Sam and Nia were among the list of celebrities exposed in Ashley Madison data leak

Netflix's new docuseries Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal follows the start of the infamous dating website as well as the 2015 data breach.
Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal - Netflix
Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal - Netflix /

Netflix has a collection of interesting-sounding documentaries and docuseries releasing in May, one of which includes Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal. As the title suggests, this series tackles the infamous dating website Ashley Madison, which is tailored for people looking to cheat on their significant others, starting from the beginning when the site launched in 2002 to the big data breach in 2015. After years of controversy, the brand was targeted by unnamed hackers who were determined to get the site shut down. But because of how much revenue it was generating, the company refused to cooperate, leading to a major leak that revealed over 2,000 of the site's subscribers.

As you can imagine, that was the last thing users of the site ever wanted to happen — Ashley Madison guaranteed security and discreetness due to the nature of their site, which turned out to be not true. The three-episode docuseries shows just how damaging the breach was to many users' lives, though it didn't really hurt Ashley Madison. Although the company had to pay millions in a lawsuit, the publicity around the data leak made the site more popular with people looking to have an affair.

Ashley Madison's celebrity list in 2015 data breach

Among the everyday people whose lives were impacted by being exposed, well-known influencers and celebrities were also outed for being Ashley Madison subscribers. Christian influencers and vloggers Sam and Nia Rader (known on social media as just "Sam and Nia") were subject to public scrutiny when Sam's name was released as part of the breach. Below you'll see the list of celebrities to have been allegedly mentioned in the leak:

  • Josh Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting and other spinoffs
  • Jionni LaValle of Jersey Shore*
  • Josh Taekman of The Real Housewives of New York
  • Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden's son
  • Sam and Nia Rader of social media fame

*LaValle's wife Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi has denied that he was using Ashley Madison.

All about Sam and Nia Rader, from Frozen to Ashley Madison

Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal features interviews with the Raders, where they recalled the tumultuous time in their marriage. If you don't recognize their names, maybe you've seen this video below which went viral in 2014 and catapulted them to YouTubef fame:

Sam and Nia were viewed as wholesome, Christian parents with two children at the time (they now have four) who captivated audiences and have now amassed millions of followers with their everyday vlogging. After their "Love is an Open Door" video caught the internet's attention, they went viral again for a pregnancy announcement video in which Sam actually found out about Nia's pregnancy before she did. Taking it upon himself to test her urine in the toilet with a pregnancy test, he surprised her with the news. Whether people loved or hated the approach, the video generated millions of views.

Unfortunately, just days after releasing their pregnancy video, Sam and Nia posted another video that revealed they suffered a miscarriage. The authenticity of their channel then came under question, with many accusing the couple of faking the whole thing. They've since responded to those claims.

As they reached internet fame from their viral videos, Sam and Nia received both positive and negative reactions to their content, but nothing could've prepared them for their Ashley Madison scandal. Sam signed up for the affair website without ever thinking it would come back to bite him in the way that it did. In the Netflix docuseries, he explained how his marriage with Nia had become strained when he made the move to sign up, though their internet fame gave them a resurgence in their relationship. They seemed happy together, but when headlines about the Ashley Madison breach started coming out, it was all Sam could think about.

Sam and Nia's first Ashley Madison video was all lies

Eventually, Sam found a tweet confirming that his name was mentioned in the leak, which sent him spiraling. He decided to tell Nia, who was shocked, but he didn't tell her the full truth yet. As explained in the docuseries, he told his wife that while he signed up for Ashley Madison, he never actually met up with anyone. Because of this, Nia eventually considered his mistake a misstep in judgment and decided to forgive him, though she was understandably hurt. Sam and Nia took to YouTube to explain the situation to their fans. The video has since been deleted, but People Magazine reported on what was said at the time.

Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal - Netflix /

“This is an issue that is in our past. This was before I got onto YouTube," Sam told their subscribers in the video posted in 2015. “This was brought to my wife’s attention. She has forgiven me for this mistake that I made in opening the account. I have sought forgiveness from God and he has forgiven me, so I have been completely cleansed of this sin.”

As Nia recalls in the Netflix docuseries, just hours after they recorded the video, she would feel much differently about the situation. Though Sam's intention was to "go to the grave" with the truth, he panicked when his brother wrote in their family group chat urging Sam to be honest. This alerted Nia, who continued to ask Sam what was going on. Sam decided to call his pastor to get advice on what he should do, who told him he should be truthful with his wife.

Sam eventually came clean on his multiple infidelities, recalling visits to strip clubs and massage parlors, as well as sex with other people over many years. He also had "emotional relationships" with others, and he pursued Nia's friends romantically. Nia remembers this moment as "hell."

This was no doubt an incredibly difficult time in Sam and Nia's marriage, but they remained together and after a brief hiatus, returned to YouTube.

Where are Sam and Nia now?

Nearly 10 years after the Ashley Madison data breach, Sam and Nia are still successful influencers. Their YouTube account has 2,510,00 million subscribers, while their Instagram has 162,000 followers. They currently have four children, Symphony, Abram, Juliet, and Josie, and as their YouTube account's about section promises, they "take marriage, parenting, and family drama head on and strive to live in Godly community with others on a daily basis." Their most recent YouTube video was posted just last week, and they've been very vocal with their fans about the Netflix docuseries.

On May 4, Sam and Nia uploaded a video discussing Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal, feeling nervous about the release. In one moment, they're seen on a video call with someone when Sam asks if he's going to look really bad in the series. As expected, Sam was feeling afraid about the docuseries where his infidelities are in the spotlight again. In the video, which you can watch below, the couple also promotes their upcoming book.

Sam and Nia have also been promoting the Netflix docuseries on their Instagram page, sharing their thoughts about the process and release. "We haven’t screened it beforehand, so we will be seeing everything right along with anyone else who decides to watch," the couple shared in the caption of one post. The general consensus from their fans in the comments section is that Sam and Nia are "brave" for sharing their story like this.

All three episodes of Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal are now streaming on Netflix.

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