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.