Just months after reports came out alleging he sexually assaulted minors when he was a teenager, reports began to surface on Wednesday, Aug. 19 that Josh Duggar allegedly had two accounts on Ashley Madison, an extramarital dating site. Now, via a statement on his family's official website, Josh Duggar has confirmed that he cheated on his wife, Anna Duggar. On Thursday, the former 19 Kids & Counting star, along with his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, shared their side of the story.
(Update: A couple of hours after posting the statement below, Josh Duggar removed the following lines: "I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction" and "...that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust.")
The 27-year-old's statement on the site was preceded by a short message from his parents, who asked for prayers for their family:
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.
Duggar's statement followed, and while he doesn't bring up the alleged Ashley Madison accounts, he does admit that he became "unfaithful" to Anna:
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.
Gawker claims to have obtained the list of subscribers who were revealed in the hack, and the site alleges that Duggar had two accounts judging by the appearance of the name "Josh J. Duggar" and a billing address that matches up with that of his grandmother Mary's home in Arkansas.
Duggar worked for the Family Research Council, a conservative lobbying group, in Washington D.C. until he resigned in May 2015 in the midst of the sexual allegations against him becoming public. Duggar and Anna have been married since September 2008, when they tied the knot on camera for a special episode of 19 Kids & Counting. Since then, they've had four children together: Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus, and Meredith.