Footballer Diego Maradona, famed for the Hand of God incident when Argentina played England in 1986, has launched a legal battle over a newspaper interview with The Sun.
Maradona accuses News Group Newspapers of failing to pay him a promised £75,000 for an interview about the controversial incident.
After giving an interview about the Hand of God incident, the paper tried to vary their agreement by offering him £40,000 for the interview, and £35,000 if he gave a follow up interview, he says.
Now Maradona is suing News Group Newspapers for payment of £75,000, as well as interest of £1,841.10, and continuing interest of £16.44 a day.
The row centres around an interview Maradona gave to Sun reporter Tom Wells on January 29, which was published on January 31 under the headings: ‘I hold my hands up’and ‘Maradona finally says sorry for that goal’in a three page exclusive.
Maradona says he signed a written contract in which he agreed to give an interview for £75,000, and argues that the money became due within seven days of the interview appearing. If The Sun had not been satisfied with his interview, it would not have been published, he says.
But the day after the interview, and before the exclusive appeared, The Sun emailed him trying to change the terms of the contract, according to a High Court writ. Maradona says he did not agree to, or sign this contract, which amounted to a fundamental revision of the terms already agreed.
He accuses News Group of acting wrongfully and of breaching the contract, and says that although the interview was published, he has not been paid a penny.