A sports celebrity who anonymously sued a woman he claimed was threatening to release a tape of them having sex unless he paid her $2.5 million won a round in court when a judge issued a permanent injunction barring distribution of the tape and directed the woman to pay the plaintiff $50,000 in attorneys’ fees.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Rico’s April 4 injunction applies to the defendant, Elizabeth Ruiz, her former attorney and a sex tape broker. All three are barred from allowing anyone to view the tape or duplicating it. The judge also directed that a copy of the tape that Ruiz delivered to his courtroom Dec. 9 under seal as per a previous court order be destroyed.
The plaintiff filed the suit anonymously on Nov. 8, using the moniker “Doe,” but he has been identified in a variety of publications — including TMZ.com, Forbes and Maxim — and by Colorado media outlets as Denver Broncos star linebacker Von Miller, 28.
A celebrity website turned down Ruiz’s offer to sell them the tape, according to the suit, which stated Doe “has worked hard his entire life to hone his skills and become one of the most talented people in the United States and the world.”
He also has received many honors and accolades and “is widely recognized as the world’s best at his job,” according to his court papers, which state that his ability to benefit from his fame “depends on the appeal of his persona to many different people … including families and children.”
“He cannot count on this appeal if Ruiz exposes images of him in the most intimate of physical acts between a man and a woman, done in private and intended to remain private,” his court papers stated.
Ruiz has said that “she wants to be the next Kim Kardashian” and hopes to be catapulted to fame and fortune with the sex tape at Doe’s expense, the suit alleges. Kardashian herself was the subject of a sex tape with former boyfriend Ray J.
Doe and Ruiz met in Cancun in June and she used her cell phone to record the two of them having sex, but “agreed that she would keep the recording private,” the suit alleged.
Ruiz responded “gotcha” when he reminded her after they returned to the United States that he wanted the recording destroyed, the suit alleged.
But in September, a “noted” sex tape broker told Doe’s lawyer that Ruiz desired the broker’s assistance in selling the video, the suit alleged. The next month, an attorney for Ruiz told Doe’s lawyer that the defendant wanted the plaintiff to buy the tape, or else she would “reserve her right to exploit the recording,” the complaint alleged.
Ruiz’s attorney said his client had shown the tape to him, her mother and the sex tape broker, according to the suit.
Another of Doe’s lawyers contacted Ruiz’s attorney and the latter said that regardless of the law, Ruiz wanted $2.5 million from Doe or she would release the recording, the suit alleges.
The plaintiff claims Ruiz’s lawyer called his client “unpredictable” and said she “may do anything with the recording if she does not get $2.5 million.” Ruiz’s attorney also said there was a copy of the sex tape he made on an external thumb drive, the suit alleged.
Doe’s lawyer, after learning that Ruiz had subsequently fired her attorney, sent a letter to her on Oct. 30 reminding her that his client does not consent to the release of the tape, according to the lawsuit.
On March 10, the plaintiff filed another lawsuit against Ruiz and her former attorney, seeking $1 million in damages. The case alleges extortion and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.