Former Chelsea doctor, Eva Carneiro, settled her case against the club and their ex-manager Jose Mourinho for an undisclosed sum on Tuesday just as she seemed set to testify against them.
After negotiations that saw lawyers scuttling back and forth between two rooms at the London South Employment Tribunal in suburban Croydon, both sides reached a private agreement.
“The parties agreed to the settlement of this dispute on confidential terms,” lawyer Daniel Stilitz, representing Chelsea and Mourinho, told the tribunal at a delayed hearing that eventually lasted no more than two minutes.
Carneiro, whom Chelsea said had rejected an offer of £1.2 million ($1.75m, €1.54m) to settle her claims, had been due to start giving evidence Tuesday in her case against the London club and Mourinho, who was appointed Manchester United’s new manager last month.
She was pursuing a constructive dismissal case against Chelsea and a connected, personal legal action against Mourinho, who left the Blues in December, for alleged victimisation and sexual discrimination.
But when Mourinho and Chelsea’s top executives unexpectedly arrived at the tribunal before Carneiro was due to start giving evidence, it seemed a deal to avert an eight-day public slanging match was in the offing.
Two dozen reporters shut inside a waiting room could only watch through a small window as representatives from both sides moved along the corridor.
Carneiro, 42, said she was “relieved” to have concluded the case, calling it an “extremely difficult and distressing time for me and my family”, in a statement after the brief hearing.
Chelsea said it was “pleased” that an agreement had been reached.
“The club regrets the circumstances which led to Dr. Carneiro leaving the club and apologises unreservedly to her and her family for the distress caused,” said a statement on behalf of the club and Mourinho.
But there was no apology from the Portuguese manager in either the statement, or before a heaving scrum of reporters, photographers and cameramen which surrounded him as he left the tribunal.
Carneiro alleges Mourinho shouted “filha da puta” at her, “Portuguese for daughter of a whore”, after she ran on the pitch during a match.
In an extract from a statement by Mourinho read out before the tribunal on Monday, he claimed he was known for regularly using the term “filho da puta”, meaning son of a whore, in the heat of a match and had done so throughout the game in question.
AFPShare on Facebook