Just before the weekend, I received an email from CrowdJustice, the website responsible for running the crowdfund that allows me to defend myself against Rachel Riley’s libel claim.
It was seeking my assurance that the Case Page – the ‘front page’, if you like, of my CrowdJustice site – meets the required terms and conditions, particularly with regard to third parties (people who are not directly involved). Apparently there had been “complaints”.
Further discussion led me to believe that the complaint referred to mention of Tracy-Ann Oberman’s involvement in the case.
For clarity: When I set up the crowdfund, Ms Oberman was threatening me with a libel claim and I had received a letter of claim from the same firm of solicitors that is running Riley’s case.
Although the limitation period has now passed in respect of the claims she threatened in 2019 – meaning she may not now take court action against me over them – Ms Oberman has never formally confirmed that she has withdrawn her claim.
This means that my headline – that I was defending against claims by both Riley and Oberman – was technically correct.
However, as nearly three years have passed since the crowdfund was set up, I took the opportunity to suggest a few edits to both the headline and text that should prevent any complaints in the future.
But there is another element to this which I believe any right-thinking person would find to be no less than utterly despicable: coercion.
This was an attempt to persuade CrowdJustice to close down my fund, thereby preventing me from continuing with my defence.
Whether it was instigated by Riley, her legal team, her friends, associates or a third party who simply wanted to cause me trouble, closing down my CrowdJustice would have ensured that I would not have been able to bring my case to court and my reasons for writing what I did about this very rich and financially powerful TV personality would not have received the public airing they deserve.
This suggests to me, very strongly, that Riley does not have a good case against me and fears she will lose if evidence is heard in court.
For that reason, I believe my CrowdJustice site may experience more such attacks – or there may be attempts to undermine my funding by other means.
I have been able to fend off these attacks so far – but that is no guarantee that there isn’t a crack in my armour and/or that my opponents won’t find and exploit it.
So I feel bound to appeal to you: If you want this important case to get to court, please donate as much as you can, while you can.
Here are the details again:
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.
I have made it clear from the very beginning that this is a battle between wealth and information. Riley has wealth and wants to use it to stop me from providing information that the public should hear.
The case is likely to go before a judge this year – we may be on the last stretch before a trial happens.
Let’s make sure we get across that line.
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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