Rachel Riley ...
So let’s see what Mail Online has claimed. “Countdown star Rachel Riley and actress Tracy-Ann Oberman have won the first round of a High Court libel battle against a barrister after a judge ruled a blog link she shared on social media 'could be considered defamatory.’ Ms Riley and Ms Oberman are suing barrister Jane Heybroek after she shared a link on Twitter to a blog published in January last year”. What is this about?
... Tracy Ann Oberman ...
Have a think about that: the person who made the assertions over which two sides’ legal representatives have been arguing is not being sued. But Ms Heybroek, and blogger Mike Sivier, most certainly are. Having just left that one there, on to Ms Heybroek’s response.
... and their lawyer Mark Lewis. Not suing Shaun Lawson
Were the claimants’ claims narrowed down? Well, consider this: one of the four claims, that “The Claimants routinely use their followers to abuse and intimidate others” has gone. Vanished. Can Ms Riley and Ms Oberman no longer claim that the Lawson blog post says that? Or can they no longer claim that such an assertion is libellous?
Those two meanings are the ones where the Mail, and the Standard, have suggested that Ms Riley and Ms Oberman “won”. Sivier has pored over the judgment (see it HERE), and counted eight paragraphs at which the Judge agreed with Ms Heybroek’s representative, and three more at which he disagreed with the representative for Ms Riley.
Mr Justice Jay. And a little light reading
Sadly, it seems the press is not for listening: after the Standard’s Tristan Kirk had Tweeted out the claim that Ms Riley and Ms Oberman had won, Ms Heybroek responded “Am I not entitled to a right of reply, Mr Kirk? See my tweet here. You are clearly aware of it as you have cited my CrowdJustice fund. Please amend your article. Thank you”. But, it seems, she has remained unheard. And there is one more interesting detail.
There was an apparently premature leak in a previous case where Ms Riley was taking action, on that occasion against Laura Murray. And just as in the action against Ms Heybroek, someone briefed the press that Ms Riley “won the first round”.
[Jane Heybroek is crowdfunding her defence, and you can contribute HERE. Mike Sivier is doing likewise; you can contribute HERE. Or just Tweet out those links]