Hollywood stars Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake have settled their defamation case against celebrity magazine Heat at the High Court in Dublin.

In a statement read to the court, the magazine apologised to the couple over an article published in September's edition.

The couple had claimed they were defamed in an article in the European edition of Heat magazine last month.

They chose to take the case through the Irish courts.

The magazine carried an article and photographs of Justin Timberlake and purported to quote Ms Biel in the article.

The couple have been married for two years.

Separate defamation proceedings in each of the stars' names were lodged earlier this month at the High Court against the publishers of Heat, Bauer Consumer Media.

Bauer is the Germany-based publisher of Heat and a range of other titles.

The statement read to the High Court said:

"On 6th to 12th September edition of Heat magazine the defendant published an article under the headline "Justin Timberlake gets flirty with another woman, it’s not his wife!" and "The flirty photos that rocked Justin and Jessica's marriage".

"The article was based on an unfounded report regarding Justin Timberlake's alleged behaviour at a club following a performance in Paris to celebrate a birthday and also included a number of purported statements improperly attributed to Jessica Biel, which Heat now understands had never been made by her.

"The defendant accepts that the article was false and withdraws any inferences that questioned the state of Justin and Jessica's marriage.

"The defendant regrets any embarrassment caused to the couple and unreservedly apologises to them."

The couple's solicitor Paul Tweed said afterwards that Timberlake and Biel were "very satisfied with this categoric retraction of what was a false and unfounded story, together with the comprehensive apology from Bauer Consumer Media, the publishers of Heat magazine, as read before the High Court this morning.
"The couple will not be making any further comment in relation to this matter but will not hesitate to take similar legal action if false allegations regarding the state of their marriage are repeated."