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Secret wife defies married lover, posts family photos on Facebook

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A married man lost a High Court battle against his Thai bride over a Facebook picture she uploaded that he feared would reveal his secret relationship with her .Economic analyst Harlow Higinbotham , who lives and works in the US , married his first wife in 1991 before meeting Wipaporn Teekhungam in Bangkok in 2001 , and they began a relationship .

He said he loved her , gave her an engagement ring and told her she was the perfect age to bear his children , the judge told the court .

He visited her whenever he was travelling in south- east Asia and , in January 2004 , after meeting her parents and paying a dowry , they got ‘ married ’ at a ceremony in Thailand , although Ms Teekhungam knew he already had a wife . They then had triplets in 2008 , who were named after Mr Higinbotham ’ s family and took his surname.
But after the relationship broke down at the end of 2009 , child support proceedings began in Thailand and the US . Five years later , Ms Teekhungam created the Facebook profile, which featured a photo of her and Mr Higinbotham with the triplets on their laps .

Even though his other wife knew of their relationship by the time the photo appeared online , he decided to bring a privacy case against Ms Teekhungam at the High Court for misuse of private information , breach of confidence and alleged breaches of the Data Protection Act over her uploading of the photograph .

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The case was heard in the UK as Ms Teekhungam was now living with her new husband Winton Perry , and they now live in Norfolk .

Mr Justice Nicklin endorsed an earlier decision that the claim should be struck out , saying it “ has been brought , not for any legitimate reason, but as an act of harassment or revenge ” .

Describing the claim as “ worthless ” , he added : “ In many ways , this case is extraordinary . But it is also very sad . Caught in the crossfire are three young children . ”

The judge said that by the time of the online posting , Mr Higinbotham had already told his wife of the relationship and the triplets and the affair was widely known in her circle.

Dismissing Mr Higinbotham ’ s appeal , he said that , objectively judged , the Facebook profile was anodyne and inoffensive , if maybe mischievous .

“ It is said that every photograph tells a story . But the story in this photograph is one the claimant did not want told. He wanted to keep secret the fact that he had a separate family in Thailand.

“ He contends that the eight – year -relationship with ( Ms Teekhungam ) was undertaken on ‘ the express understanding that their relationship would at all times be kept secret from the claimant ’ s family – in particular the claimant ’ s wife – friends and business associates

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“ This is perhaps where the unreality begins. Most rational people would recognise that the chances of keeping secret the existence of a second ‘ wife ’ and three children were slim to non – existent .

“ It is plain , however , that the claimant was confident that he could do so, perhaps relying on the fact that they were over 8 , 000 miles away from his first wife and life back in Illinois . ”

He concluded that the information Mr Higinbotham sought to protect was so firmly embedded in the public domain because of the Thai and US proceedings that it was “ Canute – like” to think the case could achieve anything of value .

The judge also discharged an anonymity order granted to Mr Higinbotham in December 2016 .

( Telegraph)

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