The best ammunition against lies is the truth, there is no ammunition against gossip. It is like a fog and the clear wind blows it away and the sun burns it off.
Imagination, it turns out, is a great deal like reporting in your own head. Here is a paradox of fiction-writing. You are crafting something from nothing, which means, in one sense, that none of it is true. Yet in the writing, and perhaps in the reading, some of a character's actions or lines are truer than others.