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My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.
My question is, are the references accurate and true? The people he is giving them too are they prepared to give evidence for you?
Then they are defamatory and you can sue.
If the people that are being told the lies are prepared to confirm what they have been told and how it has affected their impression of you, then you have a case for compensation.
Here is some information
You have to first confront them in writing and ask them to stop and confirm to the other parties that what they have said a lies and retract them. If they refuse then court is the only other option, particularly if you cannot get a job because of their comments and they are causing your reputation to be ruined.
Please accept my apology if my questions offended. They were not meant to I just needed to know so I can provide you with the information.
What did the agreement you signed say that relates to this action?