Writer David Bar Katz Suing ‘National Enquirer’ Over Fabricated Interview [PHOTO]
on Feb 05, 2014 05:03 PM EST
As the investigation continues into the death of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, his longtime friend David Bar Katz is preparing to sue a tabloid for claiming the two were involved in a homosexual relationship.
Katz, the Playwright who discovered Hoffman's dead body on Sunday, Feb. 2, has vowed to sue The National Enquirer for printing that he allegedly gave them an interview stating that he and Hoffman were romantically involved.
"I never said that, no. The Enquirer story is 100% false, including the claim that I gave the Enquirer an interview," he said in a statement.
A friend of Katz told The New York Daily News that the interview was completely made up, and that Katz never spoke to them.
"Even the National Enquirer should be ashamed," the friend said. "It's just disgusting. There will be legal action."
The magazine alleged that Katz and Hoffman's relationship was the real reason behind the late actor's 14-year-romance with girlfriend Mimi O'Donnell ending, which had fueled his spiral back into addiction.
The magazine also reported that Katz had claimed to have seen Hoffman take heroin on several occasions, including the night before he died.
Katz is now suing the tabloid for $50 million- $5 million in damages and another $45 in punitive damages-for their libelous claims.
In a statement, Katz's lawyer Judd Burstein called the story "disgusting."
"There was no interview. 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," Burstein said.
"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 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," he added.
Katz, who has been married since 1998 to Julie Merberg and has four sons, had stated upon the announcement of Hoffman's death that he was shocked to find the actor in the state he was when he died.
"I saw him last week, and he was clean and sober, his old self," Katz said at the time.
Katz and Hoffman's long-time assistant Isabella Wing-Davey found Hoffman in his Bethune Street apartment in New York's Greenwich Village Sunday morning after O'Donnell asked them to check on the actor, who had failed to pick up their three children-Cooper, 10, Tallulah7, and Willa, 5-earlier in the day.
Hoffman was reportedly on his bathroom floor wearing just shorts and a t-shirt with a hypodermic needle sticking out his arm. He was pronounced dead on the scene and authorities reportedly found more than 50 bags of heroin and over two dozen discarded hypodermic needles in the apartment.
Police also allegedly found eight bags stamped with an "Ace of Spades" logo-a code name for a lethal mix of heroin and fentanyl, a synthetic form of morphine used to treat cancer patients.
Suspected heroin dealers were reportedly arrested Tuesday night from a reported drug den in the NoLita district of Manhattan in connection to Hoffman's death.
Robert Vineberg, 57, and Thomas Kushman, 48, were charged with felony drug possession, while Musician Max Rosenblum and his drama student girlfriend Juliana Luchkiw, both 22, were charged with misdemeanor drug possession after a tip-off to police that they may have sold the deadly drugs to Hoffman.
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