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Call us incurable romantics, but something about the pairing of Hollywood elder statesman George Clooney and Sarah Larson—the Phish-loving, sandworm-emulating Ginger to his Fred—seemed to us more than your standard, fly-by-night arm-candy operation. This was a girl who inspired in George acts of chivalry previously thought not possible—on one occasion requiring him to come nearly to fisticuffs with a physically imposing margarine-spokesman just to protect her privacy. Yes, we naively predicted these two crazy kids would find a way to muddle through, in road rash and in health. We were wrong:

George Clooney has broken up with Sarah Larson after nearly a year of dating.

According to a friend of Sarah's, the Leatherheads star recently moved out of his LA home while the 29-year-old former Las Vegas cocktail waitress removed her belongings. "George is relieved to be single again," says an insider. "He thinks Sarah is sweet and that is why it was so hard to break up with her." [...]

"The truth is that they had little in common and he just doesn't want to be tied down," explains the insider. George's rep told In Touch: "I can only confirm that we have never commented on George's personal life."

One can only imagine how painful that last, longing glance backwards was for the young, comely Larson, her arms loaded down with two beach bags full of gritty bikini components, massage oils, and European fashion magazines, as she called out behind her, "Goodbye lovingly tended shrine to Max the pig! Goodbye Villa Oleandra and its dedicated pizza room! Goodbye Wii bowling tournaments in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's office after Darfur press conferences! And goodbye, George. I think I'll miss your new smile most of all."