Richard Gere was assumed to be a homeless man by a French tourist who offered the actor her leftover pizza after eating at a popular New York italian restaurant. Gere was shocked, and the French native appeared confused.
Karine Gombeau said she noticed a hobo sifting through a garbage dumpster, and being a tourist, she had no clue it was actor Richard Gere. The story was published by ABC News, which captured the hearts of millions of people.
“I gave my doggy bag to a homeless [man], and the homeless is Richard Gere,” Gombeau told the network. “He was going through a bin, I had food with me,” she explained. “I thought, ‘He should have my pizza instead of going through that bin.'”
As it turns out, the French tourist stumbled onto the set of Gere’s new movie, “Time Out of Mind,” in which Gere, 64, plays a hobo.
“He was dressed in a way, with a cap, not shaved,” she said of the actor’s unbecoming appearance. “He looked like a man going through a rough time.”
So, what was Gere’s response?
“What’s in the bag?” the 64-year-old actor asked. “I tried to tell him in English, but it came out half in French,” Gombeau recalled.
She didn’t learn that the undercover bum was actually a famous actor until a worker at the Salisbury Hotel, where she stayed in Midtown, handed her a copy of The Post two days later. She was stunned to find a photo of herself with the star inside the paper, she said.
“It was magical . . . It’s crazy, this story. It’s unimaginable that something like this could happen,” she gushed.
“I think he’s very handsome, even at his age,” she added. “ ’Pretty Woman’ was not my favorite movie, but I really loved ‘Chicago.’ ”
Gombeau, who works in the tourist industry, said it broke her heart to see homeless people in the Big Apple.
“It leaves me really sad to know we waste food and they have nothing,” she said. “It really moves me.”
And just like Gombeau said, this story is magical.