Acid tongued food blogger Jack Monroe’s libel victory over right wing media personality Katie Hopkins represents a victory for only their lawyers
Katie Hopkins undoubtedly spouts a lot of hot air but that she lost a libel action yesterday brought by the acid tongued food blogger Jack “I don’t want my boobs anymore” Monroe is a little beyond a joke. Both women like the sound of their own voices more than anything else and both profit from controversy, but that Hopkins is now left facing a total bill estimated at around £325,000 seems a little ridiculous given that all she did was write two undoubtedly inappropriate but subsequently retracted tweets.
Monroe – whose claims in documents submitted to the court that she tends “to move in circles of cookery and politics rather than outrage and vitriol” will have those who’ve encountered this nasty piece of work in fits of hysterics – won £24,000 after Mr Justice Warby agreed that Hopkins’ actions had left poor, little her with “injured feelings” that “remain raw”.
In the judgment, Mr Justice remarked:
“Publication [of the tweets] not only caused Ms Monroe real and substantial distress, but also harm to her reputation which was serious, albeit not ‘very serious’ or ‘grave’”.
“In this case, the allegations were serious but certainly not towards the top end of the scale. The extent of publication was significant but not massive in its scale. The harm to reputation, though serious, will not have been grave. The need for vindication is not a weighty factor, as there has been no attempt to prove the truth of what was alleged. This judgment will make the position clear to those who were unaware of it already. Ms Monroe is a public figure, in the sense that she chooses to engage in public life and to engage in political discourse in public forums”.
In spite of the judge rejecting suggestions that any real harm was done to Monroe, she’s actually benefited hugely from this case. Not only does a woman who once claimed David Cameron “used stories about his dead son” to sell off chunks of the NHS “to his friends” walk away with a large chunk of change in damages, but this foul mouthed, ‘gender X’ harpy has also had her profile splashed across virtually every paper today. She will now profit handsomely from interviews and features and no doubt will find herself taking on new work elsewhere. In the case of Rent-a-Gob vs. Rent-a-Gob in summary though, there’s actually only one real winner: Their lawyers.