Wrestler’s defamation claim

September 6, 2011

  • 237 Libel and Slander
  • 237II Privileged Communications, and Malice Therein
  • 237k51 Existence and Effect of Malice
  • 237k51(5) k. Criticism and Comment on Public Matters and Publication of News.

237 Libel and SlanderProfessional wrestling entertainer failed to establish that negative statements made by a member of wrestling company’s management during televised wrestling event were false or made with actual malice, and thus wrestler could not establish defamation claim against company; although manager’s speech was not approved in advance by wrestler, manager’s speech was made in a fictional context and asserted opinions amounting to hyperbole, everything that occurred at wrestling event transpired as scripted, story line to be advanced was that wrestler and manager hated each other, and manager’s speech referred to wrestler by his fictional character name.
Bollea v. World Championship Wrestling, Inc., 610 S.E.2d 92 (Ga. Ct. App. 2005)
Suggested by David Tweeten, West Principal Attorney Editor