LOS ANGELES – Is Denver Broncos star linebacker Von Miller working to halt the release of a sex tape taken over the offseason? Several reports suggest he is, pointing to a lawsuit filed in the state of California.
According to those reports, Miller allowed California native Elizabeth Ruiz, 24, to record a sex tape while on a trip in the offseason in June.
Social media postings indicate both Miller and Ruiz were in Cancun at the same time, and the lawsuit acknowledges both "Doe" and Ruiz met in Cancun.
Von Miller doing some jet skiing before returning from Cancun. Add him on Snapchat: @Millerlite40 pic.twitter.com/QM2jkUs2pV
— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) June 21, 2016
Although no photos on their respective social media pages show Miller and Ruiz together, at least one photo depicts both together with a group of people on or near June 21. That photo circulated along with online reports are seen together in at least one photo that has circulated online.
Both The Smoking Gun and TMZ released stories citing sources that linked a lawsuit which named a nameless athlete -- only referred to as "Doe" -- as the plaintiff and Ruiz as the defendant .
Denver7 has obtained the court documents from Los Angeles Superior Court of California filed Nov. 7 that show "Doe" is requesting a permanent restraining order that would prevent Ruiz from releasing the video.
A temporary restraining order has been granted as the case moves forward, with Ruiz and "Doe's" attorneys returning to court on Dec. 6. Judge Amy Hogue also ordered that all copies of the video be turned into the court.
The case went to court after Ruiz's legal team requested "Doe" pay $2.5 million to prevent the release of the video.
In the request for a temporary restraining order, the plaintiff asked for "punitive damages," for wrongful acts.
The lawsuit states that the plaintiff did not want anyone to see the recording and asked Ruiz to erase it. She refused to turn the video over and responded, "Gotcha," to the plaintiff's request that Ruiz destroy the recording.
According to the lawsuit, Ruiz attempted to sell the tape to TMZ, but was turned down. TMZ also confirmed the ongoing court battle, saying their team did not buy the video.
In court documents released Tuesday, Miller's attorney Martin Singer wrote that "to avoid future litigation...my client would be willing to purchase the original and all copies of the video from Ms. Ruiz for the sum total of $10,000."
Ruiz would have to agree to assign Miller the "copyright to the video footage and agree to confidentiality regarding this matter."
However, the letter warns, "If you client exploits the video footage of our client, she will be acting in her own peril."
Documents say Ruiz wants to become the next Kim Kardashian through any means necessary, suggesting she wants fame and fortune, but will settle for fortune if she can't achieve fame.
That fame would come by exposing the athlete who remains nameless throughout the lengthy legal document.
Although several reports link Miller to "Doe," the document only describes "Doe" as a man who "has worked hard his entire life to hone his skills and become one of the most talented people at his craft in the United States and the world. Plaintiff has received the highest honors, awards and accolades available in his profession and is widely recognized as the world's best at his job. Plaintiff earns his living not only from his ability to outperform others with his skills but also with the incumbent fame that comes with his unparalleled talent in a high profile profession."
The release of such a video would damage "Doe's" identity because "his ability to benefit from this fame depends on the appeal of his persona to many different people from virtually all walks of life, including families and children."
According to the documents, "Doe's" lawyers have yet to hear from Ruiz's lawyer or Ruiz herself.
"Doe's" lawyers sent her a letter informing her that releasing the tape would violate California law and could possibly land her in prison, to which she has yet to respond, according to the suit.
The lawyers are seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions, as well as damages, in regards to a section of California’s Civil Code that bars people from releasing recordings that a party would have had “a reasonable expectation that the material would remain private” or “exposes…the other person engaging in an act of intercourse…”
Lawyers have also asked the judge to require the alleged tapes be stored in the court’s secure electronic possession while the suit is ongoing. It also asks the judge to have the alleged tapes destroyed, and any financial penalties resulting from the possible “shame” and “humiliation” the release of the tape would cause him and his endorsement partners.
Much of the legal team named in the document submitted in California court is made up of people who as consultants for Vanguard Sports Group, including Andrew Kim -- who filed the lawsuit -- and Matthew Johnson, who is mentioned in the suit.
Denver7 has reached out to those lawyers, Von Miller's agent and the team for comment. None have released statement on the matter. Miller was also not returned calls seeking comment.
Denver7 asked well-known sports attorney Peter Schaffer if this controversy will affect any of Miller's endorsement gigs.
Miller pitches for Adidas, Old Spice and EA Sports.
Schaffer said, "I think players know that in this day and age of social media and smartphones, you need to be a little bit more discreet, a little smarter as to what you do because things can happen."
Schaffer added, "He didn't do anything wrong. I mean he didn't break any laws. Even if (the tape) comes out, it might be a little embarrassing, but he didn't do anything wrong. I think this is much ado about nothing."
Miller posted the following on Snapchat Tuesday evening: