In Lily Allen's case, almost $16,000.
The ever-reliable British Sun coughed up a check and a formal apology today after admitting that an item alleging Allen had let loose her acid tongue on David and Victoria Beckham wasn't true.
Plausible, yes. True, no.
In its defense, The Sun hadn't concocted the tale on its own, rather reprinted the alleged Allen quotes from the French magazine SoFoot (no, really).
Among the cheap shots the "Not Fair" singer allegedly lobbed at the Posh ones: "The Beckhams are sickening. Everyone knows Victoria is a monster. I'd rather shoot myself between the eyes than be a WAG."
WAG, of course, being the anagram assigned to the traditionally entitled Wives and Girlfriends of Britain's footballer set.
"We now accept that Lily didn't say these things to the magazine and we apologize to Lily for the upset and embarrassment caused by repeating them," the newspaper said in an apology published today.
For her part, the British pop star was quick to refute the comments when they first surfaced back in May and quickly filed suit against both the paper and French soccer mag for defamation and false attribution of authorship.
"No, I didn't say that stuff," she tweeted at the time. "I've never met…David Beckham. Please don't believe that rubbish."
Her litigation against SoFoot is still pending.
Was it her anguish over the false report that made Lily forget to wear pants? We can only hope. Check out why she was busted by the Fashion Police.