Sarah Jones, the shamed former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader who was convicted of having sex with a minor, has won a lawsuit against Nik Richie.
A jury awarded her $338,000 in damages after she sued Richie, the founder of celebrity gossip site The Dirty, for defamation in the wake of her scandal.
Nik Richie’s website claimed - according to Sarah Jones - that she was a child molester ... and had sex with multiple Bengals players and had two STDs.
She sued Richie for $11 million and a jury in Covington, Ky., found that his articles were substantially false but only awarded her $338,000 in damages.
While on the stand, Nik defiantly testified that he posted a picture of a check made out for $11 million to Sarah Jones, with the memo “A Child Molester.”
Richie explained his reasoning for the check and the memo line: “Because I just wanted to get it out there that we were awarding a child molester.”
According to news reports, the jury found that Richie “acted with malice or reckless disregard in posting the submissions he said were anonymous.”
Richie, who also holds the distinction of being married to Shayne Lamas, denied any wrongdoing but was nevertheless found liable to the tune of $338K.
Jones was a teacher in addition to her cheerleading side job, and had sexual relations with a then-minor student, leading to her firing and arrest.
Sarah ultimately pleaded guilty to sex with an underage minor after their relationship became public - but she is now engaged to 19-year-old Cody York!
Richie’s attorney David Gingras told Radar that his client expected this verdict, and didn't hold back in describing just how absurd he thinks it is:
“You can’t be that surprised if you knew anything about the judge. Our judge was an elderly, old decrepit gentleman appointed by President Jimmy Carter."
"He steered the case that this day was inevitable."
"A jury has to make a decision based on instructions from the judge and if those instructions are not correct the outcome is not correct and that is what happened here."
"The judge just disregarded the law that protects websites. He said that law doesn’t apply here. That’s like saying water isn’t wet. He used his power to punish Nik.”
Gingras, who said he plans to appeal, also said the amount awarded to Sarah was arbitrary - and that his rather unlikable client was at a disadvantage.
“The posts on TheDirty did predate her sex crime we think but she went to great lengths to hide her crime. That was way before TheDirty."
“The posts on TheDirty didn’t cause [Jones] to be fired. Nobody believed it. Absolutely not one thing changed. I don’t connect the dots.”
“Sarah Jones took advantage of her own personal charm. She admitted to so many lies on the stand and I’ve never seen a jury buy that."
"I guess they believe that being rude is worse than lying.”