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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44936
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We have just disclosed personal opinion information to close

Customer Question

We have just disclosed personal opinion information to close friends that have not reacted well. They are threatening to pass the information on to others. Can we stop them doing this and destroying our reputation?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
They are sensationalising the information beyond the facts.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

What is the exact nature of this information? Who do they want to pass it on to?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My husband is under bail for indecent images of children and for taking up skirt shots of adults in public. They want to pass the info on to all our friends which will jeopardise our jobs and family structure . They are calling him a paedophile and wish to safeguard children from him, but we have tried to reassure them that the relevant agencies are involved and that we are going above and beyond all safeguarding measures ourselves.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hi sorry my connection dropped earlier so I could not respond until now. The only potential rights you will have in relation to this would be under defamation law and that would depend on what information they actually disclose.

First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:

1. The statement has to be untrue.

2. It must directly identify the complainant.

3. It must have been published, usually communicated to at least another person.

4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.

5. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant.

So this is the key here – is the information they are going to disclose untrue? If they state the facts as they know them and they are a factual representation, then this is not defamation and there is nothing really stopping them from disclosing them. For example, calling someone a paedophile can be factually correct in the circumstances because that is a person who is sexually attracted to minors and in the circumstances that appears to be true based on the fact of what has happened. So really you are only able to take it further if untrue information has been disclosed – disclosure of factually correct information is legal, even if it makes someone look bad.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have to try and take this further in the event of untrue information being disclosed, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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