Ashley Madison founder had multiple affairs on his wife, surprising no one (update)

Before we get into this no-brainer story, I would like to share a personal anecdote. I am dating now and it recently occurred to me that I could run the email addresses of the guys I’m talking to through the Ashley Madison hack search. One guy came up! He doesn’t know what I do for a living so I don’t mind telling you this, but needless to say I stopped responding to him.

Anyway, the internal emails from Ashley Madison were recently released as part of the hack, and of course the founder, Noel Biderman, was having multiple affairs on his wife of ten years. Of course. Biderman has repeatedly said that he has never been unfaithful, but that it would be an option for him if his sex life dried up. He claimed he had no issues in that department, but he was lying on at least one count. According to the emails uncovered in the hack, Biderman was talking to no less than three young women and sleeping with two of them. They were all escorts in some capacity. It’s very shady, and he clearly culled through the very small amount of female profiles which were actually legitimate in order to find women to hook up with on the side. He had affairs which lasted for years.

Hundreds of Biderman’s emails released after a massive hack of Ashley Madison suggest that he has had multiple affairs, including one that went on for several years, and one with a Toronto-area escort. In nearly 300 emails that began in July 2012 and only ended in early May of this year, Biderman corresponded with a Toronto woman. Many of the emails involve planning where and when to meet — usually at a Toronto hotel.

Biderman appears to have met the woman at a spa; in the first email correspondence between them, dated July 24, 2012, she introduces herself as “Melisa from the spa” and instructs Biderman to “Let me know when you’re around so we can go have a coffee :-) .”

Dozens of emails over the next few years catalogue Biderman and the woman’s meetings at hotels — the Novotel, the Roehampton, the Mary-am — and coffee shops, as well as the obligations that prevented them from getting together: Taking care of “the kids” and presentations for him; “studying for finals” for her.

On Sept. 18, 2014, the woman sent Biderman an email announcing her intention to cancel a meeting between the two at the Novotel because of “guilt-ridden” feelings related to her boyfriend, who “almost found out last time.” In this email it seems very clear that Biderman has been paying the woman for their arrangement; she wrote “I don’t want to lose him. As much as I need the money.” Later in the same email she asks Biderman to borrow “1500” dollars.

[From Buzzfeed]

Buzzfeed details another affair which was revealed in the emails, and for which Biderman also paid the young woman. There’s a third woman too, who was similarly an escort. It’s unclear whether Biderman met up with her.

Kudos to the journalists who read through all these asinine e-mails to get this story. Just seeing a couple of the exchanges on Buzzfeed’s site made me feel icky. It’s not surprising this guy would do this, but at least the women were willing and of age. I question his ethics, but I guess that’s the case with anyone who would start a site like that. The thing is, Biderman was one of the very few men on Ashley Madison who was actively hooking up. Data analysis from Gizmodo suggests that of the 5.5 million female profile “there’s a good chance that about 12,000 of [them] belonged to actual, real women who were active users of Ashley Madison.” Out of those 12k, how many were expecting the men to pay for it?

Update: Biderman has stepped down as the CEO of Ashley Madison and its parent company, Avid Life Media, following the hack. Users are saying that they’re being subject to blackmail threats. A group of users is also filing a class action lawsuit against the site. Some even claim that they paid Ashley Madison to have their information deleted well before the data was hacked and it got leaked.

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51 Responses to “Ashley Madison founder had multiple affairs on his wife, surprising no one (update)”

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  1. Luca76 says:

    I mean it had to be an open marriage right? You don’t marry the founder of Ashley Madison and think he’s capable of monogamy.

    • Carol says:

      That’s what I think. Unless the wife is a Duggar.

    • Wonderbunny says:

      Agreed. I don’t know if his wife knew about the shady business practices, but regardless, having a business like that speaks volumes about your values in general. If she shared those values, then perhaps she doesn’t really care.

    • Chichi says:

      Dunno. He could have presented himself to her as a simple businessman exploiting market demand, like bar owners who dont drink or drug dealers who dont use. He may have sold himself as a libertarian who thinks that those who wish to deceive their partners should be able to do so while assuring her that she completely fulfilled him. He could even have come home every night with stories of the stupid shlubs who actually signed up and how inadequate their wives were, “unlike you babe.” Perhaps its just wishful thinking but I’m hoping his personal life is also imploding right now.

    • Ronda says:

      yeah im so not shocked. even if he was totally faithful why be with such a guy?

    • Bell says:

      I saw these two in an interview and they both said they were monogamous. She was believable and he was not at all.

      • Jenny says:

        I did too and she said she would be very hurt if he ever cheated on her. She seemed very sincere about their monogamous relationship. Poor woman.

        I also read somewhere recently that when he first told his wife of his idea for the ashley madison website he presented it to her as strictly a business opportunity. Regardless he always struck me as extremely icky, from that interview I saw (on the view a few years back maybe?) and it’s hard for me to understand why anyone would choose to marry such a creep. He seems to lack morals, both in his personal life and in business.

      • Luca76 says:

        I’m sorry it’s mean of me but I can’t have sympathy for that woman if she really believed he was monogamous she is either dumb or really fercokt (it’s Yiddish look it up).

      • Illyra says:

        No sympathy from me either. She’s a dirtbag too if she condoned his shitty website by staying with him.

    • DrM says:

      Money talks. They made insane amounts of money from AM, mostly it seems based on wishful thinking on the part of their male clients. Sorry guys but there were very few women around and the ones that were well the CE got to them first! I think his wife was willing to put her fingers in her ears and hum “Lalalalalalala” ad infinitum if the money continued to roll in.

  2. Pandy says:

    Look at that douche. Makes sense that he has to pay for it.

  3. MonicaQ says:

    What’s done in the dark will always come to the light.

    I don’t know if I could stay married to someone that ran a cheating website. The temptation would be too real (I would think) and I guess I’d be too insecure to stay. I’m too much of a horrible monogamous person.

  4. Kasha says:

    Celebitchy!! What link did you use to search emails?? Spill!!

    • ell says:

      it’s very easy to find if you google it…

      • Nicolette says:

        But aren’t a lot of those search links shady themselves?

        @Celebitchy how did you know which one to trust? And I’m sorry your guy popped up, but better you know now before your ties get deeper. There are some good ones out there, like a diamond in the rough you just have to keep looking and keep the faith.

      • Pinky says:

        There are some that are more legit than others, though, so be careful. It would be helpful to know which sites people used and trusted.

      • FLORC says:

        Who uses the same email for a site like that and their normal correspondence? Lazy.
        In all seriousness thiss is one of the bumps in online meeting.
        Wish you all the luck! Meanwhile I’m attending the wedding of a friend who met his soon to be wife on eharm. They’ve dated for 4 years. Got their graduate degrees together and are now tieing the knot! Sometimes it works out. Or you can meet the right guys in a bar on a wednesday afternoon like I did.

      • Wonderbunny says:

        @FLORC I know you meant e-harmony (and congrats to your friend!) but I can’t stop laughing at the name “e-harm” :-) That’s what Ashley Madison should’ve been called!

      • FLORC says:

        Lol! I was just lazy, but I see it now and there’s such truth in humor

      • Jenny says:

        FLORC, I met my husband on an on-line dating site 15 years ago. I was just trolling for a hook-up at the time ;-) but he sort of grew on me. We got married after dating for four years and now have three kids together and he’s still the best lay I’ve ever had… So yes sometimes it definitely works out. :-)

  5. Tiffany says:

    A man who created a site for cheating…is cheating.

    Well, I am baffled by this.

    I need to take a seat. Wow.

    *Is what will be said by the most clueless person on earth*

  6. ldub says:

    UGH! enough with the reporting on this assh*le site filled with assh*les.

  7. kri says:

    I woke up today and the sky was blue. I looked in the mirror and my eyes were green. I got sweaty after running five miles. Miley said something dumb today. I have to go to the same job I went to yesterday. All of these things are more shocking to me than this story. So this E-pimp scumbag got busted having affairs after inventing an affair website. Holy sh1t.

  8. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    The women in that last photo must be so proud.

  9. Sam says:

    I for one am SHOCKED that a man who encourages others to violate their marriage vows would take his own anything else than deadly serious!

    Oh, the vapors…

  10. Who ARE these people? says:


    “Surprising no one including his wife?”

  11. Who ARE these people? says:

    If he was using Toronto coffee shop, I like the idea of him meeting up in a Timmies.

  12. Irma says:

    You’d think that people would use altered names and a different email for these accounts. I guess they don’t know discretion after all. LOL just always surprising that these guys wouldn’t think of that. …if you can look them up by email.

  13. Josefa says:

    … he created a site to make cheating easier. The hell were you expecting?!

  14. db says:

    Ugh, although I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise this guy is a total ass.
    Btw, just reading about the search for the hackers — very interesting stuff

  15. Merritt says:

    I’m thinking his wife is either also having affairs or just didn’t care. Either one of those things is possible. She knew she was married to a douche. After years of being so arrogant, I think Biderman is going to be broke soon, and then his wife might leave. His empire was a con. Gizmodo, went through how bad the site was. A lot of these guys were paying hundreds or more for nothing. They would have done better on Craigslist.

  16. Nicolette says:

    Good, karma is working. He deserves every bit of misery he has caused with his brilliant idea to wreck marriages/relationships which is what AM is all about. They can package it anyway they want to, but isn’t that the heart of it all? Lies, deceit, and betrayal which is causing a lot of people emotional pain. He should be caught up in the whirlwind.

  17. Pinky says:

    The hackers told AM to take the site down or this would be the result! They warned them that deleted accounts were not really deleted and that their users would blame AM for that. I just…how could this guy not have known his info was going to be exposed and that AM was going to get its pants sued off (unfortunately, there would be few to no women involved in its removal)? AM should have taken down the site and fixed its security. Stupidity all around. (Not that I agree with the premise of the site– just stating that all this fallout is its own fault.)

    • Anonymous says:

      People are missing the point here. It does not matter how much of a d-bag this guy is or what the morality of the site users is. It is extremely dangerous to electronic commerce when business sites are attacked this way. People are OK with this because they think these folks “had it coming” – next time it will be fidelity, or amazon, or some place a lot more ‘respectable’. Hackers do not have the moral high ground here and the idea that ‘they warned AM to take the site down, they should have listened’ is ridiculous.

  18. Wonderbunny says:

    “Some even claim that they paid Ashley Madison to have their information deleted well before the data was hacked and it got leaked.”

    That was the whole point behind the hack. AM charged their users to fully delete any identifying information, which in itself was kind of a blackmail, and then they actually didn’t delete all the info. Granted, they can’t just remove all the credit card info by law, but they weren’t exactly being honest about their practices and they clearly weren’t that serious about network security.

    • MonicaQ says:

      That’s what kills me–the motivation behind this hack was that AM was scamming it’s users. It wasn’t all a moral crusade.

      • Wonderbunny says:

        Oh, it definitely wasn’t a moral crusade against infidelity, and releasing illegally obtained private information really isn’t moral in itself. They could’ve hurt AM in some other way and exposed their shady practices, though I’m not sure if it would’ve made a lot of difference. The thing about offering people something they want to keep private is that you can do nasty things and not worry about the people going to the police.

    • FLORC says:

      They’re ruined. Removing the higher ups names quick enough they could possibly get jobs elsewhere, but now? There’s going to be so many law suits! All names working might be named and everyone is f-ed.

  19. Size Does Matter says:

    Dude was totally getting high on his own supply. Guess he never saw Scarface.

  20. Emily C. says:

    Okay so… this is one of those rare circumstances in which I don’t feel bad for the wife. First, come on, how could she have expected him to not cheat? But even if she did, even if he was good enough at lying to deceive her in that area, the man ran a website for men to cheat on their wives. I think that’s worse than simply cheating onesself in most circumstances. It’s just a foul thing to do. So if she thought “it’s okay because it’s not happening to ME,” she deserves him.

    Honestly, though, I think she must have known and didn’t care.

  21. Bread and Circuses says:

    Is it right to call it an affair (or a set of affairs) when it was clearly a matter of prostitution? I mean, he’s paying for sex. That’s not an affair.

    And maybe that’s why he said he hadn’t had an affair. “Why, I’m not having an affair–I’m hiring hookers! It’s different!”