Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the day's top gossip coverage filtered. Today: Turmoil behind-the-scenes at Anderson, Charlie Crist gets heckled by his wife's ex, and Scarlett Johansson can't believe somebody's dating her ex-husband.
- Last week, Salman Rushdie said he'd be 'moritifed' if anyone thought he was romantically involved with a would-be Bethenny Frankel like Social Life magazine editor Devorah Rose. The Satanic Verses author was much more tactful in the brush-off Facebook message he sent Rose. Explains Rushdie: "“I’m sorry to say that I don’t feel able to pursue what we only just began," Rushdie writes. “I have to confess that I haven’t really recovered from the recent collapse of a two-year relationship ... I can’t help seeing that our lives and worlds (and ages) are very different, and hard to reconcile. I think you’re a dynamic, passionate, extraordinary person and I apologize for backing away so suddenly ... I hope you can understand and excuse me, and that we can remain friends.” Also, he's taking a full course load this semester, and will hardly be around at all once lacrosse season starts. [Page Six]
- Anderson Cooper's syndicated talk show Anderson may have produced the most memorable Phil Donahue surprise cameo in recent memory, but the program is also apparently going through "dramatic behind-the-scenes changes," including the departure of executive producers Cathy Chermol and Lisa Morin. Sources say Morin left for personal reasons, while Chermol departed after Cooper disagreed with the way she handled a special on the Penn State abuse scandal. According to a source, "Chermol instructed the audience not to hold back emotion" and "Cooper took exception to the instructions." The moves comes just after the show sold for a second season. [Page Six]
- Below-average NBA power forward Kris Humphrie wants his 72-day marriage to Kim Kardashian annulled. That would save both parties the cost of going through a divorce and put Humphries in the right if he says, "No, I'm not the large Minnesotan who was married to that lady from TV after 72 days. And besides, in the eyes of the Catholic Church and the state of California, the marriage to which you're referring technically never existed." The move makes sense: Kardashian reportedly has an "iron-clad" pre-nup with Humphries, taking away any chance he could soak her in court. [Us Weekly]
- Former Florida governor Charlie Crist had a distasteful encounter with his wife's Carole's ex-husband, Blue Star Jets boss Todd Rome, on the steps outside of Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday following a planned hearing on Carole's alleged failure to pay child support. After a technicality caused the hearing to be rescheduled, Rome caught sight of the Crist on the steps outside the courtroom. According to a source, he yelled at his former wife's new husband: “Nice going, Charlie. Nice look. Big dick! Big dick! Be really proud of yourself, Charlie!” [Page Six]
- A friend of Scarlett Johansson's says the actress is "pissed" that Blake Lively is making time Johansson's ex-husband Ryan Reynolds now she's "realized what a great catch Ryan was." The source says Johansson's weird, kissy rebound relationship with Sean Penn after the split with Reynolds killed any chances for a reconciliation. Says the source: "Ryan would have gotten back with her. He was so totally in love, but then she flaunted Sean right after their split, and he was done." [Us Weekly]
- Before boring D.C. dignitaries with a screening of The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep "held court at a coffee meeting in the Capitol office of Sen. Barbara Mikulski before an impressive bipartisan gathering." 12 of the 17 female senators attended the meeting. Mary Landrieu, Lisa Murkowski, Jeanne Shaheen, Maria Cantwell, and Kelly Ayoette were the no-shows. [The Reliable Source]
- Chicago Bears quarterback and reality TV personage Kristin Cavallari are engaged, again. Talk of a reunion began almost immediately after their July split, and picked up in recent weeks, prompting Cavallari to tweet, "I'm not engaged u guys," before confusingly announcing she was off to play "nurse kitin" to Cutler and his fractured his thumb. When a Bears beat reporter asked the quarterback about the engagement Cutler replied, "Yeah, I just heard about it." Ain't love grand? [Chicago Sun-Times]