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Michael Jackson`s Death Now a Federal Case; Unveiling the Michael Jackson-Diana Ross Mystery; Michael Jackson`s Last Rehearsal; What Happened to Bubbles the Chimp?

Aired July 2, 2009 - 23:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, calling in the feds. Tonight, Michael Jackson`s death now a federal case. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with incredible details of why federal drug agents are involved. What are they looking for? Did prescription drugs kill Michael? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with startling new developments.

Tonight, brand-new revelations about the Michael Jackson-Diana Ross mystery. Why did Michael Jackson want to leave his kids to Diana Ross? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the lost Diana interview about Michael.


DIANA ROSS, SINGER: You see, we actually love each other. He`s like one of my children. When he started his career, I introduced them on their very first television show, which was the "Ed Sullivan Show."


HAMMER: Plus, Bubbles, the Chimp. Whatever happened to Michael Jackson`s beloved great ape? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals where Bubbles is now.

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


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

And tonight, big breaking developments in the death of Michael Jackson. And what you are about to see will give you the chills.


You are looking for the very first time at Michael Jackson rehearsing for his planned series of concerts just two days before his shocking death. The video of the rehearsal was released today by the company that was producing the concert. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be playing the tape that we obtained of that rehearsal in its entirety for you.

CNN was the very first to reveal the tape this afternoon in a worldwide exclusive. And it happened as we learned when and where there will be a public tribute to Michael Jackson.

And the explosive news that the feds are now involved in the investigation into Michael Jackson`s death. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got everything covered making big news right now.



HAMMER (voice-over): This may go down in history as the final performance of the King of Pop. This footage of Michael Jackson released today was shot just two days before he died. It shows him rehearsing his song "They Don`t Care About Us" at the Staple Center in Los Angeles for his planned 50 comeback concerts in London.


HAMMER: It certainly is the dazzling energetic Michael Jackson we all remember. Not at all like the disturbing picture we`re now getting of Jackson in his final days.

ALICIA QUARLES, ASSOCIATED PRESS: There`s been huge concerns about Michael Jackson and his prescription drug usage.

JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: I would be hurt - hurt because Michael has always been a person who was against anything like that.

HAMMER: In an emotional interview seen this morning with the "Today" show`s Matt Lauer, Jermaine Jackson pondered a devastating possibility, that his brother Michael`s sudden death last week might be related to prescription drug abuse.

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: So, you`re saying it`s possible?

J. JACKSON: I really don`t know, Matt. I really don`t know. And I`m being honest, I really don`t know.

HAMMER: It`s now become a federal issue. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the Drug Enforcement Administration has joined the investigation into Jackson`s death.

ALICIA QUARLES: The Los Angeles Police Department actually asked the DEA to get aboard.

HAMMER: Alicia Quarles of the Associated Press tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT authorities in this extremely complicated case had no choice but to bring in the big guns.

QUARLES: This is the DEA`s area of expertise. They can look at exactly what doctors were treating Michael Jackson, were these doctors legally allowed to prescribe him certain medications. This is the way they can really get down to business.

HAMMER: In the weeks since Michael Jackson died suddenly from apparent cardiac arrest, those close to him have been speaking loudly and often about what they claim and allege was Jackson`s long-time obsession with painkillers, sedatives and antidepressants.

CHERILYN LEE, MICHAEL JACKSON`S FORMER NURSE: He asked me - he said, "Can you find me a doctor? I don`t care how much money they want." He said, "I want this medication to sleep."

HAMMER: The most explosive words come from nurse practitioner, Cherilyn Lee, who worked with Jackson as a nutritionist. She says in the months before he died, a distraught Jackson begged her to help him get over his crippling insomnia. She claims he requested Diprivan, a powerful sedative usually used only in operating rooms.

LEE: I said, "This is not a safe medication." He said, "No, my doctor assured me that it`s safe. There`s no side effects. He said it is safe."

QUARLES: She refused to give them to him. The problem is, when you`re a celebrity, because one person says no, a lot of other people are willing to say yes.

HAMMER: In his "Today" show interview, Jackson`s older brother Jermaine said he didn`t know if Jackson was abusing drugs. But if it were true, Jermaine suggested he wouldn`t be surprised.

J. JACKSON: I`m not saying it`s right because it`s not right. But in this business, the pressure (INAUDIBLE) they had to go through, you never know what one would turn to.

HAMMER: But it will be a few weeks before we know for sure if prescription drug abuse killed Michael Jackson.

QUARLES: Everybody is waiting for these toxicology reports. You can`t draw any conclusions until these reports are in and we find out exactly what was in his system.

HAMMER: But at least, we`re now finally getting some answers about Jackson`s memorial service. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned a public memorial for Jackson will take place next Tuesday morning at the Staple Center in downtown Los Angeles.


The very place where the final Jackson rehearsal footage was shot.

QUARLES: The Staples Center can hold 20,000 people. I absolutely think that they can fill that. Whether you liked him or hated him, people really want to pay their respects.

HAMMER: It would be an appropriate coincidence that the site of Michael Jackson`s final performance would become the site of his final goodbye.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold for applause. Hold for applause. Slow umbrella. Fade out.


HAMMER: Well, the video released late today of Michael Jackson rehearsing for his London shows just two days before his death has raised even more burning questions about his physical health before he died.

Joining me tonight from Hollywood, Lisa Bloom, who is a CNN legal analyst. Also in Hollywood is Carlos Diaz, who is a correspondent for "Extra."

So, take a look at this brand new video of Michael Jackson rehearsing. There had been so many reports that Jackson was frail and his health was failing in his final week. Lisa, when you look at this video, how do you reconcile those reports?

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: He doesn`t look frail to me. He looks like a consummate performer. He looks like the terrific dancer that he has been for decades. Perhaps when he`s off stage, the adrenaline rush goes away, and he was tired and he was frail. But it is very hard to see that when you`re watching that video.

HAMMER: Yes. And I was wondering the same thing because we always know that Michael always said he was at his best when he was on stage. So when he got off stage, did he seem to be that frail person?

Well, CNN`s Anderson Cooper got this exclusive interview this afternoon with the man behind Jackson`s big concert series in London. Randy Phillips was the president and the CEO of AEG Live. And he says that Jackson was healthy and happy. At least, he appeared that way to him. But watch what he says when Anderson asks if he thought that Jackson had a drug problem. Roll that.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "AC 360": As you have been watching over the last several days, allegations come out about drug abuse. What do you think?

RANDY PHILLIPS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, AEG LIVE: I don`t know, because I wasn`t with him 24/7. I spent a lot of time with him. OK. All I know is the Michael Jackson that hugged me and said good night was a healthy, vibrant human being about to undertake the greatest undertaking of his life, OK?

And something happened between 12:30 when he left us and the morning when I had to rush to the hospital when I got the first call.


HAMMER: Yes. There`s something just so eerie about hearing that timeline through the guy who was actually in touch with Michael and saw him. Carlos Diaz, off to you. He was not squashing rumors there about prescription drug use, but he did say that Jackson appeared healthy and happy to him. So what do you think after watching this new insight?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": Allow me to play devil`s advocate here, OK? They released the video showing Michael Jackson looking very healthy on stage. Then. almost an exact quote of what he just said, "Something happened after he just left us."

What AEG is doing is saying, "Hey, we are not culpable in this. It is not our responsibility. We are not responsible for Michael Jackson`s death in any way." He is saying, "He was healthy with us. When he left us, something different - something wrong happened that we had no part of."

HAMMER: So it sounds like you`re a little skeptical of his account and you think it`s just (INAUDIBLE).


DIAZ: No, I think he`s being very smart. I mean, I think it`s brilliant. I mean, you put out this video that shows Michael Jackson healthy as all get out performing on stage like he did when he was in his, you know, 20s and 30s. And then you say, "When he hugged me, he seemed healthy."


DIAZ: So, I mean, with everything that`s going on, you have taken yourself out of the equation as possibly.

BLOOM: Why would AEG be responsible for Michael Jackson`s death to begin with? Why would they have any concern about that?

DIAZ: Because you can make a case - you can make a case that perhaps the rigorous workout routine, getting ready for these concerts - because there`s been rumors Michael only wanted to do 10 shows and they upped it to 50. You know, you can make a case that because Michael was being put through the ringer getting ready, that`s why he`s on these drugs.


BLOOM: Yes, but he`s an adult. He`s signed the contract. Nobody put a gun to his head. He`s responsible.

HAMMER: Let me jump in, because quite opposite from the initial reports we are hearing from some people, unconfirmed reports that he was looking frail, we`re also hearing from people like Kevin Mazur, who was the photographer who shot those final rehearsal pictures of Michael that he was looking healthy.

And Kevin has been shooting the guy for 30 years. So, just to sort of put that out there, you know, perhaps we`re getting a very vivid, accurate picture of Michael, and we`ve got the video.

I do want to move on because we have a lot of burning questions tonight on today`s other big development, the brand new info that the Drug Enforcement Administration is joining in the Jackson death investigation, still not a criminal investigation, Lisa. But what exactly does this tell you? Is it normal for the DEA to get involved in a case like this?

BLOOM: It is if the local law enforcement agency - here the LAPD says, "Please give us some help. This has gotten bigger than we can handle on our own." And that`s what`s happened here. They want the feds to come in with all of their expertise in drug matters and take a cold, hard look at this thing. So I think that was a smart move by the LAPD and it can only help to have the DEA involved.

HAMMER: Well, another new development today, a truly moving, heartbreaking interview Jermaine Jackson did with Matt Lauer this morning on the "Today" show. He talked very openly about how Jackson`s three children said goodbye to their father after he died and how upset his family is. Watch this.


J. JACKSON: I kissed him on his forehead and I hugged him and I touched him. And I said, "Michael, I`ll never leave you. You`ll never leave me." I felt, though, really, really empty. And this sounds strange, but he went too soon. He went too soon. I don`t know how people are going to take this, but I wish it was me.


HAMMER: I wish it was me. Wow, what an extraordinary thing to say. Carlos, do you have any sense of whether Jermaine was especially close to Michael?

DIAZ: Yes. I mean, there`s no doubt that if anyone knew what Michael Jackson was feeling, it was Jermaine, because he was the closest to Michael in age. He was as good a performer as Michael early on.

You know, I mean, he was one of the people in the Jackson 5 - he would be on stage singing next to Michael. So he knows what Michael feels like. And it`s just so sad to see him be emotional. He needs to step up now and become the leader over the next few months as we deal with all these things with the Jackson family.

HAMMER: Yes. So powerful. Thank you so much, Carlos Diaz, Lisa Bloom. I appreciate it.

Well, we just showed you a bit of one of Michael Jackson`s last rehearsals.


HAMMER: I`ve got to say, Michael looked energetic and just ready to go in this video. And as I watch it, it is shocking to think it would be one of the last times he would ever step foot on a stage. Coming up, we`re going to play you the video we obtained in its entirety, Michael`s last rehearsal.

Bubbles the Chimp, whatever happened to this guy? Well, I can tell you, we know. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates where Michael Jackson`s beloved great ape is.

Also tonight, brand-new revelations about the Michael Jackson-Diana Ross mystery. Why did Michael Jackson want to leave his kids to Diana Ross? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the lost Diana interview about Michael. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Private autopsy concludes David Carradine`s death was accidental. Angelina Jolie earns more than Jennifer Aniston between 6/08- 6/09: $27 million versus $25 million.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Tonight, cashing in on Michael Jackson. Even before the King of Pop`s death, anything autographed by Jackson could really go for big bucks. Well, now, of course, in the wake of his death, one auction house is predicting that his memorabilia could sell for five to 10 times more. Here is CNN`s Thelma Gutierrez for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The black fedora from Billie Jean. The rhinestone socks he danced in. And the gloves, the jeweled gloves, now iconic. Priceless. This is Joe Maddalena. He owns the auction house that will be auctioning off the glove come October. Now, what can you tell me about this glove? What`s the story?

JOE MADDALENA, OWNER OF AUCTION HOUSE: This is from the 1984 victory tour. There were two gloves that were made, and they were used on the tour. There were two full-time people to take care of these gloves. You can imagine how important this was at the tour. This was the zenith of Michael Jackson`s career. And this is the most iconic piece of memorabilia.

GUTIERREZ: So, just a month ago, you`re saying it would have fetched maybe $50,000 to $60,000. Today, $250,000?

MADDALENA: Or more, easily.

GUTIERREZ: Within your business, when people of this stature die, their memorabilia has to be worth so much more than when they were alive.

MADDALENA: Absolutely.

GUTIERREZ: By how much? Is there a way to quantify that?

MADDALENA: Maybe with Michael Jackson, five to 10 times the amount. I think you`re going to have a gigantic demand and a very small, small supply. Just because you have his autograph, you can`t say, "This is worth $1 million." The Fedora is cool. This was something that he wore on stage, gave to a fan. But he made - there were hundreds of these. This is a cultural icon. All you need is this for an exhibit.

GUTIERREZ: Are there other coveted items that collectors would be looking for?

MADDALENA: The real serious collector is going to want things that he wore on stage. Again, the second thing is they`ll want the things he wore on the videos. Marilyn Monroe and James Dean and Elvis Presley are more popular now than they were when they were alive. They generate - their estates generate more money now in licensing than they did when they were alive.

GUTIERREZ: And you say the same will happen with Michael Jackson?

MADDALENA: Absolutely. Positively. And something like this will live forever, because it is a piece of one of the greatest entertainers whoever lived.


HAMMER: Wow. That was CNN`s Thelma Gutierrez for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Now, a lot of you have been calling in to "Showbiz on Call" about Michael Jackson. We actually got a call in to "Showbiz on Call" from Joy. And Joy is offering her best wishes for the families of the other celebrities who just died.


CALLER: I was calling to send my prayers and condolences to the families of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Billy Mays. Our hearts and prayers go out to these families at their time of loss. And may the good Lord be with each and every one of them. God bless and take care.


HAMMER: Thanks so much, Joy. 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 open all the time. 1-888-SBT-BUZZ is the number; 1-888-728-2899. Leave us a voicemail and we`ll play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And your calls are also now online right there on our homepage. Point your Web browser to

Well, tonight, we just got this amazing video of one of Michael Jackson`s last rehearsals. I`ve got to tell you, I think he looked pretty good. Seemed to have a lot of energy. The choreography, the music, everything looked on point. So the big question is, what happened? I`m going to play you the video we obtained in its entirety. Michael`s last rehearsals, coming up.

Also tonight, brand-new revelations about the Michael Jackson-Diana Ross mystery. Why did Michael Jackson want to leave his kids to Diana Ross? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the lost Diana interview about Michael.

Also this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most incredible part of that whole thing was that on his being wheeled to the hospital, you know, he`s waving to his fans with the glittery glove.


HAMMER: This was the event that some say led to Michael using painkillers. In a split second, his hair catches fire and leaves a lifetime of physical and emotional scars. Tonight, the never-before- heard story behind this accident that changed Michael`s life forever. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Susan Boyle will not appear on ABC`s "Ugly Betty." Mel Brooks to be honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

And now, the SHOWBIZ buzz list, the Michael Jackson edition. Here are the top five Michael Jackson songs that the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff is buzzing about this week as we pay tribute to his legacy.

Without a doubt, there`s "Bad." And off the "Bad" album, of course, "Man in the Mirror." I was talking about the "Thriller" album and of course, "Billie Jean." Another Jackson song on the album we`re buzzing about it "Beat It." And of course, there`s the "Thriller" title track. "Thriller" remains the best-selling album of all time. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.




TOM ARNOLD, ACTOR: We didn`t need an audience (INAUDIBLE) because they all wanted to talk to Ed. And he was so nice to everybody. It`s hard - it`s a lot to live up to.


HAMMER: Tom Arnold, who worked with Ed McMahon on his WB sitcom, "The Tom Show," one of the many stars who came out to play their respects to the late "Tonight Show" co-host.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there in Los Angeles as friends and family came out to celebrate the life of Ed McMahon. He died on June 23rd at the age of 86. The event was filled with both funny and serious moments.

One of the most emotional tributes came from Ed`s son, Lex, who like his father, joined the Marines.


LEX MCMAHON, SON OF ED MCMAHON: Over the years, Ed told me that he wanted to be remembered as a good entertainer and a great Marine. Considering Ed was an entertainment giant, this speaks volumes in regards to his love of the Marine Corps with its inherent brotherhood and core values of respect, honor, and integrity. These were the defining forces of Ed`s character.


HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT also caught up with TV host Leeza Gibbons. She said Ed was like family to her.


LEEZA GIBBONS, TV HOST: Ed was like a big brother to me. And I think that was his gift to the world. He was skillful at making things OK - fixing it, maximizing a moment and having it look good for everybody. I mean, Ed saved the day.


HAMMER: I had the pleasure of interviewing Ed several times. I`ve got to agree he was nothing but a class act.

Well, lots of e-mails and Facebook comments still coming in about Michael Jackson. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewers are really fired up. I want you to check out some of these E-mails.

We heard from Angela in California who writes, "I think this is what he wanted most: to be loved and worshipped by millions of people."

Vickie from South Carolina is concerned about Michael`s children, "He loved his children and they loved him. They are where they belong with their family that know them and love them."

Over to Facebook. Amanda H. says should be buried at the Neverland Ranch, "It`s the one place he probably loved most and the one place he felt he could be himself.

Please keep your e-mails and Facebook comments coming. You can write to us at Or let us know what you think on our Facebook page. You can sign up for that at

It`s time now for the SHOWBIZ lineup. This is what we`ve got coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

We have got the brand-new video of one of Michael Jackson`s last rehearsals. So are there any clues in this video about his health? I`m playing it for you, coming up next.

Also, the Diana Ross-Michael Jackson mystery. The lost interview with Diana that may very well explain why Michael wanted her to have custody of his kids.

And whatever happened to Bubbles the Chimp? You remember Bubbles, one of Michael`s best pals? We know and we`re going to tell you. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Katie Holmes to do a song and dance number on "So You Think You Can Dance" on 7/23. Neil Patrick Harris to host this year`s Emmy Awards on September 20th.


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the King of Pop, singing and dances on stage for one of the last times. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the brand-new dramatic video of Michael Jackson`s last rehearsal.

The Michael Jackson-Diana Ross momma mystery. The lost interview with Diana Ross uncovered. Brand-new clues into why Jackson wanted Ross to take care of his kids.

And what happened to Bubbles the Chimp? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with an update on one of Michael Jackson`s favorite pals.

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 A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

Right now, tonight`s big breaking news about Michael Jackson including never-before-seen video released late today of Jackson dancing at one of his last rehearsals.


In just a moment, we are showing you all of the video we obtained in its entirety. And there are other big breaking developments to tell you about.

Tonight, the brand new details about Michael Jackson`s memorial service. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT learned today where and when it will take place.

Also, brand new tonight, the lost Diana Ross interview. Jackson named the legendary singer along with his mother as a possible legal guardian to his three kids. We have the incredible revealing lost interview with Diana Ross that really sheds some brand-new light on her connection to Michael.

And brand-new, big questions on whether or not Diana will get the kids. What happens if Michael Jackson`s 79-year-old mother suddenly can`t take care of Michael`s kids?

Joining me tonight from Hollywood is Lisa Bloom who is a CNN legal analyst. Also from Hollywood, it`s Carlos Diaz, who is a correspondent for "Extra."

And I want to begin by showing you this brand-new footage of Michael Jackson`s rehearsal. This is just two days before he died. We obtained this late this afternoon. It`s Michael rehearsing at the Staple Center in Los Angeles. And here is what we obtained in its entirety. Take a look.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold for applause, hold for applause. Slow umbrella, fade out.


HAMMER: Wow. Certainly does not look like a man just a couple of days away from death. Carlos, how do you make sense of that Michael and the frail, weak Michael that everybody said he was in his final days?

DIAZ: First off, I mean, you know, how ironic is that that song he`s singing "They Don`t Care About Us." I mean, obviously we care about him now, now that he`s gone. But you`re right. I mean, you`re looking at a Michael Jackson who looks completely healthy.

And if you really look as they`re fading to black when the guy says - the producer says "Hold for applause. Hold for umbrella," Michael - a curl of smile across his face like he`s completely comfortable nailing those dance moves on that stage.

HAMMER: Yes. It really kind of gives us a sense of his physicality and sort of his state of mind. He`s in his glory when he`s up on stage. We`ve always known that about him. He was rehearsing, of course, for that series of 50 concerts he was set to do in London, which were to be produced by the company AEG live.

Well, in a brand-new interview today with CNN`s Anderson Cooper, Randy Phillips - he`s the president and CEO of AEG Live. He says that the night before Jackson died, to him Jackson looked as healthy as can be. Take a look.


PHILLIPS: The Michael Jackson that hugged me and said good night was a healthy, vibrant human being about to undertake the greatest undertaking of his life, OK? Yes, and something happened between 12:30 when he left us and the morning when I had to rush to the hospital when I got the first call.


HAMMER: Lisa Bloom, I get the sense this guy is shooting pretty straight here. How do you make sense of it?

BLOOM: Yes. I agree. And it sounds to me like all the weight of evidence is starting to line up behind a drug overdose. That would explain him looking so healthy, performing so well. Seemingly in terrific health in the days before his death.

And then suddenly something happened, something came into play that caused his death on Thursday morning. It sure sounds like a drug overdose.

HAMMER: Yes. And as I mentioned, these rehearsals were taking place at the Staple Center. And that leads us to another late breaking development. We learned today that the memorial service for Jackson will, in fact, take place Tuesday morning in the Staple Center in Los Angeles.

Lisa, back to you on this. There has been so much back-and-forth about this memorial. First, of course, there were reports widespread it was going to be at Neverland Ranch. It looked like plans were in place for that.

Now it`s at the Staple Center. This really does make so much more sense, doesn`t it?

BLOOM: Well, they have to accommodate the fans. I mean, worldwide, people have been mourning. And the Staple Center - I wonder that`s even big enough. But it`s certainly bigger than Neverland.

They have to allow the fans to come in, to express their grief, to express their condolences with the family and to come together. And at least the Staple Center is big enough for a large number of them to do that.

HAMMER: And not taking place on the July Fourth holiday weekend afterwards.

BLOOM: Right.

HAMMER: Much better. Through all of this, of course, we have to remember Michael Jackson`s three young children. Michael`s will made clear his wishes that his mom, Katherine Jackson, be guardian and said that Diana Ross should take that role if something were to happen to his mother.

Well, in a revealing interview back in 1991 that was just unearthed, Ross told CNN`s Larry King that she and Michael shared a big bond. Watch this.


ROSS: You see, we actually love each other. And he`s like one of my children. When he started his career, I introduced them on their very first television show, which was the "Ed Sullivan Show."

And then, I had to tape my own television special at that time and I introduced them, the Jackson 5 on the television special. And we kind of - I took a special interest in him and we were very close.

When the boys came from Indiana, they stayed with me in my house in California, and I was like their house mother or something. And I kind of took care of them until their parents came. So we just built a relationship in the early days.


HAMMER: Now, again, this was back in the early `90s, but it really does explain so much. She was kind of like Michael Jackson`s second mother. Carlos, don`t you think that has to have a lot to do with why he would name her a guardian of his kids in the will?

DIAZ: It is revealing, you know. It reveals Michael Jackson`s close relationship with Diana Ross. But more importantly, it reveals maybe the strained relationship that he had with his father, Joe Jackson. Because you know, he names Katherine. Obviously, the love that they had for each other is undeniable.

And then, Diana because, you know, he came out from Indiana, and here`s a brand-new kind of world where it`s, you know, the rules that he`s been living under for years are now gone.

But never does he mention Joe Jackson in the will at all. And it kind of shows that maybe - even though they forgave each other late in life, maybe he didn`t forget.

HAMMER: Yes. He always said this was a woman he had so much, not just adoration for but admiration for. And as of show time, Diana Ross hadn`t commented on the will. And while the relationship between Diana and Michael goes back to his early, early days in Motown, Diana revealed in that interview back in `91 that she and Michael did live very separate lives. Take a look at this part.


ROSS: I don`t get to see him very much. And that`s because, again, my life has just gone in a different direction. I live in Europe a lot of the time with my husband, and so it`s just that we don`t see each other half as much as I would like to see him.

I did see him maybe a couple months ago and introduced him to my sons, my boys. And my little one, Evan, loves music and wants to look like Michael Jackson.


HAMMER: Well, they lost touch back then. This is almost 20 years ago. Who knows if they ever got back in close touch. And of course, it is the court who will ultimately decide guardianship of the kids.

But Lisa, there`s always the chance that Diana Ross may not want to have the responsibility. She is, after all, now 65 years old.

BLOOM: Well, sure, and I wonder if she was even aware that he was naming her in the will as the backup guardian to his children. There`s no legal requirement that he do that, but most normal people would call someone and say, "You know, by the way, I`m doing my will. I want to name you as a backup guardian. Would you be willing to assume that responsibility?"


BLOOM: But nothing about Michael Jackson was ordinary or typical.


BLOOM: So, that remains to be seen. And we just haven`t heard from her on this subject.

HAMMER: And perhaps she will step forward to say something. It is quite a revelation to see your name come up as the potential guardian for Michael Jackson`s children.


HAMMER: Lisa Bloom, Carlos Diaz, thanks guys. We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Michael Jackson: Should he be buried at Neverland Ranch?" What do you think? Please let us know at You can always us more of your thoughts at

OK, remember Bubbles the Chimp? Back in the `80s, he and Michael Jackson were inseparable. But whatever happened to Bubbles? Tonight, I`ve got brand-new video and an inside look at what Bubbles` life is like now.

We have also got this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most incredible part of that whole thing was that on his being wheeled to the hospital, you know, he`s waving to his fans with the glittery glove.


HAMMER: Michael Jackson, the superstar. He was on top of the world when a shocking on-set accident changed everything. In a split second, his hair caught on fire and left a lifetime of physical and emotional scars. Tonight, the never-before-heard story behind the event that would change Jackson`s life forever.

Plus, for the very first time, President Obama speaks out publicly about Michael Jackson`s death. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: Kevin Jonas, eldest of the Jonas Brothers, gets engaged. Victoria and David Beckham strip for new Emporio Armani ads.



HAMMER: Brand-new video of just one of the many amazing tributes to the King of Pop Wednesday at Apollo Theater`s amateur night in New York City just tonight before hundreds of Jackson`s fans lined up outside of the Apollo to pay tribute to Michael Jackson. Look at this.

And Jackson 5, by the way, won amateur night at the Apollo 40 years ago - only appropriate.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, a SHOWBIZ special report, an inside look at the life of Michael Jackson.

Michael was just five years old when he hit the big time with his four brothers. And even as popular as he was as the lead singer of the Jackson 5, I`ve got to tell you, I doubt anybody could have predicted what would happen next.

A messy business breakup actually led to a partnership that would shift his career into high gear. Michael linked up with a then little- known music director named Quincy Jones. Well, Quincy helped Michael skyrocket to superstardom, but of course, the road was anything but smooth. A shocking accident left Michael with a lifetime of physical and emotional scars.

From "CNN Presents: The Man in the Mirror," here`s CNN`s Don Lemon for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


DON LEMON (voice-over): By 1975, the Jackson 5 had made a highly publicized split from Motown. And Michael Jackson was ready to spread his wings. Jackson returned to Quincy Jones, then musical director for "The Wiz," now a multi-Grammy winning producer, arranger and composer.

QUINCY JONES, MUSIC PRODUCER: I said, you know what? I would like to take a shot at producing a record. And we started going - we started to get going and the record company said no, he`s too jazzy. He`s not the person to do this. So Michael and his managers fought them and said, Quincy`s doing the record.

LEMON: Legendary music producer, Quincy Jones, would produce Jackson`s first adult solo album, 1979, "Off the Wall." The album was a smash, with songs like "Don`t Stop Till You Get Enough" and "Rock With You" reaching number one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the greatest moment that disco had in its entire history.


JOHN NORRIS, MTV CORRESPONDENT: They are songs that still hold up today. They don`t sound dated. I guess what none of us could have anticipated was the album that they would then produce after "Off the Wall."

LEMON: That album was 1982`s "Thriller," and it would catch when Jackson unveiled an out-of-this-world dance move on the television special for Motown`s 25th anniversary.

NORRIS: What a moment that was in pop culture history when he moonwalked across the stage there.

TOURE, FORMER CNN POP CULTURE ANALYST: So he`s doing the moonwalk, which when he first did it, nationally it was like, wait, is gravity being like messed with here? Special effects, like what are we doing? And I mean, within six months, every 10-year-old in Dallas could do it.

LEMON: The transformation was complete. Michael Jackson was about to go from child pop star to the biggest star on the planet.

In November 1982, 24-year-old Michael Jackson released "Thriller," and with that historic piece of vinyl, a phenomenon was born.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The record flew out of stores. You know, it could not be stopped.

NORRIS: From the iconic look to the moonwalk, to the glove, the red jacket and with the zippers and glasses and the white socks.

LEMON: R&B superstar Usher.

USHER, R&B SUPERSTAR: You know, if it wasn`t music, it was obviously dance that influenced us.


LEMON: Saying "Beat It" to the competition for 37 weeks, the album sat at number one, and is, to this day, the top selling album in the world. "Thriller" broke records with seven top ten singles, and it also broke barriers.


USHER: Being the first black artist to ever have a video played on MTV was pivotal for all of us. There would be no other form, honestly. There would be no BET. There wouldn`t even be the MTV that is now without Michael Jackson`s influence.

NORRIS: And of course, it paid off for all of us, because I mean, the idea of MTV without Michael Jackson`s videos from "Thriller" is almost inconceivable.

LEMON: Fan clubs, trading cards, Michael Jackson dolls. The craze reached a fever pitch in 1984 when a Pepsi commercial gone awry sparked even more frenzy.

PETER CASTRO, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: He was on the set, and he is descending a staircase. There`s a flash behind him and his hair catches on fire. But the most incredible part of that whole thing was that on his being wheeled to the hospital, you know, he`s waving to his fans with the glittery glove, you know, to the end a showman.


HAMMER: That was CNN`s Don Lemon for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And some say it was that burning incident that led to Michael`s use of painkillers. Still, even that scary accident was not enough to derail Michael`s amazing career. One month later, Michael Jackson went on to win eight of his 13 Grammy awards.

And be sure to join us this weekend for a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT one-hour special report, "The Life of Michael Jackson." You can see it at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and pacific. And also at a special time, 6:00 p.m. Eastern, 3:00 p.m. Pacific.

HAMMER: Tonight, President Obama finally speaks out about Michael Jackson`s death. The president had a lot of people just scratching their heads when he didn`t speak out publicly after Jackson died last week. Well, in a brand-new interview with the Associated Press, Obama finally shared his thoughts.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You`re the first person that has actually asked me about it. You know, I think that Michael Jackson is - will go down in history as one of our greatest entertainers. I grew up on his music. I grew up on his music. Still have all of his stuff on my iPod.

You know, I think that his brilliance as a performer also was paired with a tragic and, you know, in many ways, sad personal life.


HAMMER: Well, to be fair, President Obama did write a private letter to the Jackson family shortly after Jackson died.

All right. Moving on, do you remember Bubbles the Chimp? He, of course, was one of Michael Jackson`s closest pals. But where is he now?


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet Bubbles. Other than Tarzan`s Cheetah, he may be the most famous chimpanzee in the world. 25 years ago, he was Michael Jackson`s pet.


HAMMER: Well, tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has brand-new video and an update on one of Michael Jackson`s best friends - yes, Bubbles the Chimp. You have got to see him now. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

TEXT: "Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs" in 3D tops box office Wednesday with $13.8 million. The Essence Music Festival in New Orleans will include tribute to Michael Jackson.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Tonight, where is Michael Jackson`s beloved pet chimp Bubbles? Well, after Jackson`s death, a lot of people wanted to know what happened to Jackson`s one-time sidekick and moon-walking chimp, Bubbles?

Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can now tell you that Bubbles is now living the happy life of a retiree in a Florida sanctuary.

Here`s CNN`s John Zarrella for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


ZARRELLA (voice-over): Meet Bubbles. Other than Tarzan`s Cheetah, he may be the most famous chimpanzee in the world. 25 years ago, he was Michael Jackson`s pet.

PATTI RAGAN, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR GREAT APES: Probably the best tribute that we could pay to Michael Jackson here is to just take excellent care of Bubbles because I know he loves him.

ZARRELLA: Patti Ragan is the director of the Center for Great Apes outside Wauchula, Florida. For the last four years, Bubbles has lived here at the nonprofit sanctuary with 41 other chimpanzees and orangutans. Nearly all were circus performers, pets, or in the movies.

RAGAN: They relax. They take naps together. They might go up on the top of the coop or they might go out and shoot some (INAUDIBLE) or a tree in the tunnel system. They groom each other and they fight. And they have arguments, too.

ZARRELLA (on camera): Like we do?


ZARRELLA (voice-over): Since Jackson`s death, there have been so many stories about what happened to Bubbles, most flat-out wrong says Ragan. She decided to let us visit exclusively with him.

RAGAN: Hey, Bubbles. Hey, how`s my boy?

ZARRELLA: He was clearly comfortable with our camera in his face. Old habits are hard to break. He likes cucumbers for lunch, and of course, bananas. He likes making faces.

Bubbles was born in Texas in 1983. It`s not clear where. At about eight months old, animal trainer Bob Dunn, purchased Bubbles for Jackson. The two became inseparable. They posed for pictures with fans. Here, Bubbles posed with a picture of Michael.

They ate together and went on tour together. This YouTube video shows the two during a press conference in Japan.

But eventually, when Bubbles got too big and strong, he was returned to animal trainer Dunn, where he lived until four years ago. That Jackson couldn`t keep him is a perfect example, Ragan says, why chimps should never be pets. They get too strong.

RAGAN: This is one of the most successful and wealthy individuals at the time he has Bubbles. And it was not even appropriate for him to keep Bubbles after a certain age.

ZARRELLA: Jackson never came to visit Bubbles. But if he had -

RAGAN: Most chimps recognize their former owners and they get very excited to see them. And I am sure he would have recognized him.

ZARRELLA (on camera): He would have gotten pretty excited with Michael?

RAGAN: Yes, certainly.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): They might even have moonwalked together for old times` sake.


HAMMER: That was CNN`s John Zarrella for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Bubbles Hammer in New York.