Return to Transcripts main page

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Was Michael Jackson Getting Drugs Intravenously?; Michael Jackson`s Secret Hiding Place at Neverland; Should Michael Be Buried at Neverland?; The Many Faces of Michael Jackson; Brad Pitt for Mayor?

Aired July 3, 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 SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, a shocking exclusive about Michael Jackson`s possible drug use. Tonight, the dramatic new developments. Did Michael have a full-time anesthesiologist, was he getting powerful drugs intravenously?

Plus, the startling, brand-new plan for Michael Jackson`s memorial. But could it become too dangerous.

Brand-new Neverland controversies. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with an incredible exclusive walk through Michael Jackson`s Neverland Ranch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s been a lot of talk about this closet. It is massive. And in the corner of it is a secret compartment, a secret little area.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Tonight, did Michael have a secret hiding place in Neverland? SHOWBIZ investigates.

Plus, Brad Pitt for mayor? Tonight, is Brad getting ready to run for mayor of New Orleans?

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

(MUSIC PLAYING)

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

And tonight, two big Michael Jackson drug shockers. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT now bringing you huge developments that broke today in the investigation into Jackson`s death. A powerful drug that some suspect could have something to do with Jackson`s death was reportedly found in the house where he died.

That startling news breaking this afternoon comes on the heels of an explosive CNN exclusive report that Jackson used to travel with a so-called mini clinic and a doctor who would give him anesthesia.

All this on the same that new details were finally revealed about the incredible memorial planned for Jackson in Los Angeles next week. From the memorial to the drug, this is all making big news right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): Everyone from the cops, the feds, and now California state officials looking for answers in the death of Michael Jackson. Now, there`s word of a possible bombshell clue.

ALICIA QUARLES, ASSOCIATED PRESS: This is just stunning.

HAMMER: The Associated Press reported today that Los Angeles police who searched Michael Jackson`s rented house found Diprivan, a super-powerful sedative that doctors say can be dangerous, even deadly if abused.

KATHLEEN LONDON, FAMILY PRACTICE DOCTOR: It also lowers your heart rate and absolutely especially combined with other medications can cause cardiac arrest.

HAMMER: Jackson died last Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you today`s explosive reported discovery comes as more disturbing details emerge about his suspected reliance on powerful prescription drugs.

In a disturbing new report, sources tell CNN that during Jackson`s "History" tour in the mid-1990s, the pop star actually traveled with a so- called mini clinic, complete with an IV pole and electronic monitoring equipment.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: When the source asked Jackson about all this equipment, he just said he needed sleep.

HAMMER: CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta broke this exclusive story on CNN`s "Anderson Cooper 360." Dr. Gupta reports that sources tell him Jackson even traveled with an anesthesiologist, Dr. Neil Ratner.

GUPTA: Sources say that Ratner would keep the equipment in his hotel room which would be next to Jackson`s. And he would use that for monitoring Jackson`s vital signs when he was a sleep or under, as the source put it.

HAMMER: Dr. Gupta tried to talk to Dr. Ratner outside his home.

DR. NEIL RATNER, ANESTHESIOLOGIST: I can`t talk about it right now. It`s really something I don`t want to talk about right now. I lost a friend and I feel very badly about that.

HAMMER: These latest disturbing claims come days after a nurse practitioner, who used to work for Michael Jackson, told CNN that Jackson begged her to get him Diprivan this past April, the very sedative that police reportedly just found in his house.

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. I want this medication to sleep."

HAMMER: The company that makes Diprivan tells CNN its product is safe. And, quote, "is neither indicated nor approved for use as a sleep aid." And Diprivan is usually found in IVs in operating rooms, not in private homes like Jackson`s.

QUARLES: This is not an over-the-counter type of drug. This is a very, very serious sedative.

HAMMER: Authorities are already swarming over the Jackson drug question. Los Angeles Police have asked the Drug Enforcement Administration for help. And just today, the office of California Attorney General Jerry Brown confirmed to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT they`ve also gotten involved in the Michael Jackson death investigation.

QUARLES: Everybody wants to know what happened to Michael Jackson. Finding Diprivan in his home could be a huge clue.

HAMMER: As authorities investigate, today, we finally learn details about next Tuesday`s public memorial for Michael Jackson in Los Angeles at the 20,000-seat Staples Center -

(MUSIC PLAYING)

The very same arena where Michael Jackson performed for the last time during a rehearsal for his planned concerts just two days before he died.

QUARLES: 17,500 tickets are being given away for free for the Michael Jackson memorial. 11,000 of those are going to be in the Staples Center, the primary area. And then, the rest of the tickets are going to be for the Nokia Theater which is right across the street from the Staples Center.

HAMMER: Tickets will be given away as part of a random online auction. And L.A. cops say they won`t allow anyone without a ticket anywhere near the Staples Center. At a news conference today, city officials begged those who don`t have tickets to stay at home.

EARL PAYSINGER, LAPD ASSISTANT POLICE CHIEF: Take advantage of the TV broadcast, the Internet feed -

HAMMER: But Alicia Quarles of the Associated Press tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she doesn`t expect legions of grieving fans to stay away from his memorial.

QUARLES: Michael Jackson`s fans are hard core. These are the same people flew in from around the world to go to Neverland when they thought it was going to be there. The same people that have been camped outside the Jackson family Encino home in tears every day.

These people are dedicated. If they think there`s a memorial and they can get access to it, they`re going to come, rain or shine.

HAMMER: But whether people watch it in person, on TV or online, Jackson`s public good-bye could potentially be as big as Princess Diana`s or Pope John Paul II`s. One wouldn`t expect anything less for the King of Pop.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Well, of course, we`re not going to know Michael Jackson`s official cause of death before the memorial. But this news that the powerful sedative Diprivan was found in the house where he died does provide some disturbing clues.

Also making big news right now, the battle over Jackson`s kids. And brand-new signs that Michael`s ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of Jackson`s two oldest kids, may actually fight Michael`s mother for custody.

Joining me tonight in New York is Jean Casarez who is a legal correspondent for "In Session." From Hollywood tonight, the hard-working Carlos Diaz, who is a correspondent for "Extra."

Guys, what a bombshell revelation. Carlos, all signs really do seem to be pointing to a link between Diprivan and Jackson`s death. We can`t ignore it.

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": That`s the big question and what caused the cardiac arrest. And if Diprivan is the smoking gun, now, the next step is who provided Michael Jackson with that smoking gun? What doctor prescribed it? How did he get the Diprivan?

And that`s why you have the DEA coming in. You have the attorney general coming in. You have all these different people getting involved in this because they`re going to do a thorough investigation just to find out how Michael Jackson got hold of this Diprivan.

HAMMER: Yes. We`ve got the police. You`ve got the Drug Enforcement agents and as you mentioned, the California state attorney general. They`re all probing the cause of Jackson`s death.

Jean Casarez, this is your specialty. Would it really be any surprise to you at all if what is now being termed a death investigation does in fact turn into a criminal investigation?

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Oh, no question. Here`s what`s so serious about this. This is a drug that you can only get intravenously, through an IV. So it`s not like you go to a drugstore and you have a prescription and you get it.

This is something that probably has to be procured in a hospital or through any other outlet by a physician, administered by a physician, a physician that knows much more than a layperson. So I`m thinking criminal charges when I say all these things right here.

HAMMER: Let`s move on to another big bombshell that`s making big news right now. Debbie Rowe possibly fighting for custody of the two kids that she had with Michael Jackson. Everybody`s wondering if this was going to happen.

Well, first, she told KNBC TV`s Chuck Henry in a telephone interview that she will fight for custody. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK HENRY, KNBC TV ANCHOR: She made it perfectly clear that she wants the children. She said, "You know, Michael and I had an agreement. But he broke the agreement. He died."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, Debbie Rowe`s attorney confirms that Rowe said that she will fight for the kids. But on the other hand, in a telephone news conference, he also said Debbie hasn`t made up her mind yet. Listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ERIC GEORGE, ATTORNEY FOR DEBBIE ROWE (through telephone): I have no reason to doubt that what was reported from that conversation was accurately and ethically reported. But that said, it would be a distortion of the truth to allow that single snapshot of a single conversation to stand as the truth of Debbie`s sense on these sensitive matters. So once again, the truth is that Debbie has not reached a final decision concerning the pending custody proceedings.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: It`s having an impact, because after Rowe`s comments, the judge did delay a custody hearing that was set for Monday to decide if Michael Jackson`s mother, Katherine, will, in fact, remain the temporary guardian of the kids.

Jean, back to you on this. If Debbie Rowe does decide to go for this, what do you think? Does she have a chance?

CASAREZ: Oh, she definitely has a chance because she still retains her parental rights. It`s so fascinating - there`s a little bit of history. She filed a motion to voluntarily give up her parental rights.

In 2004, it was found that because the children didn`t have an attorney to determine what was in their best interest, she actually retained them. So that is why she now has a right to go forward, and I think she probably will.

HAMMER: And when you are the birth mother, from everything I`ve come to understand, Jean, in California, you`re first in line.

CASAREZ: That is true. If you don`t have parental rights anymore, however, if you have given them up, then that`s a different story. So I think the critical issue is she still has them.

HAMMER: Well, in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, our viewers are sounding off. We`re asking on air and online, Michael Jackson`s kids, should Debbie Rowe get custody?

Carlos, a lot of people have been writing to us and saying, absolutely not. Katherine Jackson is the woman who the kids are closest with. She`s been a big part of their lives and she was very close with Michael. What`s your gut on this? Do you think she is going to make a run for custody of those kids?

DIAZ: Why shouldn`t she? From a very negative standpoint, she can get some money out of it - hush money, if you will, you know, if the family wants her just to go away. I mean, she got that from Michael to begin with.

But let me make one point perfectly clear, if the kids go to Debbie Rowe, they will be split up because Prince Michael I and Paris will go to Debbie Rowe, and then Blanket will stay with Katherine. And you`ve got to worry about the mystery mom coming out of the woodwork for that one. But if you think Debbie Rowe should get the kids, then you`re in favor of splitting up the three kids.

HAMMER: Yes, which should be just so completely unfortunate. Jean Casarez, do you have a gut on this? I know you`ve seen lots of custody cases before - nothing quite like this. Do you think she`ll make a run for it?

CASAREZ: Well, I think, you know, she very well may, because I believe her attorney was going to be at the hearing, so that shows an intent right there.

But if you look at the Court of Appeals` decision how she gave up her parental rights. There was no visitation. She said she wanted to have nothing to do with the children because Michael was such a good father, that`s going to be considered by the court.

HAMMER: Jean Casarez, Carlos Diaz, I thank you both. Well, tonight, I`ve got an incredible exclusive walk through Michael Jackson`s Neverland Ranch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s been a lot of talk about this closet. It is massive. And in the corner of it is a secret compartment or secret little area.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Did Michael have a secret hiding place in Neverland? SHOWBIZ investigates. Plus, other Neverland controversies. Should Michael be buried there and should the Jackson family make Neverland open to the public?

Also tonight, a SHOWBIZ special report, the many faces of Michael Jackson. Michael did change a lot of things - music, dance, fashion. But of course, the biggest change of all was his own shocking transformation - the plastic surgeries, his bizarre behavior. Tonight, it`s a revealing look at the many faces of Michael.

Plus, ladies and gentlemen, meet the next mayor of New Orleans? Brad Pitt? Tonight, is Brad really getting ready to run for mayor? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: Michael Jackson`s final rehearsals could end up as a live album, movie or on pay-per-view. Gov. Sarah Palin wins "Sitting Duck" award, given to the most ridiculed newsmaker in U.S.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: I want you to take a look at these remarkable pictures and tributes at Michael Jackson`s boyhood home in Gary, Indiana. These were taken by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s own Lauren Mickler(ph). Lauren is in Gary.

Lauren reports to us that more than a week after Michael`s death, the fans are still coming by the home to pay tribute to Michael. A cousin of the Jackson`s is taking care of the home where Michael grew up. It is located at the corner of Jackson Family Blvd. and Jackson St. And Gary is about 40 minutes southeast of Chicago. Thanks so much for those, Lauren. Appreciate that.

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

Jackson`s childhood home doesn`t even begin to compare to the infamous estate we all know as Neverland. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT taking you inside Neverland to one of its most iconic spots, the train station.

Now, this is an enormous property. It`s 2,500 acres. So obviously, the train, the fastest way to get from one end to the other. Well, on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE," Michael Jackson`s close friend, Miko Brando, joined CNN`s Ted Rowlands for a rare glimpse at Neverland`s train station.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One of the most memorable images of Neverland Ranch, if you`ve seen video out of here, you see it`s sort of like the Disneyland train station in that they have the flowers and the clock.

And it`s really a gorgeous part of the Neverland Ranch compound. And Miko, you`ve spent a lot of time up here. This place is so big, that obviously, this isn`t just for decoration. This train station was a real train station with a real train.

MIKO BRANDO, MICHAEL JACKSON`S CLOSE FRIEND: Real steam engine train, a large one. He used it for years to get from the residence up to the theater and the zoo.

ROWLANDS: Which is about a quarter mile away. Above this fireplace, Miko, was a tribute to Katherine.

BRANDO: There was a plaque that he had made for his mother because he named the train after his mother, the Katherine.

ROWLANDS: So the train was actually called Katherine?

BRANDO: Yes.

ROWLANDS: A lot of people would come up here just to hang out. You were telling earlier because, of course - there are around the entire compound -

BRANDO: Before you reach the train, you`d stop here and have your cappuccino if you want, ice cream, candy, candy apples - all the candy you could think of, before you ride a train over to the theater.

ROWLANDS: And here, people would hang out and sit here and watch these monitors. They have - basically, Michael would put on videos on each of the monitors.

BRANDO: Right. He`d put videos of cartoons, whoever wanted could sit here and watch them on all these screens. You`d sit here and eat your candy, all the sweets you`d want. And the kids would just hang out here and watch videos all night long.

ROWLANDS: And this is just a minuscule part, obviously, of the compound here. One small portion of it where people would come and hang out, the outside. Here`s where the train would come through, Miko, and the marks, you say, sort of show how much it was used.

BRANDO: Correct. That shows you how much steam went through underneath there. And every time you`d blow the whistle, that would have the effect on the brick right there.

HAMMER: That is just wild. That was CNN`s Ted Rowlands reporting from Neverland Ranch for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Well, even with all the Michael Jackson controversies, past and present, we`re getting a ton of calls into "Showbiz on Call." People are very passionate about remembering Michael for his music.

We got a call into "Showbiz on Call" from Erica and she`s upset there`s so much talk about Michael`s money.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ERICA, CALLER: I just wanted to comment on how disturbing I think it is that everybody`s making money off of this guy. He was a great, great man and I think he should be remembered for far more than what, you know - how much money he`s worth and how much money his items are going to be worth now that he`s passed.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Thank you, Erica. We also heard from Alita calling into "Showbiz on Call" from Minnesota. Alita wants us to all to remember that no matter what Michael died of, we should not lose how sight of how big a loss this is.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ALITA, CALLER FROM MINNESOTA: We need to quit worrying about the who, what, when, where and why of Michael Jackson death and just focus on the fact that we lost a great piece of American culture. Some stars shine so brightly and powerfully that they fade way too quickly. We should consider ourselves lucky to have even seen that star shine at all.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Thank you, Alita. You call us at "Showbiz on Call" with your thoughts about Michael Jackson or anything at all. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are open all the time. Here`s the number - 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; that`s 1-888-728-2899. Leave us a voicemail. We`ll play some of your calls here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And your calls to "Showbiz on Call" also now on online on our homepage, CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

Well, we just showed you one of the incredible parts of Michael Jackson`s Neverland Ranch, his much talked-about train. But did Michael Jackson really have a secret room inside Neverland? We`ve got another walk through Neverland, coming up. It is amazing. More mysteries of Michael`s home.

Plus, Neverland controversies. Should Michael actually be buried there? And should Neverland become like Elvis` Graceland and be open to the public?

Also, I`ve got to tell you, I think what Brad Pitt`s done for New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina has just been remarkable, building homes, donating money. But will Brad kiss babies? Is he going to balance budgets? Will the biggest male star on the planet actually run for the mayor of New Orleans?

We have also got this -

JEANNE MOOS: Check out the canoodling cops. He was the 57-year-old chief of police. She is a 30-year-old officer in Perry Township, Ohio. Both are married but not to each other.

HAMMER: Busted. The cops caught kissing on a dash cam. I`ve got to say, naughty, naughty. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: More women than men are fans of Michael Jackson. Classic Atari video game, "Asteroids," may be made into a movie.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Now, caught on tape, the Ohio cops caught kissing on a dash cam. Hey, maybe they were listening to this song and just got carried away.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Ah, yes. Meatloaf`s "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." I actually do that song in karaoke. Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos with "Paradise by the Dash Cam Light" for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We`ve seen lots of weird dash cam video, like the grandma driving the wrong way on an expressway to a leaping deer.

But oh, my dear, check out the canoodling cops. He was a 57-year-old chief of police. She is a 30-year-old officer in Perry Township, Ohio. Both are married but not to each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) like that? He`s a moron.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he wanted to mess around, why didn`t he go someplace off duty?

MOOS: The pair were transporting a prisoner. Officer Janine England kept checking to make sure he was asleep in the backseat. When the video surfaced, Chief Tim Escola resigned and apologized. His attorney made no excuses.

CRAIG CONLEY, POLICE CHIEF`S ATTORNEY: There`s no way in hell I can say with a straight face that this conduct was acceptable. It`s not acceptable.

MOOS: But at least the chief kept the car under control. Unlike Charlie Sheen being chased police in "The Chase."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell is he serving all over for?

MOOS: "The Chase" almost makes the chief seem chaste.

(on camera): Now, there`s usually a little red light on the dash cam. It shows up when it`s operational. Now, in this case, the red light wasn`t on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And apparently the light has been tampered with.

MOOS (voice-over): The former chief`s attorney believes another officer with an ax to grind turned in the chief after allegedly extorting him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Resigned right away (UNINTELLIGIBLE) disappeared.

MOOS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) female officer wasn`t disciplined under the theory that her superior should know better. The town`s trustees say he was a great police chief. As for the kissy face -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no sexual conduct of which I can - I`m getting kind of old to remember sexual conduct. But from what I remember of it, I don`t see it on that tape.

MOOS: At least they didn`t Taser anyone. The only thing these two (UNINTELLIGIBLE) was each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you get my age, sexual foreplay is five hours of begging.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Well, you know, what they say, loose lips sink ships and careers in this case. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Now, the SHOWBIZ lineup. This is what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Neverland controversy. Should Michael be buried at his beloved home? Also, did Michael Jackson have a secret room at Neverland? Well, we`re going to take you inside Neverland for an amazing, exclusive walk-through.

And Mayor Pitt? Is Brad Pitt really getting ready to run for mayor of New Orleans? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

It`s time now for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Hundreds of Michael Jackson fans hold moonwalk tribute in Johannesburg. "American Idol" tour kicks off this Sunday in Portland, Oregon.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, an exclusive look inside Michael Jackson`s Neverland Ranch. Tonight, did Michael Jackson really have a secret room there?

Plus, new Neverland controversies, should Michael be buried there?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He stopped being a curiosity and he started being a freak.

HAMMER: A SHOWBIZ special report - the many faces of Michael Jackson. Tonight, why the King of Pop became the king of plastic surgery. The surprising link between Jackson`s emotional demons and the shocking transformation to his face.

And Brad Pitt for mayor? Is Brad getting ready to run for mayor of New Orleans?

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

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

(MUSIC PLAYING)

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.

Tonight, inside Michael`s Neverland. Michael Jackson`s Neverland Ranch is certainly a huge part of his identity and of course part of the tragic story of his life.

Tonight, we have a brand-new look inside the infamous ranch, what was Michael`s home really like? What does the ranch look like now? And why did Jackson decide to buy it?

Also, should Michael Jackson`s body be buried at Neverland or should it be turned into a massive public memorial, kind of like Graceland? Well, our "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are on fire over this one.

Joining me tonight in New York, Jean Casarez who is a legal correspondent for "In Session." And tonight in Hollywood is Carlos Diaz, who is a correspondent for "Extra."

So guys, tonight, we have a brand-new, behind-the-scenes look at Neverland Ranch, the place so many associate with Jackson`s life. The good stuff and of course all of the troubles due to the child molestation charges brought against him in 2005. His financial problems.

Well, on "LARRY KING LIVE," CNN`s Ted Rowlands was right there with Jackson`s dear friend, Miko Brando. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: And this is a good indication of what the entire house - a 13,000 plus square foot house is like. There`s a lot of wood. It is just absolutely gorgeous as you could see.

And Miko, our tour guide here, one of the things you see around here is the Sycamore logo. Because Michael Jackson bought this pretty much intact, in terms of the main house.

BRANDO: Correct. Correct. Yes. This was the logo of the previous owner. It was called the Sycamore Valley Ranch. So all over the property, you see these little sycamore trees.

ROWLANDS: And you say that Michael first stayed here when he was working on a video with Paul McCartney. He just came here and was basically put here. And you say he couldn`t get it out of his mind?

BRANDO: Correct. He stayed here when he was doing the "Say, Say, Say" video. And he enjoyed it. He liked it. He wanted to buy the property. Then we went on tour. And during our tour of `88, the "Bad" tour, he had bought the property and said, "Hey, Miko. Is that the ranch?"

ROWLANDS: The ranch. This room is what?

BRANDO: This is the living room. Piano used to be over here with a bunch of photos on the piano. A castle he had built sitting over here. Living room chairs, furniture, sofa, the TV on the wall. He had a beautiful marble front here in front of the fireplace. He had the Oscar that he got that was standing on the right side of the fireplace.

ROWLANDS: The Oscar from -

BRANDO: From "Gone With The Wind".

ROWLANDS: "Gone With The Wind" that he apparently paid $1 million for.

BRANDO: Yes, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Really, it`s quite a place and so interesting to go inside and see exactly what it`s like. But it is so striking how empty Neverland now is. No furniture, of course. There are no animals in the zoo. No train. No amusement park anymore.

Carlos Diaz, off to you first. Isn`t it just incredible how Neverland really is a shell of what it once was?

DIAZ: Or even a microcosm of Michael Jackson`s career. I mean, he first saw it when he was doing "Say, Say, Say," which was, you know, one of the first really, really big videos that he did.

And then, you know, he bought it during "Bad" which was near the height of his career. And then after, you know, the whole thing came down about the child molestation charges, Michael said he never wanted to go back. So it`s kind of - the rise and fall of Neverland kind of went exactly with the rise and fall of Michael Jackson.

HAMMER: Yes. It really is. And it`s amazing as they were walking through there, and I watched the whole thing play out. You don`t feel the energy at all that must have been there in the time that Michael Jackson and all the furnishings were there.

And of course, since Michael Jackson died, there has been incredible confusion and a lot of fighting going on between family members over whether Michael should actually be buried at Neverland.

And the debate rages on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, because this is what we asked on-air and online - "Michael Jackson: Should he be buried at Neverland?" 59 percent think he should be. 41 percent don`t think so.

Jean Casarez, we know the state of California does not allow bodies to be buried outside of cemeteries. But do you think they should or could make an exception in this case?

CASAREZ: Oh, I think the legislature can always change the law. There can always be an exception. He could be buried someplace else and then moved to Neverland. But I think -what`s the intent of Michael Jackson? His intent was not in the will.

We don`t think the intent would be in the trust document. He made the interview, as Carlos said, that it would never be a home for him again. Did he say anything to those around where he would want to be buried? I think that`s what`s important.

HAMMER: And so many people are sounding off on this. A lot of passionate calls coming into "Showbiz on Call" over it. Crystal from Arizona called us and Crystal says Michael Jackson should absolutely not be buried at Neverland. Listen to what she says.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CRYSTAL CALLER FROM ARIZONA: I don`t think special permits should be pulled and the governor involved for the burial of Michael Jackson at Neverland. This is just ridiculous. California is in a deep state of recession.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Thanks, Crystal. We appreciate your call. Obviously, Crystal doesn`t want the government getting involved there.

We also got a call I want to play to you from Jennifer in Indiana who says, of course, Michael Jackson should be buried at Neverland. Listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JENNIFER, CALLER FROM INDIANA: I just want to say I think that the Neverland Ranch ought to be restored to its original condition as it was when Michael Jackson had it. And I do believe he should be buried there.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, what do you think, Carlos? Should Jackson be buried at Neverland?

DIAZ: Jennifer`s opinion proves that people in Indiana are the smartest people on the planet because I agree with her being a fellow hoosier.

Michael Jackson should be buried at Neverland. They should restore it the way it was. I know it`s a controversial thing to say. But Michael Jackson had a vision of what Neverland should be. And wouldn`t that vision be fulfilled in the biggest way putting his body there and also having all the things he wanted back to the way they were?

And also, there`s no way you`re going to have Michael Jackson at a public cemetery without security 24/7.

HAMMER: Yes. That`s a good point. But let`s not forget after he was acquitted in his child molestation trial back in 2005, Michael Jackson swore he would never go back to Neverland as his full-time home. In fact, his brother Jermaine told Matt Lauer in the "Today" show Neverland wasn`t his home at the end of his life. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: He felt that they sort of invaded his privacy, a place that was so beautiful. They wanted to turn it into something so ugly.

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: And yet, the way it was portrayed, Jermaine, as you know, was this was more of a lure for children.

J. JACKSON: No -

LAUER: A haven for children.

J. JACKSON: You know, those people who don`t want to see someone - they weren`t ready for Michael.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: You know, I love Carlos` idea of restoring it to what it once was in its grandeur before all the allegations against Michael Jackson. But let`s face it - there is a lot of negative association with Neverland.

Jean, what do you think? Given that negative association, do you think it would be a bad idea?

CASAREZ: I`m sure at Neverland, they wouldn`t go into those negative allegations. But would that promote a museum across the street denoting otherwise? I just think, what did Michael Jackson want? Time heals all, so maybe he, in the recent years, had a love for Neverland. It`s sort of a perfect situation. Graceland, Neverland - I mean, it`s ironic the names are so similar.

HAMMER: Yes. And going back to your point, Carlos, the bottom line is, no matter where the family decides to bury Jackson`s body, it`s going to be a huge tourist attraction. It doesn`t matter where it happens.

And obviously, that could turn into a huge headache. When Elvis Presley died, major security issues at his grave site. You have the unruly paparazzi and drunken fans trespassing. All this was going on all the time. So the family moved his body to Graceland and turned the estate into a permanent memorial.

So you think, Carlos, that would be a great idea? Do the same with Neverland even if Jackson`s body isn`t buried there, perhaps?

DIAZ: No, I honestly think that that`s going to be the real reason you do this whole thing with Neverland because of Jackson`s body. You`re going to have to have a security team out 24 hours a day guarding this body or have security cameras on this body 24 hours a day because there will be fans there all the time.

We`re going to see it on Tuesday at Staples, the thousands of fans who are going to be there. You need to get his body at Neverland so that way, it`s a proper burial for Michael Jackson, where he wants to be.

HAMMER: And can you imagine the service? They bring the train back and all. I can kind of see it now. Jean Casarez, Carlos Diaz, thanks, guys. I appreciate it.

Now, on to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. There is talk that the biological mother of two of Michael Jackson`s kids may actually fight for custody. So "Michael Jackson`s Kids: Should Debbie Rowe get custody?"

Pretty controversial. Let us know what you think at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. You can also E-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

I`ve got to say, I really find Michael Jackson`s Neverland just fascinating. But is it true Jackson actually had a secret room at the ranch?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: There`s been a lot of talk about this closet. It is massive. And in the corner of it is a secret compartment or a secret little area.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Did Michael really have a secret room? What was it for? And what was hidden behind that lock and key? Coming up, a closer look at the secret Neverland mystery.

And a SHOWBIZ special report, the many faces of Michael Jackson. He was the most recognizable face in pop music, of course. But between his bizarre behavior and the stunning transformation of his famous face, you know, he left a lot of people and fans scratching their heads. Tonight, we`ll show you the story behind Michael Jackson`s plastic surgery.

And why Brad Pitt could actually become the new mayor of New Orleans? I am not kidding you about this. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson`s doctor, will not attend his memorial. Gary Coleman`s wife arrested after argument at their Utah home.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Tonight, Ryan White`s mother remembers Michael Jackson. In the early `80s, Ryan White became the face of the AIDS crisis when he was diagnosed with the disease after a tainted blood transfusion at just 13 years old.

Well, Michael took Ryan under his wing the two became fast friends. When Ryan died in 1990 at just 18 years old, Jackson dedicated the song "Gone Too Soon" to him and even featured him in the music video.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Well, on the "Early Show" this morning, Ryan White`s mother, Jeanne White-Ginder remembered the moment that Michael asked her if he could make the video about Ryan. .

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ, CO-HOST, "THE EARLY SHOW": What do you feel when you look at that, Jeanne?

JEANNE WHITE-GINDER, RYAN WHITE`S MOTHER: That promise that was kept - three days after Ryan`s funeral, Michael called me and asked me how I was doing. And I said, "Michael, what made you and Ryan so close?" And she said, "You know, Jeanne, most people can`t get over the awe of who I am. So nobody ever acts normal around me." He said, "Ryan knew how I wanted to be treated because that`s how he wanted to be treated." He said, "Trust, Jeanne. I can`t trust anyone because everyone always wants something from me."

And then he said, "Jeanne, I promised Ryan he could be in my next video. But now that he`s gone, he said, "I can`t put him in my video but could I do a video for him?" And I was like, "That`s unbelievable that you would do a video." And he did the video called "Gone Too Soon," that`s a memory that will stay forever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: What a touching story. Ryan`s mom said that Ryan and Michael`s mutual respect for one another is what made them such good friends.

Well, now we move on to the many faces of Michael. Michael Jackson changed what it meant to be a star, really in every way. He changed music. He changed dance. He even of course changed fashion. But probably the biggest change was all the shocking transformation of his appearance.

His countless plastic surgeries really made him unrecognizable from the fresh-faced star who first skyrocketed to the top. And then there was a skin condition that left a lot of people wondering what really happened to Michael. And his physical transformation - that was literally just the surface of the emotional rollercoaster that he lived.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): LEMON: By 1985, the pop star began looking different. People were talking about his plastic surgery.

TOURE, POP CULTURE ANALYST: Every few months you would see him, and you`d go, "Whoa, you`re looking weird, dude." But I think it was about `85, `86, and I was like, wow. He`s not going to be able to get any weirder than this. Then two years later, I was like, I was wrong.

LEMON: Family members came to Jackson`s defense.

J. JACKSON: You know, you have to say to yourself, who hasn`t? I mean, his -

KING: Yes, but -

JERMAINE JACKSON: His whole thing is, if there`s something that you feel that you want to change, and then you do that. There are many people in the past who have done many things to themselves and they`re not talked about like my brother is.

LEMON: In 1986, a photograph of Michael asleep in an anti-aging chamber rocked the tabloids. In 1987, his interest in the elephant man`s bones, Bubbles the chimp, Liz Taylor, and an array of strange disguises set tongues wagging.

PETER CASTRO, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, "PEOPLE MAGAZINE": He just wanted to give the world the impression that he was like this mysterious, kind of enigmatic figure. His mistake is that he took it way too far, so that he stopped being a curiosity, and he started being a freak.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

LEMON: Jackson`s follow-up to "Thriller" hit stores in 1987.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Simply titled "Bad." The pop star`s eccentric behavior hardly deterred the album`s record-breaking five number ones. Spawning iconic music videos and a sold-out world tour, "Bad" went on to sell 8 million copies, and Jackson went on to change his image once again.

Taking a cue from "Bad`s" title, he became a crotch-grabbing tough guy, a far cry from his gentle, offstage personae.

And yet the money kept rolling in. In March, 1988, Jackson finalized the purchase of a 2,600 acre ranch. The cost - $19 million. He filled the property with an amusement park, a private zoo, and dubbed the oasis Neverland.

JOHN NORRIS, MTV CORRESPONDENT: There`s a reason it`s called "Neverland Valley," you know. His fixation on the "I won`t grow up, I`m a lost boy, I`m Peter Pan."

LEMON: And with Neverland came the children.

J. RANDY TARABORELLI, BIOGRAPHER: Michael began to sort of surround himself with young boys, and much to, I remember, the chagrin of people who were working for him.

LEMON: Three years later, in the fall of 1991, "Dangerous" was released. Long-awaited, the buzz was big. As a result, its lead single "Black or White" shot to number one.

Coincidentally, fans were wondering about Michael`s much lighter skin tone, from black to white. Why? Jackson told Oprah he suffered from a rare skin disease.

CASTRO: If you believe the fact that he, you know, that he has this congenital skin condition and that`s why he`s so white, then fine. But a lot of people think that he has bleached his skin. With Michael Jackson, you never know what the truth is.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: That was the truth. And that was CNN`s Don Lemon for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And this weekend, be sure to join us 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. Also at a special time, 6:00 p.m. Eastern, 3:00 p.m. Pacific.

Did Michael Jackson really have a secret room at the Neverland Ranch? Well, the answer is, yes. Inside of one of Jackson`s custom-built walk-in closets at the Neverland ranch was this tiny room. It was hidden behind a secret door. The door has three locks on the outside.

And on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE," reporter Ted Rowlands took a closer look with Jackson`s friend Miko Brando who talked about why Jackson had a secret room.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: There`s been a lot of talk about this closet. It is massive. And in the corner of it is a secret compartment or a secret little area. And Miko, you said that this was sort of a safe room, just in case.

BRANDO: Yes, this was just some place, you know, in case something ever happened. It will be where he would go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, some reports say that Jackson used the room to store valuable memorabilia.

Well, I`ve got to tell you I think Brad Pitt has done a phenomenal job helping out in rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. But do you think he should he run for mayor?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): "Brad Pitt for Mayor" t-shirts are the hot ticket in town.

(on camera): I`ll take a "Brad Pitt for Mayor" t-shirt, please?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Could it be, Brad Pitt running for office? Hey, why not? You know, it worked for Arnold Schwarzenegger, even Al Franken. Tonight, why Brad Pitt could be next. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: CNN Poll: More Democrats than Republicans are fans of Michael Jackson. Madonna to pay tribute to Michael Jackson in London concert on Saturday.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Well, tonight, Brad Pitt for mayor of New Orleans? The Hollywood do-gooder really has done so much for the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina that a lot of people think he should now be mayor.

He certainly would be the first Hollywood star to make the transition from A-lister to politician. You know, maybe he could follow the lead of the "governator," Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Here`s CNN affiliate WDSU Rachel Wolf for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll take a "Brad Pitt for Mayor" t-shirt, please.

RACHEL WOLF, WDSU CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Storyville T-Shirt Shop along Magazine is creating a story of its own.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Totally cute. I`m really excited about my "Brad Pitt for Mayor" t-shirt.

WOLF: "Brad Pitt for Mayor" t-shirts are the hot ticket in town. A Tulane professor started the idea this spring.

JOSH HARVEY, STORYVILLE OWNER: The professor comes by and wore this homemade t-shirt that said, "Brad Pitt for Mayor." He wore it around Jazz Fest. So he came into our shop and said, "You know what? You guys should make this t-shirt because we could really start a movement."

WOLF: So they started making the t-shirts and before long, they were making headlines.

HARVEY: It was in a British newspaper, and then also there was an Indian paper. And it`s was all over the world. And Chris Rose of "The Times Picayune" picked up on it and wrote about the international story which made it a big local story."

WOLF: It`s now drawing thousands of hits on Facebook and Twitter. What started off as a crazy idea is getting crazy response, especially now.

HARVEY: Brad Pitt is someone who`s actually done a lot for the city of New Orleans. The more we thought about it and more people are talking about it, it sounds less and less crazy especially with Gov. Schwarzenegger and with Al Franken about to be sworn in as U.S. senator from Minnesota.

WOLF: The residency issue could be a problem, but not if the city charter were changed. Besides, "Who cares?" say fans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He looks good on a t-shirt.

WOLF: Supporting the cause is half the fun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s very unique. Unusual souvenir. I was definitely not expecting to buy one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: I think it`s a great idea. I don`t think he`ll do it. Still a great idea. That was CNN affiliate WDSU`s Rachel Wolf for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

So on Thursday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Michael Jackson: Should he be buried at Neverland Ranch." A lot of controversy over this one - 59 percent of you say yes; 41 percent no.

Let me read a couple of E-mails. Here`s what Cathy from Illinois writes, "Absolutely not! After the insidious trial against him, Michael said he would never return to Neverland. So I do not think he would want to be buried there. Let him rest in peace."

And Flo from Ontario, Canada writes, "I think that Michael Jackson`s final resting place should be Neverland. But it`s not about what we want. It`s about where Michael wanted to be." Sadly, that is something we may never know.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks a lot for watching. Have a terrific Fourth of July. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. You can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific and weekday mornings at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on HLN.

END

Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.