SOME OPINIONS ARE STILL DEFAMATORY
While an expression of pure opinion is not commonly actionable, an opinion statement implying it is based upon facts justifying the opinion but are withheld from the reader is a mixed opinion, and is actionable. The actionable element of a mixed opinion is not the false opinion itself – it is the implication that the speaker knows certain facts, unknown to their audience, which support their opinion and are detrimental to the person about whom they are speaking. Where this implication is made, statements of opinion lose their protection and become actionable.
Similarly actionable as a mixed opinion is a defamatory opinion which is ostensibly accompanied by a recitation of the underlying facts upon which the opinion is based, but those underlying facts are either falsely misrepresented or grossly distorted.
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