Ronaldo sues over Mirror tale of drunken bender

Manchester United and Portugal player Cristiano Ronaldo has kicked off a legal battle for libel damages against the Daily Mirror.

Ronaldo is suing over a Mirror story headed ‘Ron the Lash’which he complains was defamatory, and is demanding unlimited damages of more than £300,000.

Ronaldo says the story, accompanied by pictures of him on crutches, and of five bottles of champagne, meant that instead of resting his injured ankle, he went on a drunken bender downing large amounts of wine, vodka and champagne.

The Mirror story claimed he got so drunk that he threw his crutches to the ground and tried to dance, and behaved irresponsibly and unprofessionally, and showed a reckless disregard for his recovery, he alleges.
Ronaldo says his personal and professional reputation was injured by the story, and that he suffered upset and embarrassment.

He is also seeking aggravating damages, saying he was especially distressed by the July 17 story because he rarely drinks alcohol, and had not been drinking alcohol that evening.

He takes his health and fitness extremely seriously, and was not drunk, on the lash, or on a bender, and had not spent £10,000 on alcohol that evening, he says.

Ronaldo says he is also entitled to aggravated damages because the allegations were widely republished on the internet and in national newspapers.

Despite receiving a letter of complaint from his solicitors denying the allegations, publishers MGN chose to repeat the claims in a story headed ‘Ron the Job’on July 18, a High Court writ says. Now he is seeking damages and aggravated damages for libel, and an injunction banning repetition of the allegations at the centre of this dispute.

In a separate action, Ronaldo is also suing Telegraph Media Group.

Ronaldo has instructed showbusiness solicitors Schillings to act for him.

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