Duggar admits adultery

LOS ANGELES • Former reality TV star Josh Duggar on Thursday admitted to cheating on his wife after reports that he had subscribed to the Ashley Madison affair website, apologising for being "the biggest hypocrite ever".

"While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife," Duggar, 27, a former campaigner for family values who appeared on the TLC show 19 Kids And Counting, said in a statement on his family's website.

"The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country I was hiding my own personal failures," he added, calling himself the "biggest hypocrite ever".

The Discovery Communications-owned network last month cancelled 19 Kids after disclosures in May that he had sexually abused four of his sisters when he was a teenager. He apologised, saying he "acted inexcusably", and resigned from his job at Christian lobbying group Family Research Council.

In an earlier version of his statement posted on his family's site, he said: "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." Hackers this week dumped data stolen from the Ashley Madison website detailing millions of members.

Duggar is so far the highest- profile person found among the site's clientele.

On Twitter, he became a trending topic as users expressed their disapproval. A TLC representative said the network is still scheduled to release Breaking The Silence on Aug 30, a documentary on child sex abuse featuring Duggar's sisters Jill and Jessa, who publicly forgave him for molesting them.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2015, with the headline 'Duggar admits adultery'. Print Edition | Subscribe