I have a crazy ex, We have been together on & off for a few years before I finally managed to leave her and call it off for good, that was a couple of years ago.

She recently approached me (via linkedin as I blocked her anywhere else) & let me know that she's still in love with me & wants me back, she did so in a way that made it clear that should I not agree to it she will be "forced" to tell my employer & colleges about the extent of our BDSM based relationship (I was the Dom if it somehow matters for the answer) as "she does not feel comfortable letting other woman hang around me while I continue to have my unmet urges without them knowing" (bad translation from our native language but that's the jist of it), I'm not as worried about her telling my friends as the good ones already know about this side of me nor my family (as my relation with them can't get worse for unrelated reasons).

I have a very good job that I don't want to quit or for them to know about my kinks mentioned above (it will not go well in my area).

Now clearly she's nuts as she actually thinks blackmailing me is a good way for us to get back together (and I'm ashamed to admit is not unexpected from her past behavior) but I'm at a loss as to how to handle it. I can't go back with her but I also don't want anyone at my work to know about this side of me.

Throw away account because my main one might be known at work.

  • 19
    Consensual BDSM. Who cares? Are you a priest or something? Does she have pictures? I ask because revenge porn is starting to become a crime in some jurisdictions. Commented Dec 25, 2019 at 23:42
  • 1
    Yeah, if you could tell us the type of job you have, that might make it more relevant to the workplace. Commented Dec 25, 2019 at 23:52
  • 1
    Cutting down the relationship narrative, focusing of any workplace problem there may be will also be of big help.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 0:09
  • 16
    Demands with menaces aka extortion is a criminal offense. Contact the police.
    – C'est Moi
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 12:18
  • 8
    I'm not convinced that, "How do I protect my workplace reputation from someone threatening to leak sensitive/embarrassing information?", isn't a valid workplace question. If OP's ex had already contacted their job and the question was about dealing with the fallout, would that also be off-topic? If not, why is a question about how to prevent that from happening off-topic?
    – BSMP
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 16:01

6 Answers 6


(depends on location) Blackmail is a criminal offence, so go to the police.

Also I doubt your employer would give her the time of day. No employer will be interested in hearing this.

If she tells your colleague, then just say she's a crazy stalker you've been trying to get rid of.

  • 21
    There is no need to lie. Lies can easily be disproven. Just say that she's a crazy stalker that you've been trying to get rid of. Do not give any more information than that. Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 1:00
  • I agree with @StephanBranczyk, just say she is crazy/jealous/exaggerating, then they will not believing her Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 15:47

Describe her or show a photo to the doorman and security detail at your employer's premises and instruct them to deny her access to the building. Say that she's stalking you and will cause a disturbance.

If possible, let your supervisor or boss know that you've done this. You might want to tell HR also.

The point is not to keep her away but to establish a mental picture in the minds of your employers and co-workers -- you have a stalker who might do or say anything and is not to be trusted.

This is a debate technique called "poisoning the well".

  • 2
    I would proceed very carefully as this may border on slander. If it is a case of stalking, get the police involved and try for a restraining order rather than besmirching a person, with no paperwork to back it up.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 10:52
  • 2
    @TymoteuszPaul OP has the LinkedIn message where she made the threat. That's not enough to go to the police with (though OP should save that message for later in case she escalates this) but that's enough reason for the OP to tell their supervisor, HR, and security that they're being harassed by an ex. Maybe they shouldn't use the word "stalker" yet but they should definitely say something.
    – BSMP
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 16:06
  • 1
    @BSMP Huh? Why won't we leave the police to decide what is and what is not enough for them to action a possible crime? Going to file a report takes some time, granted, but the worst possible outcome is that you've now reported a possible crime, that police won't an action right away, but will come extremely handy if she then delivers on the threat. On a side note, no idea where do you live, but plain open threat via text is more than enough for police to investigate in most 1st world countries. Usually a call from the police to "cut it off" is more than enough to end it altogether.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 16:09
  • 1
    @TymoteuszPaul I didn’t mean that they literally couldn’t go to the police now but from what I’ve heard and read from victims of stalking, they usually have to show a pattern of harassment before police will do anything if the threats aren’t violent.
    – BSMP
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 17:01
  • 1
    @TymoteuszPaul No, I mean anything at all. Again, I'm going by what I've heard and read people say about their experiences with stalking so we'll have to agree to disagree on this. (If you don't agree to disagree you can create a chat room since I'm sure A. I. Breveleri doesn't want to keep getting notifications for this.)
    – BSMP
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 18:31

You should save all the evidence and turn it over to the police.

May have to pretend to meet her demands while the police investigates.


No answers provided a clear and complete approach, so here is what you should do in my opinion.

You have to:

  • Collect all evidence of the blackmail

  • Report to the police as soon as possible (assuming blackmail/harassment is an offense in your country). Do not wait, you should do that today.

The main issue I see in your case is that you entered in the game of your ex. From the first threatening message, you should have kept a neutral and constant answer:

I recorded your message, I will now go to the police to report the offense. I warned my relatives and close collaborators someone is blackmailing me, I'm confident they will accept to testimony in the scenario you decide to talk to them.

(n.b. you don't have to say anything to your colleagues, the idea is just to emphasize no matter what she does, it won't affect you, and there will be repercussions)

Your mistake is to have shown her that it is affecting you, now she thinks she has a means of pressure on you, and she will keep using it until you take control of the situation.

I think you also need to be reassured: For now, it's only threats (and that's why you have to react now), and it will probably stay like this as it's usually the case. Just imagine the situation where someone would contact you to say your colleague has a sexual life, and he is into BDSM. I wouldn't care personally, and most people will do the same.


In case you are in Germany, you may ask a lawyer to draft an "Strafbewehrte Unterlassungserklärung" which you send to your former girlfriend to sign (she would have to pay if she does, if not you would have to pay and can sue her). She attempts something which could be considered "Sexuelle Noetigung", which could bring her a few months in jail.


The issue is not getting your work life/interpersonal relationships at work ruined by someone blackmailing you.

Say to your colleagues/boss that your ex is blackmailing you based on the intimate relationship you had with her in the past. Say clearly that she is trying to force you into a relationship you do not want anymore. You do not need to mention any BDSM-oriented details for that to be understood.

If anyone asks "how can she blackmail you?" as in "what does she have against you", simply answer that you do not feel comfortable describing something intimate.

She's basically pressuring you by using something personal in public. Say publicly that she's blackmailing you, and ask openly to have her blocked by the company (physical security as well as email/social network blockage). If she forces her way in through outright defiance by the company/HR/colleagues, she'll only look crazier and more desperate.

Unless one of your colleagues clearly wants to destroy you and enter the blackmail game with her, which is of course something to look out for, you should not need to worry about denouncing an old relationship you've left, no matter its nature. The fact that you're being blackmailed back into it also speaks in your favor: You clearly want out, and she's clearly forcing you in. Nobody has anything against you in this case (unless you literally lash the whip out at them in the office).

  • 1
    Stating 'do not feel comfortable discussing something intimate' adding that she has something intimate that could be used against you is a giveaway of personal info that imo is likely to backfire. Bad advice.
    – Paolo
    Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 3:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .