Russian billionaire sues Lebedev after studio punch-up

The owner of the Evening Standard and The Independent, Alexander Lebedev, is being sued by Sergei Polonsky – the Russian businessman he punched on a TV show last month.

Lebedev made headlines on18 September when he floored the former property tycoon during a debate on the economy. Law firm Carter Ruck said a letter of claim for defamation was sent to Lebedev’s London office this week.

Lebedev defended punching Polonsky at the time claiming: ‘In a critical situation, there is no choice. I see no reason to be hit with the first shot. I neutralised him.”

Commenting on the development, Polonsky said: ‘Mr Lebedev’s unprovoked and cowardly physical assault on my person inRussia is a matter for the Russian authorities.

‘His unprovoked and cowardly verbal assault on my reputation in England is a matter for the English authorities. As appropriate, I call him to answer to the laws and before the courts of each country.”

In the letter of claim Polonsky demands a full apology and compensation for libel from Lebedev.

Polonsky is represented by Carter Ruck’s Andrew Stephenson in conjunction with the London office of the law firm Alexander Dobrovinsky and Partners.

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