The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Court tosses libel verdict against gossip website

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Pinterest icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Associated Press
  • Sarah Jones

    Sarah Jones

CINCINNATI — A former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader should not have been allowed to sue an Arizona-based gossip website over online posts about her sexual history, an appeals court ruled Monday in a case watched closely by Internet giants including Google and Facebook.
The ruling from the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a Kentucky federal judge’s decision that allowed the cheerleader’s lawsuit to proceed and further strengthens broad immunities enjoyed by Internet providers for content posted by third parties.
Former Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones sued and its owner, Nik Richie, over graphic posts about her and her ex-husband’s sexual history. Jones said the posts were untrue and caused her severe mental anguish and embarrassment.
In July, federal Judge William Bertelsman rejected arguments from Richie’s attorneys that the publisher should be immune from lawsuit. .
In Monday’s ruling, a three-judge appeals panel said Bertelsman should have granted Richie immunity, citing the federal Communications Decency Act, a 1996 law that gives websites immunity from liability for content posted by users.
The posts about Jones were unrelated to a criminal case against her in which she was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old former student. Jones later pleaded guilty as part of a deal that allowed her to avoid jail time but prohibited her from teaching.
Jones, 29, and the student, now 19, say they’re in love and engaged to be married.

More Nation & World Headlines


HeraldNet Headlines

Top stories and breaking news updates


Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus