Calling himself “the biggest hypocrite ever,” ex-reality star Josh Duggar has apologized for a “secret addiction” to pornography and for cheating on his wife.
“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,” the former 19 Kids and Counting star said in a statement posted Thursday on the family’s website.
The statement was apparently spurred by Duggar’s name appearing among millions exposed in a data breach of customers of the Ashley Madison website, an online service that caters to men and women looking to cheat on their spouses. Leaked data showed that a Josh Duggar whose address was the same as the reality TV star was a member of the cheating website from December 2012 to October 2014.
In his statement, Duggar did not address whether he had used AshleyMadison.com, nor did he detail the exact nature of his marital infidelity.
“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. “The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings.”
He asks fans for their prayers “for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.” The couple’s fourth child, a daughter, was born a month ago.
On the family’s website, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said, “When we learned of this late last night our hearts were broken.”
The 27-year-old Duggar’s admission comes several weeks after his exposure that as a teen, he molested four of his sisters and a babysitter. Those revelations led to the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting.