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‘I signed up to a dating site for married people to have affairs. I’m glad I got exposed’-Pierra Willix-Entertainment – Metro

A new Netflix documentary tells the story of the 2015 hacking of Ashley Madison.

‘I signed up to a dating site for married people to have affairs. I’m glad I got exposed’-Pierra Willix-Entertainment – Metro

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‘Life is short. Have an affair.’

That was the slogan for Darren Morgenstern’s dating website Ashley Madison, which encouraged members to have extramarital affairs.

He had been inspired to create the platform for adulterers after seeing a statistic that 30% of people on existing dating sites were married.

It was unsurprisingly widely criticised by many, but it was more than a decade after it went live that Ashley Madison gained more notoriety than ever after the personal information of thousands of users was released to the public by a group of hackers calling themselves ‘The Impact Team’.

One of those who found his name revealed in the leak was Sam Rader, a Texas-based nurse who became a social media influencer with his wife Nia after they uploaded a video to YouTube singing a song from Frozen in the car with their young son in 2014.

It went viral, being picked up by news stations and websites around the world, leading them to start their own channel.

YouTube star Sam Rader speaks about his experience being exposed in the 2015 Ashley Madison hack in a new Netflix documentary (Picture: Netflix. All Rights Reserved)

They became known for sharing details of life with their young family, however when the Ashley Madison leak played out, Sam knew he was in trouble.

Despite doing his best to create a public persona of a committed Christian husband, he had created an account on the website with his real name and personal details after seeking ‘attention and excitement’.

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Sam and Nia both appear in the upcoming Netflix documentary, Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal, which tells the story of the hack and how it ‘wrecked marriages and destroyed lives’.

When his name was revealed as part of the leak, the couple released a video, in which Sam claimed he had never met anyone face-to-face or had an affair.

He confessed to cheating on his wife Nia after the website was hacked (Picture: Sam and Nia/ YouTube)

In it, Nia said she had forgiven her husband, who also said ‘God has forgiven him and has cleansed me of this sin’.

However, as Sam reveals in the three-part documentary, his secrets went ‘a lot deeper’ and the leak was his ‘tipping point’.

Despite planning to ‘go to my grave’ with his deception, Sam confessed he’d actually been unfaithful throughout their entire marriage.

‘I thought having that extra sex outside of marriage would be extra exciting,’ he says.

Ashley Madison launched in 2002 with the slogan ‘Life if short. Have an affair’ (Picture: Ashley Madison)

Finding out about the betrayals, which included her husband making moves on several of her friends, Nia said it was ‘hell’.

‘I started reeling inside and like my world was crumbling. Every single aspect of my life up until that point felt like a lie,’ she said.

‘That was something I had to wrestle with. That I was not enough for him.’

At the same time, affairs that had played out in thousands of other marriages were being uncovered, with other public figures including 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar and Hunter Biden, who both denied they had signed up, being named in the leak.

Nia said it was ‘hell’ finding out about her husband’s deception (Picture: Netflix)

However, as Sam says, he ‘wasn’t going to give up’ and did everything he could to save his marriage.

Nearly a decade later, the couple are still together despite the previous ‘destruction’ unleashed on their relationship.

‘I don’t regret the hack. It had to happen for us to work today,’ he says.

The couple have since have three more children and continue to run their YouTube channel, which currently has over 2.5 million subscribers.

Five years after the hack, the company announced it had reached the 60-million-member mark.

In a 2019 interview, Ashley Madison’s Chief Strategy Officer Paul Keable stated that the service helps facilitate up to one million affairs every month.

To this day, it is not clear who was behind the hacking.

Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal is available to stream from May 15 on Netflix.

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