Ahead of his wedding to Amal Alamuddin, George Clooney has something else to celebrate as well – the apology he received from The Daily Mail might be a small triumph, but it is still something Clooney is proud of. Last month, the tabloid and its companion website MailOnline published an article about Clooney and Alamuddin, which claimed that the the mother of Clooney’s fiance objected to their upcoming marriage for religious reasons.

George Clooney
George Clooney has learned to pick his battles.

Clooney quickly fired back, objecting to every claim in the story and pointing out that to him, the article was a step too far, even by the tabloid standards he had learned to deal with throughout his career. The Daily Mail issued an apology soon after.

Last week, Clooney gave an interview for Variety, in which he explained his position further: “I would sit with my friends and we’d just go, ‘So they just sat at a computer and just went, “OK, this is what I’m gonna say today.” I mean, literally, because you just go ‘There isn’t literally an element of truth in this.’ You just laugh, and let it go. I’m used to it after all these years. But the thing that bothers me is how much the Daily Mail is now bleeding into American press and becoming a source for some pretty legitimate newspapers. So that’s the thing that worries me.”

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Clooney is the son of Nick Clooney, a well-known and respected newsman, who came to prominence in the 70s for his hard news focus and sober style of delivery. As such, the actor has previously expressed his deep respect for journalism and news media. However, he made his stance on tabloids in particular abundantly clear, saying: “Those are really bad guys and they do tend to tee off on everybody. It’s fun when you can go, ‘Well, this one, I know I have all the facts right.’ Usually the argument is: ‘Hey, we’re not gonna tell you our source,’ and, ‘Prove it.’ And when they actually do it themselves it’s so great. You go, ‘OK, well you obviously just screwed this (up), so I think I can get you now.”

After more than three decades in the business, Clooney has learned to pick his battles. However, his family is always the first thing he chooses to protect, Clooney says. 

George Clooney
The actor will always jump to the defense of his family.