Arthur Friedman asked his wife to have sex with other men. She said yes and fell in love with the third wheel. Art then sued the invitee and won $4,802 under Illinois’s alienation of affection doctrine.
Aside from voyeurism the case raises some interesting issues. Friedman surely does not have a right to his wife’s affection – he can’t sue her if she doesn’t love him – so if another man steals what Friedman does not own how can Friedman have a claim against the other man? It’s cases like this that push me towards Murray Rothbard’s position that you don’t have a right to other people’s thoughts. As a result, there can be no just laws against alienation of affection but also since you do not have a right to your reputation (it is in other people’s heads) there can be no just laws against libel.
Thanks to Monique van Hoek for the pointer.