Mark Twain famously remarked that a lie could run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its pants. Such is the power of lies and false accusations that often -- even with little or no evidence to support them -- seem to take on a life of their own. Such lies can harm your friendships, professional prospects and may even result in your imprisonment if the false accusation is about a crime. Since lies are so powerful, it is vital that you take aggressive steps to stop anyone who is making false accusations against you.
Determine who is creating and spreading the false accusations. Ensure that you have concrete and unimpeachable evidence of their false accusations; don't jump to conclusions based on hearsay. If a colleague says a third party is telling lies about you, ensure the colleague saw the lying directly and didn't just hear about it.
Gather evidence of the false claims being made. For example, if your accuser has forwarded an email, get a copy. On the other hand, if she has been speaking to your friends and colleagues, see if your friends are willing to be witnesses or sign an affidavit about the false accusations. Document the harm that the false accusations are causing you; this harm can be monetary, social, psychological or professional. For instance, note whether you lost a client or promotion due to these false allegations.
Consult a lawyer specializing in defamation law with the evidence you have. While many lawyers are hesitant to sue someone with small pockets, consulting a lawyer can provide you with crucial information about your specific ability to make a legal claim of defamation, given the facts of your situation.
Either using a lawyer, or on your own, write a cease-and-desist letter to the person or organization making false accusations. State evidence that shows the organization or person knowingly or recklessly is making false allegations. Send the letter to the person making the false accusations, demanding a retraction and that she cease any further proliferation of the lies.
Depending on how you know the person or organization making the false accusations, you can leverage any authority to which you and the offender are both subject. Such authority includes a manager or human resources office at a place of work, the ombudsman of a professional organization or a school administrator of a high school or college.
- Ensure your efforts to suppress the original false accusations don't give them a greater audience than your accuser would ever achieve. By calling too much attention to an otherwise obscure false accusation, you may actually amplify its damage.
- The best way to preserve and protect your rights in any potential legal action is to consult a lawyer who is a specialist in that subject of law, and who is familiar with those laws in your geographic region.
- Release any information you have that objectively corroborates the truth as soon as you can. Nothing takes the steam out of a lie as quickly as the truth does -- especially when the truth is from a credible source.
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