Truth As An Absolute Defense To Defamation

Defamation Demand Letters Truth As An Absolute Defense To Defamation

Discover Truth as an Absolute Defense to Defamation

Defamation is a severe offense that happens when someone makes false and damaging comments about you. There are two types of defamation: “libel,” which refers to a statement that is written or put online, and “slander,” which relates to a remark that is uttered. In order to prove a defamation case, the libel or slander must have been published in some form, resulting in damage to the subject’s reputation, future prospects, and even physical or mental health.

As a reaction to this crime, many people opt to submit a “cease and desist” letter, in which they warn the person who is making the damaging allegations to halt before any further legal action is taken. Learn more about defamation and how to interpret the laws of the truth as an absolute defense in the sections below. 

Distinguishing What is Defamation and What is Not

Slander vs. Libel: Which is Better?

Slander and libel are the two components of defamation, as previously mentioned:

  • Libel is further characterized by the fact that it leaves a permanent record, such as an email, radio or television broadcast, newspaper article, or an internet posting, among other things.
  • False statements or gestures are not recorded in any way, and they may be as simple as a spoken word or a gesture.

What Doesn’t Count as Defamation?

Despite the fact that establishing defamation seems to be a straightforward procedure, many legal loopholes prohibit allegations from being classified as slander or libel: 


  • A statement of opinion cannot be defamatory since defamation must be proved to be true or untrue before it can be considered true or false.
  • Defamatory statements that are not labeled as opinions and are published may provide you with grounds to file a lawsuit for slander or libel if the remark is not designated as an opinion.

The Right to Free Expression

  • When it comes to the First Amendment, people have the right not to be exposed to lies that cast aspersions on their reputations.
  • In essence, defamation is not unlawful in the legal sense of the word. A claim of defamation is just an excuse for the legal system to compensate those who have been hurt by freedom of expression.

False Light Statements

  • It is possible to make a false light claim when a defamatory statement about a person is published in a way that implies that the statement is factual when it is not.
  • In contrast to defamation, false light is created to “defend the plaintiff’s mental and emotional well-being,” rather than to “guard the plaintiff’s reputation,” which is what defamation does.


  • Disparagement serves to safeguard the commercial and economic interests of the plaintiff or the goods they are attempting to sell.
  • Defamation is intended to defend personal interests, while disparagement is intended to safeguard interests that extend beyond the individual, such as property ownership and non-liquid assets.

Truth and Privilege as Defenses to Defamation

Defamation Defenses Based on the Truth and Privilege 

  1. Lawsuits for defamation are tough to win because the plaintiff must both establish the difficult aspects of his or her case and avoid the many defenses to defamation that are available to him or her.
  2. This article covers some of the most common defamation defenses, including the defenses of truth and privilege. 
  3. The truth serves as a defense.

Defamation and Truth as A Solution to Lawsuits

  • The truth, or at least significant truth, is a full defense to a defamation lawsuit. The only real question is who has the responsibility of demonstrating that what is said is correct. 
  • The plaintiff must show the falsehood of an alleged defamatory statement as a component of the defamatory statement portion of the plaintiff’s case; but, in most states, a defendant’s claim that the statement was truthful is considered to be a valid affirmative defense by the courts.
  • In legal terms, an affirmative defense is a defense that must be pled and proven by the party answering a claim.
  • While the truth is always a defense, the United States Supreme Court held in Philadelphia Newspapers v. Hepps that the truth is not always an affirmative defense in civil litigation.
  • It was determined by the court that, when a statement by a media defendant addressed a subject of “public concern,” it was the plaintiff’s responsibility to demonstrate that the statement was untrue. 
  • Consequently, a media defendant will not be needed to establish the veracity of a statement relating to an issue of public concern.

Filing A Cease and Desist Letter

  • Cease and desist letters are very complicated, and specific wording is required in order to establish credibility for your position. 
  • It is possible that your letter may be ignored or considered inadequate for a legitimate case if it does not correctly describe the damages, injury, and other facts concerning your case using language that is appropriate in a court of law
  • Alternatively, you may hire a lawyer to draft a cease and desist letter on your behalf, but this will be more costly and take longer than you expect.
  • A defamation lawsuit typically has a statute of limitations of one year after the event of defamation, which means that you only have a limited amount of time to submit your claim.

Find Out How to Draft a Cease and Desist Letter in Minutes!

DoNotPay is a simple, credible, and safe solution! The cease and desist letter DoNotPay drafts details the information about the case, demands retraction, warns against any impending statements, and will order that the accused abides by local state law.

All you need to do is:

1. Search Defamation on DoNotPay.

2. Tell us about your situation:

    • Were the statements slander or libel?
    • What were the statements?
    • Why are they false or misleading?
    • What consequences have you suffered as a result of these statements?

3. Based on your location, DoNotPay will immediately generate a formal demand letter on your behalf, with the most relevant state legislation regarding defamation.

That’s it! You can expect a detailed drafted cease and desist letter to your cause, in an instant! 

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

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