The business on...Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss

By Stephen Foley
Saturday 01 January 2011 01:00

Mmm, they're hunky

Well, yes, they are Olympic rowers. The identical twins didn't bring home a medal for the US in Beijing, but they are going for gold in their long battle against Facebook.

This is the story told in the movie 'The Social Network'

They claim Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from them. When they were all at Harvard, they hired the Facebook founder to develop a social network – only to see him launch his own a few weeks later.

They were played in the film by hunky Armie Hammer?

Er, yes. But let's get back to the legal fight, shall we.

OK. What's new? Didn't they settle this?

Well, yes. They did, in 2008, for $65m, $45m in Facebook shares. But now they are trying to undo the settlement, saying Facebook was duplicitous. The shares are probably worth $140m now, but they want four times that.

Their case is...?

That Facebook misled them about the value of the shares in 2008, and that new evidence strengthens their claim. Namely, a lot of instant messages Mr Zuckerberg sent to a friend, including one that says he was going to "fuck them...probably in the ear".

Mr Zuckerberg says?

They were proposing a dating site, not a social network. There was no theft. And as for reopening the whole issue, Facebook says they are just suffering "settler's remorse".

How are they bearing up?

Afraid this is eating them up still. The New York Times caught up with them in a San Diego pub recently and found them highly exercised on the subject. "The principle is that they didn't fight fair," Tyler said. "The principle is that Mark stole the idea."

But they're still hunky?

Yes, yes. Even The New York Times was wowed. "Physically striking ... imposing ... their frames are lean and muscular, shaped by years of rowing." Sorry, I have to go lie down.

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