George Clooney has ripped the Daily Mail a new one in an op-ed in USA Today. After the British publication claimed the actor's future mother-in-law, Baria, vehemently opposed his marriage to Amal Alamuddin on religious grounds, Clooney slammed the tabloid for "inciting violence."
"It says 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," Clooney writes of the original story (which has since been taken down).
As it turns out, his fiancée's mother is not Druze, nor has she been to Beirut since he began dating Alamuddin. Also Clooney says Baria "is in no way against the marriage."
But as Clooney explains, it's not the fact the Daily Mail fabricated a story ("they do it several times a week"), the issue is that "this lie involves larger issues."
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"The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous," Clooney writes. "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 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 continues. "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 actor concludes.
The Daily Mail denies fabricating the story, telling the Associated Press that the story had been "supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist."
However, the newspaper did apologize in the statement, saying: "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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