Virgin boss Richard Branson has pledged 100,000 pounds for a legal fund to defend the parents of missing toddler Madeleine McCann, the Sunday Times reported.
Gerry and Kate McCann have been named as formal suspects by Portuguese police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine in May.
"Sir Richard wants to ensure the McCanns get access to the best legal advice," the weekly newspaper quoted a source close to Branson as saying.
"He has a good instinct on these things. It will help to ensure that they get a fair hearing and that all of the facts become available."
The paper added that Branson, head of the group that includes Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Mobile, has been in regular contact with the couple since their daughter went missing.
"A number of other individuals will be involved. The fund's size is potentially unlimited," the source was quoted as saying.
"It will initially look to raise about 1.0 million pounds, but it will be as much as it takes to make the McCanns' case."
Madeleine, then aged three, vanished from the family's holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz on the Algarve in Portugal on May 3 as her parents ate an evening meal with friends in a restaurant just metres away.
Gerry McCann, a hospital cardiologist, and Kate McCann, a family doctor, flew back to Britain with their two-year-old twins last weekend after spending nearly four months based in Portugal coordinating a search for their daughter.
The couple this weekend launched a new publicity campaign in Europe to help the search, and their friends have sought to shift the focus back onto this aspect of the case and away from speculation about the parents.
Friends of Kate McCann, 39, came out Sunday to insist she was an exemplary mother who would never harm her children.
Newspaper speculation in Portugal and Britain has flown since the McCanns were named as "arguidos" -- formal suspects -- in Madeleine's disappearance.
The status means they can no longer speak about the police investigation.
According to the family, Portuguese police suspect Kate McCann was involved in the accidental death of her daughter and both parents then tried to cover it up.
The McCanns strongly deny any role in Madeleine's disappearance.
If the McCanns are guilty and people like Richard Branson have supported them are they guilty of aiding and abetting?
Is this just a major achievement for the McCanns' clever use of deflecting?
If your daughter was missing through neglectful parenting , what would you do?
Kate McCann, an exemplary mother who would never harm her children?