Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, LiLo – What’s A Reputation, Anyway?

Posted on Jun 24, 2007 in Celebrity Justice

britney_spears2.jpgParis Hilton is finishing her jail time: her first interview out of the clink will be on Wednesday with Larry King.   Paris, as you’ll recall, skyrocketed to big time fame with the release of a sex video on the internet.  For all things Paris, check out TheHiltonFiles.

Lindsay Lohan announced last Thursday that she is extending her stay in rehab.   Meanwhile, MTV reports that American Apparel is selling hoodies like the one Lindsay was wearing, passed out in the front seat of her car, by using the paparrazi photo we’ve all seen with zonked Lohan’s mouth hanging open.   Get one for $40.00.

Britney Spears’ album has been shelved for now; fans are being told to wait until 2008Photos are still appearing of Britney seriously unclothed, and rumors continue of her heavy drinking.

Do any of these three have any reputation left to damage under the law?

Under the law, a person’s reputation is something used as evidence.  It’s a definite thing — something that can be injured and thereafter awarded money as compensation for the harm — but what exactly does “reputation” mean?

It’s character.  It’s the general opinion of others about the individual.  It’s proven by having people take the stand and give factual examples of the individual, subject to certain legal criteria.

And, yep:  sometimes, a person’s reputation in an area can be so bad it can’t be harmed.  They’re considered libel-proof.

Over a year ago, lawyers were debating whether or not Britney Spears was libel-proof.  And, that was before the K-Fed divorce.   Of course, recently Spears’ threat of a lawsuit did force the “NutJobs” billboards in LA to come down.

In answer to the question, yes.  All three probably still have a reputation that can be legally protected.  However, it’s getting to be a closer call with each TMZ.COM posting.

What is past debate is the fact that all three have seriously endangered their legal reputations with their various media antics over the past couple of years.  Remember when Britney was a cute, teen pop star?  Remember Lindsay in The Parent Trap?

Injuring your own reputation isn’t legally compensated.  They can’t sue themselves for screwing up their public personas.  If they could, they’ve have quite a good case.

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