Asked in Libel & Slander

Q: Why is it difficult for a public figure to win a defamation lawsuit against a tabloid? It seems very rare.

I am researching cases where public figures like politicians and celebrities have sued tabloids and blogs for defamation but in most cases, they lose even though the statements made were indeed deemed to be defamatory. I'd like to understand this better.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar

A: The reason is that when the alleged victim is a public figure, they must prove the wrongdoer knew the statements were false, or that they had a reckless disregard for whether they were false. That's a generalization and in your research you will find case law that analyzes this more thoroughly. But in basic terms, public figures face that higher threshold of demonstrating malice by the wrongdoer. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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