Clooney stars in real-life courtroom comedy in Italy

Updated: Jul 17, 2010, 00:29 AM IST

Milan :Greeted by dozens of fans, actor George Clooney starred in a real-life courtroom comedy in Italy when he appeared at the fraud trial of three people accused of co-opting his name for a fashion label.

The defence lawyer peppered Clooney with questions such as, "Is it true that you want to run for office in the United States?", "Do you love riding your Harley Davidson?" and "Did you have a relationship with a woman named Mara?", according to the ANSA news agency.

The lawyer also implied that Clooney was lying. "I know that Mr. Clooney is a very good actor, but..." he said before the judge interrupted him.

Wearing a dark blue suit and tie, 49-year-old Hollywood heartthrob had entered the courtroom through a back way, quipping as he slowly made his way through the crowd of fans and journalists, "Don`t crush my lawyers."

Testifying with a hint of sarcasm, Clooney told the defendants they had done "a really good job" creating their advertisements using his image.

The actor listed the incongruities in one of them: "I don`t smoke and I don`t have that watch, and I don`t wear capris," he said, according to the translation in Italian.

Presented with a series of other images, Clooney repeated for each one: "That`s false."

A signature on a purported contract allowing the defendants to use his image was also forged, Clooney testified.

Many court workers left their posts to catch a glimpse of the actor, according to Italian all-news channel Sky TG24.

The star of "Up in the Air" and "Ocean`s Eleven" is regularly in Italy, where he has a villa on Lake Como, north of Milan, and dates Italian actress and model Elisabetta Canalis.

Bureau report