Reality show star Josh Duggar of the former hit TLC television show “19 Kids and Counting” admitted to adultery and a pornography addiction Thursday following the massive data dump of the spouse cheating website Ashley Madison.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” he wrote in a post on the Duggar family website this morning. “While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.”
Reports released yesterday following a hack on the Ashley Madison servers revealed that Duggar was included among the 37 million that allegedly used the site. Gawker notes that Duggar spent $986.76 for two monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February 2013 until May of this year—when the sexual molestation scandal broke.
The data dump further showed that Duggar checked categories that included “Conventional Sex,” “Experimenting with Sex Toys,” “One-Night Stands,” “Open to Experimentation,” “Extended Foreplay/Teasing,” “Bubble Bath for 2,” “Likes to Give Oral Sex,” “Likes to Receive Oral Sex,” “Someone I Can Teach,” “Someone Who Can Teach Me,” “Sharing Fantasies” and “Sex Talk.”
Part of his payment was for an “affair guarantee.”
“I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him,” Duggar wrote in his statement on Thursday. “I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust.”
As previously reported, TLC pulled “19 Kids and Counting” last month following revelations that Duggar, the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, inappropriately touched several girls—four of his sisters and a babysitter—at the age of 14 and was required by his parents to obtain help.
Duggar, who confessed to his parents about his actions at that time, later professed to be a Christian and went on to serve as the executive director of FRC Action at the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He attended rallies and other events where he spoke against society’s moral degradation.
However, in today’s statement, Duggar admitted that while serving in ministry and rebuking the sins of others, he himself had been living in sin.
“The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings,” he wrote. “As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose to our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.”
Duggar asked followers for forgiveness and requested prayer for his wife Anna and the rest of his family. Duggar resigned from Family Policy Council in May and moved back to Arkansas with his wife and children.
“When we learned of this late last night our hearts were broken,” his parents said in a statement following today’s admission. “As we continue to place our trust in God we ask for your prayers for Josh, Anna, our grandchildren and our entire family.”