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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70713
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have official hospital documentation stating that I once

Customer Question

I have official hospital documentation stating that I once attempted suicide. My wife in her petition to the court for a divorce says I attempted it twice during our marriage. Is this a case of libel?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

I know this isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, and it’s certainly not what I want to tell you. However, I wish to be completely honest with you, so I feel obligated to not give you false hope.

I am sorry but this isn't defamation. I'm not sure that saying that a person commits suicide is a defamatory statement anyway. Its more likely to attract sympathy than to lower a person in the minds of right thinking people.

 

Also, these documents are not public ones and so there is no public statement to amount to defamation.

In any event though, she could rely on the defence of fair comment or truth. The fact that there are only records of one actual admittance to hospital does not prove there was not another unrecorded suicide attempt. Also, the number is XXXXX really important to the substance of the statement. Its not likely to be more damaging to your reputation really to say that you attempted to commit suicide twice than once.

Furthermore, a defamation action is very expensive costing in excess of £10k and there is no legal aid.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.