John Travolta Denies Pawing Masseur; Johnny Depp Sets Up House

John Travolta points out it would have been difficult for him to paw at his masseur and give him graphic lectures on how Hollywood works because he was on the other side of the country, Matthew Fox's ill-fated fast food run, and Johnny Depp stocks up on chairs.

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Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning, we bring you the gossip coverage filtered. Today: John Travolta points out it would have been difficult for him to paw at his masseur and give him graphic lectures on how Hollywood works because he was on the other side of the country, Matthew Fox's ill-fated fast food run, and Johnny Depp stocks up on chairs.

Former Lost star Matthew Fox, whose late-night shenanigans used to be confined to drunkenly attempts to board party buses he was not registered for in Cleveland, was arrested "for suspicion of driving under the influence" Friday morning near his home in Bend, Oregon. TMZ, ever helpful in these matters, hears from sources Fox was "en route to a fast food restaurant for some late night eats at the time of his arrest." [TMZ]

Johnny Depp has managed to anger New York's antiquarian community, possibly because they didn't care for the major movie star's decision to spend "$66,000 on chairs at Liza Sherman Antiques in the West Village back in January." Sources say Depp "spent $600 apiece for 40 chairs made from reclaimed oil barrels, and splurged on 12 Ethiopian 'chief chairs' at $3,500 each. (Two of the seats, which the Bedford St. store’s website notes are each hand-carved from one piece of wood, can now be bought for a discount at $6,500.)" While Depp apparently "got enough chairs for a classroom," a store insider says the purchase was for personal use. Depp's relationship with longtime companion Vanesa Paradis is said to be crumbling, so he would need to be stocking up on chairs if he's moving into his own place. And because he's Johnny Depp, they must be antique chairs, refurbished from old oil drums, which doesn't sound comfortable at all. [Gatecrasher]

The $2 million lawsuit brought by a former masseur against John Travolta, which accuses the actor of "rubbing the masseur's leg" and other things in the midsection vicinity, also claims Travolta told his massage therapist he achieved success "due to sexual favors he had performed when he was in his Welcome Back Kotter days" because "Hollywood is controlled by homosexual Jewish men who expect favors in return for sexual activity." That's a new one! Travolta, for his part, has already dismissed the allegations, noting he was on the east coast the day of the alleged massage/Hollywood history lesson. [TMZ]

New Bank of America data chief John Bottega is a apparently "a fourth-degree black belt" in Okinawa karate. He also supports a serties of universally identifiable bank terms aimed at cutting down on red tape, an idea he's been pushing since his pre-recession stints at Citigroup and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. No word on whether he's prepared to roundhouse a colleague who doesn't support "consolidating bank data and improving the quality." [Bloomberg via The New York Observer]

Arnold Schwarzenegger is still very serious about resurrecting his career as Hollywood's preeminent action-movie type, despite looking wan and a tad creaky in pre-gubernatorial outings like The 6th Day, End of Days, and Collateral Damage. No matter: he signed up yesterday to star in Ten, "a movie about a DEA task force" written by Skip Woods, who does blustery crime stories well. Training Day screenwriter David Ayer -- who has also directed the interesting but way-too overstuffed thrillers Street Kings and Hard Times -- is helming. (We'll give 3-2 odds right now that Ayer doesn't finish the picture. Just a hunch: Arnold's going to want a familiar face directing his comeback, like Andrew Davis.) In addition to Ten, Schwarzenegger's also doing ensemble duty in The Expendables 2. He'll also get to play  a beaten-down border cop in Last Town who gets one last chance to make it right, as well as playing a jailhouse pal to noted prison architect Sylvester Stallone in The Tomb, in which Sly has -- wait for it -- been incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit in one of his own escape-proof jails. Jim Caviezel is playing the bad warden, which should be fun. [Page Six]

Greg Smith's New York Times op-ed saying farewell to Goldman Sachs has "renewed speculation" that Lloyd Blankfein -- who took over as CEO in 2006 when Hank Paulson went to the Treasury Department -- "could be forced to step down." Among the names Vanity Fair contributing editor Bethany McLean bandies about as possible successors to Blankfein:  Vice-chairman J. Michael Evans, Michael Sherwood, the London-based "vice-chairman and co-C.E.O. of Goldman’s international operations." Another possibility is Harvey Schwartz, who "came up through the commodities division and is now a co-head of the securities division." Other long shots include "popular longtime CFO" David Viniar, but McLean says that's nothing more than "wishful thinking."   According to McLean, Tom Montag, a former Goldman executive now at Bank of America, could also be given a look. [Vanity Fair]

Jon Thurber, books editor for The Los Angeles Times, is leaving the paper at the end of the summer and no replacement has been named. Thurber spent more than 40 years at the paper, only taking on the books desk back in 2010. A staff-wide note from Times editor Davan Maharaj didn't contain any hints about the future of the book section for staffers, or any indication of what Thurber is off to do. [LA Observed]

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