TIME 2016 Election

The Odds of George Clooney Running for President Just Doubled

Italy Clooney Wedding
George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin leave the city hall after their civil marriage ceremony in Venice, Italy, Luigi Costantini—AP

At least one British Bookie thinks marrying Amal Alamuddin may have been a shrewd political move

A Clooney/Pitt ticket in 2016, perhaps?

The likelihood that George Clooney will run for President of the United States doubled after he married prominent international human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, according to the British bookmakers William Hill.

The company announced Wednesday that it cut the price of a bet that Clooney will run in half, from 200/1 to 100/1, after “hints made by family members” that the actor has political ambitions.

On Sunday Clooney married prominent international jurist Amal Alamuddin in a high profile Venice wedding.

“George Clooney is not just one of the most recognisable faces in the USA, but in the world, and if he did decide to run for President he ticks a lot of boxes,” William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said.

Hill still doesn’t think Clooney can win, putting those odds at 500 to one.

And who would beat him? Probably Hillary Clinton, who they place as the five to one favorite on winning the White House in 2016.

TIME Media

This Article Nails the Most Frustrating Thing About the Alamuddin-Clooney Wedding

ITALY-US-BRITAIN-PEOPLE-WEDDING-CLOONEY
US actor George Clooney and British lawyer Amal Alamuddin arrive on September 29, 2014 at the palazzo Ca Farsetti in Venice, for a civil ceremony to officialise their wedding. PIERRE TEYSSOT—AFP/Getty Images

George who?

While the Internet fawned over the nuptials of George Clooney to Amal Alamuddin this past weekend, one website had a fresh take on the story that, well, wins.

“Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor,” declared The Business Woman Media.

The rest of the story, which is fantastic, tells of Alamuddin’s many extraordinary accomplishments as a leading international human rights jurist, plus her personal elegance and excellent taste in shoes.

“Little is known of Amal’s earlier relationships (we assume she was climbing that corporate ladder and smashing glass ceilings),” writes Internet-winning blogger Amanda Rose, “but she’s tying the knot with an actor, whose name is George Clooney, we’re told.”

Standing ovation.

TIME celebrities

From Goofy Teen to Dashing Groom: George Clooney’s Life in Pictures

In honor of the sexiest man alive becoming the sexiest husband alive, here's a look back at Clooney's life, loves and long career

TIME celebrities

George Clooney Will Appear in a Downton Abbey Charity Sketch

Clooney in Downton Abbey charity sketch
A February 2014 file photo of George Clooney, who is to take a guest role in a charity sketch based on TV hit Downton Abbey Anthony Devlin—PA Wire/Press Association Images

But details are sketchy

George Clooney is set to make an appearance in a Downton Abbey charity sketch, a spokesperson for the hit British period drama has confirmed.

According to the Guardian, the 53-year-old Hollywood star will play an American wedding guest at the English country manor.

The scene was specially written as part of the Text Santa charity fundraiser for the ITV network, which broadcasts Downton Abbey in the U.K., and will be shown at Christmas. But Clooney will not be acting in a full episode and ITV are keeping quiet on further details.

“George isn’t appearing in any episodes of Downton Abbey. He is appearing in a Downton Abbey scene for Text Santa. That is all we and ITV are saying at this stage,” said a spokesperson.

TIME movies

George Clooney Set To Direct Movie About Britain’s Phone-Hacking Scandal

Omega Le Jardin Secret Dinner Party
SHANGHAI, CHINA - MAY 16: (CHINA OUT) Actor George Clooney arrives for the red carpet of Omega Le Jardin Secret dinner party on May 16, 2014 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images) ChinaFotoPress—ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

We hope Hugh Grant plays himself

George Clooney is on board to direct a big screen adaptation about the tabloid phone-hacking scandal that engulfed Britain in controversy.

The Sony Pictures film will be adapted from the 2014 book Hack Attack by journalist Nick Davies. The book explores how staff at the British tabloid the News of the World — owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch — hacked into voice mails of politicians, celebrities, members of the royal family and crime victims looking for scoops. Davies was one of the journalists responsible for exposing the phone-hacking, which resulted in the shuttering of News of the World, the arrests of several top editors and an extensive government inquiry into Britain’s journalism practices. The film adaptation could potentially have a large pool of talent to tap into as Sienna Miller, Steve Coogan and Hugh Grant were just a few of the high-profile figures who gave testimony at the inquiry about their own experiences with the tabloids.

“This has all the elements – lying, corruption, blackmail – at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London,” Clooney said of the project in a statement released Wednesday. “And the fact that it’s true is the best part. Nick is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honor to put his book to film.”

Clooney also has a personal connection to the film’s subject matter. The actor, who received an Oscar nod for filmmaking in 2005 for Good Night, and Good Luck, about radio and television journalist Edward R. Murrow, is also the son of an American broadcast journalist, Nick Clooney. What’s more, earlier this year he blasted British paper The Daily Mail for a false story about his fiancée Amal Alamuddin and accused it of fabricating stories.

We’re not expecting the British press to appear in the best light in the upcoming film.

[Deadline]

TIME celebrities

George Clooney Rejects the Daily Mail’s Apology Over Amal Alamuddin

George Clooney is not one to forgive and forget. Not when it comes to his fiancée Amal Alamuddin, anyway

Actor George Clooney has rejected the Daily Mail’s apology over a story in which the tabloid claimed the Lebanese mother of his fiancée opposed their marriage — and preferred that she be married to a member of the Druze religious group.

The small Druze community is found mostly in Lebanon, Syria and Israel. While their monotheistic faith stems from a branch of Shi‘ite Islam, it has adopted teachings from a number of other religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Gnosticism.

The Oscar-winning actor previously slammed the Mail’s article about the family’s attitude to his engagement to Amal Alamuddin, saying the story was “completely fabricated” and exploited “religious differences where none exist.”

“It says Amal’s mother has been telling ‘half of Beirut’ that she’s against the wedding. It says they joke about traditions in the Druze religion that end up with the death of the bride. Let me repeat that: the death of the bride,” wrote Clooney.

On Wednesday the British tabloid (sort of) apologized. The Mail’s statement started by denying Clooney’s fabrication claims and added that the story was based on a trusted journalist’s conversations with a long-standing contact who has strong Lebanese connections. But the statement closed with, “However, we accept Mr. Clooney’s assurance that the story is inaccurate and we apologize.”

Today, Clooney rebuffed the apology in USA Today, saying that the Mail knew ahead of time that it was not telling the truth. He referred to the tabloid’s April article that said Alamuddin’s father, a professor, had married outside the Druze faith and that her mother, a journalist, was not a Druze member. Both of Alamuddin’s parents are originally from Beirut.

“What separates this from all of the ridiculous things the Mail makes up is that now, by their own admission, it can be proved to be a lie. In fact, a premeditated lie,” wrote Clooney.

“So I thank the Mail for its apology. Not that I would ever accept it, but because in doing so they’ve exposed themselves as the worst kind of tabloid,” he said.

[USA Today]

TIME

Daily Mail Takes Down George Clooney Article After Actor Blasts it in Op-Ed

Omega Le Jardin Secret
Actor George Clooney arrives for the red carpet of Omega Le Jardin Secret dinner party on May 16, 2014 in Shanghai, China. Feng Li--Getty Images

The actor slammed the "Daily Mail" for a false story about his fiancee's family, prompting the publication to apologize and remove the piece

What a week for celebrity op-eds!

First, we have Taylor Swift opining on the future of the music industry for the Wall Street Journal and now we have none other than George Clooney sounding off in USA Today. The subject of Clooney’s op-ed? The Daily Mail, which Clooney essentially chews up and spits out. Clooney rages against a story in the publication that claimed his upcoming nuptials to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin was a major source of contention for his fiancée’s family, particularly her mother, Baria, who supposedly opposed their engagement on religious grounds.

Clooney writes:

It says Amal’s mother has been telling “half of Beirut” that she’s against the wedding. It says they joke about traditions in the Druze religion that end up with the death of the bride.

Let me repeat that: the death of the bride.

First of all, none of the story is factually true. Amal’s mother is not Druze. She has not been to Beirut since Amal and I have been dating, and she is in no way against the marriage.

Clooney goes on to write that an incorrect story about a celebrity isn’t the issue — as he’s apparently “used to the Daily Mail making up stories” about him — but that this particular story goes beyond celebrity gossip: “The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous.”

The actor, who is the son of retired broadcast journalist Nick Clooney, explains that he has respect for right to freedom of speech — and knows that it will interfere with his private life from time to time — but he seems to view the publication as far more sinister. He writes:

The Daily Mail, more than any other organization that calls itself news, has proved time and time again that facts make no difference in the articles they make up. And when they put my family and my friends in harm’s way, they cross far beyond just a laughable tabloid and into the arena of inciting violence.

For its part, the Daily Mail denies fabricating the story. In an email to TIME, a MailOnline spokesman said that the “story was not a fabrication but supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist … However, we accept Mr. Clooney’s assurance that the story is inaccurate and we apologize to him, Miss Amal Alamuddin and her mother, Baria, for any distress caused. We have removed the article from our website and will be contacting Mr. Clooney’s representatives to discuss giving him the opportunity to set the record straight.”

Yet Clooney certainly isn’t the first person to strike back at the British publication, which was named the most widely read news website in the world in 2012 with upwards of 52 million visitors a month. Just a few months ago, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling won a libel lawsuit against the paper; singer Elton John and business mogul Alan Sugar have also won libel suits against the Daily Mail.

And then there are those who have leveled their criticism specifically against the publication’s website, Mail Online, which traffics largely in celebrity gossip. The site’s “Femail” section, which tends to focus on women celebrities and their bodies and what they may or may not be wearing at any given moment they’re caught by the paparazzi, is known for being petty or cruel or demeaning.

Though criticism lobbed at the website’s “Femail” content doesn’t tend to center on whether the stories are factual or not, many do view them as destructive in another way. In 2012, Observer columnist Eva Wiseman wrote that she was partaking in a self-inflicted boycott of the Mail Online, because “I was boring myself with my constant outrage at the sidebar’s dissection of women, and worried that it was making me more judgy … As judgmental as the sidebar, whose camera is constantly focused on pop stars’ thighs.”

While it might be hard to reconcile the denunciations of the Daily Mail and its extreme popularity — again, 52 million visitors a month on the website — it appears as if Clooney has struck a fresh cord of outrage. Online and social media comments, including many from journalists and editors, are almost unanimously and forcefully in support of the actor. As Clooney himself notes, the Daily Mail “must be so very proud.”

TIME celebrities

George Clooney Might Get Married in Downton Abbey

Omega Le Jardin Secret Dinner Party
George Clooney ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

Take that, Kim and Kanye

Not to be outdone by the lavish European ceremony from a certain #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple, reformed bachelor George Clooney and his normal-person fiancé, attorney Amal Alamuddin, just might be getting married in the castle from Downton Abbey.

Alamuddin loves the hit PBS show, the Daily Mail reports, and Clooney helped get the hook-up from Downton‘s very own Hugh Bonneville (a.k.a Lord Robert Crawley), with whom he starred in this year’s The Monuments Men. The couple reportedly plans to marry in September, around the time of their one-year anniversary.

Highclere Castle’s location in the English countryside is convenient for the couple: Alamuddin works in London and has family nearby, while the 1,000-acre property offers some security and seclusion for an A-lister like Clooney. No word yet on whether Dame Maggie Smith will be on hand to deliver withering put-downs to unseemly guests.

[Daily Mail]

TIME

George Clooney’s Very Public Spat With Casino Mogul Steve Wynn

Vegas honcho calls the newly-engaged star "mollycoddled." Clooney says Wynn "needs to take off his red sparkly dinner jacket" and delivers other choice barbs in a statement released on Friday

George Clooney is not pulling punches in his recent spat with Las Vegas casino mogul and Republican donor Steve Wynn.

Wynn and the Hollywood star reportedly first clashed in a war of words during a political argument earlier this month in Las Vegas after Wynn allegedly called President Barack Obama a dirty word. In an interview posted Friday on Bloomberg TV’s “Market Makers,” Wynn denied making the statement about Obama, said Clooney had been drinking and that Hollywood A-listers like him “live in a very strange bubble” and are “molly coddled”:

Artists, actors, people like that, they live in a very strange bubble of their own. They’re molly coddled, they’re highly privileged. We’re talking about successful artists like George, or Barbra Streisand or any other really successful performing artist. They live in a relatively small world. The people around them are very solicitous and caring for them. They have a world view that therefore everything should be given to everybody because everything has been given to them.

Wynn added that despite stars’ negative qualities, he and others in Las Vegas “love them anyway.”

He was a little into the tequila,” Wynn said of Clooney during a reportedly heated exchange the two had recently during a group dinner. “But he is fun to be with. He’s a good storyteller.”

Clooney replied with a pointed statement of his own, which he released to People on Friday:

He said I live in a bubble. More of a bubble than Las Vegas? Honestly? He says I’m ‘molly coddled,’ that I’m surrounded by people who coddle me. I would suggest that Mr. Wynn look to his left and right and find anyone in his sphere that says anything but ‘yes’ to him. Emphatically. I did not attend a private boys’ school, I worked in tobacco fields and in stock rooms, and construction sites. I’ve been broke more of my life than I have been successful, and I understand the meaning of being an employee and how difficult it is to make ends meet.

Steve is one of the richest men in the world and he should be congratulated for it, but he needs to take off his red sparkly dinner jacket and roll up his sleeves every once in a while and understand what most of the country is actually dealing with … or at least start with the fact that you can’t make up stories when eight people who are not on your payroll are sitting around you as witnesses.

 

TIME celebrities

Why Would Anyone Marry George Clooney?

'The Monuments Men' Premiere - 64th Berlinale International Film Festival
George Clooney attends The Monuments Men premiere during the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin on Feb. 8, 2014 Luca Teuchmann—WireImage

Amal Alamuddin is an Oxford-educated human-rights lawyer, he's a flaky actor with lots of baggage. She can do better

Poor George. He dated every B-list model he could, but never got a ring on his finger. He stands by as BFFs Matt Damon and Brad Pitt get photographed with their broods of cute kids. He watched his beautiful ex-wife Talia Balsam and her new husband John Slattery become a Mad Men power couple. George Clooney: always a groomsman, never a groom.

But those days are over. He’s finally been swept off his feet by the brilliant and talented Amal Alamuddin, and her law firm has confirmed the pair are engaged. Maybe finally Clooney can get a shred of happiness in his lonely, barren life. Jennifer Aniston knows what it’s like.

Amal Alamuddin might as well have ridden up on a white horse. She speaks English, French and Arabic. She has degrees from Oxford and NYU. She’s advised former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Ukraine’s ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. And she’s been listed as one of the 21 hottest barristers in London by this random blog.

So why the hell would she marry George Clooney? Scratch that, why would anyone marry George Clooney?

Don’t get me wrong, Clooney is plenty handsome and likeable. He’s won two Oscars and has been nominated for four others. He raised awareness of the crisis in Darfur, and he’s got a reputation for being one of the last genuinely nice and down-to-earth guys in Hollywood. But marriage material? No, sir.

He’s 16 years Alamuddin’s senior and has a taste for models and cocktail waitresses. He’s proudly commitment-phobic. He’s rich, but then again, so is she. And he’s got some serious baggage: Clooney’s dated everyone from British model Lisa Snowdon to cocktail waitress Sarah Larson to Italian TV presenter Elisabetta Canalis to wrestler turned model Stacey Keibler. He might as well be the village bicycle.

Most importantly, Clooney has said over and over again that he sucks at being married. “I keep saying I’ll never get married again or have children,” he told Express magazine in January, “but people just don’t want to believe me.” That piece was published four months into his seven-month relationship with Alamuddin.

When men insist they’re bad at relationships, it only makes them more attractive to women who are trying to “tame” them. But it’s a mating strategy that makes zero sense. People are usually pretty self-aware about their strengths and weaknesses, and Clooney has a reputation for being a smart and insightful person, so we should take his word for it, and so should Alamuddin. He’s said he sucks at marriage seven different times in different public interviews over the years. Sounds like he sucks at it.

Besides, what normal woman would want to be married to George Clooney? Sure, you could go to Lake Como a lot, but the drawbacks far outweigh the perks. Models would always be smirking at him, reporters would always be asking about the state of your marriage, tabloids would speculate doom every time he goes out alone. You’d probably have to be photographed next to your husband’s best friend’s wife, who happens to be Angelina Jolie. Your husband would wear fancier clothes than you.

So, Amal, you seem like a smart lady and I wish you the best of luck. But I wouldn’t trade places with you in a million years.

 

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