Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Vanity Fair and Conde Nast are hit with a new lawsuit, another addition to the Palin brood, and Janet Napolitano travels to the planet of the apes on opening day.
- Marianne Nestor-Cassini--"the widow of Jackie Kennedy pillbox hat designer Oleg Cassini"--has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Vanity Fair and Conde Naste over Maureen Orth's September 2010 feature, "Cassini Royale," which detailed "the legal disputes over the designer's will between two children from his second marriage and his widow." Nestor-Cassini's court filing reportedly "outlines three different causes for legal action against the magazine: slander, libel and a violation of New York civil rights law for the 'use of her name and/or picture for the purpose of deriving commercial gain' without her consent." She also accuses Orth of "unprofessional, salacious, inaccurate, false, prurient and libelous reporting," but reserves most of her anger for the magazine's fact-checking process, which she blames for fostering "salacious, and prurient representations," even when they appear to involve questions of fact, like the location of a party given sometime in the 1960s. Vanity Fair declined to comment, citing the pending litigation. In her article, Orth notes that Marianne has been involved in "at least 15 lawsuits...as plaintiff or defendant, in the last two decades," including one brought by her neighbor, Neil Diamond, over an obstructed view. [WWD and Vanity Fair]
- Track Palin and wife Britta "welcomed a baby girl Sunday," a Palin family representative confirms. No name has been revealed yet. The girl is the second grandchild for the former Alaska governor. [US]
- "Chariot" crooner Gavin DeGraw was "viciously beaten by a pack of thugs on the Lower East Side" early Monday morning, then "hit by a taxi as he stumbled off." According to police sources, DeGraw, who's opening for Maroon 5 and Train on their summer tour, had been out drinking with friends and was "attacked by the marauding perps sometime between 3:50 and 4:20 a.m. at 6th Street and 1st Avenue." That attack broke his nose and Degraw somehow "wound up at 19th Street and 1st Avenue" where he was hit by the cab. ("Although not seriously," the sources are quick to note.) As of late Monday night, he was reportedly still under observation at Bellevue. [New York Post]
- Helen Marden, the "formidable" wife of abstract artist Brice Marden "lunged at former Vogue writer and socialite Helen Lee Schifter in a packed restaurant" last Wednesday night "in a fury over married Schifter's 'artist and muse' friendship with her husband of 32 years." According to a witness, the unpleasantness started when Marden "approached [Schifter's] table, shouting. Then the whole restaurant burst into applause." A second source says Marden "lurched at Helen Schifter and said, 'You need to go to another restaurant!' She lurched at her but she didn't actually slap her" and did not use "a vulgar expression" when talking to her, contrary to "other witnesses' claims." [Page Six]
- ABC has ordered a pilot script based on The Lincoln Lawyer from Lionsgate for a possible series. The feature starring Matthew McConaughey was a "solid performer at the box office for Lionsgate" earlier this year, and bestselling crime novelist Michael Connelly, who wrote the original novel, is on-board to co-write the pilot. [Variety]
- Angry, angry Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi has landed a new book deal. Somewhere behind the Publishers Marketplace paywall, the project is described as “a new work of narrative nonfiction on crime, finance, and the new class divide in America." Random House imprint Spiegel & Grau will be publishing. [The New York Observer]
- Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was spotted at Friday’s opening of Rise of the Planet of the Apes at Mazza Gallerie in Chevy Chase with her nephew. Both were "ushered in and out of the screening by security guards," possibly to deter any super-intelligent apes that happened to be in the multiplex. [The Reliable Source]