George Clooney rarely comments on the numerous stories regarding his private life. But this week he spoke out to condemn a recent article written about his upcoming wedding to Amal Alamuddin.
A British newspaper had reported that Amal's mother Baria opposed their marriage on the grounds of religious reasons, a story that the actor has described as "at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous".
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George Clooney has slammed the 'irresponsible' and 'dangerous' article
In a strongly-worded statement issued to USA Today, George, 53, said he wanted to "speak to the irresponsibility" of the report.
Stating that he "seldom respond to tabloids, unless it involves someone else and their safety and wellbeing," George said that the newspaper had "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," he said of the article.
"Let me repeat that: the death of the bride."
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin
George continued, "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.
The star said he was used to the newspaper "making up stories", stating, "they do it several times a week – and I don't care." But, he said, "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."
The actor continued: "I am 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 he said he had become concerned that the article had been picked up by other outlets.
He concluded by saying that the tabloid: "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. 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."