Witherspoon Won't Sue Elderly Motorist; Baldwin's Mystery Barista

Plus: Mos Def is changing his name to Yasiin

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Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Alec Baldwin's Starbucks nemesis isn't on the payroll, Reese Witherspoon won't press charges against the 84 year-old who hit her with her car, and Mos Def is changing his name

  • Alec Baldwin crankily tweeted yesterday that an "[u]ptight Queen barrista [sic] named JAY [with] an attitude problem" ruined his visit to the Starbucks on 93rd and Broadway in Manhattan, but the coffee shop's manager says there's no Jay on staff at that location. “Maybe he means Giovan," suggested another employee. Or maybe Alec Baldwin's finally found his one-armed man, and he's a barista named Jay. [New York Post]
  • Reese Witherspoon reportedly won't be filing charges against the 84 year-old motorist who ran into the actress while she was out jogging Wednesday in Santa Monica. The actress came away from the accident with just a cut on her forehead. The unnamed octogenerian was ticketed for failure to yield to a pedestrian, and will reportedly have to retake her driver's test at the DMV. The California DMV. [US and TMZ]
  • George Clooney's latest ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis is opening up about the end of their two-year relationship to the Italian magazine Chi, making it clear she'd still very much like to Clooney's main squeez. Canalis insights range from the fiercely pragmatic ("At the end of the day I have always seen the end of my relationships as a personal failure...There is nothing ever pretty is saying goodbye") to the quietly undermining ("I have always seen cold and controlled men as the right ones for me...You have to accept that Prince Charming who is coming to save you is not going to happen"). Clooney, for his part, is reportedly already seeing former pro wrestler Stacy Keibler. [US]
  • An over-enthusiastic reveler at a Paris dance club Tuesday night delivered "an errant elbow to the face" of True Blood's Evan Rachel Wood, knocking out one of her teeth. A representative confirmed the injury, adding that she's  already met with a Parisian dentist about a replacement to get her through the European leg of the Ides of March press tour. [E]
  • Starting January 1, Mos Def will no longer be known as Mos Def. "I’m retiring the Mos Def name after 2011," the rapper told MTV2. "I’m actually doing it.Yasiin. That’s it. Mos Def is a name that I built and cultivated over the years, it’s a name that the streets taught me, a figure of speech that was given to me by the culture and by my environment, and I feel I’ve done quite a bit with that name and it’s time to expand and move on...I didn’t want to have to deal with having any moniker or separation between the self that I see and know myself as." That strikes us as reasonable. [MTV2 via The Reliable Source]
  • CNN correspondent Jeanne Meserve has sent a memo to colleagues announcing that she's leaving the network for a post at  George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute. That confirms a New York Post item last month indicating that the network was letting her go. [New York Post and TV Newser]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.