Gossip Site Wins Appeal of Cheerleader's Lawsuit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) -- An appeals court has found that an Arizona-based gossip website should have been immune from being sued by a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader over online posts that she was promiscuous and had sexually transmitted diseases.

The decision from the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a federal Kentucky judge's decision allowing the lawsuit to proceed.

Former Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones sued thedirty.com owner Nik Richie in 2012 over anonymously submitted posts about her.

A jury found the posts were substantially false and that Richie had acted with malice or reckless disregard by allowing them to be published. Jones was awarded $338,000.

Jones' attorney says he'll likely appeal.

Internet giants like Google and Facebook have watched the case closely, saying the result had the potential to chill online speech.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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