There's not actually a federal law mandating that late night talk hosts sleep with employees of their shows, but the practice does seem to be developing into a tradition.
Following in David Letterman's footsteps, Jimmy Kimmel confirmed this weekend that he is involved in a relationship with one Molly McNearney, a long time staffer and the current co-head writer on his show. In the version given to People, a source close to the show (i.e. probably Kimmel's publicist) says they've been dating for several months now after Kimmel broke up with Sarah Silverman back in March and McNearney broke up with an unnamed boyfriend. As the "source" puts it: "After Jimmy and Sarah broke up, Molly and Jimmy both found themselves single, and they clicked. They're really happy together."
Also, says this insider (flack), the situation is nothing like Letterman's situation because "during work hours, they keep things professional."
While the entertainment world is no doubt reeling from this announcement, the news will come as no surprise to Gawker readers whom were alerted to a possible Kimmel-McNearney pairing a full fifteen months ago, when both were dating other people.
After Gawker ran the anonymous tip about the state of Jimmy Kimmel's romantic life, a "source close to McNearney" went to Defamer (this was before the sites merged) to vociferously deny the tale:
She is absolutely NOT banging Jimmy Kimmel. She was promoted from assistant to staff writer, and then from staff writer to head writer. Where's the controversy there? That's kinda how it works in this biz. Also, as a matter of interest, Molly has been with her boyfriend for 3 years, and believe it or not was in Africa ministering to orphans when this story broke (that's not sarcasm, I swear). The truth is that one of Jimmy's BFFs works as a writer on the show, and Molly and another writer tried to let him go. He complained to Jimmy, got his job reinstated, and then sought a little revenge via the interwebs. The sad thing is that this is tearing Molly up.
Nope, doesn't sound like Letterman's situation at all. Or perhaps they were simply star-crossed lovers who were fated to get together a full year after the rumor mill (falsely!) said they were already banging. Mysteries!
In the meantime, while we await proof from Leno, Ferguson, Fallon and O'Brien that they are not sleeping with their staff, caution would dictate that we reset our default assumption from "Sexless" to "Office Shenaniganizer" for all late-night front men.