Defamation claims vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but basically it is a false statement made to third parties about or of and concerning the plaintiff. It has to be statement of fact, and cause injury to the reputation of the plaintiff or cause people not to associate with the reputation.

If the plaintiff is a public official or public figure, then a higher level of fault is needed and that’s called actual malice and requires either that the person knew that the information that the statement was wrong, or had reckless disregard for whether the statement was true or false.


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