Stephen Fry Under Investigation for Blasphemy After Branding God an 'Utter Maniac'

(Photo: Reuters/Andrew Kelly)Actor Stephen Fry arrives for the American Theatre Wing's 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York, June 8, 2014.

Comedian, actor and television presenter Stephen Fry is under investigation by Irish police for blasphemy after he accused God of being an "utter maniac" on a national television channel.

While Fry made the remarks in 2015, police have now started the investigation, according to The Telegraph.

Ireland's Defamation Act includes the offense of blasphemy, which is punishable by a fine of 25,000 euro, or $27,500.

In a February 2015 show, aired on RTÉ, Fry was asked by host Gay Byrne what he would say if he was confronted by God.

"How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It's not right," Fry replied. "It's utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"

Fry continued, "I would say, 'Bone cancer in children? What's that about?' Because the God who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, utter maniac. Totally selfish. We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him? What kind of God would do that?"

After Fry was criticized on social media following the telecast of the show, he told BBC, "I don't think I mentioned once any particular religion and I certainly didn't intend, and in fact I know I didn't say anything offensive towards any particular religion."

A citizen, who asked not to be identified, told The Guardian that he filed a complaint against Fry more than two years ago.

"I told the garda (police) I wanted to report Fry for uttering blasphemy and RTÉ for publishing/broadcasting it and that I believed these were criminal offences under the Defamation Act 2009," the source was quoted as saying. "The garda then took a formal written statement from me in which I quoted Fry's comments in detail. This written statement mentioned both Fry and RTÉ specifically."

Police asked the complainant if he was personally offended. "I told the garda that I did not want to include this as I had not personally been offended by Fry's comments – I added that I simply believed that the comments made by Fry on RTÉ were criminal blasphemy and that I was doing my civic duty by reporting a crime."

After nothing happened for 18 months, the complainant said he wrote to the head of the Irish police, "asking if the crime I reported was being followed up. A few weeks later I got a standard 'we have received your letter' from her secretary."