Renée Zellweger reveals 'humiliating' encounter with Jimmy Carter

Actress Renée Zellweger has a soft spot for a powerful man, and it’s not who you may think. The Judy star, who has previously been in high-profile relationships with country singer Kenny Chesney and actor Bradley Cooper, revealed Thursday on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that she holds a special place in her heart for former President Jimmy Carter.

Zellweger said, “I have a bit of a soft spot for Jimmy Carter [laughs], and it’s not just the baby blues.

“He’s a handsome man. He’s a Southern man... He’s a great scholar. He’s a man of great scholarship and great character. He’s a poet. He’s a man of faith. He practices, but he doesn’t use his religion as a tool of divisiveness, but as a beacon to inspire humanity towards what any loving God would want. World peace. And he’s a Navy boy. I mean, what’s not to like?”

The Oscar winner’s admiration for the 39th president is so powerful that he once left her starstruck at a book signing.

“I had a humiliating melt. It was really bad, it was very embarrassing,” she said.

Zellweger recalled that she waited on cold New York City streets for more than four hours to meet Carter and purchase his book of poetry. When she finally came face-to-face with him at the signing table, she froze: “You find yourself standing there in front of the baby blues, and this man who has inspired you a different level of thoughtfulness. He held the book and a pen in his hand, and I was really ready; here it comes, I’m going to have my thing that I say to Jimmy Carter.

“He looks up at me and he said, ‘Hello.’ And I said, ‘Hey, [whispers] thank you.’”

Zellweger explained that it wasn’t just Carter’s intellect that led to her fangirl moment, but admiration for his longevity and relationship with Rosalynn Carter, his wife of 73 years: “He’s in his 90’s and he’s still sharp, funny. There’s all that, and he’s in love with his wife.”

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