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British Tabloid Apologizes to Justin Timberlake

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Justin Timberlake accepted an apology from a British tabloid Wednesday over a 2004 story that claimed the singer had had an affair with model Lucy Clarkson, the Associated Press reports.

The agreement marked an end to a lawsuit Timberlake had filed a year earlier.

The News of the World paper claimed that Timberlake had cheated on girlfriend Cameron Diaz with Clarkson in a story published last July. A lawyer for the News Group Newspapers Ltd., the paper’s publisher, admitted that the story was false.

Benjamin Beabey apologized “for the distress and embarrassment caused by this article.” He said that the paper accepted the fact that the story was entirely “without foundation.”

An attorney for Clarkson admitted that the model had lied about her and Timberlake’s relationship. The story was “an entire fabrication on her part,” Clarkson’s lawyer said.

The story led Timberlake to file a libel suit in London’s High Court. An attorney for the singer said there had been damage to his client’s “personal and professional reputations,” AP reports.

Both Clarkson and the paper’s publishers agreed to pay monetary fines as well. The paper agreed to “a substantial undisclosed sum,” and Clarkson agreed to repay the amount she was originally paid by the paper for her story. Both parties also agreed to cover Timberlake’s legal fees.

With the agreement reached, Timberlake decided not to pursue his case against either party. A publicist for Timberlake said that he would donate the money he received to charity.