Williams pays damages over lyrics


LONDON -- British pop star Robbie Williams on Wednesday apologized to former Take That manager Nigel Martin-Smith and paid unspecified legal damages over song lyrics that suggested he had stolen funds from the band.

Williams, who left Take That in 1995 to pursue a solo career, had already been forced to rerecord the offending lyrics from "The 90s," a track on his 2006 album "Rudebox."

David Sherborne, representing Martin-Smith at London's High Court, said British media had reported Williams made a number of "outrageous allegations" about his former manager.

"Robbie Williams wishes to make it clear to his fans, and the public at large, that he did not intend these lyrics to be taken at face value or as a serious statement by him of the views which he holds of Nigel Martin-Smith," Sherborne said.

"Specifically, Robbie Williams did not intend to allege that Nigel Martin-Smith has ever stolen any funds from Take That or anyone."

Sherborne said Williams wished to apologize unreservedly for the distress the original publication of the lyrics had caused. In addition to libel damages, he said Williams was also to pay Martin-Smith's legal costs.