Defamation can be complicated because of the constitutional issues involved, which also impact damages. If the plaintiff in a defamation claim is a public figure, the plaintiff must prove that the defamatory statement was made with actual malice – that is, with reckless disregard to the truth or falsity of the statement. If the plaintiff is a private figure, and the matter is of public concern, the plaintiff must prove that the statement was made negligently. There are two types of public figures: (1) the “all-purpose” public figure or official – a celebrity like Tom Cruise or the president; and (2) the limited-purpose public figure, which is an otherwise private individual who injects himself/herself into a public issue or controversy and becomes a public figure for purposes of that issue or controversy. This is all explained in greater detail in the video and the slides, which are posted below for your convenience.