Italian newspaper La Repubblica was forced to apologize to billionaire Roman Abramovich for the article, which claimed that the oligarch allegedly had to give one of his superyachts for card debts. At what time this "sensation" will cost to the newspaper, it is not known yet.
Abramovich's lawyer John Kelly has stated in the High Court of London that his client will now receive a "substantial" sum from Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso, which owns the newspaper. In May 2009 La Repubblica published an article titled "Black Year for Abramovich - He Lost a Yacht in Poker". The article claimed that the oligarch had to give the boat up to half a million euros in card debt. Reporters also reported that the passion for poker has significantly damaged relations between Abramovich and his girlfriend Darya Zhukova, and that the billionaire was addicted to gambling on the Web. "Such allegations are slander and lies," Kelly said before the court, adding that no one had asked Abramovich or his representatives to comment on the article. "If such a request had been made, the defendant would have been explained that such allegations are completely false," the lawyer added.
The amount that Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso will pay for the crypt is not disclosed, but Kelly has already told the court that Abramovich will give the money to charity. The publishers' lawyer Sarah Tulane also attended the trial and stated that the concern "sincerely apologizes to Mr Abramovic for the stress and embarrassment that this article has put him in". It was also added that "the defendant admits that all allegations are lies and should not have been published at all".
Roman Abramovich is the owner of several yachts, including the well-known "Pelorus", and this year its flotilla should be rather replenished. The happy owner is waiting for the Blohm+Voss shipyard to hand over Eclipse, the largest mega yacht in history, which is over 550 feet long.