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Laurence Fox ordered to pay £90,000 each to two people he libelled as ‘paedophiles’

Laurence Fox has been ordered to pay £90,000 in damages each to two people he libelled by referring to them as “paedophiles” on social media.

A High Court judge ordered the actor-turned political activist to pay the money to to both former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake and drag artist Crystal, whose real name is Colin Seymour.

Mrs Justice Collins Rice said in her written ruling: “By calling Mr Blake and Mr Seymour paedophiles, Mr Fox subjected them to a wholly undeserved public ordeal.

“It was a gross, groundless and indefensible libel, with distressing and harmful real-world consequences for them.

“They are entitled by law to an award of money, to compensate them for those damaging effects, and to ensure that they can put this matter behind them, vindicated and confident that no-one can sensibly doubt their blamelessness of that disgusting slur and that they were seriously wronged by it.”

Mrs Justice Collins Rice said she accepted the evidence of Mr Blake and Mr Seymour that they experienced Mr Fox’s libel as “distinctively homophobic”.

The judge said she would have awarded a “considerably higher” amount if Mr Fox’s “random selection of victims turned out to be less self-sufficient and well-supported individuals”.

She added the sum awarded was “purely compensatory to redress the damage done”, adding “there is no element of punishing Mr Fox in that.”

Mrs Justice Collins Rice warned Mr Fox not to repeat the same or similar allegations about Mr Blake and Mr Seymour, “on pain of being found guilty of contempt of court”.

(This story is being updated)

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