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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 13:17 GMT
Will Smith wins 'Hitler' damages
Will Smith
Mr Smith thought Hitler to be "vile and heinous", his solicitor said
Actor Will Smith has received an apology and damages from a news agency after it falsely accused him of saying Adolf Hitler was "a good person".

World Entertainment News Network (WENN) published the article, titled "Smith: Hitler Was A Good Person", in December.

His solicitor, Rachel Atkins, told London's High Court the article was "deeply distressing" to Smith and had caused him "acute embarrassment".

WENN's solicitor apologised for the "misleading allegations".

The allegation is false and without any foundation
Rachel Atkins
Will Smith's solicitor

Ms Atkins said the star, who was not in court, was "a highly-respected actor of international repute and a man of complete integrity".

She said the I Am Legend star believed Hitler to be "a vile and heinous man".

"The article alleged that the claimant had declared in an interview that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was a good person," she said.

"The allegation is false and without any foundation.

"It wholly misrepresents the claimant's actual words, given in an interview to the Daily Record, a Scottish newspaper and website."

Legal costs

Ms Atkins said the article had been picked up by the world's media and said "the libel remains at large".

"Whilst the defendant retracted the article and circulated a correction and apology to the recipients of the original article, the correction and apology has not received any media attention," she said.

The defendant accepts that the allegations concerning the claimant were misleading and published in error
John Melville-Smith
Solicitor for WENN

The London-based news agency agreed to pay undisclosed damages as well as Mr Smith's legal costs.

Ms Atkins said that, because of this and the public apology, Mr Smith considered that "his reputation has been entirely vindicated" and therefore "would not proceed any further in his action".

John Melville-Smith, for WENN, said: "Through me the defendant offers its apologies to the claimant for any distress and embarrassment caused by this article.

"The defendant accepts that the allegations concerning the claimant were misleading and published in error."

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