Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Oprah's assistant leaves, Barack Obama raises money at Harvey Weinstein's place, and a hair metal icon has died.
- Oprah Winfrey's "longtime publicist" Lisa Halliday quit this week and there was a rumor Winfrey wanted her to "stay put in Chicago, where she would work with Rosie O'Donnell's new talk show on OWN," rather than moving back to Los Angeles, which led to a falling out between the two. Halliday, for her part, calls that "crazy talk" and says Winfrey has been "nothing but supportive" of the move. Correction: An earlier version of this item identified Halladay as Winfrey's personal assistant. She's been her publicist for more than 12 years. [Page Six]
- President Obama raised money last night at Harvey Weinstein's house in the West Village. The "star-studded" fundraiser was co-sponsored by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. The celebrity guest list included Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, Jimmy Fallon, Vera Wang, Alicia Keys and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who "paid $35,800 each [to attend] the event, with money going to the Obama Victory Fund." [Variety]
- Amy Winehouse's ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil is "considering" writing a tell-all book about the deceased singer, for the usual sleazy and depressing reasons if someone offers him "the right money." "Blake's been planning to write a tell-all on Amy since she became famous," said a source. "When they were together he'd film her, but there are many hours of footage and photos he hasn't released." Fielder-Civil is "currently in jail for burglary and a firearm offence." [The Sun]
- Director Jonathan Demme has optioned the film rights to Stephen King's 1000+ page time travel assassination thriller 11/23/63, due out in November. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Former Warrant lead singer Jani Lane was found dead at a Comfort Inn in Woodland Hills, California yesterday. No cause of death has been announced, but the hair metal rocker "had a history of alcohol-related arrests," the most recent of which came in 2010, when he was sentenced to 120 days in jail following a DUI arrest. Lane wrote Warrant's 1990 top-ten single "Cherry Pie," the song the band is "probably best known" for. He joined the band in 1986 and left it "three times over the years," most recently in 2008. He was 47-years-old. [TMZ and The Hollywood Reporter]
- The "union busting" Santa Barbara News-Press is going to have to hire back eight journalists fired in 2006 for trying to organize a newsroom union, after the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the paper engaged in an "extensive campaign of retaliatory conduct" against employees who tried to unionize. The paper says it plans to appeal. [Fishbowl LA]
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Ray Gustini is the author of Lucky Town, a forthcoming book about sports in Washington, D.C. He is a former staff writer for The Atlantic Wire.