Robbie Williams has apologised to former Take That manager Nigel Martin-Smith over an allegation he made in a song on his most recent album.

In his song The 90s, the Angels star had implied Martin-Smith had stolen money from the boyband at the height of their fame.

The lyrics were altered prior to the release of Williams' album Rudebox, but after a high court hearing in London today Williams has apologised for the allegation and has agreed to pay undisclosed damages to Martin-Smith.

While the Los Angeles-based star did not attend the hearing, his solicitor Keith Ashby said he wished to apologise "publicly and unreservedly" for the original lyrics to the song.

And David Sherborne, counsel for Martin-Smith, told the court: "Robbie Williams wishes to make it clear to his fans, and the public at large, that he did not intend these lyrics to be taken at face value.

"Specifically, Robbie Williams did not intend to allege that Nigel Martin-Smith has ever stolen any funds from Take That or anyone.

"Prior to the release of Rudebox, the lyrics to The 90s were changed by Robbie Williams in order to avoid any further misunderstanding.

"Nonetheless, Robbie Williams wishes now to apologise publicly and unreservedly for the distress that the original publication of those lyrics caused to Nigel."

Martin-Smith's solicitor Gary Lux would not confirm the size of the damages settlement to be paid by Williams but said it was "substantial".

The former Take That member will also pay legal cost believed to total around £500,000.

05/12/2007 12:24:11