George Clooney has written a new op-ed for USA Today in which he disputes a Daily Mail report from earlier this week concerning his fiancée Amal Alamuddin and her mother. George himself admits that he doesn’t usually respond to tabloid rumors, “unless it involves someone else and their safety or well being,” so this is a big deal.
The Mail‘s report from Monday claimed that Amal’s mother opposed her marriage to George for religious reasons, going so far as to say that she’d told “half of Beirut” that she doesn’t approve and that they joke about Druze religious traditions involving the death of the bride. George makes sure to emphasize the disturbing nature of that claim: “Let me repeat that: the death of the bride.”
George stresses that “none of the story is factually true,” explaining that Amal’s mother is not even part of the Druze religion and hasn’t even been to Beirut since George and Amal have been involved. George acknowledges that this certainly isn’t the first time the Mail has reported a false story about him, and most of the time he doesn’t care:
“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.”
But in this case, George explains, he couldn’t keep quiet, because there are bigger issues involved:
“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.”
George adds that, as “the son of a newsman,” he understands “that freedom of speech can be an inconvenience to my private life from time to time,” but that a story like this puts his “family and friends in harm’s way,” and that “they cross far beyond just a laughable tabloid and into the arena of inciting violence.”
Good for George for taking the time to respond to this. And props to him for acknowledging that this is a different situation from the usual frivolous rumors the tabloids publish about him every day.