New Delhi: West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels has reportedly filed a defamation lawsuit against former Australia fast bowler Geoff Lawson for making "insulting" and "false allegations".
A report in the Indian Express quoted a statement from Samuels who claimed that the defamatory comments were made by Lawson in a radio podcast, ‘Big Sports Breakfast’ on April 4, a day after the Jamaican had led his team to their second World T20 triumph in Kolkata.
“He’s tied up with some shady people back in the West Indies….he’s a guy you don’t muck around with on or off the field. He’s from Kingston, Jamaica, it’s one of the murder capitals of the world…he’s tied up with gangs there, it goes well beyond cricket,” Lawson is quoted as having told the radio podcast in the statement.
The 35-year-old is known for having public spats with another Australian, Shane Warne. The duo hit headlines recently after the ICC World T20 final, in which the West Indian lashed out at spin legend during the post-match presentation ceremony after winning the 'Man of the Match' for his unbeaten 85.
The law suit also includes journalist James Matthey, who published a news story on the website news.com.au, accusing Samuels of ‘being involved with criminal gangs in Jamaica’. The statement states that both the website and Big Sports Breakfast have also been sued for defamation for publishing and airing the comments.
“Samuels has no criminal record nor has been the subject of any criminal investigations. The comments were published and aired with the absence of conducting proper journalist research, nor where Samuels contacted to give his views on the damaging remarks about his character,” the statement reads.
Clarifying his position, Samuels is quoted saying, “Through this case, I intend not only to defend my integrity and my image as a international cricketer but also the values I have defended all my career. I also wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished.”
“If I win this case any compensation awarded I will donate some of the proceeds to the Marlon Samuels Society for the Blind in Jamaica,” he adds.