Defamation: Singer, Songwriter La Tavia Roberson Discusses How It Can Affect Her Brand

  1. Defamation laws vary from state to state. In the state of Georgia, the following factors constitutes a defamation claim: “a false statement about the plaintiff; communication of the statement to a third party in the absence of a special privilege to do so; fault of the defendant amounting at least to negligence; and harm to the plaintiff, unless the statement amounts to per se defamation."

  2. Many businesses and individuals in the public eye deal with libel in television, newspapers, magazines, online news sources and blogs.
  3. La Tavia Roberson is a singer, songwriter and two-time Grammy Award winner. She gained notoriety in the late ‘90s as a member of the popular R&B girl group Destiny’s Child. Upon the success of their two albums, Destiny’s Child and The Writings on the Wall, Roberson and another band member decided to part ways with the management of the quartet. Roberson said she desired a manager she could trust, someone who would be fair in covering her business affairs. Roberson soon found herself removed from the group and experienced her own cases of defamation and libel. “Yes, my name has been defamed a lot in this industry. I don’t even know where the sources come from,” says Roberson, “maybe it's from people being around me and just wanting to have something to say and needing to feel relevant in a conversation sometimes. But I’ve heard a lot of things about myself that were not true.”
  4. According to The People’s Law Dictionary, Libel is “to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation” (“Law.com”).
  5. Roberson explains how she handles situations in which fictitious stories are written about her. “I’ve been at a point that I haven’t had a way to even go and defend myself, so I’ve really had to learn how to really just kind of shake things off and understand that no matter what, people are going to talk,” said Roberson. “I try so hard not to go on these blogs and look at what people are saying about me, because all it’s going to do is make me feel worse.”
  6. Roberson talks about protecting her brand as a business and dealing with defamation. “I’m a brand. If I have a deal that is going on with someone and somebody decides to try to defame my character, no matter what is really true, if that someone wants to believe what they hear, they can decide to not do business with me,” explains Roberson, “They can decide to be like, I’m not going to deal with her, even if things like this can be said about her, I don’t need that brought to my corporation or what I am trying to do.”
  7. La Tavia Roberson in a recent photo shoot with CYOER photography
    La Tavia Roberson in a recent photo shoot with CYOER photography
  8. Roberson discusses how false reports and rumors can affect your business. “It definitely makes me feel like my business could go under because somebody just were to say something, even if it’s a rumor, even if they heard a piece of a rumor,” says Roberson. “Anybody can go and put their own spin on it and there goes money out the door for me. There goes a great opportunity or platform for me.”
  9. Currently, Roberson is back in the spotlight again with the announcement of her joining the cast of TV One’s hit show R&B Divas. “I think that anybody who is in the spotlight and lies are being said about them, you have to really grow some thick skin. You have to learn how to turn the other cheek and not let them win,” said Roberson. “The more you respond to what they’re doing and what they’re saying, it’s giving them the power. I think it’s way more important to not give them the power. It’s not about what people say about you, it’s about how you respond to what people say about you."
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