Spouses Reveal the Devastating Impact that the Ashley Madison Leak Had on Their Lives


In summer 2015 a hacking team released the details of the 35 million members of adulterous dating site Ashley Madison in one of the biggest data breaches ever seen.

The result was, what divorce lawyers were calling ‘Christmas in September’, after the leak saw hundreds of relationships torn apart.

The hack even lead to several reports of suicides of members of the site who struggled to face life after their exposure.

But now a year after the controversial site was infiltrated by Impact hackers a Channel 4 documentary has met the victims of the exposure – both customers of the site and their cheated partners.

Tamsin Smythe, an unmarried marketing consultant from Virginia, was one of the 35 million members seeking to have an affair using the ‘dating site’.

The site, which promises ‘discreet’ relationships is dedicated to people already in committed relationships or marriages, attracted Tamsin after she had spent her whole life shunning traditional relationships in favour of affairs.

She says: ‘It was definitely geared more towards the afternoon delight kind of a quick hook-up’.

Christopher Russell, who used the site to find ‘like minded women’ agreed that the site had a casual appeal.

He added: ‘The big attraction to it was it’s a hook-up, it’s not a date. Everyone knows where they stand.’

Tamsin used the site in order to meet a variety of men claiming she came across politicians, CEOs and management, but reveals that though they may be brazen in their relationships they could be shy online.

She said: ‘Initially men are very hesitant to make the first move. When we start talking they want to find out “are you real? Do you really live in the United States?”

‘Then once you start talking inevitably men have this sensational desire to send you d*** pictures. Sometimes it’s even the first picture – you don’t even know what their face looks like.’

In July last year all the details of the men and women using the controversial site were threatened to be released by Impact.

The hackers gave Avid Media 30 days to close down their sites Ashley Madison and Established Men (a site for successful men looking for beautiful women) or they would release the information.

When the CEO Noel Biderman refused to close the site after the 30 day period 30 million user details were released.

Tamsin recalls the day she found out: ‘I was in a meeting and all of a sudden my phone is dancing across the table.

‘I’m trying to concentrate and I’m looking over and I’m seeing the names of business associates, business clients, friends of mine, people I had met on Ashley Madison contacting me and my heart sank.’

After the names of the committed men she had been courting were released Tamsin says she was even contacted by their partners.

She added: ‘I had met and talked to quite a few of the gentleman – their wives were decimated and hurt and they wanted to talk.’

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Source: Daily Mail UK | MARTHA CLIFF