LOS ANGELES – Broncos’ star linebacker Von Miller is working to stop the release of a sex tape made with a California woman during a June vacation in Mexico.
Denver7 has obtained the court documents from Los Angeles Superior Court of California filed Nov. 7 that show Miller, referred to only as “Doe,” and his lawyers have been trying to fight the release of the tape since August or September.
The existence of the tape and attempts to quash its release were first revealed in a Tuesday report by The Smoking Gun. But TMZ, which is named in the filings as having been pitched the alleged tape, also confirmed the ongoing court battle and that Miller is "Doe."
The woman trying to release the tape is named Elizabeth Ruiz. The documents say she has claimed she wants “to be the next Kim Kardashian” by releasing the tape involving her and Miller having sex in Cancun.
They are seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions barring her from releasing the purported tape and want it destroyed. Ruiz and 10 other “Does” involved in the process are named as defendants in the suit.
Though Miller is not directly named in the case, the lawsuit says “Plaintiff Doe,” as he is referred to, is “widely recognized as the world’s best at his job,” and his personal fame benefits from the “appeal of his persona to many different people from virtually all walks of life.”
Shortly after Miller returned from the June vacation, he contacted Ruiz and told her that he didn’t want anyone to see the tape and to erase it. But she refused to do so, according to the suit, and said, “Gotcha,” to Miller.
The suit says Ruiz contacted TMZ in an attempt to sell the tape, and also used a “sex take broker,” Kevin Blatt, to shop the tape around.
After some of those attempts failed, Blatt contacted one of Miller’s representatives, saying he wanted to talk about a “sensitive matter.”
An attorney for Miller responded to Blatt, who told the attorney that Ruiz wanted Miller to purchase the tape for $2.5 million as the “only way” the release of the recording could be stopped.
Subsequent meetings between Miller’s attorneys and attorneys and representatives for Ruiz did not result in further progress, and Miller’s attorneys repeatedly told her people that what she was doing amounted to exploitation and extortion.
Her attorney said he had a copy of the recording on a USB drive and that the original recording remained intact on Ruiz’s cell phone, which was being stored inside the attorney’s office safe, according to the suit.
The attorney said he, the broker, Ruiz and Ruiz’s mother were the only people who had seen the tape.
At some point, communication lines between Ruiz and her attorney broke down, though the attorney said Ruiz was “itchy” to release the tape and “could care less” about the California law prohibiting the release of such recordings without consent.
Her attorney reiterated her request for $2.5 million to transfer the tape to Miller’s possession, to which his attorney again reiterated that such a demand was extortion.
Days later, Ruiz’s attorney said she had stopped communicating with him completely.
Miller’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…”
“Ruiz refuses to acknowledge the law and refuses to agree not to release, exploit, sell, display, publicize, and/or distribute the recording.”
Miller’s 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.
One of Miller's lawyers, Andrew Kim, also works for Miller's sports agency, Vanguard Sports.
Miller is under a new contract with the Broncos that made him the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL.
He did post photos of himself in Cancun to Twitter and Instagram earlier this year. He and Ruiz are seen together in at least one of the photos.
— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) June 21, 2016
Denver7 has reached out to attorneys for Miller and Ruiz, but neither have returned calls or commented on the litigation so far.