September 23rd, 2009
04:25 PM ET

Travolta's heartbreaking testimony

John Travolta is being forced to reveal personal details about the day his son died—and admitting for the first time that Jett suffered from autism.

Tarino Lightbourne and former Bahamian Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater are accused of trying to extort $25 million from Travolta.  It is alleged that the two conspired to extort money in return for not making documents pertaining to Jett’s treatment public.

John and his wife Kelly Preston walked into the Bahamian courtroom together before Travolta took the stand for the prosecution.

PEOPLE Magazine reports John testified that he and Kelly woke to banging on their door and then ran to their son’s side where they found people already trying to help him. "I took the place of the woman who was doing CPR.” John said according to PEOPLE. "Jeff, the other nanny, was doing some compressions. I was doing the breathing."

It was during his testimony that he revealed for the first time that Jett suffered from autism- something that he and Kelly had long denied. According to PEOPLE John said, "My son was autistic and he suffered from seizure disorder every 5 to 10 days, he would suffer a seizure that would last 45 seconds to a minute and sleep for 12 hours."

September 20th, 2009
10:50 PM ET

Emmy night: Hurry up and wait

Hurry up and wait.

It's an old adage in news that always rings true, but today I am reminded of it more than ever. Right now I am blogging this to you via blackberry while waiting for the stars to arrive at the HBO Emmy after party. This is the second year I have covered this party and it's one of my favorite assignments–it seems like all of Hollywood comes to this party! Last year I interviewed everyone from Alec Baldwin and Tom Hanks to the almost unheard of cast of a brand new little show called "True Blood".

This afternoon I rushed around getting ready, made sure that all of my accessories matched my dress and obsessed over which lip gloss to wear. Hey, if the normally fabulous looking celebrities are going to be looking even more fabulous than normal, a mere mortal like me is going to have to do everything in her power to look red carpet appropriate– even if I am on the other side of it!

After meeting my photographer John Aceves, we drove over to the venue where the event is being held expecting there to be a ton of traffic and oddly, the streets of LA are empty right now. I guess that is good news for Neil Patrick Harris, it must mean that people are home getting ready to watch the Emmys (it airs on a time delay here). From all of the emails I am getting, it sounds like he is doing an amazing job!

We got to the venue with plenty of time to spare and wait number one started: the wait to get to the carpet. At major events like this, security often holds off 'opening' the carpet until they can gather some of the press and escort them out together. Finally we were escorted out by a very nice HBO rep and security guard and were given our spot on the line.

Now wait number two starts: the wait for the celebrities. This one will be much longer. Luckily we have a few great things going for us. It's a gorgeous night in Los Angeles. It finally cooled down from the insanely hot temperatures earlier in the day. In addition, when you cover enough of these, you become friends with the producers and crews who are covering the same events, so it's kind of like time to catch up with old friends. And the best part? HBO is keeping us well hydrated, they have huge ice coolers filled with cold water bottles– they know how to keep their press happy!

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Filed under: Emmys • television
September 17th, 2009
11:16 AM ET

Burt Reynolds checks into rehab!

This just in to the "Showbiz Tonight" newsroom– actor Burt Reynolds has checked into rehab! Reynolds' manager, Erik Kritzer just released this statement to "Showbiz Tonight".

"After a recent back surgery, Mr. Reynolds felt like he was going through hell and after a while, realized he was a prisoner of prescription pain pills.  He checked himself into rehab in order to regain control of his life.  Mr. Reynolds hopes his story will help others in a similar situation. He hopes they will not try to solve the problem by themselves, but realize that sometimes it is too tough to do on their own and they should seek help, as he did."  

Reynolds is best known for his performances in the "Smokey and the Bandit" films, his Academy Award nominated role in "Boogie Nights" and for dating a string of Hollywood's leading ladies including Sally Field and his former wife Loni Anderson.

September 16th, 2009
12:45 AM ET

Jennifer Aniston's family reunion!

Has age mellowed Jennifer Aniston? It seems like Jen may have finally buried the hatchet with her mother with whom she has had a tenuous relationship over the last decade, ever since her mother Nancy published a tell-all book about their relationship.

Jennifer Aniston

It seems that Jen invited her mother, father and brother to celebrate her big 4-0 with her recently.  She tells Ellen, in an episode airing Wednesday, that, “I hadn’t been under the same roof, let alone the same like square foot of area, with my mother and my brother and my dad since I was seven years old. That was great.”

Jen’s dad of course is famed soap star John Aniston who is best known for playing Victor Kiriakis on "Days of Our Lives."

I caught up with Jen at the premiere of her new film, “Love Happens”, tonight in Los Angeles and after she posed for pictures and greeted her fans we chatted about that party with her parents.  “My whole family was there, under the same roof,” Jen enthused. She also told me it was “really special.”

The best part of that special night for Jen? “No one threw anything at anybody!” Now how's that for a family reunion?

September 15th, 2009
05:48 PM ET

Kanye calls Taylor- Finally!

This just in to Showbiz Tonight: Taylor Swift’s rep, Paula Erickson, tells us that Kanye West reached out to Taylor after her appearance on The View to personally apologize.

Well it’s about time! Really Kanye? It took you 2 days? I accidentally bump into someone in a store and I apologize about 20 times because I feel so bad. When I feel like I’ve used the wrong tone on the phone with my parents I call them up to apologize again after we’ve hung up- and I am an adult. You ran up on stage, stole a microphone out of a teenager’s hand and hijacked her acceptance speech. Then you waited two whole days to apologize? Are you serious?

On top of that, she had to go on The View to say that you hadn’t personally apologized before you bothered to pick up a phone to give her a ring. Let me guess- you thought going on Leno first was a better career move, right? That’s what I thought. Well, it certainly helped Jay Leno- his ratings were through the roof. You got your press too; that clip of you “near tears” has been played everywhere today. 

Kanye, the point is this: yet again you made it all about you when the fact of the matter is that it should be about Taylor. That night should have been about Taylor, the speech should have been about Taylor, and the apology should have been about Taylor. So how come all roads seem to lead back to you Kanye?

For more on Kanye West's apology to Taylor Swift, tune in to Showbiz Tonight at 11pm ET/PT on HLN- don't miss it!

September 14th, 2009
09:42 PM ET

Stars remember Swayze

Patrick Swayze has passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 57.  His friends in the entertainment industry are speaking out about their friend and sharing their thoughts about his life.

"Patrick was a really good man, a funny man and one to whom I owe much that I can't ever repay. I believe in 'Ghost's' message, so he'll always be near."- Whoopi Goldberg

"I have always had a special place in my heart for Patrick.  While I was fortunate enough to work with him in three films, it was our passion for horses that forged a friendship between us that I treasure to this day.  Not only did we lose a fine actor today, I lost my older "Outsiders" brother.  My heart goes out to not only his entire family, but all his fans as well." – C. Thomas Howell

“Patrick Swayze was a talented and passionate artist who struck a memorable chord with audiences throughout the world. He played a wide range of characters both on stage and in movies and his celebrated performances made the hard work of acting look effortless – which I know from experience is not easy. As a fan and as an actor, I admired Patrick and I know that he will be dearly missed. On behalf of all Californians, Maria and I send our deepest condolences to Patrick’s family, friends and fans.”- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

"We are saddened by the loss of one of our generation's greatest talents and a member of the A&E family. Patrick's work on 'The Beast' was an inspiration to us all. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his wife Lisa and his entire family during this difficult time."- A&E

“Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace. Gorgeous and strong, he was a real cowboy with a tender heart. He was fearless and insisted on always doing his own stunts, so it was not surprising to me that the war he waged on his cancer was so courageous and dignified. When I think of him, I think of being in his arms when we were kids, dancing, practicing the lift in the freezing lake, having a blast doing this tiny little movie we thought no one would ever see. My heart goes out to his wife and childhood sweetheart, Lisa Niemi, to his mom, Patsy, and to the rest of their family.”- Jennifer Grey

"Patrick you are loved by so many and your light will forever shine in all of our lives. In the words of Sam to Molly. "It's amazing Molly. The love inside, you take it with you."I will miss you."- Demi Moore

As we receive more statements we will post them.

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