Intimate Lies and the Law

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.

About the Author

Jill Elaine Hasday is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor and the Centennial Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. She teaches and writes about anti-discrimination law, constitutional law, family law, and legal history. Hasday graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School.

Media Inquiries: Please contact Michelle Blankenship.