Two British newspapers said Tuesday they had paid unspecified damages to the singer once known as Cat Stevens over articles suggesting the Muslim convert had links to terrorists.
The musician, now known as Yusuf Islam, said The Sunday Times and The Sun had promised not to repeat the allegation and agreed to pay his legal costs and “substantial damages.”
“It seems to be the easiest thing in the world these days to make scurrilous accusations against Muslims, and in my case it directly impacts on my relief work and damages my reputation as an artist,” he said in a statement.
The Sunday Times and The Sun both confirmed they were making payments to Islam but but declined to specify the amounts.
“The Sunday Times always denied liability and we disagreed with Cat Stevens’ lawyers interpretation of the article, but we took a pragmatic view of the case,” said Richard Caseby, managing editor of The Sunday Times.
Janet Anderson, a spokeswoman for The Sun, said Islam’s statement was correct but declined to comment further.
Islam was removed from a London-to-Washington flight in September because American officials suspected him of links to terrorists, a charge he vehemently denies. He said the U.S. government has still not told him what the accusation was based on.
The stories appeared in the newspapers in October. The Sunday Times ran a correction in November saying it had not intended to suggest Islam supported terrorism.
The Sun also ran a correction.
Islam said he planned to use the settlement money to help children orphaned by the tsunami in Asia.