George Clooney famously promised he would never have kids, never settle down, and pretty much always continue to live the life that Leonardo DiCaprio currently enjoys. That was until he met Amal Alamuddin and everything changed. One of his closest friends, former MTV VJ Karen ‘Duff’ Lambros, had a front row seat to the massive metamorphosis and couldn’t help but gush over the life George has created for himself and his family. “I will tell you, the minute I met Amal, and George’s mother said the same thing, it was truly this alchemy of love,” she recalled on the HollywoodLife Podcast, while discussing her new book Wise Up. “They got married within a few months. To see my friend become a parent is such a gift.”
Karen, who goes by Duff, said that George and Amal’s twins, who will be five soon, are “unbelievably charming” and “have no idea how lucky they are that they have Amal as their mother, and of course, George as their father.” “They’re very sweet. They have these lovely accents and they’re just magic,” she gushed. “This age is just so endearing. They’re really talkative and very engaging and cheeky. They love to play jokes. They inherited that from their dad!”
When asked why she thought George was so willing to give up his bachelor lifestyle for Amal, Duff said she believed the barrister won his heart because of her service, her humor, and devotion. “She is unbelievably dynamic in a very quiet way. She has devoted her life to human rights. George and I tease, there’s a word called hypergamy, and that means when you marry up, and I was like, ‘George, you and I, we hit the jackpot!'” she laughed. “They have a lot of laughs when they go back to visit in Kentucky. She’s raised in London, but she is so game. Her sense of humor is absolutely unmatched in a very different way. Not only is she a great sport, but she’s really, really funny. It’s something that is really beautiful to see.”
The former MTV VJ spoke to HollywoodLife to discuss her ability to find joy and purpose in life after her diagnosis with a chronic illness, which she details in her new book Wise Up: Irreverent Enlightenment from a Mother Who’s Been Through It. “I always think everyday we have a choice to be useful or useless, and any small act that I can put in a useful ledger, then I’m okay,” Duff explained her decision to write the book. “Truly, if you have a way of how the world works, if you know how to tip your server, then you have a philosophy of life. We all have a philosophy of life. That’s what I wanted to inspire, especially to this audience.”
Duff has spoken before about her final night out at the 1995 Emmys before beginning to feel the debilitating symptoms of her chronic disease, sarcoidosis. Since then, she was forced to step away from her blossoming career and battle excruciating pain after her doctor discovered an inoperable “mostaccioli-sized” lesion pressing against her brain stem and spinal cord that had crushed her nerves. The rare disease causes inflamed cells to become granular and attack soft tissue.
“When I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, I was really at an amazing point in my career. I was at MTV, I was a Revlon model, I was doing film. All of the sudden, it felt as if I had built a plane by hand, and right when I was ready to take it out of the hangar, I had to put it back because I couldn’t really take off,” she told HL. “What I’ve recognized that in life is that pain is inevitable. We’re all going to experience pain in life, but suffering is optional. That is under our control. I can’t control the level of pain that I will be in every day, but what I can understand is, this is my life, this is my day, how I spend it is up to me. So, even if I can’t go out, or put on clothes, I can still make this day count, because that is still under our control.”
Duff continued, “Hopefully Wise Up is a great introduction to people who maybe don’t read a lot of philosophy or are curious about it, but I really tried to find the joy in my situation…I think that every day is an opportunity where we can get smarter and better, and reading philosophy and understanding that what is in our control is most important. had made me more confident and less fearful.”
Karen Duffy’s book Wise Up: Irreverent Enlightenment from a Mother Who’s Been Through It is available to purchase now!