Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Magazine publishes Spears apology

The British edition of The National Enquirer has issued a formal apology over recent articles which claimed Britney Spears's marriage was over.
Kevin Federline and Britney Spears
Spears and Federline married in September 2004

"Contrary to what our articles might have suggested, we now accept that their marriage is not over and they are not getting divorced," it said.

"We now accept Britney's position that the statements are without foundation. We apologise for any distress caused."

The libel settlement requires a published apology, but no cash damages.

The articles were published on 5 and 12 June 2006 under the respective headlines: "Britney marriage is over!" and "Britney and Kevin: And now their divorce!".

Libel laws

The 24-year-old singer pursued legal action against the British edition of the US magazine because British libel laws are considered more advantageous to the plaintiff.

The settlement means the National Enquirer will not be sued over the articles, nor will the magazine be required to publish the apology in the United States, her lawyer confirmed.

"The couple are very satisfied with the Enquirer's prompt and good faith response," said Paul Tweed, the Belfast lawyer representing Spears in Britain and Ireland.

He added that legal proceedings were going ahead against a number of other newspapers and magazines which followed up the National Enquirer's story.

Spears married dancer Kevin Federline, 28, in 2004, and gave birth to their first child in September 2005. The couple's second child is due this autumn.