Richard Gere Threatened Legal Action When Show Introduced Him As ‘Sex Symbol’


Richard Gere’s journey to stardom was undeniably catalyzed by his portrayal of Julian Kaye, a high-end male escort in Los Angeles, in the 1980 film American Gigolo. His charismatic performance in the movie made him a global heartthrob and a sex symbol for women worldwide, a title that has stuck with him over the years.

In a recent interview, Veteran British TV chat show host Michael Aspel shared intriguing insights into Gere’s perspective on his image. Aspel revealed that despite Gere being regarded as a fantasy figure by many, the 74-year-old was never particularly interested in holding such a title.


Michael Aspel says Richard Gere threatened legal action against his show for introducing him with the phrase, “sex symbol”

AMERICAN GIGOLO, Richard Gere, 1980, (c) Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Aspel, who was the host of Aspel & Company from 1984 to 1993, shared an intriguing anecdote with the Daily Mail. He recounted a memorable encounter with Gere during his appearance on his show in 1989. “When Richard Gere came on the show, I introduced him, and at the end, I said, and ‘he’s done this, he’s done that,’ and I used the phrase ‘sex symbol,'” Aspel recalled.


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“After the interview, we had a phone call from his agent saying if I didn’t remove the sex symbol thing, they were going to take it up with their lawyer,” Aspel added. “He would not be known as a sex symbol, it was very odd. But he took himself very seriously because he did a lot of stuff for the people of Tibet.”

AMERICAN GIGOLO, Richard Gere, 1980. © Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection

Richard Gere says he does not consider himself a ‘Sex Symbol’

In an interview featured in Hello Magazine, Gere shared a captivating insight into his perspective on fame and public perception. Despite receiving ample admiration and compliments from fans, the actor disclosed that he had never viewed himself as a sex symbol.

AMERICAN GIGOLO, Richard Gere, 1980, ©Paramount Pictures/Courtesy: Everett Collection

“‘At no time in my life have I ever felt like a sex symbol. It’s an illusion,” Gere confessed to the publication. “But the work you do and the spirit that you give to it does have an impact on people, and that I can take pride in.”

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