Supposed eternal bachelor George Clooney’s mother, Nina Clooney, has confirmed reports her son is to marry British/Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin.
“You can say I’m extremely happy, Amal’s a lovely girl,” Mrs Clooney told the MailOnline. “I like her very much.”
Mrs Clooney, 74, told The Mail that she had met Alamuddin many times – the first time a year ago, months before the producer/actor/director and the lawyer were believed to have met – and there was no surprise when the engagement was announced to family.
‘We weren’t at all surprised when they told us they were engaged, and we couldn’t be happier for them,” Mrs Clooney said.
Alamuddin, 36, is an expert in human rights, international and extradition law and works in the same London legal chambers as Australian expat Geoffrey Roberston QC, husband of Puberty Blues author Kathy Lette.
The beautiful legal eagle is currently representing Australian Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and has advised Kofi Annan, the special envoy to Syria.
“On an intellectual level, they are equals. That is very important to him. Amal’s world couldn’t be more different from the Hollywood lifestyle,” Clooney’s mother continued.
Mrs Clooney also told The Mail that Alamuddin was not a Hollwood wannabe. “Heavens, no! She’s a lawyer, she is brilliant, she is a very bright woman and at the very top of her career.”
The British law firm that employs Alamuddin also confirmed the couple were engaged and offered its congratulations. Doughty Street Chambers in London said on Monday it was “delighted” the human rights lawyer and the Oscar-winning heart-throb were to tie the knot.
Chief executive Robin Jackson said: “Amal has been utterly wonderful since she arrived in chambers.
“She brings a bright light to everything she is involved in, and I am so delighted at her happy news.”
Alamuddin’s other high profile clients have included former Ukrainian premier Yulia Tymoshenko, whose detention she challenged before the European Court of Human Rights.
Leading rights lawyer Robertson, who worked with Amal on the Tymoshenko and Assange cases, said she was “respected and admired” by everyone at the firm.
“Amal Alamuddin is a brilliant and passionate defender of human rights who has put in the enormously hard work necessary to improving them,” he said.
Alamuddin and Clooney were first seen in public as a couple in October and have since been seen on holiday in places including Tanzania and the Seychelles.
He was married to US actress Talia Balsam for four years between 1989 and 1993 but has shown little interest in settling down since, instead having a string of younger model and actress girlfriends over the years.