A BRITISH journalist has claimed the publishers of the Euro Weekly News stole his newspaper and left him penniless.
Almeria-based expat Lenox Napier told Almeria Court Penal Four that he had been ‘cheated’ by Michel and Steven Euesden, who he had taken on as sales staff at his newspaper.
Giving evidence in court, Napier said the Euesdens failed to pay the monies owed at the end of a three-year buyout process of the paper, The Entertainer.
He claims the pair then illegally rebranded the paper as the Euro Weekly News, but continued the edition numbers where The Entertainer broke off.
Napier, who lives in Mojacar, added they had re-registered the website and the brand behind his back.
He said: “I trusted them and having worked hard to set up the newspaper for over a decade I expected to be rewarded. But I got nothing.”
He also told the court the Euesdens have purchased several domain names, all including his name, which redirect to their own site, www.theeuesdens.com.
They also bought that of The Entertainer, which leads to the Euro Weekly News site.
Napier claims set up The Entertainer in 1985, along with two friends, and by 1995 they were distributing 40,000 papers across Andalucia. He was at the helm of the newspaper until 1999, when the staff buyout took place.
The deal saw the Euesdens agree to pay Napier an undisclosed monthly fee over three years, and a lump sum at the end of the term.
The Euesdens, who live in Mijas, claim they didn’t settle the bills because The Entertainer brand wasn’t Napier’s to sell.
They have brought two charges against Napier, the first defrauding, in relation to the sale of the newspaper, and the second of defamation, relating to articles published on line.
On his blog, The Entertainer Online, he set up a section called the Weeniewatch, which kept a close eye on the Euesdens.
One particular point that angered the pair was being described as pornographers by Napier.
The journalist wrote they owned a series a magazines with a sexual theme which they distributed across the Costa del Sol.
When asked about this in the court, Michel admitted they had four or five magazines of such a nature. But they had now sold them.
Defending his articles to the judge, Napier said some of the more fruity language used in the pieces were meant in jest.
He further defended his blogs as freedom of speech and insisted he had every right to write about the Euesdens considering what he claims they had done to him.
Napier claims the Euesdens are demanding two years in prison and €30,000 in damages.
He stands by his assertion that the pair stole the newspaper off him.
A ruling is due within the next month.