Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr starred in An Affair to Remember in 1957. In 2015, 37 million persons (roughly half of them Americans) are starring in An Affair to Forget.
“Life is short. Have an affair.” That was the tawdry come-on that lured so many astray.
Now that they've had the affair, however, or at the very least looked into the matter and thereby given incontrovertible evidence of intent to be unfaithful, Ashley Madison's customers are finding that life isn't always short. When you're fearing exposure and anticipating the consequences of indiscretions that could have been avoided, life can seem to last forever.
Life may wind up being short for Avid Life Media, owner of the Ashley Madison website, and for other companies dedicated to the facilitation of adultery. Merchandising vice can be profitable, but failure to protect the anonymity of clients is bound to depress sales. Assurances that security breaches have been addressed and will not recur are likely to be taken with skepticism.
In the meantime, Avid Life Media (ALM) will have to contend with the legal repercussions of civil suits filed by compromised customers, and possibly criminal charges as well.
A class action federal suit has already been filed in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas by an unidentified plaintiff.
“On or about July 15 of this year, and at times prior, ALM’s databases were compromised, with the result that personal information of plaintiff and class members’ personal information was used or is at risk of use in fraudulent transactions around the world, as well as other invidious exposure,” the complaint says.
Of course, anyone joining the suit runs the risk of further “invidious exposure,” but if the plaintiff already has been compromised that may not weigh heavily.
The only ones likely to profit from such suits are the lawyers involved.
There'll be lots of opportunity for divorce attorneys, too.