George and Amal Clooney keep their personal life relatively out of the spotlight, but at the American Film Institute gala on Thursday, June 7, where George was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Amal gave a rare personal speech about her husband — and reader, prepare to swoon.
“Here are a few things you may not know about George,” Amal started her speech, which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, she prefaced by saying that it was the first time she had spoken about him publicly. “First, he is a gentleman. He is a gentleman in every sense of the word and in a way that seems so rare these days and perhaps even outdated.”
The human rights attorney went on to share stories she’d heard or witnessed of his “Kentucky manners,” including his reported refusal to wear a warm jacket in freezing filming temperatures unless everyone on set got the same coat, and his generosity of time with young filmmakers and the elderly.
At one point, Amal spoke about some of the details of their early relationship as a reportedly teary-eyed George looked on. “I met George when I was 35. … I couldn’t sleep when we were apart and I’m told that I would display a particular grin and head-tilt when reading his text messages or the letters he would hide in my bag,” she said. “Five years later, none of that has changed. He is the person who has my complete admiration and also the person whose smile makes me melt every time. My love, what I have found with you is the great love I always hoped existed. And seeing you with our children, Ella and Alexander, is the greatest joy in my life.”
George has spoken similarly of the early days of their relationship in recent months, saying on an episode of David Letterman’s Netflix talk show that he and his future wife “stayed up all night talking” the first time they met.
Fittingly, Amal’s beautiful tribute to her husband came just one day after their twins’ first birthday. Read the full transcript of her speech over at The Hollywood Reporter.
What did you think of Amal’s speech about George? Let us know @BritandCo!
(photos via Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner + Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Turner)