A woman from France, Karine Gombeau, was in New York on holiday when she mistook the American actor Richard Gere for a homeless guy. Without recognising him, she then offered him a slice of pizza.
As the French tourist later recounted herself, she was out for a walk in the city with her partner and fifteen year-old son when she saw a man digging about in a trash can. He looked like he was homeless. Touched by the sight, she went over and offered him some pizza leftover from a restaurant she’d been in.
He asked, “what’s in the bag?“ I tried to answer him in English, but I ended up saying half the words in French. I said: ”sorry, but the pizza is cold.» He answered, “thanks very much, God bless you,”’ Gombeau recalls.
Karine wasn’t aware who she’d met on the streets of New York until two days later, when an employee at the hotel where her family was staying showed them a photo in a newspaper, with her standing next to Gere.
It turns out that the French woman had accidentally wandered onto the set of the film ’Time out of Mind’, in which Gere plays one of the leading roles. But for Richard Gere and the other members of of the film crew, the moment will surely stay with them as the perfect illustration of simple human kindness.