Actor and conservative advocate Laurence Fox has been defeated in a legal case at the high court by two individuals he accused of being pedophiles, after they labeled him as a racist.
Mrs. Justice Collins Rice has ruled that the ex-actor committed defamation when he used a derogatory term on social media towards the men.
In October 2020, a dispute on Twitter, now known as X, led to a lawsuit against the founder of the Reclaim party by Simon Blake, a former trustee of Stonewall, and Crystal, a drag artist.
During a conversation about Sainsbury’s decision to offer a safe space for black employees during Black History Month, 45-year-old Fox referred to RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Colin Seymour (known by the stage name Blake) as a paedophile.
Fox’s plea to boycott the grocery store resulted in accusations from Blake, Seymour, and Nicola Thorp, a former actor on Coronation Street, that he was discriminatory.
Fox filed a counter-suit, claiming that the accusation of racism was damaging to his reputation and could end his career. However, the high court rejected his claims on Monday.
Collins Rice said: “Mr Fox’s labelling of Mr Blake and Mr Seymour as paedophiles was, on the evidence, probabilities and facts of this case, seriously harmful, defamatory and baseless.
There are limited defenses available for defamation of this nature. Mr. Fox did not make an effort to prove the validity of these claims, and he was unable to meet the requirements for any other legal defense.
She mentioned that the matter of compensation and potential solutions will be addressed at a future time.
At a November trial in London, Fox was referred to as an accused “clever bigot with a specific plan”.
During the six-day trial in November, Lorna Skinner KC, who was representing Blake, Seymour and Thorp, stated that the three individuals hold the sincere belief that Mr. Fox is a racist.
According to his written testimony in the court proceedings, Seymour, an artist from Canada, stated that he had experienced “overwhelming and distressing” mistreatment following Fox’s tweet. He also expressed feeling less secure while performing in drag.
Blake, currently the head of Mental Health First Aid England, stated that the false belief that gay men are pedophiles has been a long-standing stereotype.
Patrick Green, the representative for Mr. Fox, informed the court that Blake and Seymour have not experienced any tangible consequences as a result of the actor’s tweets.
The actor, Fox, stated that he experienced a notable decrease in both the quantity and caliber of job opportunities after facing allegations of racism on social media.
During questioning, Fox proposed that there may be situations where the statement “I hate black people” is not considered racist. He explained, “For instance, if a man was recently released from a Ugandan prison where he was sexually assaulted by multiple men and he exclaimed ‘I hate black people’, it could be seen as a somewhat justifiable reaction.”
When asked if it was racist to make the statement “Black people in the UK should go home,” Fox responded by saying that it depends on the context.
In court, Fox disregarded the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it a scam and a fraudulent investment. He also stated, “We are all viewed as equals in the eyes of God, therefore all lives hold value.”
The fox claimed he had experienced discrimination based on his race.
When Skinner accused him of never experiencing racism, Fox responded by saying, “That’s not true. There is a significant amount of racism against white people, and it is the only type that is considered acceptable.”
He rejected the notion that white privilege exists as “repulsive racism” and stated: “I view white privilege as a racist attack because it focuses on skin color rather than one’s character.”
In court, Fox justified his negative comments towards accomplished black actors who speak out about racism. He stated, “If I were to speak up and say, ‘Growing up in Harrow as the son of a missionary was incredibly challenging,’ would I be given the same leniency? I highly doubt it.”
The performer argued that it was “inconsistent” for black actors to portray white characters. He stated in court that casting a black actor as Anne Boleyn was motivated by politics and was intended to send a message to the audience. He went on to say, “My argument is a philosophical one, that if Anne Boleyn can be portrayed as black, then surely Nelson Mandela could be portrayed as white.”
In court, Fox expressed his belief that football players who kneel are cowardly and proceeded to loudly recite a New Zealand haka to demonstrate this. He used the example of New Zealand rugby fans using the haka to intimidate their opponents before a game in order to emphasize his point.
In my opinion, kneeling in front of your opponent can make you appear weak and likely to lose the match.