The Oscar-winning actor submitted an op-ed piece to USA Today disputing a recent Daily Mail article written by a “reputable and trusted freelance journalist” — as the Daily Mail refers to the journalist — which alleges that Clooney’s future mother-in-law is opposed to his upcoming marriage to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin because of her religious beliefs.
Clooney quoted from The Daily Mail, which reported that “Amal’s mother has been telling ‘half of Beirut’ that she’s against the wedding. It says they joke about traditions in the Druze religion that end up with the death of the bride.”
“Let me repeat that: the death of the bride,” said the 53-year-old actor.
— CNN Entertainment (@CNNent) July 9, 2014
“First of all, none of the story is factually true. Amal’s mother is not Druze,” Clooney wrote. “She has not been to Beirut since Amal and I have been dating, and she is in no way against the marriage—but none of that is the issue. If they fabricate stories of Amal being pregnant, or that the marriage will take place on the set of Downton Abbey, or that I’m running for office, or any number of idiotic stories that they sit at their computers and invent, I don’t care.”
Clooney went on to explain that the report affects not only Alamuddin and himself personally, but is a dangerous claim that can inflame hatred and create even greater misunderstandings among cultures.
“The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous,” said Clooney. “We have family members all over the world, and the idea that someone would inflame any part of that world for the sole reason of selling papers should be criminal.”
Clooney is well-aware that his private life is of public domain, but draws the line when multiple media outlets pick up untruths like those in The Daily Mail‘s story.
“The Daily Mail, more than any other organization that calls itself news, has proved time and time again that facts make no difference in the articles they make up,” he said. “And when they put my family and my friends in harm’s way, they cross far beyond just a laughable tabloid and into the arena of inciting violence. They must be so very proud.”
The Daily Mail removed the article from its site and issued the following statement:
“The MailOnline story was not a fabrication but supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist. She based her story on conversations with a long-standing contact who has strong connections with senior members of the Lebanese community in the UK and the Druze in Beirut. We only became aware of Mr Clooney’s concerns this morning and have launched a full investigation. However, we accept Mr Clooney’s assurance that the story is inaccurate and we apologise to him, Miss Amal Alamuddin and her mother, Baria, for any distress caused. We have removed the article from our website and will be contacting Mr Clooney’s representatives to discuss giving him the opportunity to set the record straight.”
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