Possible Slander?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Possible Slander?

I am just wondering if you could advise me on a situation my wife
and I have found ourselves in.
A couple that live near by are going through marriage problems, his
wife is blaming my wife for their break up. She has accused them of
having an affair. My wife and I have been friends with this man for
a number of years now, there has been txt messages exchanged between
this man and my wife which I am fully aware of but nothing more.
This morning this lady arrived to our door telling me about the
situation, she even accused my wife of not knowing who the father of
our unborn baby was. Is there anything we can do or should we just
leave well enough alone and let them sort their own problems out. My
wife and myself have a happy marriage and don’t want any hassle.

Asked on September 20, 2016 under Family Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Defamation (slander is oral, or unwritten defamation; libel is written defamation--technically, they have slightly different rules, but are similar enough that we can discuss them together) is when someone makes an untrue statement of fact which damages your reputation to *other* people--i.e. to  third parties. If the statements are made only to you, that may be insulting, annoying, etc. but it's not slander; another person can say anything they like to you and it's not legally actionable.
So if the wife confines her accusations to just you and your wife--she does not make them to third parties--you can't sue her; leave well enough alone. But if you hear that she has made her accusations or claims to other people, then since the claim that your wife has had an affair or has a child other than by you is a (presumably) untrue factual statement, it would be defamation; and therefore, if that untrue factual claim is made to other people, damaging your reputation, you could at that time sue her for monetary compensation and/or to get a court order requiring her to desist.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption