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George Clooney has rejected the Daily Mail‘s apology for a false story it published about his fiancee’s mother, calling the paper “the worst kind of tabloid.”
In a USA Today op-ed on Wednesday, the actor alleged that the Daily Mail had published a ” fabricated” and potentially “dangerous” story involving the family of his fiancee, human rights attorney Amal Alamuddin.
The Daily Mail had reported that Clooney’s soon to be mother-in-law Baria Alamuddin belongs to the strict Druze religious sect and had been telling “half of Beirut” that she opposed her daughter’s upcoming marriage to the actor on religious grounds.
Clooney blasted the paper, saying every aspect of the story was false—Baria Alamuddin is neither Druze nor has she visited Beirut since the engagement. He noted that the paper is known for “making up stories” but argued that the Mail had crossed a line this time: It was attempting to inflame religious sensitivities and intolerance to generate clicks.
The newspaper responded by issuing an apology on behalf of its online division, Mail Online, and said it was launching “an investigation.” It also removed the article from its website.
On Friday, Clooney released another statement to USA Today, rejecting the apology and accusing the Daily Mail of telling a “premeditated lie.”
“In the apology, managing editor Charles Garside claims that the article was ‘not a fabrication,’ but ‘based the story on conversations with senior members of the Lebanese community,'” Clooney writes.
“The problem is that none of that is true. The original story never cites that source, but instead goes out of its way to insist on four different occasions that ‘a family friend’ spoke directly to the Mail. A ‘family friend’ was the source. So either they were lying originally or they’re lying now.
“Furthermore, they knew ahead of time that they were lying. In an article dated April 28, 2014, reporter Richard Spillett wrote in the Mail that ‘Ramzi, (Amal’s father), married outside the Druze faith,’ and a family friend said that ‘Baria, (Amal’s mom), is not Druze’. The Mail knew the story in question was false and printed it anyway.
“What separates this from all of the ridiculous things the Mail makes up is that now, by their own admission, it can be proved to be a lie. In fact, a premeditated lie.
“So I thank the Mail for its apology. Not that I would ever accept it, but because in doing so they’ve exposed themselves as the worst kind of tabloid.
“One that makes up its facts to the detriment of its readers and to all the publications that blindly reprint them.”
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