Geoff Lawson and broadcasters 2KY have agreed to settle the defamation case filed against them by Marlon Samuels, and are also going to issue “a full apology” and paying “substantial damages” to the Jamaican batsman.
Samuels had filed a case against Lawson and the network last July charging Lawson with making “erroneous, malicious and unjustifiable” comments about him in the Big Sports Breakfast radio programme aired on April 4. This was a day after West Indies won the 2016 World Twenty20, with Samuels leading the way with an unbeaten 85 in 66 balls.
“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 was quoted as having said on that occasion.
Samuels reacted by taking the matter to his lawyers – Richard Owen-Thomas and Suzette A Thompson in London.
On Thursday (April 6), the Jamaica Observer reported that Samuels had won the suit against Lawson and 2KY, and Thompson said in a release, “These comments were published and aired without proper journalist research, nor was Samuels contacted to give his views on the damaging remarks about his character. We are delighted that Lawson and the Big Sports Breakfast radio have now settled and are issuing a full apology and agreed to pay substantial damages to Marlon.”
Samuels, who at 36 is a veteran of 71 Tests, 187 One-Day Internationals and 55 T20 Internationals, added in a statement: “Through this case, my intention was not only to defend my integrity and image as an 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.”
Lawson’s apology will be broadcast on 2KY at a time to be agreed between the network and Samuels.
It has also been reported that Samuels, who was part of West Indies’s recent T20I series against Pakistan, which his team lost 3-1, will donate a percentage of the proceeds from the damages to Marlon Samuels Society for the Blind in Jamaica.