Carly Lets 'Vain' Secret Out of Bag
08/06/2003 AT 03:51 PM EDT
NBC sports chairman Dick Ebersol was the big winner at a Martha's Vineyard charity auction Monday, as he paid $50,000 to have his friend Simon tell him who was "so vain," PEOPLE reports.
The TV exec, with wife Susan St. James by his side, won the top prize at the 25th annual Possible Dreams Auction to benefit Martha's Vineyard Community Services, a social services agency.
Ebersol is allowed to tell one other person about the person's identity, but the two must sign paperwork promising to never spill the secret to anyone else.
Ebersol tells PEOPLE that he bid on the auction's most talked-about prize to help put his friend Simon at ease about divulging one of the music world's best kept secrets.
"I wanted to put Carly in a situation where she'd feel comfortable telling someone she knew as opposed to someone she didn't know," Ebersol says.
Simon surely appreciated the gesture. "She gave me a big kiss and I whispered in her ear 'It's no big deal,' meaning don't worry about it. And she said, 'I'm just so excited it's someone I know,' " says Ebersol.
Katie Couric tried her best on the "Today" show to get Ebersol to crack, but his lips remained sealed -- other than to say the person's name contained the letter "E."