Nov 26, 2014
Press Statement: Prince Alwaleed Successful in Key Libel Decision

London Court Affirms Forbes Made Defamatory Accusations

HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is pleased the court has ruled in his favor on the meaning of key elements of the defamatory articles published about him by Forbes in April 2013.  The Prince has consistently maintained that Forbes defamed him by falsely accusing him of defaulting on important contractual obligations, dishonestly manipulating the share price of Kingdom Holding Company, and firing KHC’s auditor because it raised concerns that KHC’s value was over-estimated.  Prince Alwaleed also notes the court has found that the Forbes’ articles did not impact KHC.

With today’s ruling the court confirms that the Forbes articles made defamatory accusations, thereby strengthening Prince Alwaleed’s claims. The lawsuit will now move forward to hold Forbes accountable for their inaccurate reporting, to correct these false and damaging allegations and to vindicate HRH Prince Alwaleed’s reputation.

Additional Context on the Case:

In March of 2013, The Private Office of His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Kingdom Holding Company announced they were severing ties with the Forbes Billionaires List, would no longer assist the Forbes wealth estimation team and asked to be removed from the annual list.  This action was taken after several years of frustration in working with the Forbes team and the belief that the Forbes team was using questionable methodology and consistently publishing estimates of HRH’s wealth that the KHC team told them was incorrect.  In April 2013, Forbes published a series of articles that not only contained inaccurate figures based on faulty methodologies, but also contained damaging personal allegations about HRH Prince Alwaleed that were defamatory as well as offensive allegations about KHC, Saudi financial institutions and the Saudi people.  In the spring of 2013, Prince Alwaleed and KHC filed a defamation suit against Forbes to hold Forbes accountable for their defamatory reporting and to correct their false accusations.  Below are key points of context and facts about the case:

The purpose of initiating legal action is to hold Forbes accountable for their defamatory reporting and to correct the erroneous claims made against HRH Prince Alwaleed.

It is important to note that the legal claim against Forbes is about correcting seriously defamatory allegations that have been made about HRH Prince Alwaleed – such as defaulting on important contractual obligations and dishonestly inflating KHC’s share price – and vindicating the reputation of the Prince.  The suit has nothing to do with HRH Prince Alwaleed’s ranking on the Forbes Billionaires List as some reports have alleged.

HRH Prince Alwaleed has a responsibility to the shareholders of KHC to preserve the fair right and ability to conduct business in an environment free from false and damaging allegations.

Since taking legal action, HRH Prince Alwaleed has consistently stated the points above in interviews with leading news organizations:

Amanda Lang/The Exchange/CBC

Maria Bartiromo/Closing Bell/CNBC

Charlie Rose/Bloomberg TV