Adult film star and Playboy model Melissa "Midwest" Harrington has joined a lawsuit filed against Match.com alleging the Internet dating site intentionally used her image in fake profiles.
The lawsuit was first filed in November, on behalf of model Yuliana Avalos. Avalos said she never created a Match.com profile; however, that didn't stop hundreds "if not thousands," of her images from showing up on the site. The New York Post reports the lawsuit links the fake profiles to possible criminal activity:
The suit alleges the Web sites' subscribers are routinely being "scammed" out of user fees by "criminals" working out of Internet cafes overseas in Nigeria, Ghana and Russia. It claims thousands — if not millions — of photos pirated off Facebook and other Internet sites are being posted as false ads in the form of fake profiles.Match.com, for example, charges $35.99 monthly for standard service.
Harrington, an adult film star who has appeared in FHM and Playboy who recently joined the suit, also claims she never joined the dating site:
In the suit, Harrington says that Match.com is "intentionally" using her image to boost profits and website traffic. She says she's gotten "thousands of complaints from American romance-scam victims over the past six-plus years" who were duped by her images, as well as complaints from "hundreds of victims who were defrauded out of millions of dollars."
The amended suit filed on Jan. 27against Match.com and sites owned by its parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp in Manhattan federal court, is asking for $4.5 billion.
"While Ms. Harrington is the most famous of all men or women whose photographs have been used consistently in fake Match dating profiles, she is the only one of thousands of men and women whose likeness and images have been hijacked by defendants and used as avatars in fake profiles," the lawsuit states.
A Match.com spokesperson said the lawsuit is "filled with outlandish conspiracy theories and clumsy fabrications in lieu of factual or legal basis."
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