Daily Star apologises for GTA Rothbury cock-up

After becoming last week's Internet chuckle-fad, The Daily Star has apologised for its factually-challenged story about a non-existent Grand Theft Auto game based on gunman Raul Moat.

Last week, the Star reported that games developer Rockstar was working on a new game called Grand Theft Auto: Rothbury. Without even attempting to perform some basic fact-checking, The Star even published an obviously Photoshopped cover for the nonexistent game, and then harassed grieving family members of Moat's victims for comments on it.

The apology follows a remorseless comment from the original story's author, Jerry Lawton. On his Facebook status, Lawton mocked the Internet's baying crowds, saying "these are grown (?!?) men who sit around all day playing computer games with one another who've today chosen to enter the real world just long enough to complain about my story."

However, it looks as though Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar has let its legal experts loose on the tabloid, as there isn't even a hint of mockery in the official apology. "We made no attempt to check the accuracy of the story before publication and did not contact Rockstar Games prior to publishing the story," admits the tabloid.

The red-top rag also adds that it's sorry for "for publishing the story using a mock-up of the game cover, our own comments on the matter and soliciting critical comments from a grieving family member."

According to the Daily Star, the paper has agreed to pay Rockstar a "substantial amount" in damages, which the developer is going to give to charity.

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