Does Nik Richie's new wife know about his legal bills?
Richie, founder of the Scottsdale-based thedirty.com Web site, lost a $1.5 million judgment last year for posting a La Porte, Texas, woman's picture with snide comments about her herpes infection.
More lawsuits could be on the way, one Canadian magazine reports today.
Reality star Shayne Lamas better have signed a prenup with Richie -- whose real name is Hooman Karamian -- before getting hitched in Vegas last week, unless she's always wanted to visit bankruptcy court.
Court records from Harris County, Texas, show Richie's company, Dirty World and Richie himself were ordered to pay $750,000 each to the woman in La Porte, near Houston.
On February 5, 2009, TheDirty published the woman's picture above the following comments:
It turned out the woman really did have herpes. Naturally, she was mortified after learning of the Web post.
Her sister contacted Richie that day and asked him to take it down, court records state.
But the post stayed up. The woman in the photo, (New Times is withholding her name to avoid re-Dirtying her), then contacted Richie and asked him to remove the post.
"The (sic) wasn't the right way to ask. sue me," Richie responded by e-mail, records state.
Richie deleted the post 18 days later -- once he realized the woman had obtained a lawyer. She sued in May 2009 for Public Disclosure of Private Facts and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.
A judge ruled against Richie in October, stating that the post was "not of legitimate public concern," and that he had acted with malice.
A tip of the hat to the Web site, spursfansays.com, which posted some of the court documents today. The original court filing received some media attention, but this is the first we'd heard of a ruling in the case.
In searching for more info, we came across this article by the Vancouver Sun, which details similar instances in which Richie's site exploited average folks for cheap laughs. Here's a sample:
Rosalie Plowman, a Vancouver mom, said she is planning to take legal action against TheDirty.com.
Plowman claims the website posted photos of family members, including her 10-year-old daughter, and ran derogatory comments about her daughter's weight.
Plowman said she sent an e-mail to the site, asking that the postings be removed, but she has not heard back.
"I feel like my whole family is under fire and being attacked, and people can attack us anonymously."
Sounds like Richie could end up paying for the 10-year-old's college tuition.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.