Blogger contests ex-NFL cheerleader's libel suit

AMANDA LEE MYERS Associated Press Published:

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- 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.

Richie testified in a northern Kentucky courtroom Wednesday that Jones's 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.