Ashley Cole seeks £300k from Mail over Des Kelly story

Soccer star Ashley Cole has kicked off a legal battle over a story in the Daily Mail, which he says was defamatory.

Cole is suing Associated Newspapers over a piece in the Des Kelly column on May 8 and is demanding unlimited damages of more than £300,000.

He says Kelly’s piece meant he had deliberately and dishonestly faked an injury to avoid playing against his former club Arsenal, when in fact he was not injured at all.

Cole says the story caused substantial damage to his reputation, and that he suffered distress and embarrassment as a result.

He claims the paper failed to check the allegations with him, despite their offensive and damaging nature, and failed to give him a proper opportunity to comment before publication.

In the writ Cole goes on to say that if the Daily Mail had got in touch before publication it would have discovered that the allegations were untrue. Instead, he says, the paper chose to publish the allegations in a “gratuitous and snide attack” on him.

Cole says the paper has failed to publish any kind of apology, or to mitigate the damage done to his reputation and feelings, and he is now demanding damages and aggravated damages for alleged libel.

He is also seeking an injunction banning repetition of the words at the centre of this dispute.

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