Thursday, November 11, 2010

Soccer Star Scores Libel Win Against UK Daily

Cristiano Ronaldo during his spell at Real Madrid.Image via Wikipedia
Tip of the hat to media law Web site for noticing an Associated Press account of a successful defamation suit against UK Daily Telegraph by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo will receive legal fees and undisclosed damages from the daily newspaper for its July 18, 2008, erroneous account of  Ronaldo's purported conduct at a Los Angeles nightclub following his attendance at a sports awards program at which he was a nominee for Best International Male Athlete. Ronaldo, who plays for Real Madrid, but in 2008 was a Manchester United standout, was injured and using crutches when he attended the awards event and post-ceremony nightclub celebration.

According to the Daily Telegraph story, Ronaldo consumed ample Cristal champagne and discarded his crutches to shake his groove thing with four models on the nightclub dance floor.  The footballer's attorney alleged in a defamation suit that the Telegraph article embarrassed the winger/forward, harmed his reputation among teammates and fans, and was false.  Although Ronaldo was at the nightclub, he neither consumed alcohol nor danced, his lawyer claimed.

The Daily Telegraph posted an apology online on Nov. 9 in which it conceded that Ronaldo was not "living it up" or acting unprofessionally and acknowledged that it wrongly suggested he was imbibing alcohol and dancing while ostensibly recuperating from his injury. The apology concluded: "We would like to apologise to Christiano for the embarrassment and offence our report caused to him as a professional who takes his health, fitness and recovery from injury seriously and are happy to set the record straight."

As Spanish soccer announcer Andres Cantor might say: "Libellllllll!"

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