Kim Kardaashian has threatened to sue Lockett and In Touch Magazine for defamation, invasion of privacy and other causes of action. In fact, Kardashian’s lawyer has already written a demand letter to In Touch Magazine, informing them of Ms. Kardashian’s intent to sue.
Now affairs are not uncommon in the life of the famous. Many people think that Kim probably has cheated and is hoping the threat of a lawsuit will help save her image and engagement. The fact that Lockett is claiming to produce physical evidence of their affair is not helping the matter. All this buzz brings about the question of whether or not Kim will be able to prove herself a victim if the matter goes to court?
With defamation, a person basically needs to show some form of defamatory communication, harm to one’s reputation, and that the person intended to defame another, or did so with complete reckless disregard for the truth. In other words, Kim is going to have to show that Lockett’s claim has harmed her reputation and that Lockett either purposely defamed her, or was reckless to the point that he should have known spreading false information regarding their “affair” would hurt Kim’s reputation.
Proving harm to her reputation by the “alleged affair” rumor will not be difficult because such a rumor is harmful to anyone’s reputation. What Kim’s attorney will have trouble with is proving that Lockett purposefully defamed her, or did so with a reckless disregard to the truth. Sure, they can claim that he is doing this purposefully for publicity or money, but how do you show this with proof in court? They cannot go into Lockett’s head and steal his thoughts to present to the jury. Kim’s attorney would have to produce proof of contracts with news channels or media agency showing a different and/or improvement in Lockett’s publicity after the rumor. Also, Kim’s attorney would need to look for proof of monetary gain on Lockett’s part as a result of the rumor. If the proof is there, it may not be too difficult to find; however, I am sure Lockett’s attorney will not make it easy either.
Additionally, with an invasion of privacy claim, a person needs to show some form of invasion to one’s privacy that a reasonable person would find offensive. In this case, Kim is going to have to show that she was portrayed in a false or highly offensive manner by In Touch Magazine. In my opinion, this should not be too difficult. Claiming someone had an affair at the eve of the person’s engagement is definitely offensive to the person, as well as the person’s fiancé. Kim’s attorney will have no problem in showing the offensiveness of In Touch Magazine’s article.
With both of these causes of action, if Kim is being truthful in never having had an affair with Lockett, winning on both these causes of action will still be difficult. Lockett is claiming he has texts and voicemails as evidence of their relationship. With technology, it is not hard to fabricate a text or voicemail. However, proving that the texts or voicemails are fabricated is challenging. For Kim to prove the falsity of Levitt’s physical evidence in order to prove her truth will be a challenging task.
This whole situation seems like it can turn into a huge legal mess. Some may think that the smart thing for her to do is initiate a settlement. With a settlement, both parties can move on with their lives. However, if Kim does decide to bring Levitt into court, settling the lawsuit with money goes against the whole “I am truthful and am going to unveil your lie” principal. Settling may give the impression that Lockett was right and Kim is trying to “hush things up” so she can move on with her wedding. This move, in turn, will also be harmful to her reputation and image.
In the end, lawsuits take time and money. Is Kim going to want to waste time and money over a lawsuit when she has a new season of her show on E! to handle, alongside planning a wedding? Will she want rumors about her love life and alleged personal texts and voicemails exploited? Even if she was faithful and wants to prove Levitt’s statements false, it will take a lot of time and money with no guarantee that justice will be hers in a court of law. How this situation moves forward will be interesting to see. One thing that certainly be said is that Kim’s reputation has already suffered harm, and no matter what path she chooses, she will have to endure a great deal of humiliation and harm to her reputation before she receives any sort of justice.