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Clooney Fights Use of Name

By George! Or not, as the case may be.

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MILAN — By George! Or not, as the case may be.

Contrary to reports circulating in Italy, George Clooney will not be launching his own fashion label and instead has reported to police a little-known Italian firm that this week claimed to be helping him introduce his own women's and men's fashion lines.

Clooney's Italian lawyer told WWD on Wednesday that she had reported to police Milan-based company GC Exclusive on March 18 for fraud and forging the actor's signature.

"These people have no limits in what they are trying to forge," lawyer Grazia Maria Mantelli said in an interview. "Everything is an abuse of the name, image and everything."

GC Exclusive managing director Vincenzo Cannalire sent out a press release on Monday, in which Clooney is quoted as saying he signed a contract with the company in January to launch an eponymous fashion brand. It went on to state that the actor would host a runway show of his clothing and accessories collection at Milan's Westin Palace hotel on April 20.

Clooney subsequently denied the claims, saying he had no connection whatsoever with any fashion line bearing his name, and dismissed it as a hoax. But on Tuesday, Cannalire told WWD he was helping his "friend" Clooney realize a long-held ambition and that the actor had approached him to create licenses to sell throughout the world. And on Wednesday, WWD received a fax, written in poor English and purportedly signed by a George Timothy Clooney, in which the actor said he had authorized GC Exclusive "to use the trademark 'George Clooney' for production, reselling and licensing to a third party."

WWD also received a bogus e-mail supposedly from Clooney's publicist confirming the news, again in poor English.

Clooney's publicist Stan Rosenfield told WWD his client doesn't know Cannalire, despite the latter's claims to be in close contact with the actor every day.

Mantelli said she would do everything in her power to stop GC Exclusive and Cannalire ahead of next month's presentation.

"Then the [police] are going to do something. It is not within our power to act against those people directly," Mantelli said.
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