Ex-Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader suing site for libel
- By Marc Sessler
- Updated: Jan. 24, 2013 at 09:54 p.m.
A former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader has taken her libel battle against an online gossip website to court.
The attorney for Sarah Jones -- who admitted to having sex with an underage student as an English teacher at a Kentucky high school -- urged jurors Thursday in Covington, Ky., to rule in favor of the former Ben-Gal and against the website, thedirty.com, according to The Associated Press.
Attorney Eric Deters asked jurors to "do something big today," arguing a Jones victory would embolden the fight against Internet defamation.
Lawyers for thedirty.com have countered by saying the site's online stories about Jones, who seeks $11 million in damages, do not qualify as defamation because Jones is a public figure. They claim the posts were basically accurate because Jones is "sexually immoral."
Deters seeks damages awarded for online stories published between 2009 and February 2011, when Jones, 27, owned up in a criminal trial to having a relationship with a 17-year-old student. Jones and the student, Cody York, told NBC's "Dateline" in October that they're in love.
"I fell in love with you a long time ago," Jones texted the teen in November 2011, per The AP. "I knew when I saw you we'd be together, freshman year. It's weird because you were like, 14, and I was like, 22. ... It was love at first sight."
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