George Clooney may now be happily married to his wife, Amal Clooney, but it took years before he found love again due to the failure of his first marriage.
In December 1989, the 61-year-old Academy Award-winning actor married actress Talia Balsam in a Las Vegas wedding despite having an on-and-off relationship for over five years, InStyle reported.
The ex-couple was reportedly young and in love, and Clooney revealed in an interview with Vanity Fair that he had “married the one girl that [he] truly loved and had loved for years.”
Sadly, the marriage did not last as long as they had wanted for “The Monuments Men” director allegedly filed for divorce in 1992 and, after a lengthy divorce proceeding, finally separated in 1993.
“It was a very tough time,” the “ER” star said. Clooney also revealed that he was physically unwell during the divorce after being diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer.
Since then, the actor vowed that he would not marry again during an interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters in 1995, reasoning that he “wasn’t very good at it.”
The following year, Clooney admitted to being “responsible” for the failure of the marriage, telling Vanity Fair, “I probably — definitely — wasn’t someone who should have been married at that point.”
He added, “I just don’t feel like I gave Talia a fair shot.”
The ex-couple went through a year-long and messy divorce due to “dispute claims.” Documents found by the court stated that Clooney and the 63-year-old “Divorce” star acknowledged that dispute claims “existed as to what constitutes their community, quasi-community property, and separate property.”
The documents stated, “Each of the parties has made conflicting claims regarding the value of said community property,” where they even had to hire a professional to guide them in sorting the property interest, before deciding on doing it themselves.
“I would say to Talia, ‘You tell me how much — what you think is fair. I’ll write the check. I won’t negotiate,'” he recalled during his interview with Vanity Fair.
He continued, “Instead, I paid $80,000 in lawyers’ fees. And that makes me crazy.”
Clooney also clarified to the Los Angeles Times that his intention to not re-marry was not because of how his relationship with Balsam ended but was about having children.
“Did I declare war on all women?” he asked, “No, no. She didn’t do anything to me. We had a relationship that didn’t work out, most of it is my own fault. That’s not me trying to nail me first. I can look at it like it was a TV show. I was the one in the relationship who wasn’t willing to fix things.”
“For me, it was about children,” Clooney added, “Everybody keeps telling me I have to have children, and they keep betting I will.”
“I don’t want to be the guy who comes in and does it half-assed, the way I’ve done many things in my life. The minute something is tremendously difficult, I lose some sort of interest. And I don’t ever want to have the responsibility of messing somebody up like that,” he explained.
The ex-couple seemingly did not have bad blood between them since Balsam had nothing but good things to say about her ex-husband.
In an interview with People in 2016, she got asked to compare her divorce experience to the characters of Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church in the HBO series. She responded, “If you’re trying to compare [George] to Thomas Haden Church’s character, not at all. George is charming. He remains charming. I’ve worked with him.”
Balsam is now married to American actor John Slattery, 59, who used to be her leading man in the film “Mad Men” in 1998. The couple shares a 23-year-old son named Harry, who has also joined the Hollywood limelight.
Meanwhile, Clooney finally ended his bachelorhood after 21 years when he married international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, 44, formerly Amal Alamuudin. In 2017, the couple welcomed their twins, Alexander and Ella, now 5.