During her 12-minute segment on “Meet the Press” today, Amal Clooney, who’s famously married to some actor named George, did a lot of name-dropping. The human rights lawyer currently defending the jailed former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, mentioned President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.
But her husband, the Oscar winner and former confirmed bachelor whose marriage proposal landed Amal Clooney on Barbara Walters’s “10 Most Fascinating People” list, never came up. At least not directly.
As Mrs. Clooney, wearing a long-sleeved hunter green dress, spoke in lengthy paragraphs about foreign policy, asset freezing, bipartisan support and that one time she worked at The Hague, she sidestepped the subjects of her “connections” and “famous last name” expertly.
When host Chuck Todd asked whether Clooney’s connection to celebrity was more of “an asset or a liability” in defending her clients, she said it was mixed bag.
Past criticism of her Hollywood proximity, Clooney said, “smacks of desperation and is easy to dispose of. So it’s not something that’s worrying.” But, on the other hand, the lawyer’s expanded profile — in large part because of her husband’s gig — can be a boon to her clients such as Nasheed in far-flung foreign locales that are often ignored. She said, “If people are made aware of the situation in the Maldives, I think that’s a good thing.”
“If you’re a woman lying on the beach in the Maldives,” Clooney continued, “you might want to know that a kilometer away, another woman is being flogged. And you might want to find your own way to protest that.”
So what’s next for Clooney? Perhaps another conscious red carpet moment like in 2015 when she pinned a “Je suis Charlie” button onto her Dior handbag? Not quite. She has taken on the case of a female journalist in Azerbaijan who has been jailed for exposing evidence of corruption by the regime.