I suspect there’s a sad story behind this one that many a betrayed spouse can identify with. Did Paige Dunham stand shoulder to shoulder with her husband, Jeff Dunham in the lean years when he was struggling ventriloquist (and really, what could be worse, struggling accordion virtuoso?) only to have him toss her away like an old shoe once he hit the jackpot and became a rich and famous celebrity, as he sought and won a flashier spouse to match his flashier lifestyle? It sure looks like it.
Nevertheless, what Paige Dunham did to her ex-spouse’s Shiny New Model Audrey Dunham can’t be justified ethically. It is also apparently illegal.
From the complaint in the lawsuit [Audrey] Dunham v. [Paige] Dunham (C.D. Cal. Jan. 21, 2015):
7. In May, 1994, Defendant married Jeff Dunham, now a renowned ventriloquist, producer, and stand-up comedian. Due to irreconcilable differences, Defendant and Jeff Dunham subsequently divorced.
8. On or about December 25, 2011, Jeff Dunham and Plaintiff were engaged to be married. Defendant was aware of Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s engagement with Jeff Dunham at that time.
9. On or about January 3, 2012, Defendant, without notice to Plaintiff, registered the following domain names through Network Solutions, LLC, a domain name registering company: AudreyDunham.com, AudreyDunham.net, AudreyDunham.us, and AudreyDunham.biz (collectively “Accused Domains”). On information and belief, Defendant concealed her name as the registrant for AudreyDunham.com, AudreyDunham.net, and AudreyDunham.biz domains by employing the services of Perfect Privacy, LLC, a company that specializes in keeping the identities of domain name registrants private. Defendant knew at the time she registered the Accused Domains, that Plaintiff would soon change her name to AUDREY DUNHAM….
12. On or about January 4, 2013, Plaintiff asked Defendant, in writing, to transfer the Accused Domains to Plaintiff and offered to reimburse Defendant for any out-of-pocket expenses associated with transferring the Accused Domains. Defendant refused to transfer the Accused Domains. On or about January 18, 2013, Defendant, through her agent, offered to sell the Accused Domains to Plaintiff in exchange for a payment of tens of thousands of dollars, for each domain name….
Ugh. Hurt, spurned, angry and resentful, Dunham’s ex, who appears to be an otherwise generous and compassionate person, lost all ethics alarms and acted out of pure vengeance and spite…or, perhaps more likely, she knew what she was doing was wrong, and comforted herself with a bushel of rationalizations:
2. The “They’re Just as Bad” Excuse, or “They had it coming”
7. The “Tit for Tat” Excuse 11. (a) “I deserve this!” or “Just this once!”
13. The Saint’s Excuse: “It’s for a good cause”
14. Self-validating Virtue
17. Ethical Vigilantism
21. Ethics Accounting (“I’ve earned this”/ “I made up for that”)
22. The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things.”
28. The Revolutionary’s Excuse: “These are not ordinary times.”
32. The Unethical Role Model: “He/She would have done the same thing”
38. The Miscreant’s Mulligan or “Give him/her/them/me a break!”
…and maybe a few others. I sympathize, but she’s strayed into The Unethical Zone. Her conduct is only gratuitous harassment and nastiness that causes someone else inconvenience and harm without accomplishing anything productive.
Pointer and Source: Volokh
31 thoughts on “Unethical Ex Of The Month, Paige Dunham: Hell Hath No Fury Like A Ventriloquist’s Wife Spurned…”
Hell hath no fury…..
I’m sure Hell can do better than taking domain names, unless it’s really losing steam…
Revenge has no borders….. Take revenge HOW EVER YOU WANT….as they say, “ALL is fair in love and war”….Love related war that is…
I think you’re looking for “Revenge Alarms.” Different theory over there…
Thank goodness, I was worried about you. First Liberal Dan sighting in nearly 3 months! We missed you…
It has been a rough few months honestly. I am glad to be back, hopefully for longer 🙂
Ditto, my friend. I’m sorry to hear that. Glad you are feeling spunky and ready to rock.
The productive part is revenge and the dollar amount of the domain names. Revenge is sweet. You can’t put a price on revenge, but you can put one on a domain name. At least you could until the regulators stepped in.
Revenge is suffering setbacks these days. Is it still legal to set fire to a bag of doggie doo on a doorstep? Order 20 pizzas for delivery to someone else? Put your enemies name on a subscription to porn?
Time for some out-of-the-box revenge thinking.
Deterrence can be ethical. Revenge never is. How do you get “productive” out revenge? There was no deterrence here: “don’t steal my husband AGAIN?”
Bad attempt at sarcasm.
I feel like I’m missing something… I get it Paige is being vindictive. BUT. There isn’t anything illegal about buying domain names, even of people you don’t like, or in the interest of monetising them… Remember the post a while back about a law firm that bought hundreds of website derivatives on behalf of their client so the websites could not be used against him? Audrey does not have any legal standing to demand those domain names, and if she really wants them, it seems to me that Paige gets to set the price.
As an aside, I just tried (myname).com. HugeDomains.com is willing to sell it to me for $2195.00 USD. Do I get to sue for it instead?
I just read the legal link you posted…. Kinda blows my mind, but you can basically ignore everything I just wrote.
It’s real word parallel is land speculation…
The mass purchase of western lands for next to nothing knowing that in 10 years or less a flood of settlers would drive the price up.
What’s wrong with that?
Except that in this parallel there is an element of identity.
“…element of identity.” That was an angle this case had me wondering about. Does what Paige did to Audrey make Paige culpable in any way for identity theft? If not, might this case plus any others like it perhaps pave the way for criminalizing such acts?
The major difference is that Audrey had “Audrey Dunham” trademarked with the intent of utilizing her name as a fitness-related business just prior to Paige doing this.
Off subject, but it may be the only chance to point out Jeff Dunham’s huge part in getting liberals to question their PC stands. This, for one, in 2008:
Then, there’s Walter, Nam vet, the definitive curmudgeon; Jose Jalapeno, and others… but Achmed is the key: he even went over big in Abu Dhabi.
“…struggling ventriloquist (and really, what could be worse, struggling accordion virtuoso?)”
I know what could be worse………….HERBALIFER.
Someone has registered my name and my husband’s and is sitting on the domain names. DH has his own company, and can’t use his own name. It’s a pain but it’s not worth fighting over. We don’t have star value 🙂
Check the link. It’s a federal crime.
When I read ” with the specific intent to profit from such name by selling the domain name for financial gain to that person or any third party” I thought it didn’t apply. There have been no efforts to sell us the domain names, they are not being used for websites, unless there was an effort to profit I didn’t think we could do anything.
Audrey needs to grow up.
Paige needs to grow up. Her actions define the bitter ex-wife cliche
Paige is a very rich ($ is all she really loves),, vindictive and extremely unpleasant individual who has managed to pull the wool over many people’s eyes.with her “poor little me” rantings. I’m glad she was forced to return the domain names to Audrey. One point for the good guys! But I guess anything for a good story, huh? BTW, Audrey has never lived in Texas, so check your facts, please! Wikipedia is not the best source to quote.
I can’t say that I’m surprised
Seems unethical to be messing with a married man, but hey, nobody says anything about a home wrecker because they hid it so well, anyways, he should of not left any unresolved emotional feelings between him and his real wife. Hope his new whore wife stays home, tends to his business, takes care of the kids and he ends up finding hookers for his pastime.
What a rude and disgusting thing to say. So nice to see Jeff happy now.
Seems that Paige’s affair with the kids’ gym teacher started the downward spiral of that marriage. Just saying.
Actually, Jeff filed for divorce from Paige in November 2008 and didn’t start dating Audrey until mid-2009 (so she was NOT the cause). His divorce from Paige was finalized in 2010 and he got engaged to Audrey in 2011 (married in 2012).