Jack Munroe feels 'quite sympathetic' to Katie Hopkins after landing her with £324,000 libel bill

'I can’t even begin to imagine how she feels,' says the food blogger

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The food blogger who won a libel action against Katie Hopkins has said she feels "quite sympathetic" towards the controversial columnist, who has been left with a legal bill of more that £300,000.

"I’ve emerged the victor and had a lot of public support and I can’t even begin to imagine how she feels," said Jack Monroe, who was last week awarded £24,000 in damages from Hopkins, who had suggested she approved of vandalising war memorials. 

Although the full costs of the legal dispute have not yet been assessed, the divisive television personality is also set to pay out around £300,000 in legal fees.

"I feel quite compassionate and quite sympathetic because nobody needs a £300,000 legal bill landing in their lap," Ms Monroe told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme. 

She added that she had "no idea what lawyers cost" when she started the action. 

Ms Monroe said she bore "no ill will" towards Hopkins, adding that she had instructed her Twitter followers not to be abusive to her following the row, which started after the TV personality accidentally mistook her for another person.

In a tweet to the food blogger, Hopkins asked whether she had "scrawled on any memorials" before accusing her of vandalising the "memory of those who fought for your freedom."

Ms Hopkins had actually meant to direct the abuse to the New Statesman columnist Laurie Penny, who had said she didn’t “have a problem” with seeing graffiti on a memorial to women of the Second World War.

After the tweet, Ms Monroe said she had received an "endless torrent" of abusive messages on social media and had been sent death threats in the form of pictures of nooses.

She said: "It permeates every corner of your life."

She added: "You’re trying to read your son a bedtime story and you’re phone’s flashing up with people calling you every name under the sun".

As she was receiving this abuse, Ms Monroe had offered to drop the case in exchange for a charitable donation: “Dear @KTHopkins, public apology + £5K to migrant rescue and I won’t sue. It’ll be cheaper for you and v satisfying for me."

Hopkins declined the offer and the case went to the High Court. 

“The case could easily have been resolved at an early stage," Mr Justice Warby noted in the judicial judgement. "There was an open offer to settle for £5,000. It was a reasonable offer.”

Instead, he said: “Ms Monroe is entitled to fair and reasonable compensation, which I assess at £24,000.”

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