Entertainment

Laurence Fox says racism tweets were ‘organised pile on’ that ended career

Laurence Fox of the Reclaim Party (Jordan Pettitt/PA)
Laurence Fox of the Reclaim Party (Jordan Pettitt/PA) Laurence Fox of the Reclaim Party (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Three social media posts calling Laurence Fox a racist were “an organised pile on” that ended his career, the actor and politician has told the High Court.

The Reclaim Party founder continued giving evidence for a second day in a libel trial over an exchange on Twitter, now known as X, about a decision by Sainsbury’s to provide a safe space for black employees during Black History Month.

Mr Fox called for a boycott of the supermarket in October 2020 and was called “a racist” by the drag artist Crystal, former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake and actress Nicola Thorp.

The 45-year-old, who denies being a racist, told the hearing in London on Tuesday that the trio’s posts were “an organised pile on designed to destroy my career and (that’s) exactly the result that it was intended to do”.

In her tweet, Ms Thorp alleged that “any company giving future employment to Laurence Fox, or providing him with a platform, does so with the complete knowledge that he is unequivocally, publicly and undeniably a racist”.

Mr Fox told the hearing: “That’s that person saying to my industry that I work in ‘if you’re hiring this man, you’re hiring a racist’.”

Laurence Fox
Laurence Fox Laurence Fox of the Reclaim Party (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

He added: “My career ended that moment”.

After the tweets calling him a racist, Mr Fox termed each of the posters as a “paedophile”, prompting the libel action by Mr Blake and the drag star, also known as Colin Seymour.

Mr Fox is counter-suing the trio over their tweets with a trial over the disputes on its fifth day.

In his written evidence, the actor has said he was “horrified” when he saw he had been called a racist, which he later described as “a career-ending word, and a reputation-destroying allegation”.

He said his life was “destroyed” by “hurtful” racism allegations and he was left unable to get a mortgage.

Earlier in the trial, Lorna Skinner KC, representing Mr Blake, Mr Seymour and Ms Thorp, said the trio “honestly believed, and continue honestly to believe, that Mr Fox is a racist”.

In written submissions, the barrister, who questioned Mr Fox on Tuesday, said he “has made a number of highly controversial statements about race”, adding: “If and to the extent that Mr Fox has been harmed in his reputation, it is his own conduct and not the claimants’ comments on it that caused that harm.”

The trial before Mrs Justice Collins Rice is due to conclude later this week with a decision expected at a later date.