updated 03/20/2008 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/20/2008 AT 2:45 PM ET
A British newspaper-publishing company has apologized for accusing parents Kate and Gerry McCann of playing a role in the disappearance of their 4-year-old daughter Madeleine, who went missing (and has yet to be found) while the family vacationed in Portugal last May.
“We acknowledge that there is no evidence whatsoever to support this theory and that Kate and Gerry are completely innocent of any involvement in their daughter’s disappearance,” says the Daily Express. “Kate and Gerry, we are truly sorry to have added to your distress.”
The apology comes as the result of a libel suit brought by the McCanns, doctors from Leicester, England, who said they were forced into going to court after unsuccessfully trying to persuade The Express and its sister publications, The Daily Star, The Sunday Star and The Sunday Express, “to show greater restraint in their reporting,” according to The New York Times.
In addition, the British papers also agreed to contribute nearly $1.1 million in damages to a fund to help find Madeleine.
– Stephen M. Silverman
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