Hello! magazine published a fake interview that was alleged to be with George Clooney. However, when the actor called the magazine out on this ruse, the editors issued an apology.
In a statement on its website, the UK celebrity magazine said it bought the article from Famous news agency “in good faith” with the understanding that it was “an authentic one-to-one interview” with Clooney.
Clooney’s press representative told iMediaEthics by e-mail “no further comments or statements will be issued.” Hello! magazine’s Holly Darricotte pointed iMediaEthics to its online statement when asked for more information about the fake interview.
However, Hello! said the interview was a combination of fake quotes as well as some re-packaged quotes Clooney had previously given. “Hello! Group has established that the interview it bought from the Famous agency had, in fact, been culled together from a series of interviews that took place over a period of time, and many of the quotes attributed to Mr Clooney were never made by him,” the statement reads.
The magazine apologized to Clooney and his wife. “We are shocked and disappointed to discover that the representations that were made to the HELLO! Group at the time of purchase of the material were not, in fact, true,” the magazine said.
Clooney had issued a statement complaining about the fake interview, which focused on his marriage to Amal Clooney. In that statement, according to Gossip Cop, Clooney pointed to the numerous news outlets that picked up the quotes from the fake Hello! interview like Vanity Fair and The Sun.
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“The problem is that I have not given an interview to Hello Magazine and the quotes attributed to me are not accurate,” Clooney is quoted as saying.
Clooney added, “In my experience, being misquoted is not unusual but to have an ‘exclusive interview’ completely fabricated is something new. And a very disturbing trend.”
iMediaEthics has written to Famous, the agency that supplied the interview, to ask about how it obtained the fake interview and if the writer responsible has been disciplined.
UPDATED: 4/2/2016 1:35 PM EST With comment from Clooney’s rep
UPDATED: 4/4/2016 9:20 AM EST With comment from Hello!