Brooke Shields and National Enquirer Reach Agreement

Shields accused mag of pursuing her mom suffering from dementia for a story.

ByABC News
May 18, 2009, 4:48 PM

June 8, 2009 — -- The National Enquirer will apologize to actress Brooke Shields after one of the tabloid's reporters checked Shields' dementia-addled mother out of a New Jersey nursing home last month and took her to lunch.

Sheilds' attorney, Gerald Lefcourt, also claimed the newspaper will make a "generous donation" to help further research on dementia as part of an agreement between the tabloid and the actress.

After Teri Shields, 75, was found unharmed at a restaurant adjacent to her Old Tappan, N.J., nursing home talking to a National Enquirer reporter, Shields had threatened legal action against the publication.

"Two weeks ago, Brooke Shields was forced to make a public disclosure about her mother, Teri Shields's health, when we learned that Mrs. Shields had been taken out of a care facility by a reporter and photographer working for the National Enquirer and I was told that the National Enquirer was going to print information about her condition and whereabouts," Shields's attorney, Lefcourt said in a statement to People magazine on Saturday.

"I am very pleased to report that [the] National Enquirer was prevailed upon not to publish a story. Further, it has or will be apologizing publicly. Finally, it has agreed to make a generous donation to further research on dementia and to encourage others to do so."

The National Enquirer has not publicly confirmed the agreement.

Last month Shields had harsh words for the publication.

"My mother Teri Shields has been diagnosed with dementia. For her safety, she has temporarily been in a senior living facility, a very difficult decision for me," Shields told People magazine Friday. "Late Thursday afternoon, I was alerted by Old Tappan Police that my mother had been signed out of the facility by two reporters of the National Enquirer ? who falsely claimed they were friends of hers."

"They then drove my 75-year-old mother around looking for a tabloid story," the actress, recently in the news because she witnessed Kiefer Sutherland allegedly head-butt a fashion designer outside a New York City nightclub, added. "As anyone knows who has a parent who suffers from dementia or Alzheimer's, it is one of the most difficult experiences you can go through as a son or daughter. The idea that the National Enquirer took advantage of her state is reprehensible and disgusting."

The National Enquirer initially defended itself via an article posted on its Web site last month.

"A freelance reporter who has known Teri Shields for more than 10 years visited her Thursday at the assisted living facility where Brooke says she moved her. Teri asked the reporter to take her out to lunch and to run some errands. The freelance reporter then got permission from the facility to do so," the Enquirer said. "At no point did the facility, which had given its permission for the outing, contend that there had been any wrongdoing in a situation where two people who had known each for more than a decade."