CELEBRITY couple Justin Timberlake and his actress wife Jessica Biel have settled their High Court defamation proceedings against the European edition of Heat magazine.
The pair warned they will take similar legal action if false allegations regarding the state of their marriage are repeated.
This morning Bauer Consumer Media, the German-based publisher of Heat magazine, "unreservedly apologised" to the couple for a "false" article which - the couple complained - questioned the state of their marriage. One of the headlines in the article read: "The flirty photos that rocked Justin and Jessica's marriage".
In a statement issued on behalf of Timberlake and Biel, they said they were satisfied with the "categoric retraction of what was a false and unfounded story" in September's European edition of the magazine, together with the "comprehensive apology" from Bauer.
But they said in relation to the European proceedings lodged in the Dublin High Court that they "will not hesitate" to take similar legal action "if false allegations regarding the state of their marriage are repeated".
Earlier this month, media lawyer Paul Tweed of Johnson's law firm lodged proceedings on behalf of the star couple who have been married for two years. The case could be taken in any jurisdiction where the magazine is distributed.
In an apology read before the court this morning, the defendants said: "The article was based on an unfounded report regarding Justin Timberlake's alleged behaviour at a club following a performance in Paris and also included a number of purported statements improperly attributed to Jessica Biel, which Heat now understands had never been made by her."
The defendants added, in the apology read by solicitor Simon McAleese, for Bauer, that the company accepted that the article was false "and withdraw any inferences that questioned the state of Justin and Jessica's marriage".
"The defendant regrets any embarrassment caused to the couple and unreservedly apologises to them," said Bauer.