...made me a laughing stock. I earned a reputation within my community for being a fantasist and a liar, and spent the next two years learning the intricacies of the laws of defamation and in order to try and salvage what was left of my reputation.
She was forced into taking legal action when her original complaint to the Mail was met with a familiar, dismissive tone:
Obviously, I wrote to complain. They responded that they were happy the article was an accurate reflection of what I’d said and were standing by it. I wrote again, pointing out in detail the discrepancies. Again, they stood by their article and told me that they would not enter into any further correspondence with me and considered the matter closed.
I certainly didn’t consider the matter closed. My name, image and brief details of my life had been used to fabricate a story which bore no resemblance to me or my life, then presented as fact, said by me, in my own words. It was damaging to me, my children, my friends and had a significantly negative impact on my life.
It's a lengthy post but well worth reading, especially for her line-by-line breakdown of the way the article was embellished and the attitude and tactics of the Mail when challenged.
And, as Paul Bradshaw points out, several of the comments below the article reveal similar experiences.