Intimacy and deception are often entangled.  People deceive to lure someone into a relationship or to keep her there, to drain an intimate’s bank account or to use her to acquire government benefits, to control an intimate or to resist domination, or to capture myriad other advantages. No subject is immune from deception in dating, sex, marriage, and family life. Intimates can lie or otherwise intentionally mislead each other about anything and everything.

Suppose you discover that an intimate has deceived you and inflicted severe—even life-altering—financial, physical, or emotional harm. After the initial shock and sadness, you might wonder whether the law will help you secure redress. But the legal system refuses to help most people deceived within an intimate relationship. Courts and legislatures have shielded this persistent and pervasive source of injury, routinely denying deceived intimates access to the remedies that are available for deceit in other contexts.

Jill Elaine Hasday’s Intimate Lies and the Law is the first book that systematically examines deception in intimate relationships and uncovers the hidden body of law governing this duplicity. Hasday argues that the law has placed too much emphasis on protecting intimate deceivers and too little importance on helping the people they deceive. The law can and should do more to recognize, prevent, and redress the injuries that intimate deception can inflict.

Entering an intimate relationship should not mean losing the law’s protection from deceit.

Preview the introduction for Intimate Lies and the Law here.

Watch Jill Hasday discuss the book here.

Awards for Intimate Lies and the Law

Scribes Book Award “for the best work of legal scholarship published during the previous year” 

Gold Medal, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award (Family & Relationships)

Bronze Medal, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award (Women’s Studies)

Bronze Medal, Independent Publisher Book Award (Sexuality/Relationships)

Initmate Lies and the Law is now available in paperback from these booksellers. 

Praise for Intimate Lies and the Law

Intimate Lies and the Law is rigorous, bold, and carefully researched, yet terrifically readable. Hasday has dug far and deep into the law and social science of intimate deception to give us an authoritative volume on this wrenching human domain. Hasday’s proposal for change—that the law treat intimate deception more like other kinds of deception—is powerful and sweeping, yet practical and workable.  Timely and important, this book has the potential to reshape not only the legal terrain but the very human relationships that live and breathe in the law’s shadow.”
– Elizabeth Emens, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

“In Intimate Lies and the Law, Jill Hasday maps a big, fascinating, sobering subject: the law’s regulation (including neglect) of deceptions amongst those closest to us.  She explores this difficult terrain masterfully with verve, thoroughness, and a keen eye for the telling detail.  This is an important book that will be of interest not only to academics but also to general readers.  Impressively rigorous, it is also exceptionally accessible.”
Randall Kennedy, Michael R. Klein Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

“Hasday breaks new ground in systematically analyzing the law on deception in intimate relationships.  She intelligently exposes how incoherencies in case law create a legal regime that undermines our deepest aspirations for family relationships.  Readers will never look at this body of law the same way again.”
– Maxine Eichner, Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law

“With a masterful marshalling of evidence, Jill Hasday paints a bleak picture of intimate relationships and the pervasive deception that often shapes them.  Hasday leaves no stone unturned, making a convincing case that the law has unjustifiably failed duped intimates by refusing to deploy standard legal remedies.  Like everything Hasday writes, this book is comprehensively researched, effectively organized, and compelling from beginning to end.  The only downside to reading this book is the realization that your life, too, may be built on a bed of lies.”
– Joanna L. Grossman, Ellen K. Solender Endowed Chair in Women and the Law, SMU Dedman School of Law

Intimate Lies and the Law is thoroughly researched, analytically rigorous, and doctrinally pragmatic. The book is replete with fascinating narratives and legal puzzles. These are features a reader of Hasday’s work has come to expect.”
– Harvard Law Review

“Hasday’s superpower seems to be a form of scholarship that thoroughly explores and exposes the unexamined. She draws connections we otherwise could not see.”
– Domestic Violence Report

“This book was a delightful combination of well-researched and well-written academic prose.”
Canadian Law Library Review

An Exemplary Law Book of 2019
 Journal of Law

A Legal Theory Bookworm Favorite from 2019
– Lawrence Solum, William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

A Notable Privacy and Security Book of 2019
– Daniel Solove, John Marshall Harlan Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School

About the Author

Jill Hasday Book Talks

Family Law Reimagined