David Bar Katz spoke out for the first time about his lawsuit against the National Enquirer that erroneously claimed he and Philip Seymour Hoffman were gay lovers, during an exclusive interview Wednesday morning on CNN’s “New Day.”
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo interviewed Katz and asked how he first learned of the bogus report.
“Well, my initial reaction was it’s ludicrous that when my son first saw something and told me that it was like, oh, saying that Phil and I were lovers. I was like, OK, Phil would have gotten a kick out of that. That’s just ridiculous!”
“You heard from it about your son?” Cuomo asked incredulously.
“Yes! He had been online in the morning. And then when it blew up, and it was like, this is now becoming this story and I was being chased by photographers and it became a thing where I unfortunately had to deal with in the midst of dealing with more important things. And that’s when — luckily I was friends with someone that’s the kind of person that handles this sort of thing. And we did the lawsuit and forced the “Enquirer” to admit that they totally screwed up. “
“The media is often a pack animal, especially when it comes to gossip, celebrity gossip,” Cuomo acknowledged. “But were you surprised at how something from the “National Enquirer” started to become respected as if it were AP copy? You know, that it was the truth and it just spread like wildfire, especially on the internet?”
“I was stunned,” Katz said. “And I don’t feel like I’m naive about that thing, but I always knew that they made stuff up, but I never knew they made up even having an interview with someone that they never had, and then the degree of seeing how everyone picks it up and, as you just said, treats it like news. I was really stunned by that.”
“You start the lawsuit. How aggressively did they push back before they realized their error?” Cuomo asked.
“It seems like they realized really quickly that they messed up and that they spoke to the wrong guy,” Katz explained. “I think they called every David Katz in the Tri-State area.”
Ultimately, the National Enquirer agreed to fund an endowment that would award $45,000 to an up-and-coming playwright for future productions. They also bought an ad in Wednesday’s New York Times apologizing for their false report, read below:
“All it really means is I’m happy that this changes the way they do business so other people don’t have to go through this,” Katz said of the endowment and the apology. “And I’m happy that some playwrights are going to get something out of this.”
Watch Katz’s interview with Cuomo below via CNN: