Belfast Telegraph

TV doctor threatened with legal action over Arlene Foster tweet

DUP leader Arlene Foster (Liam McBurney/PA)
DUP leader Arlene Foster (Liam McBurney/PA)
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

Reality television presenter Dr Christian Jessen has been threatened with legal action over a tweet concerning DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Dr Jessen made comments about Mrs Foster in the tweet, which has been retweeted over 200 times.

In response to the Tweet media lawyer Paul Tweed said legal action would be taken against anyone spreading false claims regarding Mrs Foster.

Mr Tweed is understood to be acting on the DUP leader's behalf regarding the issue.

"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," Mr Tweed wrote.

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

In a further statement to the BBC, Mr Tweed confirmed legal action would be taken if deemed necessary.

"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," he said.

Dr Jessen is best known for presenting programmes like 'Embarrassing Bodies' and 'Supersize vs Superskinny' for Channel 4.

Mrs Foster has previously been the victim of abuse on social media, in July a man was jailed for targeting her and Conservative MP Priti Patel.

Dr Christian Jessen (PA)
Dr Christian Jessen (PA)

In the wake of the case the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA called for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to do more and said the abuse she received had left her children very upset.

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

"The internet is a very dark place, obviously it has brought a lot of good in that everyone is connected nowadays, but it also brings out the worst in some people," she said.

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

The newly-elected Upper Bann MP said she would be raising the issue in the House of Commons and called on social media companies to face greater scrutiny on the issue of trolling and online abuse.

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