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I am a respected music professional in New Orleans. Recently a band member turned on me and began to slander me to several people in town...and his hearsay got back to my employer. This person wrongly accused me of being a thief and generally slandered me in any way he could. This has gone on for about 4 months now, and I keep hearing through other people that he is still talking behind my back to people. How can I legally stop him? He is ruining my good name and he will not stop. Also...he has been sexually inappropriate with me and several women I know. I know that is unrelated, but to me that shows a lot about his character. I have over 6 witnesses that can attest to his slander. Do I have any recourse in this matter??
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.
Good morning. Yes, you have recourse here. Itis likely you have a cause of action for defamation. Let me explain whatdefamation is and then you can make the determination whether or not it issomething you wish to pursue. Iam going to provide you information on both slander and libel since they are soclosely related and so often confused with each other. They are civil injuriesthat harm reputation, cause a reduction in respect, regard or confidence, orcause disparaging, hostile or disagreeable opinions or feelings against anindividual or entity. The laws regarding libel and slander are the same. Toprevail in a defamation suit for libel or slander and recover damages, a person("Person A") must prove 4 things: (i) another person ("PersonB") conveyed adefamatory message they knew or should have known to be false; (ii) thematerial was published (i.e., conveyed to someone other than Person A); (iii)Person A can be identified as the person referred to in the defamatorymaterial; and (iv) Person A suffered an injury to Person A's reputation as aresult of the communication.
Typically,before actually filing the suit, you would send them a letter detailing thesituation and demanding that they: i) retract all prior defamatory statementsmade, and ii) cease and desist from making any in the future.
Theletter usually resolves the issue because people hate to get sued. If you needa template for a letter, let me know.
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