In terms of Hollywood-related shocks, the news was the equivalent of Woody Allen directing a “Star Wars” movie or Lindsay Lohan getting an actual paying acting gig — an event so completely unexpected, it upends everything we think we know about the universe.
The surprise announcement must have been soul-crushing for the planet’s single ladies — six of whom have never dated the actor — and it left many of us scratching our heads when we found out who he was marrying.
The one who finally managed to tame the avowed bachelor turns out to be Amal Alamuddin, the actor’s main squeeze since October. But besides the fact that she is beautiful — a lawyer and beautiful (she’s good-looking enough that it’s worth saying twice) — what do we know about her?
As it turns out, not much. But expect that to change soon, as paparazzi begin hiding in her laundry hamper.
One thing we do know for sure is that Alamuddin, 36, appears to be more accomplished and independent than many of Clooney’s former flames. She is not some waitress he picked up in Vegas or a wannabe actress. Alamuddin was already a well-known human rights lawyer before she hooked up with Clooney, 52.
One of four siblings, she is of Lebanese descent, lives in London and works for legal firm Doughty Street Chambers. Her most high-profile client is Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder. Alamuddin is defending him in his extradition case with Sweden.
“She is a fabulously bright woman, she’s independent and has a Rolls-Royce mind,” a colleague told the Evening Standard.
Alamuddin has apparently always been driven and interested in politics. She was born in Beirut, but she and her family fled the war-torn city when she was a child. They settled in Buckinghamshire, England.
Her mother, Baria, is a foreign affairs editor at Al Hayat, a Lebanese newspaper. Baria’s also a frequent talking head on TV and has interviewed Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro and Tony Blair.
Amal’s beauty clearly comes from her mother. Baria was considered so stunning that she was likened to Elizabeth Taylor. The famous Lebanese poet Said Akl was so struck by her beauty that he wrote verses in her honor.
Mom clearly approves of her daughter’s choice in men. On her Facebook page, she “liked” an article breaking the news that her daughter and Clooney were on a romantic vacation together.
Amal’s father, Ramzi, returned to Lebanon in 1991 and is now retired from a career as a business professor at the American University in Beirut.