The book has fabricated reports of Roman buying Chelsea on Putin’s request
After being typically in the shadows ever since taking over Chelsea since 2003, Roman Abramovich has finally come to the fore. The last couple of weeks have seen the Russian make a string of public appearances and announces, ranging from his interview to his vocal backing of fighting racism.
The Chelsea owner has once again taken the limelight with the Russian billionaire deciding to sue author Catherine Belton and her publisher HarperCollins. The unprecedented set of events unravelled ensuing Belton’s rhetoric in her 2020 book, Putin’s People.
Roman Sues Belton
Roman has launched a defamation case against Belton over her claims that Roman was coerced into purchasing Chelsea at Russian president, Vladimir Putin’s demands.
Abramovich’s legal team said it issued legal proceedings for defamation on his behalf against Belton and publisher HarperCollins following efforts to “find an amicable resolution,” a statement realised on Chelsea’s site revealed.
“The false allegations in this book are having a damaging effect,” Russia’s 10th-richest billionaire said.
“Today, my legal representative has issued proceedings in the United Kingdom in connection with a book published in the United Kingdom,” he said.
“This book contains a number of false defamation statements about me, such as the purchase and activity of the Chelsea Football Club.
“Today’s actions were not downplayed. It was not my ambition to raise awareness. To provide comments on issues, including false and misleading statements about me and the Chelsea Football Club. Was always reluctant.
“I think our many years of success and activity, including the winning trophy, the expansion of the Chelsea Academy, the development of the women’s team, and the Chelsea Foundation, which will become the largest charity in the Premier League, speaks for itself.
“I hope that today’s actions will not only refute false claims about my own name, but also remind me of Chelsea’s positive footsteps in Britain.
“I am confident that the court will give me a fair hearing, as it did in the past.”
A British judge had earlier ruled in 2018 that the claims, made by fugitive billionaire Sergei Pugachev in a separate legal dispute, were “self-serving” and “impossible to believe.”
In a statement issued on Tuesday by HarperCollins’ UK imprint William Collins Books, the organisation confirmed that Abramovich had filed legal proceedings against HarperCollins and Belton. It went onto add that attempts at reaching a resolution with Abramovich had fallen through in August 2020 and said the publisher and Belton would continue to defend “the claim and the right to report on matters of considerable public interest.”