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Michael Jackson`s Death, A Homicide?; Custody Hearing for Michael Jackson`s Children Canceled; Jon Gosselin`s New Girlfriend; Levi Johnston`s Brand-New Attack on Sarah Palin

Aired July 13, 2009 - 23:00:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, GUEST HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, body of evidence. Was Michael Jackson`s death a homicide? Tonight, brand-new explosive claims by Michael`s father and his sister. Why Michael`s father insists there was foul play involved. Why Michael`s sister is actually claiming Michael was the victim of a murder conspiracy.

Plus, why was a custody hearing for Jackson`s three kids mysteriously canceled today? Is there a secret deal between Jackson`s mom and Debbie Rowe?

Tonight, Jon Gosselin from "Jon & Kate Plus 8" steps out with his brand-new girlfriend. And get this, she`s just 22 and the daughter of his wife`s plastic surgeon. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the tummy-tuck love triangle.

Plus, Levi Johnston`s new attack on Sarah Palin. Tonight, the unbelievable brand-new interview with the guy who fathered her teenage daughter`s baby. What he says is the real reason Sarah is quitting as governor of Alaska.

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


Hello. I`m Ashleigh Banfield in New York. A.J. Hammer has the night off.

And tonight, body of evidence, specifically Michael Jackson`s body, and whether his death was a homicide. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is bringing you brand- new information breaking today about when we will finally know what killed Jackson and startling new claims by Jackson`s own family.

In a brand-new interview revealed today, Michael`s father, Joe, said he believes that there was what he calls foul play in his son`s death. Jackson`s sister, La Toya, goes even further. In brand-new interviews La Toya says she believes Michael was murdered as part of a conspiracy.

And breaking today, the explosive news that one of the lead investigators into Jackson`s death has just revealed - it`s when we will find out the actual cause of death.

Joining me tonight from Hollywood is Robin Sax who is a former deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County. Also in Hollywood, Pat Lalama, who is an investigative reporter.

All right, guys. I want to begin with the brand-new interview with Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson`s father on ABC`s "Good Morning America" this morning - kind of a bombshell interview. Jackson`s father questions Dr. Conrad Murray, who was with Michael when he died, and also says he believes foul play was involved. Watch this.


JOE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S FATHER: I do believe there was foul play. I do believe that - must have given him something to make him rest. And I`m hearing that his doctor went to sleep or something - I don`t know. And then Michael passed on that situation.

But Michael probably knew him a long time before he was taken to the hospital. And you don`t revive a person in a soft bed. The doctor left. They couldn`t find him for three days or something. That`s what made me believe something is wrong here.


BANFIELD: Well, let`s remember these are just claims right now being made by Joe Jackson. But Pat, given all that`s come out since Michael`s death, do you think most people believe that Michael`s death was suspicious?

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: You know what, Ashleigh? On the one hand, I believe that when people grieve, they look for answers. They even try to attach blame. I think it makes sense that a grieving father might look for those kinds of answers.

Having said that, I believe and I think a lot of people believe, that doctors involved with Michael Jackson abused their medical authority and created such an aura, such an environment of danger to Michael Jackson`s life that led to his death. Did they all get together collectively, sit a room and say, "How can we kill him?" I`m not sure.

BANFIELD: All right, Robin Sax. You used to be the deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, from what we know so far. Is there something here? Is there some foul play or anything suspicious to you?

ROBIN SAX, DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Well, as a prosecutor, we want to look at the words "foul play" not having necessarily legal significance but having an inner significance in what we thing out here in the public, which is different than what we were thinking in the courtroom.

Yes, I agree with what Pat says. It does have an aura and it has a feeling that there was no one in control and that there was something wrong and something amiss and that the doctors should have owed Michael Jackson a standard of care that seemed to have been a major breakdown.

However, is that foul play and a conspiracy from a legal standpoint? I don`t know that I would necessarily see that.

BANFIELD: Well, Joe Jackson is not alone in these suspicions. And Michael`s sister, La Toya, takes it even further. In a brand-new lengthy interview with "The Daily Mail," La Toya is quoted as saying this, "I believe Michael was murdered. I felt that from the start. Not just one person was involved, rather it was a conspiracy of people. He was surrounded by a bad circle. Michael was a very meek, quiet, loving person. People took advantage of that. People fought to be close to him, people who weren`t always on his side. Less than a month ago, I said I thought Michael was going to die before the London shows because he was surrounded by people who didn`t have his best interests at heart."

Wow. Pat Lalama, these are very, very serious allegations. But knowing what we know about Michael`s ever-changing inner circle, does that sound all that far-fetch to you?

LALAMA: Well, you know, I can see her point. But, again, I don`t see doctors together conspiring about how to murder him for his money. I think there was also a quote somewhere about they wanted his money. I just don`t see that happening.

But look at it this way. Imagine someone gets drunk - gets really drunk, gets behind the wheel of a car and plows through a school zone and then ultimately kills some children. They didn`t intend to kill but they created such a hideous environment, a dangerous environment, someone died.

I believe it to be more that, that we`re going to see more realistically something like that happening, that doctors abused their power and it led to his demise but not that they planned it out for money or for other kinds of gain.

BANFIELD: Yes. My friend, I think I read you as reckless homicide in that description right there. The reporter who interviewed La Toya was on the "Today" show this morning and said that La Toya feels really, really strongly about this. Watch what she said.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE "DAILY MAIL" REPORTER: La Toya Jackson told me that she believes 100 percent that her brother Michael was murdered. She feels that he was surrounded by some very shady characters who didn`t have his best interests at heart.


BANFIELD: That was always some pretty big breaking news, too, on this. But is that far-fetched, Robin? What do you think?

SAX: One thing that I think we haven`t heard about recently but we did hear when the news of Michael Jackson`s death first broke was that there was not a call to 911 until 20 or 30 minutes after he was no longer breathing. That coupled with the CPR or the alleged CPR being given on a bed - that starts to make me wonder what was actually going on there.

The conspiracy angle I don`t necessarily buy because I can`t quite wrap my mind around who all the players would have come together with the plan and would have known to set up all the circumstances and the way it happened.

However, I do think that we have a reckless disregard and potentially an intent to kill by not calling 911 right away.

BANFIELD: Interesting. And I keep thinking about the Anna Nicole case and the charges that came out of that. So I`m fascinated by the conspiracy. But there was also other news today about when we`re going to find out how Michael actually died.

One of the lead investigators in the case tells CNN the toxicology report could be released as early as this Friday and certainly by next week. L.A. Police Chief William Bratton, who has said that he`s not ruling out homicide at this point, tells CNN the toxicology report will be a major piece to this puzzle. Watch.


WILLIAM BRATTON, LOS ANGELES CHIEF OF POLICE: We will still await corroboration from the coroner`s office as to the cause of death that is going to be very dependent on the toxicology reports that are due to come back.

And based on those, we`ll have an idea of what it is that we`re dealing with. Are we dealing with homicide? Are we dealing with an accidental overdose? So what are we dealing with?


BANFIELD: Well, Robin Sax, you`ve handled this sort of thing yourself as the deputy district attorney in L.A. Will the results of the toxicology report make it crystal clear to us whether this will become a criminal case?

SAX: Well, it`s certainly going to be one of the major pieces in the puzzle in terms of what exactly was in Michael Jackson`s body at the time of his death and help us to be able to determine what happened in those final hours and final days. That will be the first clue.

Of course, like Chief Bratton said, they`re going to look for corroboration. And we`re going to look at the toxicology and how that matches up to the statements that other people may have made which will help us make a determination whether or not that this is going to be a murder, a manslaughter or something else.

BANFIELD: Well, I`ve got to tell you that in the poll that we took on air and online, we got a huge response when we asked in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Michael Jackson`s Death: Do you think foul play was involved?" And a whopping 70 percent said no. Well, only 30 percent said yes.

I was shocked by this. But Pat, does that surprise you that so many people who voted - and by the way, three times the normal traffic answered on this question. Those people just don`t think there was anything suspicious here.

LALAMA: That shocks me. I have to tell you. I mean, "foul play" is a little bit of a loose term. You know, it`s hard to say what exactly do you mean? Did someone come up and say, "I`m going to kill you, Michael Jackson"? Maybe that`s how they see foul play.

I don`t see how it could not be foul play when you`ve got prescriptions written for many years in other people`s name and clandestine pharmacies were dispensing prescriptions and all kinds of doctors who have all kinds of ulterior motives. That, to me, constitutes foul play. I`m happy with that. So I`m going to say, yes, there was foul play.

BANFIELD: Well, we`re certainly going to continue to watch this. So Pat Lalama and Robin Sax, thank you for your input tonight.

Now we want to hear from you. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Michael Jackson`s Death: Do you think foul play was involved?" You can vote at You can E-mail us at

BANFIELD: The other big Michael Jackson question tonight, who`s going to get custody of those kids - those three kids? There was supposed to be a big custody hearing today and it was mysteriously canceled. What is going on there? And is there a secret deal in the works between Michael`s mom and Debbie Rowe? That`s coming up.

Also, explosive "Jon & Kate Plus 8" news. Well, tonight, I can tell you that Jon`s new girlfriend is the 22-year-old daughter of his wife`s plastic surgeon. Seriously, I`ve got to say, are you kidding me? The daughter of the guy who gave your wife a tummy tuck. Couldn`t you find anybody else to date?

Plus, Levi Johnston`s new attack on Sarah Palin. Tonight, the unbelievable brand-new interview with a guy who fathered her teenage daughter`s baby. What he says is the real reason Sarah`s quitting as governor of Alaska. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: A & E working on reality series about the Jackson family. Talk show host Rachel Ray recovering from vocal cord surgery.)



BANFIELD: Michael Jackson in one of his last rehearsals just days before his shocking death. Those rehearsals were for his 50 concerts in London which were supposed to start today.

Welcome back, everyone, to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Ashleigh Banfield in for A.J. Hammer.

Tonight, the concert that wasn`t. Tonight would have been opening night of Michael Jackson`s much-hyped "This Is It" tour. Jackson fans from all around the world are flocking the London`s O2 arena where the first of 50 concerts was to have taken place. Since Michael`s sudden death, the arena has turned into a tribute spot to the King of Pop.

Joining me tonight from London is CNN correspondent Phil Black.

Well, tonight was supposed to be the first of the 50 concerts Michael was supposed to perform. Thousands of fans expected at the arena for, you know, this impromptu service. And Phil, I`ve got to imagine it has been an emotional scene there.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is. It has been an emotional day. I just want to show you this scene behind me. We`re starting to lose the light here today. People are lighting candles, waving slowly and singing. It`s been a lot of emotion here today.

We`ve seen people openly crying and brought to tears by the sight of a particularly convincing Michael Jackson impersonator. But on the whole, it has also been a pretty joyous affair, a party, lots of singing and dancing. And the people here say this is just as Michael Jackson would have wanted it to be, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Well, we can`t help but look at that final rehearsal footage that shows Michael Jackson dancing and singing. And really, we`ve got to wonder what went wrong just days later when Michael suddenly died. Phil, are the people there talking about what could have been?

BLACK: Indeed, they are, certainly. I mean, most of these people were supposed to be here tonight celebrating the musical comeback of their hero. Instead, they have spent the last three weeks or so mourning his loss.

Tonight, they`re here under very different circumstances to what they had hoped to be. But we`ve been speaking to a lot of people today about what Michael Jackson means to them and about what this night would have meant to them as well. Let`s hear from some of them now.

Tell me why you`re here today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To pay our respects to Michael. It would have been the first of his 50-day tour here at the O2. So for us to be here, we want to share with all the fans what would have been a fantastic night. We know that Michael would have done a fantastic show on that stage.

BLACK: What are your emotions here today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m trying to keep strong because I don`t believe Michael would want us to cry here. I believe he would want us to celebrate, to spread his love, as he used to say. I mean, the man had millions of pounds of charity every year. I think the fans have got to continue that legacy. I think that`s got to be our gift to him, to continue the legacy of his charity work and to make sure the world is made a better place.

BLACK: There are people here that have traveled all the way from the United States who were due to attend this concert, but decided to come here tonight, anyway. But overwhelmingly, the crowd is British and they say they believe British Michael Jackson fans are among the most passionate in the world, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: All right. Well, we did hear the ticket-holders could either keep their tickets as keepsakes or they could get their money back. So Phil, any idea at this point what most people have decided to do? I`ve got about 20 seconds.

BLACK: Yes, there`s a good mix of both. A million tickets or so were sold here. The most passionate fans are certainly saying they`re hanging on to them as souvenirs regardless of the cost. There have been some people going back to get the cash as well, though, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: All right. Well, Phil Black, it looks like you`re in the center of it all. Keep an eye on everything. And thanks very much for the report from there tonight. Phil Black joining us live in London.

Well, one of the biggest Michael Jackson questions out there is this - who will get custody of his kids? We`re getting so many calls into "Showbiz on Call" about reports that Michael may or may not have been the biological dad of Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket and how this might affect the custody battle.

Kelly from Michigan doesn`t think it should matter.


KELLY, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN: I`m calling about Michael Jackson. We need to let him rest in peace. And we need to let his children grieve and overcome this. My heart goes out to his children. As far as finding out who`s the children`s father is, that is totally up to them when they get older if they want to find out who their biological father is. Right now, their daddy was Michael.


BANFIELD: All right. Thank you, Kelly. We also heard from Pinky calling in to "Showbiz on Call" from Ohio. And she feels the same way.


PINKY, CALLER FROM OHIO: I`m calling about the comment on Michael Jackson`s kids. I think it`s nobody` business. Those are his children, just like if you adopted children or if you brought in somebody - a family member`s child and raised them. Those are his kids.

Those are the only - he`s the only father they`ve ever known. That`s the only family they`ve ever known. And I think they should be with their family. And I think this should be a private affair. It`s none of our business. The man had no privacy in life. We should give him at least some privacy in death for his children.


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

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

And also tonight, explosive developments in the battle over Michael Jackson`s kids. There was supposed to be a major custody hearing today, but it mysteriously got canceled. We`re also hearing there might be a secret deal between Jackson`s mom and Debbie Rowe. We are checking it out - all of it. That`s all coming up.

And remember "Jon & Kate Plus 8?" Well, tonight, I can tell you Jon has a brand-new plus one. And this is not just any ordinary girlfriend. She`s 22 and she`s the daughter of Kate`s plastic surgeon - seriously. She`s the daughter of the guy who gave Kate the tummy tuck after she had all those babies. Oh, so wrong. That`s coming up.

And is "American Idol`s" Ryan Seacrest worth $45 million? Hey, remember that other host of "idol" during that first season? His name is Brian Dunkleman. Remember him leaving that show? Worst move ever, dude. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: Neil Patrick Harris confirmed as host of 61st Emmy Awards, to air on September 20th. Sacha Baron Cohen`s "Bruno" tops weekend box office, pulling in $30.4 million.)


BANFIELD: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Ashleigh Banfield, in for A.J. Hammer, with some more stories that are making news right now.

"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest is getting a brand-new big, fat paycheck. He signed a reported deal that will pay him - are you ready - $45 million over three years. That`s going to keep him on the show until 2012.

And get this, he still gets to moonlight on new projects. In addition to "Idol," Seacrest gets to keep his radio show, continue to host red carpet stuff for "E!" and co-host "Rockin` New Year`s Eve" with Dick Clark. Does this guy ever sleep?

Now, what Ryan needs is a super-hot Hollywood girlfriend to take over the world, right? Guess what, Ryan? Tonight, I can tell you that Jessica Simpson is available.

That`s right. "People" magazine reporting that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has dumped Jessica. And not only that, he apparently sacked her the night before her 29th birthday. Dude, please, that`s cruel.

Jessica is reportedly heartbroken over all this. According to her Twitter page, Jessica had planned to throw a Barbie and Ken theme party for her birthday. Yes, that didn`t happen.

But hey, Jess, you`re hot - smoking hot. And I`m sure that plenty of guys out there would absolutely love to date you.

And tonight, your first look at Mel Gibson`s girlfriend`s new music video. Fifty-three-year-old Mel and 39-year-old Oksana Grigorieva have some big things going on later this year. She`s got a debut album coming out on Mel`s label, of course. They`re also expecting a baby. So take a look at the new video from the title track off of Oksana`s album, "Beautiful Heartache."


Somebody grab a fire extinguisher. You know, Mel also directed that video. So I guess it helps to put out your record when your big star boyfriend is behind it. Mel`s wife of 28 years filed for divorce back in April.

And now, the SHOWBIZ lineup - here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Explosive Michael Jackson custody developments. A major hearing canceled. Is there a secret deal in the works between Jackson`s mom and Debbie Rowe?

A new "Jon & Kate Plus 8" shocker. Jon`s new girlfriend is the 22- year-old daughter of his wife`s plastic surgeon. Can you say, uh-oh?

And Levi lashes out at Sarah Palin. The father of Sarah`s teenage daughter`s baby says he knows the real reason why Sarah`s quitting as governor of Alaska. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: Ryan Reynolds cast as lead in upcoming "Green Lantern" movie. "The Hills" star Lauren Conrad`s "L.A. Candy" tops "N.Y. Times" bestsellers list.)


BANFIELD: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, explosive new Michael Jackson custody developments. Tonight, the mystery why today`s big hearing was canceled. Plus, the closed-door, top secret deal possibly in the works between Michael`s mom and Debbie Rowe.

Jon`s new girlfriend. Tonight, Jon from "Jon & Kate Plus 8" stepping out with his new lady, the 22-year-old daughter of his wife`s plastic surgeon.

Plus, the father of Sarah Palin`s grandson in a brand-new battle with the governor. Does Levi Johnston really think she`s lying about her decision to quit?

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

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


Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m Ashleigh Banfield in for A.J. Hammer tonight.

Tonight, brand-new breaking developments in the fight for Michael Jackson`s kids. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can now reveal there`s a brand-new mystery to solve. There was supposed to be a big custody hearing today over Jackson`s three children. But at the last minute, it was postponed.

And tonight, the big question - is Michael`s mother, Katherine, about to cut a deal with Michael`s ex-wife, Debbie Rowe?

Also brand-new tonight, the Joe Jackson factor - reports that Michael Jackson`s father could be the determining factor in the custody fight. But why?

And brand-new breaking developments in Michael Jackson`s physical condition. This was the day he was supposed to launch a series of 50 concerts in London. But was he a picture of health or a shadow of the former King of Pop?

Joining me tonight in New York is Jane Velez-Mitchell, who is the host of "ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL," which you can see every night at 7:00 p.m. right here on HLN. And also tonight in Hollywood is Pat Lalama, who is an investigative journalist.

All right. Guys, let`s begin with the mysteriously cancellation of today`s custody hearing. This is the second time this has happened. And now the hearing that was supposed to take place today is set for next Monday, July 20th. Jane, what`s going on here?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s no surprise, Ashleigh, as you well know, all the real wheeling and dealing happens behind closed doors. And that`s exactly what`s happening here. This is all to give Katherine Jackson the temporary guardian and Michael Jackson`s mom, a chance to come to some kind of amicable agreement, deal with Debbie Rowe, the biological mom of the two oldest kids.

Debbie, of course, famously hinting that she might want to seek custody, maybe not. We`ll see what happens. What kind of a deal are they trying to make? Reports are that one key issue is Joe Jackson, that Debbie Rowe doesn`t want Joe Jackson involved in raising these kids.

But I also have to ask, what`s in it for Debbie Rowe herself? Does she get any kind of cash payment to walk away again as she has in the past?

BANFIELD: Ah, good question. According to one report out today, there`s some private conference call that`s scheduled with key players coming up this Friday, a conference call before the hearing. Pat, what does that tell you?

LALAMA: That`s standard fare, Ashleigh. Here`s the deal. This judge would like them to get this finished. Listen, it behooves them not to have to air a lot of unflattering dirty laundry about the Rowe household and the Jackson household in public. Get it done privately for the sake of the taxpayers, for the sake of the children.

We, the media vultures, are the only ones who are living off this and hoping it lasts forever so we have something to analyze. It`s not unusual for the judge to do a conference call and say, what`s the status? Where have you gotten? Do you think you can resolve this?

BANFIELD: Yes, talk about the media circus. Look at those pictures. You know, there`s a lot of guessing going on. One report today saying that Debbie Rowe will agree to a deal, so long as Michael`s father, Joe is completely cut out of the picture and does not have anything to do with raising these kids. So Jane, while that has not been confirmed, does it sound plausible?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It certainly does because Joe whipped Michael Jackson.

BANFIELD: Admittedly -

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And when Debbie Rowe was married to Michael Jackson, she got an earful from Michael about the abusive treatment he received at the hands of his father. And he hasn`t really changed that much, it would appear. Right after his son died, he was interviewed - asked about his son`s death and he decides to promote his new record album.

And now, he`s making all sorts of hints about, oh, the three Jackson kids, they`re mighty talented. Maybe they could be the Jackson 3.

BANFIELD: Oh, no, don`t say it. Don`t say it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s rubbing his hands, looking at other money machines.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think Debbie Rowe, and hopefully others, want to stop him from doing that.

BANFIELD: Well, Joe Jackson is a thorn in Debbie Rowe`s side. I`ve got to say he`s certainly not helping the situation by going out and doing all these interviews especially when he just talked about - for example, listen to what Joe Jackson tells ABC News in a brand-new interview. In this part seen on "Nightline," he talks about who he thinks should have custody and of course, what he thinks about the kids` talents. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANCHOR: Who do you think should raise these children now that Michael is gone?

JOE JACKSON: Their grandmother, Katherine, and I. Yes, there`s no one else to do what we could do for them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANCHOR: Does your eye see any possibility for their growing into performers someday?

JOE JACKSON: I keep watching PARIS. She really wants to do something, you know. Well, they said Blanket - he can really dance. That`s what they`re saying, he can really dance - Blanket.


BANFIELD: Oh, my gosh. Joe Jackson says that he and Katherine should have custody together and talks about how he sees the talent, perhaps the dollar signs when he looks at these kids. Pat, should Katherine tell Joe just to shut up already?

LALAMA: Yes. A, she should tell him to shut up. And B, you know, the deal is that legally, when we`re talking about the courtroom, Katherine could make a deal with Debbie that says, "OK, let me keep the kids and I will do my best to keep Joe away as much as possible."

But really, Ashleigh, how can you control that? I do know that Joe lives in Las Vegas. So perhaps he wouldn`t have that much interaction with them. But you know what, Ashleigh? Enough time has passed now. I can say it - this man needs to go away and keep his hands away from these children.

Do you know Michael Jackson told Martin Bashir, "When I see my father, I regurgitate." When Martin told Joe Jackson that, he said, "Yes, regurgitates all the way to the bank." There`s ice in this man`s veins. I don`t care what E-mails I get. Keep that man away from these children.

BANFIELD: Yes. And he admitted to whipping, but not beating Michael.

LALAMA: Oh, really?

BANFIELD: Now, let`s move on to the drastic new details of Michael Jackson`s health. You know, we`ve seen that rehearsal video put out by the company that was putting together the concert tour to try to show that Michael was in good health in the days before he died.

But this morning on "Good Morning America," Jackson`s former financial adviser said there was no way that Jackson was fit to perform despite what this video shows. Watch this.


LEONARD ROWE, MICHAEL JACKSON`S FORMER FINANCIAL ADVISOR: Michael Jackson was not ready. He was not fit. If you can call weighing about 110 to 115 pounds fit at 5`10," no. Every move that you see Michael Jackson making on that rehearsal tape - those are moves that I could do. Michael Jackson do strenuous moves when he is Michael Jackson.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t see the Michael that you know -

L. ROWE: You don`t see the spinning. You don`t see the heavy dancing, the tremendous moves that Michael Jackson is known to make.


BANFIELD: All right. Well, the concert promoters, AEG Live - they`re claiming that that man, Leonard Rowe, was fired by Michael Jackson shortly before he died. But that said, Jane, does he have a point that Michael Jackson doesn`t look himself in these videos, that anybody could see that if they looked carefully?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think he does have a point in the sense that a great performer like Michael Jackson will always rise to the occasion to a certain degree. The credo that these showbiz people live by is, the show must go on no matter what. So when he`s at the rehearsal, he`s going to make it look good.

But you notice he`s always wearing a jacket, so it`s hard to tell exactly how thin he is. And even those people who defended him, like one of his trainers said, "I never saw needle marks." But at the same time, he`s saying, "Well, he always wore a jacket and long-sleeved shirts to work out." Who does that?

And what was he hiding? So I think, obviously, you can`t think of these two people - it`s one person, this person who is allegedly, according to all these increasing reports, doing drugs at night. And then, this other person who shows up and looks fine and dandy in the daytime, where do the two meet? And I think somewhere in the middle.

BANFIELD: Well, you`ve got to remember, too, this is rehearsal and not the actual performance. So he may not have been giving it his all. Well, Jackson`s former financial advisor, Leonard Rowe, also says that he warned Randy Phillips, the head of AEG Live, about Michael`s health but claims that he was shut down. So just days after Michael`s death, Randy Phillips told CNN`s Anderson Cooper that Michael was fine. Watch this.


RANDY PHILLIPS, HEAD, AEG LIVE: 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.


BANFIELD: So Pat, two different stories here. Who should we believe? Or do all of these people have their own motives?

LALAMA: You know what? Of course, they have motives. They`re bottom- feeding, nefarious sycophants. And Michael Jackson - you know, look. He had his hand on it, too. He wanted these drugs allegedly and convinced a lot of people to give them to him.

But he was not well. He was propped up by medications. He had doctors full-time to make sure he didn`t fall over. You know, come on.

BANFIELD: All right. Pat Lalama, good work. And Jane Velez-Mitchell, appreciate your insight, everybody. I look forward to seeing you again.

And tonight, a brand-new jaw-dropping Jon and Kate shocker. Jon Gosselin caught on tape stepping out with his new 22-year-old girlfriend. And get this - she`s the daughter of his wife`s plastic surgeon. Oh, did I mention they were in the south of France thousands of miles away from his eight young kids? Seriously. Coming up next.

Plus, Levi Johnston, the father of Sarah Palin`s grandson, has some outrageous new claims about her, including why she`s quitting as governor of Alaska. Is he really calling Sarah Palin a liar?

And his shocking confession about if he would support her in her run for the White House. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

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

(CAPTION READS: Beyonce made $87 million last year, making her the richest star under 30. Palms Hotel in Las Vegas planning birthday tribute August 29 for Michael Jackson.)



BANFIELD: Don`t you just love spontaneous dancing in the streets? Did you see this? Well, it wasn`t exactly that spontaneous. It was a contest in London where dancers got to recreate the final scene of the classic 1980 movie "Fame." And by the way, a remake of "Fame" is due out later this year.

Welcome back, everyone, to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Ashleigh Banfield, in for A.J. Hammer.

And tonight, just when you thought that they might have settled into a bit of post-separation normalcy, Jon and Kate are making news again. Jon Gosselin, the dad on the reality show, "Jon & Kate Plus 8," is shocking the world with his new plus one whom he took on a glamorous getaway to the south of France this weekend.

Oh, and did we mention this woman is 10 years younger and that she`s the daughter of Kate`s plastic surgeon? And even more shocking than that is what the new couple was actually doing in France.


BANFIELD (voice-over): Lovely Saint Tropez, France, where rich playboys travel to show off their yachts, B-list celebrities go to show off their quickie marriages and newly single dads of eight go to show off their new girlfriends.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you tabloids and celebrity pages are going crazy with this sighting of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" star Jon Gosselin out in the south of France vacation spot with his new and younger lady.

JO PIAZZA, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: It`s very weird to see these pictures of Jon in Saint Tropez because it`s a little bit like he`s Lindsay Lohan or Diddy while he`s out there. He`s not Jon, the father of eight kids. He`s a new player on the block.

BANFIELD: It was one of Jon`s first big sightings since Jon and Kate announced their separation on their reality show.

JON GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": I`m hurt by all of this. But you know, I`m excited and hurt at the same time because I have a new chapter in my life.

BANFIELD: Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you Gosselin is beginning his new chapter in high style. And wait until you hear where he met his new woman. Was it in a bar? Was it online? Was it from a friend of a friend? Well, close.

PIAZZA: Jon`s new girlfriend is a 22-year-old, fresh out of college girl who just so happens to be Kate`s plastic surgeon`s daughter.

BANFIELD: That`s right. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, instead of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," it`s Jon plus the daughter of his soon-to-be ex-wife`s plastic surgeon.

J. GOSSELIN: I love her body. It`s great.


J. GOSSELIN: Oh, there`s my impulsiveness.

K. GOSSELIN: You`re lying.

J. GOSSELIN: 32-year-old Jon`s new 22-year-old girlfriend is the daughter of the doctor who performed Kate`s tummy tuck after she gave birth to the sextuplets.

J. GOSSELIN: She`s deflated now.

PIAZZA: Of all of the eligible young 22-year-olds, he had to go for the daughter of his wife`s plastic surgeon. I mean, that`s just really kind of a kick in the tummy tuck for Kate right there.

BANFIELD: And with it being less than a month since this celebrity couple filed for divorce, Jon`s antics are raising eyebrows.

PIAZZA: I think that`s the Webster`s definition of mid-life crisis.

BANFIELD: Entertainment journalist Jo Piazza tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, fans still shaken by Jon and Kate`s obviously painful separation, may find his jet-setting a bit upsetting.

PIAZZA: It doesn`t make sense for Jon to be off partying on a yacht while his eight kids are at home and Kate is stuck with that. He`s going to seem like an errant father, like an irresponsible playboy. And I don`t think he`s gaining any fans for making this trip.

BANFIELD: But Jon and his new girlfriend`s trip to the French Riviera was all fun and sailing. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you exactly what Jon was doing in France.

MIKE FLEEMAN, "PEOPLE.COM": Jon was mixing business with pleasure.

BANFIELD: "`s" Mike Fleeman tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Jon and his plus one were guests of designer Christian Audigier, the guy behind the famous Ed Hardy t-shirts. And it seems that Jon is going into designing himself.

FLEEMAN: Jon`s new job is basically to promote and help design a new line of Ed Hardy children`s shirts.

BANFIELD: That`s right, move over Garanimals, it`s Jon Gosselin in the house and it seems that Jon`s plus eight will be involved in daddy`s new gig.

FLEEMAN: He tells "People" that the eight kids are going to model this new line of children`s shirts in print ads.

BANFIELD: "People" says that Jon will be back in Pennsylvania with the kids this week to shoot more episodes of "Jon & Kate Plus 8." And with Jon already making use of his time away from the kids, who knows what Kate will do?

PIAZZA: Kate should date the doctor that did Jon`s hair plugs.

BANFIELD: Just like what they say on the show -

J. GOSSELIN: It might be a crazy life -

K. GOSSELIN: But it`s our life.

PIAZZA: Looks like post-separation phase of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" promises to be even crazier.


New episodes of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" start airing on August the 3rd.

All right. Right now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook, we`re still getting hundreds of passionate messages on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page about Michael Jackson from an outpouring of concern about his alleged drug use to what`s best for Michael`s three young kids.

Christina M. posts this on her Facebook page, "I have very mixed feelings about Michael Jackson`s death and the news surrounding it. On one hand, I just wish that the world would just leave him alone and let him rest in peace. And in the other, I feel that Michael Jackson deserves justice if a criminal case does evolve from this."

Nicoleta C. agrees. She writes, "We`ve become obsessed with Michael`s life more than ever. Is this going too far? Probably. But we cannot let prescription drugs issues continue to be ignored."

Sonia F. is worried about Michael`s three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket. She writes, "The kids should definitely stay put with their family. The Jacksons are the only family they have ever known. With the exception of Joe, any of Michael`s immediate family would definitely be able to care for the children and more importantly preserve the memories they have of their father."

I certainly want to hear from you on Facebook. So sign up to be a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook fan. Head over to Click on the Facebook logo. It`s easy.

All right. Is the father of Sarah Palin`s grandson calling Palin a liar? We`ve got the explosive new interview with Levi Johnston, his revelations about why Sarah Palin is really quitting and why he says she would never make a good president.

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

(CAPTION READS: Pretty in pink and blue: Molly Ringwald gives birth to twins: girl and a boy! Jackie Chan to play opposite Will Smith`s son Jaden in "Karate Kid" remake.)

Tonight, Daniel Radcliffe`s amazing balancing act. The star of the highly anticipated "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is back making movie magic in the sixth film in the series. But Daniel says the real magic is off screen, making sure he stays grounded while navigating his way to the very top of Hollywood`s A-list.


DANIEL RADCLIFFE, ACTOR: When you go on to enlist help, when (UNINTELLIGIBLE) anything like that, you have to make sure you make the distinction of the people - the person the fans are cheering for and the person you actually are.

It`s they`re cheering for the perception they have of you, which is wonderful and it`s flattering and it`s great. But if you think they`re actually caring for you, that`s when you get big-headed. They`re cheering for the kind of person they see in newspapers and in interviews and in films. And that`s a different person. So you have to keep that persona and the person that you actually are as separate as you possibly can.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" opens Wednesday. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.


BANFIELD: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Tonight, Levi Johnson, the father of Sarah Palin`s grandson, reveals why he thinks the governor of Alaska is really stepping down.

Palin made the shocking announcement on July 3rd that she was quitting at the end of the month. In a brand-new interview this morning on the "Today" show, the former fiance of Palin`s oldest daughter said he thinks fame and the potential to cash in have way more to do with Palin`s decision than she is admitting.


ANN CURRY, CO-HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: She has confirmed that she signed a book deal with Harper Collins. And some in the publishing world are saying that she could be getting as much as $7 million for her book. Does that sound in the ballpark from your conversations are - were there millions of dollars at stake here?

LEVI JOHNSTON, EX-FIANCE OF SARAH PALIN`S DAUGHTER: Yes, I`ve heard - anywhere from $7 million to $9 million. It`s up there.

CURRY: So what are you saying? Are you saying that she resigned because there was too much good money on the table for her to stay as governor? Is that what you`re saying?

JOHNSTON: Yes. I`m not saying that`s not the only reason. I`m sure there are multiple reasons for her to put forward she`s got going on. But that`s definitely part of it that she hadn`t mentioned. I know that she was coming home, stressed out. That`s my take on it.

CURRY: Do you think the American public has an accurate view of Sarah Palin?

JOHNSTON: For the most part, I think. She speaks her mind. She`s an incredible lady. But there are times, you know, she`s not up front with everybody. But for the most part she is.

CURRY: What do you mean not upfront? What would be something -

JOHNSTON: Well, just like, you know, she`s saying she is resigning from governor because she wants to spend more time with her family, that kind of thing. I mean, she`s throwing things out there. But you know what? She`s not - there are few things like that she doesn`t mention.

CURRY: So you`re saying she`s not completely upfront about why she resigned from the position of being governor?


CURRY: That`s your position.


BANFIELD: Johnson says that Palin means a lot to him, but that he wouldn`t vote for her for president. Johnson says he doesn`t think that she can handle the stress.

Well, we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Michael Jackson`s Death: Do you think foul play was involved?" So far, 30 percent of you say yes. But 70 percent of you say no.

Here are some of the E-mails that we`re getting. Mia from Tennessee writes, "The man has passed away and we need to be respectful. Let Michael Jackson rest and focus on his children."

And Janice from Virginia said, "I do not believe Michael`s death was foul play. But I feel whoever gave Michael those drugs should be accountable and charged, period."

That SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Ashleigh Banfield in for A.J. Hammer. Remember, you can catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Easter, 11:00 p.m. Pacific and in the morning, 11:00 a.m. Eastern on HLN.

Bye, everybody.