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David Bar Katz was one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s best friends. The playwright and the late actor shared a love for the New York theater, were both members of the LAByrinth Company, and worked together on several stage productions.
Then on February 2nd, David entered Philip's West Village apartment to find his friend dead of an apparent drug overdose.
That devastating discovery was bad enough but soon after PSH's tragic passing shocked the world, The National Enquirer printed an outrageous story about David and Philip being secret lovers and that they had often freebased cocaine together! The rag mag even suggested a struggle with his sexuality was what lead Philip back to the heroin that eventually killed him!
After the false story, David, who is married with four children, declared he would sue the tabloid for libel.
"The issue was never me being outraged at being accused of being gay — we’re theater guys, who cares? The issue was lying about the drugs, that I would betray my friend by telling confidences."
That lawsuit won’t be necessary however, as the Enquirer and David agreed to a financial settlement this week!
As wronged as David might have been though, the money won’t be going into his pocket, it’ll be going to an AH-Mazing cause!
Philip's good friend has set up the American Playwriting Foundation, which will give an annual prize of $45,000 to a worthy playwright in order for them to produce their work.
David shared how he and Philip used to discuss how hard it was for writers to get by on such little money, let alone actually having enough money to produce a play. He said:
"It’s so awful and ludicrous. We had talked so often that it’s a tragedy playwrights can’t survive being playwrights — about how nice it would be if you could make your rent and still have an occasional steak.”
We think this is just beautiful!
Mr. Hoffman would be so proud to see this settlement going to such a worthy cause!
[Image via PNP/WENN.]