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Can I sue for slander, defamation or harassment?

Atlanta, GA |

I believe my ex sent a postal letter to my local barber, which contained a picture of me in a jock strap. The letter stated that: I am HIV+. He had male-to-male sex with me. He has a STD. Lastly, the caption also stated, "I feel he is a danger to others and the public needs to know about him." The letter was only addressed to my barber and there was no way to authenticate who the letter came from.
The truth:
I am positive.
I did have sex with a male.
I do not know if he has a STD.
I do not think that I am a danger to others.

The picture was one I have given to many people.

Attorney Answers 1


Truth is an absolute defense to defamation (slander is spoken defamation; libel is written defamation). Also, opinions, name calling, insults and slurs are protected speech. So I do not see a successful defamation action for the comments made. However, it could be an invasion of privacy--depending on who took the picture, for what purpose and where it was taken. More info is needed. Also, you would need proof that it was your ex.

We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I have made do not constitute legal advice. Any statements I have made are based upon the very limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in California.

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Golnar Sargeant

Golnar Sargeant


Harassment is repeated, unwanted contact with someone without any legal basis--while this was very wrong, it doesn't meet the definition of harassment. You can always have a lawyer send a cease and desist letter to your ex, but most lawyers want some proof it was this person.

Golnar Sargeant

Golnar Sargeant


Since the ex used the US mail, it could be a federal crime--the lawyer can explain more. But again, you need to prove it was him.

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