Amal Clooney has received an apology from a British government official who previously claimed that the international human rights attorney was being retained in high-profile legal cases only because she’s married to actor/Hollywood celebrity George Clooney.
The official in question, Edward Faulks, is a prominent lawyer currently serving as Justice Minister in Prime Minister David Cameron’s government.
Speaking to the Daily Mail about Amal Clooney, Faulks insisted that “I’m sure she gets such high-profile cases and everyone wants her because she’s married to George Clooney; and by employing her they’ll give publicity to their case.”
In a reference to connections benefiting Tony Blair’s wife, also an attorney, he added that “I mean, look at Cherie Blair: being married to Tony Blair didn’t do her career any harm.” Tony Blair is the the U.K’s former prime minister.
Commenting on Amal Clooney losing a court battle in the case of a Canadian journalist who was sentenced to three years in an Egyptian prison, Faulks also noted that “I heard her speak after the court case defending the journalists who were convicted in Egypt and, if I’d have closed my eyes, I’d have never placed her because she has this new-age media trendy accent. I can tell you, they weren’t like that when I was a barrister.”
Unlike the U.S. legal system, the U.K. makes a distinction between trial lawyers, who are known as barristers, and office lawyers, who are referred to as solicitors.
Faulks’ criticism of Amal Clooney, 37, was not well received on social media, which included charges of sexism. He subsequently issued an apology according to Buzzfeed.
“I apologize to Amal Clooney for any offense, distress, or inconvenience caused by my comments. I never intended to imply that her considerable success, nor the esteem in which she is held by the legal profession, is due to her marriage. I regret the fact that my comments have been interpreted in this way and am very happy to set the record straight.”
Amal Clooney is currently representing the ex-president of the Maldives who was deposed in a coup and sentenced to 13 years in jail. Ironically perhaps, on the opposite side of the legal dispute is Cherie Blair, whose law office is representing the government of the Maldives.
In an appearance on the first episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, George Clooney joked that he is just a trophy husband and arm candy for wife Amal Clooney. The couple have been married just short of one year (they were wed on September 27, 2014).
Do you think that Amal Clooney is in any way riding George Clooney’s coattails in terms of the legal clients who call upon her to represent them? In the alternative, was the British official way out of line in originally suggesting that Amal Clooney was exploiting her husband’s celebrity status?
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment]