How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71044
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Hi. My lengthy affair with a work colleague has just ended.

This answer was rated:

Hi. My lengthy affair with a work colleague has just ended. Her teenage sons have - in anger - now begun making suggestions and hints (no specific allegations yet) about my behaviour them. Everything is completely false but worrying nonetheless. My former partner has now written to my boss repeating the "claims". My boss has shown the email to me. Questions: is there a way to stop the claims being repeated? Is it libellous (or malicious falsehood)?
Regards, Kevin

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

What type of thing has been said?

I need to go offline right now but I will be back in about an hour if thats OK?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,


Thanks for the response. I'll cut and paste the section below. A bit of context: it was in the middle of a huge e-mail sent by my former partner (Fiona) to my boss, who then sent it on. My boss had permission to show it to me.


"The children call him the "Paedo c**t" as he used to come round at Christmas and give them presents/babysat them once/had them sitting on his knee....he is seriously better off leaving them alone as there is a suggestion from them that he was grooming them too. He should back off whilst he's ahead."


Couple of relevant points: the four children are now aged 21,19 and 17 (twins). The affair lasted 23 years until her husband found out in November. She's trying to re-build things at home.


If you need more info, just let me know. I'll be around most of the day but may drift offline occasionally.






I suppose she doesn't work for this person?

What does it have to do with him anyway?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Fiona and I work in the same office - for the same boss. Sorry, I should have made that clear.


But what does it have to do with him? Or does she just not have any justification for telling him?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,


It's complicated but I'll keep it simple. Me, Fiona and Emma (the boss) have been friends for many years.

When Fiona and I split, she refused to speak to me - she said had promised her children she would have no further contact with me. No phone calls, texts, e-mails etc. When I tried to contact her, she reported this to Emma, even though it has nothing to do with the firm. It's a private matter.

Fiona's recent lengthy e-mail was sent to Emma, but was always intended to be passed on to me because she didn't want to break her promise of no communication to her children. (I told you it was complicated!)

So.... briefly.... does it have anything to do with Emma and is Fiona justified in sending it to her? The answers are both "No", in my opinion. She could have sent the e-mail directly to me, couldn't she? Why involve the boss?


Hope this helps.

I completely agree with you.

It is a defamation. That is an expensive action but I cannot think of a more defamatory statement than this.

Its also a malicious communication and you can report that to the police for free.

It is potentially an act of vexation sufficient to amount to harassment but you would need a second incident. Probably there have been other incidents so that might be an option

It depends what you want to achieve and how much you are willing to spend on it.

You could get a solicitor to write to her for about £100 warning her of the laws of defamation and asking her to withdraw.

Or you could just report it to the police.

I do think you need to do something. I would never normally advice litigating over relationship issues but this is an allegation of sexual misconduct and they are all the rage at the moment. False allegations need to be sat upon robustly.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



This is brilliant! Thank you so much for your quick and concise answer. It has put my mind at rest and I can now move forward with more confidence as I decide my next move. You've shone a very bright light under a very dark stone. Once again, many, many thanks!

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.