Chelsea legal claim against MoS over Ashley Cole story

Chelsea Football Club and its head of communications, Steve Atkins, have sued for libel over allegations made by the Mail on Sunday that they attempted to silence claims about Ashley Cole's alleged affairs.

The club and its employee have launched a defamation action after the Associated Newspapers' title published a front page story headed "Chelsea helped Cole to silence claims of affair".

The story, which ran over two inside pages, claimed they had helped persuade Ann Corbitt to lie to the press by denying she had slept with Ashley Cole in Seattle last year, a claim form filed at the High Court states.

According to the writ filed by lawyers Harbottle and Lewis, they claim the story was defamatory and damaged their reputations. Atkins says he suffered hurt, distress, and embarrassment because of the story.

Atkins and the club are also seeking aggravated damages claiming the Mail on Sunday ran the story despite their solicitor telling the paper it was untrue.

England footballer Cole is expected to be in the squad which goes to the World Cup in South Africa in June.

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