My Ex Threatens to Sue

16Feb13

I’ve been married twice.  I know, I’m young to have two ex-husbands.

Ex-husband number 2 is angry that I’ve written about him in my memoir.  He says he has “legal”rights.  I argue it’s my story, too.  I have a right to be honest.

Dear readers and memoir writers, what are your thoughts on this?  Is it unfair to include someone who obviously doesn’t want to be included?  But what if the story demands it?  What if it’s crucial to the story line?

Thoughts?

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21 Responses to “My Ex Threatens to Sue”

  1. He probably could sue. Doesn’t mean he will win.
    I would go with a little Google search. It also depends what exactly you say.

    • Yea, it’s awfully blurry. I’m trying to not worry about it, as it will affect my writing. Thanks for the response.

    • I’ve been looking into it all day. I think it takes someone a great deal of motivation to sue. I’m going to keep writing what I think is right and fair, and if it comes into question, I’ll deal. I think…..

  2. 4 pinklightsabre

    I wouldn’t worry about it. More important things…easier said by me of course, but don’t sweat it. Read up on slander maybe if you are concerned.

    • As I said, it’s kind of a moot point since the book has yet to be published. I was just surprised at how upset he got. Trying to see how others writers felt. Thanks for the response.

  3. If you haven’t given away too many identifying features, such as his name or where he currently works, then you should be fine. It’s only slander if it’s not true too. He can be angry about being included in your memoirs but has he incurred any damages as a result of your blog posts? Or is he just annoyed because he doesn’t want anyone to know the truth about him…even if they don’t know it’s him. I say get some legal advice if he proceeds with trying to sue you…in the meantime, keep up your honest blogging. He’s probably just trying to threaten you because he is angry and wants you to stop describing him to your audience. He’s obviously a bit quick to anger and a bit ego-centric to say he’s going to sue you. He could ask for you to keep his identity confidential…but most of what you write has nothing to do with him. He’s making mountains out of mole hills. I hope he’s enjoying his 2 seconds of fame. Tell him not to read it if he doesn’t like it 😉

    • Actually, he’s not on my blog at all. It’s the book he’s talking about. Though, that has yet to be published, so it is a moot point at the moment.

      I guess I was wondering what others thought. I mean, how can we tell our stories, our lives if we are worried about others getting mad?

      • Oh, I see. I think it’s very important for all people to be able to relay their story with integrity. No, I don’t think any of us can do this if we fear other people’s wrath. It’s only been in the past year that I stopped being more concerned about protecting other people’s feelings and took the time to consider my own and what is needful for me to shake the past or just tell my story with any integrity.

  4. 9 timmoore53@comcast.net

    If someone threatens to sue, look ’em in the eye and say, “DO IT!” “Don’t threaten me, just DO IT!” They are cowards most of the time, and it is the only thing they can “think” to say. Were your statements true? Can you back them up? Did you defame, insult, or lie? Suggest he get a restraining order from printing any more stuff, then, shut up, stop standing on his foot, turn your back on him and just…walk…away. He can’t afford a lawyer anyway, and you have no assets to attach. Tell him to write his own post…if he can write.

  5. 10 MBC

    If you’re worried go to http://www.nolo.com and search “defamation law”. Unless you are out and out defaming him, he would have a hard time proving libel (written defamation). The articles on that site explain the law in easy to understand language to help out.

  6. Awesome! I will….

  7. 12 BehindMyBooks

    I don’t think you need to worry all that much, assuming you aren’t revealing extremely detailed descriptions of his appearance, location, workplace, etc. But that is just me.

    I’ve been trying to figure this out myself lately. I haven’t told the Mister about my blog, though he knows I’ve been writing. And I don’t quite no how he’ll handle some of what I’ve been publishing online, but I know him well enough that he’ll be alright overall, whenever I do choose to tell him. Still, it’s hard to write the truth of a situation while also worrying about how the “characters” may feel about what you’re writing.

    God, if my sister ever read my blog? It would be the end of the world as we know it…

    Good Luck!

  8. Most people are too lazy to sue because they would have to get off their butts, go downtown and file the papers etc and that takes one non-lazy, heavily motivated sewer…? i am sure that I did not spell that right.

  9. 15 BehindMyBooks

    AH! You are on the Freshly Pressed Page! Sorry, I found that exciting, so you get another rambling comment from me. 🙂

  10. Your ex can’t prevent you from printing whatever you want. And if there’s anything you’ve written about him he doesn’t like, he has to prove slander. You’ll have to defend yourself from it, but the ball’s in his court when it comes to having to prove whether or not you’ve said anything that’s ruined his reputation or character.

    • Yeah, I think I need to just forge ahead and tell the truth of my story. It has him in it, very discreetly, mind you. But I can’t let someone bully me. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t want me to say anything? hmmmmm? Thanks for the comment.

  11. Someone I once knew wanted to write a book and put me in it… luckily he asked permission first, because I did not want to be identifiable. I would have felt totally violated. I said I didn’t care if he wrote about me but that I didn’t want to be traceable or have it known he was talking about ME.

    In my blog, I will write about people, but give them fake “blog names” and be careful not to reveal anything that would identify them personally or violate their privacy. But I don’t leave them out because they are part of my life and that’s what I blog about. Unfortnately it is a tiny bit limiting though.

    Maybe if you just don’t use his real name, or anything that would make him easily identifiable??


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