Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Kobe Bryant's soon-to-be-ex-wife Vanessa is poised to collect a whopping $75 million payout, the cops in Los Angeles have been talking Brad Pitt's bodyguard about that severed head they found, Cameron Diaz and P. Diddy are canoodling in public.
President Obama attended a fundraiser last night at director Spike Lee's New York City brownstone. The location was hilariously revealed in a travelling pool report filed just after 9 p.m.
Obama was introduced by Lee's wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, and the president rattled off all his accomplishments, then joked about about whether attendees might want to watch the GOP debate, which everyone in attendance found to be quite amusing. Mariah Carey, Nick Canon, and former New York Knicks guard Allen Houston were among the bold-faced names to appear at the event. Also, the pool report by Jackie Calmes of The New York Times had some nice details about the interior design scheme at Lee's house, which includes walls that are "crowded with iconic photos of African-Americans through history, including Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, art with African or African-American themes and artifacts including a clapper board from The Godfather and purple boxing shorts monogrammed 'JL' in a shadow-box frame (you can guess the likely former owner as well as pool can)." (Joe Louis.) [Politico]
Red Tails director Anthony Hemingway is dishing about the state of the White House screening room, following a screening of his Tuskegee Airmen film for President Obama last week. Hemingway says the snack offerings were first-rate. "There was a whole table of refreshments, including cookies shaped like Red Tail fighter planes," he recalls. "They also had popcorn and drinks laid out for us to take into the theater, but none of those little M&M boxes with the White House seal. I was looking for something like that to take as a souvenir." Also, the popcorn had "just the right amount of salt and butter." Inside the theater, Hemingway was alarmed to discover there weren't any cupholder "which made me nervous because I was afraid of spilling my drink." In fact, the entire layout of the theater was underwhelming. "The theater isn't set up that well," Hemingway explains. "The sound could be better. The projector needs to be upgraded. It needs a Hollywood pro to go in there and redesign it." And bring a cupholder guy, too. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Today, in things that happen when you don't sign a pre-nup in California: Kobe Bryant's soon-to-be-ex Vanessa apparently wiped the floor with the Lakers guard in their divorce property settlement, receiving all three of the couple's mansions in the Newport Beach area -- the family home, a house Bryant bought for his mother-in-law, and an under-construction mansion that the Bryants were close to moving into. The real estate windfall is being valued at $75 million, about half of their total assets of $150 million. Dewy-eyed California couples with money, we cannot stress this enough: get a pre-nup. [TMZ]
Courtney Love got a break yesterday when a judge in Manhattan ruled she didn't have to pay her final month of rent ($27,500) on the West Village townhouse's she's moving out of in mid-February. Though she's still in trouble with landlord Donna Lyon for the redecorating work she did following "a small fire" in the apartment. Love opted for wallpaper "with an elegant, but slightly old fashioned pale blue and white theme," unknowingly covering up the work of the very famous interior designer Steven Gambrel. Lyon says it will take $100,000 to restore the the wallpaper to its former glory. [New York Daily News]
It seems that Brad Pitt's personal bodyguard "has been interviewed by detectives" investigating the severed head that was found at the base of the Hollywood sign. Some member of the paparazzi even snapped a picture of the nameless bodyguard "speaking to an investigator on a sidewalk." Bad business that severed head, but before you go ahead and crown Pitt's bodyguard The Lopper, The Denoginizer, or Son of Dad, consider this: they were just talking to the guy, which is what cops do to try and generate leads. Also, according to the New York Post, "Jolie and Pitt live in the vicinity of Bronson Canyon Park, where the Hollywood sign is located" and the family is "known to take walks through the area where the head was found." So, it's probably harmless, which means you'll have to table those "What's in the box?" jokes. [Page Six]
Cameron Diaz and P. Diddy's night at the Golden Globes was tension-filled, but the sorta-couple apparently had a much better time at "booze-filled CAA gala at Soho House in West Hollywood." This gets a little CW, but a witness says Diaz "was straddling [Diddy]" at the event, adding that Diaz's "hair was all crazy, her makeup was smeared and they made out in front of everyone. She was acting like a teenager." Hilariously, a Diaz rep denied the makeout portion of the story, while allowing the straddling business to stand. [Us Weekly]