COVINGTON, Ky. — A website operator is defending himself against a
defamation lawsuit by arguing that a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader who
slept with her underage student is a public figure.
Nik Richie, of Orange County, Calif., is being sued over two posts in 2009 on
his website thedirty.com about former Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones.
The site was founded in Scottsdale in 2007.
Richie testified in a northern Kentucky courtroom Wednesday that Jones’
appearances on national television and at community events made her a public
figure. Public figures trying prove defamation have a higher burden than those
who aren’t in the public eye.
The posts in question weren’t related to her relationship with the teen. Jones
pleaded guilty in October to having sex with the teen and avoided jail time. The
two are still together.
She is seeking $11 million as part of her defamation lawsuit against Richie.