Drag Race UK’s Crystal tells High Court impact of Laurence Fox’s ‘vicious attack’
Drag Race UK star Crystal has told a High Court about the “distressing” impact of Laurence Fox’s “vicious attack” online that set a “mob of bigots” after him.
Both Crystal, whose real name is Colin Seymour, and former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake are suing Fox for libel over an interaction that occurred on X (formerly Twitter) back in October 2020.
The interaction, which was sparked by Fox’s disdain at Sainsbury’s celebration of Black History Month and call for a boycott of the supermarket, ended with Fox calling Seymour, Blake and Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp “paedophiles”.
Fox is counter-suing Crystal, Blake, and Thorpe for libel over their original tweets calling him “a racist” for his attempted boycott.
The trial got underway this week, with the Canadian drag star taking to the stand to describe the “overwhelming and distressing” abuse he received after Fox’s now-deleted tweet.
He alleged to the High Court that Fox “deliberately” chose to call him a paedophile due to the “homophobic connotations,” per The Independent.
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He explained: “This makes it a particularly vicious attack and one that is more likely to stick.”
Crystal added: “My reputation is important to me, both in my personal and in my professional life.
“I did and still do worry about the impact Mr Fox’s tweet could have on me financially if people connect me, in my drag persona, with paedophilia.”
Crystal noted that he realised Fox was “attempting to whip up a mob of bigots against us by using lies he knew would incense people” when he saw that Fox had also called Blake, another gay man, a paedophile.
Blake added during his own time on the stand this Thursday (24 November), that the hateful suggestion that all gay men were paedophiles was “a trope as old as the hills.”
Fox’s legal council Patrick Green KC tried to suggest to the court that his client’s tweets about Crystal might have been upsetting, but weren’t truly “distressing” – but Crystal disagreed.
“The truth is I was distressed and there are messages demonstrating that… It was upsetting, it was overwhelming and I received a lot of abuse that night and I’ve continued to receive abuse ever since.”
Later in the afternoon, Crystal defended his description of Laurence Fox as a “racist.”
“I thought then, and think now, that what Mr Fox said in that tweet showed that he was racist,” said the Drag Race alum.
“I think Mr Fox continues to do and say many, many things that mean he is racist in my opinion.”
Fox, the founder of the Reclaim Party, denies being a racist and argues that to claim as such has “considerably” impacted his reputation, noting that he was dropped by former acting agent Sue Latimer shortly after the X interaction.
Fox’s lawyer Mr Green argued: “He is not a racist, he is a colour-blind liberal who dislikes racism, ‘progressive’ and identitarian politics.”
When it comes to Fox’s claims about Crystal, as well as Blake and Thorpe, his legal team insists that “none of the claimants have suffered any real harm to their reputations” as a result of his tweets.
The trial is set to conclude next week, with a decision from Mrs Justice Collins Rice expected at a later date.
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