“This is something I discussed with my husband before I would take on something like this,” Clooney told NBC’s Cynthia McFadden in an interview that aired on Monday morning. “We did discuss it. And we are aware of some of the risks involved.
“He met Nadia too and I think he was moved for the same reasons and he understood, I mean this is my work.”
Clooney was joined by Murad for the interview and made it clear that she felt that her own risks paled in comparison to the risks that Murad had taken on.
“I don’t think anyone can feel that they’re being courageous compared to what Nadia is doing,” she said. “You know, It’s no joke. This is ISIS. They have sent her very specific threats, saying we will get you back. We’ll do everything to do.
“She made me make the decision because I met her and I just thought, I can’t walk away from this.”
Murad was named a UN Goodwill Ambassador on Friday, where Clooney gave an emotional speech detailing Murad’s horrific treatment at the hands of ISIS.
Murad, nominated by the Iraqi government for the Nobel Peace Prize, was a 21-year-old student when ISIS invaded her village two summers ago, Clooney explained. After watching “her mother and brothers be marched off to their death,” Murad was taken captive and “traded from one ISIS fighter to another; forced to pray; forced to dress up and put make up on before being raped; and one night brutally abused by a group of men two at a time until she was unconscious.”
Murad was just “one of 6700 Yazidis taken by ISIS two summers ago to be sold in markets and on Facebook for $20 or more,” Clooney added. “Nadia’s mother was one of 80 older women who were executed and buried in an unmarked grave. Her brothers part of a group of 600 who were murdered in a single day.”
Murad is now hoping to raise more awareness about the sex crimes and human trafficking happening at the hands of ISIS.
“I put my own life at risk, but I don’t have a life without giving hope to other victims,” she said on Monday.
Clooney will also join British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to speak at the UN about ISIS on Monday.
• Reporting by PHILIP BOUCHER