Esteemed actor Laurence Fox has claimed that his former school threatened legal action against him – after he attacked it and claimed homophobia was rife there.

Fox, who is best known for his leading role as Detective Inspector James Hathaway in the British TV drama series Lewis, has spoken out in interviews previously about his education at the prestigious Harrow School.

The all-boys school, which charges in excess of £36,000 per year in fees, is one of the country’s leading public schools.

In a 2002 interview, Fox has said that he was “horrified to encounter racism, homophobia and a system of fagging still in place” at the school, adding he “hated” his school days.

He said: “I was used to saying what I thought and there were no hierarchies apart from the family hierarchy. Then you get to boarding school and there is this mad, crappy system of pointless violence and intimidation.”

Fox told Radio 4’s Saturday Live that the school had actually threatened him with legal action for his previous comments.

Asked whether he would send his sons to the school, he replied: “Absolutely not.”

Amending his answer, he clarified: “I love you, Harrow. I’m so sorry. Please don’t send me a letter threatening to sue me again — which they did do.”

A spokesperson for the school declined to comment.

However, the school’s safeguarding policy claims: “All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection.”