The fake revenge stunt that fooled nearly everyone

  • 24 June 2015
Screenshot of YouTube video of a man sawing possessions in half. Image copyright YouTube/DerJuli
Image caption This video described as a message to a former wife has been viewed more than five million times on YouTube

What seemed to be an extreme act of revenge by a husband against a cheating spouse turned out to be a marketing campaign by a German legal information company.

It was a parting statement - literally. A newly-divorced German man, "Martin", recorded himself sawing all his possessions in half, and then put them up for sale on eBay.

The internet and international media - from Mashable and Fox News in the US to RT in Russia and Press TV in Iran - lapped up the story of the perfect revenge which emerged from Germany. A video of the man using power tools to cut his mobile phone, furniture, television set and car in half has racked up more than 5 million views on YouTube. Simply titled "For Laura", the opening words translate as: "Thank you for 12 'beautiful' years Laura !!!!! You've really earned half, greetings to my successor." The man also appeared to put up 16 items for sale on eBay, including half of a bicycle and a slice of an iPhone:

Image copyright EBay
Image copyright eBay
Image copyright EBay

But as it turns out, that was not the half of it (er, pun intended). In fact the whole stunt was the creation of Deutsche Anwaltauskunft, an information portal for the German Bar Association. The lawyers' group confessed on their website, saying both the husband and his story were fakes. "The idea behind it was to humorously point to a problem that is not only relevant in Germany: Too few married couples take precautions for the case of a possible separation - for example with a marriage contract. The event of divorce then often ends in bitter fights under which not only cars and furniture suffer but especially the affected couples and their children." Apologizing to everyone who was "teased" in the name of highlighting divorce law, the association added: "Hopefully, at least, you felt well entertained."

The items on eBay do exist, though, and will be auctioned off, with proceeds donated to charity.

Blog by Samiha Nettikkara

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