businessman who founded the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket competition and is embroiled in a High Court fight in London over millions of pounds with a venture capitalist has told a judge that he said nothing “false”.
Lalit Modi has been sued by former model Gurpreet Gill Maag and Quantum Care, a company she runs.
Mrs Maag wants damages after investing nearly £750,000 (a million US dollars) into a cancer care company called Ion Care which Mr Modi was behind.
She is alleging “fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract”.
I did not say anything that was false. I believed what I said to be true
Mr Modi disputes her allegations.
Mrs Maag says she invested after Mr Modi “represented” to her that the Duke of York was among several high-profile people who were “patrons” of Ion Care.
She has told Judge Murray Rosen that the King and Queen of Spain – Felipe VI and Queen Letizia – were also included as “patrons” in an investor “pitch”.
Judge Rosen is hearing evidence at a trial in London due to this week.
Mr Modi has told the judge, in a written witness statement, that he had set out a “wish list”.
“I did not say anything that was false,” he said.
“I believed what I said to be true.”
He said he was “setting out my vision and wish list” for Ion Care – the operational business and a philanthropic foundation.
“Prince Andrew: I had spoken to him myself about Ion Care, he hadn’t committed either way,” said Mr Modi.
“That would have been on the foundation side.”
He said he had “intended to approach” the King and Queen of Spain.
Mr Modi said a number of people had featured in a “book of what we would like” and added: “This was a wish list of people we would like as patrons or brand ambassadors or to be involved with the project.”
Mrs Maag had said, in a written witness statement: “Lalit said that Prince Andrew was very dear friend, with whom he commonly interacted.
“Lalit led me to believe, and I did believe – and indeed was impressed – that these very influential people had already agreed to be involved in Ion Care.”
She said celebrities including footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and tennis player Roger Federer were also referred to, and added: “Lalit referred to these individuals as being Ion Care’s ‘brand ambassadors’.”
Mrs Maag says she later found out that Mr Modi had made “false statements in relation to the so-called patrons”.
She is claiming nearly £600,000 (800,000 US dollars) as “damages for deceit”, based on “misrepresentations” alleged to have been made by Mr Modi during a meeting.
Quantum also wants to recover “substantial sums” in respect of “consequential losses” – returns Mrs Maag says would have been received on investments.
Lawyers say millions of pounds are at stake.
Anna Dilnot QC, who is leading Mrs Maag’s legal team, has told the judge in a written case outline that “patrons” identified in an investor deck were “the King and Queen of Spain, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the wife of the Prime Minister of the UAE, HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Prince Andrew Duke of York and Kofi Annan (former Secretary General of the UN)”.
Miss Dilnot said Mrs Maag’s evidence was that Mr Modi said “a number of well-known and influential individuals” had agreed to act as “patrons” of Ion Care and made financial commitments amounting to nearly £200 million.
She said a spokeswoman for Andrew had last year said he had never been a patron of Ion Care.
Mr Modi is Indian and lives in London.
Mrs Maag is Indian and lives in Singapore.