It made for a delicious gossip item in New York magazine -- except, apparently, it's not true. The magazine's Intelligencer column reported this week that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had a chance encounter with actress Sarah Jessica Parker on a sidewalk in New York City May 29 as they were both taking a smoke break. She had just finished taping a television interview, and he was on his way to or from a symposium.
According to the item, Scalia rushed over to the "Sex and the City" star and gushed about how he loves her show and could not wait to see the movie version, which debuted recently. And then, the magazine reported, Scalia bummed a cigarette from the star. The item also said a Court spokeswoman confirmed the meeting.
The version from inside the Court, corroborated by a source in New York who witnessed the encounter and wants to remain nameless, is quite different. Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says she did confirm the meeting, but not the details that the magazine offered. In reality, Arberg said, Scalia did not need a cigarette. But when Parker asked for a light for hers, he provided it (as any Old World-style gentleman like Scalia would, we might add).
No offense to Parker, but Arberg also confirms that when the two first met on the sidewalk, Scalia did not know who Parker was. After introductions, Scalia realized her identity, but Arberg said, "Her work did not come up in the conversation." In other words, the justice did not gush.