A legal battle between UFC President Dana White and a man convicted of trying to extort him in a sex-tape scandal is now playing out in the state’s highest court.
Both sides have filed briefs with the Nevada Supreme Court and are waiting to hear whether a hearing will be held.
White’s identity as the extortion victim was kept secret by a court order in the federal case against Ernesto Joshua Ramos for several years.
White, 52, runs the Las Vegas-based Ultimate Fighting Championship, the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world.
Ramos, a 44-year-old real estate agent and personal trainer, pleaded guilty to threatening to make public tapes of his girlfriend having sex with White in their hotel room during a UFC event in Brazil in October 2014. The girlfriend, who recorded the sexual encounter with her cellphone, was a Las Vegas stripper at the time.
After Ramos completed a year-long prison term and supervised release for the $200,000 extortion attempt, he outed White in a lawsuit last year.
Ramos accused the politically connected White of breaking a deal to pay him $450,000 to continue to keep White’s name secret after the criminal case closed.
Ramos contended he did not try to extort White and the cash agreement was used to entice him into pleading guilty.
White’s lawyers argued there was no deal, and a Clark County district judge sided with them and dismissed the lawsuit. The lawyers called the suit a “smear” effort and a new attempt to extort money from White through the court system.
Ramos appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.
Contact Jeff German at email@example.com or 702-380-4564. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter. German is a member of the Review-Journal’s investigative team, focusing on reporting that holds leaders and agencies accountable and exposes wrongdoing. Support our journalism.