On Monday, The Daily Mail published a lengthy article in which they claimed Amal Alamuddin’s mother didn’t care for George Clooney because she wanted her daughter to marry someone from their Druze faith. The Mail claimed that Amal’s mom believes in insular Druze-only marriages and child-rearing and that since there’s no conversion method for Druze, George could never be worthy. I covered the story yesterday, as did many other blogs and outlets this week. And now George Clooney claims that the entire article is fabricated and that his would-be mother-in-law is not Druze:
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.
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.
Okay. I think George has every right to be angry and he has every right to correct the record and call out The Daily Mail for making up stories. So, this is completely justified. Full-stop.
If I wanted to parse – and I’ve gone back and forth on this – I could. Easily. I could find an angle, because while I think George is completely justified in writing what he wrote, I think this statement is a tinder box full of religious and freedom of speech controversies. But so was the original DM article that started everything, so blah. Let George’s words speak for themselves.
Photos courtesy of WENN.