Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: another Mel Gibson lawsuit, U.N. delegations enjoy New York's finer things, and Harper's Bazaar is getting a makeover.
- The 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly opened this week in New York, and foreign leaders are determined to enjoy the finest--and most expensive--things Manhattan has to offer. Rwandan president Paul Kagame (above) is said to be staying at the "$16,000-per-night presidential suite at the Mandarin Oriental." The nightly rate that's more than 31 times Rwanda's average annual income in 2010, according to the U.S. State Department. Saudi leaders are staying at the Plaza, and a source says a group of them "headed to the hotel’s Warren-Tricomi salon yesterday for grooming." During a visit to by Qatari royals to bespoke suitmaker Domenico Vacca, a source says Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani "dropped six figures" German delegates went to lunch at Madison avenue eatery Novello, while the Israeli and Saudis opted to drop in for dinner. At Harry Cipriani, "Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri" and "dignitaries from Nigeria" were spotted in the dining room. Argenetinan president President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner got her shopping done in Paris before she arrived, going on a shopping spree where she "reportedly bought 20 pairs of Louboutins at $5,500 a pair." [New York Post]
- Bill Clinton says ABC reached out to him to appear on Dancing with the Stars but his schedule prevented him from mamboing with the likes of Petra Murgatroyd. "This is interesting," the former president said when the subject came up during an appearance on Rachael Ray's TV show Tuesday. "Actually, they contacted me once about this. And I told them I didn't have the time to train for it. You know you actually go out there and you train, you really work at it. So I had to pass. But I think it's a hoot." [E!]
- Hearst-owned Harper's Bazaar will reportedly increase its trim size and reduce its publishing frequency for the second straight year by combining the December and January issues. That means the magazine will come out 10 times in 2012. As for the increase inthe magazine's size increase, "two Hearst insiders said it would not be as big as W or the British Harper’s Bazaar fashion issues in March and September, which are the same size as W," while another source says "the size increase would be more in line with Hearst titles House Beautiful and Country Living, which increased trim sizes in the last few years by 12 percent and 16.5 percent, respectively." The magazine is also slated to get an upgrade to its paper and cover stock. [Women's Wear Daily]
- The U.S. Department of Justice is in hot water after an audit revealed that DOJ agency conferences spent way too much on food served at conferences spanning from October 2007 and September 2009. Notable items included: $16 muffins at an August 2009 conference of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, beef wellington appetizers priced at $7.32 per serving at a Febbruary 2008 meeting hosted by the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, and Cracker Jack, popcorn and candy bars at a single break, costing $32 per person, at a meeting a March 2009 conference of the Office on Violence Against Women. The audit came in response to a 2007 audit that found DOJ events were serving Swedish meatballs that cost $5 each. [Bloomberg]
- In May, a man named Nader Sharif sued Mel Gibson, claiming the actor "swindled" him out of $200,000 by convincing him to invest in a "recyclable rubber company" called--what else?--Green Rubber. In a new series of court documents filed Tuesday, Sharif also claims Gibson tried to run him over with his car in July "after the two ran into each other at a Costa Rican bakery." According to Sharif's account of the incident, Gibson swore at him, and told him to get out of town. The unpleasantness continued outside the bakery as Gibson, now behind the wheel of his car, "accelerated..to a high rate of speed," all while reportedly giving Sharif him the finger. A witness to the incident says Gibson was just in the Costa Rican bakery enjoying "a sweet pastry" when Sharif showed up and started haranguing him. When the actor did believe, the source says Sharif did follow him, but Gibson didn't drive anywhere near him. [TMZ]