Disgraced reality TV star Josh Duggar has begged for us all to pray for his wife after it was confirmed that he had a profile on the pro-cheating website Ashley Madison. The call came from his 19 Kids & Counting family website where he admitted to cheating on his wife, Anna Duggar, of nearly seven years. This all comes just three months after he admitted to molesting his sisters when he was a teenager, something Anna says she knew before she married her 27-year-old husband.
Duggar, a former used car salesman, joined Ashley Madison while he was working as the executive director of the Family Research Council, lobbying against same-sex marriage and Planned parenthood.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Couple Has Said in the Past That They Plan to Have Many Children as ‘God Gives Them’
Anna Duggar, her maiden name was Keller, and Josh Duggar got married in September 2008. They have four children together, Mackynzie Renee, Michael James, Marcus Anthony, and, born just a couple of months ago, Grace. The couple, like Josh’s parents, do not believe in birth control and said in the past that they plant to have as many kids as “God gives them.”
Anna says on the couple’s website that she first noticed Josh while watching him on TV in 2004. She says about him “I noticed how Joshua, then age sixteen, shared the importance of guarding his heart and waiting for someone who would really love him and wasn’t going to just get carried away with their emotions.” The couple eventually met in 2006 while Josh Duggar was out campaigning for his dad’s state senate campaign.
2. Anna Duggar’s Twitter Followers Are Adamant That She Divorce Josh, But That Might Be Harder Than it Seems
Back in May 2015 when reports emerged that Josh had molested his sisters and other girls during his teenage years, Anna’s Twitter followers were adamant that she divorce him and not let him near their children. She said in a statement that she had no plans to divorce her husband and that she knew about the molestation prior to marrying him. Anna wrote that she had no problems saying “yes” when he proposed because she knew the real him. She added that Josh was a “gentleman and knows how to treat a girl right.” Calls for divorce in Arkansas may prove difficult if Josh and Anna had a “covenant marriage,” like his other siblings, reports People Magazine. If they did have this kind of agreement, then in order to get a divorce, the couple must undergo intensive marriage counseling under state law.
3. Prior to His Outing as a Molester, Josh & Anna Lived in Maryland
In May 2015, Josh resigned his position as executive director of the Family Research Council after the reports of molestation resurfaced. According to the couple’s website, after that they relocated closer to their family home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Prior to that, the couple had been living in Oxon Hill, Maryland, which is where Gawker reports that Josh had listed his address on Ashley Madison. The couple had lived in Maryland since 2013. Before moving north, Josh had run a used car dealership, according to his website.
4. Anna Duggar’s Father Brought His Family to the Lord After a Jury Duty Stint
On the FAQ section of Josh and Anna Duggar’s website, she writes that although she was raised in a Christian household, it wasn’t until her father returned from a jury duty stint that she really found the lord in 1994. Two years later, her father left his “good job” to work as a missionary to the incarcerated. The family were raised in Gainesville, Florida. The kids were home schooled with Anna graduating high school at age 16. After that, Anna went to preach with her father’s ministry.
5. Josh Duggar Now Says ‘I Have Been the Biggest Hypocrite Ever’
In a statement on the Duggar family website, Josh writes:
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 to 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.
His parents also asked for the public to pray for Anna and Josh. On August 19, hackers leaked information about users of the cheating website, Ashley Madison. In Josh’s leak, Gawker reports that he wanted to find a mistress for the following:
“Conventional Sex,” Experimenting with Sex Toys,” One-Night Stands,” “Open to Experimentation,” “Gentleness,” “Good With Your Hands,” Sensual Massage,” “Extended Foreplay/Teasing,” “Bubble Bath for 2,” “Likes to Give Oral Sex,” “Likes to Receive Oral Sex,” “Someone I Can Teach,” “Someone Who Can Teach Me,” “Kissing,” “Cuddling & Hugging,” “Sharing Fantasies,” “Sex Talk.”
Later, the gossip site says, Josh opened a second account with the site, an account that premium and thus, “guaranteed an affair.”