[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Alex Beam column

On 4 Jun 99,  Dib9@aol.com wrote:

> I'm not an attorney but I think it is a stretch to call someone a public
> figure because their husband comments about them on the radio.   Many one
> of our attorney friends can comment on the legal definition of the term
> "public figure" in regard to libel law.
I'm not up on libel law, but as I recall, there are several different 
definitions.  And there's a distinction between a public official and a 
"public figure."  There's also a distinction, in at least some of the 
cases, between a person who has voluntarily become a public figure and one 
who has had that role thrust upon him by events.  One can be a public 
figure for some purposes and not for others.  And the spouse of a public 
figure is not necessarily a public figure.  The whole thing has to do with 
balancing the freedom of public discourse against individual rights of 

 A.Joseph Ross, J.D.                                 617.367.0468
 15 Court Square                             lawyer@world.std.com
 Boston, MA 02108-2503              http://world.std.com/~lawyer/