Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Pietersen payout over Specsavers ad

England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages over a Specsavers advert which implied that he may have tampered with his bat during the Ashes

England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages over a Specsavers advert which implied that he may have tampered with his bat during the Ashes.

The batsman was not at London's High Court for the settlement of his action against the optician services group over the "serious and defamatory allegation".

His solicitor, Louise Prince, told Mr Justice Tugendhat that the "Should've gone to Specsavers" advert was published on the company's Twitter account and Facebook page in August, and also appeared in various newspapers and magazines.

Accompanied by a photo of Pietersen, it contained the statement: "'Bat tampering' in the #Ashes? Apparently Hot Spot should've gone to Specsavers."

Ms Prince said the allegation of bat tampering was completely untrue and without any foundation whatsoever.

Specsavers Optical Group Ltd accepted that Pietersen did not behave in the manner suggested, apologised and had already removed the advert from circulation. It had also agreed to pay him substantial damages and his legal costs.

The group's solicitor, Niri Shan, said it did not intend to imply that Pietersen may have tampered with his bat. It acknowledged that the allegation was untrue and apologised for the distress and embarrassment caused.

A spokesman for Pietersen declined to comment.

Specsavers said in a statement: "During the 2013 Ashes series we published a 'Should've Gone to Specsavers' advert which suggested that Kevin Pietersen may have tampered with his bat in an attempt to prevent Hot Spot technology working.

"We did not intend to imply this suggestion.

"We accept that this allegation is untrue and that Kevin Pietersen did not tamper with his bat. We apologise unreservedly for any distress and embarrassment our advert has caused to Kevin Pietersen. We have removed the advert from circulation."

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