The couple's messy divorce included a custody battle over a pig named Max who stayed with Clooney for 18 years.
Geroge Clooney has been happily married to the beautiful Amal since 2014, but did you know the actor was first married to another woman who is an actress?
Their divorce lasted for 25 months after which the actor swore that he would never marry again until he met Amal. So, who was this woman? She is Talia Balsam, film actor Martin Balsam and actress Joyce Van Patten's daughter. While Clooney was still struggling to find a foot in Hollywood, Balsam had already set her own platform in the industry.
In the late 1980s, Clooney was struggling to move on from being a D-list actor who was doing films like The Return of the Killer Tomatoes while Balsam was already doing well-reviewed movies with her A-list connections. According to Fabiosa, Clooney was 23 years old when he met Balsam in 1984. After briefly dating each other, the two went separate ways but came back together a few years later before walking down the aisle in 1989.
However, the marriage didn't last too long and the two split in 1992. According to The Things, the main reason for their separation was the dreams that they saw for themselves. While Clooney's was to become an A-lister, Balsam wanted a normal married life since she had already established herself. Just 20 months after their marriage, they decided to call quits. Both parties have mentioned that they weren't ready for marriage. The Ocean's Eleven actor was just 28 when he became a divorcee.
People who encountered him while he was a married man felt that he was living his life like a single man. While Balsam preferred staying at home, Clooney was the one who brought parties to life. The actor's lifestyle was so different outside the confines of his home that people used to get shocked after learning that he was married. Being the handsome man he is, the more successful he got, the more women he attracted. Some even called him a "lousy" husband.
After the divorce, The Descendants actor took a pledge not to marry again. Fabiosa reported that in an old Variety (1995) interview, Clooney said, "I won't marry. Why? Well, I am not a kid anymore. I am 34 years old, and if I have a kid, I'll be like 70 years old." Moreover, he admitted that it was his fault that his marriage was a failure.
"I don't want to screw anybody up. I don't want to do it anymore," he added. The messy divorce left him in a bad shape, quite literally, as he gained a lot of weight. Clooney also said that during his first marriage he wasn't ready to give himself to another person like he is right now with Amal. "I probably – definitely – wasn’t someone who should have been married at that point. I just don’t feel like I gave Talia a fair shot."
After years of staying single and occasional flings, Clooney finally found Amal, the love of his life. The one who understood him inside out and his passion to give back to the world a portion of what he's gaining while making a difference. Balsam didn't have that interest, but Amal did.
When Balsam was asked about her divorce from Clooney, she handled the situation gracefully and said, "George is charming. He remains charming," adding, "I would say divorce, breaking up, being a child of divorce, any of those things are always very challenging. And I think that’s what makes this sort of a universal thing,” reported People.
While the 59-year-old actor has found both love and fatherhood with Amal, Balsam too is married to actor John Slattery and is a mother to son Harry. Both Balsam and Slattery have worked together in Mad Men as husband and wife Mona and Roger Sterling.
Looks like, after the messy divorce and a custody battle over a pot-bellied pig named Max, which Clooney won, the two individuals have found peace in life.