Russian billionaire and Superyacht owner Roman Abramovich has won substantial damages after a newspaper claimed he had lost one of his superyachts due to a serious gambling problem.
An Italian newspaper published allegations that the oligarch lost a superyacht worth £333,000 whilst playing a poker game in Barcelona.
Solicitor John Kelly told the Judge that the claims had caused “distress and embarrassment” to the Chelsea FC owner.
The publisher, Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso, have publicly apologised and agreed to pay damages, which Abramovich intends to donate to charity.
“The defendant accepts that the allegations are untrue and ought never to have been published,” said Sarah Toolan, the publisher’s solicitor.
Reports suggest that Abramovich is in the process of buying the world’s largest superyacht, known as Eclipse.
Secrecy around the build has fuelled rumours of super-spy equipment onboard such as missile detection systems and an anti-paparazzi laser to block cameras.