Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Alex Rodriguez has a fancy new house, Leon Panetta finally meets J.R. Martinez, and Muhammad Ali's health is reportedly "not in a good way."
- Whatever happened between Salman Rushdie and New York socialite Devorah Rose, it sure produced a lot of digital correspondence. Today, more missives from Rushdie to Rose showed up in Page Six after the paper reported last week that the two were spending "quality time" together. Rose claiming today that Rushdie once sent her a text message that read “you look so gorgeous and hottt.” But that was meant to be private, since Rushdie also wrote, following her tweets about their dinners together, "If you continue to place material in the public domain, I will have to consider all my options." This didn't stop her from sharing the contents of Rushdie's Facebook brushoff with Page Six yesterday, and receiving another text from the order instructing her to "cease and desist." (For what it's worth, Page Six is describing Rusdhie's behavior towards Rose a 'love fatwa'.) [Page Six]
- Parade asked Ann Romney what was on her husband's iPod: “The Beatles, Rolling Stones, a little bit of Neil Diamond. Oh and the smoky singer—I’m trying to think of his name. That’s his favorite.” After the interview, a Romney spokesman apparently told Lynn Sherr that "the smoky singer" was in fact Roy Orbison. Romney also struggled to remember the name of the "economic book" her husband just read--and told her she should read, too. Again, a campaign spokesman was there to clear up any confusion. Turns out it was Michael Lewis' Boomerang. [Playbook]
- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez likes painter-sculptor Nate Lowman's work so much he had some put in the indoor batting cage he built for his new Miami mansion. On Wednesday, he invited a hodgepodge of actors (Val Kilmer and Owen Wilson) and art collectors (Peter Brant and Jane Holzer) to show off the pieces in his collection and see the new house. According to one guest, the residence is "very modern, sleek and minimal, with few personal possessions on show, apart from a giant Atari Pac-Man console and a jet ski on the deck." [Page Six]
- A week after Leon Panetta extended the invitation, Dancing with the Stars winner J.R. Martinez -- a former infantryman -- met with the Defense Secretary at the Pentagon yesterday. General Ray Odierno and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey also popped in to meet Martinez. [The Reliable Source]
- Muhammad Ali was reportedly "hospitalized after slipping out consciousness" at his home in Phoenix earlier this month, days after returning from Joe Frazier's funeral, where he seemed noticeably frail, and a source says he's "not in a good way." The former heavyweight champion was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984. [Star]
- According to a witness who attended a screening of Moneyball in Culver City last night, Brad Pitt was very nice to the "a 30-something struggling actor" who got up during the Q&A session after the film and announced he was having suicidal thoughts in his car before the screening, but that the film gave him "a renewed sense of hope." According to the attendee, "[Pitt] said, 'Look, man, life is up and down, it's a vicious cycle, but you have to go through it and deal with that" and then pulled the "obviously fragile" man aside for another, private pep talk before leaving the theater. [Us Weekly]