Nathaniel Rothschild has launched a legal action against the Daily Mail over claims he orchestrated a meeting between Peter Mandelson and a Russian billionaire.
Rothschild, who is part of the famous banking dynasty, filed a libel claim arguing the Mail’s front page story headed “Exclusive: Mandelson, an oligarch and a £500m deal”, from 22 May this year, was defamatory.
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In a writ filed at the High Court the financier, who has instructed London law firm Schillings for the action, said the story seriously damaged his character and reputation, and caused him considerable distress, embarrassment, and injured feelings.
Rothschild claims the story accused him of taking extraordinary steps to ensure his friend Lord Mandelson attended a meeting between Oleg Deripaska and business executives from the United States.
The claim says the Mail story suggested there were grounds to suspect Rothschild had facilitated Mandelson’s attendance so Deripaska could close a deal by securing information from the former business secretary.
Rothschild is seeking aggravated damages, saying the allegations were said to be the result of a ‘special investigation’which gave them extra credence and an injunction banning repartition of the allegations at the centre of his claim.
He also complains that no attempt was made to contact him first to check the accuracy of the claims, or give him a chance to respond.
In addition, he says the paper failed to reply to his letter of claim until 1 July.