Laurence Fox is being sued for defamation after labelling a RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star, a Coronation Street actor and the deputy chair of Stonewall as “paedophiles”.
Simon Blake, Nicola Thorp and drag star Crystal launched the hefty lawsuit after being smeared by the disgraced actor in a heated Twitter row in October 2020.
Crystal and Blake initially threatened legal action last year but officially filed the claim in the High Court on 1 April. All three claimants are now jointly represented by the law firm Patron Law.
The row was prompted by Fox’s bizarre claim that Sainsbury’s supermarket was “promot[ing] racial segregation and discrimination” by celebrating Black History Month.
Crystal, Blake and Thorp all said that they disagreed with Fox’s view, with Blake describing Fox as a “racist t**t”. The Stonewall chief later said he regretted using such language.
Fox, who’s making a bid to become the new mayor of London, responded to the criticism by furiously labelling his detractors as “paedophiles”, employing an outdated, homophobic trope about queer men.
In a statement announcing her intention to sue, Crystal said in October: “I will not stand for racism when I see it, and I will not stand for homophobic defamation when it is directed at me.
“An accusation of paedophilia is one of the oldest homophobic tropes, and it was very shocking to have that levelled at me, not just by Laurence Fox, but also his many followers who believed him.
“I may have had to endure homophobic bullying as a child, but I will not tolerate it as an adult.”
Laurence Fox eventually deleted the offensive tweets, saying at the time that he’d taken them down after being “repeatedly, continuously and falsely smeared as a racist”. He later admitted he had been dropped by his agent over the row.
In a statement sent to Sky News regarding the threats to sue, a spokesman for the actor said: “We note the stated intention and the judicious wording of tweets setting it out.
“However, unless and until intent becomes reality, we have no further comment beyond pointing out that Twitter insults, defamatory or otherwise, are a two-way street.