AMAN Resorts Capital Group OKO Group Vladislav Doronin

Leaked emails show that Doronin planned to sue “The New York Times”

On May 22, 2015 “The New York Times” published an article called “Paying the price for a personal drill sergeant” about the emerging industry of personal trainers for high net worth individuals. One of the people interviewed for the article was Omar Amanat, the founder of Aman Resorts Group, who at the time was embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with Doronin over the control of that firm. The article immediately came to the attention of Doronin, who appears to be obsessed with publicity and receives daily updates from his PR staff, which report any mention of his name. Having been forwarded the article by Mikhail Lagranskiy, his right-hand man from Capital Group, and incensed by the fact that NYT referred to Amanat as the Chairman of Aman Resorts, Doronin demanded action. It is interesting to note that Doronin (who claims to have divested from Capital Group in 2014) was, never-the-less, using a Capital Group corporate email account in May 2015.

Correspondence between Lagranskiy, Leach and Doronin on May 23-24

One other person, included in this initial exchange, was Stuart Leach from Bell Potinger, a British “reputation management company”, who poured oil on the fire by saying that this was not the first time that NYT journalists did not fact check and promised to “get on to it”.

The matter quickly escalated and the exchange was forwarded to three lawyers from Herbert Smith Freehills, one more employee of Bell Pottinger and to Dinara Lizunova, then Head of PR for Capital Group (note the involvement of yet another senior employee of Capital Group from which Doronin had by then “divested”).

Further correspondence

Then Doronin shot off an email to his partners Michael Shvo and Jonathan Goldstein (also known as one of the buyers of Chelsea football club from the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich), copying Anna Nash, then Head of Global PR for Aman Resorts, asking whether Shvo had any contacts at the NYT and adding, “We need to act sue them for disinformation and damaging the brand”.

Email from Doronin to Shvo and Goldstein

Further exchange with Alan Djanogly, then head of Doronin’s Tarek Investment.

Other that his broken English (surprising for someone who has lived in the West for so long), these emails demonstrate Doronin’s immediate reaction to the emergence of any unapproved information about himself or his businesses, which is to use threats of legal action in order to coerce the journalists into compliance – a pattern, which has been clearly demonstrated over the past year with Doronin’s lawsuits against The Aspen Times and The Real Deal.