Sat, 16 Jan 2021

Cape Town - Naomi Osaka has filed a motion to dismiss a $2 million lawsuit against her from a disgruntled former coach, branding the claims "repugnant".

The world No 1 has not found life off the court easy since topping the women's game, and has been targeted by a former coach, Christophe Jean, who claims he is entitled to a share of her earnings.

Jean asserts that in 2012, Osaka's father agreed to pay him 20% of the future earnings of both Naomi and older sister Mari, including endorsement and sponsorship deals.

However, the Osakas have motioned to dismiss, saying Jean's claims are "repugnant to Florida law and public policy," adding that "Florida does not permit child athletes to sign away their lifetime earnings during their infancy."

Osaka is being represented by high-profile New York lawyer Alex Spiro, who states: "Plaintiff's facially defective pleadings must be dismissed in their entirety.

"Any other result would permit a fired coach to exploit two minors who never bargained for the invalid deal he seeks to enforce.

"The alleged contract is voidable under Florida law because the Osakas are minors when Plaintiff allegedly entered into the deal.

"As Plaintiff alleges, the Osakas have terminated it, which was their right."

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