USA TODAY - An ex-employee is seeking $20 million from Ashley Madison, claiming she injured her wrists by typing hundreds of bogus profiles for a Brazilian version of the dating site for married cheaters.
Doriana Silva, of Toronto, alleges in her lawsuit that the Canadian company hired her to create up to 1,000 "fake female profiles" to "entice paying heterosexual male members to join and spend money on the website," the Canadian Press reported.
She claims that she was given three weeks to complete the task and that the company did not respond to her complaints about pain. As a result, she said, she is "seriously disabled."
But Ashley Madison's parent company fired back Monday, calling the suit a "frivolous" claim by an "opportunistic" former worker who made "extortionary demands" that began at $120,000.
Avid Life Media said in a statement that it had sent Business Insider photospurportedly showing Silva riding a Jet Ski and "otherwise apparently enjoying life unimpeded by her time" at Ashley Madison.
The Toronto-based company offered its version of events:
Our head of HR at the time and her manager did arrange to have her evaluated given the timing of her injury and an independent insurance auditor failed to find her credible and as such refused her claim. Further, two separate and independent Canadian medical professionals met with and diagnosed Ms. Silva with a strain and prescribed nothing more than rest for her injury – which Ashley Madison offered to accommodate. Not until Ms. Silva travelled back to Brazil, did her medical diagnosis change.
Silva's lawyer, Paul Dollak, denied his client engaged in extortion.
"There was never any threat of doing anything other than starting a lawsuit, which one is lawfully entitled to do," he wrote in an e-mail to the Canadian Press.
He added that Silva is "alarmed" that Ashley Madison apparently accessed her Facebook account to get the photos. He said they "have nothing at all to do with her ability to keyboard or ongoing injuries."
Ashley Madison, which touts itself as "the most famous name in infidelity and married dating," defended its integrity and truthfulness, declaring it is "100% authentic" (as "described in our terms and conditions") and "we resent any implication otherwise."
Though "thousands of cheating wives and cheating husbands" allegedly sign up every day looking for sex on the side, Singaporeans are being cut out of the action. Their government late last week blocked access amid a public outcry ahead of the launch of a local Ashley Madison portal.