UPDATE 1-Former reality TV star Josh Duggar admits cheating on wife – Reuters


(Adds detail on early version of statement, upcoming
documentary and fan reaction)

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES Aug 20 (Reuters) – Former reality TV star Josh
Duggar on Thursday admitted cheating on his wife after reports
that he had subscribed to the Ashley Madison affair website,
apologizing 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 posted 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
canceled “19 Kids,” after disclosures in May that Duggar had
sexually abused four of his sisters when he was a teenager, one
of whom was under 10 years old at the time.

Duggar apologized in a statement, saying he “acted
inexcusably,” and resigned from his job at Christian lobbying
group Family Research Council.

In an earlier version of Duggar’s statement posted on the
family’s website and reported by People magazine and Buzzfeed,
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.”

The reference to pornography was removed in an updated
version of the statement.

Duggar’s parents, conservative Christians Jim Bob and
Michelle Duggar, said on Thursday they were dismayed over the
Ashley Madison reports concerning their son.

“When we learned of this late last night our hearts were
broken,” they said in a statement.

Hackers this week dumped a batch of data stolen from the
Ashley Madison website detailing millions of members. The site’s
tagline is “Life is short. Have an affair.”

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

A link to the statement was posted on the Duggar family’s
Facebook page but deleted after a barrage of comments from fans
criticizing Josh Duggar for his actions. On Twitter, Duggar
became a trending topic as users expressed their disapproval.

A TLC representative declined to comment on Thursday, but
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 in the past.

Duggar and his wife, Anna, were married in 2008 and have
four children.

(Reporting by Piya Sinah-Roy in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter
Cooney and Christian Plumb)

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