Drag Race star says men like Laurence Fox should learn ‘how to apologise’ following libel verdict
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Crystal thinks Laurence Fox and those like him should learn “how to apologise” after the LGBTQ+ activist won a libel case against him.
Crystal, whose real name is Colin Seymour, told PinkNews on Tuesday (30 January) that Fox’s behaviour following the Monday’s court verdict is “disappointing” and that he should have made a “meaningful apology.”
Mrs Justice Collins Rice ruled on Monday (29 January) to dismiss the actor turned political pundit’s countersuit case against Seymor, former Coronation Street actor Nicola Thorp and former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake, in which Fox claimed their accusations that he was racist had been “career-ending.”
But Collins Rice J ruled that Fox had defamed Blake and Seymour by labelling them “paedophiles” on X/Twitter.
Both Seymour and Blake originally sued Reclaim Party founder Fox in October 2020 after he made the defamatory claim.
“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,” she said in her ruling.
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Speaking to PinkNews, Seymour said he felt “relieved” following the ruling, adding that he believed “it was all worth it.”
“I feel hopeful for what this means for the future,” Seymour added. “A very small petty part of me feels a little bit of schadenfreude.
“It’s unsurprising, but I think my biggest takeaway from all this is that we need to start teaching children, especially little boys, how to apologise. We need to teach people that it’s okay to be vulnerable and to say I’m sorry and I was wrong.
“There are big swathes of the public, typically men, who haven’t learned how to do that,” Seymour continued.
‘He had the opportunity over three years ago to make a meaningful apology’
During the trial, Laurence Fox defended his political beliefs, saying he did not believe them to be racist while simultaneously claiming he had been the victim of an “anti-white” witch hunt.
During cross-examination, Fox said in response to questioning that he believed there were certain “contexts” in which he believed saying “I hate Black people” is an “understandable response.”
When asked whether it was racist to say “Black people in the UK should go home,” Fox replied: “Depends on what context.”
The court did not rule on the question of whether describing Fox as a racist was “substantially true” or an opinion that Seymour and Blake could have honestly held, after finding that the social media posts accusing him of racism were not defamatory because, applied to Mr Fox, it was unlikely they had or would cause any serious harm to his reputation.
Seymour told PinkNews that his posts “couldn’t possibly have defamed” Fox because of his actions outside of the case prior to and during the trial.
“He’d done and said so many things by that point,” Seymour said. “Other people had already called him a racist … he was already so far down that hole by the time that we stepped in.
“There were articles months before our tweet where he is quoted as saying [Laurence Fox’s] career is over because [he] doesn’t have the right opinions.
“Trying to pin the downfall of his career on three people’s tweets calling him a racist is really just pathetic.”
Conversely, Seymour said the unsubstantiated accusations that Fox had made against him had, as the court found, deeply affected his career and personal life.
“He was the first person to ever call me a paedophile but, unfortunately, he was by no means the last,” he said.
“It’s horrible. It’s been three years of a pretty nonstop barrage of abuse, especially whenever I put myself in a public sphere where I’m going to be encountering people who aren’t part of, you know, the drag community or drag fans or the queer community.
“When I write an article for the Metro or appear on a stage where it’s a mixed crowd, I know the abuse is going to come and I can’t necessarily pin that all on him, but he has helped to create a culture that seeks to intimidate and demonise queer people for existing.”
According to Seymour, Fox has since apologised for calling both him and Blake paedophiles, but that it’s too little too late.
“He had the opportunity over three years ago to make a meaningful apology and make this go away and instead he doubled down and he’s just continued to double down and dig that hole deeper and deeper.
“He’s just continuing to say that he’s the victim, that he’s misunderstood, that everyone’s out to get him and playing this martyr card when really he’s a victim of his own actions.”
Crystal says Laurence Fox has ‘refused to take accountability’
Following the court ruling, Laurence Fox has made multiple posts on X/Twitter making a number of claims regarding the trial, including accusing the judge of being unable to “define racism” and calling Nicola Thorp a “racist”.
Seymour told PinkNews that Fox’s reaction and subsequent outcry is “disappointing” but that it is difficult to feel sympathy.
“It’s hard to feel anything for him except just real contempt because he’s refused to really take any sort of accountability and that goes for his own behaviour as well,” the performer said.
“It’s very clear that the reason he sued us for calling him a racist was because we sued him for calling us paedophiles.
“It was petty retaliation and nothing to do with the fact that he believed we had ruined his career.”
Seymour added that he hoped the trial would have stopped Laurence Fox from making unfounded claims on social media but that, given his behaviour following the ruling, he isn’t hopeful.
“Based on the last 24 hours, no [he wont change]. You’d think his lawyers would be telling him right now to be quiet because all he’s doing is potentially aggravating the damages. This is a time where he should be displaying some remorse, it’s still being decided what he has to pay us in terms of damages.
“I can’t imagine why he’s continuing to say he did nothing wrong,” Seymour added.
As for his drag career, Seymour has said he hopes the verdict can help him continue performing as Crystal without fear.
“All I want to do is just keep doing what I love, which is entertaining people and playing music and doing stupid things on stage and making people laugh and looking gorgeous.
“It’s moving how many people have shown up for me and I’m just very appreciate to our community right now. It really feels like a community when something like this happens.
“I guess we just all need to remind each other that we’re all stronger together.”
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