen anything like this in terms of the flood of E- mails, in terms of the Facebook postings. This is a moment in history that everybody is going to remember where they were when Michael Jackson died.
HAMMER: Yes. That is unquestionably correct, Howard. I totally agree with you on that. As we just told you moments ago, some of Michael`s family right there. And they were there at the hospital when Michael died.
Michael`s brother Jermaine shared with the world Michael`s final moments. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. JACKSON: His personal physician, who was with him at the time, attempted to resuscitate my brother. And the paramedics transported him to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Upon arriving at the hospital, at approximately 1:14 p.m., a team of doctors, including emergency physicians and cardiologists, attempted to resuscitate him for a period of more than one hour. And they were unsuccessful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Jermaine obviously devastated there. But Lisa, as tight-knit a family as they have always been, it is such a storied family. And in so many respects, it was also a family that had so much turmoil.
BERNHARD: A lot of turmoil, obviously going back from when they were kids and that father being very tough on his family. But you know, you talk about his place in pop culture and one thing that was so unique about Michael and why he was such a popular cover subject for us at "TV Guide" was he didn`t even - not just that he understood music, but he understood visually how to be an artist.
When he came into your home and did that moonwalk on the Motown anniversary special, you had never seen anybody dance like that before. When he did MTV and he did "Thriller," it wasn`t just a video, it was a short film.
When he danced with the white glove and the white socks, he understood and he told me this, "It puts an accent on my movements." Very few artists have that kind of grasp and understanding of visually how to be a star. But yes, he grew up with it. He was very child-like.
He seemed sort of, to me, stunted like he was never sort of a full adult, having been all his, you know, life in the public eye and had very conflicted feelings. Eventually, I think he did reconcile with his dad but was very conflicted and, as you mentioned, lots of turmoil with that family.
HAMMER: Yes. And you mentioned, you know, how he was sort of stunted despite the fact that he was a 50-year-old man and his appearance had changed a lot over the years. He`ll always be remembered with this sort of youthful energy despite his quieter times, despite more frail times. That is how I think we often think of Michael Jackson.
Everything today, by the way, after the news was breaking, just happened so fast. You have the ambulance just rushing to Jackson`s home. Then, there is a disturbing new picture which was obtained by "Entertainment Tonight."
Charles, can we put that up? This is Michael in his final moments. Paramedics feverishly working to revive him. And reports that Michael had been abusing drugs, prescription drugs.
A brand-new, shocking interview took place on CNN with Brian Oxman, the Jackson family spokesperson. I just think this is stunning. He`s claiming that Michael did have a problem with drugs and also claimed he had a lot of enablers in his life. Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
OXMAN: I can only tell you that this is not something which has been unexpected. Any time there was a report, because of the medications which Michael was under, this family has been trying for months and months and months to take care of Michael Jackson.
The people who have surrounded him have been enabling him. If you think that the case of Anna Nicole Smith was abuse, it is nothing in comparison to what we have seen taking place in Michael Jackson`s life.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAMMER: Very quickly, David Caplan. A strong statement?
CAPLAN: Yes, absolutely very strong. And again, this is the first time we heard this come from his camp. There have been numerous reports about health. But for a family spokesperson, an insider to declaratively say there were issues involving medication and pills is huge.
HAMMER: David Caplan, Lisa Bernhard, Jim Moret and Howard Bragman, I really appreciate you all taking the time being with us tonight. Thank you so much.
Just an unbelievably sad day. The world loses two of its greatest superstars of our generation on the very same day, almost hard to fathom - Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.
As our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special live coverage continues, the King of Pop gone at the age of 50. The shocking and sudden death of one of the greatest pop stars whoever lived. The Jackson Five, "Thriller," "Beat It." Michael Jackson was headed back to the stage, but no more. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with more on the breaking news of the death of the legendary Michael Jackson.
Plus, remembering Farrah. Farrah Fawcett dies. The "Charlie`s Angels" icon loses her battle with cancer. Ryan O`Neal`s heartbreak and their son`s final farewell to his mom.
You`re watching a special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.
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J. JACKSON: My brother, the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 2:26 p.m.
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HAMMER: That`s Michael Jackson`s brother Jermaine speaking out in an emotional press conference tonight, announcing the sudden death of his superstar brother. We have more on the shocking death of Michael Jackson in this special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, coming up.
Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. What a remarkable day this has been. Because not only have we lost one icon, Michael Jackson. But on this very same day, Farrah Fawcett died. Truly unbelievable.
Fawcett died today after losing her brave battle with cancer. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the brand-new inside story how those closest to Farrah are coping right now.
Tonight, Farrah`s long-time partner, Ryan O`Neal, is speaking out about Farrah`s final hours. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT also has the heartbreaking story of the last tragic phone call to Farrah from her and Ryan`s only son, Redmond, from jail.
Joining me tonight in Hollywood - Mary Murphy is an entertainment journalist. Also joining me tonight in New York is David Caplan, who is a senior editor for "People" magazine.
David, she really fought this fight to the end and just wouldn`t give up, would she?
CAPLAN: Oh, absolutely. She was very determined. We saw that in her documentary of how she was just really - she wouldn`t give up. I mean, (INAUDIBLE) about four months or so after it was initially diagnosed in 2006. She thought it was gone, it came back again and she still kept fighting. And she never gave up hope in lieu of all those headlines on tabloids.
HAMMER: And how terrific for her that Ryan O`Neal was able to be by her side. In fact, the last TV interview that Ryan O`Neal did before Farrah`s passing was with Barbara Walters for "20/20." That interview was originally going to air on Friday. Instead, it was pushed up to tonight.
And in the interview, Ryan O`Neal revealed that he wanted to marry Farrah before she died. Take a look at this.
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RYAN O`NEAL, ACTOR AND FARRAH FAWCETT`S LONG-TIME PARTNER: I`ve asked her to marry me again, and she`s agreed.
BARBARA WALTERS, ANCHOR, 20/20: Really?
O`NEAL: Swear to God.
WALTERS: Why don`t you just go do it?
O`NEAL: Well, we will, as soon as she can say yes.
O`NEAL: Maybe if she can just nod her head. No, I promise you, we will. We will. She said to me when I asked her, she said, "OK ..."
WALTERS: At this time?
O`NEAL: ... OK, but prenup.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Sadly, of course, Farrah died today before Ryan could marry her. They really had a funny relationship. Mary, they also had a very tumultuous relationship for decades. I know you interviewed both of them many times. How terrific was it that they could be together and as strong as ever in the end?
MARY MURPHY, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: That`s exactly what I was thinking. He always made her laugh. He made her laugh. He made her cry. He made her mad. But they were so bonded together. And I am so happy for her, that she was able to spend her last night and her last years with the man that she really loved.
HAMMER: Yes, yes. And while Ryan was able to be at her bedside, their only son Redmond sadly wasn`t. When she did die this morning, Redmond was in the Los Angeles County jail where he`s undergoing an intense rehabilitation program and he`s serving time for his drug arrest.
Well, in a brand-new statement to "People," Ryan reveals that Redmond did call his mother before she passed away to tell her how much he loved her and he was, quote, "very, very sorry."
Now, as far as we know, Farrah didn`t even know that Redmond was in jail. David, she really loved Redmond unlike anyone else in the world, didn`t she?
CAPLAN: Yes, absolutely. They had a very strong bond with each other. She loved him unconditionally, and you know, that bond continued until the very, very end. Like you said, you know, he told us exclusively earlier today that Redmond and Farrah - they did speak.
And they really know essentially - so it was like (INAUDBLE). She really left the world having this great bond with Redmond. And he apologized, so it was a very nice ending and they had this incredible connection with each other.
HAMMER: Well, in the interview there tonight with Barbara Walters, Ryan really opened up about Redmond`s battle with drug addiction for years that it went on. Ryan says that he`s been worried how Redmond would take the news of his mother`s passing while he sat in jail. Take a look at this.
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O`NEAL: He`s in a terrible fix because he may be in the can and lose his mother and that some sheriff will tell him. So I forgive him and I told him that, "Part of her legacy will be your strength, Redmond, to rebound. And then what she stood for will stay, will stand." And he agrees with me totally. He knows this is it. This is the end. He is at the bottom of the bottom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Mary Murphy, let me go to you on this. I`m thinking, wouldn`t it be the best tribute to Farrah for Redmond to clean up his act?
MURPHY: Well, it would be the best tribute to Farrah for Redmond to clean up his act, but also the best tribute for Farrah for Ryan now, for the rest of his life, to really step up, which he has done and must continue to do in a completely different way as the dad, as the role model to all these kids, because they`re all grieving.
And Redmond, you know, no one can make you get better or get treatment. But if anything can do it, it will be this, for Redmond.
HAMMER: Yes, absolutely. Well, as we saw in that gripping documentary that recently aired on NBC, Farrah let cameras follow her around as she battled cancer. I thought it was truly an amazing thing for her to have done. Sometimes, it was difficult to watch.
But David, she really had to put on a new face - she really has put on a new face, rather, on what it`s like to battle such a terrible disease. I truly think a lot has come from it and will continue to come from it, don`t you agree?
CAPLAN: Oh, absolutely. She put a new face to it. And what was great about the documentary was that she was also sending the message that she wanted to get the news out about her own life and her own condition on her own terms contrary to what we were seeing on tabloids headlines.
She was in control of the news. She was disseminating information about her life and putting the face on it, which was very uplifting. It was strong and it`s exactly the message that she wanted to get out there.
HAMMER: David Caplan from "People" magazine, entertainment journalist Mary Murphy, I thank you both so much.
Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT live coverage continues on the shocking and sad news of Michael Jackson`s death. Tonight, the legacy of Michael Jackson`s amazing life and unbelievable career. The world mourning the loss of the King of Pop. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s special live coverage on the death of Michael Jackson continues.
You`re watching a special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.
HAMMER: Welcome back to the special live edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Michael Jackson dead at the age of 50. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT just got this statement from the manager of Michael`s sister, Janet Jackson.
They`re telling us, "Janet Jackson is grief-stricken and devastated at the sudden loss of her brother. She is in pre-production on a film and is flying immediately to California to be with her family."
Let`s get back to our coast-to-coast panel right now. Lisa Bernhard from "TV Guide," let me get your final thoughts for the night on Michael Jackson.
BERNHARD: Well, going forward, you know what? I`m actually thinking about his kids. I mean, you asked me about his family earlier.
And the one person that Michael did not have a complicated relationship with was his mother, Katherine. He absolutely adored and worshipped Katherine. She could do no wrong. And I hope that somebody - I don`t know, is it Debbie Rowlands - somebody else in the family steps in so there`s at least one stable parent for those kids, and those are the ones that I`m thinking about at this time.
HAMMER: Yes. It`s going to be rather difficult to sort all of that out. Jim Moret, over to you. Final thoughts?
MORET: Well, Debbie relinquished all parental rights. It will be interesting to see who steps up and raises those kids. It`s a very sad night, clearly, for all the members of his family regardless of their relationship. And it was a fractured one, but clearly, they`re all grief- stricken tonight.
HAMMER: David, from "People" magazine. We hear so much about the problems Michael had. We hear about the seemingly odd behavior. But bringing it back into focus, which I think is so important, we cannot overstate he will go down as one of the greatest entertainers of all time, not just our generation.
CAPLAN: Oh, absolutely. He`s an iconic figure. He`s a musician. He`s an artist. And it`s really the fact that he remains relevant today, 25 years after "Thriller," one of the most famous albums released. You know, it`s the testament to his relevance - that he is relevant. Here, we`re still talking about him, and that - you know, he resonates with so many fans today, many of them weren`t even alive when he really had the heyday of his career.
HAMMER: Fifteen seconds for you, Howard Bragman.
BRAGMAN: Even in death, Michael Jackson is bringing people together and he`s defining the conversation - an amazing ability. Watch for years of litigation over the estate and the children, A.J. - years of litigation.
HAMMER: Thank you all for being here. It`s astounding that I`m saying this - Michael Jackson, the King of Pop is gone at just 50 years old. I want to leave you now with this tribute as we say farewell to this extraordinary icon. Good night.