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Clooney-Canalis affair strong

Italian starlet's dad brushes off rumours of split

07 December, 20:01
Clooney-Canalis affair strong
Clooney-Canalis affair strong
Clooney-Canalis affair strong

(ANSA) - Rome, December 7 - Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney is closer than ever to his latest love Elisabetta Canalis, according to the Italian starlet's father. Giulio Cesare Canalis, a radiologist and professor at Sassari University, denied rumours that the couple's relationship was on the rocks. ''My daughter is happy and at peace,'' he said in an interview with popular Italian weekly Oggi, out Wednesday. He brushed off suggestions that Canalis had moved on from Clooney after she was spotted having dinner with Dutch soccer-player and AC Milan star Clarence Seedorf. Italian paparazzi snapped the pair together at an upmarket restaurant in London at the end of last month, although the photographs suggested a close friendship rather than a burgeoning romance.

Professor Canalis also laughed off a recent Italian tabloid allegation that his daughter and Clooney's affair was in reality a pragmatic business arrangement designed to promote their respective careers by attracting media attention. ''There is genuine affection between my daughter and Clooney,'' he said.

''Elisabetta would never agree to do something she didn't genuinely believe in. And she would certainly never allow herself to be used for pure manipulation. She simply isn't like that.

''Anyone suggesting there is some kind of contract between her and George is just trying to get a reaction from her - but she won't be baited''. Clooney, who owns a villa on the shores of Lake Como, where he spends a great deal of time, was first spotted with Sardinian-born Canalis this summer. The couple were introduced by a mutual friend in Rome this July and officially went public with their relationship in early September, when they appeared together on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival. Clooney, 48, brought both his mother Nina and Canalis to the Los Angeles premiere of his new film Up In The Air last week, prompting speculation the couple were getting more serious. But Professor Canalis said he and his wife had known Clooney for several months now.

''We met him in summer and since then we have been more relaxed about the relationship,'' he said. ''As I expected before meeting him, he is a very warm, decent man, who remains very down-to-earth, despite his fame''. He refused to be drawn on media reports of an impending marriage but admitted that becoming a grandfather ''would be a dream come true - and my wife would be over the moon!''. Canalis, 31, is a TV presenter and popular pin-up in Italy.

She started her career as a dancer on a well-known satirical news show and is currently the host of MTV Italy's Total Request Live.

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