Nearly a month after initial reports of a security breach at the Ashley Madison online dating “service,” the cracks are spreading from ceiling to floor. The effects of the hack on users and their families will continue to play out, and several recognizable internet names — including Josh Duggar, viral pregnancy blogger Sam Rader, and around 100 ESPN employees (allegedly from work) — had their identities exposed as alleged clients of the affair-friendly website.
More recent news indicated that virtually all of the site’s users are men, some of whom were gullible enough to pay premium rates for “a guaranteed affair” with a fembot who never materialized in chat. The company was also actively developing an app that allowed users to rank each other’s wives.
Now, Noel Biderman, the man behind Ashley Madison’s parent company (Avid Life Media Inc.), has stepped down. As the public face of the company, Biderman delivered a 2013 TED talk called “The Cyberanthropology of Infidelity.” This guy enjoyed his job a lot:
Biderman appears to be a regular playboy who has benefited from his access to the extramarital-affair community. His own emails dropped as a subsequent portion of the data leak, which revealed that the married father of two children was getting it on elsewhere.
This information runs counter to Biderman’s previous claims that he wasn’t sleeping around on his wife, but “If I wanted to have an affair, I would have one.” His leaked emails show that he was conducting multiple affairs, one of which lasted at least three years. He apparently frequented a Toronto escort who called herself “Melisa from the spa.” Through email, they arranged for several hotel meetups, and money was allegedly exchanged.
Here’s the official statement detailing Biderman’s resignation:
Effective today, Noel Biderman, in mutual agreement with the company, is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer of Avid Life Media Inc. (ALM) and is no longer with the company. This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees. We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base.
We are actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members privacy by criminals. We will continue to provide access to our unique platforms for our worldwide members. We are actively cooperating with international law enforcement in an effort to bring those responsible for the theft of proprietary member and business information to justice.
The question remains whether Biderman actually resigning because of his own affairs. He led a company whose motto read, “Life is short. Have an affair,” so it’s hard to believe he’d be embarrassed enough to dash, but he’s probably holding a golden parachute.
As one can imagine, Twitter is having a field day with this news.