Tag Archives: Oberman

This will be awkward – IF Riley libel case gets to court

Take a look at this:

I’m not going to comment on the behaviour of the person named as “Tim” in the exchange above, but part of Rachel Riley’s case against me is that it wasn’t “targeted harassment” when Tracy-Ann Oberman sent 18 tweets to a terrified schoolgirl … within a single hour.

And those were just some of the dozens of tweets she sent to the same girl over a 24-hour period.

I’m looking forward to seeing them explain their way out of that one.

But it won’t happen unless I have the funds to defend myself against the wild claims of Ms Oberman and her friend Ms Riley.

The crowdfunding campaign needs your help so please:

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.

Let’s expose the hypocrisy.

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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Rachel Riley is caught in a contradiction: it seems it IS about money after all

What do you think of this apparent hypocrisy?

Last year, announcing that he had been hired by Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman to prepare lawsuits against people they said had libelled them, lawyer Mark Lewis said:

“This is not about money… They’re not looking to enrich themselves by taking legal action. They’re looking to stop vile lies.”

You can read him saying it very clearly in The Guardian and also in MetroThe Mirror, the Evening Standard, the Daily Star and other news outlets.

How interesting – because if it isn’t about money, the following reason for this week’s decision to halt proceedings against Jane Heybroek makes no sense at all:

“Their libel insurers did not see any advantage in pursuing a case over the liability of a retweet that was deleted so quickly and therefore paid a very modest sum. Regrettably the defamatory tweeter lives in South America and has no visible assets.

“‘There are bigger fish to fry, in the pursuit of those who choose to maintain a serious libel.'”

[This is from a tweet by Ms Riley that she has since taken down. It referred to another case as well, so I won’t reproduce it here. I do have a copy, though.]

First let’s put one line straight: the case against Ms Heybroek arose from her decision to retweet a link to an article by Shaun Lawson – as did all the other cases to which Mr Lewis was referring in his 2019 comment. The description of him as “the defamatory tweeter” is false as he has never faced court proceedings. No judge has passed comment about him.

More important, though, is the fact that Ms Riley has never tried to bring any such proceedings directly against him. Because he “has no visible assets”? That would contradict Mr Lewis’s comment that “they’re not looking to enrich themselves… They’re looking to stop vile lies.”

If Ms Riley really wanted to stop any “vile lies” she claims are in the article that Ms Heybroek retweeted, then she would have pursued Mr Lawson. She hasn’t done so. The only reason for the decision, that I can see, is that it won’t result in a cash return.

If it wasn’t “about money”, then why did she and Tracy-Ann Oberman pursue Ms Heybroek, knowing that she had deleted her tweet and it was not possible to assert that it had influenced anyone?

If it wasn’t “about money”, then why are RR and TAO not personally paying Ms Heybroek’s costs in full?

If it wasn’t “about money”, then why did RR issue a tweet touting for new cases to bring to court, implying that she would give the proceeds to charities?

If it wasn’t “about money”, then why is RR pursuing me with vexatious court applications that seem intended to run down the crowdfunded cash that you have generously donated to help me? Like Mr Lawson, I don’t have any assets worth mentioning.

And if it is about “looking to stop vile lies” then why is RR trying to run down my funds now, rather than taking her evidence to a full trial? I have made it clear all along that I consider her behaviour to be an attempt to drain me of cash before a judge gets to hear the evidence in the case.

This week’s revelations make it clear that Ms Riley herself has contributed very little towards these court cases; her legal team is employed on a “no win, no fee” basis and she has also taken out insurance – it is her insurers who have paid compensation to Ms Heybroek.

So it seems all the risk is being taken by her victims – people like myself whose lack of funds make us highly vulnerable to predatory litigation.

Of course, I may be wrong. What do you think? Please feel free to answer by doing one or several of the following:

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.

These cases can be “about money” even if the people bringing them don’t directly benefit – because they can deprive other people of their own finances.

I’ve always said that’s what seems to be happening here – with the knock-on result that people like myself would be unable to fight the libel assertion and people like Ms Riley would have their way regarding “vile lies” too – without having to prove a thing.

Some of you might consider that to be a misuse of the justice system that should be stopped.

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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Jane got justice in Rachel Riley court case – will Vox Political’s Mike get the same?

Rachel Riley has withdrawn her libel case against Jane Heybroek, and it seems they will pay part of her costs in an agreement that – surprisingly – does not include a demand for confidentiality.

Here’s Jane’s statement on Twitter:

It states:

“I am Jane Heybroek, a barrister specialising in immigration work. I was the subject of discourse on Twitter, and reports in the mainstream media, earlier this year, as a result of a libel claim being brought against me by the television presenter Rachel Riley and the actress Tracy Ann Oberman.

“I am now able to report that the claim against me has been withdrawn and that Ms Riley and Ms Oberman have agreed to make contributions towards my legal costs. I wish to thank everyone who has helped me in the last 18 months; it will not be forgotten.

“Ms Riley and Ms Oberman are not personally known to me. Their claim saw them seeking damages and costs in respect of my re-tweet of a tweet by the blogger Shaun Lawson, which contained a link to a blog article he had written about them in January 2019.

“Mr Lawson’s article, which concerned the celebrities’ alleged behaviour towards a teenage Labour supporter on Twitter in January 2019, had been re-tweeted/shared by hundreds of people. Some of those people were threatened with legal action like me; others were not.

“Ultimately, despite press reports which suggested as many as 70 people might face legal action, I was the only person who was sued.” [Before people question this, she’s saying she was the only one sued for retweeting a link to the Lawson article. I’m being sued over my own piece that was based on it, and a member of the band Reverend and the Makers settled before proceedings went to court.] “This was despite the fact that I had deleted my re-tweet before I had even received Letters of Claim. I did not even know how long my re-tweet had been live for. Neither, it seems, did Ms Riley or Ms Oberman.

“There was no evidence, that I am aware of, to suggest that anyone had read the blog article as a result of clicking the link in my re-tweet. There were also various other ways in which the claim against me could have been (and would have been, had it proceeded) defended.

“Ms Riley and Ms Oberman were being represented, from the very outset, on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, and had ‘after the event insurance’. This meant that there was almost no risk to them in bringing the claim. Many people would have felt forced to settle for reasons of pragmatism. Whilst I am in a more fortunate position than most, after having spent almost £30,000 by a very early stage, it was clear to me that I would have no prospect of funding my defence to trial without help. I therefore launched a fundraiser on the website CrowdJustice.com, and was overwhelmed by the response which I received.

“Due to the support of a great many people, I was able to continue to retain leading defamation lawyers, and properly contest the case.

“I am making this statement for the benefit of those who have supported me emotionally and financially, and to address one other issue.

“Ms Riley and Ms Oberman’s vocal stance against antisemitism (and perceived antisemitism) has been widely documented, as has their involvement in other legal cases. This claim, however, did not actually involve any allegations of antisemitism against me or indeed Mr Lawson.

“I understand that Mr Lawson is himself Jewish and that his grandmother was a holocaust survivor. For my part, I abhor all forms of racism. Unfortunately, as a result of the litigation, I was subject of a number of nasty comments from a small minority of people who simply presumed to know what the case was about and what the outcome would be. They were wrong on both counts.

“Finally, as I have said throughout to those who have supported me, I ask people, for their own sakes, not to discuss the content of Mr Lawson’s article, nor to comment on Ms Riley or Ms Oberman on social media more generally.

“Notwithstanding the fact that I am a lawyer by profession, this has been a long, and at times exhausting experience, and I would not wish anyone to find themselves on the receiving end of legal action.”

This is an excellent outcome for Jane.

And it gives hope for my own case.

Part of Ms Riley’s libel case against me concerns my own reference to Mr Lawson’s articles. I have applied to the court for this aspect of the case to be struck out and have no doubt that this will happen at a hearing on November 6.

With that and Ms Heybroek’s case in mind, and also considering Ms Riley’s recent tweet that appears to encourage her followers to provide information that she can use to start more libel cases, I think my own case is becoming stronger by the day.

Ms Heybroek’s case was crowdfunded and so was mine – and I still need help. If you would like to provide some, here are the details:

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 battle is won, but the war isn’t over yet.

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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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
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Newspapers distort libel case to make it seem that Rachel Riley is winning. She isn’t

How sad to see that the London Evening Standard (oh, and Mail Online, although this is less surprising) is incapable of reporting a simple judgment in an ongoing libel case properly!

The High Court, in the case of Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman v Jane Heybroek, has reached a judgment with regard to the meaning of the words that are at issue, and whether they are statements of fact or expressions of opinion.

And the Standard‘s interpretation of this judgment is arse-backwards.

“Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman win first round of libel battle” trumpets the headline – wrongly. The judgment was neutral. Nobody has won or lost anything.

But if any advantage were gained, This Writer would say it had to have gone to Ms Heybroek.

Here are her own comments:

Note her words [italics mine]: “This was a hearing we asked for in order to narrow down the claimants’ claims and, in my opinion, we have successfully done so.”

“Significantly, the Judge has found that the first meaning… and the italicised words in the second meaning… were statements of opinion. This is a potentially crucial development because statements of opinion are afforded a defence where the basis of the opinion is indicated, and an honest person could have held the opinion on the basis of facts existing at the time.”

Reference to the judgment on the court website Bailii shows that Ms Heybroek’s representative, Mr Helme, won more points than the claimants’. Consider the Judge’s agreement with him at paragraphs 61, 63, 72, 75, 77, 79, 81 and 83; and the Judge’s disagreement with the claimants’ representative, Mr Stables, at paragraphs 58, 59, and 65.

In brief, Ms Heybroek won her arguments that the words at issue were expressions of opinion rather than statements of fact. Whether they were defamatory was never likely to be in doubt – but of course that doesn’t mean that they were libellous. If they were statements of honest opinion, and the facts on which they were based were accurate to the best of her knowledge at the time, then they were not.

And it is to be noted that these are all secondary considerations; Ms Riley and Ms Oberman’s complaint is not about an article by a third party (the matter on which this judgment is made) but about whether Ms Heybroek libelled them by retweeting a link to it. Ms Heybroek states: “Note that this ruling on meanings is without prejudice to my contention that I am not liable for publication of the article by virtue of my re-tweeting a tweet containing a hyperlink to it. That issue remains to be determined, either at trial or before.”

So it seems clear that Ms Heybroek won far more than Ms Riley or Ms Oberman. But that information seems to have zoomed right over the head of whoever reported the case to the Standard and the Mail.

Far be it from me to attribute malign intentions, but this failure of accurate reporting can have a serious harmful effect on justice.

Libel cases are hugely expensive and people like Ms Heybroek and myself – This Writer is fighting an ongoing case brought by Ms Riley, remember – cannot afford to defend against the accusations without help.

We ask sympathetic members of the public to support us with donations – but they may be discouraged from doing so, if they read or hear a report claiming that Ms Riley (and Ms Oberman, in Ms Heybroek’s case) is somehow winning.

Conversely, if they discover that such claims are false, I would hope members of the public would find their determination to support the defendants redoubled.

The expense of the hearing has put Ms Heybroek out-of-pocket. She is crowdfunding to pay for her case and if you can afford to help, her CrowdJustice site may be found here.

As for my own case – the request is the same as usual. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own 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.

It would be nice to see Ms Riley and/or Ms Oberman distancing themselves from the inaccurate media reports.

But, considering my own belief that they would be as happy to win their cases by starving us of funds as they would in a courtroom, I fear I may have to wait a long time for that.

Source: Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman win first round of High Court libel battle | London Evening Standard

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook