Nik Richie (born Hooman Karamian, February 12, 1979), is an American blogger, author, and Internet personality. Richie is best known as the founder of user-submitted gossip website TheDirty.com which he began in 2007 as DirtyScottsdale.com and ceased involvement with in April 2018.
February 12, 1979
|Known for||Gossip website TheDirty.com; reality TV appearances|
|Spouse(s)||Shayne Lamas (m. 2010–present)|
Richie founded the online gossip and "reality internet" website TheDirty.com. He began the site in March 2007 as DirtyScottsdale.com while living in Scottsdale, Arizona. At the time, Richie was working as a credit card processor but was unhappy with that job, so he began Dirtyscottsdale.com "to chronicle the nightlife of the 'cool kids' in the Arizona town."
The content on Dirtyscottsdale.com initially focused on Richie's personal criticism and lampooning of Scottsdale and its club scene, which he highlighted with "rudely captioned photos of drunk people, of breast jobs gone bad and so-called $30,000 millionaires showing off their cars, apartments and expensive jeans." The current version of TheDirty.com allows users to upload their own "dirt" which may include news, gossip, accusations, photos, videos, or text, and users can comment on posts submitted by others. Richie has described the decision to create Dirtyscottsdale.com "as a joke for me and my buddies. The word spread so quickly it got out of hand."
In the early days of Dirtyscottsdale.com, Richie's true identity was unknown. When the site began to receive more attention, Richie attempted to maintain his anonymity by giving media interviews in disguise, sometimes using a fake British accent, or sometimes appearing with his back to the camera. Using these methods Richie was able to keep his identity secret for 18 months.
Richie's anonymity ended on September 4, 2008 after he was arrested for DUI and reckless driving in Scottsdale. On the police report, Richie (then Karamian) described his occupation as "web site writer" and his employer as "Dirty Scottsdale". Ironically, prior to his arrest Richie included a section on Dirtyscottsdale.com which prominently featured mugshots of drivers arrested for DUI with a message warning, "Learn to laugh at yourself or DON'T DO STUPID SHIT LOVERS!!!" Once news of his arrest surfaced, Richie publicly "outed" himself and admitted his real identity with a post entitled "Is Hooman Karamian the Real Nik Richie?"
After losing his anonymity, Richie's public persona grew. In January 2009, Richie was named one of the "10 most fascinating people" by the Arizona Republic newspaper, behind other notable Arizonans such as Meghan McCain (daughter of U.S. Senator John McCain) and Stephenie Meyer, author of the vampire romance series of books and movies Twilight. In later interviews, Richie sought to defend his website on the basis that it helps hold people accountable: ""I think the site is changing lives; it holds people accountable for their actions," he says. "You do something stupid, it gets on the site and everyone calls you out for it, you don't do it again. You learn from it."
In May 2013, Richie released a tell-all memoir entitled Sex, Lies and The Dirty. In the book, Richie describes the origins of his website and shares several stories about his celebrity encounters along the way, including watching Lindsay Lohan snort a "line of cocaine off her wrist" in a nightclub bathroom.
In 2016, Richie changed the format of TheDirty from a "gossip" format to a more traditional celebrity news site.
In the debate, some have questioned whether the site is actually a public nuisance or a public forum. In 2009, the Arizona Republic newspaper observed, "what makes him interesting is that his site has prompted a dialogue about public and private space and about what is and is not celebrity."
In November 2010, Richie was interviewed by Phil McGraw on an episode of Dr. Phil devoted to the subject of online bullying and gossip entitled "Dirt, Lies and the Internet.". McGraw questioned Richie about the morality of a website which allows users to openly bash each other with hurtful and profane comments, to which Richie responded that there is a marketplace for such a website. McGraw replied, "Well, there's a marketplace for heroin too, but that doesn't justify being a heroin addict." After the show aired, viewers posted more than 700 comments about the program on McGraw's website.
In November 2011, Richie was interviewed by talk show host Anderson Cooper in an episode during which he was confronted by Sarah Jones, the former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and high school teacher who, at the time, was suing Richie for defamation. Richie was featured in a second interview with Anderson Cooper which aired in January 2012.
In the fall of 2012, Richie and his wife were featured on Season 2 of VH1 reality show Couples Therapy along with several other couples. During the season, Richie frequently clashed with actor Doug Hutchison over his marriage to then 16 year-old Courtney Stodden, once referring to 52 year-old Hutchison as a "child molester". In the season's final episode, Richie and Lamas renewed their wedding vows in a televised ceremony.
In March 2017, television and film production company Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films announced it was developing a new untitled scripted TV series based on Richie's 2013 Memoir, Sex, Lies And The Dirty. No release date has been announced for the show which will include "a pilot based on true events."
Richie is married to actress and reality TV star Shayne Lamas. The pair met during a vacation to Las Vegas and were married on April 18, 2010 at the Little White Wedding Chapel 8 hours after the couple first met. On November 11, 2011, Lamas and Richie welcomed their first child, a daughter named Press Dahl Lamas-Richie. On January 19, 2014, Richie confirmed that Shayne was pregnant with their second child. On February 10, 2014, Shayne suffered a complication which caused doctors to terminate the pregnancy for the sake of Shayne's life after she was hospitalized with serious internal bleeding.
On March 13, 2013, Richie's wife Shayne was hospitalized citing "marital stress" allegedly caused by Richie's "non-stop partying". Richie released a photo of his wife in the hospital on Instagram, but has offered no details about the incident except a short apology posted on Twitter, stating "my personal life is a mess."
Richie's second child, a son named Lyon Lamas-Richie was born via surrogate on July 4, 2015.
Nik Richie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015. 
Although much of the content on TheDirty.com involves non-celebrities, since 2007 the site has been involved in breaking several national news stories, some featuring Richie himself. These stories include:
- In March 2019, Richie confirmed in a story published by The New Yorker that he previously provided Fox News with information regarding an alleged affair between President Donald Trump and adult film star Stormy Daniels, which Fox declined to publish in an attempt to help Trump's candidacy. According to his statement: "Richie told me, 'Fox News was culpable. I voted for Trump, and I like Fox, but they did their own ‘catch and kill’ on the story to protect him.” Richie also expressed his belief that the story “would have swayed the election.”
- In January 2018, Richie spoke out in support of actress Nicole Eggert after she accused her Charles in Charge co-star Scott Baio of engaging in "inappropriate sexual behavior" with her at a time when she was 14 and Baio was "in his 20s". Eggert discussed and appeared to confirm the alleged misconduct during a 2013 video interview on Richie's podcast Nik Richie Radio. Richie subsequently provided a statement to NBC's Megyn Kelly confirming that after interviewing Eggert about the incident, "Nicole was distraught" and "she told me it was much worse than she described on air".
- In January 2018, Richie re-published a story he first broke in 2011 claiming that President Donald Trump had an affair in 2006 with porn star Stormy Daniels and that Trump subsequently paid Daniels $130,000 to keep silent shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Although Ms. Daniels later denied the affair, subsequent media reports "threw those denials into question". The Washington Post reported there was evidence to suggest the payment was made by Trump's personal lawyer, and that "the saga involving Stormy Daniels and Trump is getting more and more difficult to dismiss as tabloid trash with each passing day, and there's a serious case to be made that it's actually been under-covered.".
- In 2016, Richie published articles endorsing then-candidate Donald Trump for President of the United States.
- In April 2016, Richie ended up in tax court after the Internal Revenue Service claimed he owed $7,097 in unpaid federal income taxes from tax year 2011. According to Richie, he did not owe the tax because he did not receive any share of the profits from TheDirty.com in 2011. The tax court rejected Richie's argument and found the tax was due, even assuming Richie did not receive any share of TheDirty.com's profits that year. However, the court ruled partly in Richie's favor by finding that no penalties were due as Richie and his wife "acted in good faith and made a genuine effort to ascertain their tax liability correctly."
- In August 2015, Richie was sued by Dan Bilzerian for publishing a story that suggested a young woman contracted Chlamydia from Bilzerian following an encounter in New York in June, 2015. The lawsuit, which has been described as the "Battle of the Douches" remains pending as of January 2018.
- In March 2015, Richie published several explicit text messages between Indiana Democratic House of Representatives member Justin Moed and Sydney Leathers, the young woman previously involved in the Anthony Weiner sexting scandals. Moed later admitted his involvement with Leathers and apologized for his use of "poor judgment".
- In December 2014, Richie posted a video of "Instagram celebrity" Dan Bilzerian allegedly kicking a female clubgoer in the face during an altercation at LIV nightclub in Miami, Florida. The incident resulted in Bilzerian reportedly being banned from the nightclub "for life".
- In 2014, Richie ran a series of articles accusing Casper Smart, the boyfriend of singer/entertainer Jennifer Lopez, of cheating on her with a transgender bikini model named Sofie Vissa.
- In 2013, Richie published a story accusing former U.S. Congressman and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner of sending steamy photos/text messages to an unidentified woman. In response, Weiner confirmed that more sexually explicit text messages had been sent during his sexting scandal. Despite the admission, Weiner has stated that he will not withdraw from the race for mayor of New York City.
- In 2011, TheDirty.com published a nude self-portrait depicting Neal Schon, lead guitarist of the rock band Journey. Prior to the release of the photo, Schon reported "received menacing texts messages over the past couple weeks from a person he has never met, telling him that he was in possession of Neal's stolen phone and threatening to release the photos." The photo was later removed.
- In 2011, TheDirty.com published a story alleging that actor/director Ashton Kutcher cheated on his wife Demi Moore during a tryst at a San Diego hotel. On November 17, 2011, Moore released a statement announcing her intention to divorce Kutcher.
- In 2010, Arizona congressman Ben Quayle initially denied rumors that he was involved in creating posts on Dirtyscottsdale.com. Several weeks later, Quayle changed his story and admitted that he did write material for the site using the pseudonym "Brock Landers". Despite the admission, Quayle was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 2010.
- In 2009, TheDirty.com published several nearly-nude photos of Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean who had initially denied ever taking any such photos. The scandal eventually resulted in pageant owner Donald Trump terminating Prejean's contract thereby stripping her of her title as Miss California. At the time, Prejean was under significant scrutiny for her answer to a question during the Miss USA 2009 controversy in which she was asked whether states should legalize same-sex marriage. Prejean's answer—that marriage should be between a man and a woman—was viewed as a significant reason for her not winning the Miss USA crown.
- In October 2009, TheDirty.com posted a copy of a bad check allegedly written by NFL star Chad Johnson.
- In 2008, TheDirty.com published several embarrassing photos of NFL quarterback Matt Leinart partying with female college students. The event occurred while Richie was still anonymous, and the story resulted in widespread media exposure.
- In 2008, pictures of NBA star Kobe Bryant were posted on TheDirty.com with reports that he was involved in an extra-marital affair with a team cheerleader. Bryant's attorney sent a cease and desist letter demanding removal of the story, but Richie refused to comply with the demand.
Communications Decency Act immunityEdit
Nik Richie has been the subject of several lawsuits relating to material posted on TheDirty.com. Like operators of other blogs and websites which allow third party users to submit content, Richie has argued that he is protected from liability by a federal law called the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230(c), which provides: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." The CDA generally protects website owners and operators from most forms of liability; "Most courts have held that through these provisions, Congress granted interactive services of all types, including blogs, forums, and listservs, immunity from tort liability so long as the information is provided by a third party."
At least one federal court in Missouri has agreed with this argument, holding that a lawsuit against Richie was barred by the CDA. The case, S.C. v. Dirty World LLC, Case No. 11-CV-00392-DW (W.D. Mo. March 12, 2012), involved a post entitled "Dirty Church Girl" which was submitted to TheDirty.com by a third-party user. The young woman named in the post sued Richie for defamation and other claims, but the court held that Richie was entitled to immunity under the Communications Decency Act.
In another case, Sarah Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment Recordings, LLC, a federal court in Kentucky reached the opposite conclusion, finding that Richie was not entitled to immunity in a case arising from several posts about a Kentucky high school teacher and part-time cheerleader named Sarah Jones. The decision has been criticized by some legal experts who described the case as "a troubling and probably lawless ruling." The Citizen Media Law Project has posted a lengthy discussion of the case on its website, which, while describing thedirty.com as "a tasteless website," suggests the ruling could have a "chilling effect" for online speech.
The Jones civil case was heard by a Kentucky jury on January 22–25, 2013. After two days of deliberation, the jury was unable to reach a verdict. On January 25, 2013, the court found the jury was deadlocked resulting in a mistrial. Subsequent media reports explained that although the hung jury failed to reach a verdict, "Jurors did unanimously agree that thedirty.com's operator, Nik Richie, did not act with malice when he posted the submissions. That means jurors would not have awarded Jones any money had they all been able to agree that the posts were substantially false." However, on the question of whether Jones was defamed, the jury was deadlocked 9-1 in favor of Jones. A retrial was set for July 8, 2013.
Federal Judge William Bertelsman denied a request by Richie's attorneys to reconsider their argument that the website is protected under the Communications Decency Act (CDA). Richie's lawyers also asked the court to allow an immediate appeal rather than forcing them to defend the case a second time, but both were denied.
On July 11, 2013, after a two-day trial and 10–11 hours of deliberations, a jury of eight women and two men in Covington, Kentucky delivered a unanimous verdict in favor of Jones' claim of defamation. The jury awarded Jones $38,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 in punitive damages for a total award of $338,000.
On July 13, 2013, Richie released a statement on TheDirty.com responding directly to the Jones verdict. In his response, Richie's attorney argued that the judge's instructions to the jury were legally incorrect because they allowed the jury to treat Richie as the "publisher" of content submitted to his site by a third party—exactly the result prohibited by Section 230 of the CDA.
The main reason of the judge not allowing the CDA as a defense is believed to be the fact that Richie acts as an editor of all content posted on the website and often modifies or adds his own comments. Richie's attorney has responded to this argument claiming that Richie's actions as an editor are irrelevant to his eligibility for immunity.
On July 15, 2013, Richie filed a successful appeal before United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit held that the district court's "adoption or ratification test" was inconsistient with Section 230 immunity and ordered the case vacated and dismissed. Richie's opening brief in the appeal was filed on November 12, 2013.
The Jones case has been closely watched by the legal and reputation management industries as it could have major implications on how public forums post user submitted content. It is believed that the success of this lawsuit may open a flood of new lawsuits against TheDirty and other sites like it that hosts 3rd party content.
In addition to seeking dismissal of cases based on CDA immunity, Richie has raised other arguments. For example, on March 13, 2014, a federal court in Arkansas found that Richie was not subject to personal jurisdiction in that state because "posting defamatory material on the internet, standing alone, is insufficient to create personal jurisdiction over a defendant in the plaintiff's home state." On that basis, the court dismissed the case against Richie, who represented himself in the lawsuit without an attorney. Notably, the Kentucky district court reached the opposite conclusion in the Sarah Jones case, finding that Richie was subject to personal jurisdiction in that state.
- VegasSeven.com Interview with Nik Richie, July 1, 2010
- "Nik Richie". TMZ.cm.
- "Internet Blogger Nik Richie Announces Book Deal" (Press release). Nik Ritchie / PR Newswire via BizJournals.com. February 1, 2012.
- The Dirty Business: How Gossipmonger Nik Richie of TheDirty.com Stays Afloat
- Web sites put Scottsdale’s party life on display for all
- A Dirty Job: TheDirty.com Cases Show the Limits of CDA Section 230
- Exposing the trashy side of Scottsdale nightlife
- ABC 15 Interview May 31, 2007
- Fox10 Interview August 18, 2007
- Man behind thedirty.com gets DUI, sheds anonymity September 4, 2008
- The Dirt on The Dirty September 4, 2008
- "Is Hooman Karamian The Real Nik Richie?". Archived from the original on 2016-09-20. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
- Valley's 10 most fascinating people: Nik Richie
- January 9, 2009 Interview with Nik Richie
- Feral House - Sex, Lies and The Dirty
- Lindsay Lohan Snorted ‘Line Of Cocaine Off Her Wrist’ In Nightclub Bathroom, Blogger Nik Richie Claims In New, Tell-All Book
- Lindsay Lohan Coke Story Revealed In New Gossip Book: ‘Sex, Lies & The Dirty’
- What Happened To Nik Richie? 2018 Update
- Nik Richie Instagram
- Digital Dirt: Website Allows Easy Cyber Bullying
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
- "TheDirty.com: Public nuisance or a much needed public forum?". Archived from the original on 2014-01-04. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
- Valley’s10 most fascinating people
- Nik Richie of TheDirty On Dr. Phil Show
- "Bengals Cheerleader Confronts Website Owner for Defamation of Character". Archived from the original on 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
- Ben-Gal Sarah Jones on 20/20 Tonight
- Nik Richie and Shyane Lamas to Appear on 'Couples Therapy".
- Doug Hutchison, 52, labelled a 'child molester' on Couple's Therapy for marriage to teen bride Courtney Stodden
- Season 2, Ep. 10 'Dream Wedding'
- Nik and Shayne's Immaculate Reception
- Clip - David Tutera Unveiled - "Nik & Shayne's Immaculate Reception"
- Couples Therapy Casualty? Shayne Lamas Hospitalized, Marital Stress Over Nik Richie’s Non Stop Partying
- First Ever ‘Couples Therapy’ Reunion Special premieres Sep 3. Yes, Farrah’s in it. First Ever ‘Couples Therapy’ Reunion Special premieres Sep 3
- Emmett/Furla To Develop Series Based On ‘The Dirty’ Blogger Nik Richie
- 'Bachelor' Winner – Elopes in Vegas
- Shayne Lamas elopes with Nik Richie one day after meeting him in Las Vegas
- Shayne Lamas Births 11-11-11 Baby
- Brace Yourself World! Nik Richie And Shayne Lamas Expecting Baby Number Two
- Shayne Lamas In A Coma, Loses Baby
- 5 hours and counting
- Tweet after Hospital Stay
- Shayne Lamas and Husband Nik Richie Welcome Baby Boy Via Surrogate
- The Making of the Fox News White House
- I Stopped The Stormy Daniels Story At Fox News; Here's Why
- Scott Baio Responds After Nicole Eggert Says He Behaved Inappropriately with Her When She Was a Minor
- Regarding My Interview With Nicole Eggert
- Regarding My Interview With Nicole Eggert
- EXCLUSIVE: What Stormy Daniels Told TheDirty.Com About Her Affair With President Donald Trump
- WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump Cheats On His Wife Melania Trump While She Was Pregnant
- Donald Trump And The Porn Superstar
- Get Caught Up: Trump's Alleged Affair With Adult Film Star Stormy Daniels
- The case for taking the Trump-Stormy Daniels saga seriously
- Nik Richie Instagram
- TheDirty.com Editor Nik Richie Loses In Tax Court
- Nik Lamas-Richie v. Internal Revenue Service, Case No. 2016-63
- Dan Bilzerian Sues Website - I Don't Have Any STDs!!!
- Dan Bilzerian Sues Website for Comment Section STD Accusation
- Battle Of The Douches! Nik Richie Sued By Dan Bilzerian Over STD Story
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- Congressman Admits He’s Porn Star’s ‘Bitch Boy’ Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
- Sydney Leathers' 'Bitch Boy' Outed as Disgraced Indiana Congressman
- Politician Apologizes for 'Sexting' with Woman at Center of Weiner Scandal
- Maxim - Bilzerian Blows Up
- Original video of face-kicking incident
- 'King Of Instagram' Dan Bilzerian Banned For Life From Nightclub For Kicking A Woman In The Face
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- Weiner Remains In Mayoral Race
- Neal Schon Nude Photo: Relationship With Michaele Salahi Still Going Strong
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- Ben Quayle denies link to Dirty Scottsdale website
- Ben Quayle admits writing for ‘Dirty Scottsdale’ Website
- Quayle's ties to 'The Dirty' founder began in 2005
- Ben Quayle Elected to Congress in Arizona
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- Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Pics at TheDirty.com: The Future of Sports Media? Archived 2012-01-16 at the Wayback Machine
- The Dirty Players In The Game April 5,2008
- This Dirty Kobe Bryant Business
- Kobe's Beef Over "Dirty" Affair Allegations
- Cease and desist letter from Kobe's lawyers won't deter website
- "FAQ Page on TheDirty". Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- Legal Guide to Online Publisher Immunity
- TheDirty Gets Its First 47 USC 230 Win—S.C. v. Dirty World
- TheDirty Denied 47 USC 230 Immunity—Jones v. Dirty World
- Sixth Circuit's 'Dirty' Decision Sends a Chill
- Order Declaring Mistrial
- Mistrial in ex-cheerleader's lawsuit
- "Nik Richie Squares Off Again with Ex-NFL Cheerleader "Slutshamed" on his TheDirty.com". Archived from the original on 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
- https://www.scribd.com/doc/129184988/Sarah-Jones-v-Dirty-World-Renewed-Motion-for-Summary-Judgment Sarah Jones v. Dirty World – Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2013-07-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- https://www.scribd.com/doc/153968982/Sarah-Jones-v-Nik-Richie-Notice-of-Appeal Notice of Appeal
- https://www.scribd.com/doc/183679179/Sarah-Jones-v-Dirty-World-Opening-Appellate-Brief Opening Brief of Dirty World, LLC and Nik Lamas-Richie
- Hill, Kasmir Big Deal For Internet Law: Ex-Bengals Cheerleader Sarah Jones Wins Suit Against The Dirty Over 'Reputation-Ruining' Comments Forbes. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Zarokian, Pierre The Dirty Loses Reputation Management Lawsuit Search Engine Watch. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Order Granting Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction
- Nik Richie Represents Himself In Court, Wins Defamation Lawsuit
- Order Denying Motion to Dismiss