German celebrity magazine admits fake interviews

German celebrity gossip magazine Neon admitted Friday it had published five made-up interviews since 2004 with stars such as Beyonce, Christina Aguilera and Snoop Doggy Dog.

In a message published on its Internet site, Neon said it "apologised to its readers and the artists concerned" for the fictitious articles and stressed it had fired the journalist responsible.

The scandal came to light in January when Beyonce's management team queried an interview published in the magazine by freelance reporter Ingo Mocek.

When the Neon team confronted Mocek, "he was not able to verify certain statements, particularly the statements regarding a marriage contract of Ms. Knowles," the magazine statement said.

The interview claimed that Beyonce and husband Jay-Z had a secret two-year marriage contract, prompting rumours on celebrity blogs and websites that the couple were soon to split.

"We assume that the interview did not take place as claimed by Ingo Mocek," the magazine said, adding it had terminated its relationship with the journalist.

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