Nik Richie

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Nik Lamas-Richie
Born Hooman Karamian
(1979-02-12) February 12, 1979 (age 38)
Occupation blogger, writer
Years active 2007–present
Known for Gossip website
Spouse(s) Shayne Lamas (m. 2010–present)
Children 2

Nik Richie (born Hooman Karamian,[1] February 12, 1979),[2] previously known as Corbin Grimes,[2] is an American blogger, author,[3] and Internet personality.[2] Richie is best known for his user-submitted gossip website which he began in 2007 as


Richie is the founder and contributing editor of the online gossip and "reality internet" website He began the site in March 2007 as while living in Scottsdale, Arizona.[1] At the time, Richie was working as a credit card processor but was unhappy with that job, so he began "to chronicle the nightlife of the 'cool kids' in the Arizona town."[4]

The content on 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."[5] The current version of 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.[6] Richie has described the decision to create "as a joke for me and my buddies. The word spread so quickly it got out of hand."[7]

Anonymity lost in 2008[edit]

In the early days of, 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,[8] or sometimes appearing with his back to the camera.[9] 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".[10] Ironically, prior to his arrest Richie included a section on 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!!!"[11] 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?"[12]


Many have criticized Richie for the harsh comments frequently posted on his site, suggesting that the site encourages cyber bullying[13] and slut shaming.[14] Other critics have suggested that Nik Richie and his website could potentially ruin someone's life, career or reputation while also pointing out the website'a complete lack of validity.[15]

Richie seldom honors requests to remove content from, even though the site offers a removal request page.[16][17] Some reputation management firms offer removal services for[18]

In the debate, some have questioned whether the site is actually a public nuisance or a public forum.[19] As interest in the site continued to grow, Richie was named one of the 10 most fascinating people by the Arizona Republic newspaper which noted, "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."[20]

TV appearances[edit]

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.".[21][22] 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."[22] 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.[23] Richie was featured in a second interview with Anderson Cooper which aired in January 2012.

In June 2011, ABC News program 20/20 ran a story about Richie and his legal battle with Sarah Jones.[24][25]

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.[26] 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".[27] In the season's final episode, Richie and Lamas renewed their wedding vows in a televised ceremony.[28]

In 2013, wedding planner David Tutera threw a belated wedding reception for Richie and Lamas which was filmed as part of Tutera's reality TV series, David Tutera: Unveiled.[29][30]

Despite rumors that the couple may be headed for divorce,[31] Richie and Lamas appeared together in a Couples Therapy "Reunion Special" which aired in 2014.[32]

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.[33] No release date has been announced for the show which will include "a pilot based on true events."

Personal life[edit]

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[34] 8 hours after the couple first met.[35] On November 11, 2011, Lamas and Richie welcomed their first child, a daughter named Press Dahl Lamas-Richie.[36] On January 19, 2014, Richie confirmed that Shayne was pregnant with their second child.[37] 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.[38]

On March 13, 2013, Richie's wife Shayne was hospitalized citing "marital stress" allegedly caused by Richie's "non-stop partying".[39][40] Richie released a photo of his wife in the hospital on Instagram,[41] but has offered no details about the incident except a short apology posted on Twitter, stating "my personal life is a mess."[42]

Richie's second child, a son named Lyon Lamas-Richie was born via surrogate on July 4, 2015.[43]

News events[edit]

Although much of the content on involves non-celebrities, since 2007 the site has been involved in breaking several national news stories. These stories include:

  • In 2008, pictures of NBA star Kobe Bryant were posted on with reports that he was involved in an extra-marital affair with a team cheerleader.[44] Bryant's attorney sent a cease and desist letter demanding removal of the story,[45] but Richie refused to comply with the demand.[46]
  • In 2008, published several embarrassing photos of NFL quarterback Matt Leinart partying with female college students.[47] The event occurred while Richie was still anonymous, and the story resulted in widespread media exposure.[48]
  • In October 2009, posted a copy of a bad check allegedly written by NFL star Chad Johnson.[49]
  • In 2009, published several nearly-nude photos of Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean who had initially denied ever taking any such photos.[50] 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.[51]
  • In 2010, Arizona congressman Ben Quayle initially denied rumors that he was involved in creating posts on[52] Several weeks later, Quayle changed his story and admitted that he did write material for the site using the pseudonym "Brock Landers".[53][54] Despite the admission, Quayle was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 2010.[55]
  • In 2011, 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.[56]
  • In 2011, 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."[57] The photo was later removed.
  • In 2013, Richie published a story[58] 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.[59][60][61] Despite the admission, Weiner has stated that he will not withdraw from the race for mayor of New York City.[62]
  • In 2014, Richie ran a series of articles[63] accusing Casper Smart, the boyfriend of singer/entertainer Jennifer Lopez, of cheating on her with a transgender bikini model named Sofie Vissa.[64]
  • 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.[65][66] The incident resulted in Bilzerian reportedly being banned from the nightclub "for life".[67]
  • 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.[68] Moed later admitted his involvement with Leathers and apologized for his use of "poor judgment".[69][70][71]


Communications Decency Act immunity[edit]

Nik Richie has been the subject of several lawsuits relating to material posted on 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."[72] 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."[73]

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 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.[74]

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."[75] The Citizen Media Law Project has posted a lengthy discussion of the case on its website, which, while describing as "a tasteless website," suggests the ruling could have a "chilling effect" for online speech.[76]

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.[77] Subsequent media reports explained that although the hung jury failed to reach a verdict, "Jurors did unanimously agree that'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."[78] However, on the question of whether Jones was defamed, the jury was deadlocked 9-1 in favor of Jones.[79] A retrial was set for July 8, 2013.[80]

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.[81]

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.[82] The jury awarded Jones $38,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 in punitive damages for a total award of $338,000.[83]

On July 13, 2013, Richie released a statement on responding directly to the Jones verdict.[84] 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.[85]

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.[86] Richie's opening brief in the appeal was filed on November 12, 2013.[87][88]

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.[89] 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.[90]

Personal jurisdiction[edit]

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."[91] On that basis, the court dismissed the case against Richie, who represented himself in the lawsuit without an attorney.[92] 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.[93]


  1. ^ a b Interview with Nik Richie, July 1, 2010
  2. ^ a b c "Nik Richie". 
  3. ^ "Internet Blogger Nik Richie Announces Book Deal" (Press release). Nik Ritchie / PR Newswire via February 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ The Dirty Business: How Gossipmonger Nik Richie of Stays Afloat
  5. ^ Web sites put Scottsdale’s party life on display for all
  6. ^ A Dirty Job: Cases Show the Limits of CDA Section 230
  7. ^ Exposing the trashy side of Scottsdale nightlife
  8. ^ ABC 15 Interview May 31, 2007
  9. ^ Fox10 Interview August 18, 2007
  10. ^ Man behind gets DUI, sheds anonymity September 4, 2008
  11. ^ The Dirt on The Dirty September 4, 2008
  12. ^ Is Hooman Karamian The Real Nik Richie?
  13. ^ Digital Dirt: Website Allows Easy Cyber Bullying
  14. ^ Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  15. ^ Dirty Business with Nik Lamas-Richie
  16. ^
  17. ^ will seldom remove posts
  18. ^ Zarokian, Pierre (July 10, 2013). Search Engine Watch. The Dirty Lawsuit Could be First of its Kind in Reputation Management Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  19. ^ Public nuisance or a much needed public forum?
  20. ^ Valley’s10 most fascinating people
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b Nik Richie of TheDirty On Dr. Phil Show
  23. ^ Bengals Cheerleader Confronts Website Owner for Defamation of Character
  24. ^ Ben-Gal Sarah Jones on 20/20 Tonight
  25. ^
  26. ^ Nik Richie and Shyane Lamas to Appear on 'Couples Therapy".
  27. ^ Doug Hutchison, 52, labelled a 'child molester' on Couple's Therapy for marriage to teen bride Courtney Stodden
  28. ^ Season 2, Ep. 10 'Dream Wedding'
  29. ^ Nik and Shayne's Immaculate Reception
  30. ^ Clip - David Tutera Unveiled - "Nik & Shayne's Immaculate Reception"
  31. ^ Couples Therapy Casualty? Shayne Lamas Hospitalized, Marital Stress Over Nik Richie’s Non Stop Partying
  32. ^ First Ever ‘Couples Therapy’ Reunion Special premieres Sep 3. Yes, Farrah’s in it. First Ever ‘Couples Therapy’ Reunion Special premieres Sep 3
  33. ^ Emmett/Furla To Develop Series Based On ‘The Dirty’ Blogger Nik Richie
  34. ^ 'Bachelor' Winner – Elopes in Vegas
  35. ^ Shayne Lamas elopes with Nik Richie one day after meeting him in Las Vegas
  36. ^ Shayne Lamas Births 11-11-11 Baby
  37. ^ Brace Yourself World! Nik Richie And Shayne Lamas Expecting Baby Number Two
  38. ^ Shayne Lamas In A Coma, Loses Baby
  39. ^ Couples Therapy Casualty? Shayne Lamas Hospitalized, Marital Stress Over Nik Richie’s Non Stop Partying
  40. ^ [1]
  41. ^ 5 hours and counting
  42. ^ Tweet after Hospital Stay
  43. ^ Shayne Lamas and Husband Nik Richie Welcome Baby Boy Via Surrogate
  44. ^ This Dirty Kobe Bryant Business
  45. ^ Kobe's Beef Over "Dirty" Affair Allegations
  46. ^ Cease and desist letter from Kobe's lawyers won't deter website
  47. ^ Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Pics at The Future of Sports Media?
  48. ^ The Dirty Players In The Game April 5,2008
  49. ^ [2]
  50. ^ Miller, Korin (May 7, 2009). "Miss California Miss USA Carrie Prejean may lose her title over little white lie, nudie pics". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 7, 2009. 
  51. ^ "Gay marriage row at Miss USA show". BBC News. April 20, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  52. ^ Ben Quayle denies link to Dirty Scottsdale website
  53. ^ Ben Quayle admits writing for ‘Dirty Scottsdale’ Website
  54. ^ Quayle's ties to 'The Dirty' founder began in 2005
  55. ^ Ben Quayle Elected to Congress in Arizona
  56. ^ "Demi Moore announces plans to end her 6-year marriage to Ashton Kutcher". The Washington Post. Associated Press. November 17, 2011. [dead link]
  57. ^ Neal Schon Nude Photo: Relationship With Michaele Salahi Still Going Strong
  58. ^
  59. ^ Fox News Insider (July 23, 2013). "At It Again? Weiner Confirms New Explicit Photos, Texts to ... Not His Wife". Fox News. 
  60. ^ Phillip, Abby D. (July 23, 2013). "Anthony Weiner Acknowledges Previously Undisclosed Sexting". ABC News. 
  61. ^ Moore, Martha T. (July 23, 2013). "Weiner still in NYC race despite improper messages". USA Today. 
  62. ^ Weiner Remains In Mayoral Race
  63. ^
  64. ^ New York Daily News (May 28, 2014). "Jennifer Lopez's boyfriend Casper Smart lands in transgendered woman's online flirtation story". Fox News. 
  65. ^ Maxim - Bilzerian Blows Up
  66. ^ Original video of face-kicking incident
  67. ^ 'King Of Instagram' Dan Bilzerian Banned For Life From Nightclub For Kicking A Woman In The Face
  68. ^ - 50 Shades of Moed
  69. ^ Congressman Admits He’s Porn Star’s ‘Bitch Boy’
  70. ^ Sydney Leathers' 'Bitch Boy' Outed as Disgraced Indiana Congressman
  71. ^ Politician Apologizes for 'Sexting' with Woman at Center of Weiner Scandal
  72. ^ FAQ Page on TheDirty
  73. ^ Legal Guide to Online Publisher Immunity
  74. ^ TheDirty Gets Its First 47 USC 230 Win—S.C. v. Dirty World
  75. ^ TheDirty Denied 47 USC 230 Immunity—Jones v. Dirty World
  76. ^ Sixth Circuit's 'Dirty' Decision Sends a Chill
  77. ^ Order Declaring Mistrial
  78. ^ Mistrial in ex-cheerleader's lawsuit
  79. ^ [3]
  80. ^ Nik Richie Squares Off Again with Ex-NFL Cheerleader "Slutshamed" on his
  81. ^ Sarah Jones v. Dirty World – Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment
  82. ^ Hannah, Jim (July 11, 2013). "Former Bengals cheerleader awarded $338,000 in defamation lawsuit". USA Today. 
  83. ^
  84. ^’s Official Response To Sarah Jones Verdict
  85. ^
  86. ^ Notice of Appeal
  87. ^ Opening Brief of Dirty World, LLC and Nik Lamas-Richie
  88. ^
  89. ^ 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.
  90. ^ Zarokian, Pierre The Dirty Loses Reputation Management Lawsuit Search Engine Watch. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  91. ^ Order Granting Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction
  92. ^ Nik Richie Represents Himself In Court, Wins Defamation Lawsuit
  93. ^ Order Denying Motion to Dismiss