Reality TV star Josh Duggar apologized Thursday after being outed as one of the 32 million people who used the cheating website Ashley Madison.
On Tuesday evening, hackers released personal information of millions of people using the infidelity dating website. The hackers announced last month that if Ashley Madison didn’t shut down the website, they would publish names, addresses and more of the registered users.
The hackers followed through on their promise, posting the data online as well as a downloadable file on a popular torrent website.
Gawker revealed Wednesday that TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar was a paying member of Ashley Madison.
“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,” Duggar said in a statement Thursday.
He did not specifically address Ashley Madison in his statement and later modified to omit the reference to pornography.
“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,” Duggar said.
Data released online shows a credit card belonging to a Joshua J. Duggar paid nearly $1,000 for two different monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February 2013 until May 2015.
The billing address on the first account matches a home in Fayetteville, Arkansas belonging to Josh’s grandmother Mary. The birthday listed on the first account is Feb. 3, 1988, one month off of Duggar’s actual birthday: March 3, 1988.
The second account address is linked to his Washington, DC home with a March 2, 1988 birthday, just one day off his actual birthday.
According to data from Duggar’s Ashley Madison account, Duggar was looking for an extramarital partner for “experimenting with sex toys” who was open to one night stands. His “turn-ons” listed included “girl next door” and a take charge nature.
The account was deleted around the time Duggar was at the center of a sexual assault controversy.
Duggar allegedly admitted to molesting five younger girls including his sisters while he was a teenager. He is accused of touching the girls’ private parts. Some of the girls were asleep at the time of the alleged incidents.
“I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” Duggar said in a statement in May. “I hurt others, including my family and close friends.”
Jim Bob Duggar, Josh’s father, met with church elders to send him to a church program. Police were never informed of the matter. No charges can be filed due to the statute of limitations.
His parents released a statement to People Magazine following the sex abuse scandal.
“Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.”