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George Clooney engaged: Who is Amal Alamuddin and how did she tie down Hollywood's most eligible bachelor, who swore off marriage for good?


Jenn Selby
Monday 28 April 2014 12:38 BST

So long as the grass is green and the earth still spins on its axis, George Clooney – the seemingly eternal Hollywood bachelor – will remain single.

Or so we thought, until news broke this weekend that not only is the Cloon-dawg no longer a one-man band, but that he is also engaged, thus scuppering any chances we definitely didn’t have with the silver fox in the foreseeable future.

Not only this, but the lady who has succeeded where a bevy of waitresses, models, fledgling actresses, John Travolta’s now-wife and wrestlers have failed is also a relative unknown – a virgin to the debauchery of A-list life; an outsider among the attention-seeking elite.

Indeed, after a tumultuous first marriage to actress Talia Balsam in 1989, who he wed in a just-as-classy-as-it-sounds Vegas ceremony, just weeks after splitting up from Kelly Preston, he vowed never to marry again. His reason? He simply “wasn’t very good at it”.

This lack of permanent female partner, rather unfoundedly, led to the oldest assumption in the book and a slew of rumours surrounding his sexuality. Even Stephen Fry joined in, personally thanking Clooney at the BAFTAs ceremony in 2013 for the number of beards in attendance.

All that aside, we have to admit, from what we’ve learned about the future Mrs Clooney so far, we can understand why she changed his mind – she fills an intellectual void an army of beautiful-but-bland Cloon-conquests could all but dimly gaze at. Here’s what you need to know about Amal Alamuddin. She’s pretty cool, as it happens.

She’s a British human rights lawyer…

We know what you’re thinking. Like a female Mr Darcy to Clooney’s Bridget Jones. Minus the reindeer jumper.

She’s represented some really impressive people…

Like Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

She served as counsel to the United Nations on the use of drones…

Oh, and as UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s advisor on Syria. Casual. Clooney, we can imagine, as a human rights advocate who has campaigned for liberal causes in the US and abroad, most notably in Darfur, will be suitably astonished – and dwarfed – by her expertise and experience.

And as legal advisor to the King of Bahrain…

No mean feat.

She was born in Beirut…

Yep. She was. No further to add on that one. Other than that she’s now based in London at the Doughty Street Chambers.

She speaks fluent French and Arabic…

Very impressive.

She’s a published author…

Having written numerous articles on international criminal law, Alamuddin has also edited The Law and Practice of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Pretty wordy, that one.

She was voted “hottest barrister in London” by a particularly sexist and ethically dubious legal blog called Your Barrister Boyfriend…

According to the site, she “achieves the seemingly unattainable ideal of contemporary femininity: she is both breathtakingly beautiful and formidably successful.”

She adds yet more credit to Tina Fey’s spectacular Golden Globes joke about Clooney’s love life…

Introducing the award-winning movie Gravity, in which Clooney stars opposite Sandra Bullock, Fey described it as “a story about how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age”. Continuing on an age-old theme, Alamuddin is 36 to Clooney’s worldly 52. That’s an age gap of 16 years.

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