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Showbiz Tonight

Hollywood`s Obsession with Weight: Thin is In; Celebs Turn to Surgery to Lose Weight; Jane Fonda Opens up on Eating Disorders

Aired December 29, 2005 - 19:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: I`m Brooke Anderson. A special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT starts right now.


HAMMER (voice-over): Tonight, a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Hollywood`s Obsession with Weight." Stars getting thinner and thinner. Serious concerns they`re sending a dangerous message to the rest of America. Tonight, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report on body image in Hollywood.

Going to extremes. The dramatic ways that stars are trimming down, even going under the knife to lose the pounds. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals why Hollywood is getting hooked on gastric bypass surgery.

Plus, eating disorders in Hollywood. Tonight, Jane Fonda`s remarkable confessions about her secret struggle, even as she was building a fitness empire.

Plus, the "Sopranos" star whose eating disorder made her seriously think about suicide.


HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: Hi, there. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

Tonight, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report: "Hollywood`s Obsession with Weight." Lately, you can`t help but notice how thin some of today`s biggest stars have become. What kind of message is this sending to young people? Is it causing men and women to develop eating disorders? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the skinny on Hollywood`s little secret.


ANDERSON (voice-over): In Hollywood, beauty is everything. From the red carpet to the runway, thin is definitely in. Hollywood`s A-listers seem skinnier than ever. Here`s super star Lindsay Lohan. She`s a favorite among teens, especially young girls.

LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: I`m going for the Bridget Bardot look.

ANDERSON: This is Lindsay before, cute and curvy. Here he is now. Lindsay tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she dropped the weight through exercise and insists she does not have an eating disorder.

LOHAN: Everyone has their own reason for why they want to get thin or why they get that way. I`m healthy and I`m not an idiot. And I have people around me that would say, "Hey, stop it," that I can trust and that I will actually listen to. But I don`t want to be sick. I don`t want to be -- I`m not like that.

ANDERSON: Models, for many, they represent the ideal female. They`re also thinner than 98 percent of women in this country. Karolina Kurkova is one of the top models in the world right now. But even she says everyday women shouldn`t lose perspective.

KAROLINA KURKOVA, MODEL: We all are how we are. It`s not like we do some crazy diet. I really don`t want anyone to think this is how we have to look and we have to be skinny like that.

ANDERSON: But many women do feel they have to look like that and like this. They are images that many young girls look at and can be influenced by.

LOHAN: It scares me because my sister is 11, and she reads the tabloids.

ANDERSON: Lynn Grefe, who heads up the National Eating Disorders Association, tells us Hollywood`s size zero phenomenon is, in fact, sending a very dangerous message.

LYNN GREFE, NATIONAL EATING DISORDERS ASSOCIATION: It`s a terrible message to young women who idolize these people. These Hollywood people are role models. And it`s a terrible message. We went after baseball players for drug use. We should be having hearings on Hollywood for -- for the message they`re sending about sending kids into these terrible, potentially life-threatening illnesses.

ANDERSON: As many at 10 million females and one million males anorexia or bulimia in the United States.

PAULA ABDUL, JUDGE, FOX`s "AMERICAN IDOL": You picked the right song.

ANDERSON: "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul was one of those people.

ABDUL: Hollywood sends a bad message. They do.

ANDERSON: For years, Abdul suffered from bulimia. She tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT it was a battle she fought privately at a very public time in her life.

Abdul was at the height of her pop music career when her eating disorder was at its worst. At the time, she was selling millions of albums, but inside, she was struggling.

In 1992, she went public and checked herself into rehab.

ABDUL: For me to be able to call up my publicist at the time and say, "OK, you`re going to hear that I`m at this place. It`s true. Let`s set up proper interviews so that the tabloids don`t bastardize something that is extremely, extremely important to me."

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was with Abdul as she received what she calls the biggest honor of her life.

ABDUL: This is probably my most proud moment.

ANDERSON: Here she is getting an award from the National Eating Disorders Association for raising awareness of her disease.

ABDUL: I am present. I am present in life. And I am present and I am aware of every day, and I`m not checked out. I`m not worried about what meal I`m going to eat next, what meal I`m not going to eat next.

ANDERSON: Abdul is not the only celebrity to publicly confess to having an eating disorder. "Sopranos" star Jamie-Lynn Sigler says she, too, suffered in silence from anorexia and exercise bulimia for years. Things got so bad that her weight dropped to about 80 pounds.

JAMIE-LYNN SIGLER, ACTRESS: I truly lost a will to live. I seriously contemplated suicide because I felt that no one in this world would ever understand the constant battle I had in my head every day.

ANDERSON: Then there`s 19-year-old Mary-Kate Olsen, who checked herself into an eating disorder clinic back in June after jaws dropped when she showed up at the premiere of her movie, "New York Minute," looking shockingly thin and frail.

CRAIG JOHNSON, PH.D., NEDA: Given the emphasis, the glamorization of thinness, why do not more women have the illness?

ANDERSON: Yet, it is refreshing to hear that there are those in Hollywood, like Jessica Alba, who are picture perfect without being obsessed with weight.

JESSICA ALBA, ACTRESS: I feel like if there`s too much weight and too much effort on your appearance, it`s just wasted. It`s wasted on something that is going to go away.


ANDERSON: Hear more of Jamie-Lynn`s battle with anorexia and exercise bulimia. Also, Jane Fonda opens up about her eating disorders, coming up later on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Tonight, Hollywood obesity surgery. It is one of the more dramatic ways to lose weight, as plenty of stars jumped on the bandwagon, from Roseanne to Al Roker. But before you look to battle the bulge the way they do, pay attention, because a recent study reveals the results could be deadly.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas has more from Hollywood.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, A.J. A medical study has found that obesity surgery is more dangerous than originally thought.

The surgery usually involves cutting off a part of the stomach. It`s a procedure that is growing in popularity in America, and especially here in Hollywood.


VARGAS (voice-over): John Popper is the front man of the Grammy Award winning band Blues Traveler, and he`s a gastric bypass success story.

JOHN POPPER, MUSICIAN: I used to step on gas station -- those little hoses, and it goes, "Ding! Ding!" I could make it go ding just y stepping on it.

VARGAS: Popper used to weigh over 400 pounds. But in 2000, he had a wakeup call.

POPPER: I was 95 percent blocked in every artery in my heart. I knew that if I kept touring, I was probably going to die soon.

VARGAS: After the gastric bypass surgery, he lost about half his body weight, and he tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that it changed his life.

POPPER: It saved my life. It was absolutely that simple. Like the reason that I did it was not a cosmetic one.

VARGAS: Other stars have gone under the scalpel in the last few years and dropped the pounds fast. "Today" show host Al Roker lost more than 100 pounds since he got the surgery in 2002.

Singer Carnie Wilson slimmed down after the surgery and even broadcast it live on the Internet.

And the list goes on. Comedian Rosanne Barr, "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson, Nicole Richie`s main squeeze, D.J. AM, and even blues legend Etta James. James tells CNN it saved her life.

ETTA JAMES, SINGER: I was at the age where you`re cruising for a heart attack. But I just, I was tired of being fat.

VARGAS: A study in the "Journal of American Medical Association" says it`s people in Etta`s age group that have the most to worry about. Elderly bypass patients are nearly three times more likely to die earlier than they normally would from obesity surgery. And nearly one in 20 Medicare patients die within the first year of surgery, 1 in 20.

The procedure is only getting more popular, and not just with the stars. The American Society of Bariatric Surgery predicts obesity surgeries will be performed more than 150,000 times in the next year.

RON BISHOP, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DREXEL UNIVERSITY: Certainly, the number of folks who are getting gastric bypass has risen dramatically over the last three or four years. So there certainly is some evidence to suggest that folks are paying attention, at least, to celebrities who do avail themselves of the surgery.

VARGAS: Bishop is a professor of pop culture and communications for Drexel University. He told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he`s concerned about the message celebrities and the media send about obesity surgery.

BISHOP: My main concern would be just the notion that it`s a quick fix. I mean, it`s a very involved, serious procedure that requires a great deal of recuperation and a lot of behavior modification after the surgery.

VARGAS: The reality is that complications could be deadly. Among 35 to 45-year-olds, three percent of women and five percent of men died within a year of surgery. And it`s also a matter of relearning eating habits and living with a whole new body.

POPPER: I fainted at an airport twice on two different occasions. And it`s because I didn`t have my food right. But other than that, I feel as good as I`ve ever felt in my life.

VARGAS: Regardless of the risks involved, most celebrities say obesity surgery saved their life, even if the road there wasn`t easy.

POPPER: I feel really lucky I got this chance. You know, technology caught up with precisely what was wrong with the way that I used food. I could have died or never -- I could have just been really fat for a long time.


VARGAS: And Popper said that Roseanne Barr encouraged him to get the surgery. But it was some of his band members who finally convinced him to go through with the operation. Popper`s on tour with the Blues Traveler, celebrating a new album and adjusting to his life -- or his new life as a much slimmer rocker -- A.J.

HAMMER: And thank goodness he got it together, because he is such a good musician. Thanks very much, Sibila. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.

Well, Jane Fonda`s battle with eating disorders lasted 30 years, through 20 of her films, two kids and a fitness empire. Coming up, we`ve got a revealing look at how she started the road to recovery.

ANDERSON: Plus, Kate Hudson is going to court to protect the image of her body. She`s fighting the tabloids over what they`re implying about her eating habits. That`s also coming up.

HAMMER: And Christian Bale lost more than 60 pounds for his role in "The Machinist." And he`s not the only one who has completely changed his body for a part in a movie. Coming up, a look at how they do it and if it`s safe.

ANDERSON: But first, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." For what 1992 movie did Christian Bale train for 10 weeks in dancing and martial arts? Was it A, "Newsies"; B, "Swing Kids"; C, "This Boy`s Life"; D, "Poison Ivy." Think about it. We`re going to be right back with your answer.


ANDERSON: Hello, again. Tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." For what 1992 movie did Christian Bale train for 10 weeks in dancing and martial arts? "Newsies," "Swing Kids," "This Boy`s Life," or "Poison Ivy." The answer is A, "Newsies," the musical loosely based on the true story of the New York newspaper boy strike of 1899. That film also starred Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret.

HAMMER: Welcome back to a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on "Hollywood`s Obsession on Weight." I`m A.J. Hammer.

Well, tonight, Jane Fonda`s startling secret revealed. For decades, Fonda who ironically had a successful career selling exercise videos, struggled with painful eating disorders. In her book, "My Life So Far," Fonda was candid with her struggles in life. And in a very personal and revealing interview, the Oscar-winning actress opens up about her dark past and how she was able to keep it hush-hush for so long.

Here`s CNN`s Paula Zahn for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


PAULA ZAHN, HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW" (voice-over): In her 60-plus years in the public eye, Jane Fonda has become almost as well known for her buff, toned, sexy body as for her Oscar-winning roles. But for more than three decades, this daughter of Hollywood royalty was hiding a painful secret.

JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: You try to fill the hole with something. Some people fill it with alcohol or drugs or sex or gambling or whatever. And many girls, including me, filled it with food.

ZAHN: Jane Fonda struggled with anorexia and bulimia.

FONDA: I was made to feel that I wasn`t good enough. Not by mean people, but just -- I had to be perfect in order to be loved. And if I wasn`t perfect, I`d be -- I`d end up alone.

ZAHN (on camera): Who expected you to be perfect?

FONDA: I think my father did. And I don`t think that he meant to or realized or you know. I just think that down through the generations of Fonda men, there was a tendency to not like women who weren`t really thin.

ZAHN: It was that simple.

FONDA: It was that simple. And I didn`t know that before. But I talked to a lot of the Fonda girls. And apparently, two of his wives suffered from bulimia, as I did for 30 years, striving to be perfect.

ZAHN (voice-over): Fonda`s battle with bulimia began, as it does for millions of girls, in adolescence. She discovered that her famous father thought she was fat and thought that the only way to be loved by him was to be perfect, to be thin. In prep school, she learned how to do that.

Fonda tells of her first time binging and purging in her no-holds- barred autobiography, "My Life So Far."

FONDA: We would only binge and purge before school dances or just before we were going home for the holidays. And then we would manage to ferret away all the chocolate brownies and ice cream would could get and gobble them up until our stomachs were swollen as though we were five months pregnant. Then we would put our fingers down our throats and make ourselves throw it all up.

ZAHN: It became Fonda`s ritual, binging and purging, all the while believing that she wasn`t damaging her body.

FONDA: And it becomes a real addiction until you realize, which I did late in life, than the hunger is not hunger for food. It`s hunger for spirit; it`s hunger for wholeness.

ZAHN: And in college, Jane discovered a tool to kill that hunger. While cramming for exams, she became addicted to the stimulant Dexedrine which kept her awake. It also suppressed her hunger, an addiction she didn`t understand until years later.

FONDA: What an illusion that there were no consequences to be paid. It was years before I allowed myself to acknowledge the addictive, damaging nature of what I was doing. Like alcoholism, anorexia and bulimia are diseases of denial. You fool yourself into believing you`re on top of it and can stop any time you want. Even when I discovered I couldn`t stop, I still didn`t think of it as an addiction. Rather, it was proof that I was weak and worthless.

ZAHN: Fonda alternated between long stretches of anorexic starvation and frequent bouts of bulimia. Some days, eating just an apple core or a hard boiled egg. On other days, binging and then purging as many as eight times a day.

Like millions of others, Fonda`s eating disorders continued into adulthood, through two marriages, two children, 20-plus movies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meet the most beautiful creature of the future.

ZAHN (on camera): When you look at pictures of yourself in "Barbarella" today, what do you think?

FONDA: As bulimics usually are, you know, you`re thinner one day than you are the next. And I could usually see what kind of period of time it was. It was not altogether fun. It was a difficult film to make.

ZAHN: I find it absolutely staggering that you have fought bulimia for almost 30 years.

FONDA: And then a point came in my 40s. I now had -- I was in my second marriage. I had two children and I had an amazing life. A lot of people and projects depending on me. And I suddenly realized that I was either going to die, I mean, maybe not physically die, because it was never as severe as it is for people -- girls who are hospitalized -- but spiritually die, sort of fall into darkness, or I had a opt for life and light.

And I opted for life and light, and I went cold turkey. It was very hard.

ZAHN: Was that the impetus for your fitness empire?

FONDA: Yes, in a way it was.

Feet together.

ZAHN: It replaced the control that you feel binging and purging with compulsive exercise. And it was compulsive in the beginning until I started to made peace with myself and my body. And you know, we`re not supposed to be perfect.

ZAHN: There`s such an irony that you as a woman who struggled with bulimia for some 30 years would launch a fitness empire.

FONDA: You teach what you need to learn. Body and image and loss of self image was such a core part of my inner life that, when I discovered that there was a way that women could begin to like themselves again and get back into their bodies, I wanted to make it be known. I wanted to spread the word.

March out and in. Four times.

ZAHN (voice-over): Despite overcoming her eating disorders and launching a successful fitness empire, the woman underneath those tight leotards and signature leg warmers was still dealing with self doubts and the need to please.

FONDA: You know, I was fit and I was successful and I was all these things. I still had a lot of self doubts inside.

ZAHN: To this day, Jane Fonda credits her third husband, billionaire Ted Turner, for helping her to finally overcome these lifelong issues and accept herself, imperfections and all.

At 67, through healthy eating and non-obsessive exercise, Jane Fonda`s bulimia is under control. She`s stunning, fit, and recovered.

(on camera) It is stunning to me that this is the first time in your life that you really feel whole.


ZAHN: Is this a good time of your life?

FONDA: It`s the best. Isn`t that nice at 67?

ZAHN: It is nice.



HAMMER: That was CNN`s Paula Zahn for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And you can read more about Jane Fonda`s struggles in her book, "My Life so Far," which is in stores now.

ANDERSON: And Jane Fonda is certainly not alone in battling eating disorders in Hollywood. Coming up, a "Sopranos" star talks about her own struggle with exercise bulimia and why she seriously considered suicide, coming up.

HAMMER: Plus, Kate Hudson fights back. Now this is the other side of the story. On the way, we`re going to tell you how Kate is fighting rumors that she has an eating disorder. We will tell you who Kate is taking to court, still ahead on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: And what Oprah Winfrey calls her biggest, fattest mistake. Coming up, why Oprah now regrets one of the most memorable moments on her show.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on "Hollywood`s Obsession with Weight." I`m Brooke Anderson.

It was a weight loss victory that led to weighty regrets for Oprah Winfrey. As part of her 20th anniversary DVD, Oprah now says her much publicized liquid diet was her, quote, "biggest, fattest mistake." In 1998, she demonstrated that dramatic slim-down to memorable effect on her highest rated show to date.


OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: I have lost as of this morning, as of this morning, 67 pounds since July 7. This is what 67 pounds of fat looks like.


ANDERSON: Oprah says two hours after that show, she overate and two days later, those size 10 Calvins were too tight. Oprah`s 20th anniversary DVD is in stores now.

HAMMER: Well, "Sopranos" star Jamie-Lynn DiScala has an amazing story of her struggle with eating disorders. Coming up, she reveals the chilling details of the darkest days of her life and how she clawed her way out.

ANDERSON: And Hilary Swank got into million dollar shape for her Oscar-winning turn as a boxer. Coming up, we`ll take a look at how she and other stars dramatically transform their bodies for movie roles.

HAMMER: And Kate Hudson is fighting back against the tabloids and what they`re saying about her weight. That`s coming up next as the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special on Hollywood and weight continues.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 31 minutes past the hour. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

HAMMER: And I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. It`s our special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on Hollywood`s obsession with weight.

Now, it`s pretty hard to walk by a magazine stand these days without seeing a picture of some celebrities being criticized as too thin or just the opposite. Well, actress Kate Hudson has had enough and now she`s taking action. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas is in Hollywood with that story.

Hey, Sibila.

VARGAS: Hey, A.J. Kate Hudson`s weight has been scrutinized one too many times for her. First, she got lots of press for being too heavy. But recently, several tabloids have reported she has an eating disorder. That was a claim that went too far for Hudson and now she`s taking legal action.


VARGAS (voice-over): From her Oscar-nominated turn in "Almost Famous" to roles in such comedic hits as "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days" and "Raising Helen," Kate Hudson has quickly become one of America`s sweetheart actresses. But now, the actress is mad as hell.

The 26-year-old daughter of actress Goldie Hawn is siccing her legal hounds on not one but five British magazines for implying she has an eating disorder. The U.K. edition of "National Enquirer," "Star," the "Daily Mail," "Closer," (ph) and "Heat" are all included in the complaint.

In a statement from her London law firm, Schillings, Hudson takes aim at, quote, "published images of her used to accompany and illustrate articles which suggested that she had an eating disorder that was so grave and serious that she was wasting away to the extreme concern of her mother and family and although not stated, a commercial and artistic concern to those who might cast her in movies and choose to use her image to endorse products."

While Hudson has not endorsed any products to date, attorney and managing editor of the entertainment website Harvey Levin says future deals could be worth millions. And an unhealthy public image could be a deal-breaker.

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: Well, they absolutely could hurt her career if the word out is that Kate Hudson has a dangerous eating disorder. And if these magazines are wrong, they`re in big trouble.

VARGAS: Hudson joins a growing list of celebrities making headlines for their thinner images. Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Lara Flynn Boyle, all seen here in a September issue of the U.S. "National Enquirer," have long been targeted for their weight loss.

"Star" magazine calls even more celebs "scary skinny." Hilary Duff, Mary-Kate Olsen, Christine Taylor, and again Kate Hudson make their list. Ironically, some celebrities now said to be too thin were once scrutinized for the opposite problem. Just a year ago, the U.S. "National Enquirer" focused on Nicole Richie`s cellulite while "Star" now criticizes her for being pin thin. Hudson two years ago, while she was pregnant, was drawing tabloid headlines for her weight gain.

Ken Baker, West Coast bureau chief of "US Weekly," says celebrity weight issues are prevalent because they`re particularly popular with readers.

KEN BAKER, "US WEEKLY": As a culture, we`re all sort of obsessed with our weight. We`re obsessed with celebrities, so of course we`re going to be obsessed with celebrities` weight.

VARGAS: But, apparently, this celebrity, like others, has had enough.

LEVIN: There are plenty of stars who are going after the tabloids right now. And this does not have anything nearly to do with money as it does making a point to them that, "Yes, you know what? I may be fair game, but I`m only fair game when it comes to telling the truth."

If Kate Hudson wins, the message that will be sent is simple: Don`t mess with me or else.


VARGAS: And that message will surely resonate with other actors who may too feel their weight is unfairly scrutinized in the tabloids. Back to you, A.J.

HAMMER: All right, Sibila, thanks so much. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.

ANDERSON: Right now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT uncovers how some of Hollywood`s biggest stars changed their bodies for the movies they make. Tonight, how the stars fatten up, thin down, and a whole lot more to get it right on the big screen.


ANDERSON (voice-over): It`s one of the more fascinating parts of showbiz, how a woman like Charlize Theron can go from this to this. But it`s a growing trend in Hollywood that`s getting a lot of attention. It`s body transformation.

SCOTT BOWLES, "USA TODAY": I think what you`re seeing recently is that actors and particularly actresses who change the way they look, and usually it`s by weight gain or weight loss, are around at Oscar time. You look at Charlize Theron with "Monster" or Hilary Swank with "Million Dollar Baby." They are being taken more seriously by the awards committees because they look more like the characters that they`re playing.

ANDERSON: And those transformations are extreme. Charlize Theron gained 25 pounds for "Monster." Christian Bale lost 63 pounds for "The Machinist" and then, incredibly, gained much of it back in two months. And Tom Hanks gained and lost 50 pounds during the movie "Castaway." It begs the question: How do they do it?

VALERIE WATERS, JENNIFER GARNER`S PERSONAL TRAINER: Discipline, strong, but excited and motivated. And the motivation that`s got to come from inside. And typically, their, the celebrity`s, motivation is the fact that they`re going to be on the big screen.

ANDERSON: Zellweger says she worked closely with a nutritionist when she packed on an extra 20 pounds for "Bridget Jones." And it wasn`t all pasta and doughnuts on her menu. Her secret ingredient to weight gain? Flaxseed oil, mixed in with high-calorie shakes and salad dressings.

And for Christian Bale, who put himself through perhaps the most dramatic body transformation, losing 20 pounds less than his nutritionist would have liked by simply not eating. He looked emaciated, eating only an apple and a latte each day to survive.

But for his hottie, pumped-up role in "Batman Begins," he packed it all back on by healthier means, a strict diet of chicken, tuna and veggies, plus daily three-hour running and weight sessions. It doesn`t sound like much fun.

WATERS: I believe that the biggest misconception that America has is that they think that the celebrities have it easier. And this is not true. And I can tell you, they still have to not eat the cookie. They still have to not have the bread at the restaurant. They still have to get up and do their workout, and often that means training at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning, which is not the most fun.

ANDERSON: Valerie Waters told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she helped Jennifer Garner get her butt-kicking bod for her roles in "Alias" and "Electra" the old-fashioned way, working hard.

WATERS: It`s five meals a day, no starchy carbs, no sugar, no processed food, and working out five days a week, maybe even six days a week, but for an hour.

ANDERSON: It was the same for Hilary Swank, who packed on 20 pounds of lean, mean boxing muscle for her role in "Million Dollar Baby."

HILARY SWANK, ACTRESS: I trained about four to four-and-a-half hours a day, six days a week, for three months.

ANDERSON: And she was eating, too, a lot, more than 4,000 calories a day of carefully calculated proteins and essential fats.

Jessica Biel, who vamped up for her role in "Blade," got those bulging muscles through a mixture of weight training and cardio and a strict diet of three small meals a day and absolutely no sugar.

BOWLES: They`ll essentially put themselves through hell for that role if they think it`s going to get them more money, more acclaim, generally add to the success of their career.


ANDERSON: Supermodel Heidi Klum has undergone a body transformation of her own. She got back on the runway just two months after giving birth. Heidi tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT how she did it, coming up.

HAMMER: Plus, Jamie Lynn Discala`s painful struggle. "The Sopranos" star opens up about how she battled and beat exercise bulimia. That`s coming up, too.


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

Tonight, a special report. The remarkably frank and disturbing story of a major TV star`s almost deadly battle with an eating disorder. "Sopranos" star Jamie Lynn Discala suffered in silence as she became obsessed with not eating and staying stick thin. And then one day, a breakdown that wound up saving her life.

Tonight, Jamie-Lynn in her own words. Here`s CNN`s Paula Zahn for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JAMIE LYNN DISCALA, ACTRESS, "SOPRANOS": On the look out for ducks, Dad?

ZAHN (voice-over): It would be the role of a lifetime for 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Sigler, who started acting when she was seven and always dreamed of being a star. But behind the scenes, Jamie Lynn was in a desperate fight for her life.

(on-screen): How seriously did you consider suicide?

DISCALA: Pretty seriously.

ZAHN (voice-over): It was a shocking turnaround for this New York teen who seemed to have it all.

Jamie Lynn succeeded at everything she did, until her first boyfriend, her first love, broke up with her in the fall of 1997.

DISCALA: You know, was I not good enough? Was I not pretty enough? Was I not skinny enough?

And it was at the time where a lot of my friends started talking about dieting, calories, exercise, something that was never discussed, never a concern of mine or any of us, and it ended up becoming an obsession. Within four months, I might have probably dropped almost 40 pounds.

ZAHN (on-screen): That is an amazing amount of weight.

DISCALA: Oh, yes.

ZAHN: What did you do?

DISCALA: It started off kind of pretty innocently, I guess, I can say, because I started, you know, maybe just doing, like, 20 minutes on the treadmill before school and then deciding I wasn`t going have any dessert anymore.

And then, when I saw the scale start to go down, well, then, I thought, well, what happens now, if maybe I exercise an hour before school and don`t eat bread? And that snowballed into exercising 4 1/2 hours before school every morning and basically eating next to nothing.

ZAHN: What time were you getting up in the morning?

DISCALA: 3:00 a.m.

ZAHN (voice-over): Jamie Lynn`s eating disorder is called exercise bulimia. Exercise bulimics work out to purge what they have eaten in much the same way bulimics vomit after eating.

Chronic, obsessive exercise, accompanied by vigilant, nearly compulsive focus on calories. And Jamie Lynn counted every last one, using a calculator to make sure she always burned every last calorie she consumed and more.

On some days that could be as few as 400. All it would take was the outside of a bagel, a fat-free yogurt, and a diet frozen dinner.

(on-screen): What else would you eat the rest of the day?

DISCALA: Lots of diet soda. Lots of diet soda.

ZAHN: I don`t count that as food. I count that as drink.

DISCALA: I would constantly make excuses that I ate already, or I wasn`t hungry, or I was rushing here or there.

ZAHN (voice-over): Jamie Lynn kept on losing weight. She would exercise whenever and wherever she could. For extra exercise, fidgeting in school. When she had to do laundry, taking her laundry down to the basement one item at a time so she had to take extra trips.

DISCALA: I was completely physically and mentally addicted to the exercise and the restricting of calories. I was wearing, you know, basically children`s clothes. I mean, I was a teenager and back to children`s sizes.

It was hard to find clothes that would fit. And it was, like, every week I would see my reflection of my back and see more bones coming out, more ribs, and more hip bone. And it was awful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at me. This is no joke.

ZAHN: During this low point in her life came what should have been a high point in her career. In November of 1997, HBO announced that "The Sopranos" was being picked up for five seasons.

It should have been a dream come true for Jamie Lynn. But under the spell of her eating disorder, nothing else mattered.

DISCALA: I truly lost a will to live. I seriously contemplated suicide because I felt that no one in this world would ever understand the constant battle I had in my head every day.

ZAHN: Jamie Lynn`s rock-bottom moment came soon after, on a drive with her parents into New York to go rollerblading. Because they left the house more than 45 minutes late, Jamie Lynn`s strict exercise and eating schedule was completely disrupted, a disaster for an exercise bulimic.

DISCALA: I was shaking and crying in the back of the car. And my parents were crying, because they didn`t know what to do. And it`s where it just all became too much. And I blurted out, "I have an eating disorder. I want help."

And my parents pulled the car over in FDR. And I remember we hugged, and we cried. And the next day, I was, you know, with a therapist, nutritionist. I was on Prozac.

ZAHN: Jamie Lynn cut down on the exercise, started eating more, and explored with the therapist the underlying causes of her eating disorder. The antidepressant Prozac, which is used to help treat a majority of eating disorders, helped Jamie Lynn deal with the major mood swings associated with her bulimia.

In a few months, Jamie Lynn gained five pounds. When it was time to go back to the set of "The Sopranos" in June of 1998, she was still 35 pounds thinner than when she had filmed the pilot less than a year before.

(on-screen): The producers brought your mother into a room. They were really concerned about the way you looked, and they weren`t sure you were going have the stamina to do the job. Were you also aware that those same producers who were reasonably honest with your mother were conducting auditions behind the scenes to replace you?

DISCALA: I was filming the second episode. I mean, I was shocked, but almost empowered in a way, like I wasn`t going lose it.

ZAHN (voice-over): It took more than eight months for Jamie Lynn to get back to her normal weight. By the time she started shooting the second season of "The Sopranos" in June of 1999, she was healthier. Her transformation from season one to season two was dramatic. Everyone noticed.

DISCALA: Thought that people were going say, "Wow, she looks so healthy. She`s not sick anymore. Good for her." And instead it was, "Wow, can you believe how fat she got?" And they went on from there.

And it was horrible. I was terrified of just now all of a sudden feeling like, well, what does this mean? In order to be accepted in this industry, do I have to have an eating disorder? But I`m so happy now. I don`t want to go back there, but what do I do?

But fortunately, because of what I had been through, I wasn`t afraid to talk about it.

ZAHN: So Jamie Lynn came out about her eating disorder on an HBO fan website and in a candid autobiography.

DISCALA: Once I did come out about it, I started getting letters and fan mail from young girls. And that`s when I really realized how important it can be.

ZAHN: Today, Jamie Lynn has stabilized herself at that healthy weight, by exercising moderately and eating normally, but she doesn`t consider herself cured. Instead, she will always be recovering from the disease that almost cost her her life and her career.

(on-screen): Is it true to this day, now that you`re at a healthy weight, that you still carry with you in your purse a picture of yourself when you hit about 80 pounds?


ZAHN: Why do you carry that around? And what do you see?

DISCALA: It`s awful. For me, the reason why I carry it with me is just because of a constant reminder of what I`ve been through. I thought that that was my life. I was set. This was the way I was going to have to live my life. And knowing that I was able to overcome it and be healthy happy again is amazing.


HAMMER: That was CNN`s Paula Zahn for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. As the spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association, Jamie Lynn continues to raise awareness about the disease that almost took her life and her career. For more information on eating disorders, visit

ANDERSON: So how did Heidi Klum go from the delivery room to the catwalk in -- get this -- just two months? We caught up with Heidi backstage at the Victoria`s Secret fashion show. We`ll hear how this supermom got back into supermodel so quickly, next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


ANDERSON: Imagine having a baby and getting back to work in just a few weeks. Well, many moms do it. But then again, many moms don`t have to strut their stuff out there on the catwalk like supermodel Heidi Klum. CNN`s J.J. Ramberg is here for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with that story.

Hi, J.J.

J.J. RAMBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Brooke. Well, one of the biggest names in modeling -- you said it, Heidi Klum -- had a brand-new baby boy only two months ago. And with barely any time to sleep like many moms, let alone exercise, unbelievably she`s already back on the catwalk and strutting her very, very hot stuff. So how did she do it? She told it only to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


RAMBERG (voice-over): She`s a supermodel and a super-mom. Heidi Klum, a proud mother of two, with singer Seal.

HEIDI KLUM, MODEL: One is a year and a half, and one is two months.

RAMBERG: In September, the latest edition to their family, Henry. In this week`s "People" magazine, the world got their first glimpse of the entire happy family.

KLUM: It`s a lot of diapers, and a lot of crying, and a lot of bottles, and lot of pacifiers. Stuff everywhere, basically.

RAMBERG: It`s a busy time for any new mom, but imagine if, only a few weeks after having a baby, you had to do this.

That`s right. Heidi Klum got straight back to work for one of the biggest Victoria`s Secret fashion shows of the year.

KLUM: I was in a bra and underwear mode, you know, basically right after I, you know, had the baby in my head, but my body was just not there yet.

RAMBERG: She had only a few weeks to get ready for her strut down the catwalk.

KLUM: I waited the first five weeks to, you know, take it easy a little bit and take care of myself. And then I started, you know, working out with David.

RAMBERG: David is this guy, David Kirsch, celebrity fitness and wellness coach.

DAVID KIRSCH, CELEBRITY FITNESS AND WELLNESS TRAINER: Sculpting, and toning, and lifting, and reducing. And, yes, it`s definitely a work of art.

RAMBERG: At the end of her pregnancy, Klum told "People" magazine she weighed 167 pounds, pretty normal for an expecting mom.

KIRSCH: I worked on her diet, first and foremost. You know, when you have a baby, you`re going to carry a little more weight. She`s nursing. So we really cleaned up the diet. There was no more corn on the cob. That was a big thing.

RAMBERG: Heidi had a few things to trim from her diet.

KLUM: For me, it is carbs. I`m from Germany, so I eat a lot of potatoes. I had to totally cut that. No bread in the morning and no French fries. So, you know, just eating healthy helps a lot.

KIRSCH: My protein shakes, a lot of egg whites, a lot of eating every few hours, good grains, spinach, broccoli. This was all about giving her a little extra confidence. Physically, she`s beautiful.

RAMBERG: Beautiful inside and out.

KLUM: Well, you know, I feel very good about myself. You know, I`m a mother. I have two children. That for me is the most important thing. And the runway comes second, you know, after everything, you know, that I have in my life right now.

Do I look the same how, you know, some of the 20-year-old girls look today? No, I don`t, but I`m still very happy with myself.


RAMBERG: Heidi Klum`s trainer, David Kirsch, has helped other supermodels stay in catwalk-ready shape, as well. His client list also includes Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell -- A.J.?

HAMMER: J.J., thanks very much. CNN`s J.J. Ramberg for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We appreciate it.

Well, that is it for this special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on Hollywood`s obsession with weight. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Everyone, stay healthy out there and stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.