Bengals Cheerleader Confronts Website Owner for Defamation of Character
Sarah Jones was living what she says was a normal life -- a high school English teacher in a relationship with a man she is now married to, and as a hobby, member of the Cincinnati Bengals cheerleading squad. In October 2009 she received a call that changed her life. The phone call came from one the Bengals players who told her they saw a posting on TheDirty.com which claimed she had been spotted around town with a Cincinnati Bengals player and had sex with the entire Bengals football team.
“That's what it said,” says Jones. “That I had been seen out around Cincinnati with several football players… the picture is taken out of context because it's taken at a charity event we did for Toys for Tots.” After seeing the October postings on the website, where people are encouraged to “submit dirt,” she contacted the site and begged them to take it down.
Jones says that she kind of let it go after the October posting, but when she saw another posting in December, claiming she had STDs and had sex in her classroom, she says she broke down, threw up and had a panic attack.
Because local news got wind of the story, Jones contacted school officials. “One day I was this credible teacher that they looked up to and listened to,” says Jones. “The next day I was a slut to them. I had a student come in and say I cannot come into my classroom and learn because you had sex in here and you're a slut.”
Jones says she had to have a conversation with the 15-year-old students in her class to clear her name -- telling them she did not have an STD and does not sleep around.
“I don't teach elementary school. I teach high school,” says Jones. “These kids Google me. They see things. If it's on the Internet, it's real to them. They believe it.” Regardless of trying to clear her name, parents told Jones that they did not want their children in her class.
For the first time, Jones and the man responsible for TheDirty.com, Nik Richie, come face to face on “Anderson.”
“Nik, why did you create a site that allows people to spread lies and hurts people?” asks Anderson.
“Here's the thing, Anderson. It's more than just lies. TheDirty.com is the first ever reality Internet site. Reality TV is so big, I thought of an idea like no one's doing reality Internet. Let me start the site.”
Richie continues, “It's not lies. What we do is we get posts from all over the world. In Sarah's case, she was a cheerleader. People were submitting pictures of her half naked as a cheerleader, and she was a teacher. And since then, I apologized to this girl. She just is constantly going on.”
Jones says this is the first time she had had any contact with him. “This is not a battle between me and him,” says Jones. “He didn't post me on there. But it's his website. The fact that someone can sleep at night and have a website that ruins people’s lives, I didn't ask for this. I'm not a celebrity… I'm 26 years old… and the fact that he can do this to people, it's completely delusional to me.”
Nik continues by comparing his website to that of a modern day library. “I'm just a librarian. You can't go after the person just because you don't like them.”
“First of all, Nik, my cousin's a librarian in Mississippi, and she will freak out that you are comparing yourself to a librarian,” says Anderson. “You're not a librarian, because librarians don't stack the shelves with porn and smut. And if they did, they would be fired.”
Jones’ complete conversation with Richie airs Thursday, November 10 on “Anderson.”