The shocking moment a “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” winner was punched in the face as part of a violent summer attack was revealed last week during court proceedings.
James Lee Williams, who won the first season of the show in 2019 as The Vivienne, said Friday he endured a “barrage of abuse” from Alan Whitfield after entering a McDonald’s in Liverpool on June 16.
“What have you come as, an Oompa Loompa?” Whitfield, 51, asked the drag star, 31, in newly released security footage, per the BBC.
Williams can be seen holding a handbag while being questioned by Whitfield: “Who are you trying to impress?”
Whitfield admitted the assault but at Friday’s hearing at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, he argued that his motives stemmed not from homophobia — but rather a comment Williams made about his skin, which was scarred from cancer treatments.
“I was very hurt, very, very angry,” Whitfield said.
“He carried on. Then after the fourth ‘look at the state of you,’ I said, ‘Look at the state of you,’” Williams explained. “I said, ‘Look at the state of your face,’ to which he said, ‘I’ve got skin cancer,’ and then punched me straight in the face.”
Williams apologized to Whitfield for the skin-related remarks, stating Friday, “That must have hurt, that was never intended.”
For his part, Whitfield said he first noticed Williams because of his dyed green hair. He called his exchange with Williams “banter.”
Sharing that he’s used to the “looks” and “stares” due to his “flamboyant” style, Williams claimed that he was singled out by the former scaffolder at the fast food joint.
“There were countless other people in the branch of McDonald’s that day, why didn’t he start on anyone else,” the TV star said. “Why did he choose to publicly humiliate me and then hit me, if it wasn’t for my image or me being quite evidently gay?”
Whitfield vehemently denied knowing Williams is gay.
In a 999 call played to the jury, Williams said: “He obviously knew I was gay, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist.”
The court sided with Williams, finding Whitfield guilty of a hate crime.
“Having considered this incident from beginning to end,” Chair of the Bench Anthony Canning said as he delivered the verdict. “We believe beyond reasonable doubt that the hostility shown by yourself from the outset was motivated and down to the perceived sexuality of the complainant and this was homophobic in nature.”
Prosecutor Emily Lloyd praised the verdict.
“The finding that the offense was a hate crime enables the court to increase the sentence against Mr. Whitfield to reflect this fact,” Lloyd stated. “We would not have been able to prosecute this offense without the courage of the victim making a statement and coming to court to give evidence.”
“Hate crime has devastating consequences for individuals and affects the whole community,” she concluded. “It targets an intrinsic part of who a person is. Tackling hate crime is a priority for the CPS and we are committed to bringing perpetrators to justice. Homophobia has no place in our society, and it will not be tolerated in any form.”
Whitfield is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 3. He was overheard complaining about the verdict Friday: “Joke. Bulls–t. Where’s the hate crime for my cancer?”