George & Amal Clooney's Relationship Timeline Started With Emails

The Hollywood heartthrob and the accomplished lawyer became parents in 2017.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 17: (L-R) Amal Clooney and George Clooney attend the premiere of U...
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

For a long time, George Clooney was considered Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor. After divorcing his first wife Talia Balsam in 1993, the movie star rarely dated anyone in the limelight and even used to state publicly that he didn’t think he’d get married again. That is, until he met Amal Alamuddin, the human rights lawyer who stole his heart forever.

Here’s a breakdown of how the duo met and sustained a relationship through long distance, and children.

July 2013: They Meet Through Friends In Italy

George owns property in Lake Como and didn’t even have to leave his home to meet the woman of his dreams. On an episode of the Netflix talk show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, he told Letterman that a mutual friend brought Amal over to his house when they were in town for Cannes. “A mutual friend of ours said, ‘I’m stopping by and can I bring my friend?’” George said on the show. “And I was like, ‘Of course!’”

While George didn’t have any details about the mysterious friend, his agent made sure he wouldn’t miss his chance with Amal. “I got a call from my agent who said, ‘I met this woman who is coming to your house, who you’re going to marry,’” George recalled. After the meeting, George and Amal exchanged emails to send photos from the evening, and George thought they’d just be “buddies.”

In The Hollywood Reporter, George revealed the moment he knew there was something more between them. “She sent some pictures from when she was [in Italy], and we were writing each other, emailing, talking, mostly about what was going on in each other’s lives,” he told the outlet. “And over a period of time it became clear we were more than just friends.”

October 2013: First Date In London

Soon after the pen pals started realizing their deeper feelings, George invited Amal to London while he was at Abbey Road Studios supervising the recording of the score for his 2014 film Monuments Men. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “We went for dinner. [Amal] said, ‘Let’s go to this place.’ It was one of those places that was incredibly hip and chic. And when we came out, there were 50 paparazzi there. But she handled it like a champ.” He remembered that “pretty quickly, things escalated” while he was in London.

February 2014: George & Amal Travel To Africa

An African vacation was the turning point for George and Amal. “We went on a safari in Kenya. Amal loves giraffes; they're her favorite animal. She went to this place called Giraffe Manor, where the giraffes stick their heads through the windows and kiss you. I had a picture of her, looking back, smiling at these giraffes and I said, 'I think I'm going to ask her to marry me,’” George told The Hollywood Reporter.

Paparazzi catch George and Amal after a date night in NYC.NCP/Star Max/GC Images/Getty Images

April 2014: A Romantic Proposal

The big night came quickly after they began dating, and George planned to pop the question during a romantic evening at home. He cooked pasta and opened champagne after dinner, stealthily asking Amal to find the lighter in the drawer, which is where he hid the ring.

“I did all the stuff, got down on my knee and did all the things you’re supposed to do,” George said. “I had a playlist with my Rosemary [his late aunt was the singer Rosemary Clooney] songs on it, and I was waiting for this song, ‘Why Shouldn’t I?’ ‘Why shouldn’t I take a chance when romance passes by? / Why shouldn’t I know of love?’ It’s a really good song about why can’t I be in love?”

When the song played and she found the ring, Amal was in shock. “She just kept staring at the ring, going, ‘Oh, my God.’ It was 20 minutes of me on my knee, waiting for her to say yes, because she was so shocked.”

September 2014: An Italian Wedding

George and Amal went back to the country of their first meeting to make things official. The pair got married in an intimate ceremony at the Aman Canal Grande luxury resort in Venice, Italy on Sept. 27, 2014. Matt Damon, John Krasinski, and Emily Blunt were among the famous faces in attendance.

A few weeks prior to tying the knot, George made a public declaration of his love at the Celebrity Fight Night Gala in Florence, Italy. While accepting a Humanitarian Award, he took a moment to shout out his future wife. “I met my lovely bride-to-be here in Italy, whom I will be marrying, in a couple of weeks, in Venice, of all places … I would just like to say to my bride-to-be, Amal, that I love you very much and I can't wait to be your husband,” he said.

George and Amal Clooney spend time in Venice before their wedding.ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images

While the couple originally planned on keeping the nuptials somewhat private, they quickly leaned into the public’s interest. “We didn't tell anybody else that we were going to do it but eventually somebody figured it out. Oh, my God! Once people got wind of it, it became an event,” George told The Hollywood Reporter. “We took a bus from here to Venice, then we got on a boat, and once we got on the boat, there were so many paparazzi and so many people standing there waiting. We were sitting down in the boat, and I was like, 'You know what? Why are we hiding? Why are we ducking? We shouldn't be ashamed of this.' And we got up and waved.”

May 2015: The Couple Isn’t Thinking About Parenthood Yet

In May, George confirmed that the couple was enjoying marital bliss before thinking about expanding their family. “I don't really [think about it]. I mean, I've thought about it, I suppose, but it hasn't been high on my list. I've been asked it a lot lately because I've gotten married and I'm doing a movie with kids in it,” he said during a CBS This Morning interview.

Earlier that month he told People that his relationship with Amal changed his expectations for life. “All I know is that it sort of changed everything in terms of what I thought my future – my personal future – was going to be,” he said. “But I've always been an optimist about the world. I wasn't always completely optimistic about how it was going to work out personally for me. But now I am.”

George and Amal look blissfully in love on the day after their wedding.ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images

Fall 2016: Establish The Clooney Foundation for Justice

With both members of the couple deeply engaged with philanthropy, George and Amal established their own foundation in late 2016, focusing on human rights abuses around the world. The foundation has helped build schools for Syrian refugees in partnership with UNICEF, aided Ukrainians, and donated money to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

During the Trump administration, their foundation also donated $100,000 to help immigrant children during the border separation crisis.

February 2017: Amal’s Pregnancy Is Made Public

Sources confirmed to People that the couple was pregnant with not one, but two kids. However, the couple themselves didn’t acknowledge the specifics, just stating that they were “really happy and excited.” “It's going to be an adventure. We've sort of embraced it all … with arms wide open,” George said.

June 2017: Parents of Twins

The couple didn’t initially plan to have kids, and never even talked about it before getting married. “It had never been part of my DNA,” George said. “We didn’t plan on it. We never talked about it until after we were married, which is funny. There was an assumption that we didn’t want them. And then, after the wedding, we just felt we’d gotten very lucky, both of us, and we should share whatever good luck we’ve got. It would seem self-centered to just have that belong to us.”

Amal steps out with her baby bump.Rindoff/Charriau/French Select/Getty Images

After Amal became pregnant, the couple had even more of a shock when they found out they were expecting twins. “[The doctor] goes, ‘Well, there’s one.’ And I said, ‘Great.’ And then he goes, ‘And there’s the second one.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ ” George remembered. “We just sat there, staring at that piece of paper they give you, and I kept thinking there was a mistake.”

Their twin children were born in June 2015 in London. Alexander arrived first, at 12:54 p.m., followed by Ella at 12:56 p.m. George, of course, made a humorous announcement: “This morning Amal and George welcomed Ella and Alexander Clooney into their lives. Ella, Alexander and Amal are all healthy, happy and doing fine. George is sedated and should recover in a few days,” the statement read.

April 2018: Amal Opens Up About George Prior to Fourth Anniversary

Amal gave a rare interview to Vogue, opening up about her relationship with George and how she had given up hope of finding a partner before they met. “It felt like the most natural thing in the world,” she recalled. “Before that experience, I always hoped there could be love that was overwhelming and didn't require any weighing or decision-making. It's the one thing in life that I think is the biggest determinant of happiness, and it's the thing you have the least control over. Are you going to meet this person? I was 35 when I met him. It wasn't obvious that it was going to happen for me. And I wasn't willing or excited about the idea of getting married or having a family in the absence of that.”

George also gushed to Vogue about his wife and her career as an international human rights lawyer. “She’s the professional, and I’m the amateur,” he said. “I get to see someone at the absolute top of their game doing their job better than anybody I’ve ever seen.”

May 2018: George and Amal Attend the Royal Wedding

George and Amal revealed that they were close friends of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, even spilling that they often go on double dates together. “We live not too far from one another and we have dinners and stuff and we're friends with them for all the reasons that you're friends with anybody. They're just really nice, fun, kind people, they're a very loving couple,” George said.

George and Amal Clooney attend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding at Windsor Castle.Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

May 2019: George’s 58th Birthday

George’s 58th birthday was not only his first as a parent but also celebrated a big victory in Amal’s career. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, George shared that the two spent some time alone together without the kiddos. “I turned 58, nothing's fun. I had a good day though. My wife and I had dinner just the two of us at home, which was really nice. But my wife has been, for the last year, working literally every single day with a gentleman named Steven Adler, who runs Reuters, and a brilliant lawyer named Gail Gove to get and to free the Reuters journalists from Myanmar. A year of working on it, and last night they walked out of prison. So we were very happy.”

September 2019: Five Years Of Marriage

The couple’s fifth anniversary was celebrated with their close friends Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford in New York City. According to People, the group dined at 4 Charles Rib and “were in the best mood.”

April 2020: George & Amal Isolate At Home During Lockdown

As the world pressed pause during the initial stages of the lockdown, George and Amal revealed they were isolating at their home in Los Angeles. George later stated that the family spent most of the year at home due to his son Alexander’s asthma. “This has been a crappy year for everyone. Started badly and ran badly all year long, until recently…But I'm very lucky. I ended up having a successful career. I wound up living in a home with some space in it. We can walk around outside … My son has asthma. They say it's not so bad on young people. But do we know that? We don't know anything about the long term of this yet,” he told The Guardian.

George and Amal also continued their philanthropic efforts, donating over $1 million to several charities for relief efforts.

George and Amal at the Academy Museum Gala in 2022.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The lockdown also seemed to bring the family closer together, and George revealed that the couple has never had an argument. “I feel very lucky in so many ways to have met her. We haven't ever had an argument” he said at the time. “For us, it's been really easy.”

While spending time at home together, George revealed that there is one movie in his blockbuster library that he’ll never let Amal and their children watch: Batman & Robin. George claims that he “destroyed” the franchise and joked that he “wants his wife to have some respect” for him. Meanwhile, Amal said that she and her friends are fans of his film One Fine Day.

Fall 2022: George & Amal Walk The Red Carpet for Ticket to Paradise

After attending the London premiere of George’s new film with Julia Roberts Ticket to Paradise, the couple also attended the Los Angeles premiere. During George’s press tour for the film, he stopped by Entertainment Tonight and answered questions about his kids and whether he’d want them to pursue a career in the arts. “They can do whatever they want,” the dad of two said. “My guess is that they're a little smarter than me, so, they'll probably do something — they already speak three languages, so, I'm still working on English.”

On CBS Mornings, George and Amal elaborated. “We've made a terrible mistake. We taught them Italian...but we don't speak Italian, so we've armed them with a language they can harm us with. And we both don't really know what they're saying.”

In September, George and Amal also celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary in New York City.