Yesterday evening, after a long day’s travelling and attending meetings, Zelo Street repaired to a prestigious central London address to enjoy a few drinks, take in some small but perfectly formed canapés, and chat on a variety of subjects to some of the other attendees. As there was a significant number of lawyers in the room, there was inevitably some reaction to the latest pontifications of pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins.
Viewers may want to look away now
Ms Hopkins, having proved too poisonous even for the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, and then having lost Mail Online several hundred thousand pounds in damages and costs after a family she targeted in one of her columns instructed Messrs Carter, Ruck to take the publication to the cleaners, finally came personally unstuck when writer and campaigner Jack Monroe sued her over two defamatory Twitter excursions.
But by yesterday, Hatey Katie had decided that she had been wronged: as the BBC has reported, “Speaking on Radio 4's The Media Show, she said the bar has been set ‘too low’ after being sued for libel by food writer Jack Monroe … The TV personality went on to say that a ‘new world of defamation law’ had been opened up and she felt very strongly about appealing against the decision”. This was weapons grade bullshit.
Jack Monroe - sound person
The only world of defamation law that she saw opened up was the one which already existed: the only new thing about it was that it was applied to her. Oh, and TV personality my arse - to fulfil that job description, you need a personality in the first place.
Back at Ms Hopkins’ comments, Press Gazette has a fuller version of her pronouncements: “I will not be changing the way that I operate on Twitter [as a result of the ruling]. I will be looking to try to appeal this judgement because I believe the defamation bar could be far higher … Where it now stands, the bar is too low. Where it currently sits after this judgment, which is pertinent to my good self, is far too low”.
Pertinent to her good self. Good to see Ms Hopkins still has the same worldview - the one that extends only as far as Herself Personally Now. This, and her total lack of self-awareness, were typified by her also telling “I would prefer that that’s how we operate on social media, in a grown up manner”. Starting with Herself growing up a little.
So, after all that, what was the totally off-the-record, unattributable and non-binding opinion of a legal eagle with a good understanding of the Monroe v Hopkins case? Would Hatey Katie be appealing? In a word, no she wouldn’t. In a few more words, the idea was totally lacking in credibility, it wasn’t going to happen. Ms Hopkins had more pressing matters.
What those? Well, for starters, there was the question of costs. Taking the amounts she will have to pay to Mx Monroe and their team, damages, and the costs of her own side, Katie Hopkins is likely to be on the hook for around £650,000. Appealing would merely expose her to a far bigger legal bill.
When the Evening Standard claims “Katie Hopkins 'very likely' to appeal against Twitter libel ruling”, forget it. And, press people, try not calling that “Celebrity News”. Because she isn’t one.