Avatar Adultery: Wife Seeks Actual Divorce After Finding Husband In Virtual Affair on Online

fafe210Now, this one will push a few legal doctrines to their limit. Amy Taylor, 28, is seeking a divorce from husband David Pollard, 40, after finding him with another woman — sort of. Pollard was allegedly having a virtual affair with an animated prostitute. The once happy couple first met in a chat room online, but the computer now has brought another woman into Pollard’s virtual life.

Taylor is outraged: “I went mad — I was so hurt. I just couldn’t believe what he’d done. It may have started online, but it existed entirely in the real world and it hurts just as much now it is over.”

The Second Life site allows the avatars of users to create relationship and have families. Taylor walked in on her husband’s avatar having sex with a virtual prostitute. Taylor insisted: “It’s cheating as far as I’m concerned.” Lord only knows what viruses that he might have brought into the house after having sex with a virtual prostitute. If he had simply kept his zip drive closed and his browser on his real wife, he would not be facing financial ruin.

Yet, one wonders whether Taylor missed those telltale signs of virtual affairs, the avatar versions of lipstick on the collar. He references to her improving her pixels, problems with his floppy, and lack of Ram.

The question is whether Taylor can also sue the other players for loss of consortium. After all, we have seen recent cases where the cuckolded spouse successfully sued. Then there is the problem of alimony, patrimony, and child support in virtual families. Then there is the real arrest of a woman who killed off her virtual husband.

Notably, Congress and various states have tried to make virtual child pornography the same crime as the possession of pictures of real children, here and here. In this case, there would be a question of whether taking a prostitute over state lines on the Internet is a Mann Act violation.

For the full story, click here and here.

[Thanks to Patty C for the link to the murder of the virtual husband story]

25 thoughts on “Avatar Adultery: Wife Seeks Actual Divorce After Finding Husband In Virtual Affair on Online

  1. Prof.Turley,
    I like the comment about problems with his “floppy”. What are her grounds for the divorce? I can only guess it is something like the “irreconciable differences” grounds used in Illinois. I sure hope he enjoyed the “virtual” sex, because it may be his last for awhile. Of course, the real question is what happens when his on-line virtual wife hears that he was already married….to a human!

  2. JT, how on earth did you ever mis this story?

    http://www.latimes.com/features/custom/oddnews/la-on-virtualhusband23-2008oct23,0,7520690.story

    Woman jailed after ‘killing’ virtual husband
    From the Associated Press
    11:24 AM PDT, October 23, 2008
    TOKYO — A 43-year-old player in a virtual game world became so angry about her sudden divorce from her online husband that she logged on with his password and killed his digital persona, police said Thursday.

  3. Rafflaw, yo HAVE to read the article… :)

    ‘The woman, who has been jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his ID and password to log onto the popular interactive game “Maple Story” to carry out the virtual murder in May, a police official in the northern city of Sapporo said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy…’

  4. PattyC,
    I read the article. I guess I have been living in the real world too long. If I was that ex-avatar husband, I would be watching over my “real” shoulder for awhile. That lady is not playing with a full deck.

  5. 28 and 40.

    Having been married to Satan, I stipulate that I may not have the most unbiased view toward the institution of marriage. Institution and institutionalization (as in involuntary committal) have the same root. Correlation may not be causation, but there it is. I am thinking the problem is probably less a digital divide than it is the 12 year age gap. I guess I missed the part of the seminar when they suggested marrying a significantly younger woman so you could cheat with a machine. What? Some guys are never satisfied. What would Hef say? In his defense though, towards the end with Satan, I personally would have sooner slept with a plugged in toaster than that woman so I can see where escape – ANY escape – becomes attractive as an option. However, unless a shotgun was key to their nuptials it was a decision like any other: it was freely assumed and it has consequences. Such a tangled web. To further mix my animal metaphors, I will file this under “Silly Monkey’s Behaving Badly” and then I’m going to enjoy my bananas for breakfast.

  6. Patty C:

    Another great addition to the story. I added it with full credit to you. I just may open up a virtual practice, but I am a bit worried about fee collection.

    JT

  7. Patty C:

    Enough of this serious online crimnality. Where’s those squash recipes? I am losing the struggle to get my wife to let me stew up some homemade minestrone soup tonight, but she might go for some acorn squash soup.

  8. rafflaw:

    “I didn’t know it was a crime to kill a fictional person?”
    ***************

    Me either. What shall we do with that serial batterer Jerry the mouse from Tom & Jerry, the inspiration for the Simpsons’ “Itchy & Scratchy.” I think if alls not fair in the world of animation, we need a cyber court to try Jerry, and that malicious Coyote forever stalking the Roadrunner.

  9. Might I suggest a compromise…

    Substitute acorn for butternut. It should be fine.

    ——-
    Recipes tested—

    Italian Bean & squash Soup

    Healthful, hearty, and satisfying, this attractive soup in the Southern Italian tradition is quite easy to prepare. Oregano and crushed red pepper are assertive enough flavors to balance the otherwise sweet and mild soup. Try the soup with Green Olive & Artichoke Tapenade (page 209) or Portabello Sandwiches

    Serves 6 to 8
    Total time: 30 to 40 minutes

    31/2 cups finely chopped onions 6 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
    1 celery stalk, preferably with some leaves, finely chopped
    13/4 cups crushed canned tomatoes with their juice
    (15-ounce can) 1 quart vegetable broth*
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 4 cups diced peeled
    butternut squash 31/2 cups cooked pinto beans
    (two 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
    1 teaspoon salt
    coarsely ground black pepper to taste freshly grated Pecorino
    cheese (optional)
    * Ifyou prefer a commercially produced broth, we recommend
    Pacific Organic or Imagine Foods brands, in aseptically
    packaged boxes.

    In a large nonreactive soup pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and celery and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, oregano, and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Stir in the squash and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the beans and salt and continue to cook until the beans are thoroughly heated. Add black pepper to taste. Serve hot topped with freshly grated cheese, if desired.

    PER 12-OUNCE SERVING: 195 CALORIES, 7.7 G PROTEIN, 3 G
    FAT, 38 G CARBOHYDRATES, 0.5 G SATURATED FATTY ACIDS,
    0 MG CHOLESTEROL, 744.6 MG SODIUM, 6.8 G TOTAL
    DIETARY FIBER

    Italian Bean & squash Soup

    Healthful, hearty, and satisfying, this attractive soup in the Southern Italian tradition is quite easy to prepare. Oregano and crushed red pepper are assertive enough flavors to balance the otherwise sweet and mild soup. Try the soup with Green Olive & Artichoke Tapenade (page 209) or Portabello Sandwiches

    Serves 6 to 8
    Total time: 30 to 40 minutes

    31/2 cups finely chopped onions 6 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
    1 celery stalk, preferably with some leaves, finely chopped
    13/4 cups crushed canned tomatoes with their juice
    (15-ounce can) 1 quart vegetable broth*
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 4 cups diced peeled
    butternut squash 31/2 cups cooked pinto beans
    (two 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
    1 teaspoon salt
    coarsely ground black pepper to taste freshly grated Pecorino
    cheese (optional)
    * If you prefer a commercially produced broth, we recommend
    Pacific Organic or Imagine Foods brands, in aseptically
    packaged boxes.

    In a large nonreactive soup pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and celery and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, oregano, and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Stir in the squash and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the beans and salt and continue to cook until the beans are thoroughly heated. Add black pepper to taste. Serve hot topped with freshly grated cheese, if desired.

    PER 12-OUNCE SERVING: 195 CALORIES, 7.7 G PROTEIN, 3 G
    FAT, 38 G CARBOHYDRATES, 0.5 G SATURATED FATTY ACIDS,
    0 MG CHOLESTEROL, 744.6 MG SODIUM, 6.8 G TOTAL
    DIETARY FIBER

  10. Patty C:

    You should work at the UN. I think you found the compromise that resolves the mespo/wife impasse. Ralph Bunche has nothing on you. I am going to Tom Leonard’s(our green grocer)now!

  11. Thanks, mespo. I do have some good ideas and systems, but I count on other capable people, like yourself, to follow through with world-class solutions to conflict – like whipping up a good soup that just hits the spot.

    Hope it turns out well.

    Here’s another ‘yummy':

    http://www.theepicentre.com/tip/risotto.html

    Risotto with Butternut Squash, Lobster and Sage

    Recipe adapted from “Cucina & Famiglia”(William Morrow) by Joan Tropiano Tucci and Gianni Scappin, with Mimi Shaft and Stanley Tucci.

    8 cups chicken broth, approximately (this is probably more liquid than you will need to use)
    1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup minced onions
    1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/4-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
    2 cups Arborio rice
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
    1/2 pound cooked lobster meat, cut into bite-size pieces (about 1 cup)
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons brandy or cognac
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    In a large saucepan, whisk together the chicken broth and pumpkin puree. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and leave the broth at a gentle simmer. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the onions and cook until softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir squash in with the onions and cook about 2 minutes.

    Stir in the rice, sage and 2 cups of the simmering broth. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to a simmer. When the rice has absorbed the liquid, add half the lobster meat and 1/2 cup of the simmering broth. Stir the rice until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently after each addition and allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more.

    After 15 minutes, taste a grain of rice. It should have a slight resistance to the bite. If it seems too hard, add 1/4 cup more broth and continue cooking for another minute or two until broth has been absorbed. Stir in the remaining lobster. Remove pot from heat.

    Season with salt and pepper. Add the brandy, parsley, butter and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously to incorporate all the ingredients. Cover,and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
    Makes 4 to 6 servings.

    Variations:
    > An additional 1/4 pound chopped butternut squash may be substituted for the pumpkin puree.
    > Crabmeat or shrimp may be substituted for the lobster.
    > Parmesan cheese may be served as a garnish.

  12. Hey Patty C

    Does the C stand for Crocker? Are you Betty’s unknown sister?

    Those recipes do look interesting. ALthough I’m not a seafood fan. Would poultry work? :-)

  13. Patty C/Gyges:

    These are some serious recipes and they all sound great. How to choose? I think since my birthday is around the corner I’m going to order up a red velvet cake and think about it. That brisket recipe looks tempting, but I love rissoto!

  14. mespo, Buon Compleanno!

    ‘Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday, dear ‘Mespo’,
    Happy birthday to you

    – and many more…’

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