if someone writes a tell-all book and includes an affair that I had with them 30 years ago, and uses my real name, do I have any legal recourse?

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if someone writes a tell-all book and includes an affair that I had with them 30 years ago, and uses my real name, do I have any legal recourse?

Asked on June 3, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately this type of book will usually include real facts and names and the publishers are very careful not to print anything that could be considered libelous. As I do not have any specifics on this book or you and your situation it is hard to gauge if you would have any possible recourse.

If what is printed is true I would assume you would not have any legal recourse. However as I said having all the facts would help make it easier to answer definitively. You should contact a local attorney who handles this type of situation, speak with them explain the situation and see if they advise any legal action

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It's possible. But cases like these tend to be very sensitive to the facts -- the facts that can be proved in court, the facts that sometimes depends on whose testimony is believed and whose is not.  The law does vary from state to state, as well.  You should discuss this, in detail, with an attorney in your area, for reliable advice.  One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

If the truth of what is written about you can be proved, that would be a complete defense to a libel suit.  You might still have a claim based on invasion of your personal privacy.


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