IMG's Forstmann scorns lawsuit but admits bets

by: Ed McGrogan | October 19, 2010

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In an interview with the Daily Beast website, IMG owner Ted Forstmann has unapologetically admitted that he bet on contests involving IMG clients.

The bets were made through former friend James Agate, whose company, Agate Printing, has filed a lawsuit against Forstmann for gambling-related costs. Forstmann called Agate a "shakedown artist" and described his actions as extortion.

Celebrity gossip website TMZ has reported one of Agate's allegations is that Forstmann received 'inside information' from Roger Federer before the 2007 French Open final. Agate claims that Forstmann increased his bet on Federer from $10,000 to $40,000 as a result.

Federer lost the match to another IMG client, Rafael Nadal

"I might have called Roger before the match in 2007," Forstmann told the Daily Beast. "But Roger is a buddy of mine and all I would be doing is wishing him luck. How is that insider information?... Now somehow or another, I'm fixing the match."

Forstmann said he lost $40,000 on the wager.

In golf, Forstmann admitted to betting "maybe $5,000" on Vijay Singh at the Masters when IMG client Tiger Woods was also playing. However, Forstmann denied that he was betting "against" Woods, as the lawsuit claims.

He emphasized that the wagered amounts were tiny compared to his earnings -- in the thousands of dollars, not the millions the lawsuit alleges. "My lawyers tell me I made more than $80 million over the past eight years," said the billionaire investor. "As for my total net worth, you can check Forbes 400.

"...Can you imagine that, I bet a few bucks on sports?"

Forstmann also defended himself strongly against the personal attacks made against him in the lawsuit. "Can you imagine I adopt two black kids without a wife and I'm a racist?"

College basketballs officials have reacted with concern, he added. "[They are] like priests now they're asking me if I bet on March Madness."

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