Ellen Barkin Called Off Her Engagement to Ben Emmerson, Gave Back the Ring: Details

Ellen Barkin
Find out what really happened with Ellen Barkin's short-lived engagement to Amal Alamuddin's colleague Ben Emmerson Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Too much, too soon. Ellen Barkin was all set to marry Amal Alamuddin's colleague Ben Emmerson, but just weeks after they got engaged over New Year's, she began to have second thoughts about their whirlwind romance, a source reveals to Us Weekly.

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"Ellen got swept up in the whole idea of Ben — marrying a British lawyer, moving to London, living that life," the insider tells Us of the Sea of Love actress, 60, who met the British barrister at Alamuddin's Venetian nuptials to George Clooney in September 2014. "Also, the idea of meeting him at George's wedding was so romantic."

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As Us reported earlier this month, human rights lawyer Emmerson, 51, proposed to Barkin over the holidays, just a few months after they coupled up in Italy. "It happened quickly, but she's totally fallen for him and flies to see him all the time," an insider told Us at the time, adding that the Brit had "swept her off her feet."

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Once the newness of the relationship wore off, however, Barkin realized "she didn't know him well enough" to marry him, the first source says. "She got swept up in the moment."

In the end, the insider tells Us, she called it quits and "gave back the ring."

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This would have been Barkin's third marriage. She was previously wed to actor Gabriel Byrne from 1988 to 1999, and to billionaire Ronald O. Perelman from 2000 to 2006. She and Byrne had two kids together; she and Perelman had a bitter, much-publicized divorce, after which she famously sold the jewelry he had given her at a Christie's auction that fetched more than $20 million.

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