Jack Monroe: I fell apart as a person after Katie Hopkins’ abuse
Jack Monroe has described how defamatory Twitter posts by Katie Hopkins damaged their life.
Monroe won libel proceedings against controversial columnist and broadcaster Katie Hopkins, after she tweeted untrue claims about the vandalism of a war memorial.
Food blogger Monroe, who identifies as gender non-binary, was awarded £24,000 by the court – £16,000 for the first tweet by Hopkins, and £8,000 for the second.
Hopkins could also have to pay up to £300,000 in legal costs on top of the payout to Monroe.
Appearing on the Victoria Derbsyhire show, the food blogger described the abuse that followed the tweets.
Jack Monroe told the show: “My brother is an officer in RAF, my dad was a paratrooper in the Falklands.
“As part of the evidence [from the trial], I’ve got six A4 ring-binders of tweets I received – somebody telling me I should be shot in the head, put in a wheelchair – all sorts of abuse.
“It wasn’t just in the aftermath in May .
“It was ongoing, every time it came up.
“The stress was so awful, I ended up leaving my partner.
“My relationship broke down, I was about to get married. I fell apart as a person.
“Online abuse permeates into every aspect of everyday life.
“It was a life-changing series of events.
“I had a complete breakdown.”
Following the result at the high Court, Monroe tweeted: “It”s taken 21 months but today the High Court ruled that Hopkins statements to/about me were defamatory.
“I sued her for libel. and I won.”
Mr Justice Warby ruled “whilst the claimant may not have proved that her reputation suffered gravely, I am satisfied that she has established that the publications complained of caused serious harm to her reputation”.
He said their publication “not only caused Ms Monroe real and substantial distress, but also harm to her reputation which was serious”.
Last May, after a war memorial was vandalised with the words “f**k Tory scum”, Hopkins tweeted Monroe asking them: “Scrawled on any memorials lately? Vandalised the memory of those who fought for your freedom? Grandma got any more medals?”
Monroe tweeted to Hopkins saying they would not sue if she paid £5,000 to a charity supporting migrants, and issued an apology.
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Rather than apologising, Hopkins deleted her original tweet and admitted that she had meant to tweet writer Laurie Penny, who had written about the incident at the time.
Monroe, who blogs for various publication including the Guardian, revealed their decision to come out as nonbinary transgender on Twitter last year.