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Casey Anthony Online Outrage; Star Power Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts; Robin Sings Like a Bird; Tracy Morgan Says Sorry; Bristol Palin`s Book Shockers

Aired June 21, 2011 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Tonight the big debate. Is Casey Anthony really a celebrity? Plus big news about who might replace Regis on "Live with Regis and Kelly."

I`m A.J. Hammer. And this is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: More big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. The unbelievable brand new outrage over Casey Anthony online. Facebook, Twitter.

Plus SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates what could happen if Casey is actually acquitted.

Tracy Morgan`s emotional apology. Tracy steps up to the cameras for the very first time today since his homophobic rant.

TRACY MORGAN, COMEDIAN: From the bottom of my heart I apologize to everybody who I offended with my words.

HAMMER: But will anyone buy his apology? We`ll ask the guy who broke the news about the rant and was right there with Tracy today, right here in a headline making "Showbiz Newsmaker" interview.

Bristol Palin`s explosive new confession about sex with her ex, Levi Johnson.

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


HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City with big news breaking.

Tonight online outrage. The Casey Anthony murder trial is back in session today and the very real courtroom drama is sparking an unbelievable, virtual frenzy. The young mom accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter is really one of the hottest topics trending online.

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are fanning the flames of this tragic tale and pushing what has become a gripping TV phenomenon into unprecedented territory.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the real story behind the Casey Anthony online outrage.


HAMMER: As the Casey Anthony trial restarted today, viewers watching on TV and on the Internet saw lawyers debate what testimony should or shouldn`t be heard in court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would request that that specific opinion be excluded.

HAMMER: But as the lawyers argue over who will speak in court, outside of court everyone is speaking about this amazing and shocking trial, where Casey is accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you as the Casey Anthony trial continues to fill the airwaves and newsstands, it`s also dominating social media.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECH REPORTER: They`re calling this the social media trial of the century.

HAMMER: CNN money tech reporter Laurie Segall tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the Casey Anthony trial is a social media phenomenon. With tens of thousands of people following Casey Anthony-related Facebook pages which range from "Free Casey Anthony" to "Fry Casey Anthony." And then there`s Twitter.

SEGALL: There are massively popular Twitter handles that everybody follows. Ninth Circuits Florida has a Twitter handle, there`s Casey Junkies. There are many, many of these Twitter -- these Twitter handles that are getting hundreds of followers just by the day.

HAMMER: But with Casey Anthony dominating the social media discussion more than any star right now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has to ask, is it accurate to call Casey Anthony a celebrity?

SEGALL: I think that social media gave Casey Anthony the ability to become not a celebrity. I wouldn`t say a celebrity, but a bit of a pseudo celebrity.

HAMMER: The court of social media opinion definitely has an opinion on Casey Anthony`s celebrity status as we here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT found out.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT naming the "Most Provocative Celebrity of the Week."

Last Friday SHOWBIZ TONIGHT named Casey Anthony as one of the nominees for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s "Most Provocative Celebrity of the Week."

Will it be Casey Anthony as her murder trial really becomes the biggest TV sensation since the O.J. Simpson trial?

And today our Facebook page is still exploding with debate and outrage over the Casey Anthony as a celebrity question.

Amber B. writes, "The definition of a celebrity is someone celebrated. Are we celebrating Casey Anthony?"

But some think that celebrity shoe fits in this case. Lisa H. writes, "Casey Anthony is very much in the spotlight. People will be talking about her for years."

CASEY ANTHONY, ACCUSED OF MURDERING DAUGHTER: I don`t want to hear any of this media bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

HAMMER: Ironically in those jailhouse conversations with her parents that were played in court, we see Casey complain about her new infamy.

ANTHONY: People want to have their face on the news, want to have their two seconds of fame. I never once wanted to be on TV.

HAMMER: Social media universe is also exploding with outrage at another possibility. People are asking, could Casey Anthony actually beat the rap? That question has set Twitter on fire.

One tweeter writes, "If Casey Anthony gets off, they might as well let all prisoners out of jail because our judicial system will be a darn joke."

And another Twitter writes, quote, "I`m getting pissed off the Casey Anthony trial isn`t going the way I want it. She better not get off easy or I`m leaving the country."

SEGALL: If he says people who have been following closely on social media probably are invested in it a little bit more. So what if she was acquitted, I think that there would be a lot more reaction and there are a lot more platforms for you to have a reaction. You are part of the jury, you are a pundit, you have your own opinion, and you have a platform to express that opinion.

HAMMER: So as the trial of the century -- so far -- continues, social media may not always like what they see. And they`re letting the world know about it.


HAMMER: Yes, they really are. Facebook and Twitter pages dedicated to the trial are just blowing up today with as many as 100,000 followers posting their angry comments all about Casey.

With me in New York tonight for a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Newsmaker" interview, former Casey Anthony defense team member Linda Kenney Baden. And she is also an HLN legal contributor.

Linda, it`s really incredible to have you here because truly nobody has better insight outside of that courtroom than you as to exactly what`s going on in the murder trial.

LINDA KENNEY BADEN, HLN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Including with hate, A.J. Including with the hate mail. Sometimes I get it.

HAMMER: Getting the hate mail as well. So you understand the outrage. We`re seeing it on Facebook, we`re seeing it on Twitter. The pages are blowing up. Some people have already convicted Casey. We`re even seeing it on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page. And I want to read you a couple, the comments we`re getting.


HAMMER: This one from Ruby who writes, "Casey needs to pay for what she did to her daughter. I hope our country and legal system don`t fail Caylee."

We got this from Chrissy G., "Honestly, it`s not making any sense to me that Casey is sitting at a table laughing when her life is at stake. I think they should give her the death penalty."

Strong words, Linda. What do you make as somebody who was right there in that courtroom about this explosion of online outrage that we`re seeing everywhere, even on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page?

BADEN: Right. Well, this is why she can`t get a fair trial because this jury is going to want to convict her. Because they`re not going to go home to their neighborhoods, sit with their neighbors in a coffee clash, and say, I let Casey Anthony free.

So there`s no doubt they`re going to convict her because even coming into this trial, no matter what you say about getting a fair jury, those jurors know they`re sitting in the courtroom, they see the media, they see the newspapers, and they know what this is about.

HAMMER: Just what we`re seeing online, on Facebook, Twitter, everywhere else surprise you at all?

BADEN: It surprises me that so much attention has been devoted to her when we have a lot of children every single day who are murdered or killed by their parents and what the focal point of this that we get so much hatred - - I get some hate mail. I get a lot of good comments also because a lot of people believe that we live in America and this is a country where you`re innocent until proven guilty.

HAMMER: Well, it`s the age of social media and this has become to me the social media trial of the century.

BADEN: Right.

HAMMER: I mean I`m looking at some of the pages that we`re seeing online. Fry Casey Anthony. There`s the Sweet Angel Page, that`s a Facebook page that`s dedicated to the memory of Caylee.

You can almost feel this blood lust looking for the death penalty for Casey. And this is what leads to our "Showbiz Flashpoint," with all this rage online, what do you think could happen if Casey is actually acquitted?

What do you think?

BADEN: Well, you know, there`s a case back in history, back at the turn of the century where a bunch of Italian immigrants were charged with murder in New Orleans and after they were acquitted, they were taken away and hung by the mob.

And what I fear is that we get mob justice here. Let the courtroom procedure work. If she`s guilty of manslaughter, let her be convicted of manslaughter. If she`s guilty of murder, let her be convicted of that. But don`t try her in advance of a jury verdict.

HAMMER: Well, Linda, I really appreciate you being here.

BADEN: Thank you.

HAMMER: Taking some time away from your trial coverage. It`s great having your insight.

BADEN: Appreciate it.

HAMMER: Welcome to the HLN all-stars by the way.

BADEN: Thank you.

HAMMER: Nobody covering the Casey Anthony murder trial like HLN.

Right now let me get to Sunny Hostin who`s a legal contributor for truTV`s "In Session."

Listen, Sunny, virtually no one doubts that Casey was somehow involved in little Caylee`s death. I think that`s been made pretty clear. But a lot of people are saying that the case against her appears surprisingly weak from a legal perspective, all based on little bits of circumstantial evidence.

So Sunny, what do you think? To our "Showbiz Flashpoint," what do you think the reaction will be if Casey is actually acquitted?

SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, "IN SESSION" ON TRUTV: I think the case never goes away. And you remember O.J. and the outrage, and then there were the books that the jurors wrote and the books that the attorneys wrote. Everyone became a celebrity.

And I can imagine something like that will happen. There are two camps, though, still. There are people that believe she`s innocent, there are people that believe she is guilty. And so I think if she is acquitted and again, you know, although people think something criminal happened, I think a lot of folks think that, there are those who think that there is the possibility that the prosecution hasn`t proven its case.

And so if she is acquitted, we -- this case just never, ever goes away. It`s just around forever.

HAMMER: Yes, and I was scanning so many of the Facebook comments today and some of the tweets. And a lot of people are saying she brought this on herself with all the partying that she did after Caylee`s death and the obsession she seems to have with being a celebrity.

Quickly, Sunny, do you think that is why there`s so much outrage within social media today?

HOSTIN: You know, I don`t think so. I think this case has had a focus from the very, very beginning because it cuts against everything we believe in about women, right? We believe that mothers are nurturers and the thought that a mother would kill her 2-year-old baby --


HOSTIN: -- And lie about it and act this way for 31 days, I think it just had the recipe for this sort of media attention.

HAMMER: No question about it. Sunny Hostin, thanks so much.

Make sure you stay with HLN all day long for continuing live coverage of the Casey Anthony murder trial.

We got to move on right now. Tracy Morgan`s emotional apology today for his homophobic rant.


MORGAN: I pride myself on 20 years -- 18 years of standup, of using it to heal people and not hurt. That was my whole thing. And I hurt people with this.


HAMMER: Will anyone buy this?

We`re going to ask the guy who broke the news about Tracy`s rant. He was also right there with Tracy Morgan today. It`s a headline making "Showbiz Newsmaker" interview. It is coming up.

Bristol Palin`s explosive new confessions tonight about sex with her ex- fiancee, Levi Johnston.

And would Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts want their kids to be actors?


JILL SIMONIAN, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT CORRESPONDENT: If your kids come to you and say, guess what, mom, I want to be an actor, what do you say?





HAMMER: It`s our revealing "Showbiz Newsmaker" interview next.

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Time for the "Showbiz News Ticker," these are more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

GRAPHICS: Hugh Hefner lets his runaway bride keep her $90,000 engagement ring and Bentley.

GRAPHICS: AMC`s "Mad Med" wins best drama series award at Critics` Choice Awards.


JON HAMM, ACTOR, "MAD MEN": I think we`re going to go back into production late July, early August. I`ll be directing the first episode so I`ll be prepping and all that stuff that you do. I don`t know anything sadly. I kind of wish I did just so I could start freaking out about it. But no, it`s all being written and put together as we speak.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. And tonight we have major star power in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Newsmaker" interview with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. They`re starring together in "Larry Crowne."

Now it`s a new movie about a guy who gets fired -- that`s Tom -- and goes back to college where he falls for one of his professors. That would be Julia.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Jill Simonian sat down with Tom and Julia. One of the big questions she asked, would they do this acting thing all over again?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he lost his job, they let him go.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get you some knowledge and you`ll be fireproof.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that`s right, Larry. You`re never too old to learn.

SIMONIAN: That was the thing that I loved the most about this movie is the theme of continuing to learn. Now I`m curious, knowing what you know now, what it takes to be a star, to handle the press, to handle the headlines and all of the stuff that goes around the job of acting, what advice would you have maybe given yourself when you first started out?

ROBERTS: Well, I would just like to say that when we started out, it was a whole different ball game. Not -- it wasn`t Internet and instant gossip and people following you and video phones.

HANKS: It wasn`t aggressive, man.

ROBERTS: Yes, it wasn`t aggressive.

HANKS: They weren`t out trying to get you.

ROBERTS: If somebody wanted to take your picture, someone -- a paparazzi type of person, they would say, "hey, a quick picture"? "Sure." Click. "Have a good day." And they would leave. It wasn`t -- it wasn`t this pursued. It wasn`t this aggression.


ROBERTS: It was really a different thing which I am so thankful it`s not me 20 trying to make movies now.

HANKS: That`s true. Yes.


SIMONIAN: You wish we would return a little bit to that time?

ROBERTS: I mean there`s pros and cons. As in what we`re talking about, an actor kind of coming up in the ranks, it`s -- it was a lot more logical. There was a syntax to it than that doesn`t exist now.

SIMONIAN: Tori Spelling tweeted that she got into a car wreck because paparazzi were chasing her, with her kids in the car. As a fellow mom, of course, I hear this, I feel horrified.

What do you think needs to be done to stop this insanity?

HANKS: If you`re a minor, you`re not a celebrity, and you shouldn`t be subjected to essentially what are a lot of times very aggressive, rude people that are --

ROBERTS: Just to be in a weekly cute poll.


ROBERTS: Whose kid is -- like I don`t even understand that.

HANKS: It`s simply unhealthy. You know I used to say it`s neither fair nor wise for me to thrust my kids into the public eye and that should be our option. You know that should be the option of the parents to do that or not.

ROBERTS: But walking from school to home, I don`t think it`s thrusting your child into a public eye. So to deal with any aggression in the block that I walk from school to home that should be a safe environment for my child.

HANKS: Sometimes just buying them socks, you know? Going out -- you know trying to go to the shoe store.


SIMONIAN: Knowing that this is how the climate is now then, when you were first starting out, would you have still gone down the acting path?

ROBERTS: Why should you have to give up your dream as an artist because you think that people are going to be mean? I mean, really? You still have to dream your dream and show your children that you dream a dream and you follow that dream no matter what.


HANKS: I`m speaking on both -- we went into this because it`s a blast. I can`t imagine having more fun. You know? And if I was good with tools, I might feel as though, you know, laying brick, you know, or putting in rebar, putting --


ROBERTS: But he`s not. He`s actually not good with tools.

HANKS: I`m terrible with tools. But you know if you go back, I would have to say trust your willingness to say no a little bit more often. Because I really think that`s how you define your career over the long haul. You know where you might be saying no to the wrong thing that`s going to be somewhere. But you can`t. You`ve actually --

ROBERTS: But there`s so many more pros than cons. And I think in any situation you get in, you show your children there are going to be people who are trying to spoil the fun of it no matter what your job is.

SIMONIAN: Here`s a question for you. Your kids -- well, you`ve been in this position. Your kids come to you and say guess what, mom, I want to be an actor, w do you say?

ROBERTS: Aim higher.


HANKS: Really?

SIMONIAN: After all of the joys that you have brought so many fans --

HANKS: All right, they come to you and say, I want to be a cinematographer, what do you say then?


ROBERTS: Now you`re talking.

HANKS: Now that`s a job.

SIMONIAN: We found out -- I got you. We found the (INAUDIBLE).

ROBERTS: No, but I mean, at least -- I don`t mind being an artist but at least have another skill. I feel like I have domestic skills. Well, my kids always say, you know, mommy, if you want to get a job, you could probably work at a restaurant because you`re a good cooker.

HANKS: There you go.

ROBERTS: That`s what I hear a lot. So have I skill.

HANKS: There you go.


HAMMER: I think I want to go hang out with the two of them. That was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Jill Simonian and "Larry Crowne" is in theater on July 1st.

All right, moving on now to Bristol Palin`s explosive new confession about sex with her ex, Levi Johnson. Should Bristol have kept quiet? That is coming up.

Also a 59-year-old "Lost" star marries a 16-year-old. Yes, I said 51 and 16.

And Tracy Morgan`s brand new apology today for his homophobic rant. Robert Flavor Flav has been up and down in his career. What does he have to say about this? Well, I will ask him coming up in the "Showbiz Newsmaker" interview.

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN News and Views.

Time for the "Showbiz Newsticker," these are more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

GRAPHICS: Jake Gyllenhaal joins "Man Vs. Wild" host Bear Grylls for upcoming episode in Iceland.

GRAPHICS: TNT`s "Falling Skies" is cable`s number one show premiere for the year.


HAMMER: She gets everybody moving on "Morning Express" with Robin Meade. Weekday mornings right here on HLN. And now Robin is getting people moving in a whole new way.

Robin Meade just told me all about her fantastic new album "Brand New Day."

So, Robin , it`s great to see you as always. Congratulations on your debut album, "Brand New Day."

Look at that, there you are on the cover. Fantastic.


HAMMER: I know you wrote some of the songs on your own but you also had some serious star power helping you out. "Celebrity Apprentice" winner John Rich of "Big and Rich" co-wrote what I think is a really cool tune called "Put My High Heels On."

Let`s listen to a bit of that right now.


HAMMER: There you go on the live performance of that song.

Now, Robin, I know because your reputation precedes you here at HLN, you`ve never met a high heel you didn`t like. This is really a song that so many women can relate to, though, isn`t it?

MEADE: You know, I wrote this -- yes, you`re right. I wrote it with John Rich and I said why don`t you come and sing background tracks with me? He`s like, I`m not singing "I Put My High Heels On." So he actually appears as a background vocalist on another song.

But I did write this just kind of about the start of my day, which must be the start of so many women`s days which is, you know, you get up and you`re like, oh, my clothes don`t fit, I`m tired of wearing this but then you put your high heels on, you can kick some serious arss.

HAMMER: Yes. I know there are lots of women out there, they`re looking at their television, just nodding their heads, yes. That`s me, that`s exactly what happens.

And Robin, among the many things I love about you, it`s not all about you. You actually want to put your "MORNING EXPRESS" viewers in the spotlight right now. How exactly are you working to make them a star? Because I think this is great.

MEADE: Well, I know people have tuned in to us for information. So they don`t necessarily want to hear me yammering on about look at my new CD. So we thought, why don`t we make them the star. So we`re looking for a new theme song for our morning show, "MORNING EXPRESS WITH ROBIN MEADE."

And you can you be a bar band, you can be a garage band, maybe you`re a soloist or a duo with your brother, whatever. If you have an original tune that you think this would be a great theme song for them, we`re asking people to send it in. And the audience is going to choose.

The people who maybe are not musically inclined get to be the judges and then you win a free professional recording session and we might play that song on the show.

HAMMER: Wow. Well, I can`t wait to see who the winner is. But right now, Robin Meade, you are the winner. Congratulations on your brand new album. And it`s always great to talk to you, my friend.

Time now for the "Showbiz Lineup." Here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Tracy Morgan finally steps up to the cameras. This is the first time he`s done that since his homophobic rant. But anybody buying his apology? We`re going to ask the man who broke the news about the rant, right here in the headline making "Showbiz Newsmaker" interview.

Bristol Palin`s explosive new confessions tonight. Listen to this, she`s talking sex with her ex, Levi Johnston.

And big news tonight about who may replace Regis Philbin on "Live."

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN News and Views.

Here`s your "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

GRAPHICS: Spoiler alert, Peter Parker dies in new comic book. New Spider- man coming.

GRAPHICS: First listen. Adam Levine and Christine Aguilera`s "Move Like Jagger."


HAMMER: Big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Tracy Morgan`s big apology. The "30 Rock" star says he`s sorry today for his homophobic rant.


MORGAN: I pride myself on 20 years -- 18 years of standup of using it to heal people and not hurt. That was my whole thing. And I hurt people with this.


HAMMER: But should he be forgiven? We`re asking the guy who broke the news of Tracy`s rant right here in a "Showbiz Newsmaker" interview.

Flavor Flav is in the house. His startling revelations about drugs and public enemy. Flavor Flav in a must-see SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Newsmaker" interview.

Bristol Palin`s shocking new confessions tonight about her sex life with Levi Johnston. Should Bristol have kept quiet about this?

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

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City with big news breaking today.

Tracy Morgan`s big apology. Today Tracy said he made a big mistake on June 3rd when he said during a national comedy show that he`d stab his son to death if he ever told him he was gay.

Kevin Rogers was in the audience that night and wrote a blog that alerted the world to Morgan`s standup. Well, today Tracy made good with Kevin and the rest of the national audience. He met up with the group and then he took the stage to formally apologize to all of his fans.

I`ll be speaking with Kevin Rogers in a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Newsmaker" interview in just a moment to get his reaction but, first, Tracy Morgan in his own words.


MORGAN: I pride myself on 20 years -- 18 years of standup of using it to heal people and not hurt. That was my whole thing. And I hurt people with this. So from the bottom of my heart I apologize to everybody who I offended with my words on stage in Nashville and anywhere else.

I just apologize to you and I want to take this opportunity -- I mean, to err is human but to forgive is divine. These young people have forgave me.

Thank you, Kevin. Thank you, thank you everybody, for your support and forgiving me, and I just want to take this opportunity to help and not hurt.


HAMMER: Joining me tonight from Nashville for a "Showbiz Newsmaker" interview is Kevin Rogers himself. Kevin had a private discussion with Tracy and appeared on stage with him today during Tracy`s national apology.

So, Kevin, you were right there in the audience the night that Tracy Morgan said what he said which started this whole thing. You heard firsthand Tracy say he would stab his son if he ever came out as gay.

Now we heard Tracy`s public apology today. He also apologized to you in person. I`m curious, what did Tracy say to you today in private in asking for your forgiveness?

KEVIN ROGERS, TRACY MORGAN`S LONGTIME FAN: He stood in front of me and we locked eyes and he wanted to make sure I looked directly in his eyes as he said what he needed to say. And you know, he apologized for what he called bumming me out and apologized on behalf of everyone that he feels that he`s hurt.

You know he even told us that that night his son was actually behind the stage curtain as he made those comments and he`s even had to apologize to his son. And that his son was very disappointed in what he said.

So, you know, I believe that he was genuinely heartfelt in what he had to say. I literally felt some pain coming in what he was saying. I think he`s just as hurt as the words that he said hurt others.

HAMMER: Yes, I got that, too. I was watching Tracy very carefully today. I thought he appeared very earnest and genuinely sorry for those antigay comments that he made. Let`s listen to a bit more of what he said today in his apology.


MORGAN: I apologized to Kevin and people that were at the show for bumming them out. I want to apologize to my friend, and my family, my fans and everyone in every community who I offended with this.

I didn`t know, I didn`t mean it. I totally feel that in my heart, I really don`t care who you love, same sex or not, as long as you have the ability to love.


HAMMER: And Kevin, I did see he give you a big hug after you guys he walked off stage. In your mind is all forgiven with Tracy Morgan at this point?

ROGERS: Yes, I forgive him based on, you know, his actions since his apology but today to actually stand there and, you know, we had -- we shared a couple of hugs in our private meeting and just, you know, some pats on the back and just genuine conversation and some -- a bit of camaraderie.

HAMMER: Well, Kevin, I think we can call this a good ending.

Kevin Rogers, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate it.

ROGERS: Thank you so much.

HAMMER: So is Tracy Morgan`s apology enough for everyone? Well, I want to know what Flavor Flav thinks about it. He`s joining us right now from Hollywood for another SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Newsmaker" interview.

Flavor Flav, also the author of this wildly entertaining new book called "Flavor Flav: The Icon, The Memoir."

Appreciate your being here tonight, Flavor Flav, good to see you.

FLAVOR FLAV, AUTHOR, "FLAVOR FLAV, THE ICON": Thank you, A.J. How you doing, buddy?

HAMMER: Yes, it`s been a long time, man. You certainly have been through a lot in the some 20 years since we last spoke. And before we get to your new book where you talk all about your life, I want to talk to you someone who I know you`re friends with, Tracy Morgan.

I know you`ve had your ups and downs in your own career. Let me get your reaction to Tracy`s major apology today. Because some people say, you know what, Tracy is a comedian, we have to take his gay bashing comments with a grain of salt. Others say there`s nothing he could ever do to make good on his awful comments.

I think he realizes the error of his ways. But what do you think? Time to forgive Tracy and move on?

FLAVOR FLAV: Hey, well, one thing I like to say, you know, Tracy, he`s a very good friend of mine. He`s been a very good friend of mine for years. He`s always been a funny guy, you know what I`m saying? And, hey, we just got to face one thing, I mean, the man is a comedian. You know what I`m saying?

I mean there`s certain jokes, you know what I`m saying, that should be told a little more easier. You know what I`m saying? And one thing that I can say, you know, when it comes down to the gay community -- first of all, I mean, you know, everybody has a right to live their lives the way that they want to, you know what I`m saying?

And not only that, but when it comes down to the gay community, hey, man, those people are human just like everybody else. They got feelings like everybody else. So their feelings are supposed to be respected. You know, by everyone and anyone. You know what I`m saying?

Not only that but I`m going tell you like this, too. You know I do got some gay family members. Everybody got a lot of gay family members in their family. You know what I`m saying? Some of the gay people, man, they can be the best friends that you ever had in your life. You know what I`m saying? And the whole nine. You never know.

HAMMER: Well, Flavor --

FLAVOR FLAV: You know what I`m saying? But Tracy Morgan, he`s a comedian, man. Give my man a break, man, and let him roll.

HAMMER: I think he`s now learned his lesson for sure. But now let`s get on to your book. You talk very candidly in your book about your drug use. I mean this is remarkable to me. You said that you spent $2600 a day on drugs every day for six years.

What was that rock bottom moment like for you when you knew if you didn`t straighten out, you`d be dead?

FLAVOR FLAV: I mean, well, honestly, you know, first of all, I just want to say that I`m just glad that God let me live through all of that. You know what I`m saying? And the reason why he let me live through that is so that way today I can teach about it. You know what I`m saying?

Because drugs are easy to get on and they`re hard as hell to get off of. You know what I`m saying? And I am a mouthpiece. I can take this one body right here and shift a million negative lives into a positive direction and that`s why I feel that he let me live through that. You know what I`m saying?

And not only that but I`ve got kids, I`ve got grand kids, and not only that, but I`ve got a real bright future ahead of myself. And in order for me to really be able to see me reach my goals, I had to straighten myself up, otherwise I was getting ready to take myself under. So I`m glad to be sitting here right now talking about it.

HAMMER: Yes. And we`re so glad to be talking to you on the other side of it all. And certainly you can be a great teacher to so many.

Flavor Flav, thank you so much.

Be sure to check out Flavor Flav`s his new book. It`s called "Flavor Flav: The Icon, The Memoir." It is, as I said, wildly entertaining. It`s in stores right now.

As we move on tonight, Bristol Palin reveals incredible brand new shockers today. Sarah Palin`s daughter calls Levi Johnston a gnat, a cheater. She even opens up about losing her virginity to him but should Bristol just kept, you know, quiet about all this?

Let`s play Regis roulette tonight. Who`s going to take over for Regis Philbin when he leaves "Live with Regis and Kelly"? Well, there`s big news tonight about who make at the gig.

Also Lindsay Lohan, well, she may be under house arrest, you know, but she`s actually making some big money from home.

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN News and Views.

Here`s the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

GRAPHICS: Amy Winehouse cancels remainder of her European summer tour.

GRAPHICS: "Modern Family" wins best comedy series at Critics` Choice Awards.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s almost too good to be true. It`s like, when are we going to go down. It`s an honor and I`m so grateful to be a part of something so special.




KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST, "LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY": Bill Gallagher in Utica, New York, says, you should make a ring tone of all the Regisism to download.

REGIS PHILBIN, CO-HOST, "LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY": Ringtone? What does that mean?

RIPA: Ringtone, it`s like my phone would ring incidentally, incidentally. "Gelman, got a minute? Gelman, got a minute?"


HAMMER: Regisism, hey? Well, Regis isn`t leaving "Live with Regis and Kelly" until November but there`s big buzz tonight about who may replace him. There are actually three big stars reportedly up for his gig. Find out who may get it in just a minute.

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

And first tonight, Bristol`s book shocker. Yes, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your inside look into Bristol Palin`s new memoir. "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far." And in Bristol`s short 20 years of life, she`s found a lot to write about, especially her dislike of the father of her son and one-time fiancee Levi Johnston.

With me in New York tonight is Tamika Ray, host of HGTVD, the new season of HGTV "Design Star" which is launching on July 11th.

So in Bristol`s brand new memoir, she decides to tell the world and her family about how she lost her virginity to Levi on a camping trip. Shall I read this to you?


HAMMER: Here`s my interpretative reading of this. Here`s what she writes.


HAMMER: "I didn`t know that girly flavored wine coolers were just as likely to get you drunk as the hard stuff."

RAY: Wow.

HAMMER: "All I knew is that I was with my ruggedly handsome boyfriend who loved me and we were getting away with a late-night camping trip without anyone ever finding out."

Now that`s not all. Bristol goes on to recall the morning after she got drunk. "I wondered why they called it -- why it was called losing your virginity because it felt more like it has been stolen."

Quite frankly --

RAY: Come on.

HAMMER: I don`t get why you share anything like that unless you`re simply trying to sell a book. And she has every right to write a memoir, to sell a book.

RAY: Yes?

HAMMER: But do you think there was a little too much sharing going on here, Tamika?

RAY: A.J., you know how this works. You`ve got to divulge some deep, dark secrets in order for people to buy your book. And we`re living in a year where Snooki released a book. Don`t forget that. And if she can release a book, why not Bristol Palin?

HAMMER: But isn`t it too much?

RAY: Of course.

HAMMER: I don`t care if she`s releasing a book. I`m asking you --

RAY: A thousand percentage too much, A.J. We know this. This is the industry right now. Unfortunately her mom is playing the same game.


RAY: She`s sort of dangling the whole card about I might run for president, I might not. I`m going to get a TV show --

HAMMER: And his son is going to read all about this one day.

RAY: Absolutely.

HAMMER: Well, shall we talk a little bit more about what Bristol says about Levi? Because it`s right here in the book.

RAY: Please.

HAMMER: She says that her relationship caused her public embarrassment on an international scale, calls Levi, "the gnat named Levi Johnston who`s constantly spreading false accusations against our family," and says, "He cheated on me about as frequently as he sharpened his hockey skates," which I would guess is frequently.

RAY: Yes.

HAMMER: That gnat, now coming out with his own book this fall. It`s called "Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin`s Crosshairs."

Quite frankly, and I don`t see this happening but I think it is time for Bristol and Levi to put their son first.

RAY: Yes.

HAMMER: And stop airing all of their dirty laundry. I mean really, at some point they have to be that mature, don`t they?

RAY: I think you need to remember they`re children. They are youngsters who had a child way too early. And right now in the age of "Teen Mom," I know we`re glorifying mom that are having children to a certain extent.

And so she`s riding on that wave right now. It`s very in. And people are listening. All those girls who are having kids, they`ve kind of made her her hero. We`ve discussed this a lot when we were watching "Dancing with the Stars." We were aghast, we were so shocked, we were flabbergasted that she made it as far as she did. That`s because there`s a whole audience out there who are looking up to her because they`re in the same predicament.

So, yes, they are sharing too much information. They don`t know any better. Her mom is sharing all of this information. That is what she`s been taught to do.

HAMMER: So no surprise if this winds up on the best seller list, I guess?

RAY: Oh, really, A.J.? Are you going to put it out there?

HAMMER: Well, you`re the one who just said she`s got all this people --

RAY: Come on, A.J.

HAMMER: All right. Tamika, stay right where you are because I want to get your take on some other hot topics today.

Today of course the official start of summer, everybody is very excited about this. We`ve got the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT summer hot list. What are the hottest songs and the hottest star couples of this summer.

Well, right now we have move on to Regis Philbin`s replacement. Who`s it going to be? Well, we`re just five months away now from saying good-bye to Reg on "Live with Regis and Kelly." But there are new reports out there that say Disney and ABC, they already have an idea of who`s going to replace him.

Now according to the "Wall Street Journal," they`ve narrowed it down to three stars. Are you ready? As if he needs another job, "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest is up and running for this gig. Andy Cohen -- now you know him of course from Bravo`s "Watch What Happens Live." He`s in this gig. And then there`s Kelly Ripa`s husband Mark Consuelos who has filled in for Regis a bunch of times.

I`m actually loving Mark for the gig.

RAY: Yes.

HAMMER: But who do you think it should be?

RAY: Levi.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive poll, happening, Tamika. Regis Philbin set to retire from "Live with Regis and Kelly." Who should replace him? Andy Cohen, Mark Consuelos or Ryan Seacrest? And let us know your vote at or e-mail us at

And there`s even more big news breaking today. Can you believe this? A 51-year-old "Lost" star marries a 16-year-old. Jermaine Jackson breaks news to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about a new Jacksons` tour and Lindsay Lohan is making some big bucks while she`s under house arrest.

All that making big news in "The Buzz Today."


HAMMER: Lilo`s lockdown loot. Lindsay Lohan has just cashed in on her legal woes by filming a commercial during her house arrest. TMZ reports Lilo filmed this commercial for, an Internet penny auction site.

LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: During my time at home, I found this amazing site with great deals.

HAMMER: Lindsay was sentenced to 35 days of house arrest after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor theft charge.

Showbiz breaks news. The Jacksons reunite. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT just caught up with Jermaine Jackson in Hollywood and he told us the Jackson brothers are going on tour.

JERMAINE JACKSON, SINGER: Michael would want us to continue on. My brothers are now are ready just to keep the legacy going and the music. And we need to continue to play this music because it`s healing for us.

HAMMER: The tour with featured brothers singing classic Jackson 5 hits.

A "Lost" star robs the cradle. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT confirms 51-year-old Doug Anthony Hutchinson and 16-year-old Courtney Alexis Sutton have just tied the knot in a wedding that is sending shockwaves through Hollywood.

The couple who wed in Las Vegas released a statement saying, "Mr. and Mrs. Hutchison live together happily ensconced in their Hollywood hills home with their little pups, Everett and Tuna."

Time now for the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

GRAPHICS: Aretha Franklin fractures her toe after fall in Dallas.

GRAPHICS: Nicole Richie posts video dancing to Britney Spears in anticipation of Britney`s tour.

HAMMER: It`s time now for the "Showbiz Buzz List." Here`s what the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff is buzzing all about this week.

We love Sarah Ferguson and her new show "Finding Sarah" on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Sunday night.

The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT book club -- didn`t know there was one of those -- been reading this fascinating book "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. It`s a "New York Times" best seller.

We love our fashion deals at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and we check out -- on everything from clothes to restaurants. We do.

Not a fan of the iPhone? Well, you`re in luck because we are buzzing about the new Windows phone. It`s called Mango out this summer.

No plans for the weekend yet? Check out "Bad Teacher." It stars Justin Timberlake and his ex, Cameron Diaz. It comes out Friday.


CAMERON DIAZ, ACTRESS: All right, let`s do this.



HAMMER: Pitbull and Ne-Yo`s "Give Me Everything" is one hot track right now. But will it be the hottest song of the summer?

And today of course the first official day of summer, right, guys? We`re all very excited about this.

In honor of this, we have got the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT summer hot list. It is here. What will be the hottest summer song? Who will be the hottest star couple this summer?

With me again HGTV host Tamika Ray.

And let`s get right to it, Tamika.

RAY: Get down to it.

HAMMER: I got my list right here. We`ve narrowed down what may be the hottest songs of the summer and we`ve got all three of them to roll out for you right now, starting with Lady Gaga`s "Edge of Glory."


HAMMER: Man, I love that song. But will the hottest summer song be Katy Perry`s "Last Friday Night, TGIF" instead?


HAMMER: A lot of people saying it could be Pitbull`s "Give Me Everything."


HAMMER: Personally, Tamika, I`m a bit over the auto tune. Too many things are over auto tuned these days. But give me your pick. Hottest summer song from those three.

RAY: I want to know first what makes you shake your booty in the club?

HAMMER: You don`t want to know that.

RAY: Yes, I do.

HAMMER: I can`t tell you.

RAY: I kind of do love the Pitbull song. And that`s been big for a couple of months now. Katy Perry has got an interesting record. Her -- she`s had number ones for the longest time in 2011. She`s on a roll. I don`t know if that song is going to keep her rolling on this roll actually.

But the Lady Gaga song, a la the `80s.

HAMMER: That`s the one. That`s the one.

RAY: Pat Benatar.


RAY: That`s the one that gets your booty shaking.

HAMMER: It reminds me of summertime cranking up with --

RAY: Yes.

HAMMER: 19 -- what, `85? "Holiday" by Madonna. I mean same sort of vibe. And it`s a great, great song.

RAY: Yes.

HAMMER: All right. Let`s move on in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT summer hot list.


HAMMER: We`ve got to talk hot summer couples. We have Jennifer Aniston and Justin Thoreau. Can we put them up -- there right there.

RAY: Cute.

HAMMER: Hey, what a hot couple. Could it be Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber? Been spotted on the beach together. Maybe it`s Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.

I am curious to see if you and I agree on who the hot summer couple is. What`s your pick?

RAY: OK. We`re usually on the same page.


RAY: I think Kim Kardashian, we see everything it this girl`s life. I don`t think it`s shocking. I want to follow her this summer. So I`m going to X her out of this competition.


RAY: Then we have Selena and Justin Bieber.

HAMMER: The Biebs.

RAY: They`re a little young for my liking. I figured it`s a little weird to be following them.

HAMMER: So you and I agree --

RAY: Awesome. Jennifer Aniston and Justin Thoreau.

HAMMER: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Thoreau. I`m so --

RAY: They`re cute.

HAMMER: And I`m so happy for her because I`m really getting the vibe.

RAY: Yes.

HAMMER: I know she`s out there splashing him around but maybe that means it`s for real.

RAY: I like them together. They`re edgy.

HAMMER: Well, I like seeing you, Tamika.

RAY: Nice to see you, A.J.

HAMMER: And you look very summer spending tonight on the first day of summer. HGTV`s Tamika Ray.

Remember, use your sunscreen this summer. And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Always wearing SPF 25 or more.

RAY: Four-fifty.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT now seen exclusively at 11 p.m. Eastern and Pacific here on HLN.