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Defamation: Life & Style, And Rhetoric Hyperbole Case

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Whether it is an individual or a corporation, “defamation is a tort regulated through state law that involves harm to someone’s reputation” (Packard 228). Libel, a written defamation, is the communication of false information that damages an individual in his or her profession, business or calling. When it comes to celebrities and defamation, it is more difficult to prove the legality of the case because their fame makes them exposed to the public. The famous actor Tom Cruise filed a libel suit against Bauer Publishing Company, suing for $50 million in damages over their cover stories in celebrity tabloids Life & Style and In Style; they made claims that he “abandoned” his six-year-old daughter, Suri. I will be studying this case to prove if…show more content…
The four defenses are Truth, Opinion, Fair comment and criticism, and Rhetoric Hyperbole. It is settled that the statement isn’t true, and when it comes to fair comment and criticism, it is for “comments, supported by facts, and made without malice” (Packard 237), which doesn’t apply to this case because it isn’t even a fact to start with, and harm was made.
Furthermore, Rhetoric Hyperbole “applies to statements so extreme and overstated that no reader or listener could seriously consider them to imply factual charges” (Packard 238) which is not the case here.
If someone were to argue that the case is protected by “opinion” and the defendant would say that it is their view on the daughter’s feelings, “plaintiff is likewise entitled to demonstrate that any reasonable reader would interpret Defendants’ headlines as conveying a verifiable statement of fact about Plaintiff’s conduct” (hollywoodreporter.com). Reactions to the story have shown that people misunderstood the headlines and believed that Cruise has completely neglected his daughter, whereas “less than 4% of readers understood the covers to communicate anything about Suri’s feelings”
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