Muriel Gray's High Court claim 17 Dec 09 against Geoff Widders

Should "famous people" be able to lie with impunity?

Friday, 13 July 2012

MURIEL GRAY FANTASYCON 2012


13) Muriel Gray's second appearance as a 'Guest of Honour' at FantasyCon 
(Sept 27-30, 2012, Brighton) 

 - Will she again choose to lie to the audience?


As Ms Gray correctly states, I did contact HarperCollins and allege that she had, "stolen my story" she is also correct in stating that her book and my book are;- "PRACTICALLY THE DOUBLE


Will she again choose to lie to the audience? 

Muriel Gray's first appearance as a "Guest of Honour" at FantasyCon [the annual convention of the British Fantasy Society] was eight years ago, that was in September 2004. She is to again attend as a "Guest of Honour" in September 2012. I have detailed in this website (hewasanutter.com) how she lied to the audience during her first appearance. 

The audience she lied to in 2004 was composed of members of the public and authors. She was being interviewed by a writer named Paul Kane. She chose to tell lies regarding the date of her book, 'The Ancient' and the date of my book, 'Flight of the Shaman.' Those lies led to my making a claim against her in court. 

Ms Gray lied to the audience that my book was written "long after" her book. I knew that to be a lie. I wanted to prove in court that my book was written NOT "long after" hers (as she had lied) but was actually written long before hers. 

It must be remembered that in 2001 HarperCollins lawyers had examined what they entitled in their letter to me;- 

  "Plagiarism claim on Muriel Gray's 'THE ANCIENT'" 

HarperCollins also sent Ms Gray a copy of their letter to me. I have quoted the first part of that letter in [3) Muriel Gray lied to the audience]. The letter states that Muriel Gray provided HarperCollins with assurances that she had;- 

  Muriel Gray's Assurance to HarperCollins

"...never seen the manuscript for Flight of the Shaman" nor has she discussed the story line with any other member of the literary/publishing profession prior to, or during writing the work which was published this year." 

Although Ms Gray knew that lawyers and "external Intellectual Property Counsel" had examined this matter, and that she had provided all-encompassing assurances - she made a mockery of those events when she told the audience that my book was written "long after" hers. 

Without having to become embroiled in a full legal battle against a wealthy opponent; without having to run any risk that a judge could misunderstand the obvious, without (I thought) any risk whatsoever, the lie that Muriel Gray told to the audience would allow me to show the public the link between her and my book. It would allow me to prove, in a court of law, that she had lied when she said that my book was written "long after" hers. Why was this important? And why would such an important literary figure as Muriel Gray lie about such a thing? 

I submitted my Small Claim to the courts. In the space of a paragraph I simply asked the courts to rule upon the dates. 

It was not possible for Ms Gray to produce evidence to prove that she had not lied, that she was correct in saying that my book was written "long after" hers. So instead she employed a top-flight team of lawyers who set out to prevent the matter being examined in court. Their fight against my claim regarding the dates began in the lower courts - they were not successful - after two lengthy court appearances in front of a Circuit Judge, His Honour Judge Reid QC ruled that the matter must be heard. 

Muriel Gray knew that if the claim was heard in court she would be found out, that my book was not written "long after" hers. She briefed her legal team to appeal to the High Court. 

Ms Gray is immensely wealthy, she had the means by which she could employ a top-flight legal team to put in a High Court challenge. Why was she so desperate to prevent my claim being heard? 

Ms Gray's appeal was heard by Mr Justice Roth in the Chancery Division of the High Court. The Muriel Gray legal team consisted of a solicitor of the Supreme Court, a second solicitor and a barrister. I represented myself. Mr Justice Roth spoke in favour of "famous people" and ruled that my claim be dismissed. 

 [It is my intention to provide a full account of the hearing itself. Over the past few years (as can be seen from the links to the left) I have endeavoured to obtain the full verbatim transcript of the hearing that was edited out by Mr Justice Roth. I asked Mr Justice Roth for the verbatim account but he would not provide it. Instead I only have his edited version. Currently the matter is under internal review with the Data Access department of the Courts of Justice. If they fail to provide the transcript I will appeal to the Information Commissioner].

Until I obtain the full transcript I cannot comment as I would like upon what took place that day. The result of the hearing was that I lost. Not only did Mr Justice Roth strike out my claim he also ruled that I must pay all the costs of Ms Gray's expensive legal team - that is pay for the High Court hearing and the previous two hearings. The lawyers also put other costs to him. 

Charles Dickens experienced the Chancery Court for himself. He wrote Bleak House and of the case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce that ate up every penny of two litigants;- 

 'Jarndyce v Jarndyce' of which Wikipedia states;- 

 "Dickens used it to attack the Chancery court system as being near totally worthless, as any "honourable man among its [Chancery's] practitioners" says, "Suffer any wrong that can be done you rather than come here!" " 

The reader will note the web page to the left (under LEGAL SECTION) entitled, "Suffer any wrong that can be done you rather than come here." It is is an extensive set of analogies of the Court of Chancery in the days of Charles Dickens to the Chancery Division of the High Court of today. That webpage, for the reasons I have explained, is currently inactive - so too are all the links in 'LEGAL SECTION' and 'SCALES OF JUSTICE'. 

Mr Justice Roth struck out the claim, he awarded costs to the expensive legal team. They had finally succeeded in keeping the claim from being heard.

Returning to Ms Gray's attendances at the conventions;-

In the 2004 convention Ms Gray did not rest with simply lying about the dates of our books. She not only made a mockery of the events surrounding those books but she also made a mockery of me. As I have said earlier, Ms Gray was interviewed by the writer named Paul Kane in front of an audience composed of members of the public and writers. Ms Gray was answering questions from him when, without any prompting or pertinent question, she chose to lie about what had occurred and make a mockery of the truth. In so doing she duped the audience. She did not rest with making a mockery of the truth - she also made a mockery of me - referring to me as, "this guy" and "a nutter." [Hence the name of this website "hewasanutter.com"] Her lies brought the unsuspecting audience to a "big laugh." 

Click play to listen to Muriel Gray lie;- 
[blog readers will need to click this link hewasanutter.com/FantasyCon

Here is the transcript of what she said;- 

Muriel Gray: Yeah, although unfortunately I started writing the Ancient before The Mummy came out. How irritating is that! Oh, I had a very funny incident with that actually because this guy wrote to HarperCollins and said she's - like one of these kind of Stephen King things - she's stolen my story. And you think, oh no, here we go. And he sent this thing in and it was practically the double, luckily he said ‘I wrote it then,and of course that was long after, you know, the book had actually been in print. So obviously he was a nutter, but he did write it and believed and then read this book and believed that it. And the lawyer sent this letter back to him and said, it was one of the most insulting things, he said: we can see the similarities but that's simply because of the clichéd nature of the material (big laugh). 

[The emboldened words, above, are missing from the Paul Kane & Muriel Gray version. Here is what their version states] 

Muriel Gray: Yeah, although unfortunately I started writing The Ancient before The Mummy came out. How irritating is that! Oh, I had a very funny incident with that because this guy wrote to HarperCollins and said she's - like one of these kind of Stephen King things - she's stolen my story. And you think, oh no, here we go. And it was practically the double, but fortunately he wrote it long after the book had been in print. And the lawyer sent this letter back to him and said, it was one of the most insulting things, he said: we can see the similarities but that's simply because of the clichéd nature of the material (big laugh) 

Paul Kane: I wouldn't put that on the dust jacket. 

Muriel Gray: And it's like, oh, well, that's okay then (laughs) Well, of course it sounds the same because it's a bunch of clichés! (laughs)... 


I can assure the reader that I wrote my book in 1998, three years before Ms Gray's book was published - so I did not "write it and believed and then read this book and believed that it." I did not believe anything - I never even knew of the existence of her book 'The Ancient' until my brother heard Muriel Gray plugging it on the radio in 2001 and told me that I should check it out. 

As Ms Gray correctly states, I did contact HarperCollins and allege that she had, "stolen my story" she is also correct in stating that her book and my book are;- 

 "PRACTICALLY THE DOUBLE

Certainly Ms Gray appears to be qualified to make such a judgement. In 2007, as chair of a prestigious literary award, Muriel Gray expressed the following opinions;- 


 "The Orange Prize for Fiction ... is one of the United Kingdom's most prestigious literary prizes."... 'The 2007 shortlist was decried for being derived from '... a lot of dross ...' by the chair of the judging panel Muriel Gray". 


 "As a judge in this year's Orange prize, it's hard to ignore the sheer volume of thinly disguised autobiographical writing from women on small-scale domestic themes such as motherhood, boyfriend troubles and tiny family dramas. These writers appear to have forgotten the fundamental imperative of fiction writing. It's called making stuff up." 

Ms Gray is clearly highly critical of the efforts of other female writers. 

Why did this expert lie about the dates of her book and my book? 


Will she again choose to lie to the audience? 

In her forthcoming 2012 appearance at FantasyCon will Muriel Gray again choose to make a mockery of the truth and lie to an audience about the dates of her book and my book? Will she again refer to me in disparaging terms? 

In the 2004 convention the audience did not know that they were being lied to, they now have the benefit of knowing the truth. At the end of the 2004 interview the audience were invited to ask her questions. If that happens in 2012 what would she reply if she were asked to account for her actions in her previous appearance;- 

"Why did you lie to us regarding the dates of your book and the dates of the the other book?" 

"Why did you refer to the other writer as a nutter?" 

I took the matter to court because I wanted to show my evidence of my date of writing, 1998, that was three years before Ms Gray's date of 2001. Ms Gray, as I have said, chose to use top-flight lawyers to prevent the case being heard. I wanted a full examination of the matter, Ms Gray did not. If she had been honest she could have simply shown proof to back up her statement. My book was written years before hers, not "long after". She lied to the audience. Why


Mailings 

This webpage [and my previous mailings] has been posted to over 1,500 people, many of those people are associated with the writing/publishing industry. Since I first set up the website in March 2010 I have sent mailings to every named person present at the 2004 convention. The 2012 convention has a full list of attending members, I am in the process of mailing all those members. If the link at the top of this webpage Contacts is clicked it gives a full list of the, "Companies, Groups, and Organisation, that continue to receive postings of developments (the list of Individuals is too extensive to reproduce). " I have also added a webpage, "FantasyCon" to those Contacts


Link to the FantasyCon website detailing Ms Gray's attendance 2012;- http://fantasycon2012.org/murielgray.htm 


My undertaking 

If there is anything that I have stated on this site that is not correct; if Muriel Gray, Harper Collins, Browne Jacobson, or any person(s) mentioned in these pages, contacts me and provides the evidence or counter argument to show that I am not correct, or... if there is anything that I have stated that anybody believes misrepresents them in any way, if they provide me with their arguments... then, if necessary, I will consider removing the material, and/or publish a correction, and/or apologise. If I do not hear anything (nobody has complained to me since I set up this site in March 2010) then I can only assume the accuracy of everything on this site, and that nobody has been misrepresented in any way. 

Geoff Widders

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