Publisher of bizarre Drew Barrymore interview says interview was real, writer well regarded

PHOTO: Drew Barrymore attends the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Kings Theatre in New York, Nov. 13, 2017.PlayEvan Agostini/Invision/AP, FILE
WATCH Drew Barrymore on Motherhood, Turning 40

The Egyptian publisher of a now-viral in-flight magazine interview with Drew Barrymore issued a statement on Tuesday insisting the interview was real.

According to the statement, Aida Takla, the writer, is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and conducted the interview with Barrymore during a meeting between the actress and other HFPA members.

Takla, the statement explains, was a four-time elected president of the HFPA and a voting member of the Golden Globe Awards.

The piece, which focuses on "Barrymore the mother," opens with a one-page introduction that labels the popular actress as being famous for "unstable relationships" and "unsuccessful marriages." The interview was widely assumed by readers to be fake.

PHOTO: Drew Barrymore attends the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Photo
Drew Barrymore attends the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

A statement from the publisher said that the introduction of the article was not written by the author of the interview.

"As is generally accepted, the lead is not part of the text of the article. It is a product of the editor’s creativity produced on the condition that it contains no information that is contrary to the truth," argued the statement by Horus magazine and Al-Ahram advertising agency — the state run publication that handles editing and publishing the magazine.

The text of the interview was translated from English to Arabic, and then back into English for publication in both versions of the magazine, the publisher's statement said.

"The translator is responsible solely for the accuracy of the translation to English," according to the statement.

The publisher later explained that Barrymore’s representative was unaware that Takla also writes for Horus magazine in addition to the other publications.

A representative for Barrymore did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

PHOTO: Drew Barrymore attends the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Kings Theatre in New York, Nov. 13, 2017. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, FILE
Drew Barrymore attends the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Kings Theatre in New York, Nov. 13, 2017.

The HFPA issued a statement this week apologizing for the the interview, according to the New York Post.

"As an organization comprised of journalists, the HFPA expects its members to uphold the highest degree of integrity in their journalistic activities. Based on our preliminary investigation, we understand that parts of the article in question were not written by Dr. Takla-O’Reilly and that other portions of the article may have come from other sources. We regret any distress caused to Ms. Barrymore by this article," the statement added.

The HFPA did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

ABC News' Lesley Messer contributed reporting from Los Angeles.