Britain's Daily Mail newspaper has apologised to George Clooney for alleging his fiancee's mother opposed their marriage on religious grounds, a story Clooney called both wrong and irresponsible.
Clooney is engaged to Beirut-born London lawyer Amal Alamuddin, whose father Ramzi belongs to a prominent Druse family.
The Druse are adherents of a monotheistic religion based mainly in Lebanon, Syria and Israel.
Citing unnamed family "friends," the newspaper's MailOnline website reported this week that Alamuddin's mother, Baria, wanted her 36-year-old daughter to marry a Druse man and that Amal Alamuddin risked being "cast out of the community" if his daughter married Clooney.
Clooney called the story "completely fabricated" and told USA Today in a statement Baria Alamuddin - a well-known journalist - 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 overnight 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 apologise to him, Miss Amal Alamuddin and her mother, Baria, for any distress caused," it said in a statement.
The Mail said it also will discuss giving Clooney the opportunity to set the record straight.
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."