LAS VEGAS -- A Nevada Supreme Court panel has rejected an appeal in a legal battle between UFC President Dana White and a Las Vegas man who went to prison for trying to extort White in a sex-tape case.
A lawyer representing Ernesto Joshua Ramos in his breach-of-contract lawsuit against the mixed martial arts mogul said Monday he will ask the full seven-member court to reconsider the decision handed down Thursday by a three-justice panel.
Attorney Ian Christopherson said he believes a U.S. District Court judge who in 2016 sentenced Ramos to 366 days in federal prison for the extortion attempt ruled that Ramos had a right to assert his claims against White.
White’s lawyer, Donald Campbell, did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages seeking comment.
The state high court panel noted Ramos and White previously reached a nondisclosure agreement and said Ramos didn’t specify an error by a state court judge in Las Vegas who dismissed his claim.
The Supreme Court decision was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Ramos, a Las Vegas real estate agent and personal trainer, pleaded guilty to threatening to post on the internet video of his girlfriend having sex with White in a hotel room during an Ultimate Fighting Championship event in Brazil in October 2014. Ramos was accused of demanding $200,000 from White.
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.
Ramos filed the state court lawsuit against White in April 2020 — revealing White’s name as the victim of the extortion attempt and accusing White of failing to pay Ramos an agreed-upon $450,000 to keep White’s name secret after the criminal case against Ramos was closed.
White’s lawyers argued there was no agreement and called the lawsuit a new attempt to use the courts to extort money from White.
The Supreme Court panel also concluded that Ramos did not have a valid contract with White to compensate him in return for his silence.
“Without a valid contract, Ramos’ breach-of-contract claim necessarily fails and the district court properly dismissed it,” the justices said.