George ClooneyHey, remember that thing about how George Clooney's future mother-in-law doesn't approve of him and thinks her daughter, Amal Alamuddin, can do much better? Well, scratch that.

Celebrities rarely respond to gossip items about themselves so furiously, but George has decided that the Daily Mail isn't getting away with that whopper! In an op-ed for USA Today, George called out the newspaper/tabloid hybrid for saying that his mom-in-law would have preferred that Amal marry a man of the "Druze" religion.

George wrote:

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.

Yeah, who would have bought that cockamamie story anyway?!

Oh, right. Me! Okay, I wrote about it. Granted, I wrote that it should be taken with a grain of salt -- in fact, a whole shaker of salt. But since it's not my job to verify gossip, I do what a gazillion others in the media routinely do now -- just repeat something that's printed, throw some doubt on it, joke about it a bit, but otherwise perpetuate the myth.

Of course, some gossip turns out to be true. I could name dozens of stories I reported on that sounded rather far-fetched to me but then, lo and behold, turned out to be the case. I'll put Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom's crumbling marriage into that category.

Hey, I would love if it I had time to verify everything printed, but guess what? People want their gossip/news RIGHT NOW. (If you don't think that's you, when is the last time you picked up The New York Times vs. getting on the web for your information?) There's just no time.

Additionally, celebrities' media reps hardly ever respond to your requests for verification anyway! Not to mention all the times celebs have denied gossip items, only for us to find out months later they were true.

Well, I'm glad George spoke out. More celebs should do the same, though I imagine they don't have the time nor inclination to spend every waking moment writing op-eds denying gossip. But if they stepped up a bit more and slammed those outlets that originate this stuff, it might help stop it.

And, George, I would like to issue a personal apology to you for reprinting that item. I hope the joke at the end of it redeems me. Are we cool, George?

George ... ?

Do you take gossip seriously?

 

Image via Stephen Masker/Flickr