Russian businessman Roman Abramovich has lodged a lawsuit against the HarperCollins publishing company, which published a book Putin’s People this spring, written by former Moscow correspondent and investigative journalist Catherine Belton.
In his statement, published on the website of Chelsea Football Club, which he owns, Abramovich wrote that the author of this book and the publishing company made defamatory statements about him.
"Today my legal representatives have issued legal proceedings in England in relation to a book that was published in the UK. The book contains a number of false and defamatory statements about me, including about my purchase, and the activities, of Chelsea Football Club," Abramovich said.
According to the billionaire, this action was not taken lightly because it has never been his ambition to gain a public profile and he has always been reluctant to provide commentary on any matters, including any false or misleading statements about him or Chelsea Football Club, TASS reports.
However, it has become clear that the false allegations in this book are having a damaging effect, not only on his personal reputation, but also in respect of the football club’s activities. "My objective has been to avoid a legal case and my legal team has engaged with the publishers to try to find an amicable resolution. We have provided them with detailed information addressing the various false allegations about me in the book, including the repetition of allegations that have already been held to be false in the English High Court during previous legal proceedings."
In her book, Catherine Belton, a former Financial Times Moscow correspondent, alleged that Abramovich was involved in corruption and bought Chelsea Football Club at the Russian authorities’ instruction.