Former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar released a statement on Thursday, admitting to cheating on his wife. “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” said Duggar, who has often preached about traditional faith and family values.
Duggar’s confession comes one day after the private information of upwards of 30 million Ashley Madison users had been dumped online by hackers who had previously promised to do so if the site — and its sister sites, Cougar Life and Established Men — remained active.
After the information was released, Gawker discovered some incriminating evidence which indicated that former TLC star may have paid for the services of the dating site, which aids users in cheating on their significant others.
“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,” read Duggar’s statement on the family’s website. “The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings.” Duggar made no specific mention of the Ashley Madison allegations.
This revelation is the latest scandal to rock the expansive Duggar clan; in May, an unearthed police report from 2006 revealed that Josh had been investigated as a teen for molesting five underage girls. Two of his sisters, Jessa Duggar Seewald and Jill Duggar Dillard, later came forward as two of the victims in an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. TLC finally canceled 19 Kids and Counting in July, releasing the news on the morning of Emmy nominations.
See the full statement from Josh and his parents — Jim Bob and Michelle — below.
Statement from Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar:
Please see the statement below from our son Josh regarding recent media stories about him. When we learned of this late last night our hearts were broken. As we continue to place our trust in God we ask for your prayers for Josh, Anna, our grandchildren and our entire family.
Statement from Josh Duggar:
I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. 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.
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.
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.
The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings.
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.
I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.
UPDATE: The statement on the Duggar family website no longer contains his admission to porn addiction. Above is the original statement as first released. You can see the changes made in the below tweet:
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