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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
Britney lawyer hails rare apology
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline married in September 2004
A US magazine's decision to publish an apology to singer Britney Spears was "a rare if not unprecedented gesture," her libel lawyer has claimed.

Belfast man Paul Tweed was hired by Ms Spears after the National Enquirer ran several articles questioning the state of her marriage to Kevin Federline.

The magazine said it accepted its allegations were untrue and apologised for any distress caused to the couple.

The settlement requires a published apology, but no cash damages.

Mr Tweed was hired by Ms Spears because of his record in other celebrity libel actions, including actions for Liam Neeson, Patrick Kielty, the Corrs and George Best's family.

He said: "We had put the Enquirer on notice regarding several false and defamatory articles regarding the state of the marriage of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline.

"We followed this up with a successful application in the High Court in Belfast for leave to serve a writ of summons out of the jurisdiction.

'Very satisfied'

"The couple are very satisfied with the Enquirer's prompt and good faith response, which follows a similar apology by the Sunday Times."

Mr Tweed added that legal proceedings were going ahead against a number of other newspapers and magazines which followed up the National Enquirer's story.

The apology published in the latest edition of the Enquirer stated: "In the 5th and 12th June issues of the UK Enquirer, we published articles under the headlines 'Britney Marriage is Over', and 'Britney and Kevin: And Now their Divorce'.

"Contrary to what our articles might have suggested, we now accept that their marriage is not over and they are not getting divorced.

"These allegations are untrue and we now accept Britney's position that the statements are without foundation. We apologise for any distress caused."

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