Bahraini Sheikh wins £35m case about meeting Bollywood stars in London

LONDON: A Bahraini Sheikh won a London High Court case against an Egyptian businessman who claimed the royal owed him £35 million in return for arranging meetings with some of India’s biggest Bollywood stars– including Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh and Aishwarya Rai.

Sheikh Hamad Isa Ali Al-Khalifa, who is a distant cousin of the King of Bahrain, was sued in London’s High Court by Egyptian Ahmed Adel Abdallah Ahmed.

According to an article on Financial Times, during the trial at the London High Court, Ahmed argued that they had reached a legally binding agreement in a January 2016 phone call, but Sheikh Hamad denied that any agreement had been reached and said he thought he had a “genuine bond of friendship” with Ahmed.

Ahmed claimed that the Sheikh had agreed on a deal whereby the Egyptian would set up meetings with Bollywood stars at a cost of $1.5m per meeting together with a $500,000 bonus for every third meeting.

He further alleged that he had been asked to set up meetings with 26 Bollywood actors but the Sheikh backed out of the deal following five meetings after he had received just $3m.

Giving his judgment in London on Friday, Justice Jacobs dismissed the claim, finding that there were “simply too many inconsistencies…and improbabilities for the case advanced by Ahmed to be accepted”.

The judge said: “I reject Ahmed’s account of the phone conversation on January 7, 2016, and I reject his case that there was an agreement on the terms alleged.”

In a statement after the ruling, Sheikh Hamad said: “I am very pleased with today’s judgment. It was with a heavy heart that I was forced to defend myself against this claim since I had considered Ahmed to be a friend whom I trusted, and had always treated him with generosity and kindness. Nonetheless, I have never wavered in my belief that the claim was completely unfounded and I am glad that the court has found in my favour and dismissed the claim in its entirety.”

His barrister Stephen Nathan QC said access to such stars is “not easily achieved”, but that Ahmed and his company CBSC Events & Exhibition and Conference Organisers were able to deliver it “at a price”.

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