Calling it quits with Colin Craig
Last week I signed an agreement apologising to Colin Craig, and agreed to pay him a confidential amount in full and final settlement of the civil litigation matters between us. A copy of the statement is below.
After the jury vindicated me, Mr Craig appealed to the Court of Appeal, and then again to the Supreme Court. They told me I had to start again, through no fault of mine or my lawyers. They said the judge erred in her summing up. But the courts do not pay for the error or the repetition. The first trial plus appeals cost our side more than the original jury award to me.
My options are to settle however much it sticks in the throat, go bankrupt, or incur huge debt to fight on. With the comments the appeal judges have made about limits to damages in defamation, no one rational would go for the retrial.
Even if I was irrationally set on it, and found someone to fund it as a matter of principle, I can’t justify forcing Rachel MacGregor, or my family, through a repetition. I have too much positive to get on with, to justify more years embroiled in events nearly five years past.
Apologising to Mr Craig for the matters I did get wrong is the proper thing anyway. For example, there was no evidence of what others called ‘sexts’, though there were inappropriate comments and love letters. I am sorry about getting those details wrong. I don’t think they include anything that changes what three courts have now found. The $1.27million awarded by a jury in my favour was quashed largely because Mr Craig’s lawyers convinced three Supreme Court judges that it is possible Mr Craig genuinely believed that he did not sexually harass, despite the findings of other courts, and not just the jury.
I am confident another jury that listens to the evidence would come to similar conclusions as the first. But it would cost as much again. Now that we know how the courts interfere with jury damages I can’t afford another trial however justified it might be.
I was 29 when this case started. If I had not proved Mr Craig’s allegations about my honesty false, they would have followed me all my life. Some of them were incompatible with continuing in a profession that needs trust.
Rachel MacGregor has given evidence multiple times. Mr Craig once looked at her and said he ‘set aside one million dollars and he was going to destroy her’*. Up against deep pockets and attitudes like that, and with a Court system so unwilling to say ‘enough is enough’, I can’t possibly win.
So instead I’ve had to say “enough is enough”. I will borrow what I have to pay, and get on with life.
* line 24, page 811, Craig v Slater, Notes of Evidence taken before the Hon Justice Toogood.
Apology by Jordan Williams to Colin Craig and Family
I wish to apologise publicly for the untrue statements I have made about Mr Craig.
In late 2014, Ms MacGregor, Mr Craig’s former Press Secretary approached me making various allegations about Mr Craig. Some of the allegations were serious and I decided to pass these allegations on to others within the Conservative Party and ultimately to Whale Oil.
I am now aware that a number of statements I made to others about Mr Craig were not true.
I deeply regret what has happened and my involvement in spreading those allegations. I apologise to Mr Craig and his family unreservedly.
I will not be continuing my legal proceedings against Mr Craig. I have personally apologised to Mr Craig and agreed to make a payment to him. He has accepted my apology and so has agreed to end his legal proceedings against me.