George Clooney may be used to the spotlight and the scrutiny and half-truths that come with it, but he is having none of that when it comes to his upcoming nuptials with Amal Alamuddin. In an op-ed for USA Today published early Wednesday morning, July 9, the actor voices his disdain and concern regarding a recent slew of rumors about Alamuddin's mother and her supposed objection to the marriage, as written up in the Daily Mail.
In his column, Clooney refers to a particular story, published Monday, July 7, which states that Alamuddin's mother is "unimpressed" with the A-lister and "wants [her] daughter to marry within their strict Lebanese religious sect."
Let me repeat that: the death of the bride.
[T]his 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.
Meanwhile, photos have emerged of the actor's and his fiancee's mothers bonding in Italy. Over on People, Nina Bruce Clooney and Baria Alamuddin are not only smiling for the cameras, the magazine claims they "bonded over a day of shopping around Lake Como" last weekend.
Whether the Mail's claims are true or fabricated (they source "close family friends") this wouldn't be the first time the British tabloid has been called into question, to say the least. Just last January, author JK Rowling sued the Mail for libel after it ran a story online under the headline "How JK Rowling's sob story about her past as a single mother has left the churchgoers who cared for her upset and bewildered." Rowling claimed that "doing it injured her reputation and caused her great distress and embarrassment," according to The Guardian.
In 2006, the Daily Mail paid Elton John 100,000 pounds (approximately $171,000) after the musician sued the tabloid for libel for "claiming falsely that the singer banned guests from talking to him at a charity fundraising event," per The Guardian.
Though not sued in this instance, the Daily Mail hasn't yet responded to Clooney's statement. This story will update once a response comes through.
UPDATE 8:48 a.m. -- The Daily Mail has taken its story down, notes USA Today, and has issued an apology to Clooney. The Mail says the story was "not a fabrication but supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist," adding that the tabloid has "launched a full investigation."
"[W]e 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," reads the Mail's statement.
h/t The Independent