George Clooney Blasts 'Daily Mail' for 'Fabricated,' 'Dangerous' Story
UPDATED: The British tabloid has removed from its website a story alleging the actor's future mother-in-law is opposed to his upcoming marriage and has apologized to the actor "for any distress caused."
George Clooney, a tabloid favorite for at least two decades, says this time the Daily Mail has gone too far.
In an op-ed published in USA Today late on Wednesday, the actor fires back at the British paper for its recent report alleging his future mother-in-law is opposed to his upcoming marriage to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin on religious grounds.
PHOTOS George Clooney, Brad Pitt With Their Motorcycles
"First of all, none of the story is factually true," Clooney writes, calling the paper's article, "a completely fabricated story." "Amal's mother is not Druze (a strict Middle Eastern religious sect). 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."
Clooney says he's accustomed to the Daily Mail "making up stories."
"They do it several times a week," he says.
PHOTOS George Clooney: Career in Pictures
"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."
But Clooney avers that in this instance the stakes are higher: The paper is attempting to exploit religious differences and latent intolerance to attract clicks. He says the strategy is "at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous," adding: "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."
"They must be so proud," he concludes.
The Daily Mail apologized to Clooney on Wednesday morning and removed the story from its website.
The newspaper said that the story had been "supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist."
"We accept Mr. Clooney's assurance that the story is inaccurate and we apologize to him, Miss Amal Alamuddin and her mother, Baria, for any distress caused," the paper added in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.
The article was no longer available on the Daily Mail's website as of Wednesday morning, and the newspaper told the AP it "will be contacting Mr. Clooney's representatives to discuss giving him the opportunity to set the record straight."