British tabloid sorry for Clooney wedding story

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Daily Mail newspaper apologised to George Clooney on Wednesday after the Hollywood star hit out at an inaccurate story about his forthcoming marriage that he branded irresponsible.

The tabloid's online arm - one of the most-read news websites in the world - removed the article and said it wanted to give him the chance to "set the record straight".

The Daily Mail reported that his Lebanese soon-to-be mother-in-law had been telling "half of Beirut" that she opposes the marriage due to her supposed Druze faith.

US actor Clooney said his fiancee Amal Alamuddin's mother was not Druze, had not been to Beirut since they began dating and was not against the marriage.

The Mail Online said in a statement that its story was "not a fabrication but supplied in good faith" by a reputable journalist.

"She based her story on conversations with a long-standing contact who has strong connections with senior members of the Lebanese community in the UK and the Druze in Beirut," it said.

"However, 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.

"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."

The paper said it had launched a full investigation.

Beirut-born Amal Alamuddin is a British national and works in a London law firm, specialising in international law and human rights.

The Mail is Britain's second-most popular daily newspaper, selling 1.7 million copies, according to May figures.