who's now engaged to the web cheat she's never met
The new fiancee of Second Life love rat David Pollard, whose marriage crumbled when his wife caught him 'having online sex with her', was unmasked today - and denied the pair had had a cyber-affair.
Linda Brinkley, 55, known on the multi-player online game as Modesty McDonnell, revealed that since her online fling with David Pollard the couple had become engaged in real life.
But Miss Brinkley today denied that her internet love affair with Mr Pollard had led to the break-up of the 40-year-old's marriage to ex-wife Amy Taylor.
When their computer-generated selves clapped eyes on each other, she said, it was 'love at first sight'. But she claimed they were only friends until David split with his wife.
Miss Brinkley fell for David after her online character Modesty McDonnell began working as a hostess in the nightclub he runs on the web-based reality game.
Their bond in the game is now so strong that they have become engaged in real life - despite never having met outside the computer-generated world.
In the Second Life world players adopt a new identity and can move around, work and socialise in a computer-generated environment.
Miss Brinkley, of Arkansas, USA, said: 'When we first met it was at a fancy dress night on the game and he noticed me across the room and said he felt something special.
Happily married in Second Life: Modesty McDonnell (Linda Brinkley) and Dave Barmy (David Pollard), who are also engaged in real life.
'I felt it too so it really was like love at first sight. It was kind of strange at first because I never thought anything like this would happen to me.
'But we gradually built up our relationship and got closer until he proposed to me online for real. I was surprised but part of me knew it was coming and of course I said yes.
'He's told me that his relationship with his wife was over way before I came along and he's been very honest with me so I take his word for that.
'We've never met in real life but we've got each other's pictures. I'm really nervous about meeting him but at the same time I'm looking forward to it more than you could know.
'It's amazing that we've found each other across so many miles and we love each other very much. It's my dream to finally to meet up with him and it's all because of the game.'
David was dumped by first wife Amy after she allegedly caught his character Dave Barmy cheating with Modesty McDonnell, who she claimed was a prostitute.
But Modesty insists her avatar is a 'hostess' in Dave's online nightclub 'Holodeck'.
In the game their characters married after a whirlwind romance at a small ceremony attended by just seven guests.
Just weeks later David, of Newquay, Cornwall, proposed to Linda for a second time and the pair now plan to marry for real.
Amy Pollard, left, and her online character Laura Skye. Amy has filed for divorce after she caught her husband Dave having a 'virtual' affair online with a computer-generated female character
Linda, who has four children from two previous marriages, only started playing Second Life a month before meeting Dave so she could stay in touch with her sister.
She added: 'I would say I'm in love with Dave. I've been married in real life before but they weren't really good relationships and I haven't had much luck with men until now.
'I chat to him on the phone over the internet for at least two hours every night. We are always together. The only thing stopping us meeting is the distance and the money but we have exactly the same goals in life.'
Linda, a former special needs carer, is currently unemployed but intends to take an online degree in Religious Studies and hopes to work as a missionary.
She has three children aged 35, 33 and 30 from her first marriage and another son aged 15 from her second marriage.
David also insists he and Linda were only 'hanging out' together in Second Life and never indulged in cyber-sex before his real marriage to Amy was over.
'We weren't even having cyber sex or anything like that we were just chatting and hanging out together," he said.
'It was nothing really major but then Amy found out about it and went mad I don't think I was really doing anything wrong.'
Yesterday it was revealed that David and Amy had met while playing the game before marrying in real life.
But while the internet brought them together, it eventually tore them apart.
One day, Miss Taylor, 28, found Mr Pollard at the computer - watching his avatar having sex with a prostitute in Second Life.
She said: 'I went mad - I was so hurt. I just couldn't believe what he'd done.
'I looked at the computer screen and could see his character having sex with a female character. It's cheating as far as I'm concerned.
'But he didn't see it as a problem, and couldn't see why I was so upset.
'He said I was just making a big fuss and tried to make out it was my fault for not giving him enough attention.'
Using the virtual world's own special currency, she hired an online private detective to investigate his adultery.
However, back in their real lives, the Pollards managed to patch things up.
But then in April this year Mrs Taylor caught her husband's avatar in another compromising position.
She claims he was having ' cybersex' with a female player in the U.S. - chatting intimately in the virtual world.
Although Mr Pollard and the woman had never even met outside the game, Miss Taylor said that she was devastated by what she considered to be his very real betrayal.
She said: 'I caught him cuddling a woman on a sofa in the game. It looked really affectionate.
'He turned off the computer monitor and I turned it back on and demanded to look at his chat history.
'But he turned off the computer so the history was all deleted - and I ended up going off in floods of tears.
'He confessed he'd been talking to this woman player in America for one or two weeks, and said our marriage was over and he didn't love me any more, and we should never have got married.'
The next day, Miss Taylor went to a solicitor to file for divorce from her 40-year-old husband of three years on the grounds of ' unreasonable behaviour'.
Luckily, she now has a new man in her life - whom she met while playing the internet fantasy role-playing game World Of Warcraft.
From her home in Newquay, Cornwall, she said yesterday: 'It has been a very difficult time for me. I am now just trying to move on with my life.
People find love in lots of different ways. Ours was a very serious marriage.
'It may have started online but it existed entirely in the real world and it hurts just as much now it is over.'
She added: 'His was the ultimate betrayal and I felt absolutely terrible.
'I know it sounds bizarre but he had admitted to an earlier incident and he knew how I felt about it.'
Miss Taylor said: 'I still go online and play Second Life but not as much. There's still a chance I could bump into him on there.
'I have met somebody new and we are living together. I am very happy. I know it all sounds pretty strange - but it works for me.'
Her ex-husband, who would only speak to the Mail through his character on Second Life, said yesterday: 'I don't think I was really doing anything wrong.'
And he claimed that the problem was not Second Life, but his real life relationship with Miss Taylor.
'Amy never did anything around the house,' said Mr Pollard. 'She just played World of Warcraft all the time.
'If I wanted to spend time with her I had to ask - but it was always too much trouble for her to come off the game to spend time with me.'
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IF YOU'RE THIS INVOLVED? TURN OFF THE COMPUTER, PEOPLE! - Fighter