A former cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals has trudged a long road in her defamation case against gossip site TheDirty.com, but now a verdict could be just days or even hours away.
Sarah Jones, who is also a former teacher, sued the website over two posts it published in 2009. Both posts were written anonymously to one of the website’s operators.
The first post, published on October 27, 2009, claimed that Jones had “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!”
The second post, published on December 7, 2009, claimed that Jones’s ex-husband Nathan Wilburn “cheated on her with over 50 girls in 4 yrs,” and that “in that time he tested positive for Chlamydia Infection and Gonorrhea ... so im sure Sarah also has both.”
Jones: Conduct was “cyberbullying”
Jones says both posts were false, and in testimony on Monday she called TheDirty’s conduct “cyberbullying.”
"I don't believe what the website does is fair. I don't believe it is right," Jones said.
This is the not the first time the case has gone to trial. In January, a judge declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict regarding whether the posts in question were substantially false.
And before that, Jones won an $11 million default judgment in 2010 after the named defendant failed to respond to her complaint. Unfortunately, Jones and her lawyer later learned that they had sued the wrong defendant, serving Dirty World Entertainment Recordings LLC (owner of TheDirt.com), rather than Dirty World LLC (owner of TheDirty.com).
Engaged to formerly underaged student
Jones has also had her day in criminal court. In October, she pled guilty to charges that she slept with one of her former students. The student, Cody York, was underaged at the time their relationship began.
In June, Jones and York, now 19, announced they are engaged.
Despite her criminal conviction and the complications that have arisen in her civil case, Jones is considering entering the legal profession herself. Last fall, The Washington Post reported that Jones was “working as a legal assistant in [her lawyer Eric Deters’s] office.”
“Jones has expressed interest in becoming a lawyer and is studying to take the Law School Admission Test [LSAT],” the Post said.