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A High Court judge has ruled that an article on This Site, which Rachel Riley claims libelled her, is a “classic expression of opinion”.

It puts Ms Riley in a very difficult position as it is now almost impossible for her to prove that it is defamatory.

She would have to find a way to show that I did not honestly hold the opinion I put forward – or that I wrote the article out of malice. Neither is possible, because I did honestly hold the opinion, and I didn’t write it out of malice.

Now the not-so-good news:

Mr Justice Nicklin also ruled that my article says Ms Riley “has engaged upon, supported and encouraged a campaign of online abuse and harassment of a 16-year-old girl, conduct which has also incited her followers to make death threats towards her.”

This, he said, was a statement of fact.

It means that I must prove that Ms Riley did those things.

I do not expect to have any trouble doing so, as I have evidence, and I have witnesses.

In other words:

My defence is now far more likely to succeed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who turned up to offer me good wishes on the day.

One was a gentleman who I discover is called Jon. I know his name because he promised to donate more to the crowd fund – and did so before I managed to get home. You can see what he has to say by finding him in the comments on the CrowdJustice site.

I was deeply grateful to hear those words at the end of the hearing, although that may not have been entirely clear as I was extremely tired from the stress of appearing in the High Court.

And I was doubly grateful to receive his donation. This campaign still needs cash as Ms Riley has not dropped her suit against me, even though it now seems clear that I am likely to win.

So, please bear with me while I appeal once again for funds:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And please consider making another donation yourself – or contributing for a first time, if you haven’t already.

One last thing: Ms Riley didn’t bother to turn up to yesterday’s hearing.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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