Public Figure

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Public Figure

A description applied in Libel and Slander actions, as well as in those alleging invasion of privacy, to anyone who has gained prominence in the community as a result of his or her name or exploits, whether willingly or unwillingly.

If a plaintiff in a libel or slander action qualifies as a public figure, he or she must show that the libelous or slanderous conduct of the defendant was motivated out of actual malice as required in the case of new york times co. v. sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 84 S.Ct. 710, 11 L.Ed.2d 686 (1964).

public figure

n. in the law of defamation (libel and slander), a personage of great public interest or familiarity like a government official, politician, celebrity, business leader, movie star, or sports hero. Incorrect harmful statements published about a public figure cannot be the basis of a lawsuit for defamation unless there is proof that the writer or publisher intentionally defamed the person with malice (hate). (See: defamation, libel, slander)

References in periodicals archive ?
Sergious told Daily News Egypt that all Egyptians are welcome to attend the celebration, but that the church will not officially invite any other public figures or opposition party leaders.
As a public figure in a rapidly changing era of American history, Fosdick embodied integrity.
As a public figure, Jewell has to prove "actual malice"--that the newspaper knowingly published false information or published the information with a reckless disregard for the truth.
As a public figure, Jewell would have to prove the Journal- Constitution knew the information printed was false and acted with reckless disregard for the truth when printing an article quoting anonymous sources who named him as a bombing suspect.
A BBC spokesman in Belfast said: "The BBC does not report the private, legal behaviour of public figures unless broader public issues are raised.
And if that is the legal issue in a libel case, it won't get to a jury in the United States if the person suing is a public official or public figure.
A 27-year-old foreman used his "authority" as a reference librarian in the Library of Congress's law library to make the deliberations turn on whether the Post had sufficiently "proved" what the article had claimed--a notion utterly irrelevant to liability, and in fact subversive of the law's solicitude for hard-hitting press coverage of public figures.
The 2009 Yuchengco decision claimed that our court adopted Gertz in 2005 such that there can be libel without actual malice even in discussions of public interest if the subject is not a public figure.
Senior politicians from both Government and opposition combined to demand that police investigate fully the latest allegations that the mobile phones of prominent public figures had been illegally targeted.
It's typical and of course ironic that when public figures come out after a long period of secrecy and whispers, their straight fans support them, but many of their gay fans, who were bitchy about them when they wouldn't come out, remain bitchy because they didn't come out sooner.
Justice Department - was a voluntary, limited-purpose public figure, a designation often applied to celebrities or government officials.
You will NEVER see a story in this newspaper about the son or daughter of a public figure just because they ARE the son or daughter of a public figure.

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