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National Enquirer's outrageous fiction brings unexpected reward

Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images

On Feb. 25, 2014, The New York Times reported that the National Enquirer was obliged to generously fund a play writing competition as settlement for publishing outrageous fiction about actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman and his long time friend, playwright David Bar Katz.

Katz was quoted in a National Enquirer article to have said the he and Mr. Hoffman were lovers who had freebased cocaine the night before his death, and that Mr. Katz also claimed to have seen Hoffman using heroin many times.

This malicious information spread quickly across the web and soon Katz began to receive call after call and was being stalked on the streets by photographers. But a swift, sweet, reversal of a vile injustice has brought an unexpected reward to a worthy cause.

...Mr. Katz had not spoken with The Enquirer that week, or ever. Mr. Hoffman had never used drugs in his presence, he said, and had spoken often with him about addiction and his pursuit of sobriety. In a matter of hours, Mr. Katz signed the complaint in a libel suit. Within two days, The Enquirer had withdrawn the article and apologized.

And on Tuesday, less than three weeks after the article was published, 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.... Read entire article

Katz did not receive or seek any personal payments from the National Enquirer. The foundation and the prize are being paid for by The Enquirer and its publisher, American Media Incorporated

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