Press release on libel suit against Rue89 l Lola Karimova

18 Jul 2011

Press release on libel suit against Rue89

Mrs Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva has a profound belief that freedom of the press and expression, as well as freedom to debate and express views about the political developments of our times are fundamental for individual rights, and are an inviolable attribute of every democratic and free society.

It is common knowledge that in the current era of the highly competitive media market, some media sources frequently resort to publishing false and unverified information in their pursuit of sensationalism, higher ratings and readership, thus violating the basic ethics of journalism.

Mrs Karimova-Tillyaeva would like to use this opportunity to strongly deny and condemn the absolutely groundless, false and preposterous claims repeatedly made by Rue89 over the alleged payment made for a celebrity’s presence at a charitable event hosted by Mrs Karimova-Tillyaeva in April 2009.

In its judgement of July 1st 2011, the Court considers some expressions made in Rue89’s article to be unpleasant and the article in question to contain disparaging statements about Mrs Karimova-Tillyaeva.

The fact of the matter is that the Court has not endorsed the allegations made by Rue89 against Mrs Karimova-Tillyaeva. It has only considered those allegations as an expression of freedom of the press.

The Court has considered the article by Rue89 as an expression of an opinion, and not as the truth.

Moreover, the Court has not accepted various testimonies presented by Rue89 during the hearing and has not taken them into consideration.

We also consider it very important that the Court has not confirmed the authenticity of a piece of paper presented by Rue89 at the court hearing as evidence on which it based its utterly false statements about the payment made for Mrs Monica Bellucci’s  presence at the event.

The paper presented by Rue89 is of dubious and questionable origin as it makes no mention of Mrs Karimova-Tillyaeva, nor is it a signed or notarized document. It could have been written about anyone and by anyone, and therefore cannot be used as a source for making the serious allegation over the payment of such a substantial sum of money, and we are glad that it was not accepted by the court as a credible piece of evidence.

It’s worth noting that the Court specifies that considering Mrs Bellucci’s prominence, her presence at the Gala necessarily contributed to fund raising.

Moreover, the Court has decided that the lawsuit brought by Mrs Karimova-Tillyaeva against Rue89 is not unwarranted and has denied Rue89’s request for damages.

It is very regrettable that in their desire to present an attention-grabbing story, Rue89 has had little regard for the factual accuracy of its reporting as well as a balanced representation of the story. It is highly regrettable that in the pursuit of intriguing their readers, sensationalizing the story and gaining more publicity, Rue89 has ignored the primary goal of the media to deliver accurate, balanced and well-substantiated information.