NBA star Dwyane Wade files suit in Tyler against internet hackers

story courtesy of the Tyler Morning Telegraph
Staff Writer

NBA superstar Dwyane Wade filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, on Monday to apply for an injunction against hackers he accuses of illegally accessing his email and social media accounts.

Wade claims in the suit that hackers, whose identities are unknown, accessed his personal email and Twitter accounts from Jan. 2007 until June 2011 and either viewed or obtained personal and business information.

According to the suit, the hackers changed account passwords; modified account settings; reviewed personal and business communications between Wade and third parties, including his ex-wife; sent vulgar and threatening emails that purported to be from Wade; and used Wade's likeness to obtain other information by email.

The lawsuit names the defendants as "John Doe Nos. 1-50" and lists Internet Provider addresses from California, Texas, the Netherlands and Canada. Wade claims in the suit the hackers gained access to both of his personal email accounts.

The lawsuit also alleges that during the hacking, an email address belonging to Patrick J. Worthen was added as a notification address to Wade's email account and Worthen lives in Tyler.

Worthen is a 2007 Robert E. Lee graduate and a former pitcher for both the Red Raiders and Tyler Junior College. Worthen told the Tyler Morning Telegraph someone had hacked into his email account and sent messages to everyone in his contact list while doing the same to Wade, and that's how his email was linked to Wade's address.

"I know they pretended to be me, but not him as far as I know," Worthen said by phone Tuesday. "The detectives just told me to close my email and they would be in contact with us. But as far as I know, that's all we were told to do."

The defendants, as alleged by Wade, also repeatedly hacked into his personal Twitter account to view personal information, change his account settings and used vulgarity while pretending to be Wade and correspond with third parties.

Wade claims in the lawsuit each defendant has caused at least $5,000 in damages. The Miami Heat guard is asking the court to keep the defendants from further using his account information and to recover all financial damages, including attorneys' fees, incurred as a result of the hackers.

Wade recently filmed a video that was posted on YouTube by called, "Dwyane Wade Has a Message for the Hackers." In the video, Wade playfully says, "Hi, I'm Dwyane Wade. And this is me talking about you. Why are you hacking me? No pun intended, but why are you hacking me? I must be interesting to you …"

A phone call placed to Anthony Mulrain, an attorney for Wade in the case, was not immediately returned.
The suit indicates supplemental data will be filed as the "John Does" are identified.


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