I’ve instructed my solicitor to agree to a possible June listing of my libel trial against Rachel Riley in the High Court.
This will give me around 12 weeks to raise the rest of the funding I need to pay for my defence – and, after my CrowdJustice site brought in nearly £5,000 in the last week, I feel confident that this can be achieved.
To recap: Rachel Riley, co-host of TV’s Countdown game show, is suing me for libel after I published an article highlighting a month-long incident in which she may be seen to have bullied a teenage girl with a mental illness relating to anxiety. More details are available here.
The incident happened across December 2018 and January 2019, and the case against me has now been ongoing for three years. During that time, a trial has been much delayed – both by reasonable legal matters and by what may be deemed “sideshows” – attempts to drain my funds in order to make me unable to pay my legal team.
My solicitor contacted me last week and said barristers working for Riley had suggested June, July or November dates for the trial. My team’s availability means only the June dates are possible, and I was asked to consider whether that was acceptable.
Two days later, Riley’s legal team contacted mine, threatening another “sideshow”.
But by then I had already written an update to my funders – and readers of my Vox Political website – explaining what was being proposed and that I would use CrowdJustice receipts over the next few days to decide whether to give the nod to the June dates.
The results are in and I have said yes – let’s have the trial in June, if possible. After three years, I want this to end so I can get on with my life!
The only question now should be whether the High Court can schedule a trial on the dates suggested.
In the meantime, my job is to keep up the momentum.
My case is very well-defined; I know exactly what I’m going to say in the courtroom, so my paramount concern is hitting my CrowdJustice funding target by mid-June.
That, as ever, is where you come in.
If you have been following the case since I started the crowdfund back in spring 2019, you’ll want this to end as much as I do. If you’ve come to this case since, I dare say you won’t want me to be begging for your pennies any longer than is absolutely necessary.
Some readers may be learning about the case for the first time. If so, I hope my funding request doesn’t strike you as too extreme.
Here’s what I would like you to do:
Consider making a donation yourself, 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.
This case has always been about money. If I get into a courtroom, I should be able to explain my reasons for writing the article to a judge in a way that will encourage him to dismiss Ms Riley’s claim.
It has always seemed to me that her legal team’s main interest has been in depriving me of the wherewithal to do that.
The only people who can foil that plan are you.
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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