Hollywood super star, Will Smith, today accepted undisclosed compensation and a public apology at London’s High Court over claims that he thought Adolf Hitler was ‘a good person.”
Mr Justice David Eady was told that the claims were published by London based World Entertainment News Network and wholly misrepresented comments made by Smith in an interview with the Scottish Daily Record.
Rachel Atkins, his solicitor, told the judge : ‘On 23 December 2007 the defendant published an article about the claimant entitled ‘Smith: Hitler was a Good Person.’ The article alleged that the claimant had declared in an interview that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was a good person.”
However, Ms Atkins said that the allegation was false and without any foundation.
‘It wholly misrepresents the claimant’s actual words, given in an interview to the Daily Record, a Scottish newspaper and website,’she said.
She said that far from believing Hitler was a good man smith believed he was ‘a vile and heinous man.”
She continued : ‘The allegations that he could think otherwise is deeply distressing to the claimant, and has caused him acute embarrassment.”
She said the article by World Entertainment News Network had been widely picked up in the media, worldwide. And, while they had later retracted the article and circulated a correction and apology to those who had received it, she said the correction and apology had not received any media attention and the libel remained ‘at large.”
As a mark of its regret and in an effort to address the extent of the damage caused she said World Entertainment had agreed to unequivocally apologise for the distress and embarrassment caused by the allegations which it now acknowledged were false.
She added that they had also agreed to pay damages which Smith intended to donate to charity, and to pay his legal costs.
John Melville Smith, solicitor for World Entertainment told the judge : ‘The defendant offers its apologies to the claimant for any distress and embarrassment caused by this article. The defendant accepts that the allegations concerning the claimant were misleading and published in error.”