Cheerleader's suit against TheDirty.com to go forward - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Cheerleader's suit against TheDirty.com to go forward

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PHOENIX -

A former NFL cheerleader has pleaded guilty to having sex with a student at a school where she taught in Kentucky.

The plea deal means she avoids jail time, but her multi-million dollar lawsuit against valley-based gossip web site TheDirty.com is still moving forward.

The attorney for the former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones says today's plea has nothing to do with the lawsuit against TheDirty.com.

He claims the website tarnished her reputation years before she did.

Monday, former Bengals cheerleader pleaded guilty to reduced sexual misconduct charges and admitted to having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.

Her attorney says she was happy and relieved.

"It was a great deal, she's walking out of there without a felony because it's diversion, no jail time, no sex registration, text messages stay sealed," attorney Erik Deters told us by phone.

Now that that case is over, Jones' $11 million lawsuit against Scottsdale-based TheDirty.com, a controversial gossip website, will go to trial in January.

The lawsuit accuses the website and its owner, Nik Richie, of defamation following a 2009 posting claiming she had STDs.

"Our game plan has not changed at all. We feel like the libel and slander of the world knowing she had gonorrhea, Chlamydia and had sex with all the Bengals players that that is so bad, she's entitled to compensatory and punitive damages and it has absolutely nothing to do with this."

Nik Richie did not respond to our request for comment but on Twitter acknowledged the lawsuit saying, "Sarah Jones just filed with the Judge that she is moving forward with her 11 million dollar lawsuit against me for impugning her character."

Jones' attorney admits the former cheerleader's reputation is damaged now, but says it wasn't prior to TheDirty.com posting 3 years ago.

"We're not going to overplay our cards. We're going to walk in the courtroom and say ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this is outrageous what happened to her and the fact this happened 2 years after irrelevant," said Deters. "I still am very confident of winning it big."

Jones' attorney says the student the former cheerleader admitted to having a relationship with is now 18. He confirmed the two walked out of court, holding hands.

They're set to appear on some network talk shows later this month.

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