Conservative family-values advocate Josh Duggar, who was at the center of a child molestation scandal that led to the cancellation of his family's reality show "19 Kids and Counting," called himself "the biggest hypocrite ever" Thursday in an apology for subscribing to the infidelity-arrangement website AshleyMadison.com.
"While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife," Duggar, 27, said in a statement on the family website. Without directly referencing the cheating site he said, "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. . . . The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country I was hiding my own personal failures."
People.com, which posted quotes from a slightly different version of Duggar's statement, reported he had "secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the Internet and this became a secret addiction," which eventually led to cheating on his wife, Anna.
Gawker.com had posted an analysis of some of the 9.7 gigabytes of customer information that hackers recently took from the Ashley Madison website, and found a credit card belonging to a Joshua J. Duggar at a billing address registered to the Favyetteville, Arkansas, home of his paternal grandmother, Mary. The account paid $986.76 for two different monthly subscriptions from February 2013 through May 2015.
Gawker's analysis also indicated that the second account was registered in July 2014 to Josh Duggar's home in Oxen Hill, Maryland, where he lived while working as executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council's lobbying PAC. He resigned from that position in May following the scandal.
"As I am learning the hard way," Josh Duggar's statement continued, "we have the freedom to choose our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all the 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."