Back On the Market

06.23.11

Clooney Breakup’s Red Flags

Fans thought she’d get him to the altar, but Barbie Nadeau says the flameout of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor and his showgirl squeeze started months ago.

The 50-year-old graying stallion announced that he and his 32-year-old Italian showgirl have called their fairytale romance quits. “We are not together anymore,” he and Elisabetta Canalis said in a joint statement obtained by The Daily Beast. “It's difficult and very personal, and we hope everyone can respect our privacy."

Sad as it may be, it’s fair to say that “Cloonalis” was probably doomed from the start. Canalis had recently given a series of interviews to Italian glossies in which she talked about dating George—something that’s explicitly forbidden when dating George. She called him “better than plastic surgery” and alluded to their sexual chemistry, quipping during a television interview, “We are a couple who are never bored.” In an interview with the Italian magazine Chi three weeks ago she may have crossed the line when she went so far as to say that she was “the marrying type” and that “'I am a firm believer in marriage…In the future, I will be married.“

Perhaps, but it won’t be to Clooney. Since they first fell into each others’ arms in 2009, there’s been much speculation that perhaps Canalis was the siren who could finally wrestle America’s most eligible bachelor to the altar. The two seemed inseparable, and Clooney had passed several coupledom milestones with Canalis, like vacationing with her parents and bonding with her girlfriends. They had been effectively joined at the hip from the beaches of Mexico to the red carpets of the Kodak Theater for two full years. He stood by her side when she was questioned about her role in a prostitution ring in Milan, and she accompanied him to the Emmys when he won the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award.

But it doesn’t take more than a glance through the recent tabloids to see a number of red flags foreshadowing this breakup. The couple has been spending much less time together compared to summers past.  Last year, they were photographed frequently dining in Milan and Lake Como, riding Clooney’s Harley-Davidson, biking together around the lake, and sunning themselves at his pool. She and her miniature Dobermans were regulars at his villa and on his boat.

This year there has been only one fuzzy paparazzi photo of the pair and even it seemed to foretell the end. Neighbors say that Canalis left his villa in a huff after a terrible row on June 17. Just back from a vacation in Mexico with two girlfriends, she met with Clooney there for what she had hoped would be a cozy reunion. The Italian tabloid Novella 2000 reports that she was angry due to his “less-than-warm reception” upon her return. Instead of “finding her man in their bedroom,” she arrived to a dinner party with Italian acquaintances, the paper revealed.  A cozy dinner out the next night ended with Canalis leaving the megastar’s living quarters. The tabloid says she stormed across the overhead walkway that connects Clooney’s villa to the guest property and spent the night there. In the morning, she bashed her black Lancia into one of the iron barriers at Clooney’s gate as she left the property in a hurry. A few days later, their publicists issued a joint break-up statement. 

The couple has been spending much less time together compared to summers past.

Even if she won’t become the next Mrs. George Clooney, dating the world’s favorite bachelor has been good for Canalis’ career. She has been a regular cover girl in the Italian glossies, including a spread in Italian Vanity Fair. She also landed several bit parts in American television programs, and just last week she debuted her own cooking program called La Notte Degli Chef (The Night of the Chefs) where she plays the sexy hostess who helps competing chefs duke it out in the kitchen.

Clooney, for his part, is sure to soon have an endless line of alluring women lining up to take her place. But no doubt Canalis—and her secrets about George—will prove just as popular.