George Clooney slams tabloid for 'criminal' report
George Clooney is used to rumours being spread about him in the media, but a recent report by Britain's Daily Mail has made him angry enough to speak out.
''I seldom respond to tabloids, unless it involves someone else and their safety or well-being,'' Clooney writes in an open letter published in USA Today.
''The Daily Mail has printed a completely fabricated story about my fiancee's mother opposing our marriage for religious reasons.''
The story in question reports that his fiance Amal Almuddin's mother Baria ''has been 'telling half of Beirut' that she wanted her daughter to marry within the Druze sect''.
It continues, reporting that a ''family friend'' in London says Baria thinks her daughter can do better.
The Daily Mail then goes into great detail about the problems being Druze will have on their nuptials, as well as some of the more controversial aspects of the culture.
The reporters write: ''There can be harsh penalties for those Druze who marry outsiders. Several women have been murdered for disobeying the rules.''
The 53-year-old actor says, to begin with, nothing in the story is true. For a start, ''Amal's mother is not Druze,'' Clooney points out.
''She has not been to Beirut since Amal and I have been dating, and she is in no way against the marriage.''
In fact, she has been holidaying with her son-in-law-to-be and his family at his holiday home at Lake Como, Italy.
Over the weekend Baria was spotted looking happy while she bonding with Clooney's mother, Nina Bruce Clooney, during a shopping trip in an Italian village.
While the Daily Mail mentioned this, it is probably something Baria would not have done if she disapproved of the match.
Clooney says he is used to and even expects tabloids to make up silly stories like this about him, but this particular story creates a bigger problem.
''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,'' Clooney writes.
''The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous.''
He continues: ''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 actor says another big problem with the fact the tabloid is selling blatant lies as news is that hundreds of other news outlets and organisations then quote the Daily Mail in their own stories on the same topic.
New York's Daily News, Yahoo! Celebrity UK, Emirates 24/7 and India Today are just a handful of the news outlets that reported on the Daily Mail's article about Clooney's relationship.
The Monuments Men star says he understands his privacy is occasionally inconvenienced by freedom of speech, but the Daily Mail takes things too far.
''The Daily Mail, more than any other organisation that calls itself news, has proved time and time again that facts make no difference in the articles they make up,'' Clooney writes. ''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.''
Sydney Morning Herald