In just one short month, George Clooney has gone from the last great movie star to the latest celebrity hoax victim. And this time around, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt had nothing to do with it.
Two people are currently under investigation for alleged fraud by police in Milan for the ultimate fashion faux pas—namely, attempting to launch a clothing line under the sartorially suave actor's name.
Acting on a complaint filed by the Oscar winner last month, police Wednesday seized an untold amount of clothing and watches, along with the requisite fake documentation connecting the collection to the star.
Reports that Clooney was dipping his well-heeled toe into the fashion arena began last month, when a press release, shoddily translated from Italian to English, began making the online rounds.
The release, which also included a fake quote or two from the actor, claimed that GC Exclusive by George Clooney would include a range of clothes for men and women and would debut with a Milan show on April 20, with Clooney himself present.
The 46-year-old wasted no time in distancing himself from the reports and vowing to take legal action to shake off any lingering perceived connection to the fashion pursuit.
"This is a hoax," the Leatherheads star said in a statement last month. "I have no connection whatsoever with any clothing line bearing my name, and more specifically, GC Exclusive by George Clooney."
Because the little-known Italian fashion firm behind the line backed up their bogus announcement with the phony Clooney quotes and documents allegedly bearing the signature of one "George Timothy Clooney," the actor's legal team treated it more seriously than the usual online ruse.
"These people have no limits in what they are trying to forge," Clooney's Italian lawyer, Grazia Maria Mantelli, told WWD last month. "Everything is an abuse of the name, image and everything."
The fraud and forgery suspicions were immediately reported to authorities by Mantelli.
As for Clooney, he issued a warning of his own to reporters in Rome Wednesday, where he was promoting his period football flick.
"If someone tries to sell you clothes or watches that are based on me, don't buy them."