George Clooney responded to an "at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous" article in the notoriously garbage-y Daily Mail this morning with an essay for USA Today.

The Daily Mail article, which has been removed from the site, claimed that the mother of George Clooney's fiancé, Amal Alamuddin, was opposed to their marriage on religious grounds. Clooney explains in USA Today:

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.

He continues, denying that any part of the story is factual and accusing the Daily Mail of irresponsibly exploiting nonexistent religious differences:

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.

After demonstrating that the story has already spread to many other outlets, he ends with: "They must be so very proud." Y'ouch! TIME reached out to the Daily Mail, who still claim that their story was sound. (That is, as sound as any of their stories are.)

[The] "story was not a fabrication but supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist … However, 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. We have removed the article from our website and will be contacting Mr. Clooney's representatives to discuss giving him the opportunity to set the record straight."

[image via Getty]