Yusuf Islam, the singer-songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens, accepted substantial libel damages and an apology for articles that claimed he was sexist and bigoted, lawyers said. London’s High Court was told the World Entertainment News Network news agency and an entertainment web site, contactmusic.com, agreed to pay “substantial damages” for allegations made about him at an awards ceremony in Germany. The articles, published in March last year, falsely claimed he had refused to speak to or even acknowledge any women who were not veiled and was not prepared to speak to women other than through an intermediary, Islam’s lawyer said. Adam Tudor said his client was caused “considerable embarrassment and distress” at the allegations, which had created an “utterly false impression of his attitude to women” and cast aspersions on his faith. “In fact, Mr Islam has never had any difficulties working with women, whether for religious or for any other reasons. Women feature among some of the most influential people in his professional team,” he added.

“All of the damages secured by Mr Islam will be paid to his charity, Small Kindness. The defendants have also agreed to pay Mr Islam’s legal costs.” A spokeswoman for law firm Carter-Ruck told AFP that no details of the exact award would be made public.

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