It just isn’t a good time for Ian Puddick. First, he discovers that his wife is having an affair. Then, he realizes it’s with her boss. Who’s a millionaire. And now, he’s being brought to court for “graphic” details that he exposed of this illicit, and long-going, liaison – via Twitter.
There have been Twitter libel and defamation cases brought to the courts before, but this one is perhaps the most personal.
Puddick is accused of using Twitter and other websites to post lurid details of the affair between his wife (with whom he is now back together) and her millionaire insurance broker boss Timothy Haynes. He apparently tweeted out several text messages sent from Haynes to his wife, including one which called the woman “a greedy girl” and “incredibly sensual”, as the Telegraph reports.
Puddick also created a website which included graphics, and called or texted Haynes’ friends, family and coworkers to tell them about the affair. The Daily Mail reports that the entire campaign against Haynes lasted two years.
There is some precedence for Twitter harassment cases like this one. For instance, Courtney Love settled out of court for her Twitter defamation case (for a whopping $430,000). And tens of thousands in legal fees was awarded to the plaintiff in another Twitter libel case. And don’t forget the extremely bizarre settlement of a 100 tweet apology recently reached between a blogger activist and a media company.
There’s a wide variety in terms of types of outcomes for cases like this, so it will be interesting to see whether Puddick is punished by the courts beyond his own self-punishment of tweeting to the world that he is a cuckold.