Ashley Madison founder Noel Biderman
Did Ashley Madison catfish its own users? According to a new lawsuit, the answer is yes. A Toronto woman named Doriana Silva says she was hired to help launch the Brazilian version of the adultery-themed dating service, but soon realized her duties were to seed the new platform with fake female profiles. "The purpose of these profiles is to entice paying heterosexual male members to join and spend money on the website," the lawsuit alleges. All told, she created over a thousand profiles, which she now claims left her with debilitating repetitive stress injuries.
In recompense for those injuries, Silva wants $20 million, which has proved a tough sell in the Canadian courts. The lawsuit had been stalled for over a year over what defendants alleged was "unethical practices" in the statement of the claim — essentially, that Silva was using the suit to blackmail Madison over their embarrassing business practices. But more recently a superior court judge upheld the suit, saying the references were necessary to establish the context for the suit. Still, while the lawsuit itself may have brought up thorny legal issues, the embarrassing details about Ashley Madison are harder to deny and likely to travel much further.