In June 2014, TMZ published a post alleging former Cowboys linebacker Robert Jones was the subject of a police investigation for trying to hire a hit man to kill his agent Jordan Woy.
Jones responded by saying that the two men were close friends and that one of Jones’s relatives was peddling the story because Jones wasn’t willing to give him money after he got out of prison, information that TMZ added to their story in an update that doesn’t appear to have gone far enough to satisfy Jones. The Dallas Morning News reports that Jones has filed suit against TMZ, reporter Elizabeth McKernan and Warner Brothers Entertainment for libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other charges.
The suit maintains that Jones’s cousin Theodore Watson “fabricated” a false story after Jones’s lawyers advised Watson that civil and criminal charges would be sought if he continued to ask Jones for money. Watson then contacted TMZ and the suit claims the company encouraged him to file a complaint against Jones for threatening him. Watson did so (while describing Jones as 5-9 and 180 pounds when Jones is much larger) while also claiming Jones tried to hire him to kill Woy, but was told that his allegations were a misdemeanor and Jones accuses TMZ of embellishing the story about an ongoing investigation.
Jones claims publishing the story “devastated” him and that TMZ did it out of “greed and an unbridled willingness to say anything” if it generated attention. He requested a jury trial in the suit.