George Clooney slams Daily Mail and gets an apology
The Daily Mail writes an article; George Clooney writes back; Daily Mail backs down
[Updated July 11, 2014] George Clooney will not be pacified so easily. In another statement released to USA Today, the actor has rejected the Mail's apology, calling it "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."
It took a long time, a lot of speculation and an allegedly fabricated story by The Mail Online, but George Clooney has finally released an official statement regarding his engagement to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin. But it's not what you think.
Here's how it started: The Mail Online published a story (that has since been removed) claiming that Amal's mother Baria objected to the upcoming marriage on religious grounds and speculating about Druze religious traditions.
Enter George Clooney. In a rare public statement, issued to USA Today, George refuted each of the Mail's claims including the rumour of Amal's pregnancy and also that one about Downton Abbey (sigh). He condemned the paper and the article in the strongest terms, saying:
"None of the story is factually true. Amal's mother is... in no way against the marriage – but none of that is the issue. I'm, of course, used to the Daily Mail making up stories — they do it several times a week – and I don't care. If they fabricate stories of Amal being pregnant, or that the marriage will take place on the set of Downton Abbey... 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."
The Mail Online has since apologised, claiming that the story was not a fabrication, but supplied by a "'reputable and trusted freelance journalist". They went on to say, "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".
It's not often George Clooney wades into the fray. But when he does, he makes it count.