I see. Thank you for providing this additional information, Dale.
It certainly sounds as though the GM at your former employer is engaging in defamation
against you, which involves the statements made to others, written or verbal, which the speaker knows or should know are false.
A lawsuit for defamation typically allows a plaintiff to seek compensation for damages they have sustained as a result of the defamatory statements, so you could receive a judgment against the speaker which they would have to pay you as compensation for injuries you have sustained due to the defamatory statements.
Such a suit can be difficult to prove, but since you have few options at this point because you are unable to locate employment because of the statements, it would be best to find a way to retain a local attorney to draft a demand letter to the former employer that they cease making the false statements, retract the statements made to the third parties and apologize. The demand could also request an amount to compensate you for your injuries to date in settlement of your claims.
If the employer wishes to avoid a lawsuit, this may be effective in resolving the situation and could be your most cost-effective approach to stop the continuing false statements.
I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate my service when I have answered your questions so I will be compensated for my time assisting you. Thank you!