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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello, I have an issue with my current partners ex wife, she

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Hello, I have an issue with my current partners ex wife, she continually approaches colleagues of mine outside of work asking about my relationship with her ex. She is also feeding them a pack of lies - it is becoming really awkward in the office and my partner will not allow me to confront her. I was thinking I could get a legal letter written to her mentioning defamation of character - would this be possible?

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

Are you asking if we can write to her?

This is a question and answer site for general information. I can give you information about your circumstances but cannot write to anybody under the rules of this site.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,


No I am not asking if you can write to her just if this is a possibility? Do you have any other idea what I can do to stop her doing this?


What sort of thing is she saying please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is asking them questions about the relationship - hounding them for information. She has also started telling people that the relationship has been going on longer than it has - insinuating that it began whilst she was with him. This is not the case and she has no evidence that it is. It is embarrassing as people think that this is because I do not want to discuss my private life. I have no idea what to do.


What is the defamation?

Has anybody explained to you what defamation means?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The law of defamation recognises two types of meanings. The first type of meaning is the natural and ordinary meaning of the words. This is not limited to the obvious and literal meaning, but includes any inference which the ordinary, reasonable reader would draw from the words. The second type of meaning is the innuendo meaning:

False Innuendo: An alternative meaning which the ordinary, reasonable person who can read between the lines would infer from the words is known as the ‘false innuendo’ meaning.

True Innuendo: True innuendo arises when words that appear to be innocent to some people appear as defamatory to others because they possess special knowledge or extra information (for example, reading about someone getting married wouldn't seem damaging to their reputation - unless you knew that they were already married!).

A claimant can ask that the court consider a statement’s false or true innuendo meaning.


So what is the defamation here? I'm sorry if I'm missing the point but I don't see it at this stage.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

  • Tends to lower him or her in the estimation of others.

  • Causes him or her to be shunned or avoided

Yes, I know the legal definition of defamation.

What is the defamatory statement here?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Her saying that I was sleeping with her ex whilst she was still with him, telling my work colleagues this? Does that not count?

If I can be wholly honest, its not the best defamation.

I realise that she is being annoying basically because she is targetting you but that doesn't amount to defamation.

You have to satisfy a court that you have been reduced in the minds of the reasonable person and I'm not sure that a complaint that you began a relationship with a person that you are currently with earlier than you did really does so.

I suppose you could argue that defamation is not in the fact of the relationship but in the allegation of infidelity but the problem with that is that it is not you that was being unfaithful in this scenario.

That said, a letter from a solicitor might cause her to desist. Often they do have the desired effect. That would cost probably about £50-£100 plus VAT.

Any high street solicitor could do that for you. You might find a barrister under public access cheaper. If you tell me where you are roughly then I might be able to make some suggestsions.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That's great - a letter just to let her know that her claims are unacceptable and damaging is all I am looking for.


I am based in Cardiff, can you recommend anyone?

Not in Cardiff but if its just a letter then that can be done remotely.

Try this barrister

he is a defamation specialist.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks very much

No problem and all the best.

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