Laurence Fox has said “paedophile” is a meaningless insult in response to defamation claims levelled against him.
The former actor, who founded the Reclaim Party and is running for London Mayor, is being sued by Stonewall trustee Simon Blake, Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp and drag artist Crystal after comments he made online in October.
Mr Fox called both Mr Blake and Crystal, a former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant whose real name is Colin Munro Seymour, “paedophiles” in an exchange about Sainsbury’s celebration of Black History Month. He used the same word against Ms Thorp in a different thread.
He had said he would be boycotting Sainsbury’s, accusing it of promoting “racial segregation and discrimination”.
A spokesman for Patron Law, which is representing the three claimants, confirmed that proceedings had been issued at the High Court in London and said the firm would not be commenting further at this time.
Asked about the defamation case following a speech to unveil his party’s manifesto on Wednesday, Mr Fox said: “I must check my emails, I’m not aware of that.”
He said “people can call me whatever they want” and, when told it was he who had allegedly called the three claimants paedophiles, replied: “I was called a racist. Free speech. You throw meaningless and baseless insults at someone, you get a meaningless and baseless insult in return.”