Two New Republic writers suck their thumbs for many paragraphs asking, Is “Porn Star” the Best Way to Describe Stormy Daniels?
Read them if such is your wont. But the correct answer is: no, “porn star” is not the most apt term. The aptest term is “entrepreneurial sex worker.” Like a person who begins her career driving trucks, and ends up owning and managing a small fleet of trucks.
Defamatory Imputation of Chastity
And now for your daily bonus.
Defamation, as you may know, is oral or written speech that damages another person’s reputation. The claim may be true or false: if it damages the reputation, it’s defamatory. (That said, truth is always a defense.)
During the nineteenth century the law evolved a category of the most serious forms of defamation, termed “defamation per se.” There were four of them:
- saying that someone is a criminal
- saying that someone exhibits qualities or behavior inconsistent with whatever line of business they are in
- saying that someone has a loathsome disease, or, last but not least,
- imputation of unchastity to a woman.
In an interesting legal twist, Miss Daniels has sued Trump’s lawyer for defamation, based on his assertion that she did not have sex with Trump.
I suppose that the imputation of chastity to a sex worker falls into the category of claiming that she exhibits behavior or qualities inconsistent with her chosen profession.