libel

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Negligent or intentional publication or broadcast of a defamatory statement that exposes a person to contempt, disrespect, hatred, or ridicule. The defamation, whether expressed in print, writing, pictures, gestures, or signs via newspapers, radio, television, movies, or plays, is either a civil wrong or (if it tends to provoke a breach of peace) a criminal wrong. A libel is actionable per se, without proof of financial loss or special damages. However, if a defamatory statement is true and the libeled person is a public figure or celebrity then its publication or broadcast may not constitute a libel if it can be shown that the statement was published for public benefit because of its newsworthiness.


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