Former France international Franck Ribery is suing the magazine Closer for €400 000 over an article which claimed he was implicated in a prostitution case.
The 32-year-old is suing Mondadori Magazine France, which publishes Closer, for “serious prejudice to his image and dignity”, according to a document seen by AFP on Monday.
Closer had claimed Ribery was going to be in contact with a court of law over a prostitution case – in fact he was only a witness.
The winger, who returned to action for his German club Bayern Munich at the weekend following a nine-month injury layoff, had previously been charged with paying for sex with an underage prostitute in 2009, although he was exonerated last year.
“Franck Ribery has once again been the victim of serious schemes committed by the French media with no aim other than to sully his reputation and throw it into the mud,” said the document.
Ribery was interviewed by police on November 26 as a witness, a police source told AFP last Wednesday.
However, Closer deny having done anything wrong.
“Closer published information that was verified and confirmed by police,” the magazine’s lawyer Delphine Pando said in a statement sent to AFP.
“(Closer) took care to clarify that he was released and that no charges were brought against him.
“Closer’s editors insist that this information, which was presented as a rumour, was confirmed by Franck Ribery’s lawyer.”
Pando added that no summons had yet been received by the magazine.
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