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Mail apologises to George Clooney over article about his fiancée

The actor said the Daily Mail story was “completely fabricated”.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

Updated 2.33pm

THE DAILY MAIL has removed an article from its website after actor George Clooney strongly criticised it for running a “completely fabricated story” about his fiancée, saying it put his family at risk.

In an open letter in USA Today, the actor said that a Daily Mail story earlier this week incorrectly reported that Amal Alamuddin’s mother opposed their forthcoming marriage on religious grounds.

The article cited an anonymous friend of the family for the report, which said that Alamuddin’s mother had “been telling half of Beirut” that she was not happy about her daughter getting married to Clooney because he is not a member of the Druze religious group.

The MailOnline said that the story was supplied “in good faith” by a trusted freelancer, and have launched an investigation.

Clooney said that he “seldom respond[s] to tabloids, unless it involves someone else and their safety or well being” but that “none of the story is factually true”.

“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,” Clooney wrote.

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 danger.
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 newspapers should be criminal.

Clooney wrote that he accepted the inconvenience caused by the media to his private life from time to time but said this story had been picked up by hundreds of other outlets, including Boston.com and New York Daily News.

“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 wrote in a hard-hitting paragraph.

“And when they put my family and my friend 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”.

In a statement, MailOnline apologised to Clooney, Amal Alamuddin and her mother, Baria.

“The MailOnline story was not a fabrication but supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist,” the statement says.

She based her story on conversations with a long standing contact who has strong connections with senior members of the Lebanese community in the UK and the Druze in Beirut.
We only became aware of Mr Clooney’s concerns this morning and have launched a full investigation.
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.
We have removed the article from our website and will be contacting Mr Clooney’s representatives to discuss giving him the opportunity to set the record straight.

Britain Sexual Violence Summit Human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin Source: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Photo

Originally published 9.45am

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