People are already starting divorce proceedings because of the Ashley Madison leak

Ashley MadisonAshley MadisonAshley Madison had the tagline: ‘Life is short — have an affair.’

The first divorce case is underway after millions of users had their credentials leaked by a team of hackers who hacked into the adulatory site Ashley Madison, The Times reports.

The original leak included the names, credit card details and various other pieces of information on millions of users. A subsequent leak — which was over twice the size — contained more internal company documents and emails.

According to The Times, Relate, a relationship counselling service based in Britain, has started receiving calls from distressed spouses who have discovered their partner’s information in the data leak. Denise Knowles, a counsellor at Relate, said that the leak had brought up “lots of difficult emotions” for the partners of those with an Ashley Madison account. “Even if you haven’t been directly affected, the coverage may have prompted you to start questioning your own relationship,” she said.

Chris Longbottom, a lawyer at Schoosmiths, told the The Times that “[w]e are absolutely expecting more people to get in touch now that the [leaked details] are out there.” Some law firms have been receiving up to three calls a day because of the leak.

Ashley Madison may also be in line for some hefty legal action with Luke Scanlon, a lawyer for Pinsent Masons, predicting that Avid Life Media, the owners of the site, could face up to £1 billion ($US1.5 billion) in legal fees if users choose to sue. Beyond this, Avid Life Media could also be fined up to £500,000 ($US785,000) by the information commissioner if the company did not put the appropriate security measures in place.

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