Defamation of character
Defamation of character in the form of libel or slander refers to the fact that a person can suffer an injury to his or her reputation as a result of untrue statements. The exact nature of what defamation plaintiff must prove will vary depending on who the plaintiff is, and the forum where the statement was made. The average person usually just needs to prove that an untrue negative statement was made and that actual harm (financial loss) came from it. Celebrities or public figures, on the other hand, usually need to prove "actual malice." This means they need to prove that the untrue statement was made either intentionally or with reckless disregard to the truth of the statement.