London, Mar 4 : Jimmy Wales, the man behind Wikipedia, is not himself immune from the downside of the internet after embarrassing allegations about his love life were published on the web.
When the news of Wales's relationship with onetime Fox News pundit Rachel Marsden was leaked to a gossip site, Wikipedia's co-founder used the world's most popular online encyclopedia as a means of dumping his girlfriend.
In a response to that, the 33-year-old Marsden auctioned a T-shirt and sweater that she claimed Wales left in her apartment on eBay.
The affair has raised questions about Wikipedia's much vaunted reputation for impartiality. The site, which contains nine million articles in 253 languages, prides itself on its impartiality and on being the "free encyclopedia anyone can edit".
In his statement on the site, Wales, denied rumours that he had "intervened inappropriately" to redraft Marsden's Wikipedia biography.
However, he acknowledged that they first struck up an email relationship two years ago when she complained about her Wikipedia entry.
"I subsequently reviewed her bio and I found it to be not up to our standards," the Telegraph quoted Wales, as adding in his statement.
'My involvement in cases like this is completely routine and I am proud of it," he stated.
He said he had notified his complaints team that he was meeting Marsden last month and rescued himself from further involvement in her biography.
Wales' concern for the integrity of his creation did not impress Marsden, who claimed in her eBay posting that he had "just broke up with me via an announcement on Wikipedia".
She said: "It was such a classy move that I was inspired to do something equally classy myself, so I'm selling a couple of items of clothing he left behind... Jimbo was obviously supposed to come visit me in a couple of weeks and pick up some of his stuff, but obviously that won't be happening now.'"
According to the Internet industry website Valleywag, Wales ended the relationship because he suspected Marsden was keeping a copy of their instant messages and might try to use them against him.