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More legal action launched over book subject to Roman Abramovich law suit

Roman Abramovich File Photo
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Four more law suits have been launched against the book Putin’s People, whose publishers are already being sued by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

Oil company Rosneft and three high-profile Russian businessmen have brought claims against HarperCollins, publishers of Catherine Belton’s book.

Rosneft and businessman Shalva Chigirinsky have also brought defamation claims specifically against author Belton.

Abramovich took the rare step of launching defamation claims against HarperCollins and Belton in March, criticising “false or misleading statements” the Chelsea owner believes are damaging both his reputation and the Premier League club.

Now a clutch of new suits have been filed against Belton’s book, that attempts to link Russian state influence to the west.

A spokesperson for Abramovich said the Chelsea owner learned of these new claims on their release into the public domain, but had no further knowledge of the fresh law suits.

“We became aware of these law suits as they became publicly available in the court files, ” Abramovich’s spokesperson told the PA news agency.

The Putin’s People book includes claims from Sergei Pugachev that Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 on the personal orders of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

Months of talks with HarperCollins broke down in March, leading Abramovich to launch his legal proceedings.

“Today my legal representatives have issued legal proceedings in England in relation to a book that was published in the UK,” said Abramovich, in a statement released to the PA news agency on March 22.

“The book contains a number of false and defamatory statements about me, including about my purchase, and the activities, of Chelsea Football Club.

“Today’s action was not taken lightly. It has never been my ambition to gain a public profile and I have always been reluctant to provide commentary on any matters, including any false or misleading statements about me or Chelsea Football Club.

“However, it has become clear that the false allegations in this book are having a damaging effect, not only on my personal reputation, but also in respect of the activities of Chelsea Football Club.”