There are people who have the opportunity to get to know you personally but choose to believe the hearsay and not clarify it with you. We all have at some point been guilty of this. We can't ever be sure what kind of relation someone has or had with another. Not everyone that knows of a person's existence, knows how they are as a person. There are good and bad people. There are people who will tie you down to your past mistakes and sins, even after you have reformed yourself. There are people whose insecurities make them hate you. There are people who simply enjoy seeing others suffer. There are all kinds of people. Just because someone treats you unfairly doesn't mean you should join their bandwagon too. Speak of others the way you want them to speak of you.