British Man Says It’s Apple’s Fault That His Wife Divorced Him For Texting Prostitutes

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A British man is suing Apple following a divorce that resulted from his wife finding messages to a prostitute he had deleted from his iPhone but were still accessible in the Messages app on his iMac.

The Times reports the man, who is referred to as “Richard” (let’s just call him “Dick”), began visiting ladies of the night during the last years of his marriage. Dick wanted to keep his visit to the working girls private (especially from his wife), so after messaging his latest paramour, he would delete the message from his iPhone. Unfortunately for him, Apple’s ecosystem automatically synced his messaging history to the iMac that his entire family used. 

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When Dick’s wife (let’s call her Jane), opened iMessage on the family iMac, she saw not only the latest messages Dick had sent but also saw several years of messages to other prostitutes. This uncovered nearly a decade of cheating by Dick.

Jane’s discovery not only shocked her but also spurred her to file for divorce within a month. Dick says he lost over 5 million pounds ($6.37 million USD) in the divorce (I guess those working girls were a little more expensive than Dick expected, eh?)

For some reason, Dick has come to the conclusion that it’s Apple’s fault that he’s now divorced with a much smaller bank balance, and he wants Apple to pay him back the lost funds. But that isn’t enough, as he’s looking to turn the lawsuit into a class-action suit, as he’s looking for other men in the same situation to join the suit.

Dick says Apple doesn’t make it crystal clear the messages are synced between the iPhone and other devices and computers on the same account, even when deleted from the iPhone (He might want to check his iPad too).

Sure, it sounds like this is an ID10T or PEBCAK error (look ’em up), but in today’s world, Dick might have a shot at recovering what he paid in his divorce (After all a man has expenses, right?)

“If you are told a message is deleted you are entitled to believe it’s deleted,” Dick told The Times. He says it was a “very brutal way” for his wife to find out (as opposed to an easy way to find out your husband is spending the kid’s college fund on pay-for-play?) He believes that he could have saved his marriage had he been able to “talk to her rationally.”

Dick claims that in addition to the money lost in the divorce, his health has also been affected. He says he’s taking “really strong beta blockers,” because of panic attacks, and he fears he’ll have a full-blown heart attack.

“If the message had said ‘These messages are deleted on this device,’ that would have been a clue,” Dick added. “These messages are deleted on this device only” would have been a much clearer indicator, he continued.

The middle-aged businessman, wonder of wonders, found a law firm willing to take up the legal fight against Apple, hiring London-based law firm Rosenblatt. The law firm believes that it can turn Dick’s case into a class-action lawsuit against Apple, because that’s where the real money is, at least for the lawyers.

“Richard told us what had happened and when we looked into it, we saw that Apple had not been clear with users as to what happens to messages they send and receive and, importantly, delete,” said Simon Walton of Rosenblatt. 

“In many cases, the iPhone informs the user that messages have been deleted but, as we have seen, that isn’t true and is misleading because they are still found on other linked devices — something Apple doesn’t tell its users,” Walton added. Of course, if Dick or his lawyers had bothered to do a few minutes of research or read some documentation about iMessage, they would know better. But sure, let’s blame Apple for all of this.

Walton added that Rosenblatt had contacted Apple, but the communication attempts were ignored.

This should be an interesting case. So stay tuned.

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