Eugene Volokh writes:
A recent Newsweek story identified one Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, a 64-year-old engineer living in Southern California, as the Satoshi Nakamoto who is said to have created Bitcoin. Dorian Nakamoto denies it, and there’s talk of a possible lawsuit.
But wait — how can Dorian Nakamoto sue, if the story didn’t damage his reputation, but instead portrayed him as a programming genius? The answer lies in the “false light” tort, sometimes labeled “false light invasion of privacy” but in practice having little to do with privacy. Where defamation law offers recovery for falsehoods that injure reputation, the false light tort offers recovery for falsehoods that injure the subject’s feelings, if the falsehoods put the subject in a false light that “would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.”
Read more on WaPo The Volokh Conspiracy.
As of yesterday afternoon, Newsweek’s response to Dorian Nakamoto’s statement was a terse:
Newsweek has not received any statement or letter from either Mr. Nakamoto or his legal counsel. If and when we do, we will respond as necessary.