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Jun 10, 2013
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Look at this Saudi billionaire guy, suing a magazine publication for underestimating his wealth.

Forbes is currently facing libel charges for falsely estimating Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's wealth to be at around $20 billion, because the prince claims the magazine's research is incorrect and that he is actually $9.6 billion richer than what was published. In short, he's bringing 'em to court for saying he's not rich enough.

The prince, a grandson of Saudi Arabia's founder and nephew of King Abdullah, says the U.S. magazine's ranking of world billionaires is flawed and biased against Middle Eastern businesses. Forbes ranked him as the 26th richest man in the world, which did not particularly sit well with him.

Forbes List                                                     "Prince Habeeboo is not poor. Your mother is poor."

Forbes however is sticking by its research, releasing an article about how the magazine arrived at the figure of $20 billion and even criticized the prince's Kingdom Holding Company, which is allegedly not transparent when it comes to its assets. Through said company, Prince Alwaleed owns large stakes in Citigroup, News Corp, and Apple Inc., and is part-owner of some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, including The Plaza in New York, the Savoy in London, and the George V in Paris.

The article also described the prince's marble-filled, 420-room Riyadh Palace, his private Boeing 747 equipped with a throne, and his 120-acre resort on the edge of the Saudi capital with five homes, five artificial lakes, and a freakin' mini-Grand Canyon. All that and the prince barely cracked the top ten. We wonder how top billionaire Carlos Slim Helu (who has $73 billion in his name) spends his money.

Forbes List                                                                               "'Coz I gots the goods."

The High Court official in London says that the journalists named in the defamation claim are Forbes editor Randall Lane, writer Kerry Dolan, and Francine McKenna, who was credited with additional reporting. It is worth noting that the suit was made in a British court, even though Forbes is a New York-based publication.

Defamation suits are apparently easier to accomplish under British law, where a claimant has only to prove that a publication was defamatory. The U.S. libel law meanwhile has higher requirements. "In the U.S., a high-profile claimant has to prove firstly that the article was untrue and secondly that the publisher knew that the article was untrue, which is what we call malice," explains media lawyer Jonathan Coad. "Those are two hurdles that a U.K. libel action does not present."

The defamation suit is still in its early stages, and we're no legal experts here, but this one will probably be settled out of court. Yo, your highness, brah, we say you go drop that lawsuit. You know how people are going to think you're actually richer than Forbes say you are? Share your damn blessings, you reigning moolah machine!

Forbes List

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