Northern Ky. teacher wins $11 million judgment against gossip Web site

Associated PressAugust 27, 2010 

LOUISVILLE — A gossip Web site has been hit with an $11 million judgment for libel and slander after posting false accusations that a Northern Kentucky teacher who works on the side as a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader was exposed to two venereal diseases.

The judgment against Dirty World Entertainment Recordings, which runs the site Thedirty.com, came Thursday after the site declined to answer a lawsuit brought by Sarah Jones, a high school teacher whose picture was posted on the site along with the accusation.

U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman added an annual interest rate of 0.25 percent to the $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. The operator of the Arizona-based Web site, Hooman Karamian, who uses the online name "Nik Ritchie," did not respond to the lawsuit.

Jones' attorney, Eric Deters of Independence, said the lawsuit could have been resolved if the posting had simply been removed.

"If they would have just taken it down, this all would have been over," Deters said. "They just kind of mocked the whole court system."

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