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Drag Race UK’s Crystal ‘files defamation proceedings against Laurence Fox’

"I wanted to publicly acknowledge it. Thanks for your support."

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: BBC/ITV

Drag Race UK SE1 star Crystal has confirmed she has filed defamation proceedings against Laurence Fox.

Crystal, real name Colin Munro, “publicly acknowledged” the move on social media yesterday.

Coronation Street star Nicola Thorp and Stonewall deputy chair Simon Blake also launched legal proceedings against the actor at the High Court on 1 April, alleging Fox defamed them on Twitter last year.

“Thanks for your support”

Crystal told her Twitter followers last night: “As you may have seen in the press yesterday, I have filed defamation proceedings against Laurence Fox.”

The star continued: “My lawyer has advised it would be inappropriate to comment further, but I wanted to publicly acknowledge it. Thanks for your support.”

Speaking at the manifesto launch for his Reclaim party this week, Fox said he was unaware of the defamation case, saying [as per the BBC]: “Free speech. You throw meaningless and baseless insults at someone you get a meaningless and baseless insult in return.”

He added: “People can call me whatever they want.”

In October 2020, London mayoral candidate Fox called Crystal and Blake “paedophiles” on Twitter during an argument about supermarket Sainsbury’s showing support for Black History Month.

According to reports, Fox also called Thorp a paedophile, leading her to join Crystal and Blake in the defamation lawsuit. Fox’s tweets have now been deleted. 

Responding to Fox’s claims last October, Crystal said in a statement: “On Sunday, I criticised Laurence Fox for his views regarding Sainsburys celebrating Black History Month and their commitment to making positive steps towards racial equality.

“While I am very wary of corporate virtue signalling, the fact remains that we do NOT live in a society that is equal. Incarceration rates, mortality rates during childbirth, and death rates related to COVID being some of the more obvious examples of the ways in which Black people and other ethnic minorities are treated as lower-class citizens in this country.

“I suggest anyone that truly cares about racial inequality should welcome steps a corporation takes to attempt to address it (while yes, perhaps remaining critical of their motivations, or holding them to account in other areas), rather than calling for a boycott.

“In response to my criticism on Sunday, Mr Fox seriously defamed me, and I have instructed Mark Lewis of Patron Law to sue on my behalf.

“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 Mr 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.”

Blake meanwhile responded: “On Sunday afternoon I saw a tweet from Laurence Fox suggesting that he would stop shopping in Sainsbury’s and calling on others to do the same. This was his reaction to Sainsbury’s statement that they are an inclusive retailer.

“He suggested that Sainsbury’s actively anti-racist stance is promoting racial segregation and discrimination.

“I disagreed strongly with his view and I expressed that in a tweet. Whilst I regret the unnecessary language I used, which is not in line with the way I like to conduct myself, I feel strongly about this issue.

“In response Mr Fox seriously defamed me and I have instructed Mark Lewis from Patron Law to sue for defamation.

“I want to make it absolutely clear that I will always stand against racism and will do my best to be a strong White ally.

“This is particularly important because we know the negative impact that racism and oppression has on the mental health and wellbeing of Black people and People of colour.”

Attitude has approached Crystal, Thorp, Blake and Fox for comment.