Josh Hartnett, London


A British court has closed the book on the case of Josh Hartnett's library libido.

The actor has accepted roughly $30,000 in libel damages from the Daily Mirror over a story claiming hotel security cameras caught him in an unexpected close-up while engaging in carnal activities with a mystery female in the library of a London hotel.

According to the 30-year-old actor's lawyer, Graham Atkins, the tab has now accepted that the salacious tale—published Sept. 1 under the headline "Josh Hartnett's saucy CCTV romp"—is "entirely false."

Atkins told the London High Court this morning that the article, which quickly caught fire online, caused "hurt, embarrassment and distress" to Hartnett, whom he characterized as "a serious young actor who conducts himself in an appropriate and professional manner at all times."

Hartnett has been in London for the past several months in the West End production of Rain Man, in the role originated by Tom Cruise.

An attorney for the Mirror offered a mea culpa in court for the paper's actions and any distress caused to Hartnett.

Victoria Jolliffe added that the publication hopes, as a result of the apology and damages, "the record will have been set straight and the claimant's reputation restored."

Hartnett will donate the payout to charity.

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