Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

The Love Doctor Is In... Court

from the are-lies-criminal? dept

It seems that most people realize by now that the "descriptions" most online dating users put in to describe themselves are often full of... well, let's just say little white lies. The actual degree of the lies may be up for debate, but when people want to put their best foot forward, they may massage the facts a bit in their favor. However, is that illegal? A Manhattan doctor (a fertility specialist, of all things) is now being sued by two women he met through an online dating site for lying in his profile about his marital status (as you might have guessed, he said he was single and he was not). The women also claim he "broke their hearts," which I'm pretty sure isn't a crime yet. Of course, he also fed each of them the line that they "were married in a previous life," that he had mistreated each of them and that he had "searched for her in this lifetime to correct his past mistakes." Apparently, they fell for that line, so it's not really surprising they believed he was single as well. Of course, they don't seem to be suing about the whole past lives/reincarnation marriage lie either. The guy, clearly, is a jerk for doing this, but is it illegal?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Nicole, Sep 9th, 2005 @ 6:03pm

    My ex's profile on should win the pulitz

    I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I ran across my ex's profile on It was by far the best work of fiction I have read in a long think that "Da Vinci Code" was never read George's profile.
    According to his profile, he liked to go out to nice romantic dinners, and was looking for a girl who like to go out just as much as she liked to stay in. A dog lover who is looking for another dog lover to spend some nice quality time with. But I guess if you consider getting drunk every night quality time, then sure. It was funny the way all the things he said he liked to do were things that I liked to do, and wanted to do with him.
    I just feel bad for the dumb girl who comes after the dumb one writing this (who, by the way, wised up, and now has a man who treats her like she deserves), who didn't get one "romantic dinner out" with him in the almost three years (off and on) we were together. But then again "commitment phobic, non-confrontational sissy with an alcohol problem who lives off of his parent's dollar with no real job or careeer goal" probably doesn't sell as well as "self employed dog-rescue owner/lover" does. I feel no need to sue him, since I take pleasure in knowing that in this world, what comes around goes around, and he'll get his. I just feel sorry for the dumb girl who answered his little short story submission.... maybe she can sue him for misrepresentation. Too bad he doesn't have anything to lose, since he has never had to earn anything himself...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    George, Sep 10th, 2005 @ 1:30am

    Re: My ex's profile on should win the pu

    Well, at least you're not bitter. Good seeing you again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Nicoles_husband, Sep 10th, 2005 @ 5:55am

    Re: My ex's profile on should win the pu


    You never said how I had to put up with your weight due to you childhood issues.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Pete Austin, Sep 10th, 2005 @ 6:31am

    This might even be rape

    ... because there was no informed consent. (I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.)

    "The defining attribute of rape in humans is the lack of informed consent "(Wikipedia). "Rape, in law, the crime of sexual intercourse without the consent of the victim ... One important reform, which has been in effect in most states in recent years, has been the removal of statutes requiring that rape victims physically resist the attack."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Richard, Sep 10th, 2005 @ 7:34am

    Re: This might even be rape

    For the women suing the guy for lying in a profile, please attend Internet Safety 101 - "Don't believe anything you read on the Web that's not professionally published and endorsed by an established source". Sorry, ladies, you are suckers and fell for his lines... join the millions that go to night clubs and do the same thing on a daily basis. Join the millions who marry their high school sweet heart 6 months after graduation, if they do, and find out too late that they're hubby is a wife beater and pill junkie. Join the other millions who haven't got a chance because they're too self centered and malicious, who WANT to be lied to, just so they can sue someone, and try to get over on them. Add more if you like, but I'm sure you fit into someone's jaded criteria to fill in far more blanks on this one. It all ends the same, however: He lies, she lies, everybody lied, everybody slept together, everybody fought, everybody broke up, and only in divorce does the slander really see the light of day, mostly so one party can take money from another.

    Of course, if you want to go the rape route, go that way, but that's criminal court, and you likely won't see any money from him for that, will you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    malhombre, Sep 10th, 2005 @ 7:57am

    Re: My ex's profile on should win the pu

    Dear Nicole,

    First, your side of the argument certainly sounds like you got a raw deal, but it has been my experience that (a) there are two sides to these things, and (b) marriages that end do not end well (the point is that we have all heard the bitching ex-spouse stories ad nauseum).

    Another point to consider: why do divorced women, in the majority of cases, mention money, money, money as a major cause of marital failure? He lives off his parents dollar? So he had an income? I don't recall having ever heard a woman (in my personal experience) explain their reason for divorce without hubby's money/motivation as a key ingredient. Why didn't YOU as a modern woman and loving spouse go get the good career and provide him the time, space, and emotional/professional support he needed to heal from whatever psychological ills he seemed to have?

    Most men I speak with agree on this: women see us as disposable and easily replaceable. Many, many women will simply toss us away rather than see us through a difficult healing and growth issue, and if our priorities in life are not materialistic, a great many of you will jump ship with no regrets. I have personally seen this many times and firmly believe it to be true.

    Sorry, but I guess I needed to say it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Zucor The Flatulent, Sep 10th, 2005 @ 9:29am

    Re: My ex's profile on should win the pu

    Well, stands to reason. Women are instinctually looking for security. Nesting behavior. Gotta get the breadwinner to feed the hungry hatchlings.
    Personally I've never given a damn about money, and so I've seen the result - so many women see me as some kind of lower life form. Doesn't bother me though, That's life and we all make our choices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    malhombre, Sep 10th, 2005 @ 9:56am

    Re: My ex's profile on should win the pu

    And what, exactly, were these women looking for in these online personals? Well, he IS a DOCTOR, now isn't he? Hmmm. I wonder if that had any influence on their interest in him in the first place?
    After reading Nicole's post, I see that her ex is a guy who loves animals, maybe drinks too much (maybe not, we only have her opinion to go by), and maybe doesn't place his priorities in the world of collecting things but rather in the care of abandoned or neglected living beings.
    I kind of think this guy is gonna be ok, in the long run. I like him already. And if he gets that "what goes around comes around" karma thing I hope it reflects the fact that he has love in his soul for animals, a trait I hold in high regard.
    I think I'm a bit like you: my only use for money is to further the ability to do the things that are important to my wife and I, like donating to disaster relief and...oh yeah, we have five rescued dogs right at the present time, and my wife is the primary breadwinner while I go back to finish my degree. And I drink too much beer, but she still loves me anyway. I got really lucky the 2nd time around.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    DGK12, Sep 11th, 2005 @ 12:30am


    The only legal issue I see is between the guy and the website whom displayed his profile, and between the website and the "victims". She may have the right to sue the website and the website may have the right to sue the perpetrator, depending on the agreements they were legally bound to.

    Every one's lawsuit happy anyway, because this world is bowing down to the rotters which ruin all good things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anon, Sep 11th, 2005 @ 4:40am

    Re: This might even be rape

    "The defining attribute of rape in humans is the lack of informed consent..."

    Darn, so I can't lie about my penis size anymore and then keep it out of eye sight during sex... or its rape?

    Seriously, IANAL either, but I believe informed consent doesn't mean that the other person knows the entire life history. I think it means that you know what you are agreeing too. So, for instance, un-informed consent would be (childish, but I've not slept yet):

    Man: Say yes to whatever question I ask next.

    Woman: Why?

    Man: Just do it, it'll be fun.

    Woman: Ok, yes to whatever your next question is.

    Man: Wanna have sex? *Jumps on woman*

    Yeah, childish, but it could be relevant should any "code word" or street lingo be used in place of the word "sex". For instance, if someone asks if they can polish your pipes, they may not know what you really mean.

    Thus, it is not informed consent. Again, IANAL, but that does seem the most likely explination of the meaning of informed as is used here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    aneurysm, Sep 11th, 2005 @ 11:07am

    The Alternative was the pioneer of british 'no lies' dating service. Today, they serve over ten thousand world-wide users - protecting them from fraud such as mentioned in the article. I was actually a beta-tester and found the site to fulfil its tast quite well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    grantmasterflash, Sep 11th, 2005 @ 11:15am

    Re: My ex's profile on should win the pu

    As I always say, money is synonimous with security and women like security. They like lots and lots of security. ;-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    grantmasterflash, Sep 11th, 2005 @ 11:20am

    Re: Wronged

    I don't see any legal issues here. Everyone wants someone else to be liable for their own stupid mistakes. If this was a business agreement where money was exchanged then it would be different. If we sued everyone that ever lied to us the courts would be never recover. People need to grow up and take responsibility for their own actions. This "sue everyone" seems to mostly be an American thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Mohamed Ali Ijhabal, Sep 11th, 2005 @ 11:33am

    No Subject Given

    No one says it's illegal. Just because you sue someone doesn't mean they broke the law.
    The argument here isn't whether what he did was illegal (It clearly isn't; plenty of married men have tried to pursued "outside interests" throughout the ages. This isn't much different.)
    The question is whether they have any grounds upon which to collect from this guy. They are seeking compensation for emotional distress, giving them SOME kind of legal basis for a lawsuit.
    Leave it to the court to decide just how distressed the affair made them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    eeyore, Sep 12th, 2005 @ 4:54am

    No Subject Given

    Anybody who believes ANYTHING they read in a personal ad deserves what they get. Honestly I don't think I've ever heard of a single person who met the man or woman of their dreams through a personal ad or dating service, but I must know a million who made the biggest mistake of their lives dating somebody they met that way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Steve, Sep 12th, 2005 @ 9:56am

    Re: My ex's profile on should win the pu

    And what, exactly, were these women looking for in these online personals?

    I actually have a little insight on this. Two of my friends are in a band together. One is an orthodontist, the other an office drone. Both consider music their true passion and the jobs as just a way to get by in the world. They both placed ads on Match and with the exception of their career choices, their profiles both cover about the same territory as far as preferences and interests. Both put up pics, though neither of them are exceptional looking.

    The doc, not only got an overwhelmingly positive response to all the women he he wrote and was also inundated by solitications from women match seekers. The other guy, well he got lukewarm replies to women he wrote to and only a couple of unsolicted emails.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2005 @ 12:35am

    Re: My ex's profile on should win the pu

    Thats funny. But probably exactly on the mark of what most women are looking for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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