Update: According to the L.A. Times's Patrick Goldstein, who followed up with Clooney's PR, the story is a hoax.
For some reason, George Clooney wrote a scold-y essay called "How I Feel About Manners" in The Daily Mail yesterday, in which he recounts the story of the day he struck back against an undermining stranger:
The other day I was at a party and a woman I didn't know came up to me and said, "I hated your last movie." I said, "Oh. Okay. Uh, thank you for your opinion." She said, "And I don't agree with your politics." I said, "Okay. Well, we all have our own point of view, right?" She said, "And you're a lot older in person than you seem on screen."
She was just standing there, saying all these things to me, and at last I'd had enough. I smiled very politely and said, "You know ... those 35 extra pounds of weight you're carrying ... they look just fantastic on you."
She was astonished. She said, "What did you just say to me?" I said, "I'm paying you a compliment. I think all that extra weight looks terrific on you."
She was furious! Called me an a***hole. I said, "No, look here, I was just standing here, minding my own business, and you walked up to me and insulted me. Which one of us was out of line here?"
After relating this anecdote, Clooney goes on to say that people should stop "telling it like it is" and start following the golden rule (which he explains, just in case readers haven't heard of it) and being more polite to one another, and that it's not really himself he's defending, because as a public figure he has a thick skin, but he's seen his friends and family be hurt by this crass culture of unfiltered criticism in which he thinks we live. Blah blah blah. The real point is: When is this mystery lady going to step up and claim the book deal that is rightfully hers? We expect to see The George Clooney Diet: How an Insult From a Movie Star Helped Me to Lose 35 Pounds and Become a Better Person Along the Way at our local Barnes & Noble by fall 2010. [Daily Mail via Jezebel]