The US publication People magazine reported yesterday that the actor who made his name in ER before going on to direct and star in films such as The Monuments Men has asked Amal Alamuddin, a London-based human rights lawyer, to marry him.
A source close to the actor was quoted as saying: “George and Amal are trying to keep things very low-key … I think it’s like they want the people they love to know that this is real, that they plan on being together forever.”
Meanwhile, the American TV show Entertainment Tonight reported that Ms Alamuddin, who is a lawyer based at the Doughty Street Chambers in London, was seen showing off her engagement ring to supermodel friend Cindy Crawford and the actor Edward Norton when the couple dined at Nobu restaurant in Malibu, California, last Thursday.
Clooney’s agent Stan Rosenfield last night did not deny the engagement but added: “I do not comment on his personal life.”
Clooney was married for four years, between 1989 and 1993, to the actress Talia Balsam and later said that he was unlikely to marry again.
In December he said in a magazine interview: “I haven’t had aspirations in that way, ever. I was married in 1989. I wasn’t very good at it. I was quoted as saying I’ll never get married again pretty much right after I got divorced and then I’ve never really talked about it since.” Over the years, the actor’s girlfriends have included the tele-vision presenter Mariella Frostrup, the models Lisa Snowdon and Sarah Larson, as well as the actress Renee Zellweger.
Clooney, 52, and Ms Alamuddin, 36, were first photographed out together last October and have since been seen on dates in various parts of the world.
In March, the pair were on a trip to Tanzania, where they were photographed on safari, and later they holidayed in the Seychelles.
Earlier this year a source who worked with the actor said: “He’s with someone who is a very accomplished attorney. She isn’t someone who is pursuing a career in acting or entertainment. She’s on his level.”
Ms Alamuddin, who is fluent in French and Arabic, studied at St Hugh’s College at Oxford University, as well as the New York University School of Law.
A specialist in human rights and civil liberties, she was recently appointed to a number of UN commissions including as an adviser to Kofi Annan, the former head of the UN, who is now a special envoy to Syria.
She is also said to be the current legal counsel to Julian Assange, the founder of Wiki-leaks who is currently avoiding extradition to Sweden by seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
According to reports, she was recently voted “the hottest barrister in London” by the legal blog Your Barrister Boyfriend.