I feel bad for Rick, but he should take some responsibility if he picked the wrong partner(s) to work with, didn't do (enough) due diligence on them, etc. That being said, Stud.com remains a great domain name, and is better suited to some other type of venture. Would make a great home improvement brand name and domain.
I'm certainly not a fan boy follower of Rick, but, given what I've read, I'm not sure how much more responsibility he could or should have taken. He pulled the plug, apologized to all, and admitted one of the most embarrassing possible things for a proud man to admit - that he got swindled.
The easiest people to con have a lot of money and success, and because of that money and success, think that it's because they are extremely intelligent.
Then you play on that.
I've seen it a hundred times on a personal level. A doctor friend of mine from a rich family (in Toronto) got absolutely hoodwinked by a pseudo-cult operation and I listened to the spiel and every second sentence began with "Only someone as accomplished/successful/etc. as you are could recognize such a..."
Another is a business owner (who inherited the company) that for no reason at all, got sold a $1.5M house for use as a office (!!) when he had just gone out with the broker to lease a commercial property. A lot of "Only a business leader like you could see the investment opportunity..." BS and suddenly he's signing on the dotted line. His father, who still has some juice, had to get personally involved and block the deal but it cost him some money.