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Laurence Fox ordered to pay £180,000 after referring to two people as ‘paedophiles’ | UK News



Laurence Fox ordered to pay £180,000 after referring to two people as 'paedophiles' | UK News

Laurence Fox has been ordered to pay £180,000 in damages after he referred to 2 folks as “paedophiles” on social media.

The actor-turned-politician was efficiently sued by former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake and drag artist Crystal over a row on X.

After dropping a Excessive Court docket libel battle, it means he should pay out £90,000 to every of them.

Fox referred to as Mr Blake and Crystal, a former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant whose actual identify is Colin Seymour, “paedophiles” in an change they’d over Sainsbury’s resolution to mark Black Historical past Month in October 2020.

The Reclaim Social gathering founder mentioned on the time he would boycott the grocery store and he tried to counter-sue the pair, together with broadcaster Nicola Thorp, over tweets accusing him of racism.

In a earlier judgement in January, Mrs Justice Collins Rice dismissed Fox’s counter-claims and dominated in favour of Mr Blake and Mr Seymour.

In right this moment’s ruling, the decide mentioned Fox ought to pay out £180,000.

“By calling Mr Blake and Mr Seymour paedophiles, Mr Fox subjected them to a completely undeserved public ordeal,” the decide mentioned.

“It was a gross, groundless and indefensible libel, with distressing and dangerous real-world penalties for them.”

Simon Blake (left), Nicola Thorp and Colin Seymour. Pic: PA

The decide added: “There is no such thing as a factor of punishing Mr Fox in that; it’s a purely compensatory award to redress the harm carried out and restore the equilibrium that his libels violated, and which he has not taken the chance to revive extra absolutely himself.

“Mr Blake and Mr Seymour have been profitable in combating for his or her authorized rights and are entitled to the regulation’s efficient vindication.

“They’ve additionally been resilient and resourceful in making an attempt to get on with the remainder of their lives and have had robust assist at dwelling, within the office and in some quarters of the general public and media to assist them accomplish that.

“Had that not been so, and Mr Fox’s random number of victims turned out to be much less self-sufficient and well-supported people, this award would have needed to have been significantly greater.”

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Fox was additionally ordered to not repeat the identical, or comparable allegations, on ache of being discovered responsible of contempt of courtroom.

The decide additionally accepted proof from Mr Blake and Mr Seymour that they skilled Fox’s libel as “distinctly homophobic”.

At a listening to in March, Lorna Skinner KC, for Mr Blake and Mr Seymour, argued the pair ought to obtain “not less than six-figure sums” from Fox.

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Nevertheless, Patrick Inexperienced KC, for Fox, mentioned the place to begin of the damages ought to be between £10,000 and £20,000, with the whole being “considerably lowered” because of an apology from Fox and the alleged absence of malice.

Forward of Thursday’s ruling, Fox claimed the judgement was a “bullies’ constitution”. He added: “Benefit from the victory guys and I hope it’s quick lived!”

Within the aftermath, he posted on X, saying the judgement was: “So surreal it is nearly humorous.”

He added: “Will probably be interesting.”

The decide declined to make an order forcing Fox to publish a abstract of the ruling on his X account, the place he has nearly half 1,000,000 followers.

In the course of the listening to in March, Mr Inexperienced mentioned that there was no must publicise the ruling on Fox’s social media as a result of “this has been probably the most high-profile libel motion of the 12 months”.

Mr Inexperienced added: “The remarks had been shortly retracted and apologised for, and on the very least it was clear to the general public at massive at an early stage that the allegation was baseless.”

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