Nat'l Enquirer Settles Philip Seymour Hoffman 'Gay Lover' Suit

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on February 26, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A settlement has been reached in The National Enquirer lawsuit over an article alleging Philip Seymour Hoffman and a friend were gay lovers.

As a result of the settlement, David Bar Katz, Hoffman's friend who found Hoffman dead, withdrew his suit against the tabloid, The New York Times reports.

According to Katz, the suit was never about the accusations of being gay, "the issue was lying about the drugs, that I would betray my friend by telling confidences."

National Enquirer Lawsuit

Katz, a married father of four, sued The National Enquirer for $50 million over the supermarket tabloid's cover story claiming that he and Hoffman were intimately involved.

The Enquirer quoted someone who claimed to be Katz. But in the complaint, the real Katz called the story "a complete fabrication." and claimed the statements were libelous, a written form of defamation.

"There was no interview," Katz's lawyer claims in the complaint. "Bar Katz and Hoffman were never lovers. Bar Katz did not see Hoffman freebasing cocaine the night before he died or at any other time. Bar Katz never saw Hoffman use heroin or cocaine."

Confidential Settlement Reached

Katz and The Enquirer reached a settlement. Considering most legal claims settle out of court, the agreement wasn't much of a surprise. But the conditions of the agreement differed from the norm.

The National Enquirer and its publisher, American Media Incorporated, will fund the newly-created American Playwriting Foundation, "which will give out an annual prize of $45,000 for an unproduced play," The Times reports.

As part of the settlement agreement, The Enquirer also purchased a full-page advertisement in the main news section of The New York Times' Wednesday issue.

The sum of the settlement is confidential. It's not uncommon for settlements -- ranging anywhere from high-profile divorce settlements to controversial fracking settlements -- to require plaintiffs to keep mum about details.

But according to Katz's lawyer, it's "enough for the foundation to give out these grants for years to come."

As he summed it up to the New York Daily News, "It's nice to have something really positive come out of something so terrible."

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