Can a statement be defamatory even if no names are mentioned?

Question Details: I put a statement online about a person having an affair. I did not mention any names. Could the statement still be defamatory and could I be taken to court?

Filed under Defamation | 1678 View(s)

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Answers by Lawyers

Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

Yes, a statement can be defamatory even if you don't name the person you are talking about. The question is whether ordinary, sensible readers, who know certain relevant facts about the person, would understand who you are talking about.

We can't say, based on what you have told us, whether you could be taken to court successfully. If court action is taken, the person who is the subject of the statement (the plaintiff) will have to prove how other people would have known it was them, as well as the other facts necessary to prove defamation.

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