Originally created 12/17/05

Hatcher wins libel payout from British tabloid



LONDON - "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher has accepted libel damages from a tabloid that claimed she regularly had sex with men in a van outside her home, her lawyer told a court Friday.

The Daily Sport, which published the story in July and repeated it in August, agreed to pay "very substantial damages" and her legal costs, to print a front-page apology and promised not to repeat the allegations, attorney Simon Smith said.

The amount of damages was not disclosed.

David Hirst, representing the Daily Sport, said the newspaper accepted that the articles were entirely false.

"The defendant received the story from a source who it trusted, who in turn read the allegation elsewhere," Hirst said.

Smith said Hatcher "is a proud single mother to her 7-year-old daughter and naturally finds extremely insulting the lurid suggestion that she neglects her daughter in order to have regular sex with a series of men in a van parked outside her home.

"Such allegations are without any substance at all," Smith said.

Hatcher, who was not in court, issued a statement saying she had "tolerated many ridiculous and fabricated lies and gossip in the tabloids" as something that "just comes with the territory of fame."

"But when a story appeared about me, insinuating that I am an irresponsible and neglectful parent, I had to draw the line."