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Stardom is double-edged sword for private Clooney

Clooney December 13, 1996
Web posted at: 5:45 a.m. EST

From Correspondent Sherri Sylvester

(CNN) -- What is the price of fame? For George Clooney, it seems to be getting higher.

The sexy star of "ER" is working 20 hours a day and trying to protect the privacy of his four remaining hours.

"A couple of guys got arrested outside my house a few days ago for climbing over the fence and trying to shoot down through the bushes into my bedroom, which I think is crossing the line," he says.

Such encounters are commonplace as paparazzi turned "stalker- azzi" try to capture shots of the star. It happens to Clooney on the set of "One Fine Day" with Michelle Pfeiffer, on the set of "Batman and Robin" and after hours from the set of "ER."


Pictures go to the highest bidder.

"We did a bachelor action -- the three single guys on 'ER,' Noah Wylie, Eriq LaSalle and I for Big Brothers, and the Star magazine paid a woman $7,000 to bid to come out on a date to write a front page article for Star about my date," Clooney complains.

But when "Hard Copy" did an expose on his love life, Clooney took action. The story violated an agreement he had with Paramount, which produces the tabloid show as well as "Entertainment Tonight." Clooney decided to boycott "ET" until "Hard Copy" backed off. And he's watching. icon (416K/18 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

"I watch it every single night. I tape it and watch it every night, as I said I would to make sure," he says.

Many celebrities have joined in his crusade against tabloid media.

"This isn't about stars, this is about people being responsible for what they do and what they say," Clooney says.


It got so bad during the shooting of "One Fine Day" that Clooney had to crawl through his trailer window and sneak to and from the set.

It's enough to make this eligible bachelor yearn for the days before fame. icon (352K/15 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

scene from movie

"You do absolutely miss that, the anonymity, but you can't have it both ways," Clooney said. "I also enjoy the fact that I'll talk to a studio head or a great director or a wonderful actor and they'll say 'Let's do something together.' And that's one of the great moments of your life."

Clooney says one of the absurdities of the business is if you demand something, you'll get it.

"People say actors act like such babies, but the truth is they're allowed; they can ask for anything and get away with a lot. It's absurd," he says.

So until the business changes, Clooney will continue stepping around the pitfalls of life in the public eye.


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