Newspaper says sorry after George Clooney slams story

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Newspaper says sorry after George Clooney slams story
FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Lior Suchard (R) performs magic for Amal Alamuddin, George Clooney, and Veronica Berti during the Celebrity Fight Night gala celebrating Celebrity Fight Night In Italy benefitting The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center on September 7, 2014 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)
FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: George Clooney (R) and fiance Amal Alamuddin attend the Celebrity Fight Night gala celebrating Celebrity Fight Night In Italy benefitting The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center on September 7, 2014 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)
FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: George Clooney (R) and Amal Alamuddin attend the Celebrity Fight Night gala celebrating Celebrity Fight Night In Italy benefitting The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center on September , 2014 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)
FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: George Clooney (R) and Amal Alamuddin attend the Celebrity Fight Night gala celebrating Celebrity Fight Night In Italy benefitting The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center on September 7, 2014 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)
FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06: George Clooney (R) and fiance Amal Alamuddin attend the Celebrity Fight Night gala celebrating Celebrity Fight Night In Italy benefitting The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center on September 7, 2014 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)
George Clooney and his fiancee Amal Alamuddin arrive for the "Celebrity Fight Night" foundation gala dinner, in Florence, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Francesco Bellini)
George Clooney and his fiancee Amal Alamuddin arrive for the "Celebrity Fight Night" foundation gala dinner, in Florence, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Francesco Bellini)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Amal Alamuddin attends the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict at ExCel on June 12, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 09: George Clooney attends 'Che Tempo Che Fa' TV Show on February 9, 2014 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 24: Amal Alamuddin leaving Berners Tavern restaurant on October 24, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robert Milan/FilmMagic)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 12: George Clooney attends 'Monuments Men' Paris premiere at Cinema UGC Normandie on February 12, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julien Hekimian/WireImage)
Lawyer Amal Alamuddin is pictured during a press conference in London on November 5, 2012. The British law firm that employs George Clooney's girlfriend Amal Alamuddin confirmed on Monday April 28, 2014, that the couple were engaged and offered its congratulations. AFP PHOTO/JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 08: George Clooney attends 'The Monuments Men' Premiere - Audi during The 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Berlinale Palast on February 08, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images for Audi)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: Amal Alamuddin is seen outside her hotel on March 19, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Amal Alamuddin attends the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict at ExCel on June 12, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 08: Actor George Clooney attends 'The Monuments Men' premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Berlinale Palast on February 8, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Anita Bugge/WireImage)
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 08: George Clooney attends 'The Monuments Men' premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Berlinale Palast on February 8, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)
In this Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 file photo George Clooney and his fiancee Amal Alamuddin pose for photographers as they arrive for the "Celebrity Fight Night" foundation gala dinner, in Florence, Italy. George Clooney says he will marry his fiancee in Venice, one of the world's most romantic backdrops. The heartthrob actor revealed that he will marry human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin in the lagoon city in a couple of weeks. His publicist, Stan Rosenfield, said Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 Clooney revealed the venue but not the exact wedding date during at a star-studded benefit evening in Florence on Sunday. (AP Photo/Francesco Bellini)
FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: George Clooney (R) and Amal Alamuddin attend the Celebrity Fight Night gala celebrating Celebrity Fight Night In Italy benefitting The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center on September 7, 2014 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)
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By Jill Lawless

LONDON (AP) -- Britain's Daily Mail newspaper apologized to George Clooney on Wednesday for alleging his fiancee's mother opposed the marriage on religious grounds - a story Clooney called both wrong and irresponsible.

Clooney is engaged to Beirut-born London lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who comes from a family of Druse, adherents of a monotheistic religion based mainly in Lebanon, Syria and Israel.

Clooney Calls Out Tabloid, But What About His Press Past?

Citing unnamed family "friends," the newspaper's MailOnline website reported this week that her mother, Baria Alamuddin, wanted her 36-year-old daughter to marry a Druse man. It said Amal Alamuddin risked being "cast out of the community" if she wed Clooney, and claimed several women had been murdered for not abiding by strict Druse rules.

Clooney called the story "completely fabricated."

In a statement issued to USA Today, he said Baria Alamuddin was not Druse and "is in no way against the marriage."

Clooney, 53, added that "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," he said, accusing the newspaper of "inciting violence."

The newspaper said Wednesday that the story had been "supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist."

"We accept Mr. Clooney's assurance that the story is inaccurate and we apologize to him, Miss Amal Alamuddin and her mother, Baria, for any distress caused," it said in a statement.

The Mail said it had removed the article from the website "and will be contacting Mr. Clooney's representatives to discuss giving him the opportunity to set the record straight."

The Druse are a close-knit community and rarely marry outside their sect. But some Druse have welcomed Clooney.

Walid Jumblatt, political leader of the sect in Lebanon, told The Associated Press recently that he hoped the couple would soon visit the Druse heartland.

Clooney will bring us "great publicity," Jumblatt said. "He can make a movie about the Druse sect."

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Associated Press writer Zeina Karam in Beirut contributed to this report.

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