If A Person Gains Personal Enhancement Through Prominence

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If a person gains personal enhancement through prominence as an expert in a public controversy, such prominence may transfer him into a limited purpose public figure. In Gilbert, a well-known plastic surgeon sued one of his patients for establishing a website criticizing unsuccessful surgeries performed by the surgeon. The court held the surgeon voluntarily thrust himself into the controversy of plastic surgery by appearing on local television shows as well as writing articles in medical journals and beauty magazine, promoting the virtues of plastic surgery. Additionally, the court held that the surgeon’s sought-after prominence as an expert in and advocate for plastic surgery as means of personal enhancement transferred him into a limited …show more content…

The court held that the president had injected himself into the controversy, and he was a limited purpose public figure. Moreover, the court held that even though there was a period of time when the controversy was not discussed publicly, the president’s public figure status did not end spontaneously with the stopping of the publicity. Rather, the public figure status continued as long as the particular controversy continued.
A company’s publication on a public forum with the purpose of influencing a controversy may be voluntary injection. In Ampex, a former employee posted negative comments about a company on an Internet message board, accusing his former employer of incompetence and the company’s management of being defective. The company issued press releases in response to the defamation, and made them available on the company Web site. The court found the company had voluntarily injected itself into the public controversy, because the Web site was a public forum that the company frequently made public announcements on it for people to view. Publishing the issued press releases on a public forum to influence the public opinion and counter the negative comments, such actions was sufficient to prove the injection, because these actions had inserted the company into the public’s eye about the controversy.
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