After José Mourinho blew up on then-Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro during a game back in August, apparently for her unforgivable sin of tending to an injured player, and after he then demoted her for said unforgivable sin, and after Carneiro was like “Screw this, I’m out of here, and I’m suing all y’all for how y’all did me, too,” and after her constructive dismissal, harassment, and sexual discrimination suit finally went to court yesterday, Chelsea and Carneiro have officially put this ordeal behind them by settling their dispute out of court today.
The start of the trial yesterday painted a sordid picture of where each side’s arguments were going to take things, so much so that both parties must have been loath to see it all aired out in public. Carneiro made the case that working for Chelsea was often a hostile environment, where she was regularly subjected to indignities both large and small because of her status as a woman in a male-dominated workplace. Despite this, she claimed, she loved the job and was beloved by most everyone, except Mourinho, who humiliated her in a sexist way and made her continued employment untenable.
For their part, Chelsea made Carneiro out to be a fame- and money-hungry opportunist who had adopted an air of entitlement and sought to maximize her own celebrity (by taking public speaking engagements, signing autographs, sitting behind the manager during televised matches so as to appear on screen, etc.) at the expense of fulfilling her duties. When she was punished by her boss, Mourinho, instead of taking the criticism to heart and trying to improve, she lashed out by leaking info to the media and demanding a huge raise when Chelsea offered to restore her to her original position as first team doctor.
The two parties did admit that Carneiro had turned down a £1.2 million settlement before the trial, which Chelsea tried to use as evidence of Carneiro’s greed while the plaintiff cast it as proof that she was out for justice, not money. Carneiro, Mourinho, and other club officials were to take the witness stand during the trial that was predicted to take over a week. It would’ve been a long, potentially embarrassing, acrimonious affair.
It’s no wonder why Chelsea and Carneiro settled today, then. Carneiro released a statement that expressed her gratitude that this was finally over, and again defended her tenure as first team doctor against any claims of impropriety. Chelsea’s statement too absolved Carneiro of any wrongdoing and offered Carneiro a comprehensive apology:
“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.
“We wish to place on record that in running onto the pitch Dr Carneiro was following both the rules of the game and fulfilling her responsibility to the players as a doctor, putting their safety first.
“Dr Carneiro has always put the interests of the club’s players first. Dr Carneiro is a highly competent and professional sports doctors. She was a valued member of the club’s medical team and we wish her every success in her future career.
“Jose Mourinho also thanks Dr Carneiro for the excellent and dedicated support she provided as first team doctor and he wishes her a successful career.”
Judging from the statements, it sounds like the club decided it was worth ponying up even more than that original £1.2 million settlement offer to avoid the specifics of Carneiro’s allegations from getting out to the public.