My question involves defamation in the state of: TNI will try to make this short. I have belonged to a Country Club for 25 years. I am a leader in the golfing community. I also helped create a single membership and served on the social and membership committee at this Club. I have been president of three golf leagues, and twice for a league we share Friday rotation with 6 clubs. As well just serving as the president for our city golf tournament called MAWGA - Memphis Area Women's Golf Association, also twice This is a huge event and I am very well known for all of my participation in the golfing community as well as hosting charity events/golf tournaments, Rally for the Cure, etc. I befriended a woman at another club I belonged. Long story short, she had quit 3 previous clubs, because in her words; “the women were mean to me”. I asked her to join my club as it was offering a deal. I helped her with a fundraiser to help save Elephants for the Sanctuary in TN. I sent out all the invitations, (over 300) the format, gave ideas for the prizes etc. She was CLUELESS! I did this 4 years in a row for her. She was/is quite naive in the golfing arena and no one knows this woman. Last year she became the president of our ladies league and had only been a member for two years, but since she was new, the ladies thought, why not? Make her feel welcome and fresh/new blood. We have a Member Guest every year and if you don’t golf this is an opportunity to show off your club. It is usually very expensive and in a scramble format always in a foursome. You can choose to have 3 guests or one, but the team can NEVER have more than two members on a team, as it would be unfair play regarding competition/prizes. (already knowing the course) I have helped this woman continuously and introduced her to many of my golfing friends. She was in charge of our Member Guest last year and I was also on the committee as well as her VP for the league. One lady in particular could not find a guest but wanted to play. It was stressed she could play in another group that already had a foursome but could not compete for prizes as their team would have 5 plus 3 Club Members. A huge an unfair advantage. This was understood and the men’s member guest takes this very seriously! I had 3 guests and I was the only Member we shot a 63. No one had beat us, but when we came in, the group with 5 and 3 members shot a 62. Teresa/the president changed her mind at the last minute when it came to announcing the prizes. And although we should have won, like promised, she gave the prize to the 5 some team. My guests were very upset and we had too much to drink as we had 8 birdies and took a shot every time we got a birdie. (not I, however, I don’t take shots) Teresa had written me an email (which I still have, before the tournament) explaining how she told the team in question they could not compete if they were 5 and 3 members - or they could choose to become a 4 some if they wanted to compete. My one friend/guest is extremely competitive and a good golfer. We all got a bit tipsy at lunch. My guests couldn’t believe the other team was awarded when we won. The MG is an expensive event for a lady, since each guest costs $125.00 plus myself. I went home went on FB and wrote my rant, how unfair it is when one changes the rules of a tournament. It got a bit heated me saying what an idiot, and the group was not the true winners. (but never mentioned names and I had belonged to 2 other Clubs) Naturally, I got a LOT of feedback and ALL in my favor agreeing. The golf pro, the General Manager, the Board at the Club - NONE of them are on my facebook! But Teresa was and as soon as she saw that rant, she unfriended me. She LIVES on FB! I realized after becoming more sober, maybe it wasn’t too nice and deleted the rant, about 5 hours later. It was on the same day of the Member Guest Tournament - September 24th. I realized I was a bit harsh, (but still mad she lied and broke the rules) however, I apologized to her profusely. I have gone beyond the call of duty for this woman, in every aspect of golf for the past 4 years. She claimed everything was fine after my apology. THIS IS WHERE I NEED YOUR EXPERTISE: She had been upset because the ladies league did not like her and she had been called into the General Managers office several times and asked to quit as president of the league. But she did not. Most of the women didn’t like her (and I cannot blame them as she was bossy and like a dictator) I never said a word. But she was upset and wanted once again to QUIT because the ladies were "mean to her". She wanted me to quit too, as she had done at another club we both belonged…but I never quit and she did…….”because the women were mean to her”. Yes, my post was mean - but quickly deleted, no one at my Club saw that rant except Teresa. I told her my husband said we should quit because it was getting a bit too expensive but I suggested we quit the end of season/October. She was fine with that, continued to be my friend. She hated the club and the ladies and couldn’t wait to quit. I don’t like all of them, but I had no problems with most of them. At the end of season, October 11th, the General Manager calls me in his office and shows me a copy of my rant on FB which was written and deleted on September 24th. He never let me see it, but he did say, he got so many complaints about this rant. Hmm? No one else had a motive but Teresa, and although nasty, it couldn’t be denied I was right about she breaking the rules.I thought she must have copied it and waited until OCTOBER (when we said we would both quit, although I was really on the fence) I was blindsided and reminded the GM he was not on my FB and neither was the pro. This was a private podium not involving the club. He said well some of the ladies complained. Yet he never let me see the copy and kept it in his hand. (who knows it could have been edited ?) But I never got to see it. He then said; well you made our bookkeeper/accounting “feel stupid”…. WHAT?
He continued to say; when you e-mailed her about billing on bag storage. Yes, I questioned her, because every year I am charged $125 for bag storage and I have never stored my bag at ANY club since I play so many courses. She was in the office while he was talking; and he asked her if I made her feel “stupid”. ? She just nodded..but scared to do so. The e-mail was written in February - this was October! Why not call me in, in February? Plus I AM the member with 25 years! I have reason to question a $125 mistake. This was an excuse to have me dismissed, even though he said I could “resign”. I was floored! I knew it was the FB rant, but they also knew how could they get rid of me for that since it was gone the very day I posted it and none of them ever saw it first hand. It was Teresa who copied and sat and waited for her revenge. What can you say? I wrote a resignation and it is a Country Club so I can’t argue about their dismissal. They covered themselves. Meanwhile Teresa kept acting like my friend. I found out she went to the pro and the GM about my rant behind my back. I confronted and asked if she did this to me…she continually lied and denied. Who does this? Who can carry on a charade of still being my friend? I can’t imagine what else she must have said about me obvious lies and I could not defend myself because I had no idea what was said. Here is the problem. She has destroyed my reputation in the golfing arena. I am a leader, well known and responsible for many activities. For the most part, very well received/liked. I still have many friends and a great golfing rapport. I hosted the City tournament, a huge event with a great showing for competitive golf this past September. However, I am getting people coming up to me saying/asking why I was kicked out of my club. I am livid! A short lived rant deleted and apologized for a woman who simply sought revenge for the rest of my life. She from what I know got the lady’s team in question to go in with her about the Member Guest rant. This woman is not on my FB either and would never have known had Teresa not copied it. I can no longer even play at my/that club because of what she must have said. To me SHE is responsible for defamation of my character. I can’t go anywhere! It's to the point, I am almost about to have a nervous breakdown! I’m serious! I have been going to a therapist - something I have never done in my life as I am a strong person and don’t partake in girly crap. I play an incredibly important role in the golfing arena and she took that away, simply because of REVENGE? Who does that? She is destroying my life as I don’t know how to explain to others why after 25 years I am suddenly gone from my club. I finally confronted her in July telling her I knew she was the one who asked the Club to get rid of me. She kept acting as my friend all along and then joined the club I have been a member for 27 years and quit the club above. EVIL? If I can’t file defamation, since it has destroyed me emotionally, socially, and physically. Can a letter be written from an Attorney telling her to quit talking about me and destroying me further? You may think this is petty stuff. Believe me, I am a strong woman and this is not! This is a serious matter, especially because of my ranking in the golfing community. In other words, all she wanted was revenge - but I am suffering every day. Golf is my one and only outlet and is every aspect of my life. I am retired and all my friends are golfers. It took me years to build up my golfing rapport. She has/is ruining my reputation all because of a short lived rant, while I will suffer this my whole life! My husband does not play golf, but he is the member and paid our dues. It took me months before I was able to tell him what has happened. He was very upset as well. Plus, I can no longer play at my favorite golf course, just 5 minutes away!