Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Tickets for the vice president's $5,000-a-head fundraiser apparently could be had for less, Joy Behar is leaving HLN, and the Palace denies a new claim that Kate Middleton is pregnant.
- In New York yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden held court in the Four Seasons restaurant's Pool Room during what was "supposedly [a] $5,000-a-head fund-raiser." According to a source, the actual ticket price for the event were "negotiable." The security crunch meant that Anna Wintour, Ralph Lauren, Lally Weymouth, and former commerce secretary Pete Peterson all had to be screened at the door before going to their separate, non-Biden power lunches. [Page Six]
- Democratic Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn, Steve Israel, Sander Levin, and John Conyers headlined a fundraiser for New York Rep. Charlie Rangel at Bistros Bis in Washington last night, two weeks shy of the one-year anniversary of Rangel's censure on the House floor. For posterity, it should be noted that Hoyer and Israel supported the censure, while Levin, Conyers, and Clyburn opposed it. Pelosi, who was still Speaker at the time, didn't vote. [Politico]
- Another week, another official denial from a Palace spokesperson that Kate Middleton has a royal bun in the oven. Middleton's fantastically named spokesman Miguel Head sniffed to the New York Daily News: "We never confirm or deny these rumors, This is about the millionth [pregnancy] report we've had. If it were true, you'd hear the announcement from us and not a gossip magazine in the U.S." The U.S. gossip magazine in question is In Touch, which Middleton is six weeks pregnant and that she and Prince William hope that the hypothetical child is a girl. [New York Daily News]
- Mariah Yeater has withdrawn her paternity lawsuit against Justin Bieber, but wouldn't be adverse to receiving a large out-of-court settlement from the singer, according to her new lawyer. That looks unlikely to happen, after a text leaked Wednesday that appears to show Yeater imploring an unidentified friend "to erase an incriminating text in which her mom says someone other than Justin Bieber is the baby daddy," with promises that the friend will be taken care of "when we get paid." [TMZ]
- A source says Joy Behar is going to "step away" from her nightly talk show on HLN by the end of the year. The reasons for the departure isn't clear, since, aside from Nancy Grace, her show gets the networks highest ratings [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Elizabeth Daley, the youngest daughter of former Chicago mayor Richard Daley, has moved up her wedding from New Year's Eve to tonight, to make sure her ailing mother MAggie, who was diagnosed with metastic breast cancer in 2002, can see the ceremony. Thursday was supposed to be the couple's engagement party. [Chicago Tribune]