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Dr Christian Jessen asks for help paying £125,000 to Arlene Foster after he loses libel court case

Written by on 29 May 2021

TV presenter Dr Christian Jessen is pleading with supporters to donate to his GoFundMe page after he was ordered to pay £125,000 in libel costs to Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster.

The celebrity doctor was taken to court after tweeting false allegations that the ex-DUP leader was having an extra-marital affair.

A judge ruled the tweet was “grossly defamatory” and had caused Mrs Foster “grave upset, embarrassment and humiliation”.

Northern Irish First Minister Arlene Foster Image: Arlene Foster said she found the incident ‘very distressing’

Dr Jessen has now been posting on Twitter again – but this time to call for help paying off his costs.

“I’m very grateful for your messages of support and encouragement following the recent news,” he told followers.

“Would you please retweet and support me via my GoFundMe page? I have put more details there and I’ll keep you updated. Big hugs C x.”

On his fundraising page, he said he had given evidence to the court about his “mental health and personal circumstances over the last year” but still had to pay “substantial costs”.

“I am considering an appeal and I am seeking to raise funds to help me to fight what is a most unfair situation,” he said.

The TV presenter has a fundraising goal of £150,000 and said any “surplus” donations would be donated to relevant charities.

As of 5am on Saturday, he has raised about £2,000.

Dr Jessen, best known for presenting Embarrassing Bodies, had tweeted the false allegation to 300,000 followers and had described Mrs Foster as “the sanctity of marriage preaching woman”.

The TV doctor was ordered to pay £125,000 in costs Image: The TV doctor was ordered to pay £125,000 in costs

When her lawyer asked him to remove the tweet, he replied “LOL” and did not delete it for another two weeks.

Mrs Foster told Belfast High Court she had to discuss the issue with her children two days before Christmas, describing it as “very distressing at the time”.

Dr Jessen said he was unaware the legal proceedings were advancing because he was suffering from mental health problems and had gone to live with his parents.

But Mr Justice McAlinden said there was “no medical evidence of any nature to substantiate that” and he believed claims the doctor had not received legal documents were “wholly unsatisfactory and unconvincing”.