Under what conditions can a person be charged with slander?

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Under what conditions can a person be charged with slander?

This story will sound childish I know but recently I ended a friendship due to the friend cheating on her husband and just acting crazy. She tried blaming my fiance saying I chose love over friendship and he came between us. So she sent out a e-mail to 6 mutual friends calling me a bitch and telling them I chose love over friendship. I was upset and returned the e-mail correcting her statement. I said, I did not choose love, that may help her sleep at night, but I chose not to hang around someone that runs around on her husband. So now she wants to press charges for slander. Can she?

Asked on May 5, 2011 under Personal Injury, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your ex-friend needs to get her causes of action correct. Libel and Slander are part of the tort of "defamation" with slander being the spoken word and libel being the written word.  Here the e-mail would constitute libel not slander.  However, always remember that truth is an absolute defense to a defamation suit.  So if you "spoke" the truth in the e-mail and you can back up your explanation with hard evidence then her cause of action would be dismissed.  I think that you have nothing to worry about.  If she were smart she would back off the situation before it gets totally out of control for her, not that it already hasn't with everything going on there.  Good luck. 


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