Samuels files lawsuit
Frontline West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels has hit back against former Australian fast bowler Geoff Lawson, by filing a defamation lawsuit in regards to comments the latter made shortly after the conclusion of the ICC World Twenty20 final in India in April.
Speaking on a radio programme in Australia, Lawson said Samuels was involved with gangs in Jamaica and as such should be feared.
The comments, which were made on the programme Big Sports Breakfast, were also published on the Australian news website, news.com.au under the authorship of journalist James Matthey.
Samuels has subsequently decided to sue Lawson, Matthey, news.com.au and the Big Sports Breakfast radio.
"Through this case, I intend not only to defend my integrity and my image as an international cricketer, but also the values I have defended all my career,'' Samuels said in a statement.
"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."
During the radio programme, Lawson said of Samuels: "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.''
Samuels' attorneys filed the defamation lawsuit last Friday and labelled Lawson's comments as "erroneous, malicious and unjustifiable".
"Samuels finds the comments defamatory and deeply offensive. Samuels has no criminal record nor has been the subject of any criminal investigations,'' Samuels' attorneys expressed.
"The comments were published and aired with the absence of conducting proper journalist research, nor was Samuels contacted to give his views on the damaging remarks about his character.
"Marlon Samuels feels compelled to defend his integrity and his image as an athlete and a sporting ambassador to his country.''
Samuels, who guided West Indies to victory over England in the final and was named Man of the Match, was involved in an altercation with England all-rounder Ben Stokes at the end of the contest.