Stelios Libel claim
Mr Stelios Haji-Ioannou has been forced to issue an apology and settle the libel claim brought by his former employee, Nick Manoudakis. Stelios had accused his former employee of breaching his fiduciary duties by using “company credit cards to discharge personal expenditure.” He also accused him of lying in court documents.
Stelios admitted libel and was forced to issue a formal apology on the Easy Group website:
“On 21st April 2011 and 14th June 2011, I published articles in the Shareholder News section of our website www.easy.com concerning the former Chief Financial Officer of easyGroup, Nick Manoudakis. In those articles I said that Mr Manoudakis abused his corporate credit cards whilst in the employ of easyGroup between 2001 and 2006 (when he left), and that he lied in court documents when making a claim against the company.
Given the facts that have emerged during the trial that took place in the High Court in October 2011 and the responses given by Manoudakis and the other staff I now fully accept that the process of using corporate credit cards to pay for personal expenses was widespread and open amongst my staff at the time (2001-2006) and I have now seen evidence that these appear to have been recorded in the company books as such. In view of the latest information it is not fair to describe them as an abuse. I also accept that Mr Manoudakis did not lie in court documents of the case in 2011.
In the circumstances I apologise to Mr Manoudakis for the damage I have caused to his reputation and any offence and upset that I caused him. I have agreed to pay him damages for libel, and his legal costs.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou”
Mr Stelios will pay £5,001 damages, as well as the legal costs, which are estimated to amount to £500,000 for the libel claim.
The solicitor for Mr Manoudakis said:
- “Nick is pleased that the litigation between himself and Stelios has finally concluded. The apology goes some way to restoring his professional reputation that was tarnished by the comments on easy.com.”