Laurence Fox ordered to pay £36,000 legal costs after failed bid for jury trial
Laurence Fox has been ordered to pay over £36,000 in legal costs after his failed bid for a jury trial.
The actor, 44, is facing a defamation battle against Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp, Drag Race UK star Crystal and former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake.
The lawsuits follow Laurence referring to the trio as "paedophiles" during a heated Twitter row in October 2020.
The Reclaim Party leader is counter-suing all parties over tweets he claims accused him of racism.
His request to have the trial heard by a jury rather than a judge – which is unusual in modern times – was denied earlier this month and he has since been made to pay the legal costs of the three opposing claimants.
On Thursday (May 26) at a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Mr Justice Nicklin ruled that Laurence would have to pay a total of £36,684 to cover the other parties' legal costs.
Of Laurence's previous request, Nicklin said: "I think it would be fair for me to say that this was an ambitious application."
Laurence has been given 21 days to pay the sum.
The actor’s legal costs for making the unsuccessful bid came to £116,314.55, according to court documents.
The legal costs ruling followed Mr Justice Nicklin rejecting his lawyer's claims that a jury would be better placed to reach a fair verdict "in light of the cultural and social context of this case".
The judge reasoned that the grounds for appeal based on the results of a jury trial would be more difficult to prove.
The next hearing in the case is now due in the autumn.
On her decision to sue the White Lines star, Crystal previously said: "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."
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