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Ex-KISS drummer settles tabloid suit

LOS ANGELES -- Peter Criss, former drummer of the '70s rock band Kiss, settled his lawsuit Tuesday against the Star tabloid for publishing stories claiming he was a homeless alcoholic.

Criss's attorney, Antony Stuart, said the settlement was reached shortly before attorneys were to give opening statements to the Los Angeles Superior Court jury.

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The terms of the settlement were confidential, but Stewart said Criss 'is ecstatic about the settlement.'

He said the Star must pay the damages within 10 days. Star attorneys were not immediately available for comment.

Stuart said the stories, published in January 1991, depicted Criss as a 'homeless bum' who had been aided by sitcom stars Roseanne and Tom Arnold.

Stuart said the homeless man was not Criss, but the magazine published the stories anyway.

Criss, meanwhile, has been living with his wife and daughter in their Redondo Beach home and recording with 'Criss,' his new band.

Stuart said in the case he planned to present to the jury and Judge Richard Hubbel, he would have shown the Star's and other tabloids' 'anonymous sources' often are reporters for competing tabloids who sell tips they are unable to get published in their own magazines.

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Celebrities routinely complain about outrageous stories published in weekly tabloids, but few go to court. The Arnolds received a settlement last year from the National Enquirer, which printed a story claiming they had severely damaged a rented house, leaving it a 'pig sty.'

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