Could my father get me for defamation if everything I say can be proven true?
As some of you may know, my relationship with my father has always been tenuous at best and has recently been exacerbated by his horrible behavior in the wake of my Mom’s illness and premature death.
Those of you less familiar may find it helpful to refer to an earlier question of mine below.
My father’s behavior toward my mother, my older brother and myself have been absolutely abysmal for our entire lives and it’s no better now that my Mom has tragically died. The guy is a chronic, unrepentant abuser, a lose canon and obviously delusional and mentally ill.
Before my mother passed, she made it clear that she wanted to leave something behind for all of her children. Unfortunately, she never got to make it official in writing before the cancer took her from us.
Now her life insurance has come due and he has given my older brother his fair share as promised. However, despite him verbally telling me that there will be something for me and he will contact me when it’s available, I have yet to hear anything from him. I’m nervous he might just stiff me to add insult to the injury of losing my Mom.
Today I’m going to write him a nice, polite email checking in with him and gently asking about the money. It’s not a huge amount but it’s enough to get me back on my feet and help me move on with my life so it’s VERY important that I get him to cooperate with me.
Unfortunately, if he chooses not to cooperate I fear there is not much I legally can do to contest him. We are from the state of New York and the law states that if there is no will, that the funds go to the spouse—even if he is a pig from hell.
I have several recordings of my mother took of him verbally abusing her as she lay dying in her last days. He comes at her like a mad dog as she struggles to speak and even to breathe, barely able to fend him off as he screams and swears at her saying terrible things about her and our family—myself included. It goes on for hours and hours at times, he was relentless in his cruelty and I’m almost positive that the stress she endured thanks to him killed her even faster.
Despite her illness, my mother was of sound enough mind to take these recordings herself and personally emailed them to me. She wanted me to have them to build a case against him if the abuse got even worse. However, she begged me not to call the cops and get him removed from the home as her health insurance depended on his job. It was a horrible situation and one I fear will leave me bitter and traumatized for a while. When she died, at least I had the peace of knowing she wasn’t enduring that terrible man anymore.
Now, I’m fearing the possibility that my father might deal one more blow to me by denying me my mother’s final gift to me; the money she wanted me to have and my birthright as her loving and faithful daughter.
If that happens, I’m fully prepared to take punitive action to avenge my mother and my siblings by releasing the abusive recordings to several people. I will send them to my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, several family members and perhaps some of his “friends” and coworkers.
He even has a new girlfriend I may send them to—he allegedly started dating her less than A WEEK after my Mom died but I suspect he was being unfaithful with her before she passed. I’d like her to know what kind of guy she’s seeing. I might also send them to some important people from his town who will socially shun him further, but I don’t know if I should even bother since he’s already hated by a lot of people for acting like an asshat in general.
I’ve committed to do this if I can legally get away with it. If I can’t get that money, I really have nothing to lose and I may even do it anyway after I’ve severed all contact with him and changed my phone number. From what I’ve researched, it’s not defamation if it’s true and this is as true as it gets.
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.