This is a clipping from a director's memoir(source: A Life: An Autobiography by Elia Kazan) which I once cited in another question, recording an actor's affair.
When we got back to Munich for the interior shots, he turned into a boy; he played. Living with me in the magnificent Vier Jahreszeiten Hotel, Freddie got into trouble with a chambermaid, and late one night I had to rush to the police station and intercede for him. He was being threatened by the chambermaid’s husband; this unreasonable man was out to become famous by killing a movie star. Freddie was a child who couldn’t keep his fingers out of the cookie jar.
As a translater, I have an argument with my fellow over the meaning of "killing" above.
While I simply and directly understand this term as "to murder", my fellow insists that it means "to destroy one's reputation".
One of her reasons is that in our language "kill" can refer to destroying anything from one's spirit to their reputation or career. She thinks the same way as in English.
However, I did not ever see "to kill sb" mean "to destroy sb's reputation" in English. It always means "to destroy one's inside", in a positive or negative way.
If here the author had wanted to convey that the husband attempted to escape the star into a scandal and destroy his reputation, I believe he would have figured that "killing a movie star's reputation"(in which "kill" means "to terminate").
Can the phrase "to kill sb" express destroying something not psychological?