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Nevada Supreme Court sides with Dana White in sex-tape legal battle

Updated March 22, 2022 - 6:47 am

The Nevada Supreme Court has refused to get involved in the legal battle between UFC President Dana White and a man convicted of trying to extort him in a sex-tape scandal.

Without holding a hearing, a three-justice panel upheld a lower court’s dismissal of the lawsuit Ernesto Joshua Ramos filed against the politically-connected White.

“Ramos fails to identify anything specifically that the district court inappropriately relied on in making its determination,” the justices wrote in a five-page opinion.

Attorney Ian Christopherson, who represents Ramos, said Monday he will seek a review of the case by the entire Supreme Court.

“I’m shocked that the Supreme Court gave Mr. White a pass on this, and I will ask the whole court to look at the panel’s decision,” Christopherson said.

White’s lawyer Don Campbell did not respond to a request for comment.

The 45-year-old Ramos, a Las Vegas real estate agent and personal trainer, filed the suit in April 2020 after he had served a 366-day federal prison term for the extortion attempt. He revealed White in the suit as the victim and accused him of reneging on a deal to pay him $450,000 to keep White’s name secret after the criminal case closed.

The federal judge overseeing the criminal case in 2015 had ordered prosecutors, defense lawyers and Ramos not to reveal White’s identity while the case was open. White, 52, runs the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world. He has prominent Republican connections and is widely known in the professional sports world.

Ramos had 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. He was accused of demanding $200,000 from White.

The girlfriend, who recorded the sexual encounter with her cellphone, was a Las Vegas stripper at the time.

Ramos later contended in the lawsuit that he did not try to extort White, and the cash agreement was used to entice him into pleading guilty.

But White’s lawyers argued there was no deal, and District Judge David Jones ruled in White’s favor and dismissed the lawsuit last year.

The lawyers called the suit a “smear” effort and a new attempt to extort money from White through the court system.

In its decision, the Supreme Court panel also concluded that Ramos did not have a valid contract with White to compensate him in return for his silence.

Ramos had appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.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.

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