RuPaul’s Drag Race star Crystal threatens legal action against Laurence Fox over ‘paedophile’ Twitter slur

‘I will not stand for racism when I see it, and I will not stand for homophobic defamation when it is directed at me’, says drag artist

Sarah Young
Wednesday 07 October 2020 16:06 BST
Laurence Fox is being sued by RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Crystal
Laurence Fox is being sued by RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Crystal (Getty/BBC)

RuPaul's Drag Race UK contestant Crystal is threatening to sue Laurence Fox after the actor reportedly called her a “paedophile” on Twitter.

On Sunday, Mr Fox shared a tweet reacting to Sainsbury’s celebrating Black History Month.

The supermarket announced that it was “proud” to mark the event, and that customers who were offended by an “inclusive retailer” were “welcome to shop elsewhere”.

Mr Fox responded to the comments by accusing Sainsbury’s of “discrimination” and called on his followers to boycott the supermarket.

“I won’t be shopping in your supermarket ever again while you promote racial segregation and discrimination. I sincerely hope others join me,” he wrote.

The actor faced a backlash from many Twitter users, including Crystal who responded by tweeting: “Imagine being this proud of being a racist. Total snowflake behaviour.”

Mr Fox began replying to those who criticised him over his boycott plans, and reportedly wrote back to Crystal calling her a “paedophile” in a tweet which has since been deleted.

Now, the Drag Race star has announced she is seeking legal action against him for defamation.

“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,” Crystal wrote in a statement shared on social media.

“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.”

Crystal continued: “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. Thank you so much to everyone who has voiced their support.”

Speaking to The Independent, Crystal said that she has had an “amazing response” to her statement, with many people asking how they can support her or help fundraise legal fees.

The drag artist said that while the offer of support is “super-appreciated” she would prefer to “turn the focus back to racial inequality in the UK” and has instead asked people to donate to her fundraising page for Colours Youth Network.

Colours Youth Network is a charity that supports young black and people of colour who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex (QTIBPOC) to explore and celebrate who they are.

Crystal is not the only person threatening legal action against Mr Fox.

Simon Blake, who is the CEO of Mental Health First Aid England, is also threatening to sue the actor after he also reportedly branded him a “paedophile” in the exchange of tweets relating to Sainburys’ support of Black History Month.

“I detest racism. Challenging it is important to me, but I will choose my words more carefully in future. I want to be the best ally I can to people impacted by racism,” Mr Blake wrote on Twitter alongside a statement announcing he was taking legal action.

On Monday, Mr Fox said he deleted the tweets, however screenshots of the messages continue to circulate online.

“If the game nowadays is to throw baseless insults and accusations about, then we should all be free to participate,” Mr Fox wrote.

“I have deleted the tweets posted yesterday, in response to being repeatedly, continuously and falsely smeared as a racist.”

In response to the threat of legal action from Crystal and Mr Blake, a spokesperson for Mr Fox told The Independent: “We note the stated intention to sue and the judicious wording of tweets setting it out. However, unless and until intent becomes reality, we have no further comment beyond pointing out that Twitter insults, defamatory or otherwise, are a two-way street.”

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