George Clooney's engagement to Amal Alamuddin has been confirmed by family and work colleagues.
"You can say I'm extremely happy, Amal's a lovely girl," George's mother, Nina Clooney told MailOnline. "I like her very much."
Adding that she had met the 36-year-old human rights lawyer numerous times, Nina said: "We weren't at all surprised when they told us they were engaged, and we couldn't be happier for them.
"On an intellectual level, they are equals. That is very important to him. Amal's world couldn't be more different from the Hollywood lifestyle."
The British law firm that employs Amal has also publicly offered its congratulations.
Doughty Street Chambers in London said on Monday it was ''delighted'' Alamuddin and the Oscar-winning heart-throb were to tie the knot.
"The barristers and staff of Doughty Street Chambers offer their best wishes and congratulations to Ms Amal Alamuddin, a member of chambers, and Mr George Clooney on their engagement to be married,'' it said in a statement emailed to AFP news agency.
Alamuddin is a Lebanese-born British lawyer specialising in international law and human rights. Clooney has long shown interest in human rights issues such as the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
Bosses at the firm paid tribute to Alamuddin, who joined in 2010.
Chief executive Robin Jackson said: ''Amal has been utterly wonderful since she arrived in chambers.
''She brings a bright light to everything she is involved in, and I am so delighted at her happy news.''
Alamuddin's clients have included former Ukrainian premier Yulia Tymoshenko, whose detention she challenged before the European Court of Human Rights, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, during his extradition proceedings.
Leading rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, who worked with Amal on the Tymoshenko and Assange cases, said she was ''respected and admired'' by everyone at the firm.
''Amal Alamuddin is a brilliant and passionate defender of human rights who has put in the enormously hard work necessary to improving them,'' he said.
Alamuddin and Clooney were first seen in public as a couple in October and have since been seen on holiday in places including Tanzania and the Seychelles.
He was married to US actress Talia Balsam for four years between 1989 and 1993 but has shown little interest in settling down since, instead having a string of younger model and actress girlfriends over the years.
AFP and Fairfax Media
Chris Martin opens up about divorce from Gwyneth Paltrow
Chris Martin has blamed his own “issues” for the ending of his marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow.
In an interview with BBC Radio, the Coldplay lead singer said fear got in the way of his happiness.
‘‘Ever since our band came out, we have been a very polarising group because we do a certain thing very well,” Martin said.
“About two years ago I was a mess, really, because I can’t enjoy the thing that we are good at and I can’t enjoy the great things around me because I’m burdened by this.
‘‘I’ve got to not blame anyone else and make some changes.’’
The couple announced they were “consciously uncoupling” in a joint statement on Paltrow’s website Goop last month.
Reasons behind their split have been widely discussed and it has been reported that their desire to live in different countries had put strain on their relationship. However 37-year-old Martin insists his relationship to Paltrow didn’t fall apart: instead the couple realised they needed to lead separate lives.
“I wouldn’t use the word breakdown, this was more a realisation about trying to grow up,” says Martin, “If you can’t open yourself up, you can’t appreciate the wonder inside.
“You can be with someone wonderful, but because of your issues you can’t let that be celebrated in the right way.”
Ultimately, Martin blamed his own fears. “What changed for me was that I don’t want to go through life being scared of it, being scared of love, being scared of rejection, being scared of failure,’’ said Marin.
“If you don’t let love in then you can’t really give it back.”
In their joint statement on Goop, Martin and Paltrow said: “We have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been.”
Paltrow, 41, and Martin married in December 2003, and have two children – Apple, nine, and Moses, eight.
In the BBC interview, Martin said their relationship problems influenced the latest Coldplay album, Ghost Stories.
“Up to a certain point in my life I wasn’t completely vulnerable and it caused some problems,” he said. “So what Ghost Stories means to me is like, you’ve got to open yourself up to love,” says Martin. “And if you really do, of course it will be painful at times, but then it will be great at some point.”
The singer says the band’s lead single, Magic, speaks to some of the complications of love and separation.
“It’s not a question of you either really love someone or you really hate someone,” Martin said, describing the new single.
“It’s more nuanced than that – especially with the modern world’s complications – like travelling and all the stuff that comes to life, and illness and addiction and all that sort of thing. It’s just saying – ultimately - there is magic between two people no matter what anyone else thinks.”
Peaches Geldof inquest to open this week
A British coroner will open an inquest this week into the death of Peaches Geldof and may reveal details of what killed the 25-year-old.
Kent County Council says a brief inquest hearing will be held on Thursday. The council said in a statement on Monday that a senior police officer will read a statement and the coroner will release the results of a post-mortem investigation.
The model and TV personality, daughter of Live Aid organiser Bob Geldof, was found dead at her home south of London on April 7.
An initial autopsy was inconclusive and toxicology tests have been carried out.Inquests are held in Britain to determine the facts in sudden, violent or unexplained deaths.
After the opening hearing, the inquest will be adjourned until later in the year.
Is Orlando Bloom dating Selena Gomez?
It looks like Orlando Bloom may have moved on from Miranda Kerr after pictures emerged of him hanging out with singer Selena Gomez.
The Hollywood A-lister is currently working through divorce proceedings with Australian model Kerr, the mother of his three-year-old son Flynn, after they split in 2013.
Gomez, 21 and Bloom, 37 were spotted by photographers sitting outside the Chelsea Handler concert in Los Angeles on April 26.
Bloom reportedly left as soon as photographers began to take pictures.The New York Post reports the pair arrived and left together in the same car.
It’s not the first time that Bloom and Justin Bieber’s ex Gomez have been spotted together.
Gomez posted a photo of herself with Bloom and Seth Rogen to her Instagram account from We Day California in March this year.
Paul Simon, Edie Brickell arrested in US
Paul Simon and wife Edie Brickell have been arrested on disorderly conduct charges by officers investigating a family dispute.
However, the celebrity couple held hands in a Connecticut court on Monday and said they did not feel threatened by one other.Simon told a Norwalk Superior Court judge he had a rare argument with his wife on Saturday night at their home in New Canaan.
The arrest struck a discordant note for the couple. Simon burst onto the national stage with former partner Art Garfunkel in the 1960s, adding a gentle voice to the growing chorus of opposition to the Vietnam War.
Brickell, meanwhile, gained fame for her songs that blend rock, folk, blues and jazz.
A caller from the singers’ home had dallied emergency services and hung up, police chief Leon Krolikowski said at a news conference on Monday.
Officers who responded found minor injuries and believed it was a case of domestic violence, he said.
Simon and Brickell, who have been married for more than two decades, were each given a misdemeanour summons and one of them agreed to leave and go to another location, Krolikowski said.