ROME – Just a day after Italian media began reporting that superstar actor George Clooney might be looking to move on from Italy, Clooney said it’s not true -- he’s staying put.
Italian TV news program TG 24 reported Monday that the 51-year-old Clooney could be looking to sell Villa Oleandra, the mansion he bought on the shores of Lake Como a decade ago, after girlfriend Stacy Keibler, according to the program, gave Clooney an ultimatum: "Villa Oleandra or me.” The program did not say where it got its information.
After TG 24 first reported the story, it was further reported in other media. But Clooney's publicist, Stan Rosenfield, told The Hollywood Reporter the reports were bogus.
Even if he keeps Villa Oleandra as now appears likely, Italy may be seeing less of Clooney. The actor is no longer romantically linked to Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis, while Marco Mueller, the Venice Film Festival artistic director who regularly invited Clooney to appear on the Venice Lido, is gone, replaced by Alberto Barbera, who has stressed the need to bring in “new faces” at the world’s oldest film festival.
According to the original news report, the main issue at Villa Oleandra concerns privacy -- or the lack of it, due to the squad of paparazzi photographers camped outside the villa when Clooney is there. Part of the reporting of the story in Italy carried promises from photographers who said they have no intention on refraining from photographing Clooney whenever they can.
Erin Carlson contributed to this report.