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Defamation is a tort where a defendant makes a false and insulting statement about the plaintiff to third parties. The false and insulting statement is referred to as a “defamatory” statement. Defamatory is the adjective form of defamation.

In the United States a public figure – – such as a politician – – usually must prove that the defendant made the defamatory statement knowing that it was false, or with reckless disregard to the truth.

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