MILAN — Less than a year after his deposition at Milan’s courthouse, George Clooney can say justice has been served.
This story first appeared in the May 12, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A first-degree sentence condemned the three defendants accused of fraudulently using the Oscar-winning actor to launch a signature women’s and men’s clothing line. Vanja Goffi and Francesco Galdelli were respectively sentenced to three years and 10 months and three years and six months of jail time. Vincenzo Cannalire, managing director of GC Exclusive, was condemned to one year and 10 months in jail. “The evidence was enough for a trial, which had a regular procedure,” said a well-placed legal source, adding that it will be “interesting” to read the reasonings behind the sentence, due out in about a month.
In addition, Clooney will be compensated. Damages are provisionally set at 130,000 euros, or $186,564 at current exchange, but civil proceedings will eventually provide a definitive and total figure.
Last July, the actor, who owns a villa at nearby Lake Como, testified in the trial, seeking justice from those who used his name for a fashion brand without his consent. Clooney’s appearance naturally created a stir in court, and the judge admonished spectators to quiet down and banished several women for taking pictures of the actor.
Clooney, who has attended Giorgio Armani shows in Milan and often dons the designer’s looks, denied under questioning by prosecutor Letizia Mannella and defense lawyers that he had signed an agreement with the firm GC Exclusive to produce the fashion apparel brand under his moniker. “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 at the time.
The actor testified that photos supposedly showing him with Cannalire or Goffi and documents that purported to carry his signature had been altered or Photoshopped. He denied knowing any of the defendants.