(NEW YORK) -- The National Enquirer has settled a lawsuit brought by a friend of Philip Seymour Hoffman who the publication erroneously claimed was the late actor's gay lover.
A few days after Hoffman's death, David Bar Katz filed a $50 million lawsuit over the story, which claimed the playwright gave an exclusive interview in which he allegedly said he and Hoffman were gay lovers. It also claimed Katz said he had seen Hoffman freebase cocaine on the night before Hoffman's death, and that he had seen Hoffman use heroin on a number of occasions.
As part of the settlement, The National Enquirer has agreed to fund an award for a playwriting foundation set up by the plaintiff. The exact amount of the settlement is unknown, though Katz's lawyer tells The New York Times, “It’s enough for the foundation to give out these grants for years to come.”
The American Playwriting Foundation will hand out an annual award -- named the Rentless Award, after what The New York Times describes as Hoffman's pursuit of artistic truth -- of $45,000 for an unproduced play.
The National Enquirer also purchased a full-page ad that was published in Wednesday's edition of The New York Times, in which The Enquirer explained its story was based on an interview conducted with a person who claimed to be Katz. That person, a freelance TV sports producer named David Katz, apparently fielded multiple media calls when news of Hoffman's death broke, according to the New York Post.
He insists he never said he was David Bar Katz per se, but the ersatz Katz admitted to The Post, "As the day went on, I had a bunch of beers in me...I don't remember what I said."
David Bar Katz's lawyer, Judd Burstein, said he intends to file a lawsuit against the other Katz for pretending to be his client. Burnstein tells The Post, "People go to jail for drunk driving. He is going to lose everything for talking drunk."
Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment on Feb. 2. He is believed to have died of a drug overdose.
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