Court cases don’t respect national crises, it seems.
I wanted to update you on the situation at the moment: after more than a year, Rachel Riley is still persisting with her claim that I libelled her by pointing out the way she and her supporters bullied a teenage girl.
I would not have been able to defend myself against this unreasonable onslaught alone because civil cases in court are so expensive that it is impossible for ordinary working people to conduct them.
So I launched a CrowdJustice campaign and it is thanks to the help of all those who have contributed an amazing 3,400 donations – so far – totalling more than £64,000 that I am not unjustly having to pay this minor TV personality a small fortune.
If I had been too poor to put up a defence in court, she would have won by default. I am convinced that this is what she intended when she first threatened me.
Her legal team has lodged costly and delaying applications with the court in order to fritter your donations away. One was a claim that source information had been altered since I published my article; it cost thousands of pounds to defend against that, and in the court hearing the judge threw it out without blinking. He was only interested in the situation at the time I published my article.
Now, my solicitor is having to cope with new claims by Ms Riley – at similar cost.
But we have a new enemy: Covid-19.
The coronavirus, and the economic lockdown it has caused, means we all have less money – but I can’t say the same for celebs like Ms Riley.
That means even though demands on my funds are higher than ever – and make no mistake, all of the £64,000 has already been spent – I fear the flow of donation may trickle to a halt.
That would be devastating – not just to me, but to the facts. To justice.
I have never asked for a fortune from anyone. The average contribution to the CrowdJustice site is £19 but I’m grateful for everything we received.
I know times are hard for people like us.
But are we really going to let Ms Riley win, just because she can coast through this crisis?
Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.
Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.
Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.
On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.
On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.
This time last year, I was just two weeks into this funding campaign and it had made an average of £1,000 per day. That seems like an impossible dream now.
But dreams become reality when people act on them.
Let’s show Rachel Riley she can’t rely on the coronavirus to drag down the truth.
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.
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