Embattled reality-TV star Josh Duggar has issued a public apology following reports identifying him in the Ashley Madison hacks. Duggar does not admit to having a Ashley Madison account in his lengthy statement, which was initially published on his family’s website Thursday, but he confesses to cheating and having a porn addiction. Also, he offers an overall plea for forgiveness for all his past transgressions that have turned into unsavory public spectacles this year. (The Duggars’ TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting was canceled last month, and he resigned from his position as exec director of FRC Action after it was revealed that he molested four of his sisters when he was younger.) His parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, introduced his statement with the following, according to People: “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.”
Read Josh Duggar’s full statement below:
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 … 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.