This Is What Happens When You F**k With Philip Seymour Hoffman's Memory
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This Is What Happens When You F**k With Philip Seymour Hoffman's Memory

By Vivian Kane | Celebrities Are Better than You | February 25, 2014 | Comments ()


The New York Times published a story today that epitomizes how loved and respected Philip Seymour Hoffman was, and why you should never f*ck with his memory or his friends.

It started, as all great tales do, with The National Enquirer. The toilet-paper-passed-off-as-“news”-outlet published a story a few weeks ago about Hoffman and his long time friend and collaborator David Bar Katz. Katz is a playwright and director, and was one of the two people who discovered Hoffman’s body after his overdose. Well, three days after finding his friend dead, Katz found out that the National Enquirer was claiming he and Hoffman had been… intimate. According to the Times,

[The article] quoted Mr. Katz as saying he and Mr. Hoffman were lovers who had freebased cocaine the night before his death, and said Mr. Katz claimed to have seen him using heroin many times.

Long story short (read the long version here), Katz had never, ever in his life talked to the shit rag Enquirer, and filed a libel suit immediately. So what did Katz do with his settlement money? While I might have gone with ice mansion or hiring Retta to watch TV with me, Katz wanted the money to mean something. (Pssh. I want my ice mansion.) The idea was that the Enquirer’s penalty should go towards honoring Hoffman. So Katz set up the American Playwriting Foundation, with an annual $45,000 “Relentless Award,” which will be given to developing an unproduced play. Katz won’t disclose how large his settlement was, but his lawyer did say “It’s enough for the foundation to give out these grants for years to come.”

The strangest part is that the Enquirer seems not to have made the whole thing up. They say that a man called, claiming to be Katz, and a lengthy interview convinced the degenerate reporter that that was who he was, in fact, talking to.

Katz explained what was so upsetting about the article.

“The issue was never me being outraged at being accused of being gay — we’re theater guys, who cares?” Mr. Katz said. “The issue was lying about the drugs, that I would betray my friend by telling confidences.”

So what are the consequences for the lies? For trashing a great artist’s name, trampling on the reputation of his close friend, and reducing a long, harrowing battle with addiction to a drug-filled tryst?

As part of the settlement, The Enquirer has provided [Katz’s lawyer] with contact details for the person it interviewed. “My goal is to have him living out of a cardboard box,” Mr. Burstein said.

He paused for an instant. “I haven’t filed yet — I have to be sure that I have the right Katz.”

Go get him.

Via The New York Times.

Vivian Kane would like to invite Retta to her ice mansion, where they can live-tweet Punch-Drunk Love together. Every day.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Jezzer

    I don't think anyone could fuck with Philip Seymour Hoffman's memory more than Philip Seymour Hoffman has fucked with Philip Seymour Hoffman's memory.

  • loo shag brolley

    The Enquirer stopped being effective toilet paper the day it went glossy.

  • Green Lantern


    Git 'im!

  • If he wanted to honor his friend's memory, it might have been a better idea or been more useful to put that money towards addiction treatment centers or drug rehab places. Unproduced plays are generally unproduced for a reason and it seems like a bit of a waste.

  • dizzylucy

    I think either option would be nice. But maybe the playwriting foundation was something PSH talked about doing at one point? Or he just wanted to make it about something PSH loved.

  • Bananapanda

    Maybe he wanted the legacy to be a positive one rather than have PSH's name permanently linked (in people's minds) to drug addiction. Plus PSH was a big theater guy.

  • Jezzer

    I'm sure dying of a drug overdose hasn't already linked his name to drug addiction.

  • PDamian

    Well played, sir.

  • Bravo! *begins slow clap*

  • Bob Genghis Khan

    I demand daily updates to this story.

  • dizzylucy

    They've already sued and settled so quickly? Wow.
    Nice that something good will come out of it.

  • lowercase_ryan

    So the enquirer just threw a "source" under the bus? can't think this is good for their business model. Which, as I understand it, consists of finding people to make shit up and then running with it.

  • e jerry powell

    But you have to be a journalist to credibly shield a source, and no one working at the Enquirer has ever been accused of that.

  • BlackRabbit

    Now, the Enquirer takes a lot of shit, and I'm not defending them in this case, but they have uncovered true stories before, for example Rush Limbaugh's painkiller addiction and the infidelity of John Edwards. And if I were a greedy asshole I'd play it both ways (and I AM NOT saying that this is what Mr. Katz has done, cynical reflexes be damned), so he's made a lot of money and ensured that smear stories about his friend will be ignored henceforth, even if he was the person who called them.

    Let me say again that I am not accusing or even suggesting that Mr. Katz is lying. I'm just stating that disregarding the Enquirer is silly based on their reputation of printing weird stuff.

  • e jerry powell

    I am reminded of Lucy Spiller (Courtney Cox's take on Bonnie Fuller) and all two of her journalistic ethics in the season and a half of "dirt!"

  • Davis

    One of the reasons why I hate these tabloids and gossip sites, they make me sick.

  • Jess

    I don't understand. Is Mr. Burstein with the Enquirer?

  • mattcarlucci

    Who is “Mr. Burstein “?

  • vivkane

    Sorry! Fixed now! He's Katz's lawyer.

  • sherryb23

    I don't know but I sure wouldn't mess with him...

  • Cheetahdriver

    I think it's Katz's lawyer, but I pulled up the NYT article on this, and it isn't much better. It could variously be Katz's lawyer, the Enquirer's lawyer, or some other person named Burstein that they stopped on the street. I will therefore give Viv a pass on this, as the paper with "All the news fit to print" messed it up too...

  • Maydays

    "said Judd Burstein, the lawyer for Mr. Katz."

  • Bananapanda

    The real Katz.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    Talk about making gold out of shit. Hat off to you, dude.

  • Christine Paul

    my roomate's step-sister Μ­­­­­­а­­­­­­κ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­ѕ $­­­­­80/հ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­r on the і­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­℮­­­­­­τ. She has been fired from W­­­­­­օ­­­­­­r­­­­­­κ for 9 Μ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ but last Μ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ her р­­­­­­а­­­Уment was $­­­­­19472 just W­­­­­­օ­­­­­­r­­­­­­κing on the і­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­℮­­­­­­τ for a Ϝ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­W հ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­rs. learn this հ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­r­­­­­­℮ now,... GoogleProjectsjob2014getgmk....

    ★★★ ★★★� ★★★ ★★�★★ ★★★Which, as I understand it, consists of finding people to make shit up and then running with it.

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