Tabloid newspaper Daily Star has been ordered by the High Court to pay substantial damages for a story that was printed back in July 2010 and claimed that a version of Grand Theft Auto with killer Raoul Moat as the main protagonist was being planned.
Take Two Interactive did not say how much money was paid, money that will be donated to charity. Express Newspapers, the publishers of the Daily Star, admitted that its journalists did not contact the game publisher prior to running the story and apologised for the false allegation, the upset and the moral damage induced.
The newspaper wrote in the article headlined "Moat : Book Movie and Video game" that the game developers were "questionable idiots" and that the game was going to be called "Grand Theft Auto Rothbury".
An apologetic article was later printed 5 days later but it was too late; the newspaper back then said that they "apologise 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."
Interestingly, the journalist who wrote the piece, Jerry Lawton, is still employed by the paper but is unlikely to be facing any fines.