Defamation of a public figure is a type of lawsuit that occurs when a public figure is publicly defamed. Defamatory communication may cause a person to suffer a significant amount of hatred and disfavor. Such acts of defamation may be committed in various forms, such as libel or slander. Defamation occurs when information about a person is negligently or intentionally communicated.
Libel lawsuits against public figures have a stricter standard than suits against private individuals. In order to succeed in a defamation lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the publication was published with "actual malice" - an ill willed disregard for the truth. The plaintiff must establish the extent of the defendant's fault before she can recover damages. The plaintiff must also show a monetary loss as a result of the defamatory statements.