words by Carol King
George Clooney has denied stories in the Italian media that he is selling his mansion on the shores of Lake Como.
The Hollywood actor’s publicist, Stan Rosenfield, told The Hollywood Reporter that his client is staying in Italy.
Italian TV and newspapers claimed the superstar was looking to sell his Villa Oleandra home because of the continual invasion of privacy by overeager paparazzi. His girlfriend Stacy Keibler was said to have issued an ultimatum saying: “Villa Oleandra or me.”
The story appears to have stemmed from rumours that Clooney reported the photographers’ activities to the police. But top photojournalist Pierpaolo Ferreri told the Italian media that neither he nor any of his colleagues had broken the law nor received notification that they had been denounced to the authorities. Ferreri said Clooney, the son of a journalist, had a good rapport with the photographers to the extent that when he needed some privacy the actor is able to ask them to leave him alone and the photographers respect his request.
Clooney bought his lakeside villa in 2002 and had played host there to many of Tinseltown’s top names including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It is not the first time there has been speculation that Clooney would abandon Italy. In 2010 there was gossip that the actor was selling his house to British soccer star David Beckham. This time round there was talk that the buyer would be Clooney’s fellow star Tom Cruise.
Rosenfield’s swift move to scotch the rumours means Italian fans and paparazzi can breath a sigh of relief for the moment. Although they can expect to see less of their favourite expat given that Clooney spends less time in Italy since his relationship with native actress Elisabetta Canalis ended in 2011.