I’m in the process of writing a non-fiction book that will also contain some very critical evaluations and personal stories.
I’ve changed the names of the people in the stories (or not mentioned their name at all), but to people who know them, they’re still recognizable. Many of the stories are anything but flattering, so getting permission from them is completely out of the question.
My question is: Am I in any danger of getting swamped with lawsuits? Without those parts, the whole book would be pointless.
Personally, I feel that I should be able to write something critical about A) any kind of public person (authors, celebrities, etc.) and B) if I don’t name names, real-life stories about real people that I have personally witnessed.
I’d like to hear your opinion. Thanks in advance!
Heck, you could praise someone and still get sued. That’s how the world works today. Last month on the radio, they had an insurance company representative on the air telling people how NOT to get sued by their neighbors on Halloween. He said when you invite kids onto your property, you’re just asking for a frivolous lawsuit. Ug.
Anyway, if you represent your statements as your opinion, clearly your opinion, your chances of being sued are lessened.
Instead of saying, “That psychic is a fake!”
You would say something like, “In my opinion, I think his ‘talents’ are a pile of malarky.”
You absolutely must consult with an attorney who specializes in libel if you feel your book might invite a lawsuit.
Some charlatans don’t want their practices exposed so, even if someone points out the error of their ways, they will often just keep quiet and hope the hubbabaloo will go away.