Just hours after the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the National Enquirer published an article in which they claimed to quote the actor’s friend, the playwright David Bar Katz, as saying he and Philip had been lovers and this was why Hoffman has split with his female partner. It also said Katz has seen Philip using drugs and that he “wanted heroin and the gay life.”
Very shortly afterwards, Katz denounced the article, saying he’d never said any such thing and that it was all a pack of lies. He also launched a $50 million lawsuit against the Enquirer, with his lawyers saying, “The story is a complete fabrication: There was no interview. 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.”
Shortly afterwards the National Enquirer removed the article and apologised.
Now the lawsuit has been settled, with the New York Times reporting that as a result, ‘Mr. Katz said he had formed the American Playwriting Foundation, which will give out an annual prize of $45,000 for an unproduced play. In honor of Mr. Hoffman’s dogged pursuit of artistic truth, it will be called the Relentless Award.
‘The foundation and the prize are being paid for by The Enquirer and its publisher, American Media Incorporated, under a settlement of the lawsuit… As part of the agreement, The Enquirer has also bought a full-page advertisement in the main news section of The New York Times on Wednesday. In it, The Enquirer says it was duped by a person claiming to be the same Mr. Katz.’
The exact amount of money The Enquirer will play has now been revealed, but Katzs’ lawyer sais, “It’s enough for the foundation to give out these grants for years to come.” Katz himself will get no financial enrichment from the settlement, although it’s great he found a way to turn something that was rather ugly into something positive.