Jose Mourinho and Chelsea today issued a humbling apology to former club doctor Eva Carneiro minutes before she was due to give explosive evidence against them.
Ms Carneiro had claimed the Special One is a sexist who called her the 'daughter of a whore' during a match and accused the club of doing nothing to stop her being forced out of her job.
She was due to take the witness stand this afternoon to make her allegations public but Mourinho made a shock appearance to end her employment tribunal.
The new Manchester United boss was due to give evidence in Croydon next week and had been warned he faces two days of questions.
The terms of the settlement will remain secret but yesterday the tribunal heard Chelsea offered £1.2million to silence Ms Carneiro, who they said made ‘scandalous’ claims about working for manager Jose Mourinho. But she rejected the money – more than four times her annual salary – and the offer of her ‘dream job’ back.
After a further round of negotiations at the Croydon Employment Tribunal on Tuesday afternoon, with both Carneiro and Mourinho, plus Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaia, in attendance, the two sides reached an agreement.
In a statement issued on their club website, Chelsea said: 'Chelsea Football Club is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Dr Carneiro which brings her employment tribunal proceedings against the club and Jose Mourinho to an end.
'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 doctor. 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.'
Dr Carneiro left the Premier League club after Mourinho suggested she did not understand the game of football, triggering an explosive sexism row.
She accused the manager of sexual harassment by branding her a ‘daughter of a whore’ in Portuguese during a match last year, and says the club took his side.
But Mourinho was to claim he actually shouted ‘son of a bitch’, which he claims would not be sexist, London South Employment Tribunal in Croydon was told.
Since he and Dr Carneiro both speak Portuguese, the tribunal heard that academic experts ‘in Portuguese swearing’ would be called to give evidence.
The bust-up during the match against Swansea last August happened when she and another medic raced on to the pitch to treat midfielder Eden Hazard.
Mourinho later criticised them in a TV interview for acting too hastily because it meant he would be a player down at a crucial juncture in the game, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Dr Carneiro, who has demanded a public apology from Mourinho, arrived at the tribunal yesterday in a powder blue coat and cream dress, holding hands with her husband, polar explorer Jason De Carteret. She is suing Chelsea for constructive dismissal, unfair dismissal under health and safety laws, sex discrimination and harassment.
She is suing Mourinho - who won the Premier League three times in two spells at Chelsea, where he referred to himself as the ‘Special One’, and is now the £75million manager of Manchester United - for alleged victimisation and discrimination.
Daniel Stilitz QC, representing Mourinho and Chelsea, told the tribunal the doctor had ‘made a series of scandalous, irrelevant and untrue allegations’ in her witness statement, which is due to be made public today (TUES).
He said: ‘She has been made an open offer of £1.2million to settle her claims, far more than the respondents [Mourinho and Chelsea] believe she could realistically recover even if she succeeded on all her claims.’
But she had rejected ‘all overtures’, he said. He rejected the idea that Chelsea and Mourinho ‘were somehow hostile to the idea of women working in football’.
However Mary O’Rourke QC, for the doctor, said: ‘As Dr Carneiro ran onto the pitch, Mourinho shouted behind her “filha da puta”, which is Portuguese for “daughter of a whore”, which is a very offensive expression, aimed at her because she was the only female pitchside, understands Portuguese, and she had just run past him.
‘He uses the word because he is abusing a woman.
‘In the dressing room, Mourinho said to Dr [Paco] Biosca, the medical director, “If they don’t know how to do their jobs and they don’t understand the game, you get other ones. You have to understand the game”.’
Miss O’Rourke said: ‘Not “understanding the game” is a common allegation put to women in the football world.’
She said the club had sided with its manager – the ‘bad employee’ – rather than the ‘good employee’ doctor.
She said: ‘The bad employee forces the good employee out of the job of her dreams and the employer does nothing to stop it.
‘The bad employee berates, sexually harasses and demotes the good employee for carrying out her professional duties.’
But Mourinho will say swearing is a normal part of football, the hearing was told. Mr Stilitz said it was Mourinho’s style to ‘express himself bluntly’, adding that the former Chelsea manager was ‘clearly angry and emotional’ at the time.
He accused Dr Carneiro of making ‘extravagant’ demands after the incident, including a 40 per cent rise to take her £286,000 salary to £400,000.
She also demanded bonus payments to ‘properly reward’ her for my contribution to the club’s success’ and a ‘substantial payment’ in compensation for distress, he alleged.
He accused Dr Carneiro of being ‘preoccupied with developing her profile’ such as signing fans’ autographs and positioning herself behind the manager when he was on TV.
Dr Carneiro says being the Chelsea First Team Doctor was her ambition and is claiming ‘whole career’ damages. The club and its former manager say her claims ‘should be dismissed in their entirety’. The employment tribunal is expected to last until June 24.