Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: The security detail for the Giants quarterback wouldn't let Sarah Michelle Gellar meet him before they taped Letterman, Russell Brand doesn't want Katy Perry's millions of dollars, and sorting out the meaning of Robert Downey, Jr.'s baby's name.
Eli Manning has been a two-time Super Bowl champion for more than 50 hours now, and it's kind of turning him into a heel. Backstage Monday night before a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman, Manning's fellow guest Sarah Michelle Gellar asked if she could met the QB before they went on. No dice, his security detail told her. The snub only got more egregious when Gellar revealed to Letterman her family had "season tickets [at Giants Stadium] when I was a kid. I used to sit out there and freeze on the 50 yard line." Gellar tried to laugh the whole thing off, admitting "It was weird... I think that's where I went wrong. [saying] 'I just want an autograph and a lock of his hair!'" Ah, the lock of hair gag: the go-to response for celebrities who have just been ignored by another, more famous celebrity and want to pass it off as no big deal. Except this is a big deal. Where is the Eli Manning we love, the kid with the magic arm who Michael Lewis once called his best friend and spent a quarter-of-an-hour trying to figure out the song from Teen Wolf, and who, win or lose, seemed adorably confused by the game of football, despite being increasingly good at it? He didn't even throw Gellar a bone on the show itself. He was much too busy telling America it takes a selfless team effort to win a Super Bowl -- which everyone in The Atlantic Wire bullpen already knows, because we're Redskins, Bills and Lions fans. Maybe he was just caught up in the excitement, but the old Eli would have brought Gellar aside after taping and given her a roundabout compliment about how she was such a better Buffy than Kristy Swanson. [Page Six]
Tracy Morgan’s howlingly unfunny stand-up act apparently played better on the 1:15 a.m. flight from Indianapolis to LaGuardia immediately following the Super Bowl. The performance won the approval of Morgan's two most high-profile flightmates: Sen. Chuck Schumer and Curtis Silwa, the red beret-sporting founder of the Guardian Angels. According to Silwa, Morgan began riffing in the terminal, posing for pictures with despondent Patriots fans and and said nice-sounding things like "Great game.You should be proud." The act continued even after boarding. Says Silva, "I was sitting in steerage, Tracy was in first-class with Schumer and you could hear him telling jokes... He was talking about the Giants and New York life. Everybody had a good belly laugh." [Page Six]
Russell Brand apparently has no interest in soaking Katy Perry in their divorce proceedings, even though he totally could. Dopily, the couple didn’t sign a prenup before tying the knot, which means they each could have walk away with 50 percent the assets accumulated during their marriage, since California is a community property state. Perry’s made more money than Brand -- only natural when you’re singing songs about kissing girls and teenage dreams and not constantly talking about how great it is to be sober -- so he could have had more than his fair share. But he doesn’t want it, because he’s a gentleman or something. [TMZ]
Greg Kelly, the co-host of Good Day New York and son of New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly, won't face rape charges stemming from a paralegal's accustation that he assaulted her back in October in her Lower Manhattan office building. In a note sent to Kelly's criminal attorney Andrew M. Lankler, the Manhattan prosecutor's office explained that "the facts established during our investigation do not fit the definition of sexual assault crimes,” and as a result, "no criminal charges are appropriate." [The New York Times]
If your name is Roger and you've been making time with Katie Couric of late, you might want to sit down for this one: it seems that while "gabbing loudly on her cellphone" in Manhattan yesterday, Couric was overheard explaining that she wasn't in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl, because she went out to the Hamptons with "that Roger guy." (Before we continue, good work on reaching "that ___ guy" status. That's like a peerage in the realm of casual dating.) Unfortunately, Couric followed that up by adding, "No, no, I don't like him like that." Roger, we know: this never gets any easier, though you apparently do have access to property in the Hamptons, so that should help at least a little. And hey, there's a chance the whole thing was innocuous, and she was talking about something else you do she doesn't like "in that way," like the way you run your Super Bowl Box Pool. Is your handwriting particularly abhorrent? Because that could be it. [The Daily]
Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Downey are the proud parents of a new baby boy, the crisply named Exton Elias Downey. Some people seem to think Exton Elias --rather than plain old Exton -- is the lad's Christian name, which would be unfortunate, though the Downeys haven't weighed-in -- they're just saying the tot's full name, like all new parents do -- so there is hope. It's the couple's first child. Downey has an 18-year-old son named Indio from an earlier relationship with model-singer type Deborah Falconer. [People]
Richard Hatch, won the first edition Survivor, went to jail for failing to pay taxes, and sent The Atlantic a gracious handwritten note that until very recently was on display in the break room in the D.C. office. Today, a judge is telling him he can't just pay $25 and expect to meet the terms of his tax evasion sentence last year, which stipulates he "pay 25 percent of his gross income to the IRS as part of his sentence." Hatch is noting, not unreasonably, that he's only made $500 since getting out jail in December, and 20% of that goes straight to his agent and his accountant. [AP]