Hoffman’s Friend Sues Enquirer Over Gay & Drug Story
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a friend of Philip Seymour Hoffman filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the National Enquirer's publisher, America Media Inc., for a story the tabloid newspaper published that alleged the late actor and he were gay lovers.
Playwright/screenwriter David Bar Katz, who discovered Hoffman's body on Feb. 2, is suing the publishing company for $50 million for falsely claiming that he gave the Enquirer an "exclusive interview," where he said that he and Hoffman were lovers. In the same interview, the Enquirer said Bar Katz told them that he saw the actor freebase cocaine the night before he died and saw Hoffman use heroin.
According to the complaint, which was filed in the New York Supreme Court, Bar Katz says the entire story is a lie.
"The story is a complete fabrication: There was no interview," the documents read. "Bar Katz and Hoffman were never lovers. Bar Katz did not see Hoffman freebasing cocaine the night before he died, or at any other time. Bar Katz never saw Hoffman use heroin or cocaine."
The complaint also says that Bar Katz has "no recollection" of meeting the three Enquirer writers who wrote the story and "unquestionably has not spoken to them or anyone else from the Enquirer since Hoffman's death."
"This article is just disgusting. Here you have Phil's family and his friends grieving, and the Enquirer comes along seeking to make a buck through putrid lies," Bar Katz's lawyer Judd Burstein said. "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."
The Hollywood Reporter reports Bar Katz is seeking $5 million in actual damages and $45 million in punitive damages.
Bar Katz discovered Hoffman's body at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 2 in his New York City apartment. Police arrived to the scene shortly and reportedly removed as many as 50 bags of heroine.
The screenwriter has taken issue with the way the media is reporting Hoffman's death. In the complaint, Bar Katz says, "the media coverage of Hoffman's death has been highly regrettable and insensitive to Hoffman's family and friends. But the generally unseemly coverage of Hoffman's death now seems restrained in light of this new outrage by the Enquirer."