Neal Schon and Michaele Salahi have a lot to smile about right now.
The Journey guitarist and his Real Housewife fiancée tell E! News exclusively that they are pleased with an apology Britain's Daily Mail published admitting it spread "untrue" allegations that Schon left his ex-wife, Amber Kozan, and their two young children destitute when he hooked up with Salahi.
"We are happy for The Daily Mail's apology! The saddest part is that the defamatory story came from a grandmother [who] uses us to try to defame and hurt us knowing he has children who can read," said Michaele in a statement. "It's sad people sell or give stories to the media to hurt others and the media prints them before fact-checking."
The newspaper made the erroneous claims in a Feb. 22 story which relied on a blog post by Neal's former mother-in-law, Judy Kozan.
Kozan lobbed the allegations at Schon after a Minnesota judge ruled in the rocker's favor in a court case, filed in January 2013 by Amber, in which his former missus demanded an additional $2,700 in monthly support payments. Unfortunately for her, the judge declared that Schon had met all of his support obligations, citing more than $1.3 million he paid her in their divorce settlement in 2007.
On March 18, the ax man sued his erstwhile mother-in-law to halt what his camp called the "constant harassment" he'd been getting from her that generated nasty tabloid headlines and damaged his good name.
For its role in spreading the false story—which it gave the ignominious headline "Journey Guitarist Neal Schon left ex-wife and daughters 'so broke they can't buy food'…but he gave Real Housewives of DC fiancée's $1 MILLION ring"—The Daily Mail didn't mince words in its mea culpa.
"We accept that these allegations are untrue and apologise to Mr Schon, Ms Salahi and the family for any distress caused. We have agreed to pay Mr Schon and Michaele damages and legal costs," wrote the paper.
According to Michaele, the duo were told by their U.K. attorneys that this is the "first time ever the Daily Mail has posted an apology on their homepage."
A spokeswoman for Schon and Salahi added: "Neal and Michaele appreciate that these corrective actions have been taken, and will continue to ensure that journalistic integrity is maintained in regards to reports on their professional and personal lives."