George Clooney, never one to shy away from a battle with the media, is on the rampage against Elle magazine over a story that implies that the Perfect Storm hottie is fond of sniffing armpits.
It all started when Deanna Kizis penned a story for the November issue of the ladies' mag in which she recalls a date with a man she identified only as "a star from The Thin Red Line," who, and we quote, "stuck his face in my armpit. He took a deep whiff and, coming up for air, said, 'You smell sooo good.'"
Since the credits of The Thin Red Line run on almost longer than the two-hour-plus movie itself, the public would be hard-pressed to single Clooney out from, say, John Cusack or Woody Harrelson as the alleged armpit fetishist.
However, a cover line on the issue, which clearly states "Don't Date George Clooney," and a prominent photo of the former ER hunk in the article, which is about bad celebrity dates, seem to clear up the little mystery.
A miffed Clooney dashed off an angry letter to Elle (made public by MSNBC), in which he denies that he's the armpit sniffer they speak of. For one, he's never dated Kizis, he says, and he insists that Kizis herself would confirm the fact.
The proximity of the article and his own photo was so deceptive, says Clooney, that even his parents called him to ask him about it.
In deciding what action to take against the editors of the magazine, Clooney writes that he "could get the boys together and egg your house," but that he's instead opting to try to beat them at their own vague reference game. The actor cites "a certain national magazine … (whose title ends in the letter 'E') … that just had my name on their cover wouldn't put an African American on their front page." He refers not to Elle, but to TV Guide, whose past decision not to put ER star Eriq La Salle on the cover prompted protests from castmate Clooney.
"The rules are clear," he writes, "and I can play by them, too. So, since you don't want to 'date' me, then I suggest you don't get to screw me, either …"
He signs off, "… Not without flowers and candy."
Elle Editor in Chief Roberta Myers issued a statement that apologizes for the "misunderstanding" and adds, "We at Elle, along with millions of women around the world, consider Clooney to be one of Hollywood's most attractive men."