UPDATE with magazine’s statement: No, it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke. George Clooney is setting the record straight. He never gave an exclusive interview to Hello! despite the magazine’s claim in a splashy story published online several days ago. The article in question since has been taken down, but not before media outlets all over the world picked up portions of the alleged interview.
Hello! has since apologized, saying it bought the material in good faith from a trusted independent agent, who assured us it was an authentic one-to-one interview (see the full apology below). The article claimed that Clooney often takes to social media — he doesn’t even have a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account — and also had him commenting on his relationship with wife Amal Alamuddin.
Clooney sent out a statement this morning via his rep:
“Hello Magazine has printed an “EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ” with me that has been widely picked up and reprinted.
Outlets like Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, The Sun, and The Evening Standard have all printed my exclusive interview and credited Hello Magazine.
The problem is that I have not given an interview to Hello Magazine and the quotes attributed to me are not accurate.
In my experience, being misquoted is not unusual but to have an “exclusive interview” completely fabricated is something new.
And a very disturbing trend.”
No lawsuit is expected to be filed since Hello! removed the article (which appeared under various bylines and was said to have been “bought from a reputable source”). What it seems to be is a compilation of comments that may have been culled from press conferences or other source material and presented as an “interview.”
Here is the magazine’s explanation and apology in full:
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.
Hello! Group bought the material in good faith from a trusted independent agent, who assured us it was an authentic one-to-one interview with Mr Clooney, which we now accept was not the case. 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.
We apologise unreservedly to Mr Clooney and his wife Amal for any distress that publication of this piece may have caused them and further apologise for conveying the impression that he had given an exclusive interview to Hello!.