Presentation on theme: "Defamation Libel and Slander. 1-Define: Defamation- False speech that damages a person’s good name, character or reputation Slander- Spoken defamation."— Presentation transcript:
Defamation Libel and Slander
1-Define: Defamation- False speech that damages a person’s good name, character or reputation Slander- Spoken defamation Libel- Written defamation
Defamatory speech-False speech that damages a person’s good name, character or reputation. Falls into 2 categories: Slander-Spoken defamation Libel-Written defamation
Defamation: Public v. Private Person
Celebrity Defamation Cases Although many celebrities make it into the headlines for showcasing their wealth and success, nothing grabs the media’s eye more than one trying to cover their tracks. Gossip columns live up to their name and often lead to celebrities becoming the subject of false rumors that can damage their reputation.
Kiera Knightley After the Daily Mail printed accusations that Kiera Knightley had an eating disorder and she was partly responsible for the death of a young girl with anorexia, the actress went on to win a high court damages libel against the story. The £3,000 damages that she received from the case were donated to an eating disorder charity.
David Beckham Footballer David Beckham was unsuccessful with his libel and slander case when he tried to sue a US magazine for claiming he had slept with a prostitute. Without any proof that the magazine was acting maliciously, David was unable to win the court ruling and his $25 million claim was dismissed.
Tom Cruise Cruise is demanding $50 million from Bauer Publishing Company for tabloid stories suggesting that the divorce-torn actor had abandoned his daughter, Suri. Two stories are at the center of the complaint: A July 30 issue of Life & Style, which featured the headline “Suri in Tears, Abandoned by Her Dad,” and an Oct. 1 issue of In Touch, which had the headline “Abandoned by Daddy” over a photo of Suri. Cruise’s laywer,said in the lawsuit that the headlines are malicious and deceptive, and that the stories do not contain facts to back them up.said in the lawsuit that the headlines are malicious and deceptive, and that the stories do not contain facts to back them up.
Standards of proof for public and private persons Public PersonPrivate PersonDamage their reputationBe False Knew it was false or Reckless disregard for the truth
Ways a person can be damaged by slander/libel Lose job Lose reputation Lose spouse Lose business
Why do you think there is a higher standard of proof for a public person trying to collect damages than there is for a private person. Should public people be able to be criticized more than a private person?
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire  “fighting words” Words that are so insulting that they provoke immediate violence. Fight-provoking language that tends to incite violence "The test is what... [persons] of common intelligence would understand would be words and expressions which by general consent are 'fighting words' when said without a disarming smile.... Such words, as ordinary... [persons] know, are likely to cause a fight."
Chaplinsky was arrested for violating this New Hampshire statute: No person shall address any offensive, derisive or annoying word to any other person who is lawfully in any street or other public place, nor call him by any offensive or derisive name, nor make any noise or exclamation in his presence and hearing with intent to deride, offend or annoy him, or to prevent him from pursuing his lawful business or occupation. (Chapter 378, Section 2, of the Public Laws of New Hampshire)
Worthwhile Speech Expression that has social value as a step to truth (news reports, editorial/opinion columns, speeches on social issues, political debates, etc.) Worthless Speech Expression that has little, if any, social value as a step to truth 1. The lewd, obscene, and profane 2. Slander and libel 3. Insulting or "fighting" words
What types of speech does the First Amendment NOT protect? Seditious Defamatory Fighting Words