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Tourist mistakes Richard Gere for beggar, gives him pizza

/ 03:09 AM April 28, 2014

Actor Richard Gere attends the City Harvest 19th Annual An Evening Of Practical Magic, Honoring Marc Murphy at Cipriani 42nd Street on April 16, 2013 in New York City. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for City Harvest/AFP

NEW YORK—A French tourist listened to her heart when she offered her pizza to a man spotted rummaging through trash in the streets of New York, not realizing it was Richard Gere making a movie.

Karine Valnais Gombeau, a 42-year-old Parisian, spotted the actor, a knit cap pulled down over his ears, sifing through rubbish as she came out of a pizzeria near Grand Central station in Manhattan, with her husband and 15-year-old son, the New York Post reported Sunday.

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Without blinking, Gere, 64, asked her what was in the bag Gombeau offered him.

“I tried to tell him in English, but it came out half in French,” she told the Post.

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“I said, ‘Je suis desolee [I am sorry], but the pizza is cold.’ ”

“He said, ‘Thank you so much. God bless you,'” she said.

She left without knowing it was Gere making his new movie “Time Out of Mind,” until the Post ran a photo of the moment two days later.

“It was magical . . . It’s crazy, this story. It’s unimaginable that something like this could happen,” she said, adding she thought Gere, the star of “Pretty Woman” and “Chicago,” was “very handsome, even at his age.”

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