The Daily Mail apologized and paid Nicolas Cage “undisclosed damages” in a libel settlement over a September story claiming he was “evading taxes,” according to a post on Russell Jones & Walker Solicitors’ website. Cage’s lawyer, Paul Tweed, is quoted by the BBC as saying
“My client has secured a complete vindication of his reputation following the publication of a categoric retraction by the MailOnline for what they immediately acknowledged was a completely unfounded and defamatory allegation of tax evasion.
“While my client acknowledges the MailOnline’s prompt apology, which was one of the quickest that I have negotiated in recent times, together with the payment of undisclosed damages and his legal costs, he nonetheless remains very concerned that such a false and outrageous headline should have been published in the first place.”
The article in question, “Nicolas Cage fails to return his DVD rentals and clocks up $230 in late charges,” now carries an apology at the bottom of the article reading:
“On 1 September we wrongly referred to Nicolas Cage as a ‘tax evader’. While Mr Cage has owed a substantial sum to the IRS for unpaid taxes, he has never been accused or found guilty of any tax crime. We apologise to Mr Cage for any distress and embarrassment caused by our error.”
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E! Online added that Star magazine also apologized to Cage this week for claiming in a Sept. 17 issue that Cage “stalked” actress Vanessa Hudgens. The apology reads in part:
“In a story in the Sept. 17 issue, ‘Creepy Cage Stalked his Costar,’ we erroneously reported that Nicolas Cage had ‘unnerved’ High School Musical actress Vanessa Hudgens with his behavior on the set of their new thriller, The Frozen Ground.”
The apology added that both actors “denied that any of the reported events occurred” and that the magazine wanted to “apologize to Mr. Cage for the error.”
Gossip Cop posted an image of the apology, titled “Whoops! Nicholas & Vanessa ON GOOD TERMS,” and noted that Star misspelled Cage’s first name.
iMediaEthics is writing to the Daily Mail for further comment and will update with any response.
CORRECTION - October 6, 2012 11:00 AM
Cage’s first name Nicolas was originally misspelled as Nicholas twice. We have corrected above.