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tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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My sister has made totally untrue defammatory remarks to my

Customer Question

My sister has made totally untrue defammatory remarks to my wider family about myself and my very recently deceased dad. This is the third time she had sought to poison my wider family about me. The latest episode happened the day after my dad's funeral. Having caused me enormous extra distress she is now getting back on a plane to return to australia. Three years ago she came close to being sued for similar defamation by a third party. She knows no boundaries. What is the best way of dealing with this? I have been alienated by the wider family at a time I most need support. What she vile and utterly untrue.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

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

What type of remarks please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Three years ago that she was sex. abused by my father, yesterday she found a DNA kit in my dad's house and accused me of having my dad's DNA tested to prove her illegitimacy! The facts are that I am a family historian and very keen on genetic genealogy. Several members of my family have been DNA tested for genealogy purposes only. I can prove this via several genetic testing websites.

Both accusations have absolutely no foundation in fact whatsoever but she is so poisonous ( I think maybe severe sibling rivalry?) that she has been believed. Or maybe to justify her having removed/ thrown out most furniture etc in my dad's house without consulting me (I am an executor together with her and my brother). She did this knowing my family were going to be staying in the house during the funeral. I was shunned at the funeral by all her and my brother's immediate familes as a result. My dad was a very lovely man and nobody outside the family would believe this. She is extremely volatile and had a breakdown several years ago. I am a trainee psychotherapist but this has now gone way beyond what I can deal with.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Whats the defamation in that?

Obviously allegations of sexual are defamatory but how does whether or not you wanted to test her legitimacy damage your reputation.

Sorry if I'm missing the point.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My Dad DID NOT, neither did I request, his DNA be tested to determine legitimacy!! She found the testing kit, marked with his name ( not hers) and leapt to that completely strange conclusion, then told the family.There has NEVER been any doubt as to her legitimacy!!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Yes, I understand its a lie but how does the lie damage your reputation?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I made it perfectly clear that the DNA kit was for genealogy purposes, nothing whatsoever to do with legitimacy. This was defamatory to my dad's reputation, out of totally misplaced and poisonous anger with him and me .
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I see that you have asked for another expert to answer your question.

For you personally to be able to sue for defamation, you would need to show a Court that something untrue had been said (or implied) about you, which had caused right minded people to think less of you as a result. In this case, if it's your dad's reputation that was being lowered then any right to being a claim would be long to him, and not to you.

I think it would be arguable that implying you had intended to assault her (i.e. take her sensitive personal information in her DNA) without her consent, could be construed as defamatory, as she would potentially be making you out as trying to do some a grave and serious thing against her. That is likely, in my view, to cause normal right minded people to think less of you, and hence, it could be argued that it is in fact defamatory. This would be about you, and hence you would have the right to bring the claim.

I see your point therefore, and understand your frustration.

To be defamatory though, she would need to have told this to a third person, to simply accuse you would not be enough in law to mean you can bring a claim.