The prince greeting his bubba, Rupert Murdoch
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has sued Forbes magazine for libel in a British court, alleging its valuation of his wealth at $20 billion was short of the mark by $9.6 billion, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported…
The prince, a grandson of Saudi Arabia’s founder and nephew of King Abdullah, had attacked the U.S. magazine’s ranking of world billionaires as flawed and biased against Middle Eastern businesses after he was ranked number 26 in this year’s list.
An official at the High Court in London confirmed that Prince Alwaleed had filed a defamation suit against Forbes, its editor Randall Lane, and two of its journalists on April 30. Details of the claim were not immediately available.
Through his Kingdom Holding Company, Prince Alwaleed owns large stakes in Citigroup, News Corp and Apple among other companies. He is also owner or part-owner of luxury hotels including the Plaza in New York, the Savoy in London and the George V in Paris.
This year’s Forbes World Billionaires list was published on March 4, and the following day Kingdom Holding said the valuation process used “incorrect data” and “seemed designed to disadvantage Middle Eastern investors and institutions”…
Under British libel law, a claimant has only to prove that a publication was defamatory. Then the burden of proof passes to the defendant, who has several possible defenses, including that the publication was true.
FORBES magazine and Prince Alwaleed – they deserve each other.