It’s been a great week for online vigilante justice, and a horrible week for monogamy.
The hackers behind the Impact Team truly broke the Internet on Tuesday when they released the names, emails, street addresses, and partial credit card details of more than 33 million Ashley Madison clients. Ashley Madison, for those of you who are happily married or just totally resigned, is the world’s most popular dating site for adulterers—millions of whom have just been outed to their husbands and wives. In light of recent events, Ashley Madison should probably consider changing their tagline from “Life is Short. Have an Affair” to “Life is Short. We Can’t Protect Your Dead Ass.”
Thanks to the Impact Team, we’re having a national surge in blown up spots, divorce rumors, and Lorena Bobbitt-style revenge fantasies. Meanwhile, the hacking collective is sitting back (hopefully with an Olivia Pope-sized glass of Pinot Grigio) and enjoying the fruits of their labors. As Ashley Madison struggles to maintain its compromised reputation as a dating site based on complete anonymity, the hack has already claimed its first celebrity victim: Josh Duggar, noted family values conservative, molester, and now, adulterer (a triple threat!). Duggar released a statement confirming that he has been “unfaithful” to his wife, also citing a “secret addiction” to Internet pornography.
But Ashley Madison isn’t the only trending adultery-related topic on your newsfeed. Like the eggplant emoji, Ansel Elgort, and the outdoors, Internet infidelity outings are so hot right now. The trend started back in July, when Gawker, the Gretchen Wieners of new media, took their commitment to gossip transparency to the next level by outing a Condé Nast executive. The story, which involved the executive, his wife, and a gay escort, raised eyebrows for irresponsible, unwarranted reporting. Despite Gawker editor Max Read tweeting, “given the chance gawker will always report on married c-suite executives of major media companies fucking around on their wives,” the story was eventually taken down. Read and fellow editor Tommy Craggs proceeded to resign over the pulled post.
While an aspiring adulterer has to work his way up the corporate ladder in order to earn a Gawker outing, anyone can still get called out the old-fashioned way: by a wife, mistress, or bitter ex, on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. While no one will ever slide into our DM’s (or our hearts) as memorably as dickish former politician Anthony Weiner, a few brave celebs are giving social media disgrace a try. On Monday night, 44-year-old comedian Mike Epps hit up a young woman on Twitter. After asking her if she was “on ig” (grandpa’s got game!), he asked her to “DM me,” aka start a private conversation. This whole public encounter got a whole lot more awkward when Epps’s wife, Mechelle Epps, commented on the back and forth with a simple, graceful, eyeballs emoji. Mechelle Epps is my new favorite comedian.
Meanwhile, La La Anthony was called out for an alleged affair with rapper Maino. Maino’s baby mama, a woman by the name of Patrice E., raised her grievances on La La’s Instagram in a rant that begins, “Does your husband know that your hoe ass has been f--king my daughters father.” Other gems include, “You can keep the clown cause we don’t want the bum n---a no more,” “I come with receipts hoe,” and “Typical married slut.” While Carmelo Anthony has been accused of cheating in the past, there’s no way to know if there’s any truth to these allegations of La La evening the score. Regardless, the hashtag #Melo was trending all day Thursday, and it wasn’t about the pitiable state of his New York Knicks.
Finishing off this round of “celebrity rule of threes” is adult film star Mia Khalifa. In addition to the oldest profession, Khalifa also practices the ancient art of publicly shaming famous, thirsty dudes. Back in January, Khalifa admitted that a pretty big celebrity kept hitting her up on Instagram—a rapper who’s name “rhymes with ‘rake.”
These days, the rising star has suitors way beyond the six, as evidenced by a screenshot she tweeted of Buffalo Bills player Duke Williams sending her a series of five unanswered DMs. Khalifa’s caption explained, “Warning: Trespassers in my DM's will be shot and hung out to dry in public.” To make matters worse, Williams may have already been involved with Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Porsha Williams (celebrity dating timelines are an art, not a science).
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from celebrity social media adultery scandals, it’s that cheaters always get caught. But if your moral compass is truly and irreparably broken, then there are a few steps you can take to try to avoid the social media gauntlet. No. 1: Put a passcode on your phone—like seriously, why haven’t you already done this? No. 2: Slide out of those strangers’ DMs and No. 3: Stop hanging out with Josh Duggar. Seriously, it’s a red flag.