Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: What Eddie Murphy will bring to the Oscars, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes share a Disneyland date, and Robert Gates has a new job.
- Oscar show co-producer Brett Ratner tells The Hollywood Reporter that the deal to land Eddie Murphy as host "literally happened over the weekend" and that Academy president Tom Sherak and executive director Dawn Hudson were the ones who called up Murphy's representatives and "made a formal ask, which happened in the matter of one day." Ratner was vague but positive when asked what Murphy would bring to the telecast. Said Ratner, "Eddie Murphy is going to bring it, that's my opinion." [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn and wife Anne Sinclair are reportedly planning to sell their Georgetown townhouse and "recently interviewed a handful of top local real estate firms" about the listing. The asking price for the house, a "Federal-style brick mansion just steps from Rock Creek Park" with a swimming pool is expected to be "just north of $5 million." (The house was purchased in Sinclair's name back in 2007 for $4 million.) Also on the market: the Tribeca townhouse Strauss-Kahn subleased while under house arrest before the sexual assault case against him collapsed. Strauss-Kahn and Sinclair returned to France last Saturday. [The Reliable Source]
- Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes are an item, which is why according to People, they went on a date Saturday to Disneyland's California Adventure Park in Anaheim and "spent the day holding hands and getting cozy well into the night." [People]
- Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake have already rekindled their romance over pork tacos in Toronto and a play in Los Angeles where everyone wears masks. This past weekend, they invaded Steamboat Springs, Colorado to attend "the wedding of a school friend of Jessica." Along with the wedding festivities, a source says "they also went to brunch at alpine bistro Hazie’s and took in the views during a gondola ride." An observer says, “They looked very affectionate and happy.” [Page Six]
- Why did NBC Sports broadcaster Al Michaels tell a TMZ cameraman that the Oakland Raiders would never win another Super Bowl with octogenarian owner Al Davis still making the team's football decisions? In a statement to TMZ, Raiders PR director suggests Michaels believes Davis was the source of a radio prank in 1997 that suggested the broadcaster was cheating on his wife. "We have no idea what Michaels was blathering about," said Taylor. "I do remember Michaels being associated with an ultimately bogus report about adultery and other misdeeds and he thought Al Davis had something to do with it. Al Davis had nothing to do with it." [TMZ]
- Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates will become the next chancellor of the College of William & Mary, according to university officials. He'll replace former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when her seven-year term ends in February. From 2002-2006, Gates was president of Texas A&M. [AP]
- Mark Brzezinski--brother of Morning Joe co-host Mika and son of former National Security Advisor--has been nominated by the White House to serve as its next ambassador to Sweden. [The White House via Politico]