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Actor Laurence Fox loses libel case after calling individuals ‘paedophiles’ on social media

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Actor Laurence Fox Loses Libel Case After Calling Individuals 'paedophiles' On Social Media

Actor and politician Laurence Fox has lost a libel case in the High Court after referring to two individuals as ‘paedophiles’ on social media. The case was brought against Fox by Simon Blake, a former Stonewall trustee, and drag artist Crystal. The derogatory remarks were made in response to Sainsbury's decision to mark Black History Month.

Mrs Justice Collins Rice, the High Court judge, deemed Fox’s statements to be ‘harmful, defamatory, and baseless’. She stated that Fox had not demonstrated the truth of these allegations, and that the law provides few defenses for such defamation.

In his written evidence, Crystal, real name Colin Seymour, expressed the overwhelming and distressing abuse he faced following Fox’s tweet. He also mentioned feeling less secure as a drag performer due to the false allegations made by Fox. Simon Blake, currently the CEO of Mental Health First Aid England, emphasized that the false suggestion of gay men being paedophiles is an age-old stereotype.

In addition to his libel case, Fox counter-sued Blake, Crystal, and writer/broadcaster Nicola Thorp over tweets accusing him of racism. However, the judge did not rule on the truth of the accusation, stating that the tweets were unlikely to cause serious harm to Fox’s reputation.

Following the court ruling, Laurence Fox described the verdict as a ‘nothing burger’ and announced plans to appeal. Outside the Royal Courts of Justice, he criticized what he perceived as a lack of clarity in defining the term ‘racist’. Crystal expressed relief at the outcome, highlighting the impact of such false accusations on the LGBTQ+ community. Nicola Thorp emphasized that any damage to Fox’s reputation was a result of his actions.

Laurence Fox, known for his role as DS James Hathaway in the ITV series Lewis, has dedicated more time to politics in recent years. He stood as The Reclaim Party‘s candidate for London mayor in 2021 but was unsuccessful. He also contested the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election, a seat previously held by Boris Johnson. Fox recently hosted a weekly show on GB News until making controversial comments about a female journalist on air.

Rachel Adams

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