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Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: The rap debut of Serena Williams, Johnny Depp denies split rumors, and Tim Tebow may be giving his dog a more New York-centric moniker.  

Serena Williams: trying to break into the rap game. Or at least she was last year, when she recorded some tracks "at a Florida record studio called B Major Music Group." Now one of those tracks has surfaced, and it is not terrible. So let's all give a listen to what Serena Williams was interested in as a hobby last year. [TMZ]

Johnny Depp has finally gotten around to denying those rumors that he's about to split with longtime female companion Vanessa Paradis. You could tell he was serious, because he said things like "No way!" and "[A]bsolutely not true!" when grilled about the rumored split at the London premiere of the terrible-looking Dark Shadows. But if that's the case, what was he buying all those fancy chairs for? [The Sun]

Jessica Simpson's pregnancy may have lasted forever, but the bidding war for her baby photos has resolved itself promptly. People will shell out $800,000 for the pleasure of running the first shots of the tot, who is still a girl and still named Maxwell. That seems like a lot of cheddar for pictures of a baby who will probably be sleeping, but consider: People reportedly gave Jennifer Lopez $6 million for the first shots of her newborn, while OK! supposedly Matthew McConaughey $3 million for snaps of his son. So People got a pretty good deal, celebrity baby picture-wise! [WWD]

Jack McCoy Sam Waterston was walking down the street in Georgetown on Thursday, minding his own business, when a street construction worker came up to him to shake his hand. "This has made my day," the construction worker reportedly declared. "I love your work!" After the encounter, Waterston continued to stroll down Wisconsin Avenue, but was "smiling to himself." Sam Waterston, ladies and gentlemen. [The Reliable Source]

Big (possible) news on the Tim Tebow front: it seems New York's most prominent backup quarterback is "considering" changing the name of his Rhodesian Ridgeback from Bronco to Bronx, to mark the fact that he no longer plays for the Denver Broncos. It's unknown whether Tebow realizes the Jets play their home games in New Jersey (probably), but the sentiment sure is nice. [The New York Times]

Thomas Friedman is the new Co-Chair of the Pulitzer Board. He'll co-serve with Denver Post editor-in-chief Greg Moore. [Fishbowl NY]

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