LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. television star David Hasselhoff accepted “substantial” libel damages from celebrity magazine OK! on Friday over reports he was drunk and abusive at a Los Angeles nightclub after winning a custody battle for his daughters.
The award of damages at the High Court was against OK! publisher Northern & Shell Plc and Northern & Shell North America Ltd, which publishes OK! Weekly magazine.
The court heard that in July, OK! ran an item which alleged he had been “off his face” and “abusive” at the night club.
On the previous day OK! Weekly published a story headed “Hasselhoff Celebrates Custody Win” which alleged he “drank champagne like it was water” from midnight until 2.00 a.m.
“The truth is that the allegations are entirely false,” said Hasselhoff’s lawyer Simon Smith.
Both publications have agreed to print an apology, pay “substantial damages” and reimburse the 55-year-old former Baywatch star’s legal costs.
In a statement issued outside the court afterwards, Hasselhoff said: “While this should not have happened in the first place I am very pleased with the outcome of this case.
“In the past whenever false reports about me have surfaced I have done my best to ignore them. However, due to the completely false allegations published by OK! magazine and others I was encouraged this time by my children to take a stand.”
Hasselhoff is now a judge on the television contest show “America’s Got Talent”. He divorced his wife, Pamela Bach, 43, in August 2006. They have battled for custody of daughters Taylor Ann, 17, and Hayley, 14.