Memoir legal advice

by Pete Devlin
20th August 2023

Does anyone have any experience of publishing a memoir that required legal checks to avoid any possible defamation case/claims? My written memoir (I have a publisher lined up) deals with  the causes of severe mental health issues encountered and my recovery after an abusive long term relationship. The 'perps' are not named and the book is written under a pseudonym. I have included the names of friends and family, with permission. If I have to pay the cost, which after contacting one firm is over 50% of the actual publishing cost, I will find the money. Thank you

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I have been thinking about this myself but decided to go down another route and use autofiction for my collection of true life stories. However, from my experience as a journalist this may not save me if someone takes exception as I believe that if someone can be identified by one reader - even if not named - you may be liable for any libel. Nice that innit?

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Harry Turnbull

Hi Peter,
Thanks for your question!
While I don't have any personal experience in this myself, I believe that it is always considered best practice to consult a legal expert when writing a memoir that could contain material which people may possibly have an issue with, even when not revealing their real names.

I've included some useful links to further information:!libel-avoiding……

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