Hasselhoff accepts libel damages

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LONDON -- David Hasselhoff accepted libel damages Friday from the publisher of magazines that accused him of being drunk and abusive in a Hollywood nightclub.

Northern and Shell PLC, the publisher of the British edition of OK! magazine and Northern and Shell North America Ltd., the publisher of the U.S. edition of OK! Weekly, "accept that their allegations were false," Hasselhoff's lawyer, Simon Smith, said in court.

The amount of damages in the out-of-court settlement was not disclosed.

Smith said the July 3 U.K. edition of OK! accused the 55-year-old former star of TV's "Baywatch" and "Knight Rider" of being "off his face" and abusive in a club shortly after winning a custody battle for his daughters.

The previous day, the U.S. edition of OK! Weekly claimed Hasselhoff "drank champagne like it was water" at the Les Deux nightclub.

"The very day these lies surfaced I had made a promise not only to the court but also to my daughters that I absolutely would not drink alcohol and I shall continue to do my best to keep that promise," Hasselhoff said after the hearing. "To say that hours later I reneged on that promise and was drunkenly abusing people in a bar was not only an outrage to me and my family but damaging professionally as well."

Smith said that for some time Hasselhoff, who recently served as a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent," "has been independently tested and verified as not having drunk alcohol, including on the day and the day following the custody ruling."

"Each defendant has agreed to publish an apology in their magazine and together have agreed to pay the claimant substantial damages," Smith said.
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