Respect! Amal Clooney sat down with NBC News for her first-ever U.S. television interview on Thursday, January 14, where she discussed her newfound fame after marrying Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney in 2014.
“I think it’s wonderful celebrities would choose to spend their time or energy or, you know, the spotlight that they have to raise awareness about these causes,” the Oxford grad, 37, said of human rights violations. “I don’t really see myself in the same way because I’m still doing the same job that I used to do before. So, if there’s more attention paid for whatever reason … then I think it’s good.”
When it comes to using her fame, Clooney (nee Alamuddin) thinks she’s doing it right. “I think there is a certain responsibility that comes with that,” she said. “And you know, I think I’m exercising it in an appropriate manner by continuing to do this kind of work. And engaging with the media on issues that I think are important.”
The beautiful barrister was in Washington, D.C., this past week to meet with policy makers about the ongoing political crisis in the Maldives. “Democracy is dead in the Maldives,” Clooney said. “I mean, literally, if there were an election now there would be no one to run against the president. Every opposition leader is either behind bars or being pursued by the government through the courts.”
Clooney hopes to give a voice to her current client, Mohamed Nasheed, who went from being the president of the Maldives to a prisoner. Nasheed was convicted of terrorism last March, for arresting a chief judge back in January 2012. The U.S. State Department later said the verdict was falsified. She requested this week that lawmakers form a Congressional resolution to push forth sanctions against the reigning government in the Maldives.
“I think it’s important for tourists to know the facts of what’s happening in the Maldives,” she continued. “I don’t think people realize that there’s a flogging taking place a kilometer away when they’re sunbathing in their resort.”
In September, Clooney was scheduled to meet with Nasheed in the Maldives. Several days before the trip, his co-counsel was brutally stabbed in the head, which she now believes may have been a warning to her. However, she is determined to pursue justice.
“I mean, it wasn’t the most comfortable position to be in, but I was determined to go,” she reflected. “It meant a lot to me to [represent] Nasheed, who I had read about and I considered a hero. I was inspired by his leadership on climate justice, his leadership on human rights and his commitment to that.”
She said she knows the battle will be long and tough. “If you are a lawyer and you want to take on easier cases, you can prosecute traffic violations or something,” Clooney said. “You’d have a very high rate of success and you probably could sleep more easily at night. But that’s not what drives me. I want to work on cases that I feel the most passionate about.”
Watch her interview above!
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