HarperCollins Apologizes to Roman Abramovich, Agrees to Make Changes to Putin’s Book

HarperCollins apologizes to Roman Abramovich and accepts series of book changes claiming Vladimir Putin ordered him to buy Chelsea FC: publisher will donate undisclosed sum to charity after settling defamation case

  • HarperCollins agreed to make edits to the book Putin’s People: How the KGB took over Russia and then turned on the West
  • Catherine Belton’s book includes allegations Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea for £ 150million in 2003 on personal orders from the Russian president
  • The author cites the oligarch in exile Sergei Pugachev as the source of the claims
  • Abramovich said the allegations were false and damaging to him and the club
  • HarperCollins has now agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to charity










HarperCollins apologized to Roman Abramovich and settled out of court after filing a lawsuit over allegations in a book that Vladimir Putin ordered him to buy Chelsea Football Club.

The publishing giant has agreed to donate an undisclosed sum to charity and make changes to author Catherine Belton’s book Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Russia and Then Turned On It towards the West.

Belton’s book includes claims that in the early 2000s Abramovich bought Chelsea for £ 150million in 2003 on personal orders from the Russian president.

Former Financial Times journalist’s post quotes exiled oligarch Sergei Pugachev – once dubbed “Putin’s banker” – as the source of Chelsea FC’s claims, but Abramovich maintained the claims were false and damaging to him and at the club.

Now, several references to Chelsea will be removed or changed, making it clear that the claim came from Pugachev and that there is no hard evidence to support this claim.

A judge had previously confirmed Abramovich’s claims that the book contained nine defamatory statements against him.

The 2020 publication will now be reprinted and the eBook updated.

HarperCollins apologized to Roman Abramovich and settled out of court after taking legal action

The publishing giant has agreed to donate an undisclosed sum to a charity and make changes to author Catherine Belton's book (pictured) Putin's People: How the KGB took over Russia and then s 'turned against the West

The publishing giant has agreed to donate an undisclosed sum to a charity and make changes to author Catherine Belton’s book (pictured) Putin’s People: How the KGB took over Russia and then s ‘turned against the West

It will be without a number of statements alleging that the purchase of the West London club “was an entry into the House of Lords” and that “the West did not know that when Abramovich bought Chelsea he could possibly -be acted on order of the Kremlin “. .

Catherine Belton's book Putin's People: How the KGB took over Russia and then turned against the West

Catherine Belton’s book Putin’s People: How the KGB took over Russia and then turned against the West

A statement by Pugachev will remain in reprint, but it will also be clear that he and his testimony and statements in a previous case have been discredited.

A HarperCollins statement said: “HarperCollins and Catherine Belton have settled their dispute with Roman Abramovich over certain passages of The People of Putin.

“Since the publication of the first edition of the book, HarperCollins has been informed that the book contains inaccurate information regarding Roman Abramovich.

“HarperCollins has now edited the book to record the position more accurately and to include additional comments from Mr. Abramovich’s spokesperson.

In particular, HarperCollins changed the text regarding the reasons for Mr. Abramovich’s purchase of Chelsea Football Club. While the book has always denied that Mr. Abramovich was acting under anyone’s direction when he purchased Chelsea, the new edition will include a more detailed explanation of Mr Abramovich’s motivations for buying the club.

HarperCollins also made it clear in the book that there was no evidence, beyond the statements of the individuals themselves, to support the claims made to the author by Sergei Pugachev and two other anonymous people regarding the purchase. of the Chelsea Football Club.

“The statements in the book that Boris Berezovsky in fact owned Sibneft have been corrected to make it clear that although this view is widely held in Russia, it was held to be false by a UK High Court in following a massive trial in 2012, which (as the book always noted) found Berezovsky to be an “inherently unreliable witness.”

“In recognition of this error, HarperCollins agreed to make a payment to charity.

“The book has also been edited to make it clear that Berezovsky was the public source of rumors regarding the sharing of the proceeds from the sale of Sibneft and that this is not an established fact.

“HarperCollins and the author apologize that these aspects of the book were not as clear as they would have liked and are happy to have now clarified the text.”

They said in a separate statement: “Since the publication of the first edition of the book, HarperCollins has been informed that the book contains inaccurate information regarding Roman Abramovich.

“HarperCollins has now edited the book to record the position more accurately and to include additional comments from Mr. Abramovich’s spokesperson.

In particular, HarperCollins changed the text regarding the reasons for Mr. Abramovich’s purchase of Chelsea Football Club.

While the book has always denied that Mr Abramovich was acting under anyone’s direction when he bought Chelsea, the new edition will include a more detailed explanation of Mr Abramovich’s motives for buying the club.

“HarperCollins also clarified in the book that there is no evidence, beyond the statements of the individuals themselves, to support the claims made to the author by Sergei Pugachev and two other anonymous people regarding the purchase of the Chelsea Football Club. ”

He added: “HarperCollins and the author apologize that these aspects of the book have not been as clear as they would have liked and are happy to have now clarified the text.”

Advertising

David C. Barham