Metro Weekly

Josh Duggar admits affair after Ashley Madison hack

Josh Duggar
Duggar (Photo credit: Josh and Anna Duggar, via Facebook).

Josh Duggar has revealed that he used the online hookup website Ashley Madison after hackers stole and then released customers’ information.

According to CNN, Duggar was one of 32 million users of the Ashley Madison site who got caught up in the security breach. The website, whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair,” was hacked last month under the threat of releasing the customers’ personal information unless Ashley Madison’s parent company, Avid Life Media, shut down. That information was released earlier this week, allowing people to input the addresses of their loved ones and see if they had signed up for an account with Ashley Madison. CNN reports that Duggar payed the site $986 between 2012 and 2015.

According to Gawker, Duggar’s profile had listed some of his desires as “conventional sex,” “experimenting with sex toys,” “one-night stands,” “open to experimentation,” oral sex, and “extended foreplay/teasing.” He reportedly said in his profile that he was seeking a “professional/well-groomed,” “stylish/classy” woman with “confidence” and an “aggressive/take charge nature.”

In a statement, Duggar, the eldest child of 19 Kids and Counting stars Michelle and Jim-Bob Duggar and a former lobbyist for the Family Research Council, apologized for his infidelity. His parents, in posting Josh’s statement, said their “hearts were broken” upon hearing the news and asked for people to pray for their family.

“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” Duggar says in the statement. “While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.” According to CNN, that sentence had initially referenced an addiction to viewing pornography which has since been edited out.

“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 says.. “I have brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions. The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country I was hiding my own personal failures. As I am learning the hard way, 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,” Duggar’s statement continues. “I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.”

Duggar previously resigned from his position at the Family Research Council in May after reports emerged that Duggar had allegedly sexually molested girls as a teenager, including two of his sisters. At the time, he said he had “acted inexcusably” and apologized for his past actions. Due in part to the controversy over the revelations, 19 Kids and Counting has since been cancelled.

Even throughout the controversy surrounding the molestation accusations, Duggar has continued to espouse opposition to LGBT rights and same-sex marriage. When the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that eventually legalized marriage equality nationwide, Duggar spoke at a conservative rally against same-sex marriage on the steps of the courthouse. He warned that opposition to same-sex marriage was “not going away,” regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision.

“We have to stand up for the rights of the American family,” Duggar said at the rally. “The Constitution protects Americans from court-imposed decisions,” he added, referring to First Amendment protections for speech and freedom of religion.

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!