What can I do if I’m a self-employed business owner and a woman I know wrote a defamatory email to many of my very important partners, clients and affiliates?

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What can I do if I’m a self-employed business owner and a woman I know wrote a defamatory email to many of my very important partners, clients and affiliates?

This email went out with out of context screenshots of my personal social media pages which she spun stories about and made claims that I was being a

Asked on August 10, 2017 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Those things she said which are factually untrue, like a claim you used her likeness in business without her permission, are defamation; you would have legal basis to sue if you chose (though you are right about the challenges of such a lawsuit), so you could send her a cease and desist letter with something to back it up.
Statements that are purely opinons (subjective judgments), such as that you are a "scam artist," are not defamation and are not actionable, so while you can of course send her a letter to cease and desist, you really don't have anything to support or back-up such a demand. Opinons are simply not anything you sue over, and everyone is legally entitled to their opinon.=, no matter how harmful or unfair.
You may wish to wait and see if this repeats: if so, then send her a letter and then sue if you have to. But it may be that she worked whatever it was out of her system and will leave you alone--whereas if you enage with her, you may get into a "war of words" with her.


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