controversy involves a San Diego resident's fraud allegations in connection with Trump University, a for-profit business school run by The Apprentice star.
The student alleges that she was duped by promises that Trump University could teach her how to become a millionaire by paying for a $30,000 program consisting of business seminars. Donald Trump reportedly denies these allegations and has filed a defamation lawsuit against the San Diego woman over allegations made in a Better Business Bureau complaint letter.
Defamation lawsuits can arise in a variety of contexts, especially in employment relationships. Defamation is a personal injury caused when an employee's reputation is harmed. Although the San Diego resident probably attended Trump University to further her own business ventures, California residents and employers frequently face defamation charges in connection with workplace performance issues, especially after an abrupt employee departure.
There are two common types of defamation called "libel" and "slander." Libel typically consists of written statements that damage an employee's reputation and slander is usually oral communication which hurts someone's reputation. Employees who are defamed by their former employers can file a defamation lawsuit to hold the responsible parties accountable and restore their good name.
Defamation only protects individuals from untrue statements that are harmful to a person's reputation. Therefore if the statement that an employer makes about an employee is true, the employee cannot file a defamation claim against the employer.
Source: MSNBC, "Trump escapes further scrutiny by pulling the presidential plug," Michael Isikoff, 5/17/11