Cristiano Ronaldo is facing a $1bn legal claim in the state of Florida for damages in relation to endorsing Binance and NFTs, as well as failing to disclose how much he was paid for such promotion.
The Portuguese football superstar is essentially being blamed for the plaintiff’s losses which were incurred when investments they purchased on Binance’s platform plummeted in value.
They claim that these losses were a direct result of being encouraged by Ronaldo to purchase investments on the cryptocurrency exchange, which has been accused of engaging in unfair and deceptive practices.
Recent posts by both the footballer and Binance suggest that they are continuing to collaborate, too.
It is difficult to predict what the outcome of the legal claim will be at this stage, as Ronaldo may well choose to try and settle the matter before it reaches a trial.
These are usually held in the public domain and the former Manchester United player would be required to give evidence when defending the case at trial.
His celebrity status would attract a significant amount of media attention in the legal proceedings, however a sum in the region of $1bn may mean that an early settlement cannot be reached.
As a result, Ronaldo may be forced to litigate the case and defend his position at a trial.
It is not clear what his defence will be but the next stage of the proceedings will be for the 38-year-old and his legal team to prepare and lodge his defence with the court.
If the matter reached a trial and the plaintiffs bringing this case were to win, Ronaldo would likely be ordered to pay damages and could be held personally liable for the plaintiffs’ losses.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 28, 2023
These types of cases have been brought previously against high-profile figures such as Kim Kardashian, who settled a claim against her for promoting cryptocurrency Ethereum Max on social media and failing to disclose that she had been paid for the promotion.
Kardashian eventually settled her case out of court, which meant that she did not face a lengthy public trial, but this really is a warning to sports stars, celebrities and influencers entering into promotional agreements that they should cover all bases and obtain legal advice before promoting investments or products online.
This latest development underlines that high-profile figures should always ensure they are acting in accordance with laws and have disclosed all necessary information. There is no substitute for good legal advice when entering into these arrangements.
Jemma Fleetwood is digital asset specialist lawyer at JMW Solicitors.