Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Darby Green

First Page



This Note begins with an overview of the basic facets of privacy law, focusing on the tort of the public disclosure of private facts and its interaction with the First Amendment. Next, this Note explores the differences in rules for public, private, and involuntary public figures. The law of defamation is offered as a model for privacy law to emulate, specifically, the limited-purpose public figure created under Gertz and its progeny. Then, the issue of whether one's status as a public figure may diminish over the passage of time is considered. This Note posits that limited-purpose public figures should exist in the realm of privacy law, and that reality television participants are appropriate for membership in this class. The ramifications of this categorization are discussed through the lens of both privacy law and defamation. Finally, this Note proposes a test for determining when former reality television participants might regain their status as private figures.

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