MILAN – It’s no wonder the Italian businessmen claimed George Clooney was behind their fashion line — the actor knows how to wow an audience whether he’s on the red carpet or the witness stand.

Maintaining his trademark aura of cool, Clooney delivered a few wisecracks Friday as he testified against three defendants accused of co-opting his name.

The appearance of the star, who maintains a villa on nearby Lake Como but is rarely seen here in public, sent the normally staid courthouse into full celebrity tilt. Clooney had to push his way through a wall of cameras into the courtroom, saying “scusa, scusa,” — “Excuse me” in Italian — and warning “Don’t crush my lawyers.”

Throngs of fans packed the tiny courtroom. The judge repeatedly told spectators to be quiet and tossed out one woman who snapped a photo of Clooney.

The 49-year-old actor wore a navy blue suit, crisp white shirt and red-spotted blue tie as he addressed the court through an interpreter, throwing in occasional words in Italian and apologizing for his lack of fluency.

He testified that photos which purported to show him with two of the defendants were doctored and signatures on documents were also forged.

Only one defendant — Vincenzo Cannalire — attended the trial. Clooney turned to greet him after recognizing the man from of the photos he was looking at.

“This is the first time I’ve ever seen him,” Clooney said, motioning to the defendant. Then with just a trace of irony, Clooney added, “So I’d like to say hello, nice to meet you.”

Two others charged in the case were Vanja Goffi and Francesco Galdelli. Clooney said one photo purporting to show him with Goffi was instead doctored from a photo of Clooney and an ex-girlfriend in real life.

The actor said he had never met Goffi but knew of her from stories on the Internet that claimed the two had a romantic relationship.

“Of course, I have seen her for the last three years in every single interview story nearly every day,” Clooney said with a hint of annoyance. The actor said the woman had even moved to the town in Italy where he spends about two months a year, but added: “I’ve never met her. I’ve never seen her.”

Examining other photos, Clooney explained why he was not the man in one particular picture.

“Here, for instance. I don’t smoke and I don’t wear that watch,” Clooney said. Then after a pause he added, “I also don’t wear long jean shorts.”

The signatures on the many documents he examined either were forged or photo copies of his signature, Clooney said, at one point acknowledging “this is my signature, but I didn’t sign it.”

“My signature is very easy to get, as you can imagine, off the Internet, off eBay,” Clooney testified. “You would think if you were going to forge my signature, you would borrow several different versions of it.”

The actor noted that just two versions of the photocopied signature were used.

Aerosmith’s Perry hit by car while riding motorcycle

MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass. – Authorities say Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry was rear-ended by a car when he was riding a motorcycle, and he has been treated for minor injuries at a Massachusetts hospital.

The 59-year-old Perry, who lives in nearby Duxbury, was taken to a hospital and released a couple of hours later. The accident is not expected to affect any of Aerosmith’s scheduled concert dates.

The driver of the car, 62-year-old Linda O’Brien, was cited for following too closely.

Santana returns today to old stamping grounds

BETHEL, N.Y. – He was at Woodstock, man. And today, he’ll be there again.

Carlos Santana returns to the site of the 1969 festival this weekend for a concert at a new arts pavilion just yards from the original stage where his band performed “Soul Sacrifice” during the “three days of peace and music” that helped define the end of the 1960s.