After presumably letting her in on the family business during Scrabble night in Lake Como last month, Clooney today—out of the blue, yet not—gave Julie Chen the go-ahead to announce on her CBS morning show The Talk that he and Amal are expecting twins.
"Congratulations are in order for George and Amal Clooney!" Chen said—after the news was actually first mentioned during the show's opening teaser, just sitting there in between mentions of a video of a fight over an airplane seat armrest that went viral and Aretha Franklin's retirement.
"The Talk has confirmed that the 55-year-old superstar and his highly accomplished 39-year-old attorney wife are expecting twins," she continued. "Give her the armrest, by the way. She's pregnant! Now, what we did find out, that no one else is reporting, is that the twins are due this June."
True, this wasn't the first mention of Amal's pregnancy (photographers have been zooming in on the lawyer's stomach for awhile now) or even the first 100-percent-guaranteed report, Yahoo having reported the news yesterday, citing a "family friend."
But with Clooney's rep staying silent, Chen's straight-from-the-source reporting won Thursday.
According to the details released by The Talk, Julie got the scoop from George himself late last month—so perhaps the Clooneys, in deciding that today was the day, figured that they may as well let their longtime friend's show get the glory, since most everyone was onto them anyway.
"I was working with him last fall and he pulled me aside on set and I mean, I almost started crying. I was so happy for him," Damon, who attended George and Amal's wedding in 2014, said. "And I was like, 'How far along is she?' And he goes, 'eight weeks.'
And Damon told him, "'Are you out of your mind?! Don't tell anybody else! Don't tell anybody else! Don't you know the 12-week rule?' Like of course he doesn't." So he advised George, "'Just shut up, man.' And then four weeks later, I'm like, 'We're good right?'" And Clooney confirmed, "'We're good.'"
Wow. That's a lot of personal Clooney information from Matt Damon in one fell swoop. Not that he's never chatted about his pal and occasional co-star, but not usually off the cuff like that at a press junket.
Which seems to be only further evidence that Clooney ultimately decided to make the news of this major life milestone just another chapter in the ongoing series George Clooney Is Winning at Life More Than Everybody Else.
He's got a trustworthy family, in-laws included, and close A-list pals like Damon who had no problem keeping a sealed lid on the secret until the timing was right and Chen, who's so up there in the Hollywood stratosphere she makes the news—that George Clooney is going to be a dad—sound casual.
Lest we forget, in addition to having this show and hosting Big Brother, Chen—also a veteran TV anchor before than—is married to CBS chairman and chief executive Leslie Moonves, one of the most powerful people in all of the entertainment world. And while Chen has known Clooney for 20 years, Moonves helped Clooney get ER.
Basically, Aunt Julie and Uncle Les helped spread the word.
"I was one of the first to read the ER script and the good news is George Clooney still gives me credit for helping to launch his career," Moonves, who was CEO of Warner Bros. Television when ER came into being, told The Guardian in 2006. "I had George Clooney under contract for four years in a row before ER happened. He's one of the few who remembers the people who helped him."
When Clooney made Good Night and Good Luck, about CBS News legend Edward R. Murrow, he was asked a lot about the revamp that CBS Evening News was undergoing under Moonves at the time. He said in 2005, "Les is a dear friend, and I hope that making it more palatable doesn't mean making it more entertaining and less informative. I don't think so. He's a smart guy, and he's a pretty honorable guy, so I don't think he will. But those are always questions, and it's good that he sort of gets his feet held to the fire."
Smart, honorable, dear friend. Sounds like a guy who's been in the inner circle for some time.
And there's no way that at this level of the game, the official dissemination of the pregnancy news wasn't carefully calculated.
The most A-list, insidery scoop we can think of that comes close is when Howard Stern was the one to dish a few details from Jennifer Aniston's surprise Wednesday wedding when she married Justin Theroux. While Stern isn't one to let anyone rein him in, he is quite discreet when it comes to his nearest and dearest, a group that also includes Jimmy Kimmel and wife Molly.
So, Stern presumably got the go-ahead from the newlyweds to share a little scoop from the super-private party—after he and the couple's other high-profile pals passed the loyalty test with flying colors by keeping the entire affair a secret going in.
Some betrothed celebrity couples don't even tell their friends that they're going to a wedding for fear of word getting out. But it seems that, the higher up in the food chain you get, the more those around you breathing that same rarefied air are able to keep secrets—and the less tethered you are to having to do something hopelessly ordinary, like sharing a photo of a baby bump on Instagram or having your rep make a statement.
Instead, you entrust the news to your best, closest friends and everybody wins.
So, now that we know for certain that George and Amal Clooney are expecting—and it's twins!—we can move onto the important question: What is Uncle Bill Murray planning to get the babies?