Mickelson Sues To Find Source of Defamation

Phil Mickelson has initiated a lawsuit against a Canadian Internet Service Provider to find the identity of an internet troll who has been making defamatory comments. From Fox News:

Phil Mickelson filed a lawsuit against an Internet service provider in Canada to learn the identity of a person who has been posting “vexatious statements” that the four-time major champion says is a deliberate attack on his reputation.
“I’m all for freedom of speech, but I won’t tolerate defamation,” Mickelson said Thursday after his opening round in the Phoenix Open.

The person or persons involved apparently have said that Mickelson’s wife had an affair and the he has fathered a child out of wedlock.

That’s not good. But it leads me to wonder about how the law works in Canada. Assuming Mickelson does obtain the name of the troll, what then? I’m no lawyer, but in the US, it seems to be fairly difficult for a public figure to obtain satisfaction. As I understand it, actual malice has to be proven. And while making such accusations may seem obviously malicious, it surely will be difficult to prove what’s in a person’s mind. The defense could argue that the suspect believed it to be true. And who is to say otherwise?

Good luck to Phil, though.

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2 thoughts on “Mickelson Sues To Find Source of Defamation”

  1. I can’t imagine anyone actually believing these rumors. When I first heard them a while back I just laughed and said to myself “This is what happens when scandal hits golf. The Tiger saga gets quiet and people then have to make stuff up to feed their sick addiction to smut.”  I speculate whoever did start these rumors had to have had some malicious intent. You certainly couldn’t argue that these claims were heartfelt expressions of devotion from a loving fan. In my opinion, there could be no other purpose in making these claims than to hurt Phil and his family.

  2. Filing a lawsuit is no question but I don’t think the Internet Service Provider will release the information of the person who’s doing the defamatory contents. It’s their obligation to protect the personal info of that guy.

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