Is it a crime to reveal someones private life to their family or friends?

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Is it a crime to reveal someones private life to their family or friends?

Let’s say Mike and Joe were friends and Mike did something to hurt Joe badly and they are no longer friends. Joe has embarrassing pictures, emails, and videos of Mike’s private life and wants to reveal these to his family and friends. Is there a legal way for Joe to do this without getting in trouble? Is this a crime?

Asked on November 16, 2010 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No it is not a crime unless you did something illegal to obtain the pictures, emails, and videos in question; for example, you took them from your friend's house without permission, or worse, broke into his place to get them.  However, you may open yourself up to civil litigation.  There are potential invasion of privacy issues to be considered, as well as other possible personal injury claims.

The fact is that you may end of doing more harm to yourself than to your ex-friend.  No matter whatever this person did/didn't do to you it probably isn't worth taking this kind of action.  In the end, you'll be the better for it.


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