Former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, Colin Seymour, who goes by the stage name Crystal, recently celebrated a significant victory in a High Court ruling against right-wing activist Laurence Fox. The legal battle ensued after Fox labeled Seymour and ex-Stonewall trustee Simon Blake as paedophiles during a heated social media dispute. This conflict arose following Sainsbury’s decision to create a safe space for black employees during Black History Month, which led to a call for a boycott of the supermarket by Fox. The ensuing exchange saw accusations of racism against Fox by Seymour, Blake, and actor Nicola Thorp, prompting Fox to retaliate with the paedophile slur.
In the High Court ruling, Justice Collins Rice upheld Seymour’s libel case, deeming Fox’s allegations as “seriously harmful, defamatory and baseless.” Seymour expressed satisfaction with the outcome and emphasized the prevalence of anti-gay bigotry, stating that accusations of paedophilia are often the initial line of attack in expressing homophobia and are intertwined with modern ‘trans panic.’
Seymour further expressed his disappointment in Fox’s lack of remorse or accountability throughout the legal proceedings, asserting that until Fox demonstrates genuine willingness to reflect on his behavior, contempt is the only sentiment he can feel towards him. Following the ruling, Seymour appeared on Sky News, regarding the judgment as a triumph and a liberating conclusion after enduring more than three years of legal battles. He highlighted his motive for pursuing the case, emphasizing the need to debunk baseless accusations of paedophilia against the queer community and drag performers.
The solicitor representing Seymour, Mark Lewis from Patron Law, highlighted the distressing response received from Fox’s followers, emphasizing the weight of such damaging allegations and the necessity for caution when making serious claims. Seymour echoed the relief of the court’s decision and reiterated that the legal action was not taken lightly, emphasizing the potential for resolution through a sincere apology and settlement from Fox.
During the trial, Fox was portrayed as an alleged “intelligent racist with an agenda.” The legal representation for Seymour, Blake, and Thorp reiterated their genuine belief in Fox’s racism, attributing any reputational harm he faced to his own conduct rather than their comments. Fox’s controversial social media posts, including a tweet featuring pride flags arranged in the shape of a swastika, were highlighted to present evidence for their stance.
Seymour disclosed the overwhelming abuse he faced following Fox’s tweet, further outlining the distress and sense of vulnerability experienced as a drag performer. Blake, who currently serves as the CEO of Mental Health First Aid England, emphasized the historical trope associating gay men with paedophilia. Thorp reiterated the damage caused to Fox’s reputation, asserting it was a result of his actions rather than her comments.
Fox, in response to the ruling, labeled it as a “nothing burger” and expressed his intention to appeal the decision regarding the interpretation of the word ‘racist.’ He criticized the lack of clarity surrounding the term and the dominance of certain groups within national institutions.
In conclusion, Seymour’s triumph in the libel case against Laurence Fox serves as a significant victory in combating baseless accusations and striving for accountability. The legal battle not only symbolizes the resilience of the queer community and drag performers but also underscores the significance of caution and responsibility in public discourse, especially when making serious allegations that carry substantial repercussions.