Matt Lucas has accepted substantial undisclosed damages for invasion of privacy over intrusive articles published after his ex-partner’s death.

The 36-year-old Little Britain star had sued Express Newspapers over its coverage following the October 2009 suicide of Kevin McGee, who he married in a civil partnership in December 2006 and divorced just over two years later.

His solicitor, John Kelly, told Mr Justice Tugendhat at London’s High Court that after the tragedy, Lucas informed the media that he did not want to discuss the matter and asked for his privacy to be respected.

Despite this, the Daily Star published a story alleging that Lucas had been put on suicide watch and that he had met a new boyfriend and chosen to move on.

Solicitor Zoe Norden, for Express Newspapers, which has also agreed to pay Mr Lucas’s costs, offered its sincere apologies for invading his privacy and for the distress caused.

Lucas was not at court, but said in a statement: “This has been and continues to be a very difficult time for me and all those who loved Kevin.

“My deep pain and sorrow have been made even greater by the intrusive and defamatory stories made about my private life in the Daily Star just hours after Kevin’s death.

“I had no choice but to bring these proceedings to protect my private life and my right to grieve in peace.

“I’d like to add that I take no pleasure or sense of triumph in this settlement. I am just relieved that this case has been resolved and I sincerely hope this sort of intrusive reporting will now end.”