abuse, aspersion, calumniation, calumny, denigration, derogation, detraction, disparagement,disrepute, false accusation, false publication, false report,
imputation, infamy, insinuation, invective, libel, obloquy, scandal,slander,
slur, smear, smirch, traducement, untruth
defamation of character:
Any intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harms a person's reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against a person.
The above link is a great place to learn more about the law
... what happens, depends on who you are ...
a public figure or a local 'common joe'
Defamation may be a criminal or civil charge.
It encompasses both written statements, known as libel,
and spoken statements, called slander.