In red carpet images and gossip columns, she is often reduced to “Amal, wife of George Clooney”, however, as we well know, the human rights lawyer’s accomplishments reach far beyond her marriage. The British-Lebanese barrister, who has represented clients including 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has a long and established career, having worked at the UN and guest-lectured at Columbia Law School.
And one person who understands the weight of Amal Clooney’s achievements is her husband, George, who sought to address any hints of imbalance this week. The Hollywood actor and producer appeared at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon in Los Angeles on Friday, joining a list of speakers that included school shooting survivor and gun control activist Emma Gonzalez and actor Natalie Portman. “Hi, I’m George and I’m Amal Clooney’s husband,” said the Oscar winner as he took to the podium, before adding to laughs and applause, “I can read this room.”
The 57-year-old, who welcomed twins Ella and Alexander with his wife last year, also touched on controversial political policies in the United States, taking US President Donald Trump to task for previous comments. “When you call an entire religion your enemy, you might very well make an enemy out of an entire religion,” Clooney told the packed room according to WWD, with guests including actors Lena Waithe, Thandie Newton, and Gina Rodriguez. “When you tell a whole race of people that you value them less, you can’t be surprised when they question your values. When you tell women that coming forward to testify about their abuse is a joke, don’t be shocked when they’re standing on your lawn, laughing on November 7.”
The star also praised Gonzalez, who was among the women honored for their philanthropic efforts on the day, lauding the teenager for championing greater gun control regulation. “She made us listen to her heart,” Clooney said. “A heart that believes that we as a country can be so much better. A heart that called for adults to act like adults so children don’t have to.”
Earlier this year, the Clooneys donated US $500,000 toward March For Our Lives, a gun control demonstration led by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The teenagers, who witnessed a devastating mass shooting at their school in Florida that left 17 people dead, planned a demonstration in Washington, D.C. on March 24, which Amal and George attended. “Amal and I stand behind you, in support of you, in gratitude to you,” George wrote in The Guardian ahead of the event. “You make me proud of my country again.”