It was celebrated and condemned in equal measure, with supporters labelling it a “bold act of literalism” and detractors calling it “petty” and “psychopathic”, but the actions of a German man who gained notoriety by sawing all his possessions in half as part of his own retributive divorce settlement have been revealed to be nothing more than the marketing campaign of a German family law information company.
The apparently newly-divorced man, “Martin”, was recorded cutting all his and his wife’s possessions in half and then advertising them for sale on eBay.
Perhaps inevitably, the world’s media were attracted to the story, with outlets as varied as the BBC, Fox News, Russian RT and Press TV in Iran all devoting space to the story of seeming marital revenge.
It certainly made compelling viewing; in the video entitled For Laura, “Martin” is see taking his power tools to marital property including an iPhone, a sofa, a television set, a bicycle and a car. He was then seen putting the sliced items up for sale on eBay.
It would later turn out – but only after the video had accrued five million views – that it was all a marketing campaign of the German Bar Association’s family law unit.
“The idea behind it was to humorously point to a problem that is not only relevant in Germany,” said a family lawyer with group. “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.”
One thing was for real though: the items are genuinely available for purchase on eBay, with all money raised going to charity.
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