National Enquirer settles lawsuit with man they falsely reported was Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s lover
Playwright David Bar Katz has settled his lawsuit against the National Enquirer tabloid which ran a false story quoting him as saying he and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman were lovers.
The story also falsely quoted Bar Katz as saying he saw Hoffman freebasing cocaine the night before he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment by Bar Katz on February 2.
Hoffman, who won the best actor Oscar for Capote, was found with a needle in his arm and bags of cocaine were found in his apartment.
Bar Katz filed papers to dismiss the libel lawsuit today.
The Enquirer and its publisher, American Media Incorporated, have agreed to fund an annual prize of $45,000 to an unproduced play through the newly-formed American Playwriting Foundation.
The prize will be called the Relentless Award, in Mr. Hoffman’s honor, according to The New York Times.
Also as part of the agreement, The Enquirer has also bought a full-page ad to appear in the main news section of The New York Times on Wednesday.
In the ad, The Enquirer says it was duped by a person claiming to be Bar Katz. The tabloid had previously apology and retracted the article.
Although the full amount of money being paid will not be disclosed, Bar Katz’s lawyer Judd Mr. Burstein said: ‘It’s enough for the foundation to give out these grants for years to come.’
Bar Katz will not receive any money personally from the settlement. He said he wanted to find something meaningful as a tribute to Hoffman’s memory.
‘We had talked so often that it’s a tragedy playwrights can’t survive being playwrights – about how nice it would be if you could make your rent and still have an occasional steak.’