Nik Richie Squares Off Again with Ex-NFL Cheerleader "Slutshamed" on his TheDirty.com

Categories: Court, OC Media
Thumbnail image for nik-richie_thedirty.jpg
Friday it was decided the defamation lawsuit a former schoolteacher and Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader brought against Newport Beach's Nik Richie will proceed July 8--pending an out-of-court settlement before then, of course.

Sarah Jones is suing Richie in Kentucky federal court over anonymous, third-party posts left about her on his controversial website TheDirty.com.

Jones, who pleaded guilty in October to having sex with one of her then-17-year-old students in Kentucky, is suing Richie (real name: Hooman Karamian) over two October posts. One included a photo of a smiling Jones with a former Bengals kicker and a caption claiming she had sex with every member of the NFL team. The second was a shot of her in a bikini for a Bengals calendar with the cutline claiming she likely contracted chlamydia and gonorrhea from her ex-husband, who'd cheated on her with more than 50 women.

Thumbnail image for sarah-jones_bengals-cheerleader.jpg
The plaintiff
The Jones suit claims she suffered emotional distress from the posts that harmed her job performance with the Bengals and the high school she taught at, even before her tryst with the student. She resigned from the Bengals and Dixie Heights High School in late 2011 after four years at both jobs.

U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman in Northern Kentucky declared a mistrial in the suit on Jan. 25 because jurors failed to reach a verdict after a three-day trial and two days of deliberations. The jury voted 8-2 in favor of the posts being false as Jones claimed, but a unanimous decision was required. Jurors were unanimous in agreeing Richie did not act with malice, which means Jones would have received no money from him even with unanimous agreement that the posts were substantially false.

Bertelsman set a new trial date on Friday while indicating he is now considering a request by Richie's attorneys to reconsider their argument that the website is protected under the federal Communications Decency Act, which provides immunity to website publishers from liability for content that comes from third parties. Richie and his attorney lay out that argument in the update to this post:

Nik Richie, The Dirty Website Chief Accused of Defaming NFL Cheerleader, Awaits New Trial

The judge previously ruled that the federal law was not meant for websites like The Dirty, which is based in Richie's former stomping grounds, Scottsdale, Arizona, although the married father is now raising his family in Newport Beach. Bertelsman could decide with fresh eyes to reverse his previous ruling, let it stand or punt it to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Jones, who has since divorced her husband, is reportedly still with her former student lover.

A federal court in Missouri previously ruled Richie and The Dirty are protected under the Communications Decency Act.

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
ocsurfgirl
ocsurfgirl

How do you fall in love with a 17 year old kid at first sight? That's weird. Girl has some issues that don't have anything to do with money.

alexisyque
alexisyque

She claims she suffered emotional stress from the posts and that affected her performance at her job.  Call me crazy but I think being a high school teacher and posing oiled up in a bikini calendar does more emotional harm than good, too.

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

Interesting how this topic brings out sadistic and sexually harassing feelings in both men and women.

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

I believe that the effect of having her pictures posted like that is what provoked the incident with her student...in the sense that it stigmatized her...and to a degree...changed her self-identity and the way that she interacted with people.  I believe that the student incident may not have happened...had it not been for the stigmatizing from the pictures.

alexisyque
alexisyque

@Cottonwood Sarah admitted to being in love with her student the "moment he walked into my classroon freshman year". The relationship began four years later.  She did this to herself.

awesomebeagle
awesomebeagle

@Cottonwood  - Turns out your theory wasn't far from the truth...sort of.  Sarah's decision to cross the line with her student was certainly "provoked" (to use your word) by something, but it wasn't provoked by the photos of her posted on thedirty.com.  Rather, it appears that what happened was this -- as you may know, Sarah's lawyer originally sued the wrong website -- theDIRT.com.  No one from theDIRTY.com was aware of the case against thedirt.com, and no one from thedirt.com responded to the lawsuit.   This resulted in the court awarding an $11 million default judgment to Sarah.  Let's put aside the insanity of that amount (honestly, people die gruesome deaths in car accidents and their families aren't awarded anything near $11 million) and just look at the effect that had on Sarah's decision-making process.

Now, at the time Sarah was a high school teacher in her early twenties making about $35,000/yr.  She was in a bad relationship with a selfish guy who cheated on her constantly.  According to Sarah, the guy was also mentally if not physically abusive, but for whatever reason Sarah stayed with him.  She was trapped.

Suddenly, Sarah is told that she's about to receive $11 million.  So here she is -- a small town Kentucky high school teacher stuck in a bad relationship with a complete jerk, and then suddenly she hit the lottery.  At that point, Sarah must have been thinking about all of the freedom that money would buy her -- she could leave her a-hole boyfriend, buy a huge house with a pink swimming pool (her actual words), quit her job, and pretty much never have to work another day in her life.

According to Sarah's testimony, she was already in love with her student when all this happened....so the temptation was there.  All Sarah needed was a nudge.  She got that nudge when she was told (wrongly) that she was about to receive $11 million from her lawsuit.  Many lottery winners end up broke within a few years because they aren't prepared to deal with such a big change in their lives.  They end up making poor choices, and before long the money is gone.

Think about it.   When the Powerball hits $200+ million, we all buy a ticket and dream about what we would do if we won.  Who hasn't fantasized about quitting their boring job, leaving town, and travelling the world with millions of dollars in the bank?

That's what happened to Sarah Jones.  Trust me -- if you had read all of her text messages, you'd see what I'm talking about.  Clearly, Sarah made a very bad decision that ended her teaching career, nearly landed her in prison, and placed more of a stigma on her name than a few photos and rumors posted on a little-known gossip site.   She did this because she didn't think she would get caught and, in any case, she was about to get $11 million, so who really cared even if she was caught?

This NEVER would have happened if Sarah had simply ignored the posts and let them die a quiet death as such things always do.  Instead, Sarah became a bull in a China shop, chasing $11 million and making decisions that she likely wouldn't have made without those dollar signs clouding her judgment.

It's really very sad.


Cottonwood
Cottonwood

@MatthewTCoker @Cottonwood I apologize for being paranoid and not very nice.  Maybe I need to up my meds.  Thank you for being a good reporter and a good person.

MatthewTCoker
MatthewTCoker topcommenter

@Cottonwood @MatthewTCoker My psychoanalysis comes in a bottle. You or anyone else are free to comment freely, as far I'm concerned. But to clarify: I wrote you blew my mind because you'd truly enlightened me. I'm sorry you took that another way.

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

@MatthewTCoker One of your fans is upset that I called you sadistic.  Were you devastated by it?  Just checking, because I would feel bad if you had to go into psychoanalysis, because of it.

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

@maxiemax @Cottonwood @MatthewTCoker   I'm confused.  How am I justifying a kiddy rapist?  Oh, is this woman being considered by you to be a kiddy rapist?  I'm quite sure that you do not truly regard her as a kiddy rapist.  As far as calling him sadistic, it was said in a light-hearted way...he picked on me and I picked back.  I'm quite sure that he wasn't devastated by it...considering that his colleagues refer to him as being sadistic.  And as far as you calling me a sick f*ck...well...I have a mind to wash your mouth out with soap, young man!  If this topic brings up anger for you...it is best for you to work this out with a therapist.  Good luck to you.

maxiemax
maxiemax

@Cottonwood @MatthewTCoker 

Cottonwood, yeah, he's the sadistic one.  Nevermind you're the one justifying a kiddy rapist.  Nice, Cotton, real nice.  Check who you call sadistic, you sick f*ck.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Fashion

Loading...