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Former Scottsdale blogger fights cheerleader's libel suit

This Monday, July 30, 2012 file photo shows Sarah Jones, a former Dixie Heights High School teacher and Cincinnati Ben-Gal cheerleader, arriving at the Kenton County Justice Center, in Covington, Ky. Jones, who was convicted of having sex with her 17-year-old student three months ago, is suing a controversial Scottsdale, Ariz.-based gossip website and its owner over lewd comments made about her online long before any accusations involving the teenager surfaced. (AP Photo/The Enquirer, Patrick Reddy, File

COVINGTON, Ky. -- A website operator is defending himself against a defamation lawsuit by arguing that a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader who slept with her underage student is a public figure.

Nik Richie, of Orange County, Calif., is being sued over two posts in 2009 on his website thedirty.com about former Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones.

The site was founded in Scottsdale in 2007.

Richie testified in a northern Kentucky courtroom Wednesday that Jones' appearances on national television and at community events made her a public figure. Public figures trying prove defamation have a higher burden than those who aren't in the public eye.

The posts in question weren't related to her relationship with the teen. Jones pleaded guilty in October to having sex with the teen and avoided jail time. The two are still together.

She is seeking $11 million as part of her defamation lawsuit against Richie.

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