You've probably already seen the audition video (there was a link here, but yes, it was taken down) of Robert Kraft with his ladyfriend Ricki Lander acting out a scene for an upcoming Vince Vaughn vehicle before it got pulled from YouTube and Vimeo. But that doesn't mean that we can't talk about it some more, right?
Recently, there has been much criticism of Kraft over the video of Kraft and Lander, because Kraft uses "offensive" language and Lander is in a bikini the whole time, according to the Boston Herald. Kraft has since apologized and stated that the video was never meant to be public.
But is it so bad that it could spawn a lawsuit?
The first thing people think when someone says something about them in public is "I've been defamed!" However, defamation is a difficult thing to prove.
To prove defamation, you must show that another person has published false statements about you in order to harm your reputation. Publishing only requires telling the information to a third person. And yes, if the statements are true, then you were not defamed.
Here, this video is clearly true, in the sense that Kraft was not digitally inserted into it in order to make him look silly. Further, Kraft can likely be defined as a public figure, which makes the burden for defamation that much higher. Instead of only showing that a false statement was made, it must be shown that the statement was made with malicious intent. Defamation won’t work here.
Kraft might be able to recover under an invasion of privacy theory because he said that he never meant for the video to be public. To recover for invasion of privacy you must show that your name or likeness was appropriated, private facts were disclosed, your solitude was invaded or someone used facts to paint you in a false light.
Here, Kraft would only have the possibility of recovering under public disclosure of private facts, which requires a showing that truthful information was shared that a reasonable person would find offensive if made public. Here, the video is bad, but I doubt a reasonable person would find it outright offensive.
Unfortunately for Robert Kraft, there is not much he can do about the leaking of his and Ricki Lander's audition video except what he's already done, apologize and move on.
C'mon, there's a football season coming up.