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Playwright David Bar Katz, a close friend of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, is suing the National Enquirer for printing a story claiming that the two were gay lovers.
Katz filed the $50 million lawsuit on Wednesday against America Media Inc., the publisher behind the Enquirer. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Katz is complaining that the newspaper published a completely fabricated interview in which Katz supposedly admitted to being a lover of Hoffman, had witnessed him doing heroin, and had seen him do lines of cocaine the night before his death.
Katz is suing the publication for libel and defamation. He was the one to find Hoffman dead in his apartment from an apparent drug overdose.
Katz's lawyer, Judd Burnstein, had some heated words to say about the National Enquirer.
"This article is just disgusting," Burnstein told The New York Daily News. "Here you have Phil's family and his friends grieving, and the Enquirer comes along seeking to make a buck through putrid lies. Worse still, it appears that the Enquirer sent out a press release hyping the story so that it could sell more copies of the magazine. I do not know how these people can sleep at night."
Hoffman played gay author Truman Capote in the 2005 movie Capote, for which he won an Oscar.
image: Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Overture Films/image.net