Double whammy for Dana White: After sex extortion case, UFC 249 postponed due to coronavirus
It was alleged that White had offered Ramos to plead guilty and not divulge his name in the $200,000 sex extortion case
Dana White, the UFC President, was slapped with a lawsuit on Friday, April 3, that named him as a victim in a whopping $200,000 sex-tape extortion case.
According to Las Vegas Review-Journal, the suit was filed by Ernesto Joshua Ramos at the Clark County District Court. Ramos, 42, who works as a real estate agent and personal trainer, had pleaded guilty in federal court for extortion and served 366 days in prison. He accused White in his suit for breaking a deal in April 206, one that would have fetched him $450,000 for not disclosing White's name publicly in the case.
White also announced the cancellation of UFC 249 on Thursday, April 9, after he received calls from ESPN'S parent company, Disney. According to New York Post, "ESPN has been very, very good to us,” White said, “and the powers that be there told me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday."
The UFC Prez also told ESPN that All UFC events are postponed indefinitely due to coronavirus. "ESPN has been in constant contact with the UFC regarding UFC 249,” the network said in a statement. “Nobody wants to see sports return more than we do, but we didn’t feel this was the right time for a variety of reasons. ESPN expressed its concerns to the UFC and they understood."
UFC 249 was slated for next Saturday, April 18, at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort outside of Fresno, California.
Here's a quick backstory of the events that unfolded
Ramos was arrested in 2015 in Las Vegas by the FBI. He was charged after attempting to extort $200,000 from White. The UFC head honcho's name was withheld from the criminal case after a federal magistrate judge signed an order that would prohibit details about White, which includes his name, company or initials. He was identified as an "unnamed businessman". White was alleged to have had sex with an adult nightclub dancer in Brazil at a UFC event.
The dancer was Ramos' live-in girlfriend and she allegedly taped herself and White as they had sex in their hotel room. White was married at that time and had been seeing the stripper at the club and was paying her huge sums of money. As per court papers, it was the woman who took the first step as she initiated sex in April 2014, following which the duo had no contact till October that year. Over the next couple of years, the site reported, White had nearly tipped her close to $200,000 and usually $10,000 per visit for her to dance and have sex with him.
White started receiving texts from someone (later identified as Ramos) claiming that he had sex with his girlfriend. In December, he attached a two-second video clip of the two having sex. Following this, he also threatened to tell White's wife about the affair.
The suit was filed by Ramos' attorney, Ian Christopherson who claimed that White and his lawyers offered Ramos money to plead guilty in court, but after that, they never held up their end of the bargain. Ramos tried to withdraw his guilty plea, but was denied in a hearing by US District Judge Gloria Navarro and was later upheld in a federal appeal.
The suit read: "The actions of White were fraudulent, oppressive and designed to encourage Ramos to plead guilty so he could negotiate a substantial settlement, which would prevent the disclosure of his actions at trial for the personal benefit of White and his related businesses and interest."
On his part, White in his statement to the Review-Journal said: "I just found out that a bulls*** lawsuit was filed against me yesterday. This guy went to federal prison for trying to extort me over five years ago. Now he's hired a lawyer who is also a convicted felon, and he's trying to extort me again for $10 million. He got no money from me last time and he won't be getting any money from me this time. I look forward to the court dismissing this quickly so I can get rid of these scumbags forever."
The dancer though was never charged and her name was not revealed in the court documents.