- A publisher maintains apologized to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich for defamatory allegations.
- HarperCollins published a book in which Mr. Abramovich claimed to have purchased London football club Chelsea, on the orders of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
On Wednesday, the company apologized to Mr. Abramovich and confirmed that a settlement had been reached. It has made changes to Catherine Belton’s book, Putin’s People.
Putin’s People, published by HarperCollins last year, included another Russian billionaire, Sergei Pugachev, that Mr. Abramovich purchased the club on Mr. Putin’s orders in 2003.
The publisher stated that Ms. Belton’s book “contained some inaccurate information” about Mr. Abramovich.
“While the book had always included a denial that Mr. Abramovich was acting under anyone’s direction when he purchased Chelsea, the new edition will include a more detailed explanation of Mr. Abramovich’s motivations for purchasing the club,” it read.
“HarperCollins and the author regret that these aspects of the book were not as clear as they would have liked and are pleased to have now clarified the text,” it continued.
Mr. Abramovich’s spokesman said they were “pleased” with the settlement and that the allegations “lacked evidence and were indeed false.”
Chelsea had won the Premier League and the FA Cup five times each since Mr. Abramovich took over the club and the UEFA Champions League twice, most recently when the team defeated Manchester City.
In response, HarperCollins stated that the court was not “determining whether allegations made in the book about the claimant or anyone else are true” in its decision.
The publisher went on to say that it was dedicated to publishing investigative work and defending free speech and that Ms. Belton’s book was “highly regarded and critically acclaimed.”
Source: BBC News
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