If someone spreads false rumours about you to harm your reputation, you can sue him for slander or libel. Slander is when the rumour is spoken, and libel is when it is written; both are illegal. Even if you sue the person for damages and win in court, the damage to your reputation might remain. One way to clear your name is to write a letter explaining what actually occurred, if anything, and denying the rumour.
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Decide to whom you should send your letter. If you are a public figure in your community and the rumour was made very publicly, you might benefit most from writing a letter to the editor of a local newspaper to clear your name. If the damage to your reputation happened in the workplace, you might decide to send your letter via e-mail or to post it somewhere in the workplace.
Begin the letter by giving a brief overview of the rumours. Do not go into detail because some people might not have been aware of the specifics of the rumours --- and by recounting them in detail, you are spreading the rumours further.
Deny each rumour in calm, professional language. If you have evidence that demonstrates that the rumours are not true, explain that evidence or offer to show it to anyone who may be interested.
Thank the letter recipient or recipients for their time. Assure them that you would like to put the matter behind you are resume normal life as soon as possible.
Sign the letter with your name.
Tips and warnings
- Writing a letter to deny the rumours may work against you because some people might not have heard the rumours and you will be making them more public instead of letting them die down.
- You may be very tempted to attack the person spreading the rumours but refrain from mentioning the source of the rumours specifically. Your professionalism will lend credibility to your claims that the rumours are not true.
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