George Clooney testifies in Milan fashion fraud case

Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:04am EDT
 
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By Antonella Ciancio

MILAN (Reuters) - George Clooney testified Friday at a trial of three people accused of exploiting his name to promote a fashion brand in Milan.

The 49-year-old actor glided through camera flashes to a packed courtroom to testify as a civil plaintiff in a case dating back to 2008.

"I came here because I believe in the judicial system and because there were people using my name to take advantage of people," Clooney told the court.

The defendants -- Vincenzo Cannalire, Francesco Galdelli and Vanja Goffi -- have been charged with fraud, forgery and possession of stolen goods. Cannalire was the only one present.

The trial involves a show held in a Milan hotel two years ago. The defendants are accused of using Clooney's name in an attempt to promote a fashion line during the event.

At the hearing, Clooney put on glasses to look at several pictures showing him alongside the defendants, and said they were fake. He provided original pictures of himself to prove his statement.

Clooney turned toward Cannalire after looking at the photos, smiled and said: "Good work. You should be proud of yourself."

Clooney, who wore a blue suit, testified for about two hours. Judge Pietro Caccialanza thanked Clooney afterwards and said: "This hearing lasted as long as a film."   Continued...

 
<p>Hollywood actor George Clooney (C) is surrounded by a crowd as he leaves the court in Milan July 16, 2010. Clooney testified on Friday at a trial of three people accused of exploiting his name to promote a fashion brand in Milan. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo</p>