Footnote for you legal eagles
The Dead Cannot Be Defamed: You can’t defame the dead” is an often-repeated legal chestnut that restates the general rule that only the living can sue for damages to their reputation. The continued force of this rule explains why many defamatory “tell-all” biographies appear after a famous figure has died.” — Legal Zoom
-"According to US law, you cannot libel the dead. The estate/survivors of the person in question cannot sue you if you say something nasty about a dead person because there are 7 criteria or something you have to meet in order to prove libel/slander, one of them being that the words caused personal trauma and you can't very well be traumatized if you're 6 feet under. And the trauma of the survivors doesn’t count. So, you can say publicly or publish that JFK used to kill little children and eat them for breakfast and no one can sue you for it.”
-"Not only do the dead have no protection against claims of libel or slander, they lack other legal protections afforded to the living...a good example would be the right to "confidentiality" as regards medical information that otherwise would be protected.
-“In other words, nothing about the dead is confidential or protected. For example, the fact that a living person may be infected with HIV is considered "protected" information. Once the person is defunct, no such confidentiality exists.”
- “There was a lawsuit regarding that in 1964, when a scurrilous “biography" of Jean Harlow was published. Her father sued the author and publisher, but a judge ruled that you cannot libel the dead. . . Which explains the trashy books that come our right after celebs die . . . (cough—Mommie Dearest—cough)”
— Above quotes from Straight Dope