Why Julia Roberts Bailed on George Clooney's Big Award Ceremony

On Thursday night in Hollywood, it was all about George Clooney. The actor drew a star-studded crowd to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood to watch as he was honored with the American Film Institute’s 2018 Life Achievement Award. Jennifer Aniston, Cate Blanchett, Laura Dern, Miley Cyrus, Courteney Cox, and, of course, Amal Clooney were all there to lend support. Amal’s speech even drew tears.

But there was one leading lady from Clooney’s life that was notably missing from the action: Julia Roberts. It makes it all the more surprising that Roberts was the one who was supposed to be presenting the award to him in the first place.

Luca Teuchmann

On May 30, the AFI announced Roberts, who has starred alongside Clooney in a rolodex of films, would give Clooney the honor herself. But come carpet time, she was nowhere to be found. 

“Julia Roberts is regretfully unable to attend this evening’s AFI Life Achievement Award honoring George Clooney,” a spokesperson for AFI told E! News on Thursday. “Ms. Roberts is currently in production and due to a change in schedule, it was not possible to participate as planned.”

It’s unfortunately last minute news, but her replacement was stellar. Shirley MacLaine stepped right in to give Clooney kudos, though Roberts did make sure to send Clooney a pre-taped video message to express her love.

Guess you’ll have to cross your fingers for a Roberts-Clooney reunion another day. 

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