Being a private investigator puts me in constant contact with couples dealing with infidelity – usually from the unenviable standpoint of being the person to break the bad news to the wronged partner.
I’ve seen every reaction in the book, from shock and hurt, to anger and occasionally even relief. Then there are those who don’t get mad, but get even.
One guy who came to our agency threw away one earring from every pair in his wife’s jewellery box when he found out he’d been cheating with a co-worker. Unbelievably the couple later managed to work through their differences and are, as far as I know, still together to this day.
Then there was the client who sprinkled watercress seeds on every soft furnishing and carpeted surface in the marital home, before liberally watering and leaving without even bothering to confront her husband over his affair. (His third, as it happened.) Apparently watercress is known for its ability to grow anywhere in any conditions and I’m still waiting for an opportunity to put this particular scheme into action myself. (Would-be enemies should consider that fair warning.)
Tales of imaginative revenge pop up in the media from time to time. Here are a few of my favourite from over the years. Do not try these at home!
The Shopping Spree
I’ll begin with a tried and tested stalwart of revenge – the shopping spree. The modus operandi is simple: The spurned lover takes the joint credit card on a shopping spree of epic proportions that the cheater will be repaying until the end of recorded time and beyond. This was the method famously employed by Cynthia Rodruigez after finding out that baseball star hubby Alex Rodriguez was getting into the groove with Madonna Colleen Rooney reportedly did exactly the same on finding out husband and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney’s dalliance with a prostitute old enough to be his mother was exposed in the press.
As revenge goes, the spending spree is the standard package and is far more fun when your husband happens to be as rich Rooney or Rodriguez.
The Ebay Listing
Controversial radio DJ Tim Shaw didn’t even have to engage on a full-blown affair before feeling the biblical wrath of wife Hayley Shaw. When Tim flirted live on air with glamour model Jodie Marsh, Hayley hit him where it hurts, selling off his prized Lotus Esprit Turbo on Ebay. The accompanying article description read: “I need to get rid of this car immediately - ideally in the next 2-3 hours before my cheating husband gets home to find it gone and all his belongings in the street.”
As if that wasn’t punishment enough, the £25,000 sports car was snapped up for the bargain price of just 50p.
When Tracy Hood-Davis discovered partner Donessa Davis was cheating on her with as many as five other women, she immediately set about contacting her partner’s lovers.