aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Better be sure that when you’re writing fiction, you actually make it up

A woman sued her former friend, the author of The Red Hat Club, saying that one of the characters was based too closely on her. “The "SuSu" character in Smith’s humorous novel about Buckhead socialites shared more than 30 similarities with Stewart, including where she grew up, the jobs she held and how her first husband died. Stewart sued for defamation because SuSu is portrayed in the book as a sexually promiscuous alcoholic.”

We probably all borrow from real life - but better to take one thing here, another there.

“"It’s well established that ... libel in fiction is actionable, and as long as there are people who can recognize that the character depicted in a defamatory manner is in fact the plaintiff, even though the names are changed," said California attorney Tony Glassman, who currently has a libel suit pending against the television series "CSI." I don’t think there’s anything new at all in a finding of liability."”

In that case, Scott and Melinda Tamkin, real estate agents, worked with TV writer Sarah Goldfinger Then the Tamkins say, they discovered that their names, occupation, hobbies and even personal appearance had been borrowed by Goldfinger for a CSI script. That’s an even more blatant case of borrowing.

Read more here about The Red Hat Club case here.

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