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George Clooney rejects Daily Mail apology, saying it is ‘the worst kind of tabloid’

By Roy Greenslade, The Guardian
Friday, July 11, 2014 3:47 EDT
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Actor George Clooney, seen after meeting with President Barack Obama on Sudan in 2010, hosts a star-studded fundraiser for the president's reelection. (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)
 
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George Clooney has rejected the Daily Mail’s apology for a false story about his fiancee’s mother, describing the paper as “the worst kind of tabloid”.

Two days ago, the actor said the newspaper had published a false and “irresponsible” story about his fiancée Amal Alamuddin.

It claimed that her mother, Baria, had told “half of Beirut” that she opposed the forthcoming wedding on religious grounds because she is a member of Lebanon’s Druze community.

After Cloney denounced the Mail for fabricating a story that was inaccurate, the newspaper issued an apology on behalf of its digital division, Mail Online,and removed the article from its website.

But Clooney, in a statement released exclusively to the American national newspaper, USA Today, has now accused the Mail of knowing the story was false and lying about it. His full statement reads:

There is one constant when a person or company is caught doing something wrong. The cover-up is always worse.

In this case, the Daily Mail has printed an apology for insinuating religious tensions where there are none. In the apology, managing editor Charles Garside claims that the article was ‘not a fabrication, but ‘based the story on conversations with senior members of the Lebanese community.’

The problem is that none of that is true. The original story never cites that source, but instead goes out of its way to insist on four different occasions that ‘a family friend spoke directly to the Mail. A ‘family friend’ was the source. So either they were lying originally or they’re lying now.

Furthermore, they knew ahead of time that they were lying. In an article dated April 28 2014, reporter Richard Spillett wrote in the Mail that ‘Ramzi, (Amal’s father), married outside the Druze faith,’ and a family friend said that ‘Baria, (Amal’s mom), is not Druze.’ The Mail knew the story in question was false and printed it anyway.

What separates this from all of the ridiculous things the Mail makes up is that now, by their own admission, it can be proved to be a lie. In fact, a premeditated lie.

So I thank the Mail for its apology. Not that I would ever accept it, but because in doing so they’ve exposed themselves as the worst kind of tabloid.

One that makes up its facts to the detriment of its readers and to all the publications that blindly reprint them.

Another actor, Angelina Jolie, has also taken on the Daily Mail. According to The Times, she has launched a legal action against the newspaper for publishing a video online, which it claims shows her while she was addicted to heroin during the 1990s.

It is alleged that the video was taken by the Mail from the National Enquirer, a US supermarket checkout weekly that publishes celebrity gossip.

The 16-minute video was said to have featured a conversation between Jolie and her father, the actor Jon Voight, when she was in her early 20s. In it, the Mail suggests that Jolie is speaking about her brother, James, and her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand.

The actress is believed to regard the publication of the video as a gross violation of her privacy.

It is said to have been recorded by Franklin Meyer, 69, who is described by the New York Daily News as a former drug dealer who has “spent the past half-decade peddling gossip about dealing cocaine and heroin to Jolie in the late ’90s”.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2014

 
 
 
 
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