Belfast Telegraph

Celebrity doctor Christian Jessen still tweeting after Foster legal threat

Dr Christian Jessen
Dr Christian Jessen
Media lawyer Paul Tweed
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

Celebrity doctor Christian Jessen has continued to use his social media accounts since he was threatened with legal action after tweeting an unfounded rumour about DUP leader Arlene Foster nine days ago.

Several individuals, who Mrs Foster intends on suing for libel, have been identified by her legal team. Television presenter Dr Jessen is among this group after receiving a warning of impending High Court action.

The tweet, which was posted on Monday, December 23, is still viewable and has been retweeted 500 times.

The day after Dr Jessen posted the tweet, media lawyer Paul Tweed, who is acting for Mrs Foster, replied: "I am putting Dr Christian Jessen on notice in relation to a totally false allegation he has tweeted regarding DUP leader and former NI First Minister, Arlene Foster.

"Legal action will also be taken against any persons who have retweeted this highly defamatory allegation."

In a follow-up statement, he added: "I would confirm, if necessary, legal proceedings will be taken against Dr Christian Jessen, Twitter and any persons who have recklessly retweeted this false and highly defamatory allegation."

Dr Jessen, who is best known for presenting Channel 4 programmes Embarrassing Bodies and Supersize v Superskinny, appears to have ignored the warning by Mr Tweed.

Since his post regarding Mrs Foster was published, Dr Jessen has sent over 40 other tweets.

Responding to one Twitter user, who said Dr Jessen's supporters will start a funding campaign in order to avoid paying any court fees out of his own pocket, the doctor sent a smiling emoji.

Meanwhile, another Twitter user had directly tagged Mrs Foster into a post stating that Mr Tweed's tweet had made Dr Jessen's post even more popular.

Replying to that on Christmas Day, Dr Jessen wrote "lol" (laugh out loud), which was liked over 340 times and generated a number of other responses. He also retweeted a post linked to Mr Tweed's High Court warning.

Mrs Foster has previously been the target of abuse on social media. In July a man was jailed for targeting her and Conservative MP Priti Patel. In the wake of the case the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA called for social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to do more and said the abuse she received had left her children very upset.

Mrs Foster said she had stopped looking at social media because of the level of trolling directed at her.

"The internet is a very dark place," she said.

"Obviously it has brought a lot of good in that everyone is connected nowadays, but it also brings out the worst in some people."

Mrs Foster's DUP colleague Carla Lockhart MP has also been repeatedly targeted for abuse on social media.

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