Libel apology and damages for Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz has accepted a public apology and "substantial" but undisclosed libel damages at London's High Court over website claims that she had been caught in a "passionate clinch" with a TV producer outside a studio in Santa Monica, California.

The claims were made under the headline ‘Cameron Caught Cheating' on the website of the US gossip paper, the National Enquirer, which can be accessed in the UK.

Diaz's solicitor, Simon Smith, told Justice David Eady that the piece claimed Diaz was "facing a grilling from boyfriend Justin Timberlake — after she was photographed in a passionate clinch with a married man" and that the world exclusive picture of the encounter would be splashed all over the latest issue of the National Enquirer.

Smith said: "The married man was identified as Shane Nickerson, an MTV producer who was the supervising producer on Cameron Diaz's adventure show Trippin".

He said a story had also appeared in The Sun, which was based on the website piece but that The Sun had already settled a libel claim in July 2005 relating to that piece.

He told the judge: "The National Enquirer now accepts that the photographs do not show Ms Diaz and Mr Nickerson kissing or in a passionate clinch, accepts that the relevant incident involved no more than Ms Diaz giving a friend a goodbye hug and that any suggestion of a romantic involvement is entirely untrue and without substance.

"The publication of these allegations has caused damage to the claimant's personal and professional reputation, in addition to obvious distress to both herself, Mr Timberlake, Mr Nickerson and his wife."

Smith said the National Enquirer now apologised unreservedly for the embarrassment and distress caused to Diaz and had agreed to pay her "substantial" damages.

Solicitor Sam Howard for the National Enquirer told the judge they offered their "sincere apologies" for the distress and embarrassment caused. He added that the paper entirely accepted that the allegations were without foundation and "ought never to have been published".


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