George Clooney should send Ryan Seacrest a thank-you note. It turns out the 51-year-old actor, who was nominated for best actor for "The Descendants" and best screenplay for "The Ides of March," was the original target for Sacha Baron Cohen's infamous red carpet ash stunt at the 2011 Academy Awards.
The British comic arrived at the ceremony as his "Dictator" alter ego and, on the red carpet, spilled what he claimed were dictator Kim Jong-Il's ashes on Ryan Seacrest's Burberry suit.
Though the "E! News" host was shocked by the turn of events, he forgave Cohen this past weekend at the taping of "Saturday Night Live" when they met unexpectedly.
"Went to SNL on saturday, ran into sacha baron cohen," Seacrest tweeted on Monday. "We talked... original plan was to ash clooney!"
The 37-year-old "American Idol" host further explained on his radio show that it was Cohen's wife, actress Isla Fisher, who apologized for her husband.
"I didn't realize that the Dictator was doing a walk-on cameo," Seacrest said. "He comes offstage and comes over to me. He breaks character and says, 'Sorry about the Oscars. It wasn't personal.'"
Cohen, who sent his victim a replacement jacket after the Academy Awards, explained that he had planned to ash Clooney.
"Then someone decided that it wasn't a great idea because he was up for a lot of nominations. It was big night for him that night," Seacrest said. "Then they somehow spun 'The Wheel of Tragedy' and it ended on my name."
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