In a new op-ed USA Today published Friday, Clooney calls out the Mail’s claim that the story posted earlier this week was “not a fabrication,” and based on “conversations with senior members of the Lebanese community.”
“The problem is that none of that is true,” Clooney writes. “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.”
Clooney first spoke out against the story on Wednesday in an op-ed that rebutted the Mail’s claim that the mother of his fiance, Amal Alamuddin, is against their marriage because their Druze faith forbids marrying outsiders, and has been telling “half of Beirut” that she hopes the union falls apart.
According to Clooney, however, Amal’s mother is not Druze, and hasn’t been to Beirut since he began dating Alamuddin.
Clooney said that he believed the story was both “negligent” and “dangerous” because it sought to exploit “religious differences where none exist.”
In round two, Clooney isn’t just calling the story false, but coming forward with proof that the Mail knew it was false before publishing.
“Furthermore, they knew ahead of time that they were lying,” Clooney wrote. “In an article dated April 28, 2014, reporter Richard Spillett writes 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.'”
Clooney closed his argument by rejecting the outlet’s apology, and calling it “the worst kind of tabloid.”
“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,” Clooney concluded. “One that makes up its facts to the detriment of its readers and to all the publications that blindly reprint them.”