-- George Clooney is firing back at a tabloid report that his future mother-in-law is opposed to his impending marriage to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, refuting the Daily Mail's coverage in an op-ed for USA Today.
“First of all, factually none of the story is true,” Clooney wrote in the op-ed, which appeared online early this morning. “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.”
Clooney, 53, says he doesn’t mind the usual tabloid rumors regarding pregnancies, political ambitions “or any number of idiotic stories.”
But this situation cuts deeper, Clooney wrote, because it exploits “religious differences.”
“The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous,” he wrote.
After Clooney's op-ed was published, the Daily Mail removed the article from its website and a Mail Online spokesman issued a statement.
"The MailOnline story was not a fabrication but supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist," the statement reads. "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. However, we accept Mr. Clooney’s assurance that the story is inaccurate and we apologize to him, Miss Amal Alamuddin and her mother, Baria, for any distress caused.
"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."