LONDON - Real Madrid striker Cristiano
Ronaldo won substantial libel damages on Monday over false
British newspaper claims he put a serious ankle injury at risk
by dancing the night away with four models in a Hollywood
An article published in the Daily Telegraph in July 2008
alleged that on arriving in Los Angeles to attend a sports award
ceremony Ronaldo, who was on crutches at the time, "headed
straight" for a trendy nightclub.
The story said the Portuguese international, who joined Real
from Manchester United for a world record transfer fee of 80
million pounds last year, cast his crutches aside and danced
with the models into the night while being served "10,000 pounds
worth of Cristal champagne".
The piece also carried a photograph of the player saying his
then club manager, Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson, would be
shocked at the sight of him "living it up" and jeopardising his
His lawyer, Allan Dunlavy, argued in London's High Court
that the story was completely fabricated and caused him
significant embarrassment, offence and distress.
The newspaper accepted the allegations were false and should
never have been published. It agreed to pay the player
substantial undisclosed damages as well as legal costs, the
Press Association reported.
"...while he did attend the nightclub in question, he did
not drink any alcohol at all whilst there, nor at any time
whilst in Los Angeles," Dunlavy said.
"He does not, as a rule, drink alcohol because he takes his
health, fitness and recovery from injury very seriously. "Nor
did he put his crutches down to take to the dance floor despite
the risk to his injured ankle," he added.
Instead, the court heard he sat in a private corner, along
with friends who had travelled to Los Angeles with him, resting
his foot as advised and drinking non-alcoholic energy drinks.
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