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Chelsea’s Owner, Abramovich, Wins Libel Suit: Charities Rejoice

Mar 19, 2010 - by admin
Roman Abramovich

The owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, has accepted a public apology in regards to false allegations that he has a severe gambling problem. Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso, the party at fault, has also agreed to for substantial damages done by way of libel. The money will reportedly go to charity.

The New York Times: Chelsea’s Abramovich Wins Gambling Slur Damages

Russian businessman, Roman Abramovich, owner of London club Chelsea, won a public apology and substantial libel damages Thursday over false claims made in a newspaper that he had a serious gambling problem.

An Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, published an article alleging that Abramovich suffered a heavy poker loss and had been forced to give away a luxury yacht. The article also implied that Abramovich’s long-term partner Dasha Zhukova presented him with an ultimatum that he either give up poker or she would end their relationship. On top of all that it suggested Abramovich had been forced to liquidate assets to cover heavy gambling debts, according to John Kelly, Abramovich’s lawyer.

The newspaper’s publisher, Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso, has agreed to pay Abramovich “substantial damages” which he intends to donate to charity. The publisher’s lawyer, Sarah Toolan, said it offered its sincere apologies. “The defendant accepts that the allegations are untrue and ought never to have been published,” she said.

The Press Association: Abramovich wins pay-out over gambling claim

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has accepted a public apology and substantial libel damages at the High Court over false newspaper allegations that he had a serious gambling problem. John Kelly, his solicitor, told a judge that the claims had caused the “internationally well-known” Russian businessman “distress and embarrassment”.

Legal action arose from allegations in the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, in an article entitled “A black year for Abramovich as he loses a yacht at poker.”Mr. Kelly told Justice Eady that the paper’s publisher, Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso, had agreed to pay Mr Abramovich “substantial damages”, which will go to charity.

Kelly said: “Regrettably, these allegations were not put to Mr Abramovich or his representatives before publication. If they had been, the defendant would have been advised of the utter falsity of the allegations.”
Sarah Toolan, solicitor for the publisher, said the defendant “offers its sincere apologies to Mr Abramovich for the distress and embarrassment this article has caused”.

The Moscow Times: Abramovich Wins Libel Suit

Chelsea FC owner, Roman Abramovich, has won a public apology as well as libel damages from an Italian publisher over allegations that he is a compulsive gambler.

The publisher, Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso, agreed to pay “substantial damages” for a story in the paper La Repubblica in May which ran under the title, “A black year for Abramovich as he loses a yacht at poker,” Abramovich’s lawyer John Kelly said Thursday. Kelly said Abramovich would donate the money to charity.

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