Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Lost King libel action comes to court

I've blogged before about Richard Taylor's intention to sue the makers of the film The Lost King over the way he is represented in it. Taylor was deputy registrar of the University of Leicester at the time of the dig that found the remains of Richard III.

The case has now come to court.

BBC News reports:
Steve Coogan is being sued for libel by a university official who claims he was made to look "devious" and "weasel-like" in a film about the discovery of Richard III's remains.

Richard Taylor has started legal action against the comedian, who was a writer and producer of The Lost King.

Mr Taylor said he was unhappy about the way his character was portrayed.

The report goes on to give more detail: 

A hearing at the High Court, on Thursday, was told Mr Taylor was bringing legal action against Mr Coogan, his production company Baby Cow, and Pathé Productions.

William Bennett KC said his client Mr Taylor was presented as being "dismissive, patronising and misogynistic" towards Ms Langley.

In written submissions, the barrister said: "The relevant context is the 'good versus bad' narrative, which runs through the film.

"Ms Langley is portrayed as the gutsy underdog heroine struggling against opposition and the claimant as the arrogant villain.

"He not only takes steps to make sure that people do not know about her role but takes the credit, which was rightfully hers, for himself and the university."

Mr Taylor, who is now chief operating officer at Loughborough University, was also shown as a "devious, weasel-like person" and a "suited bean-counter", Mr Bennett told the court.

The barrister later said Mr Taylor was portrayed as "mocking" Richard III's disability and "linking physical deformity with wickedness or moral failings".

Mr Bennett added: "It's a straightforward, plot-driven film where everything that is said and done matters."

Mr Coogan, who did not attend the hearing, and the two production companies are defending the libel claim.

 I don't know if it's possible to prejudice civil proceedings, but for now let my just say...

The case continues.

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