On Wednesday 9 July 2014, George Clooney gave us a whole new reason to love him (as if we needed another one). The 53-year-old Hollywood star had got all hot under the collar about a particular article written about his fiancée, human rights lawyer, Amal Alamuddin, and her mother, Baria. And today, the Mail versus Clooney saga continues.
The article in question, published by the Daily Mail on Monday 7 July 2014, claimed that Baria was opposed to her daughter’s up-coming marriage to Clooney on religious grounds and that she had been ‘telling half of Beirut’ – where the family comes from – that she wanted her daughter to marry within the Druze religious sect.
In a strongly-worded statement published by American newspaper, USA Today, George said he wanted to ‘speak to the irresponsibility of Monday’s Daily Mail report’, and quite frankly, he gave them what for.
After an apology from the Daily Mail on Wednesday, George has since responded again (how exciting!), completely rejecting the Mail’s apology and giving them a good slating all over again. You can read George’s latest statement and his original, below.
George rejects the Daily Mail’s apology:
‘There is one constant when a person or company is caught doing something wrong. The coverup is always worse.
In this case, the Daily Mail has printed an apology for insinuating religious tensions where there are none. In the apology, managing editor Charles Garside claims that the article was “not a fabrication,” but “based the story on conversations with senior members of the Lebanese community.”
The problem is that none of that is true. The original story never cites that source, but instead goes out of its way to insist on four different occasions that “a family friend” spoke directly to the Mail. A ” family friend” was the source. So either they were lying originally or they’re lying now.
Furthermore, they knew ahead of time that they were lying. In an article dated April 28, 2014, reporter Richard Spillett writes in the Mail that “Ramzi, (Amal’s father), married outside the Druze faith,” and a family friend said that “Baria, (Amal’s mom), is not Druze.” The Mail knew the story in question was false and printed it anyway.
What separates this from all of the ridiculous things the Mail makes up is that now, by their own admission, it can be proved to be a lie. In fact, a premeditated lie.
So I thank the Mail for its apology. Not that I would ever accept it, but because in doing so they’ve exposed themselves as the worst kind of tabloid.
One that makes up its facts to the detriment of its readers and to all the publications that blindly reprint them.’
George’s original statement:
‘I want to speak to the irresponsibility of Monday’s Daily Mail report. I seldom respond to tabloids, unless it involves someone else and their safety or well being. The Daily Mail has printed a completely fabricated story about my fiancée’s mother opposing our marriage for religious reasons. 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.
Let me repeat that: the death of the bride.
First of all, 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. I’m, of course, used to the Daily Mail making up stories – they do it several times a week – and I don’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.
Clooney became engaged to British-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin on April 28, 2014
But 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 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.
I’m the son of a newsman; I accept the idea that freedom of speech can be an inconvenience to my private life from time to time, but this story, like so many others, is picked up by hundreds of other outlets citing the Daily Mail as their source, including Boston.com, New York Daily News, Gulf News, Emirates 24/7 and so on.
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. 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.’
Pretty scathing stuff eh?
Now let that be a lesson to you. George may have had a string of failed celebrity romances and you may have been guilty of thinking that his latest engagement to Amal wouldn’t last, but here’s proof that the usually private and reserved George, is pretty serious about his relationship with Amal and her family, and will do anything to come to their defence. And we commend him for it!
Now, Daily Mail: Don’t do it again. Got it?
Where to next?