It is just another Wednesday at work until your supervisor pulls you into the office. They’ve had an anonymous complaint that you have engaged in inappropriate relationships with your co-workers or used company resources to conduct a private relationship. Eventually, phone records make it clear that your ex was the one who called in the anonymous accusations.
Perhaps the fallout from your spouse’s accusation wasn’t that dramatic. Maybe you have found yourself feeling isolated from family and friends because your ex has been declaring you unfaithful in private conversations or even on social media.
Can you hold your ex accountable for defamation when they accuse you of adultery?
If the information is a lie, it might constitute defamation
Widespread accusations of infidelity can seriously damage your reputation. Many people have felt the impact of marital infidelity. Maybe one of their parents cheated on the other, and they grew up shuttling between homes. Maybe they recently divorced because their ex was unfaithful.
Unfortunately, many people will judge you harshly over accusations of infidelity. They may assume that they can’t trust you or pull back from their friendship with you. Clients and customers may choose a competitor because the accusations make them uncomfortable. Your family members might side with your ex in the divorce and stop talking to you, or your friends could stop supporting you during this difficult time.
There could be significant social consequences, ranging from estrangement from your children to a loss of momentum in your career. However, damage alone isn’t enough for a defamation case. You also have to show that the information is untrue. Provided that you can prove your ex has made these statements and that they are false, you may be in a position to take action. Understanding your rights when someone defames you can help you protect your reputation and your future.