Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: The Duchess of Cambridge is speaking for the first time in public on March 19, more apologies for Sandra Fluke, and Russell Brand spent the weekend texting a lady he met on the street.
As Page Six notes, "Kate Middleton is known for smiling and waving, but not so much for speaking." That's going to change as of March 19, when the Duchess of Cambridge will make her first "public address" at the opening of The Treehouse, a hospice service in Sussex run by one of her charities. It's going to be a busy stretch for Middleton: her first "solo military engagement" is scheduled for March 17 -- St. Patrick's Day -- when her duty will be to "present shamrocks to 40 Officers and Warrant Officers, who will then issue them along the ranks of the Irish Guards." [People and Page Six]
There's some disagreement over how involved Tina Fey was in Lindsay Lohan's somewhat contextless appearance as host of Saturday Night Live. One source says Fey -- who wrote Mean Girls and has made a point of reminding people how funny and lovely Lohan can be -- turned down a "personal invitation" to come and watch the show. Another source says that not only was Fey planning on attending, she helped write much of the cameo-heavy monologue -- the best part of the show, as The Atlantic Wire's Seth Abramovitch noted -- and was slated to appear on-camera. That account is seconded by Fey's spokeswoman, who says the 30 Rock star was "committed to doing the monologue with Lindsay but both of her children got sick." [Gatecrasher]
So Russell Brand "was spotted asking an attractive brunette for her phone number on the street" in New York City over the weekend, just like a regular fella. According to a source, she gave it to him -- her prerogative, times being what they are -- and Brand "called her 10 minutes later." If he wasn't famous, this might have come across as odd and scary, but Russell Brand is famous, so the two "spent the whole weekend texting." Good for them. [Page Six]
Former Enron board member Herbert Winokur has stepped down from the board of the Columbia Journalism Review and reportedly will no longer fund The Audit, CJR's "most highly-trafficked web vertical," which Winokur helped launch five years ago. Columbia has confirmed the exit, but didn't elaborate on the reasons for it. [Capital]
Internet person of note Tila Tequila apparently spent the last week in hospitals after suffering a brain aneurysm. A source says the former MySpace sensation suffered the aneurysm in the middle of the night, got confused, and "took two bottles of unspecified heavy prescription drugs," which only made things significantly worse." She left the hospital yesterday. [Radar]
Rush Limbaugh is not the only person repeatedly apologizing to Sandra Fluke this week. The Middle's Patricia Heaton -- one of Hollywood's more outspoken conservative women -- has apologized for tweeting various not particularly nice things about the Georgetown law student, including that she "Got up in front of whole world & said I’m having tons of sex- pay 4 it!" After temporarily deleting her Twitter account, Heaton announced Monday that she "apologized to Ms Fluke last week," adding I may not agree with her views but I didn’t treat her with respect and I'm sorry. I was wrong. Mea Culpa." [The Hollywood Reporter]