Fran Drescher’s Husband, Who Claims To Have Invented Email, Sues ‘Gawker’ For Defamation

Fran Drescher’s husband is suing Gawker for defamation and wants $35 million, according to Fortune. Shiva Ayyadurai, who has repeatedly claimed he was the one who invented email, has taken his battle against Gawker to court now.

Ayyadurai, who married Fran Drescher in 2014, filed a lawsuit for $35 million in damages against the gossip and breaking news website for its three “false and highly defamatory” stories. The stories were published on both Gawker and its tech site Gizmodo back in 2012.

In the articles, Gawker calls Fran Drescher’s husband a “renowned liar” for his claims to be the founder of the email technology. Other terms used by Gawker in its three stories include a “fraud” and “big fake.”

In the lawsuit filed in a Boston-based court earlier this month, Ayyadurai claims that these three “defamatory” stories by Gawker “have caused substantial damage to Dr. Ayyadurai’s personal and professional reputation and career.” His court paperwork doesn’t say, however, whether Fran Drescher’s reputation and career were affected as well.

Ayyadurai’s lawsuit was filed directly against Gawker’s founder, Nick Denton, the site’s writer Sam Biddle, and executive editor John Cook. Fran Drescher’s husband claims in his lawsuit that the three defendants have “publicly humiliated” him.

“As a result of Defendants’ defamation, Ayyadurai has been publicly humiliated, lost business contracts and received criticism relating to Defendants’ false accusations and statements.”

Ayyadurai and Fran Drescher married on September 7, 2014, at the actress’ beach house. After the informal ceremony, the two took to Twitter to announce their marriage. However, Ayyadurai later admitted that it wasn’t exactly “a formal wedding or marriage” but rather an event that celebrated their “friendship in a spiritual ceremony with close friends and her family.”

After the lawsuit was filed, Gawker released a statement in which it reiterated its stance about Ayyadurai’s claims to have invented email, adding that his words have been debunked by the Washington Post, the Smithsonian Institute, Gizmodo, and others.

Ayyadurai is a copyright holder for a messaging technology called EMAIL. The 52-year-old scientist and inventor began working on that system when he was 14-years-old back in 1978, as some media websites claimed in 2011. But then the matter was investigated by the Washington Post as well as many other news sources, who claimed electronic messaging predated Ayyadurai’s work in 1978.

It’s not Fran Drescher’s husband who the majority of tech historians consider the father of email technology. Instead, it’s Ray Tomlinson, who died of a heart attack earlier in 2016. According to reports, Tomlinson invented email in 1971, seven years before Ayyadurai started his work on the EMAIL system.

Ayyadurai, the husband of actress Fran Drescher, filed the lawsuit shortly after Gawker suffered severe damages in its recent lawsuit against former pro wrestler Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan. Hogan got $115 million in the lawsuit relating to a sex tape.

Earlier this month, Fran Drescher was among the presenters at the 57th Annual Genii Awards, according to Broadway World. The Nanny actress and founder of Cancer Schmancer presented the Excellence in New Media Award to Lisa Meier, who serves as Group Vice President at Time Warner Cable Media Sales.

Over the years of her acting career, Fran Drescher has received two Golden Globes and one Emmy Awards nomination. But most notably, the 58-year-old actress is popular for her 15-year battle with cancer. After she defeated cancer, the actress founded the Cancer Schmancer Movement, which focuses on early detection and prevention of various forms of cancer.

[Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions]