United States Navy Veteran Michael White from Imperial Beach, California, filed a federal lawsuit against the Iranian government, suing them for $1 billion on allegations that he was kidnapped, taken hostage, and tortured.

White spent nearly two years in Iran behind bars after Iranian authorities apprehended him. The lawsuit described in detail the “prolonged and continued” abuse White experienced, which included frequent beatings, starvation, and pressure to confess that he was a US spy, which he claimed he was not.

How did he get to Iran in the first place? White planned a trip to Iran in the summer of 2018 to meet a love interest he reportedly met using the Yahoo chat room feature a few years back. The two had an on-and-off relationship, and he hoped to rekindle their romance with a visit. Unfortunately for him, the trip proved unsuccessful as the person he meant to meet stopped seeing and communicating with him.