In an open letter published by USA today, George Clooney has spoken out against an article published by the Daily Mail about his fiancée's mother, Baria Alamuddin. The actor, who has long been a defender of free speech, accuses the newspaper of fabrication and criminal irresponsibility.
The offending article makes several claims - about Ms Alamuddin's religion, her whereabouts and her feelings about the impending wedding - which Clooney describes as factually incorrect. It also makes the claim that some Druze traditions support the 'honour killing' of women who go against their families' wishes. Whilst such killings have happened in recent years, they remain rare and there is no evidence that they meet with widespread social acceptance. Clooney implies that the making of this claim (misleading to begin with, as Ms Alamuddin is not Druze) is inflammatory and motivated solely by profit. He has also expressed concern that his family could be at risk because of it.
The actor's father, Nick Clooney, worked as a television news anchor, and George Clooney tackled the subject of media responsibility in his 2005 film Good Night, And Good Luck. He says that the Mail frequently publishes made-up stories about him that he isn't bothered by, but that he considers this one dangerous.
At the time of writing, the Mail has yet to issue a response.