Here’s a news flash that’s sure to rock your foundation: The National Enquirer is almost always full of shit.
Maybe you already had your suspicions. But the New York Times has confirmed the obvious by thoroughly putting to rest any lingering wisps of the Philip Seymour Hoffman’s gay lover drug scandal story The Enquirer published after the actor’s death earlier this month.
The sketchy article claimed New York playwright David Bar Katz and Hoffman were lovers who free-based cocaine on the eve of Hoffman’s death. It started a wave of faulty speculation across the internet — a wave we admittedly rode before quickly setting the story straight, so to speak.
Katz and Hoffman were in fact good friends going back fifteen years. Their children attended the same school, and the two would often grab breakfast after dropping them off. Hoffman’s final text messages were to Katz, inviting him over to view the Knicks game on the night Hoffman died. Katz didn’t reply until much later, and when he did, he got no reply. Katz was one of the two people who discovered Hoffman’s body. Speaking to the Times, Katz said:
“The fact that he wanted me to come over for the Knick game meant that he did not want to be doing the drugs, because he never did them in my presence. He once said to me, ‘Addiction is when you do the thing you really, really most don’t want to be doing.’ He was rigorously sober and had an awful relapse.”
The silver lining in this all-too-familiar tabloid libel? Katz took legal action against the Enquirer and received a settlement to set up a foundation in Hoffman’s honor to award grants to up and coming playwrights. The newly formed American Playwrights Foundation will give out an annual $45,000 prize called the “Relentless Award” to an unproduced play — a resolution Katz feels Hoffman would approve of.
The exact sum of the settlement is undisclosed, but Katz says, ““It’s enough for the foundation to give out these grants for years to come.”
The Enquirer claims it was duped by an impostor claiming to be Katz, and as part of the settlement, provided the real Katz with the con’s contact information.
And Katz’s lawyer, Judd Burstein, isn’t letting him off easy. “My goal is to have him living out of a cardboard box,” he told the Times.