Oscar winner George Clooney -- who is usually very tight-lipped about his personal life -- is responding with passion to a Daily Mail story claiming that Clooney's future mother-in-law disapproves of his engagement to her daughter, human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin.
In an editorial written by Clooney in USA Today, Clooney said, "The Daily Mail has printed a completely fabricated story about my fiancee's mother opposing our marriage for religious reasons."
The story in question cites unnamed sources claiming that Amal's mother, Baria Alamuddin, has been telling friends in Amal's homeland of Beirut that she thinks that her daughter could "do better" than Clooney, and should marry someone belonging to the family's Druze religion.
"First of all, none of the story is factually true," Clooney, 53, writes. "Amal's mother is not Druze. 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. But this lie involves larger issues. The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous. 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 went on in the statement to explain that he understands the importance of freedom of speech, but that journalistic irresponsibility and the viral spread of false stories is a common occurrence and could be dangerous.
"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. 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."
The U.K. publication reacted to Clooney's harsh remarks (via USA Today), saying the article was "not a fabrication but supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist." The Daily Mail adds that they have "launched a full investigation."
The statement continues, "However, 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."
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