Billionaire Lily Safra has launched a legal action against the publisher of the Daily Mail claiming the paper labelled her a fortune hunter who inherited vast sums when two rich husbands died in mysterious circumstances.
Safra claims a two-page spread headed ‘So who DID murder Gilded Lily’s billionaire husband?’in September was defamatory.
The billionaire, who lives in Geneva, says her reputation was seriously damaged by the article and that she has suffered considerable hurt, distress and embarrassment.
The story’s strapline stated: ‘She’s a friend of Charles and one of the world’s richest women.
‘Now the Monaco flat where her fourth husband die in a mystery blaze has just sold for £200m. But the man who confessed to killing him says he didn’t do itâ€¦”
In legal papers filed with the High Court by her London lawyers Mishcon de Reya, Safra says the story claimed there were reasonable grounds to suspect she was involved in the murder of her late husband, banker Edmond Safra.
Safra is seeking aggravated damages from Associated Newspapers claiming the article included two misleading headlines, with a photograph designed to put her at the very centre of allegations over the ‘unsolved’murder of her husband.
She is also seeking an injunction banning repetition of the allegations at the heart of her legal claim.
Safra argues the paper knew the story was false and that it was strikingly similar to a Mail on Sunday story for which she received an apology.
In addition, she says, the Daily Mail treated her complaint about the article contemptuously, failed to publish an apology or remove its online version of the story.