My FB friend, it turns out, was a bit premature. I can't speak for other journalists who have reported on the hack of data from the extramarital-affair Web site, but the Ashley Madison story is just heating up here at Legal Schnauzer.
We already have reported on two prominent Alabamians--Bradley Arant lawyer Rob Campbell (son-in-law of former Governor Bob Riley) and al.com journalist Charles J. Dean--who held Ashley Madison accounts in apparent efforts to cheat on their spouses. But those are just the opening acts--the Ed Sheeran before the Rolling Stones, you might say--for the reports that are to come.
The Ashley Madison story is challenging to report for several reasons. One, the amount of data is massive, and sorting through it is labor intensive and time consuming. I have data from four states--Alabama, Missouri, Louisiana, and Mississippi. We are working on information for Florida and Georgia.
How big an undertaking is this? Well consider the data from Alabama: Our sources say there are roughly 8,000 paid Ashley Madison users in Alabama, and those are the names we've seen so far at various Web sites. But there are about 220,000 total AM users in Alabama. That means we only know the IDs of a tiny fraction of users. The other users either access the site for free--they can search, but can't chat, swap photos, and use other features--or they obtained some kind of special debit card in an effort to hide their identity, which I'm told can be ascertained anyway. The scope of participation in this is way bigger than many of us knew at the outset.
The number of paid users in Florida, for example, is about 50,000.
A second challenge, for me, came when Missouri deputies conducted an unlawful eviction at the apartment where my wife and I were living and broke my wife's arm so severely that it required surgery. She's only been out of the hospital a few days and is nowhere near a full recovery, which likely will take two or three months, at least.
|Bradley Arant's Rob Campbell:|
Lawyer outed on Ashley Madison
Focusing primarily on the Birmingham Metro area, I've found an extraordinary number of high-level professionals--CEOs, CFOs, lawyers, doctors, bankers, engineers, wealth managers, architects, designers . . . the list goes on.
And I'm developing a similar list for Missouri.
Is the Ashley Madison story going away? Not by a long shot.