What Is the Definition of ''Slander'' In California ?

Slander is defined by statute as follows: "Slander is a false and unprivileged publication, orally uttered, and also communications by radio or any mechanical or other means which: Charges any person with crime, or with having been indicted, convicted, or punished for crime; Imputes to him or her the present existence of an infectious, contagious, or loathsome disease; Tends directly to injure him or her in respect to his or her office, profession, trade or business, either by imputing to him or her general disqualification in those respects which the office or other occupation peculiarly requires, or by imputing something with reference to his or her office, profession, trade, or business that has a natural tendency to lessen its profits; Imputes to him or her impotence or a want of chastity; Which, by natural consequence, causes actual damage." (Civ. Code, 46.) "In all cases of alleged defamation, whether libel or slander, the truth of the offensive statements or communication is a complete defense against civil liability, regardless of bad faith or malicious purpose." Smith v. Maldonado, supra, 72 Cal. App. 4th at p. 646; Campanelli v. Regents of University of California (1996) 44 Cal. App. 4th 572, 581-582 51 Cal. Rptr. 2d 891; Schmidt v. Foundation Health (1995) 35 Cal. App. 4th 1702, 1715 42 Cal. Rptr. 2d 172; Ellenberger v. Espinosa (1994) 30 Cal. App. 4th 943, 953 36 Cal. Rptr. 2d 360; Francis v. Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. (1992) 3 Cal. App. 4th 535, 540 4 Cal. Rptr. 2d 361; Gill v. Hughes (1991) 227 Cal. App. 3d 1299, 1309 278 Cal. Rptr. 306; Swaffield v. Universal Ecsco Corp. (1969) 271 Cal. App. 2d 147, 164 76 Cal. Rptr. 680; 5 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law, supra, Torts, 494, p. 583.) It is the defendant's burden to "justify," or show the truth of the statements. (Lipman v. Brisbane Elementary School Dist. (1961) 55 Cal. 2d 224, 233 11 Cal. Rptr. 97, 359 P.2d 465.) Significantly, however, the defendant need not justify the literal truth of every word of the allegedly defamatory matter. It is sufficient if the substance of the charge is proven true, irrespective of slight inaccuracy in the details, "so long as the imputation is substantially true so as to justify the 'gist or sting' of the remark." (Campanelli v. Regents of University of California, supra, 44 Cal. App. 4th at pp. 581-582; see also Smith v. Maldonado, supra, 72 Cal. App. 4th at pp. 646-647; Gantry Constr. Co. v. American Pipe & Constr. Co. (1975) 49 Cal. App. 3d 186, 194 122 Cal. Rptr. 834; Rest.2d Torts, 581A, com. f, pp. 236-237; 5 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law, supra, Torts, 495, pp. 583-584.)