George Clooney has spoken out against British tabloid The Daily Mail.
The British newspaper and online publication published a story earlier this week suggesting the mother of his fiance, human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, was opposed to their marriage for religious reasons.
But Clooney has hit back at the Daily Mail in a statement released to USA Today.
In the statement, Clooney says he seldom responds to tabloid reports 'unless it involves someone else and their safety or well being', but was shocked and hurt by the story, or 'lie', and suggested it could incite violence as it gets picked up by other media outlets throughout the world.
The story quotes unnamed sources as saying that Baria Alamuddin,a journalist and broadcaster in the Middle East and the United Kingdom, thinks her daughter 'can do better' than Clooney, specifically by marrying into the family's Druze religion.
The story says Baria has been saying as much to friends in Beirut, where Amal was born.
The Daily Mail 'reports' the Clooney-Alamuddin wedding will not be a Druze wedding, and so Amal risks being 'cast out of the community' and 'that several women have been murdered' for not abiding by strict Druze rules.
The couple are believed to be getting married on September 12 in Italy near Lake Como where Clooney owns a villa.
George Clooney's full statement to the Daily Mail
I want to speak to the irresponsibility of Monday's Daily Mail report.
I seldom respond to tabloids, unless it involves someone else and their safety or well being.
The Daily Mail has printed a completely fabricated story about my fiancée's mother opposing our marriage for religious reasons.
It says Amal's mother has been telling "half of Beirut" that she's against the wedding. It says they joke about traditions in the Druze religion that end up with the death of the bride.
Let me repeat that: the death of the bride.
First of all, none of the story is factually true.
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.
I'm, of course, used to the Daily Mail making up stories - they do it several times a week - and I don't care.
If they fabricate stories of Amal being pregnant, or that the marriage will take place on the set of Downton Abbey, or that I'm running for office, or any number of idiotic stories that they sit at their computers and invent, I don't care.
But this lie involves larger issues.
The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous.
We have family members all over the world, and the idea that someone would inflame any part of that world for the sole reason of selling papers should be criminal.
I'm the son of a newsman; I accept the idea that freedom of speech can be an inconvenience to my private life from time to time, but this story, like so many others, is picked up by hundreds of other outlets citing the Daily Mail as their source, including Boston.com, New York Daily News, Gulf News, Emirates 24/7 and so on.
The Daily Mail, more than any other organization that calls itself news, has proved time and time again that facts make no difference in the articles they make up.
And when they put my family and my friends in harm's way, they cross far beyond just a laughable tabloid and into the arena of inciting violence.
They must be so very proud.