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Showbiz Tonight

Controversy Over TV`s `Rescue Me` Episode Depicting Marital Rape; Rush Limbaugh Stopped at Airport with Bottle of Viagra Not Prescribed for Him

Aired June 27, 2006 - 23:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CNN ANCHOR: The man of steel flies into our studio. We go one on one with Superman, Brandon Routh. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: And why some little pills of Viagra could cause big problems for Rush Limbaugh. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, a "Rescue Me" rape shocker. Tonight, outrage over a shocking attack on one of the most popular shows on TV. A husband raping his wife. Tonight why so many are so angry at the outrageous attack. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks the tough question -- do TV shows glorify violence against women?

Also, paralyzed and pregnant. Tonight, the amazing story of a quadriplegic who defied the odds and had a baby.


In conversation, we always said, when we have a child. It was never if.


HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the remarkable story that is now an even more remarkable movie. Tonight, a life of courage and inspiration that has to be seen to be believed.

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

ANDERSON: Hi there, I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. A.J., people are fuming mad, absolutely outraged tonight over a big TV show that a lot of people may think actually glamorizes rape.

HAMMER: That`s right the show is the hit drama "Rescue Me" starring Denis Leary. And it`s a scene that show`s Leary`s character sexually attacking his wife. It is drawing some big fire. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas is in Hollywood tonight with this story. Sibila?

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, A.J. The fireman drama has ignited a firestorm of controversy and it has launched a debate over the serious question of what exactly constitutes rape.


VARGAS: A shocking and violent scene that still has people talking. Firefighter Tommy Gavin played by Denis Leary, throwing his soon to be ex- wife on the couch during an argument, ripping off her clothes. And as she takes some punches, he forces her to have sex with him. This scene in the hit FX drama, "Rescue Me" is upsetting people, not only because it`s so violent, but also because of what happens after when the couple seems to casually dismiss the sex attack.

Sorry about the shirt.

It wasn`t one of my favorites.

VARGAS: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that the critics fear the whole thing glorifies something horrifying -- rape.

They were depicting marital rape.

VARGAS: Harriet Lessel of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault says, the "Rescue Me" episode could send a bad message.

HARRIET LESSEL, NYC ALLIANCE AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT: But when you depict something like that on TV that it goes to creating social tolerance for marital rape. It perpetuates the myth that it`s not very serious and that it`s not dangerous.

VARGAS: After the controversial episode aired, outraged viewers swamped "Rescue Me`s" message boards. One wrote, "It looked like rape to me. I`m not sure I`ll watch the show anymore." "Rescue Me" star Denis Leary talked about the scene with "Headline Prime" Glenn Beck show.

DENIS LEARY, "RESCUE ME": If you take a look at that scene and you watch the dichotomy and you know the history of that relationship, it was anything but a rape. I think some people got it and some people didn`t, you know. But that`s fine. Because that`s the difference between the audience that should be watching the show and the audience that should be watching something else, you know.

VARGAS: The whole debate over the "Rescue Me" seen has highlighted the issue of marital rape. It`s a serious problem. One shocking study found that up to 34 percent of women say they have had unwanted sex with their partner. And while shows like "Law and Order" special victims unit depict rape as a crime with serious consequences, some critics point to the "Rescue Me" episode as an example of a culture that continues to minimize, even glamorize some form of rape. Women`s groups have long pointed to a scene in one of the most famous movies of all time, "Gone With the Wind" as an example. A drunken Rhett Butler carries a struggling Scarlet O`Hara up the stairs, a scene critics say romanticizes a rape.

And one of the most famous TV couples of all time, General Hospital`s Luke and Laura, fell in love after Luke raped Laura on a disco floor. Their story book wedding two years later was the most watched soap opera event ever, drawing 30 million viewers. And the controversy over the "Rescue Me" attack is not over. The show`s co-creator says Denis Leary`s character will face consequences for violently attacking his wife. But, still, some fear it`s just another example of rape being disguised as romance.


VARGAS: And an interesting thing about the whole controversy. You just heard Denis Leary say that he didn`t consider that scene a rape, but the show`s co-creator Peter Tolin who co-wrote the episode admitted to the "Los Angeles Times" that it indeed was a rape. Brooke so I`m sure we haven`t heard the last of that yet.

ANDERSON: No, we haven`t. And it seems to me that it was just watching it.

VARGAS: It was disturbing.

ANDERSON: Sibila Vargas thanks so much. Actually, yeah.

HAMMER: Well joining me here in New York tonight to talk about this some more, Jane Ridley, she`s a senior feature writer for the "New York Daily News." Jane, thanks for being here. You wrote a great article on this episode and on the alleged rape that took place in this particular episode. In the "Daily News" today, a lot of people saying it just crossed the line. I know you were actually shocked by it yourself. Do you feel that it did go cross the line and go too far?

JANE RIDLEY, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: I don`t think I`m an easily shocked person and this is on cable TV, and you kind of expect certain boundaries to be broken. But I just felt this was a step too far definitely.

HAMMER: And this coming from the perspective, not just as a writer, but as a woman.

RIDLEY: But also as a woman, yes. I mean, it`s just dangerous ground. I just didn`t like the way it was portrayed. I felt there was a certain amount of (INAUDIBLE) there and it was just violent and shocking.

HAMMER: Do you think, though, that they did it for the shock value? Because the fact is, this is an edgy show. It is a violent show. And, certainly, viewers who are coming to this particular show know what they are getting.

RIDLEY: Well absolutely. I mean the very first episode shocked everyone. There is a scene where Leary`s character, he pulls the severed head of a fallen comrade at ground zero. At the end of the second season, his son was killed by a drunk driver. I mean, it is out to shock first. I just think there is edgy and there is edgy. And they are just trying to top everything by just going a little bit further. And, I guess, marital rape was the next logical step for them. But, to me, it just seems like a shock value for the sake of shock.

HAMMER: So really for a show that already pushes the envelope, you think they were pushing it even further and perhaps a little too far. And Denis Leary told us just a short time ago, hey, you know what, this is cable television. This is not primetime TV where, you know, anybody can be watching and the family is sitting around watching. And again, people know what to expect because, if they have watched the show before, they know it shocks. But does it, being cable TV, even justify it?

RIDLEY: Well, I don`t know. Again, going back to the shock value thing, I mean, just -- if you`re just using that as an excuse? I mean is this suddenly going to start cropping up on our network stations? I don`t know. It`s just -- makes me feel uncomfortable.

HAMMER: I mean just watching this here, regardless of whether or not you think it`s appropriate, it does catch your attention. It is something that we see perhaps too often, the idea of violence against women, showing up almost on a daily basis on television.

RIDLEY: I mean you could argue that it does happen, unfortunately, it`s a sad fact of society that some women are abused and they`re often rapes do take place within marriage. But just presented in this way as slight entertainment I don`t think it`s right.

HAMMER: And do you think, sort of as a rule, the violence against women is glorified on television because we do see an awful lot of it depicted. And there are a lot of people who would say, yeah, there is just way too much?

RIDLEY: I don`t think it`s any coincidence that the two main creators behind "Rescue Me" are men. And, dare I say, it is done to titillate. I guess we are guilty ourselves, we`re talking about it now, which is probably the best thing that they want. They want us to talk about it and generate publicity. But I think it`s a bit of a shame.

HAMMER: And I think we`re going to see more of the debate rage on -- on this.

RIDLEY: Absolutely.

HAMMER: Jane Ridley from the "New York Daily News" I appreciate you joining us tonight.

RIDLEY: Thank you.

HAMMER: And tonight for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, we want to hear from you. Rape on TV, do TV shows glorify violence against women? Let us know what you think. is where you go on the web to vote or send us an e-mail if you have more to say at

ANDERSON: Tonight, Star Jones says she was fired. "The View" co-host said adieu to "The View" this morning after nine years on the day time gab fest. But she tells "People" magazine the choice to leave was not hers and she was canned. Quoting Star now, "What you don`t know is that my contract was not renewed for the 10th season. I feel like I was fired." Star`s co- hosts Barbara Walters, Joy Bair and Elizabeth Hasselbeck seemed surprised when she dropped the bombshell on today`s show.


STAR JONES, "THE VIEW": Something`s been on my heart for a little bit and after much prayer and counsel, I feel like this is the right time to tell you that the show is moving in another direction for its 10th season and I will not be returning as co-host next year.

BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": We have heard rumors and we have read rumors. This is a surprise that this would come about this way. We did not expect it. But this, I have to say. From the day you came on this program, nine years ago, I cannot imagine "The View" being the success that it has been without you.


ANDERSON: We contacted ABC to see what they had to say, but they didn`t get back to us by show time.

HAMMER: Coming up, Anna Nicole Smith shows you how to cook. Yeah, we have the outrageous video that you`ve just got to see to believe.

Also coming up, the man of steel flies right into our studio, I`m going one on one with Brandon Routh, in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: Plus, how some little Viagra pills could cause some big problems for talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. And we`ve also got this.


We always said, when we have a child, and it was just never an if.


HAMMER: Paralyzed and pregnant. Tonight the amazing story of a quadriplegic who defied the odds and had a baby. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with a remarkable story that is now an even more remarkable movie.

ANDERSON: But first tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" great American pop culture quiz. For which movie did Kate Winslet receive her first Oscar nomination? "Heavenly Creatures," "Sense and Sensibility", "Iris," or "Titanic." Think about it. We`ll be right back.


ANDERSON: And here we are again with tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" great American pop culture quiz. For which movie did Kate Winslet receive her first Oscar nomination? "Heavenly Creatures," "Sense and Sensibility", "Iris," or "Titanic." It was the 1995 movie based on an 1811 Jane Austin novel, the answer is B, "Sense and Sensibility." Titanic was released a couple of years later in `97.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. It is time now for a story that made us say, that`s ridiculous. I figure if you want to rock `n` roll all night and party every day, you got to stay awake, right? So kiss, the kabuki costume band known for their outrageous concerts and of course lead singer Gene Simmons` extraordinarily long tongue, is opening a coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That`s right. It`s going to be the Kiss Coffeehouse. It will feature drinks such as the frozen rockacchino. Kiss and coffee, I`m thinking Starbucks doesn`t need to be too worried. And to your Kiss references Brooke, every person who works behind the counter is going to be named Beth.

ANDERSON: Oh, well, that`s a prerequisite, then, for the job. But, A.J., nothing surprises me anymore. Doesn`t Joe Perry of Aerosmith have hot sauce?

HAMMER: I believe it`s just part of the deal. You`ve got to have some sort of beverage or food item if you`re a rock n roller. Beth by the way is one of Kiss` biggest hits just so you`re aware of what I was talking about.

ANDERSON: Yes it is. Absolutely. And this one of course flanked by two huge platform boots outside the coffeehouse, pretty appropriate. But a Kiss coffeehouse, that`s ridiculous.

Okay let`s go from the ridiculous to, well, the ridiculous. Anna Nicole Smith giving cooking lessons on the internet. As they say, do not adjust your set, folks. The playboy model turned reality star turned trim spa weight loss supplement spokeswoman has been posting homemade videos on her website for a $4.99 monthly fee. Let`s stop for a second so you can take that in. Okay, so for five bucks a month you can watch Anna Nicole talk about her life. So we took up an office collection. We each donated a nickel, a dime, a quarter, whatever we thought it was worth, and are happy now to show you her latest award winning masterpiece.


ANNA NICOLE SMITH: If you`re wondering I haven`t been taking trim spa now because I`m pregnant and I can`t. So I`m sad. I`m eating peanut butter, cheese, mayonnaise, fried -- and it`s damn good, too. I`m serious. They are really good. I`ve had like five people taste them that weren`t pregnant, and they`re good. They like them. And I throw bananas on there, if I have them, I love bananas. This has to fry first. Did I mention I was six months pregnant? Yes, I am six months pregnant. So that`s why I`ve gained weight. Fry. It`s taking forever.


ANDERSON: We are told the sandwich complied. Anna Nicole went on to say she has been pregnated, yes that`s the word she used -- for six months.

HAMMER: That`s fantastic. Almost as fantastic as this next story. Rush Limbaugh actually could be in trouble over prescription drugs again, but this time, we`re not talking about painkillers, we`re talking about Viagra. The conservative radio talk show host was stopped at Florida`s Palm Beach International Airport by U.S. customs officials after he was returning from a trip that he took to the Dominican Republic. He had a bottle of impotent drugs, the Viagra prescription drugs in his luggage, only the label didn`t have his name on it. Limbaugh`s lawyer said the prescription was in the name of a doctor who prescribed it for privacy purposes. Customs officials alerted the sheriff`s department, kept the Viagra, released Limbaugh. And joining me here in New York to sort it all out, "Court TV" news anchor Ashleigh Banfield. Alright Ashleigh.


HAMMER: This is fantastic. Of course, just last month he settled those charges that he had against him for doctor shopping. Basically he cut a deal so he could stay out of jail. Then he shows up at customs, they check his luggage, and basically say, is it Viagra in your suitcase or are you just happy to see us? Could he really be in a lot of trouble here?

BANFIELD: You know frankly, yes. And that`s what`s such a surprise given that this isn`t a controlled substance we should all be giggling at this one as he was on his radio show today. But it isn`t a funny matter and I don`t think prosecutors will be happy to hear that he was joking about it.

HAMMER: Well, why could he actually be in trouble? I mean are you allowed -- they allege that he had the prescription in his doctor`s name. And I can kind of understand a celebrity of sorts not wanting to have the name, particularly, we`re talking about Viagra here. Not everybody wants to advertise that they use that I guess. So, are you even allowed to do that?

BANFIELD: You are. In Florida you can have your doctor prescribe it in another name. However, you have to all be in cahoots together, all parties have to be knowing of this, and the doctor has to file the paper work accordingly. And that`s what we`re waiting on right now, to find out if in fact this was all done in a legit way. Otherwise, yes, he could be in trouble.

HAMMER: And particularly because of his past experiences, is it sort of a probation violation kind of a thing?

BANFIELD: Kind of. And actually what`s really funny here, is that he`s kind of in the same boat now as one of the Duke rape scandal indicted suspects. In that they`re in diversion programs. They did something that was naughty, they didn`t go to trial for it, they got put in diversion programs and were told don`t get into trouble for X number of months. And Rush Limbaugh was told don`t get into trouble for 18 months. Now, if this is determined to be trouble, meaning, the doctor wasn`t actually in cahoots with this whole program, then he has to face the charges that he originally was going to face for doctor shopping, and he could face five years in jail for it.

HAMMER: Wouldn`t that be something? Rush Limbaugh going to jail for five years over drugs. Do you see that happening? Because he seems to -- things seem to slide off him. He certainly got out of this last situation in a pretty favorable way for him.

BANFIELD: I don`t know that it would be the full five years, because, let`s not forget this isn`t a controlled substance, it`s just Viagra. It would be different if he had painkillers.

HAMMER: So we`re talking about Viagra here and the fact is Ashleigh would we even be talking about this at all had Rush not been in trouble before? Would they have even necessarily searched, I mean are they looking for something with him?

BANFIELD: I don`t think that there is anything more sinister to this than just some control agents doing their job at the border. I don`t necessarily notice border and customs agents being very political. Is it possible? Sure it is. This guy was flying in on a private plane from Dominican Republic. We all know Rush has that tendency to be a bit bombast.

HAMMER: Oh you think?

BANFIELD: I know he has regarding me at times. So in any case, it`s entirely possible somebody decided to take him to the woodshed and check through everything. But, you know what? The law is the law. And we shouldn`t be making jokes about it in terms of whether he`s guilty or not. But, the truth is, it`s hard not to because the blogosphere is going bananas.

HAMMER: And we don`t have to make the jokes because you turn on late night TV, everybody`s going to be talking about it. This is going to be fodder for months to come. Ashleigh Banfield from "Court TV", thank you so much for being with us again.

BANFIELD: Always a pleasure, thanks A.J.

ANDERSON: We want to remind you, now that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is now on seven nights a week. We`re bringing TV`s most provocative entertainment news show to your weekend. Be sure to tune in. That`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 p.m. eastern, 8:00 pacific.

Okay. Naomi Campbell back in court. Will Boy George be picking up trash? And is somebody stalking John Cusack? All that coming up in tonight`s legal low down. Plus, we`ve also got this.


It`s a horrible feeling and there are no doctors still that know what`s going on or can tell me what to do to better this.


HAMMER: Paralyzed and pregnant. Tonight, the amazing story of a quadriplegic who defied the odds and had a baby. But at what price? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the remarkable story that is now an even more remarkable movie.

ANDERSON: And a lot of talk about the new "Superman" movie, but spidey doesn`t want to be one upped. We`ve got your first look at the new "Spiderman 3" trailer in tonight`s SHOWBIZ SHOWCASE. Hang tight.


HAMMER: Tomorrow it`s a good morning goodbye as the face of the network morning shows change and the face of the evening network newscast change. We`re up to Charlie Gibson`s last day on "Good Morning America." And, of course, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there on the set tomorrow.

ANDERSON: From "Good Morning America" to happy birthday America. Today we found out that Nick Lachey and Lionel Richie will perform at the annual Macy`s Fourth of July spectacular. This is the 30th anniversary of the fireworks which light up New York City of course. Lionel has a new album coming out in September and Lachey`s doing pretty well since splitting with Jessica Simpson. His, "What`s Left of Me" is still hot on the Billboard album charts. Alright, you can check the fireworks on NBC on Tuesday, July 4th, of course

HAMMER: Well the man of steel is flying into our studios right here. We`re going to go one on one with Brandon Routh, it`s the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: And a miner league manager, a major league meltdown. You`re looking at it and we will take a look at this tantrum. More we`ll take a look at what everybody`s talking about and how it compares to other famous tantrums of the past. Plus, we`ve also got this.


In conversation we always said, you know, when we have a child. And it was just never an if.


HAMMER: Paralyzed and pregnant. Tonight the amazing story of a quadriplegic who defied the odds and had a baby. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the remarkable story that is now an even more remarkable movie. We`re coming right back.

RICHELLE CAREY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everybody, I`m Richelle Carey with your "Headline Prime Newsbreak." An elk`s club leader was found dead in the rubble of a collapsed building in Clinton, Missouri. The accident happened just after a lodge dinner Monday night. The victim had gone to the third floor shortly before it collapsed into the second floor. Nine other men were trapped for hours before they were rescued.

The Space Shuttle Discovery`s crew of seven arrived today at the Kennedy Space Center. Lift off is scheduled for Saturday. It will be the second shuttle flight since the Columbia disaster three years ago. Some NASA officials have expressed some safety concerns and actually recommended a delay. But NASA`s administrator said the mission is a go.

And soon you will not be able to view a star like usual. Star Jones Reynolds says she is leaving ABC`s "The View." She is not giving a reason. Rosie O`Donnell is replacing Meredith Viera on the show this fall. O`Donnell has challenged Jones-Reynolds` weight loss method publicly. That`s the news for now. I`m Richelle Carey. Thank you for watching. Keep it here.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I am A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I am Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

HAMMER: All right, Brooke. Imagine this: you`re a young child. You`re growing up in the Midwest. You`re a huge fan of the comic books. You`re a huge fan of Superman in particular. You find yourself several years later playing Superman in the first Superman movie to be made in 20 years, the legendary role.

And that movie...

ANDERSON: A dream come true.

HAMMER: That movie is about to open up. Are you nervous? I`m going to ask the guy playing Superman himself, Brandon Routh. He`s going to be here in just a few moments. See if he has the pre-opening jitters.

ANDERSON: All right. That Brandon`s a nice guy. I`ve spoken with him, too. And he`s proven he`s a talented actor, A.J. Gives quite a performance, as you know.

HAMMER: That`s a great movie. It is.

ANDERSON: Absolutely.

Also, it`s the most outrageous tantrum we`ve seen in awhile, A.J. The minor league baseball manager who basically freaks out when he disagrees with a call. Coming up, we`re going to compare how his meltdown compares to other meltdowns and tantrums of the past, including that of Naomi Campbell.

HAMMER: Yes, you should have seen my senior producer during the last commercial break.

But first tonight, a story that is both inspiring and heartbreaking. It is one woman`s journey to motherhood, and it`s the subject of a new documentary.

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


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michelle Carston is disabled, a quadriplegic. Thirteen years ago, at the age of 23, this attractive brunette dove into shallow water while vacationing in Mexico.

MICHELLE CARSTON, GAVE BIRTH WHILE PARALYZED: It broke my neck at the (INAUDIBLE) fifth level (ph), and instantly paralyzed me.

ZARRELLA: The accident left her with no movement below her chest, but did not paralyze her spirit. Today, she even bowls with a special device called the "I-10 Bowler" (ph).

M. CARSTON: My high score is 181.

ZARRELLA: About five years ago, Michelle met Peter at a karaoke bar near Orlando.

PETER CARSTON, MICHELLE`S HUSBAND: We just clicked from - from the moment we met.

M. CARSTON: I didn`t sing. That`s why I landed him.

ZARRELLA: They married on a sunny March afternoon three years later.

P. CARSTON With this ring...

M. CARSTON: I thee wed.

P. CARSTON: ...I thee wed.

ZARRELLA: Marriage alone was not enough to fulfill her and Peter`s lives. They wanted a child.

M. CARSTON: In conversation we always said, you know, When we have a child. And it was just never an if.

ZARRELLA: But many wondered after the accident, Could she become pregnant?

Michelle never doubted it would happen.

M. CARSTON: There`s nothing wrong with my body. That`s what people forget.

ZARRELLA: After only three months trying to conceive, Michelle was expecting. What Michelle and her doctors could not foresee is what would happen to her. The story of her pregnancy is the subject of a one-hour Discovery Health documentary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After 15 (ph) hours of waiting, suddenly everything is happening really fast.

ZARRELLA: Experts say women with spinal-cord injuries can generally conceive and bear children at nearly the same success rate as the general population.

(on camera): But doctors at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis say Michelle Carston is rare. We are looking at the - quote - "needle in the haystack," they say. Worldwide, women make up only 20 percent of spinal- cord injuries. And the number who are of child-bearing age is infinitely smaller than that.

(voice-over): Because there is such limited knowledge about paralyzed women giving birth, Michelle did not know what would happen to her body or her unborn child`s health. Eight months ago, she gave birth to Pierce Michael Carston. Pierce is fine, Michelle and Peter say.

But Michelle is not. Nearly since the onset of her pregnancy, Michelle has been fighting a strange, debilitating case of high blood pressure.

M. CARSTON: It`s a horrible feeling, and there are no doctors still that know what`s going on or can tell me what to do to better his.

ZARRELLA: Just sitting up straight can cause her to black out. On one afternoon we spent with her, Michelle couldn`t get out of bed. The Carstons have hired helpers, but much of the burden of care for Pierce falls on husband Peter.

P. CARSTON: I`d be lying if I said it wasn`t tough. You know, it`s tough. You know, you just got to hang in there and, you know, just get through it. That`s - that`s what I do on a - everyday is getting through it.

ZARRELLA: Despite the hardships...

M. CARSTON: I know you`re sleepy. Oh, honey, so sleepy.

ZARRELLA: ...Michelle relishes every moment spent with Pierce. The blood-pressure problem is hugely frustrating. But she fights through it.

M. CARSTON: Even when they`re feeding the baby, I have them bring him right in front of me so that I can feel like I`m an active part of this.

ZARRELLA: For Michelle, parenting is a matter of the heart, and not the arms and legs.


HAMMER: That`s a remarkable story. Almost hard to believe.

That was CNN`s John Zarrella for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. The documentary, "Paralyzed and Pregnant," airs on the Discovery Health Channel on July 2.

ANDERSON: It is time now for tonight`s "Legal Lowdown." Supermodel Naomi Campbell made a brief appearance in a Manhattan courtroom on charges that she threw her cell phone at her housekeeper. Campbell didn`t speak during the hearings. She has to be back in court September 27, and there could be a plea bargain. Campbell has called the allegations "completely untrue."

John Cusack has filed a restraining order against an alleged stalker. The complaint says a homeless woman in L.A. is throwing letters over his fence, and says she will hurt herself if she - if he doesn`t meet her. Cusack is asking that the woman be ordered to stay at least 500 feet away from him.

Boy George has been ordered to pick up some garbage in New York. He`ll be doing five days of community service with the Department of Sanitation after pleading guilty to calling police with a bogus burglary report at his apartment last October. Now when police got there, they found cocaine inside. A judge has threatened Boy George with jail time if he doesn`t do his community service within the next two months.

And that`s the "Legal Lowdown" tonight.

HAMMER: It`s all been (ph) very strange to me.

Well, in tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Showcase," "Spiderman 3," starring Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. This time around, Peter Parker not only has enhanced powers, but he has a new suit to match. He now must fight Harry, the second Green Goblin, to defend his true identity. Things become even more intense when Sandman, a new villain, shows up on the scene.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your very first look at the trailer.




KIRSTEN DUNST, ACTRESS: What`s happened to you?

TOBY MAGUIRE, ACTOR: I don`t know.


MAGUIRE: I have to stop it.



HAMMER: Digging that new suit. Apparently, black is the new black.

"Spiderman 3" will be in theaters on May 4, 2007.

ANDERSON: OK, we want to spend some time on the weekends with you. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is now on seven nights a week. We`re bringing TV`s most provocative entertainment news show to your weekends. Be sure to tune in. That`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Saturday and Sunday, 11 p.m. Eastern. That`s 8 Pacific.

Is Harry Potter going to be killed off in the last book? Coming up, what J.K. Rowling said that has Potter fans giddy and a little nervous.

HAMMER: Plus, the new Superman flies in for a "SHOWBIZ Sitdown." We have Brandon Routh coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty good toss. Not bad. Better than the slide.

Kids, don`t try that at home.



ANDERSON: A minor league manager`s major league freak out. Coming up, we`re going to take a look at his tantrum and how it compares to other famous tantrums of the past.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A.J. to big mon (ph). Master, roll the break. Effect black.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fade up, music under. Go Camera 3. Stand by, A.J. Pre-set 4, open his mic, dissolve Camera 4 and go.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

Time now for another story that made us say "That`s Ridiculous!"

Now this is the story of a minor league manager`s major league meltdown. The manager has actually received a seven-game suspension and a $1000 fine for this big tantrum he threw at a game.

Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You`re looking at a manger who could use a little anger management.


MOOS: Better to clasp his hands behind his back than to wring the umpire`s neck.

The manager of the Asheville, North Carolina, Tourists went ballistic after a baserunner from the other side was declared safe at second. Manager Joe Mikulik did his own instant replay, and then proceeded to uproot the base itself. Typical, you say, for a guy in uniform.

But hey, guys in suits have tantrums, too. We`ve even seen lawmakers lose it, from Taiwan...


MOOS: Russia.


MOOS: At least Manager Mikulik didn`t do what this Czech politician did - slap the Czech health minister for supposedly making comments about his wife.

But we`ve barely gotten to second base with the baseball tirade. As the PA system controlled by the opposing team taunted Mikulik...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no crying in baseball!

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: There`s no crying in baseball!

MOOS: The manager launched a line drive that didn`t make it out of the infield.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty good toss. Not bad. Better than the slide. Kids, don`t try that at home.


MOOS: He kicked dirt at the home plate umpire, and then he took out his rage on home plate itself, even using his hands to dish the dirt on the plate.

At least he didn`t throw a cell phone, as Naomi Campbell allegedly did, enraged at her housekeeper, supposedly over a pair of missing jeans.

Maybe the tendency toward tantrums is in your genes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just shut up, will you?


MOOS: Swipe those papers, toss those bats. Mikulik threw four of them from the dugout.

And just when you think it`s over, out he comes to pour water on home plate. Clearly, he`s lost that lovin feeling.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you need anger manager?

JOE MIKULIK, MANAGER, ASHEVILLE TOURISTS: No. My mom raised me the right way.

MOOS: The ejected Mikulik finally left the field...



MOOS: He lost his temper. His team lost the game.



Brooke, it`s always just refreshing to see adults acting like children, isn`t it?

ANDERSON: Acting like a two-year-old there.

You know, I`m a sports fan; I`ve watched a lot of baseball. And - and that`s probably the most entertaining outrageous tantrum I`ve ever seen, and there have been a lot of them in that sport, A.J.

HAMMER: I`ve been watching that over and over today.

Minor league managers, major league freak out. We say, of course, "That`s Ridiculous!"

ANDERSON: "That`s Ridiculous!"

HAMMER: Moving on now, it`s a bird! It`s a plane! It`s "Superman Returns"! And we`ve got Superman, or at least the actor who plays him, Brandon Routh, right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Now in just a matter of minutes in some areas of the country, midnight showings of "Superman Returns" will begin around the nation. Brandon Routh visited me today here in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT studio. And I asked him all about filling those big red boots.


HAMMER: Well first of all, nice going.


HAMMER: What a movie. And to open up every single newspaper and see just about universally glowing reviews has to feel pretty good.

But it`s still a pretty huge moment, the opening of this film.

Are you - are you feeling the jitters at all because of that? I mean, you know it`s going to do well. So that can`t be making you nervous.

ROUTH: You know, it`s exciting to have it finally - you know, hours from now people are actually going to be able to see it. It`s pretty amazing. And the fact that we`ve gotten such great reviews and that everybody seems to really enjoy the film is - is awesome. So if I had any kind of doubt, it was erased very quickly.

HAMMER: Gone. You`re feeling good.

ROUTH: Yes. Feeling good. Happy to be here.

HAMMER: And - oh, well, we`re happy to have you here.

And it - and it - as clich, as it may kind of sound, your old life has been basically leading up to this in many ways, because you were running around your house in Superman pajamas when you were a kid, right?

ROUTH: Sure, yes. Absolutely. I had a couple of different versions. As - once when I was really young. And then as I got older as well, a whole cape and everything running around the house, you know, annoying my parents to no end, I`m sure.

It was my first manager - he - he mentioned that I looked a lot Christopher Reeve, and he was a big fan. And, you know, that was I think one of the - the reasons why he wanted to - to work with me.

HAMMER: Well, let`s talk about that resemblance for a moment, because people have been pointing out to you - pointing that out to you for a long time. There was a conscious decision to evoke some of Christopher`s Superman in this particular role, wasn`t there?

ROUTH: Yes. Well, Chris was my Superman. I grew up with - with him as the character. And this film takes - you know, is - is a - a sequel, a vague sequel to those first two films. So we had to have a bridge, we had to make that bridge and make it easier for audiences to accept me as the character. Because Chris made such an indelible mark on the role for - for people all over the world.

And to be honest, you know, he did such an amazing job with the role, there`s - there`s - there`s not a whole lot to change. Because to go in and just give him some kind of accent or a walk that`s more macho or something like that just didn`t work, because Superman is - has these core principles. And Chris hit them so well that, you know, what - what I got to do as well to add to that is you see a Superman who`s more emotional, who - who we get to see what`s happening on his face a lot more. He grows and matures in this film. It`s a more in-depth look in the life of Superman.

HAMMER: First time you put on that suit and looked in the mirror, what was going through your head?

ROUTH: Well, the first time was a little nerve-wracking for me, amongst the costume department. But later on...

HAMMER: It`s a pretty tight-fighting...

ROUTH: Yes. Yes.

HAMMER: ...piece of clothing you`re wearing.

ROUTH: Later on, after I`d worked out for a couple months and we had the hair fixed and - and seeing it all put together for the first time was just amazingly powerful for me. I - I felt, by that time, completely comfortable in the suit. And, you know, that I - that I was kind of settled - I settled into it in that moment, and was really proud and really happy to have - to be able to, you know, finally be putting it on film.

HAMMER: And then the first time you looked up at the big screen and you actually saw yourself flying, did the fantasy, as they say, live up to the reality at all?

ROUTH: I think so.

HAMMER: Did the reality turn fantasy?

ROUTH: With everything - you know, I experienced all these things on the green screen.


ROUTH: And that was a little strange. But then just seeing the final product, seeing it come together, it just looked so effortless and strong and powerful and graceful. I`m just really pleased with it, and so excited that, you know, we could do it.

HAMMER: When a movie like this comes out, everybody wants a piece of him. And you`ve been hearing all the things people have been saying, speculation - Is Superman Jewish?

ROUTH: Right.

HAMMER: Is Superman Jesus? Is Superman gay?

ROUTH: Right.

HAMMER: What - what do you make of all of that? And everybody kind of glomming on and trying to make Superman their own?

ROUTH: My response to that is - is - is Superman is an icon for all walks of life, all people in America and all kinds of countries. Of any - they can think whatever they want. You know, it`s great that Superman is - is that - that big of a - a role model and a positive character. He should be. You know, for any - I think - I don`t think any one person, any one walk of life can - can claim him, because he is everyone`s. He`s the Earth`s greatest protector.

HAMMER: He is, but you can...

ROUTH: Protector.

HAMER: But you can understand certainly the religious references, especially - you know, there`s that moment in the film where Jor-El says, You know, the people on Earth are basically a good people. They just need somebody to show them the light. And - and, you know, clearly religious undertones there.

ROUTH: Absolutely. Absolutely. It`s - it`s - it`s - it`s there. And, you know, it`s - from my point of view, it`s there to show how great, you know, Superman is and how - how I think people can aspire to be - to be like him. I think - I mean, that`s important for me to see the film and just to be inspired by Superman and the spirit of - of the character, to - to find their own greatness. And, you know, that`s - that`s what religion - and I think that`s what in the religion as well, is finding your own personal greatness. And so, you know, that`s a part of it, sure.

HAMMER: I read an interview you gave early on, when this thing was first starting to unfold and the publicity was just beginning. You were asked if you were prepared for the inevitable wild exposure that was going to happen.

Well, here you are. It`s happened. You are - you`re virtually a household name now, perhaps the biggest star on the planet at the moment. Through all of that and through all that you`ve been doing and all of that exposure, what`s the biggest thing that has surprised you, that you didn`t expect from it all?

ROUTH: Well, I didn`t expect the first time we were kind of greeted by the paparazzi and autograph seekers at the airport in Los Angeles one of the first times. I didn`t expect it to happen right then.

But I -- I mean, those are little things. Gosh, I don`t know.

HAMMER: But that - those are important little things because your life essentially has changed.


HAMMER: People will follow you now; they will be asking for autographs and trying to take your picture.

How has it been dealing with that experience?

ROUTH: I don`t know. I - I`ve done well, I guess, with it I think so far because I`ve - I`ve kept the smile on my face most of the time and a positive attitude. And I`m learning. You know, you learn how to - how to - how to give time when I can, when I can. When I can, stop and sign autographs. And when I need to - to - to get my next, you know, appointment or interview to - for the sake of the film. So it`s - it`s a balance and just learning how to - how to balance it all.

HAMMER: Well, for a guy who plays a guy who flies, you do seem to have your feet firmly placed on the ground and - and best of luck maintaining that...

ROUTH: Thank you.

HAMMER: It`s going to be a difficult challenge. Brandon Routh, thank you for coming in.

ROUTH: Appreciate it, A.J.


HAMMER: Really nice guy. What I found really interesting in speaking with Brandon is how basically unaffected he seems to be about all the craziness and hype that is surrounding him right now. Not to mention the pressure for "Superman" to be a big hit. I mean, "Superman" cost more than $200 million to make.

And when you figure in all the marketing costs and all of the other expenses that are involved with this, "Entertainment Weekly" is actually reporting that this film, "Superman Returns" has to make around $600 million just to break even. I am imagining it will. I have seen the film; it`s terrific. Obviously, Brandon and everyone else connected to the film are hoping that moviegoers feel the same way.

ANDERSON: J.K. Rowling is working on the seventh and final installment of the Harry Potter series, and she says at least two characters will die in that book. Now people are wondering if it good be Harry himself who`s in danger of being killed off. It`s all because of something Rowling said on a British talk show. She wouldn`t reveal who dies because she said she doesn`t want the hate mail. But she said in an intellectual way, she sees the value of killing Harry off.

Take a look.


J.K. ROWLING, AUTHOR: See, I`ve never been tempted to kill him - kill him off before the end of Book 7. Because I always planned seven books, and I - that`s where I want to go.


ROWLING: I want to finish in seven books.


ROWLING: I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an (INAUDIBLE) who thinks that I`m going to kill him off, because that means there can be (INAUDIBLE) sequels, as they call them.



ANDERSON: Rowling says the last chapter of the seventh book was written long ago and is hidden away. We`ll just have to wait and see.

HAMMER: Last night we asked you to vote online in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." "Anna Nicole Smith: Does she deserve her late husband`s fortune?" Split right down the middle: 53 percent of you say yes; 47 percent no.

Among the e-mails, one from Cindy in Indiana. She writes, "Why shouldn`t she get part of his money? She was his wife. It`s not like this situation is an unusual one."

We also hear from Greg in Nevada who writes, "She should receive some of her late husband`s fortune. Why not? I`m sure he enjoyed the time he spent with her."

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Tuesday night, coming right back.


ANDERSON: We have been asking you to vote on tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Rape on TV: Do TV shows glorify violence against women?" Keep voting: Write to us: We`ll read some of your e-mails tomorrow.

HAMMER: What`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow? Here`s your "SHOWBIZ Marquee."

Tomorrow, "Good Morning" goodbye: it`s Charlie Gibson`s last day on "GMA." And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT right there on the set with Charlie tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, could Superman be for real? The flying, the leaping tall buildings, that faster-than-a-locomotive thing. You know, some people say we mere mortals could develop superpowers. We`ll look into it tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. I am A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I am Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Have a great night, everyone. Stay tuned for more from CNN Headline News.