Man's mission to persuade mistresses to leave husbands

Man's mission to persuade mistresses to leave husbands
PHOTO: The New Paper

He is called the "mistress killer" online.

But Mr Zheng Yi hasn't murdered anyone.

Instead, this man from Wuhan in central China has taken up the cause of saving marriages from mistresses, China's Global Times reported.

His mission: To "persuade" mistresses to leave husbands.

Mr Zheng, who started off as a debt collector, has been providing free consultations for 15 years to women who discover that their husbands are having extramarital affairs, the Wuhan Evening News reported.

His job has become more relevant now because millions of people who used the adultery website Ashley Madison face exposure after a breach by hackers seeking to shut it down.

Mr Zheng is not alone in providing such services.

In China, as the divorce rate rises, marriage consultancies are becoming common and many provide similar services to help heartbroken wives drive mistresses away from their unfaithful husbands.

These businesses are unregulated: they exist in a legal "grey zone" of threats, extortion and prying into personal data.

Mr Zheng began the consultancy when a woman, a mother of two, went to him for help after she discovered that her husband was having an affair.

He asked the woman, whose name was given only as Ms Zhang, to figure out who her husband had been sending money to in order to collect evidence of his extramarital affairs.

Mr Zheng and Ms Zhang then revealed the affair to the woman's employer and her parents.

The mistress finally left Ms Zhang's husband and Ms Zhang was able to go back to her "normal life".

Threats

Hackers, meanwhile, have threatened to make the members list of Ashley Madison website public.

Ashley Madison, which claims to have more than 33 million users, helps people who are in relationships cheat on their partners, AFP reported.

Avid Life Media, which owns Ashley Madison, said that an "unauthorised party" was able to gain access to the data through various unauthorised points on the website.

A group calling itself "the Impact Team" claimed responsibility and said it was part of an effort to shut down the website, known for its slogan, "Life is short. Have an affair."

The hacker group, in statements posted online, said that Ashley Madison and a related site called Established Men "must shut down immediately permanently".

Avid Life said some personally identifiable information was posted online before being removed.

"Our team has now successfully removed the posts related to this incident... about our users published online," Avid Life Media said.

It said it had been able to "secure our sites" and close the "unauthorised access points".

It also apologised for the "unprovoked and criminal" intrusion into its customers' information.

The company said it was offering members a "full delete" of their profiles, in light of the attack.

Previously, members had to pay to remove their profile data.

"The process involves a hard delete of a requesting user's profile, including the removal of posted pictures and all messages sent to other system users' e-mail boxes," the company said.


This article was first published on July 23, 2015.
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