A drag queen has become the second person to sue Laurence Fox for defamation after the actor labelled him and others ‘paedophiles’ during a bizarre online spat.
Crystal – who was a contestant on the first season of hit show Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK – said in a Twitter statement on Tuesday that he was suing Fox for defamation.
His announcement followed a similar one by deputy chair of LGBT charity Stonewall Simon Blake on Monday who said he too would pursue legal action against the Lewis star.
Fox has been embroiled in a heated exchange with a number of Twitter users which included Crystal – whose real name is Colin Munro – and Mr Blake.
The Lewis star called them ‘paedophiles’ after they had claimed he was ‘racist’.
Drag queen Crystal has become the second person to sue Laurence Fox for defamation after the actor labelled him and others ‘paedophiles’ during a bizarre online spat
His announcement followed a similar one by deputy chair of LGBT charity Stonewall Simon Blake on Monday who said he too would pursue legal action against the Lewis star
On Saturday, Fox had accused Sainsbury’s of ‘promoting racial segregation and discrimination’ and promised to boycott the supermarket chain after it promoted Black History Month.
As he faced a backlash for his views, he clapped back at people ‘falsely accusing him of racism’ by retaliating with unsubstantiated slurs calling them ‘paedophiles’ in Tweets which have since been deleted.
Mr Munro released a statement saying Fox ‘seriously defamed’ him and he has ‘instructed Mark Lewis of Patron Law to sue’ on his behalf.
The statement read: ‘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.
Crystal – who appeared on the first season of hit show Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK – said in a Twitter statement on Tuesday that he was suing Fox for defamation.
Mr Munro released a statement saying Fox ‘seriously defamed’ him and he has ‘instructed Mark Lewis of Patron Law to sue’ on his behalf
Crystal – whose real name is Colin Munro – was a contestant on the first season of hit show Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK
Laurence Fox calls for a Twitter ‘retract button’ for people who say controversial things and then change their mind
Laurence Fox suggested Twitter introduce a ‘retract button’ for people who say controversial things but then change their views as he blasted a freedom of speech ‘crisis’.
The Lewis actor turned political activist attacked a ‘totalitarian orthodoxy’ which was marshalling people’s views as he attended a Conservative Party Conference fringe event.
He attacked Twitter because ‘everything that everyone ever writes exists in perpetuity’, and suggested it should have some changes to make it fairer and stop people being arrested for hate crimes.
His attendance at a virtual fringe event on ‘the free speech crisis’ run by the IEA think tank, came the day after he labelled a fellow actor and social media users ‘paedophiles’ in a bizarre online spat.
The actor is embroiled in a heated exchange with a number of Twitter users including Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp and deputy chair of Stonewall, Simon Blake, whom he called ‘paedophiles’ after they claimed he was ‘racist’. He later deleted the tweets.
Discussing the impact of social media on freedom of speech, Mr Fox, 42, said: ‘I started mulling to myself this idea of whether Twitter should introduce a ‘retract button’ where the tweet stays up but it just has a big stamp across the top saying ‘this is retracted by the author’.
‘So you could watch the development of people’s thoughts, understand that their positions change and alter or something that they have made mistakes.
‘And that may encourage us to be more free in our views rather than collectivising around any form of victimhood or any form of offence and then you agree we should motivate ourselves to collectivise around things that are really important like how we relate to each other, good manners, mutual respect…’
He also blasted countries, including Israel, Germany and many others across Europe, which criminalise holocaust denial, saying it was important that the debunked conspiracy theory was openly challenged.
He said: ‘I personally think it is a dreadful idea that Holocaust denial is a crime in various places because how are you going to give someone an opportunity to air their ridiculous views without evidence, without giving someone else the opportunity to correct them?’
While tweets can be deleted, they can easily be captured by other users as pictures, and often also can be found using Google.
Mr Fox made headlines at the weekend when he accused Sainsbury’s of ‘promoting racial segregation and discrimination’ and promised to boycott the supermarket chain after it promoted Black History Month.
As he faced a backlash for his views, he clapped back at people ‘falsely accusing him of racism’ by retaliating with unsubstantiated slurs calling them ‘paedophiles’.
He has since removed the posts, writing: ‘I have deleted the tweets posted yesterday, in response to being repeatedly, continuously and falsely smeared as a racist.’
‘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. Thank you so much to everyone who has voiced their support.’
It came one day after Mr Blake released a similar statement announcing his intention to sue.
He wrote: ‘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.
Fox has since removed his posts, writing on Sunday: ‘I have deleted the tweets posted yesterday, in response to being repeatedly, continuously and falsely smeared as a racist.’
In response to Mr Blake’s announcement of legal action, a spokesman for Fox’s newly-formed political party, named Reclaim, told MailOnline: ‘We note the stated intention and the judicious wording of the tweet.
‘However, unless and until intent becomes reality, we have no further comment.’
At the weekend Fox found himself in a fiery debate with former Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp after she said Fox was ‘unequivocally, publicly and undeniably a racist’.
He hit back: ‘Any company giving future employment to Nicola Thorpe or providing her with a platform does so with the complete knowledge that she is unequivocally, publicly and undeniably a paedophile.[sic]’
Fox said on Sunday: ‘Language is powerful. To accuse someone of racism without any evidence whatsoever to back up that accusation is a deep slander.
‘It carries the same stigma and reputation destroying harm as accusing someone of paedophilia. Here endeth the lesson.’
The row comes after the actor, who recently announced he was launching his own political party to ‘reclaim British values’, denounced the supermarket on Twitter.
He said: ‘Dear Sainsbury’s. I won’t be shopping in your supermarket ever again whilst you promote racial segregation and discrimination. I sincerely hope others join me. RT’
It came in the wake of Sainsbury’s announcing they would be marking Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements of the black community, recognising the central role black people have played in history.
The supermarket says its aim is to be ‘the most inclusive retailer’ where ‘every single one of our colleagues feels safe and supported at work’.
The company said it is actively pushing for change for black people in the UK and want all their customers and colleagues to be themselves and feel celebrated when they shop at Sainsbury’s.
In a statement, Sainsbury’s said: ‘We are proud to celebrate Black History Month, together with our Black colleagues, customers and communities and we will not tolerate racism.
‘We proudly represent and serve our diverse society and anyone who does not want to shop with an inclusive retailer is welcome to shop elsewhere.’
Mr Munro wrote in response to Fox’s tweet: ‘Imagine being this proud of being a racist! So cringe’
Mr Blake said Fox had defamed him and that he was pursuing legal action against him. He also said he regretted the language he used in his criticism of Fox’s opposition to Sainsbury’s
Mr Blake earlier tweeted asking Fox to delete the ‘untrue’ slur. Fox had written, ‘Pretty rich coming from a peadophile’
Fox also found himself in a fiery debate with Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp
Fox has since removed the posts, writing: ‘I have deleted the tweets posted yesterday, in response to being repeatedly, continuously and falsely smeared as a racist.’
Fox told his 239,000 Twitter followers that despite it being his closest supermarket, they would not be getting his custom until they ‘address their regressive and segregationist policies’.
His response sparked debate on Twitter with some backing his views while others said Sainsbury’s tweet had had the desired effect.
One wrote: ‘Beautifully put! I cannot believe how wrong Sainsburys has got this.
‘This idiocy has to have come down from Board level. Really feel for their staff – how the hell do they handle this?’
Fox, who has been a fierce critic of the BBC, sparked controversy when he said suggestions of ‘racism’ over how the Duchess of Sussex was treated in some quarters was ‘boring’.
He also hit out at black and working class actors for complaining about the industry once they have ‘five million quid in the bank’.
A Westminster source said the new party is a version of UKIP for the culture wars and believes it could attract hundreds of thousands of unhappy Conservative voters.
Sources close to Fox said the party does not see itself as strictly left or right wing but will be a broad church.
At the weekend Fox found himself in a fiery debate with former Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp (pictured) – after she said Fox was ‘unequivocally, publicly and undeniably a racist’
Sainsbury’s said anyone who is not happy with ‘an inclusive retailer’ is welcome to shop elsewhere as it says it is proud to celebrate Black History Month with their communities
Fox, who sparked controversy when he said suggestions of ‘racism’ over how the Duchess of Sussex was treated in some quarters was ‘boring’, says among his new party’s aims are reforming the BBC, protecting free speech and celebrating Britain’s contribution to the world
The actor has received substantial sums from former Tory donors to launch his own political party provisionally called Reclaim and hopes to stand dozens of candidates across the UK, he says
Reclaim so far has three objectives, which include protecting free speech, reforming publicly funded institutions, and preserving and celebrating Britain’s cultural history.
Planning has been underway for the last two months and backers include former Tory donor Jeremy Hosking.
Staff are already being recruited for the party after Fox was launched into the political arena after his performance on Question Time in January.
Laurence Fox announced last month that he was launching a new political party called the Reclaim Party in a bid to ‘reclaim British values’.
The actor, 42, has received substantial sums from former Tory donors and hopes to stand dozens of candidates across the UK.
The Lewis star says he wants to provide a movement for people who are ‘tired of being told that we represent the very thing we have, in history, stood together against’.
He hopes to launch the party next month and the name is subject to the Electoral Commission’s approval.
Laurence Fox and his past controversies
January 16, 2020: Fox was involved in a heated debate with the academic and ethnicity lecturer Rachel Boyle after she called him ‘a white privileged male’ on BBC’s Question Time.
The 41-year-old accused Ms Boyle, an academic at Edge Hill University on Merseyside, of ‘being racist’ after she called him ‘a white privileged male’ for denying the Duchess of Sussex was hounded from Britain for being mixed-race.
As the row continued the following day he quoted Martin Luther King’s 1963 ‘I have a dream’ speech about living in a nation where children ‘will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character’.
He said: ‘This is the position I took last night and I live by in life. If you can improve on it, I’m all ears. Or you can keep screeching ”Racist!” at me and I can carry on having a jolly good giggle at your expense. The tide is turning’.
January 17, 2020: The actor later went on to reveal that he does not date women under the age of 35 because they are ‘too woke’ and many of them are ‘absolutely bonkers’ during an interview with the Delingpod podcast.
During the podcast , Fox said that he called off a relationship with a former partner because she praised a Gillette advert which highlighted ‘toxic masculinity.’
January 23, 2020: Fox apologised for his comments about the inclusion of a Sikh soldier in the First World War film 1917 by Sir Sam Mendes.
The actor had initially referred to ‘the oddness in the casting’ of a Sikh soldier and was met by widespread criticism by historians who confirmed that Sikhs had served in the British Army.
Fox later tweeted: ‘Fellow humans who are Sikhs, I am as moved by the sacrifices your relatives made as I am by the loss of all those who die in war, whatever creed or colour.
‘Please accept my apology for being clumsy in the way I expressed myself.’
June 18, 2020: In a piece for the Spectator, Fox, questioned if Meghan Markle stepped down as a working royal because she did not get the ‘limelight’
In September 2020, Fox said that he had been ‘cancelled’ by fellow actor Rebecca Front because she had blocked him on Twitter over his use of the ‘All Lives Matter’ counter-slogan in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Fox later apologised for revealing this through tweeting a private text conversation between the pair, in which Front had explained her reasons for blocking him.