Virtual Assistant wins David & Goliath £100,000 Twitter libel action battle

Kemp vented her frustration on the social networking site after claiming a Middle Eastern company had failed to pay her £150 bill promptly for transcription work.

However, the 55-year-old was left contemplating suicide after the boss of the Qatar-based firm instructed a solicitor to sue her, claiming damages of up to £50,000 and £70,000 in costs.

However after a year of legal wrangling Kemp was overwhelmed after learning that the Middle Eastern company, Resolution Productions, had dropped its case.

Speaking about the news Kemp said: “I was overwhelmed with relief when I heard the news. I have had some very black times and now I just want to get on with my life.”

The audio typist and transcriber, tweeted that the behaviour of Mr Kearns’ company Resolution Productions was “disgraceful” after alleging they were late in paying her fee before docking £25 pounds for bank costs.

However, she received a letter from a London-based solicitor in November 2012 stating that Mr Kearns had lodged a libel action against her.

Kemp faced losing her home after taking legal advice and was warned that she could face £100,000 pounds legal fees if she lost the claim.

“It was only a small amount of money that we were arguing over but because I was broke and stressed I took to Twitter and went on a bit of a rant,” she said.
“He said that I had damaged his reputation.”

The Libel Reform Campaign raised money to cover her initial £800 court costs and Mrs Kemp’s case was then taken on by libel lawyer Robert Dougans and barrister John Price on a no-win, no-fee basis, but now the case has been dropped just as her legal team was preparing for a number of hearings.

“Somebody once told me that half the fun of being on Twitter was naming and shaming people, but you live and learn,” said Kemp.

“Despite everything I have been through, this has not put me off using Twitter but I have just learned to play the game.

“In hindsight I would probably have written off such a small amount of money but I was broke and I was stressed. Words cannot describe the relief I feel and my gratitude towards the people who have helped me. The whole experience affected me terribly. It has been a living hell.”

In a statement Mr Kearns said he had withdrawn the claim for a “personal” reason and because Mrs Kemp’s lawyers had requested he pay £134,000 into the court as security for her costs.

Speaking about his decision Kearns said: “It is with much regret that I have taken the decision to discontinue my claim.”

“I want everyone to understand that I am not doing this because of any belief that my claim was unworthy or without merit.”

“I still believe that my claim was right and just. My decision to discontinue is based primarily on a personal ground which I choose not to make public.”