On 17th January 2023, the industry regulator, the Bar Standards Board decided to hand down an order imposing a ban on a barrister preventing him from continuing to practise after evidence emerged
Big Win For Kim Kardashian In Defamation Case
Numerous defamation claims have hit the international news headlines recently including the high-profile defamation of character claim involving Johnny Depp and his partner. However, Mr Depp’s case is not the only defamation claim to emerge lately stateside. On 29th April 2022 news came to light that the Los Angeles Superior Court had decided to dismiss the defamation of character claim being pursued against a ‘little-known’ celebrity named Kim Kardashian.
What Did The Case Involve?
A model named Blac Chyna submitted proceedings for defamation of character against Kim Kardashian and various members of her family about allegations that they had inflicted irretrievable damage to Mrs Chyna’s television career. Mrs Chyna accused the Kardashian family of communicating with senior influential persons working at the high-profile entertainment production company “E!” about her. She submitted to the court in the proceedings that there was a direct correlative and causative link between the conversation between the relevant executives and the Kardashians
and the decision of the key decision-makers to shelve Mrs Chyna’s reality television programme entitled The Rob and Chyna Show’ ‘. The model had claimed that the resulting decision to curtail production of her show meant that she had lost a seemingly lucrative career and had incurred damages in the amount of a colossal US$100 million.
Why Did The Court Throw The Claim Out?
When Judge Gregory W. Alarcon presiding over the case in the Los Angeles Superior Court reviewed the submissions and listened to the evidence submitted from both parties involved in the case he decided no correlative or causative evidence was indicating that any words had been spoken or written which met the definition of defamatory in the strict legal definition of the word. The court case was also heard by a jury of their peers who retired to consider its verdict for over a day and a half. The members of the jury returned to the courtroom after their deliberations and communicated to the court its decision to find in favour of the Kardashian family against Mrs Chyna. The jury was of the view that Mrs Chyna would not be entitled to any damages against the family.
So…What Is Defamation of Character?
The old phrase, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me’, comes to mind. However, the law makes an important exception in defamation of character claims. This happens where:
- a party makes a verbal or written statement about another party’s products or business
- which is published to a third party
- which has the potential to harm the reputation of the business or person who is the subject of the statement and
- is indefensible, unjustified or not privileged.
Going into more granular detail, the law differentiates between the spoken and written word in defamation of character claims. It assesses whether any verbal words potentially amount to a claim for defamation of character as slander, and by contrast, if words have been documented in written, video or audio form, the law treats these words as potentially libellous.
What Does A Claimant Need To Prove To Be Successful In A Defamation?
The Kardashian case reminds lawyers to advise their clients of the need to prove defamation of character claims by submitting evidence. This is essential if the court is to see the correlative and causative link between the:
- words written and/or spoken,
- decisions made and
- potential losses incurred.
Without this key evidence, claimants will face an uphill struggle when the judge independently reviews the case and adjudicates the claim with a fresh pair of eyes.
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THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN USING THE FOLLOWING SOURCES
 Tapp, Tom – Kardashians Handed Big Win In Court As Jury Rejects Blac Chyna’s $100M Defamation LawSuit – DEADLINE - 2 May 2022 - Kardashians Win In Court As Jury Rejects Blac Chyna’s Lawsuit – Deadline
 North Ford Solicitors – Have You ever been the victim of Defamation of Character? Here’s What To Do Next? – 1 September 2021 - Have You Been the Victim of Defamation of Character? Here’s What to Do Next (northfordsolicitors.com)
 Digestible Notes – Elements of Defamation - Elements of Defamation | Digestible Notes