George Clooney advertising the Mercedes-Benz E-Class L in ChinaEnlarge Photo
There it was, on the always-factual pages of the New York Post: George Clooney hates Teslas.
On Monday, the tabloid published an article focusing on Clooney's comment at the very end of a recent Esquire interview that he'd been "on the side of the road a while" in his Tesla Roadster.
Clooney owned not only one of the first Tesla owners--he reportedly sold his Roadster, serial number 0008, last year--but has also bragged in the past about owning a Tango, a tandem two-seat electric car that's only half as wide as a conventional car.
With characteristic understatement, the Post writer noted that Clooney's remarks "seem to have had little effect" on the stock price of Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA].
We reached out to someone we know who's familiar with many Hollywood stars and their cars.
Because of the confidential nature of the relationships with some of those celebrities, this person asked not to be named.
2011 Tesla Roadster Sport. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.Enlarge Photo
But from the vantage point of having assisted stars with a variety of rare, expensive, or otherwise unusual cars, here's the real deal.
"That Post article is way overblown. Clooney was one of a bunch of celebs and others who got early cars for the novelty of it, then rarely used them.
"I do know of one instance of him having an issue with the car on the road. It wasn't that technically significant, but he had a very early car, and you know what they can be like).
"I'm sure it may have been a pain for Clooney on the day it happened--but it wasn't 'always stuck on the f***ing side of the road' at all.
"But his people whined to Tesla that they'd lost confidence in the car, so the company not only picked it up for a thorough inspection and kept it for a few weeks to make sure any issues were shaken out, they went back on a regular basis, picked up the car, put some miles on it, delivered it back, etc.
"That was just to make sure it was perfect any time he did feel like driving it. Of course, he never really did drive it much, largely because he was rarely in town.
"I think it had 2,000 miles or less when he sold it.
"From knowing his people, it sounds more like the Tango was the one that gave him the impression all electric cars were unreliable. Apparently he had more actual issues with that car--so by the time he got the Roadster, one issue was all it took. "
You may draw your own conclusions about movie stars and their car views from our anonymous close-to-the-celebs source. As for Tesla CEO Elon Musk, he reacted to Clooney's remarks with humor, tweeting, "In other news, George Clooney reports that his iPhone 1 had a bug back in '07."
We're eagerly waiting for the Star and the National Observer to weigh in.