A Hong Kong magazine has been ordered to pay the husband of China's most famous film actress, Gong Li, $200,000 in damages for an article that claimed he was living off her income. But the amount was one dollar less than the original offer made by the defendant, Sudden Weekly, in an attempt to settle the case out of court. Businessman Ooi Hoe Seong was not present when the verdict was given in the Court of First Instance by a six-member jury last night after seven hours of deliberation. Mr Ooi told the court the magazine ran an article in December 2002 alleging he was at a low point in his career, forcing his wife to take on more movies and commercial shoots. He also said he had been 'downgraded to a criminal' by the article, which falsely claimed that he was involved in illegal tobacco trading on the mainland. The Sudden Weekly report had been picked up by two major Singaporean newspapers. Mr Ooi said he, his wife and his parents felt humiliated and angry about the article. He claimed that his business had also been adversely affected. He had sought damages for libel from the publisher and the editor-in-chief Chiu Wai-kin. Sudden Weekly Limited paid $200,001 to the court last November - a dollar more than the compensation awarded yesterday - in a bid to reach an out-of-court settlement. It paid a further $300,000 to the court in December. Judge Andrew To Kwai-fung said he would order that $300,001 be returned to the magazine. Jason Pow, counsel for Mr Ooi, refused to comment on the compensation. But he said his client's main reason for taking the case to court was to 'clear his name'. Judge To thanked the jury and said the case was interesting, involving as it did celebrities and international stars.