This man's wife found his 'deleted' iPhone messages on the family iMac, now he's suing Apple over his divorce

iPhone 15 Pro with a titanium finish running iOS 17
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

When you delete texts sent in iMessage, you might think they’re gone forever — but one (now ex) husband found out this isn’t always the case in possibly the worst way. 

As reported by The Times, the husband in question had arranged to meet prostitutes via iMessage on his iPhone, and had deleted the incriminating texts from his device, believing this would cover up his infidelity. However, his wife opened up iMessage on the iMac the family shared and found all the texts — revealing years' worth of messages to prostitutes. She filed for divorce shortly after this realization. 

Now, the husband is looking to get £5 million in damages from Apple, for the cost of legal fees, money lost in the divorce, and emotional harm from it. He tells The Times “If you are told a message is deleted you are entitled to believe it's deleted.” He has reportedly been put on beta blockers to reduce panic attacks from the divorce brought on by his infidelity. 

“I genuinely thought I was going to have a heart attack. Divorce is an extraordinarily stressful process and you have children and family dynamics. In my opinion, it’s all because Apple told me my messages were deleted when they weren’t.” London-based law firm Rosenblatt is looking to make a class action lawsuit by pulling in other iPhone users who have suffered from the same blunder. 

What went wrong?

Aside from the texts themselves, which are the first major mistakes the man made, Apple’s own support document for deleting messages notes “If you use Messages in iCloud, deleting a message or conversation on your Mac deletes it from all your devices where Messages in iCloud is on”. It seems, from this context, that the man did not have his iCloud linked to the device. This was likely an intentional move to hide his infidelity but it ended up being the very thing that gave his shenanigans away to his ex-wife. 

Deleting messages only removes them from the device you are on when you have not linked your iCloud to devices. It also will not remove messages from the device you are in communication with. 

Rosenblatt’s Simon Walton claims “In many cases, the iPhone informs the user that messages have been deleted but, as we have seen, that isn’t true and is misleading because they are still found on other linked devices — something Apple doesn’t tell its users.” Though Apple technically does inform users of this, you need to look into the right place to get that information. It is unclear how likely the man is to get any sort of payout from this but his law firm clearly thinks the suit holds some weight. Apple has not yet responded publicly to this case. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.

  • Just_Me_D
    Soooooo, it’s Apple’s fault he got caught cheating, and if it weren’t for Apple, he’d still be married and his infidelity would remain hidden. WOW!

    Apple did not cause him to almost have a heart attack or a panic attack, but I’m sure the realization of his actions and the apparent consequences did.
    Reply
  • FFR
    He probably shouldn’t have logged iMessages into the family computer
    Reply
  • Just_Me_D
    FFR said:
    He probably shouldn’t have logged iMessages into the family computer

    Yep, but he should have known at some point he would be caught.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, who in their right mind would make such a matter public and further embarrassing one’s self and family? Who would readily make it known that he has been knowingly committing adultery in such a manner for quite some time.

    Is that what really happened or is this a get rich quick scheme and Apple is the target?
    Reply
  • Annie_M
    This is ridiculous! It reminds me of the person who sued McDonalds because the coffee was too hot! And, this is another case of people having no accountability.
    Reply
  • FFR
    Just_Me_D said:
    Yep, but he should have known at some point he would be caught.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, who in their right mind would make such a matter public and further embarrassing one’s self and family? Who would readily make it known that he has been knowingly committing adultery in such a manner for quite some time.

    Is that what really happened or is this a get rich quick scheme and Apple is the target?

    The article mentioned the iMessage data on the family computer was going back years , I wonder why his wife didn’t open the app sooner.

    On publicizing the matter, he believed he will garner sympathy, because in his mind was not the one at fault it was Apple.
    Reply
  • FFR
    Annie_M said:
    This is ridiculous! It reminds me of the person who sued McDonalds because the coffee was too hot! And, this is another case of people having no accountability.

    Didn’t she win
    Reply
  • Just_Me_D
    FFR said:
    The article mentioned the iMessage data on the family computer was going back years , I wonder why his wife didn’t open the app sooner.

    On publicizing the matter, he believed he will garner sympathy, because in his mind was not the one at fault it was Apple.

    Sympathy? Not from me, but then again, I’m old school. If the guy is under 40, I’d be like - Dude why did you even get married? Nobody is feeling sorry for you. Now that’s you’re divorced or soon will be, you can freely go about your fun with the ladies of the evening.

    If the person is over 40, I’d be like: Dude. Seriously? You risked everything on some fantasy rides? What the heck is wrong with you? Your name is trash and you’ll probably have to leave the country to find a woman who’ll take a chance on you. Was it worth it?
    Reply
  • FFR
    Just_Me_D said:
    Sympathy? Not from me, but then again, I’m old school. If the guy is under 40, I’d be like - Dude why did you even get married? Nobody is feeling sorry for you. Now that’s you’re divorced or soon will be, you can freely go about your fun with the ladies of the evening.

    If the person is over 40, I’d be like: Dude. Seriously? You risked everything on some fantasy rides? What the heck is wrong with you? Your name is trash and you’ll probably have to leave the country to find a woman who’ll take a chance on you. Was it worth it?

    He risked it for multiple fantasy rides going back years.

    Doesn’t sound like he loved his wife or his family.

    With this lawsuit on search results don’t think he will find anyone else anywhere in the world unless he changes his name.
    Reply
  • Just_Me_D
    FFR said:
    He risked it for multiple fantasy rides going back years.

    Doesn’t sound like he loved his wife or his family.

    With this lawsuit on search results don’t think he will find anyone else anywhere in the world unless he changes his name.

    Look, in my younger days I was chasing skirts all over the place. However, at some point you have to grow up and you can’t have them all. Pick one who loves you unconditionally and love her likewise.

    Maybe this is his wake-up call to grow up. Time will tell.
    Reply
  • FFR
    Just_Me_D said:
    Look, in my younger days I was chasing skirts all over the place. However, at some point you have to grow up and you can’t have them all. Pick one who loves you unconditionally and love her likewise.

    Maybe this is his wake-up call to grow up. Time will tell.

    True, we all were.

    But once married it’s a different story, he shouldn’t have gotten married if he wasn’t ready to commit.

    Years of cheating on your wife with multiple prostitutes is kind of messed up. He should have just gotten a divorce, instead of signing on his iMessage account to the family computer.

    Don’t think it’s much of a wake-call, he obviously doesn’t want to take accountability or responsibility for his actions.
    Reply