A jury has awarded $338,000 to former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones after ruling in her favor in a defamation lawsuit against thedirty.com.
The ruling comes just six months after another jury deadlocked on the question of whether the website defamed her in 2009. Jones argued that the posts about her were false and malicious and caused severe mental anguish. Meanwhile, website operator Nik Richie denied any malice and said that he didn't write the posts and was not required to fact-check submissions before posting them.
One post alleged Jones had sex with every Bengals player, and another said she probably had two sexually transmitted diseases. Jones cried at times during the trial, testifying that she at one time had thought about committing suicide. She said she hoped the jury would award damages substantial enough to force the website to shut down and prevent others from being hurt, too.
Jurors in the retrial deliberated about 10½ hours over two days before returning with their verdict. They found that postings from the gossip site in 2009 about Jones were "substantially false" and that the site owner acted with "malice or reckless disregard" when posting.
The site's motive for posting such things likely stemmed from an earlier incident in which Jones was accused of having sexual relations with a minor while working as substitute teacher in Covington, Ky. Jones has since plead guilty to the lewd act. Jones was allowed to avoid jail time with her plea, but was forbidden from teaching again. Jones, 28, still has a relationship with the now 18-year-old former student, and they have said they plan to marry.
So, basically Jones had sex with a student while serving as a teacher, was found guilty, managed to avoid jail time, and was awarded multiple years worth of teaching salary in the process.
Via Pro Football Talk