“Actor” and right-wing activist Laurence Fox has lost a high-stakes libel battle with Twitter users, facing a judicial rebuke over his inflammatory remarks. Here’s the full story.
X Gon’ Give It To Ya
The moderately successful actor turned right-wing grifter and founder of the Reclaim party, Laurence Fox, lost a libel battle over a dispute on X, formerly known as Twitter, which quickly escalated into a costly legal battle.
Fox’s accusers, Simon Blake and Colin Seymour argued with Fox over X before Fox lost his cool and accused them of being pedophiles. The whole saga serves as a timely and costly reminder of the perils of unchecked social media exchanges and the ability of the online world to bleed into the real one.
The deeply embarrassing catalyst for the conflict was Fox’s call for a boycott of the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s after the corporate chain announced it would provide safe spaces for its black employees during Black History Month.
Fox calling for the boycott led to accusations from Blake and Seymor that Fox was racist. Fox’s response, to accuse the pair of being pedophiles, while in character for a man who exists only to stoke the fires of the culture wars, escalated the situation to the degree that lawyers were called, and the stage was set for legal action.
Blake and Seymour pursued legal action against Fox, claiming defamation over his incendiary remarks. The case landed in the high court, where Mrs. Justice Collins Rice presided over the proceedings, with the career and credibility of the opposing sides hanging in the balance.
Fox suffered a significant early blow when his countersuit, claiming defamation due to being labeled a racist, was dismissed. Fox had claimed that being slandered in such a way by the pair was “career-ending,” a deep irony considering his faltering career as an actor.
Justice Collins Rice ruled against Fox, stating that his labeling of Blake and Seymour as pedophiles was baseless, seriously harmful, and defamatory.
“The law affords few defenses to defamation of this sort. Mr. Fox did not attempt to show these allegations were true, and he was not able to bring himself on the facts within the terms of any other defense recognized in law,” the Judge stated.
Real World Impact
In a profound display of the impact online actions can have on the outside world, Seymour, in his testimony, highlighted the distress and onslaught of abuse he faced following Fox’s tweet.
Blake, who was a contestant on Rupaul’s Drag Race and performs under the name Crystal, emphasized the impact on his sense of safety as a drag performer. Blake also condemned the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes linking gay men to paedophilia.
Throughout the trial, Fox vehemently defended his actions, attempting to portray himself as a victim of an unjust and targeted character assassination. He asserted that his career suffered a steep decline due to accusations of racism, despite it never having been very high to begin with.
Fox also did not help matters when, throughout his cross-examination, he repeatedly made controversial remarks, such as suggesting that there were contexts in which racism might be acceptable and accusing the Black Lives Matter movement of being a “grift” and a “Ponzi scheme.”
Pot Calling The Kettle “Racist”
Clearly not satisfied with the length to which Fox was able to put his foot in his own mouth, he persevered. Fox insisted that he was not a perpetrator of racism but a victim of anti-white racism.
On the stand Fox stated, “There’s huge quantities of anti-right white racism in the world, it’s the only acceptable form of racism there is left.” He also suggested that the concept of white privilege was also “disgusting racism,” suggesting a level of self-awareness on par with microbial pond life.
The legal debacle surrounding Laurence Fox’s libel battle should serve as a cautionary tale to all who hear it regarding the power and possible pitfalls of social media discourse.
In an age where online interactions carry significant real-world consequences, the need for civility, integrity, and empathy in digital communication has never been more pressing. Whether Fox has learned this lesson, however, remains to be seen.
The post Laurence Fox Loses Libel Battle Over Social Media Tantrum first appeared on Edge Media.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / I T S.
Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.