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Richard, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  32 years of experience practicing law and a businessman.
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This is a defamation potential lawsuit question and it is bizarre.

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This is a defamation potential lawsuit question and it is bizarre. I recently got married and the mother of my step son's girlfriend who has issues told my step son and my step daughter that I plan to murder my new bride for her money. They told both step children, 24 and 26 yrs. old that I am unemployed and plan to take my new wife for her money. I make more than my new wife. Both are untrue and unfounded. She has deduced the potential murder allegation by watching a video we have on face book when we were on our honey moon in Grand Cayman. If you watched the video you would laugh as we all did. But she keeps bringing it up to my step kids for months now and it must stop. This is crazy but I think a letter needs to go to this woman threatening a law suit and the letter needs to go to her husband, who is a pretty good guy and of course to this crazy woman. I would like your legal thoughts on this matter.

Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.
Good afternoon.

You may in fact have an action for defamation. Let me explain what defamation is and then you can make the determination whether or not it is something you wish to pursue.


I am going to provide you information on both slander and libel since they are so closely related and so often confused with each other.


Both involve the communication of false information about a person, group or entity. Libel is any defamation that can be seen....writings, printing, effigy, movie or statue. Slander, is any defamation that is spoken and heard.


They are civil injuries that harm reputation, cause a reduction in respect, regard or confidence, or cause disparaging, hostile or disagreeable opinions or feelings against an individual or entity.


The laws regarding libel and slander are the same.


To prevail in a defamation suit for libel or slander and recover damages, you must prove 4 things: (i) the defendant conveyed a defamatory message they knew or should have known to be false; (ii) the material was published (i.e., conveyed to someone other than you); (iii) you can be identified as the the person referred to in the defamatory material; and (iv) you suffered an injury to your reputation as a result of the communication.


What I would suggest doing is to send a cease and desist letter telling them otherwise you will file your suit for damages for past defamation and an injunction prohibiting any defamatory actions in the future.



I hope this has given you the guidance you were seeking. I wish you the best of luck!


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The information given here is not legal advice. As all states have different intricacies in their laws, the information given is general only. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful to you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Should I have a lawyer write the C & D letter or can I write it?
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.
You can write it, but if it comes from a lawyer it will likely to have a much more chilling effect.
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