Cop who led search for Madeleine McCann made $455,000 from book in which he slandered her parents
Goncalo Amaral made more than $455,000 from his book 'Maddie: The Truth About The Lie' and £20,000 from interviews that he gave about the child's disappearance
The detective who led the search for Madeleine McCann has reportedly made £350,000 from a book that was published on the case in which the missing child's parents were slandered and now the couple is out to make him pay. Court documents have revealed that Goncalo Amaral, a retired police chief in Portugal, made more than $455,000 (£350,000) from his book on the case titled "Maddie: The Truth About The Lie". The money also reportedly came from a DVD spin-off based on the book.
According to The Sun, Amaral claimed that the girl died in an accident at the family's holiday apartment in Algarve in 2007 and that her parents covered up the crime. Kate and Gerry McCann are in the midst of a battle with Amaral at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to stop him from making money on the disappearance of their child.
A source close to the couple said: "If Goncalo Amaral continues to make these outrageous claims then he will find he has a tough fight on his hands. Kate and Gerry are not going to let him get away with what he said about them." The McCanns got an injunction issued against the book in 2009 and this is also when they started libel action against the retired police chief. The couple was able to win the case in 2015 but the ruling was soon overturned after an appeal and Amaral was even awarded compensation.
According to documents that were filed at the ECHR, Amaral made a profit of almost £300,000 from book sales in 2008-09 and a little less than £35,000 from the DVD spin-off. It is also believed that he made an additional £20,000 from interviews that he gave about the child's disappearance. Amaral was able to make more money in book sales after the injunction against it was lifted.
Kate and Gerry have gone to the ECHR with the hope that they can avoid paying Amaral £750,000, which they are afraid will clean out the rest of the fund which they had set up to search for their daughter.
The three-year-old child disappeared from their apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal when the family had gone there on vacation in May 2007. The toddler and her twin siblings were asleep in the vacation apartment alone while their parents had gone to a nearby tapas restaurant with some friends.
It was revealed last month that donation to the Maddie Fund from the public has gone down to "virtually zero" over the course of 11 years since Maddie's disappearance. A source close to the McCann couple has said: "The idea that money is still flooding in is just wrong. Donations dried up a long time ago. At times the story comes into the news a few kind people send in a quid or two but there is nothing of any real value."
The Madeleine Fund, which is officially called Leaving No Stone Unturned, was launched after the toddler disappeared. The main purpose of the fund is to find Maddie, support her family, and bring the people who took her to justice. Only £750,000 is reportedly left in the funds which the couple will use to pay for private investigators if the police stop the search for their child.
Money had been flowing into the Fund over the years — it even reached almost £2million at its peak — and most of the funds came from online merchandise sales to help in the search for the missing child who will now be 15 years old.
Kate has, however, closed the shop and posted on the site saying: "Unfortunately, due to many commitments and pressures, I am unable at this time to attend to website orders. We greatly appreciate your support. Thank you to everyone who has kindly donated to Madeleine's Fund through our Online Store. Your support means a lot to us."
The parents are now reportedly "keeping their fingers crossed" that the search for their daughter will go on for another six months. Their friend said: "The funding is down to the Home Office and the police. Kate and Gerry have no say in the matter. They have been here before. They simply have no idea if the search will come to an end or will carry on. It is a daunting prospect they face once more and time is running out for a decision to be made."