It's Not Defamation if No One Knows It's You -- Sammy Hagar Defeats Defamation Claim

more+
less-

The first element of defamation is sometimes forgotten. The defamatory statement must be about the plaintiff. In most instances that will be self-evident, but sometimes the identity of the person being defamed will be known only to that person, and that will not support an action.

This situation arises in "tell-all" books that don't name the people being discussed. Whether the person can successfully sue for defamation will turn on whether third parties recognize the person, even though the he or she is unnamed and the facts have been altered. In this case, rocker Sammy Hagar wrote in his book that a "Playboy bunny" had extorted money from him by claiming to be pregnant. The court found that reference was insufficient to identify the woman in question, and dismissed her defamation action.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Aaron Morris, Morris & Stone, LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.
×
Loading...
×
×