An infamous bachelor after his marriage to actress Talia Balsam ended in divorce in 1993, George Clooney had sworn off wedded bliss and children long before he met and fell in love with international law specialist and human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin. The two seem to enjoy a fairy tale romance that has left Clooney's fans both starry-eyed as well as heartbroken.
Married since 2014, the couple have shared few secrets with the public about how they make their marriage work within the framework of their hectic schedules.
The two seem to complement one another quite well. Actress Julia Roberts, a family friend, has stated, "Only when we're at their house I see the influence. In a beautiful way that all wives kind of have a beautiful, loving influence over their husbands." George gushed over his relationship to Esquire, revealing that he's "never been happier in a relationship by any stretch of the imagination." He described Amal as "an amazing human being. And she's caring. And she also happens to be one of the smartest people I've ever met. And she's got a great sense of humor. There's a number of reasons why."
George hasn't always been so revealing about his marriage. From their secret dating to the things they just can't do together, here are 20 Secrets Behind Amal And George Clooney’s Marriage.
20 George's Agent Knew They'd Get Married Before They Met
When George confided the details of his first time meeting Amal to David Letterman, they involved an uncanny prediction.
George's agent called the actor and told him that a woman was coming to his home that he would marry.
He made this prediction before George and Amal had ever even laid eyes on one another. Letterman joked about the talent agent scoping out Amal and doing all of the legwork ahead of time, much like might be done for a film, and George laughed and agreed, "It really worked out that way."
Although the two seemed interested in one another at first, George did not ask Amal out right away because he was unsure of the lawyer's feelings toward him. That doesn't sound like a typical Clooney move to us, but who's to say what's typical when it's true love?
George's agent must know both George and Amal quite well to be able to make that kind of accurate prediction. Even if you guess that one of your friends will hit it off with another, it's a pretty big leap to make when one of those friends is a serial dater who is adamant that he will never get married again,
19 They Had A Gorgeous Destination Wedding
It's not uncommon for wealthy people to have destination weddings, let alone famous wealthy people, and the Clooneys did enjoy a gorgeous destination wedding that followed a civil ceremony in the palazzo Ca' Farsetti.
After obtaining a marriage licence on August 7, 2014 at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, they married on September September 27 at city hall in Venice. City traffic was blocked to ensure they could enjoy their ceremony. Prior to the more intimate affair, a robust ceremony was held two days earlier, with George's friend and former mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, officiating. At the ceremony at the Aman Canal Grande luxury resort, the two wore lovely wedding attire, including George's Giorgio Armani tuxedo. They enjoyed a ride on the Grand Canal and saw a few famous faces like Bill Murray, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, who traveled to the wedding on a taxi boat.
Even during their wedding festivities the couple seemed to make time to be with one another as well as apart, enjoying some celebrations privately with their own private groups of friends and family as well as with each other. This points toward the balance they strive to maintain in their relationship to this day.
18 George's many famous girlfriends before Amal
George Clooney has never seemed to be wanting of a date. He has had many famous ex girlfriends in his life. Lucy Liu, Lisa Snowdon, Krista Allen, Celine Balitran, Kelly Preston, Sarah Larson, Elisabetta Canalis, Renee Zellweger, Karen Duffy, Stacy Keibler, Kimberly Russell, and Michelle Pfeiffer's sister Dedee Pfeiffer have all dated George. There are plenty of other famous ladies, such as Teri Hatcher, who never confirmed their relationships with the actor, but speculation about their romances continued to spread nevertheless. Trekkies may be interested to know that he was linked to Denise Crosby.
Clooney told Esquire, "At 52, I found the love of my life and I'm really happy." Within their first two years of marriage, George stated, "I'm a much happier person and we have a very happy life.... We enjoy many of the same things and I very much enjoy the projects that she takes on because they have real consequence."
According to a friend of Amal, the lawyer wasn't always willing to settle down, either. "The list of things she was looking for in this man, she readily admitted, could not realistically be found in one person. She was looking for Mr. Perfect, and he was nowhere to be found."
17 George Called Out A Tabloid For Spreading Lies About Their Relationship
In search of some juicy material in order to fabricate a scandal about the couple, The Daily Mail published a piece about the pair saying that Amal's mother was no fan of George. The article stated that her mother Bariaa Miknass, who comes from a family of Sunni Muslims from Tripoli in Northern Lebanon, did not approve of the match because of George's religion.
Given that Miknass, a foreign editor of the Pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat, is also one of the founders of the PR company International Communication Experts, she is likely quite familiar with famous people, and she's even given interviews about how her daughter practiced her public speaking skills at home talking her way out of stealing her mom's clothes. The woman seems much more chill than the Daily Mail gave her credit for.
For his part, George, angry at the insinuation, wrote that the whole idea was absurd, saying that the article was "dangerous" for encouraging xenophobia.
The paper issued an apology, but George refused to accept it, stating that the paper was "the worst kind of tabloid. One that makes up facts to the detriment of its readers."
Keep in mind that this was in July of 2014, long before the day Kellyanne Conway gave credence to "alternative facts."
16 George Didn't Want Kids Until He Met Amal
Since marrying in 2014, George and Amal Clooney have welcomed a set of twins, Ella and Alexander, into the world. Although George is thrilled about their children, who were born in June 2017, now, he didn't always want to have kids. In fact, before Amal entered his life, George figured he would never become a father.
The actor, screenwriter, producer and director, who fondly noted that Ella looks like her mother, says that he and his wife were so lucky finding one another that it would simply be selfish to not share that luck with more people.
Clooney says that Ella is "very elegant and dainty," while her twin brother is "a fat little boy" who "laughs louder than anyone in the room" and "it's the funniest thing." When asked if the couple plans on more children in the future, their father says that they are done. That may be the truth, or the Clooneys may decide to change their minds again as they did when they wed.
Either way, it's great that they were able to find and form the family they never knew they wanted with one another, and it sounds like they are a very happy parenting team.
15 They Were Secretly Dating During Their First Public Appearance
Even though George's agent faithfully denied that the two were an item at the time, George and Amal made their first public appearance together while enjoying a dinner at a hotel in London. After meeting through friends in 2013 at his home, the two admitted their feelings about one another to themselves, but did not yet make a move on one another until they courted through a charming, modern day version of love letters.
Amal admits that, while she knew she liked George, it was difficult to plan a date given his celebrity status.
She quickly realized how challenging it would be to remain discreet whenever they met up. When she wanted to make plans for dinner, she had to suddenly contend with the idea of being mobbed by the press in the process, certainly making the task much more challenging than preparing for a "normal" date.
Later, in September of 2017, the two would make another public appearance first: as the parents of newborn twins. In her lilac Versace gown, Amal certainly didn't look as if she'd had twins three months prior, but every woman's body reacts differently to pregnancy, and the couple fortunately have a team of helpers at home that provide nutritional, fitness and care giving support.
14 They Spent Their Honeymoon Camping In Their Unfinished Home
It's one of the more romantic stories about the Clooneys: although they had a lavish destination wedding complete with celebrity guests, they spent their honeymoon at home. The experience proved to be even more interesting since their house remained unfurnished, as they had only just purchased it.
Amal says that they were "camping out" in the rooms during the honeymoon, which sounds more like a pair of down-to-earth newlyweds instead of a celebrity power couple. Even so, it wasn't truly "roughing it," as they have a massive home that is designed for entertaining and enjoying company.
Between "towering ceilings" and stately treasures like Persian rugs, a pool house bar "party zone" and glassed-in garden to a screening room with a popcorn machine, the home isn't remotely anything close to even glamping, let alone the standard couple's house, but it does paint the image of a cute couple snuggling in the afterglow of their wedding.
The Clooneys are big on entertaining and it didn't take long for them to outfit their home with lots of cool treasures and furniture worthy of Architecture Digest. Even the twins get a cool setup, complete with Kentucky-style baby trays that hang from the ceiling of the kitchen.
13 They tried (and failed) to do a Cleanse Together
As accomplished as both of the Clooneys are, it would seem as if they could pretty much do anything they put their minds to. Amal's intelligent, ambitious and gorgeous, and George's pretty much the same. They both excel at their careers. There's one thing that they admit they could not do together, and it's something that plenty of average Janes and Joes do with one another on a daily basis: a cleanse!
Amal says that wine and coffee are pretty much staples of her diet and giving them up just didn't go well for her. She told Vogue, "It was hard to give up the glass of wine in the evening, but even harder to give up the espresso first thing in the morning. We’re like, ‘Aren’t we supposed to be feeling amazing?"
The two lasted 11 out of 21 days, which is still an impressive feat.
Couples who set goals together are more likely to achieve their dreams, and it helps provide both novelty, which the brain loves, as well as connection, which is great for the relationship. Even failed goals are good because you can always learn something new-- and even something new about one another-- in the process.
12 They Decorate their house with animal photos
If you know anything about Amal and George Clooney, then you probably would't be surprised that these are two celebs who don't get expensive things just because of their prestigious price tags. After working on everything from the Enron case to fighting ISIS, Amal especially knows that there are more important things in life.
Money isn't everything, and although they have resources at their disposal that most of the world does not, not everything in their home reflects that. Some of the art that the couple keep in their home, for example, is not of an expensive nature but of a nostalgic one instead.
Amal recounts how they had some appraisers at their home who looked down on the art of George's dogs and their giraffe paintings that depict Amal's favorite animal. "They were like, 'It’s barely worth getting a policy.' They were very judgmental," she said.
One of the pictures is of George's dog Einstein, who was posing at a chalkboard as a physics professor. The two also decorate with lots of photos of family and friends, as well as some photos they must be quite proud of, such as ones where they are shaking hands with President Obama and the Pope.
11 They Fell In Love Over Email
Even though the use of personal e-mail is only a couple of decades old, it's already considered retro by today's standards. Many people prefer to text or use messenger or social media over the "dinosaur" known as e-mail, but that was Amal's preferred method of contact when she met George. With that in mind, George had to become a frequent e-mailer as well!
The two fell in love with one another through a series of sweet yet fun e-mail messages.
Although George's funny emails were a surprise, Amal says that falling for the actor felt very natural to her, and that love is "the one thing in life that I think is the biggest determinant of happiness, and it’s the thing you have the least control over. Are you going to meet this person? I was 35 when I met him. It wasn’t obvious that it was going to happen for me. And I wasn’t willing or excited about the idea of getting married or having a family in the absence of that."
These e-mails have to have been some very poignant reading material! Hopefully the couple saved them all to show their children and grandchildren someday.
10 George Courted Amal Through his Dog
One of the most adorable secrets in George and Amal's marriage is that not only did they court via email, but George took to using the "voice" of his dog in order to impress her.
In a world with way too many communication options, Amal is all about e-mail, and George had to use that to his advantage.
The two emails back and forth between their busy schedules and George would write his from his dog Einstein's "voice," claiming that he was trapped somewhere and in need of her expert legal advice.
Even without reading the letters we know it had to be adorable. We're picturing a cuter version of You've Got Mail here. Hey, George, maybe that's an idea!
While some of these email messages are probably not meant for a young audience, hopefully the twins will have the ability to check out their parents' love letters one day when they are grown. It's such a revealing and moving experience to witness who your parents were before you knew them and how they fell in love, and to have a record like that truly is a gift.
George is quick to refer to his wife as being beautiful, fascinating and brilliant to the public, so he must make some really sweet comments in private.
9 They Have Their Own Photo Booth
This secret within the Clooneys' marriage and home is sort of adorable in its own way. The couple keeps a photo booth on their property to make instant mementos for any occasion. While this is already proving to be hilarious for them based on the antics of party guests using the booth at 3 AM, it's going to come in very handy when the children are old enough to jump in for a quick snap every now and then, too.
The Clooneys even have it set on the best setting: automatic duplicates! This means that they always get photos for their own personal albums while guests get pictures to take home, too. That's a much better party favor than a candle or mints.
Amal even has a special bulletin board on which to display guest photos. She says that the ones displaying guests at 3 AM are easily discernible because people are in bathrobes, but then you also get the random pics of George just hanging out in a hat. With such a cool toy to have on the premises, you have to wonder if they spend any time taking photos at their parties at all or just leave it to their guests to spend a moment in the booth.
8 George Decided To Ask Her To Marry Him On Safari
When George made the decision once and for all to ask Amal to marry him, they were on a safari adventure together.
George says that it was when he saw his future wife mingling with some of her favorite animals, giraffes, that he knew he wanted to be her husband.
Both the giraffes and the idea caught George by surprise. He says, "Some giraffes walked up to her. They just came out of the blue. I took a picture of her, and she was smiling. I said to my buddy Ben, 'You know, I think I should ask her to marry me.' And Ben said, 'I think that’s a good idea.'"
It's like George took the approach of the gentle creatures as a sign that they were meant to be.
George has also stated that he knew right away that this relationship would be different from all of his previous relationships. Although he was in his 50s and she in her 30s when they met, both were surprised to finally discover the person they both thought they might never find in each other, proving that love can come quite unexpectedly even for those who don't believe it will.
7 They Have A Nanny, Chef, Assistant, And More Staff
It's not a big surprise that two adults who work full-time, particularly those who are both activists and breadwinners, would need some help in the home. Unfortunately in the West, we live in a "by your bootstraps" culture where parents, even single ones, are expected to do it all without complaint. While that idea is slowly unraveling, parents in many other cultures enjoy the help of extended family, friends and neighbors or even government help with child-raising.
George and Amal have assembled a team of staff including a nanny, chef, assistant and others to help them manage their family and careers.
During her Vogue interview, Amal passed her baby off to a nanny while the child began to fuss. Some parents might soothe the child themselves and some might do what Amal did; both are okay! In fact, the interview was part of Amal's work load for the day, so it made sense for her to utilize the help she had available. Parents have demonstrated both reactions to a crying child during their work time and different things work for different families.
It would be wonderful if each parent had a village, so to speak, to help with nutritional, educational, emotional, labor and other needs.
6 They Refuse To Spend Too Much Time Apart
The biggest challenge in the Clooney home seems to be aligning their schedules to fit just right, and what family of four (or even two) can't empathize with that in our modern world? The good news is that Amal and George seem to have a handle on their frequently long-distance relationship.
After being married for several years with continents often separating them, they have some great advice to others: never spend more than a week apart.
"Our only adjustments are figuring out our schedules. Our deal is that we can't be more than a week apart. So far that's worked out pretty well," says George.
The secret to their happy marriage is not only that, but also frequent use of social media so they can "see" and "talk to" each other as often as possible despite the miles. Long-distance couples never had this tool until just a few years ago so it's been quite a tool to use for those who are separated by distance but wish to be near one another. Of course, the two have additional resources at their disposal that most people can't access, such as multiple homes in various locations and enough money to purchase flights at a moment's notice.
5 After their email romance, they turned to FaceTime
One of the Clooneys' favorite social media apps is FaceTime. In her interview with Vogue, Amal accepted a FaceTime call from George, exclaiming, "Hello my love! How's everything?" They exchange updates about life and their children, and Amal notes that it bothers George to be away from the twins more than he thought it would.
In the piece, it's noted that the two "gaze affectionately at each other," which could simply be for interview purposes but is more likely real. When you miss your partner and you can finally see his or her face, it can be very exciting.
FaceTime, like Skype and similar apps, is another revolutionary tool for couples to stay in close contact when they have lives that call for extreme distance, whether it's because an actor has to be in Los Angeles or a soldier must go back on tour. Long distance love, while never easy, has never been as manageable as it is today, and the Clooneys are a fine example of how it can work if you work at it together. It takes effort from both parties, and the fact that Amal stopped the interview to speak with her husband, while it may seem rude to some, shows her dedication to their arrangement.
4 Amal's Ring Cost $750,000
George spared no expense when it came to his bride's platinum ring, purchasing a whopping $750,000 piece of jewelry for the love of his life. The emerald cut ring features seven carats, making it a truly impressive rock.
Although many brides might be impressed by a jewel the size of Rhode Island, Amul actually looked into downgrading her ring to a smaller size.
Sources said that she didn't want it detracting from her serious case load, which makes perfect sense. Lawyers have to maintain a certain level of decorum in the courtroom that a giant ring just doesn't support. We can see how it might become a distraction. Sources also said that George wholly supported her desire to own a smaller piece of jewelry.
It's refreshing to see people with the means to have just about anything they could want downgrading instead of upgrading, and for Amal to put her important cases ahead of some bling in a way that some people might not be willing to do. Of course, if her efforts have demonstrated anything, it's her dedication to social justice and human rights over anything else, and no one should be surprised by her desire to change her ring a bit.
3 They Live On A Tiny Island
So many people joke about buying their own island to get away from it all once they are rich and famous, but George and Amal actually bought a house on an island together shortly after they wed.
The island, called Sonning Eye, is in the Thames, and although an island home sounds like it might be a quaint cottage, the Clooney residence is anything but. In addition to the photo booth, glass-enclosed garden and screening area, the couple have a beautiful sitting room complete with a hearth and stuffed chairs, a library-like room, offices and much more in their island home. It's not the only home the two share, however.
The Clooneys own property in London, and the two are known to travel to Los Angels to be together, depending on where their work takes them. When George has to write, read scripts, have meetings or act in the states, the latter location is a frequent hop for the couple, while London lets them be nearer to home. They also enjoy visiting Lake Como when they can, and their love for Italy explains their choice of wedding venue.
Altogether, the two share five homes across two continents, including a villa in Los Cabos.
2 George Feel's Intimidated by Amal's Intelligence Sometimes
The Lebanese-British lawyer is internationally famous for her ability to tackle serious human rights cases and for representing people such as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the former prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, and Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, yet many news outlets, particularly those in the West, have introduced her as simply Clooney's wife as though that is her topmost achievement in life.
The freedom-fighting mother of two seems to handle it in stride, and Clooney says that he is sometimes intimidated by his wife's intelligence. "I feel like an idiot when I'm talking to my own wife!" he has said about Amal, who is also an author, teacher and inspiration to many people, even if some only came to know her through her marriage to George.
Many news outlets are now acknowledging Amal for her work first, some even dubbing George as simply "Amal's husband."
Despite those feelings, George never hesitates to include that feels a strong sense of pride regarding his world-changing wife. "I'm always very proud of her when I see her speaking at the International Court of Appeals in Strasbourg. It's very impressive," Clooney says. We would have to agree with George there.
1 His Proposal Was Awkward
When fans hear that George got down on one knee to propose to Amal after preparing her a home-cooked meal, they may get misty-eyed over the romantic gesture. George, however, swears that is not the entire story, and that his proposal was pretty awkward.
In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, George stated that just as the couple's special song came on and he readied himself to pop the question, Amal actually got up to start working on the dishes! When he called her back and tried to make a surprise by setting the ring where she would find it, she simply looked at it and said, "It's a ring."
George tried to make the moment more romantic but it took some explanation to get Amal to understand exactly what was happening.
He told her, "I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life without you," but he said that it still took another 25 minutes or so until she said yes! He went on to tell her something that deserves a line in one of his films: "Look, I hope the answer is yes, but I need an answer—I'm 52 and I could throw out my hip pretty soon."
Do you have any other trivia to share about the Clooneys? Let us know in the comments!