Defamation must be done in public so that others hear the slander that injures reputation.
You say it was said "in private" so what does that mean?
Jokes can be defamatory.
You have a lot to prove. You have to prove that the person knew the info was false, told other people the false info, and then you were economically harmed as a result of same. If you think that you can prove all of that, seek an attorney's assistance. This will likely be a long, hard and expensive battle. Good luck.
The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.
Defamation requires statement to be to third party. Also, defamation cases are very expensive, so the person wouldn't likely spend the money to retain a lawyer.
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