A Michigan woman is suing a Washington man for emotional distress after saying that he led her on for a few months on Facebook, accepted gifts and then dumped her and posted derogatory comments about her.
Cheryl Gray, 50, an unemployed paralegal from Livonia, Mich. filed a lawsuit against Wylie Iwan, 35, an Applebee's employee in Kennewick, Wash., for $8,386.88 in Michigan civil court for "misrepresentation, promissory estoppel, defamation of character and intentional infliction of emotional distress" on May 18, according to the Seattle Times. Gray said that a week before her planned trip to visit Iwan, he told her he met someone else in a Kennewick bar.
The two met online on Facebook playing the popular Zynga social network game, "Mafia Wars," and eventually began messaging one another for hours each day, Gray said.
She said Iwan used the word "friend" or "best friend," while at the same time saying, "I love you" or "I'm falling in love with you," and making plans for the future. "He led me to believe for a number of months that our meeting was to explore a potential relationship between the two of us," she said.
She sent him and his sons gifts for Christmas, his birthday and flowers on Valentine's Day. She bought airplane tickets and reserved a rental car for a trip to Kennewick from April 6-11 and reserved a hotel room in Seattle and got tickets to the Mariners' opening home game.
On March 30, Gray said Iwan told her he had met someone else four days earlier.
"I was just really devastated ... and I guess I was angry," she said. "He supposedly met this person on Saturday, but I don't believe that. I believe he was already involved in a relationship. ... I felt like this guy is taking me on a ride."
Iwan says that Gray was simply a friend and nothing more and that she seemed at first OK with the news he found someone new -- until she allegedly started a hate group about him and called him an online predator. "I want this lady to move on and leave me alone," Iwan said. "It's a completely frivolous lawsuit."
So, perhaps those of you thinking of starting an online relationship could learn a few things about this episode. Don't spend significant amounts of money on people you meet online and don't say, "I love you" to people you meet online unless you want someone to show up on your doorstep expecting a relationship.