Actress Amanda Bynes announced her retirement from acting in September 2012 but has been a featured celebrity for many media platforms since. Bynes has been doing what has been described as erratic behavior such as locking herself in public dressing rooms, having interactions with the police, and displaying behavior that has some alarmed for her well being. There are no answers or explanations yet. However, Bynes has expressed complete disapproval for how she is being reported on. She has been actively addressing her annoyance through the social media platform Twitter, where she recently advised she would be “suing every blog, every magazine, every news source that’s saying I’m doing anything wrong ‘erratic behavior’ is not me! I’m suing In Touch, Us Weekly, Perez Hilton for hiring paparazzi who follow me then take the worst photos with the worst angles.”
If, in fact, Bynes pursues a lawsuit, being a public figure, she would need to prove “actual malice” was the intent behind the news stories. By definition, prove actual malice would mean two things: the story was “published with the knowledge that it was false and the story was published with reckless disregard of whether or not it was false.” There are several stories coinciding with Bynes’ “erratic behavior,” and this will be one aspect her legal team will need to focus on to win a libel suit. Bynes will need to disprove the numerous recollections from witnesses who have observed the incidences reported.
For some who have been a fan of Bynes since her early acting days with the network of Nickelodeon and the numerous teenage romantic comedies Bynes is associated with, their perception is one of disbelief. Pop culture enthusiast Lisa Hernandez states, “I think of Amanda Bynes as the funny, bubbly actress with great movies. Hearing a little of what’s being reported, it seems she is not doing so well right now.” When asked if she believes there is actual malicious intent behind what’s being reported, Hernandez said, “I don’t know enough of what they’re saying but if it’s truth there’s no malice behind it.” Hernandez explains further saying, “I don’t think Amanda Bynes is being targeted. Being a celebrity comes with the territory. If you mess up, people are going to talk.”
Lisa Hernandez reading up on Bynes, April 2013