AFP

NEW YORK-An annual prize will award $45,000 to a playwright in honour of Oscar-winning American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died this month from a suspected heroin overdose.

The prize is being funded by gossip magazine The National Enquirer and its publisher, American Media Inc, which falsely reported that Hoffman had a gay affair with a friend. The friend, David Katz, came up with the idea after settling a libel case over the article, his lawyer Judd Bernstein told AFP. The newly created American Playwriting Foundation is likely to award the first prize for an unproduced play this year, he said. The New York Times, which broke the story, said the prize would be called the Relentless Award, in Hoffman’s honor. The libelous article was published on February 5, three days after Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment after failing to meet his girlfriend and their children. It claimed to quote Katz as saying he and Hoffman were lovers who took cocaine, and that Katz saw hi using heroin many times. Katz denies ever speaking to the magazine and says Hoffman never used drugs in his presence, The New York Times reported.