You may remember when the Cincinnati Bengals Ben-Gals cheerleader squad modeled some swimsuits earlier in the summer -- I know I do -- among the women that day was Sarah Jones (left).
On Thursday, Jones received an $11 million judgement after she sued thedirty.com for libel and defamation after they posted that she was having affairs with several of the Bengals players and had two venereal diseases. The ruling awarded her $1 million for compensatory damages and another $10 million for punitive damages.
Whether or not she'll ever receive the money is a bigger issue as thedirty's lawyers insist that their disclaimer on the site -- "Postings may contain erroneous or inaccurate information. All images are credited to their original location. The owner of this site does not ensure the accuracy of any content presented on TheDirty.com." -- absolves them of any responsibility. Of course, if that disclaimer DOES absolve them, it means the website, or any similar one, can just post ANY scurrilous rumor, negatively affecting others without any ramification whatsoever, something that seems unlikely.
Jones meanwhile found herself in hot water with the Bengals, who have strict rules about cheerleaders "fraternizing" with the players, not to mention the wives of the players who were supposedly having affairs with her. In addition to her duties as a Ben-Gal, Jones also teaches at a high school and after the allegations came out the school had to shut down access to thedirty from the school's Internet.
The rumors forced Jones to have to explain to all her friends and colleagues that what was said was NOT true but in the meantime it drastically altered her life and made everything more difficult.
"It’s not about the money," said Jones’ mother, Cheryl Jones. "It is about personal and professional reputation totally being tainted by somebody’s nasty hateful comments that were not true."