The Daily Star has apologised for the story it published last week about the apparant creation of a video game entitled 'Grand Theft Auto Rothbury', intended as a cash-in following the Raoul Moat case.
The Daily Star article, published last Wednesday, suggested that Rockstar Games was about to release a version of Grand Theft Auto based on the tragic incidents involving Moat.
Now the tabloid newspaper has published a complete retraction and a lengthy apology:
On 21 July we published an article claiming that the video games company Rockstar Games were planning to release a version of their popular Grand Theft Auto video games series titled "Grand Theft Auto Rothbury".
We also published what we claimed would be the cover of this game, solicited comments from a family member impacted by the recent tragedy and criticised Rockstar Games for their alleged plans.
We made no attempt to check the accuracy of the story before publication and did not contact Rockstar Games prior to publishing the story. We also did not question why a best-selling and critically acclaimed fictional games series would choose to base one of their most popular games on this horrifying real crime event.
It is now accepted that there were never any plans by Rockstar Games to publish such a game and that the story was false. We apologise for publishing the story using a mock-up of the game cover, our own comments on the matter and soliciting critical comments from a grieving family member.
We unreservedly apologise to Rockstar Games and we have undertaken not to repeat the claims again. We have also agreed to pay them a substantial amount in damages which they are donating to charity.