Tourist gives food to Richard Gere

French woman’s simple act of kindness towards actor in character caught on hidden movie cameras in New York

27 April 2014

A FRENCH woman on holiday in New York with her family just thought she was being kind when she gave the last of her pizza to a homeless man.

Little did Karine Gombeau-Valnais realise that her random act of kindness would hit the headlines, because the “hobo” she helped turned out to be Hollywood actor Richard Gere.

The 42-year-old Parisian was leaving a pizzeria in New York’s Little Italy when she spotted a man rooting through a waste bin and drinking beer from a can in a brown paper bag.

She gave him the last of an “enormous” pizza the family had ordered but had been unable to finish.

She later told the New York Post: “I said ‘I am sorry but the pizza is cold’.

“He said, ‘Thank you very much. God bless you’.”

She did not realise she was speaking to the Pretty Woman star until she appeared in the New York Post two days later.

Mr Gere was in Manhattan filming for his next movie Time Out of Mind, in which he stars with Jena Malone and Kyra Sedgwick.

Ms Gombeau-Valnais said she was saddened to see homeless people rummaging through bins in search of food.

She said: “It really moves me.”

At the time, Mr Gere was being filmed by hidden cameras, which allowed him to walk around without people realising that a shoot was in progress.

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