Amal Clooney nearly caused an international incident at the Iraqi UN Mission of Iraq in Manhattan when she lectured the ambassador on Islamic State and showed up with an unauthorized camera crew.
According to the New York Post, the human rights lawyer wife of George Clooney originally demanded to meet with the prime minister at the mission during the UN General Assembly, but that was rejected and she settled for the country’s UN Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim, two Iraqi officials confirmed.
She arrived with Yazidi refugee and Noble Peace Prize nominee Nadia Murad on September 15, and, right from the get-go, she used a “dismissive, lecturing tone” with Alhakim while discussing how to bring captured IS fighters to justice, one official said.
When the conversation turned to the Yazidi people, Clooney made it seem as if they were the only religious sect in Iraq being slaughtered by IS, the official said.
The ambassador and his staff tried to offer her a “full picture” outlining each group targeted by IS, but Clooney was “completely uninterested” and “tone deaf to the whole thing,” the official said, noting, “It was highly offensive. I have had cousins decapitated.”
Alhakim, who had 65 of his own family members exterminated by Saddam Hussein’s ruthless regime, became infuriated with Clooney and, at one point, turned to her, stating, “This is highly insulting. This is very unacceptable,” the official said.
Despite Clooney’s “obnoxious” behavior, the tense meeting lasted about 80 minutes because the Iraqi diplomats wanted “to be respectful to Nadia,” the official noted.
When the meeting finally ended, the parties went downstairs to the lobby, where Clooney’s “media team” carrying film equipment had shown up unannounced — a violation of standard protocols that required pre-approval by the mission, the official said.
Clooney requested an on-camera interview with the ambassador, but was quickly shut down and escorted outside with her posse.
“The main issue is what she did and how she did it is absolutely outrageous and using a victim of war crimes as an accessory and political currency. That makes my blood boil,” the official said.
Clooney’s personal assistant did not return an email request for comment and efforts to reach the lawyer by phone were unsuccessful.
The Mission of Iraq declined to comment.
This article was originally published in the NY Post and reproduced in news.com.au with permission.