Entertainment & Arts

George Clooney receives apology from Mail over marriage story

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin Image copyright AFP/Reuters
Image caption The Mail Online said it had "launched a full investigation"

George Clooney has received an apology from the Mail Online "for any distress caused" by a story about his upcoming marriage to Amal Alamuddin.

It follows its publication of a report claiming Alamuddin's mother objected to their marriage on religious grounds.

The story, published earlier this week, led Clooney to accuse the Mail of "irresponsibility".

"We accept Mr Clooney's assurance that the story is inaccurate," said a statement from the Mail Online.

"We have removed the article from our website and will be contacting Mr Clooney's representatives to discuss giving him the opportunity to set the record straight."

Earlier this week, the Mail claimed Alamuddin's mother, Baria, wished her daughter to be married within the relatively small Druze sect.

The Druze are a religious sect with an estimated 700,000 members, mostly in Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Jordan, whose beliefs are based on Islam but also incorporate elements of other religions.

The report, published online on Monday and then in print on Tuesday, in an amended form, said "close family friends" had told them that Baria Alamuddin had been "telling half of Beirut" that her daughter "could do better".

'Completely fabricated'

In a piece published by USA Today, Clooney denied his fiancee's mother was a member of the Druze community and asserted that she was "in no way against the marriage".

He went on to accuse the Mail of putting his family and friends "in harm's way" and potentially "inciting violence" with its "completely fabricated" story".

"The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous," the actor wrote.

Clooney's engagement to Alamuddin, a London-based barrister who specialises in human rights cases, was confirmed by her chambers in April.

In its statement, the Mail Online insisted its story had not been "a fabrication" but had been "supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist".

"She based her story on conversations with a long-standing contact who has strong connections with senior members of the Lebanese community in the UK and the Druze in Beirut."

"We only became aware of Mr Clooney's concerns this morning and have launched a full investigation."

MailOnline is the world's most-read English newspaper site and receives more than 11 million visits each day.

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