2013 (Criminal Law) Bar Exam Questions: Essay Question 4

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In her weekly gossip column in a tabloid, Gigi wrote an unflattering article about Pablo, a famous singer, and his bitter separation from his wife.

The article portrayed Pablo as an abusive husband and  caused him to lose lucrative endorsement contracts. Pablo charged Gigi with libel. In her defense, Gigi countered that she did not commit libel because Pablo has attained the status of a public figure so that even his personal life has become a legitimate subject of public interest and comment.

Is Gigi correct? (7%)


  1. Libel was committed becoming a public servant does not give one the right to publish the private life of another. this was a previous bar question daw.

  2. Gigi is not correct. She committed libel. I believe even if Gigi was correct in claiming that Pablo is a public servant, the content of her column was about his private and personal life, which does not belong to the public sphere. Mas Consti at Civ ang attack ko dito, I think I cited that even the freedom of expression has a limitation and that journalists are not given an overarching license to write everything they want to write about. Issues pertaining to family relations are private and must remain that way.

  3. Isn’t abuse of wives/women an issue of public interest? If so, then Gigi cannot be considered to have committed libel.

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