Chiquita Brands International Inc. has sued a former newspaper reporter, accusing him of breaking into its voice-mail system to steal material for stories that questioned the company's business practices.

The Cincinnati Enquirer fired reporter Michael Gallagher last week and has renounced the stories. On Sunday, the Enquirer published a front-page apology to Chiquita, saying Gallagher, the lead reporter on the 18-page series that ran May 3, improperly obtained the messages.The newspaper also agreed to pay Chiquita more than $10 million.

Chiquita sued Gallagher but not the newspaper, seeking unspecified damages from him for defamation, trespass, conspiracy, fraud and violations of electronic-communications privacy laws.