DAME Diana Rigg has accepted $48,000 (GBP30,000) in libel damages over newspaper reports portraying her as an embittered woman who held British men in low regard.

The AVENGERS star attended London's HIGH COURT today (20OCT03) to hear the settlement of her libel action against ASSOCIATED NEWSPAPERS, which owns THE DAILY MAIL and the EVENING STANDARD, which printed the stories.

Rigg's solicitor TOM AMLOT told MR JUSTICE GRAY that articles appeared about her in September 2002 which stated she had attacked British men, had left Britain to live a reclusive existence in France and had announced her retirement.

Amlot said that Dame Diana was upset at the portrayal of her, which incorrectly suggested she was an embittered woman and held British men in low regard.

She was also concerned that her professional reputation and ability to secure work would be damaged by the statement that she was retiring, when she was not.

While Dame Diana had a house in France, she regarded Britain, where she lived and worked, as her home.

Matt McKenzie, for the newspapers, said they were happy to set the record straight and sincerely apologised.

20/10/2003 17:23