Laurence Fox during a media appearance

Laurence Fox ordered to pay thousands in legal fees after calling Corrie star and others ‘paedophiles’

Racked up £116,314.55 in his own legal costs, too

Laurence Fox must pay thousands in legal fees to three people he referred to as ‘paedophiles’ on Twitter.

Mr Fox, 44, is being sued for libel by ex-Coronation Street star Nicola Thorp, drag artist Crystal and former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake.

The action concerns an October 2020 online row.

Now the former Lewis actor has been ordered to pay more than £36,000 by a judge after losing his bid for a jury to hear the High Court battle.

Mr Fox is counter-suing the trio over tweets accusing him of racism. The exchange followed a decision by Sainsbury’s to celebrate Black History Month.

Nicola Thorp makes her point on This Morning
Laurence Fox has been ordered to pay Nicola Thorp’s legal fees, as well as those of others (Credit: This Morning YouTube)

Laurence Fox latest

Last month Mr Fox’s lawyers asked for the case to be decided by a jury rather than a judge. This is regarded as highly unusual in defamation cases.

However, Mr Justice Nicklin denied the request for a jury. Furthermore, he added he had ‘no hesitation’ in doing so.

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And during a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London yesterday (Thursday May 26), the judge said Mr Fox would have to pick up the costs of responding to his request for a jury trial.

That figure is reported to be £36,684.

Laurence Fox takes part in a discussion on GMB
Laurence Fox is being sued for libel following Twitter accusations (Credit: GMB YouTube)

Laurence Fox’s costs

Mr Fox did not appear at Thursday’s hearing. He has 21 days to pay the amount.

Additionally, it is believed his own legal costs – according to court documents – for the unsuccessful attempt are £116,314.55.

This was an ambitious application.

Mr Justice Nicklin said: “I think it would be fair for me to say that this was an ambitious application.”

Argument for a jury trial

Mr Fox’s barrister Alexandra Marzec had said a jury would be better at reaching fair verdicts.

Ms Marzec claimed this was due to “the cultural and social context of this case”.

Furthermore, it was claimed that judges could be subject to “involuntary bias”.

However Mr Justice Nicklin dismissed this argument in his written judgment.

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He wrote: “The defendant has not satisfied me that a fair-minded and informed observer would conclude that there was a real possibility that a judge trying this case alone would suffer from ‘involuntary bias’.

“The fair-minded and informed observer must be taken to know that, faithful to his/her judicial oath, the judge in this case would be required to apply the law to the determination of the issues in the case, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.”

The next hearing in the case is expected in the autumn.

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