Sarah Jones had her life intact - she was a successful professional NFL cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals, a beloved high school teacher and in a loving relationship with her high school sweetheart. Everything was perfect until her world turned upside down after an anonymous post on the gossip site, TheDirty.com, about her sex life. Jones will soon face those who trampled her reputation in court.
I literally broke down, Sarah Jones told ABC News. I worked my butt off to make sure I had a clean, great, reputable reputation and then it was ruined by one post.
In October 2009, an anonymous user sent Nik Richie, founder of the Web site, self-proclaimed rock star of the Internet generation and husband of Shayna Lamas, a message about and photo of Jones. The message read: Nik, this is Sara J, Cincinnati Bengal [sic] Cheerleader. She's been spotted around town lately with the infamous Shayne Graham. She also has slept with every other Bengal Football player. This girl is a teacher too! You would think with Graham's paycheck he could attract something a little easier on the eyes Nik!
Jones contacted Richie and pleaded that he remove the comment. I am begging you, before you ruin my reputation, to please remove my photos from your website, she wrote. She claimed everything written about her was untrue.
Two months later another post was submitted, along with a photograph: Nik, here we have Sarah J, captain cheerleader of the playoff bound cinci bengals [sic]. . Most ppl [sic] see Sarah has a gorgeous cheerleader AND highschool [sic] teacher. . yes she's also a teacher . . but what most of you don't know is . . Her ex Nate . . cheated on her with over 50 girls in 4 yrs.. in that time he tested positive for Chlamydia Infection and Gonorrhea . . so im [sic] sure Sarah also has both . . what's worse is he brags about doing sarah [sic] in the gym . . football field . . her class room at the school where she teaches at DIXIE Heights.
Richie commented on this post himself, writing, Why are all high school teachers freaks in the sack?
The defamatory post caused a flurry of gossip. Sarah Jones had to do damage control. To stand in front of thirty 15 year-olds and tell them you don't have two STDs and that you are not a slut is the hardest thing you will ever have to do, she said.
Richie refused to remove the posts, in spite of the 20 to 30 emails the Kentucky teacher sent. Jones was forced to quit her job as a teacher because she felt so uncomfortable. She subsequently sued.
U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman has set a June 4 trial date in Covington for Sarah Jones' defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuit against the Web site and owner Nik Richie, whose real name is Hooman Karamian, reports CBS News.
In an order issued Tuesday, Judge Bertelsman refused to dismiss Jones' case. He supports that notion that the name of the site, the way it is managed and the specific comments made by Richie promote development of what is offensive about the content of the site.
Richie emailed Jones in November saying his goal really is NOT to hurt people, but provide a forum for people to communicate freely.
Anyway, I have a new baby that I need to focus on and trust me - if she ever ends up on my site, I will give her the same advice I gave you - try to see it as a learning experience because, ultimately, that's what it is, he wrote.
Jones is currently the captain of the Ben-Gals, the Bengals' cheerleading team.