Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar React to Josh’s Cheating Confession: “Our Hearts Were Broken”

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar React to Josh's Cheating Confession

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are turning to prayer in the wake of son Josh Duggar‘s most recent scandal. As Josh revealed in a statement on Thursday, Aug. 20 — one day after he was linked to the cheating site Ashley Madison via leaked email addresses — he has been “unfaithful” to wife Anna Duggar, with whom he has four kids.

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“When we learned of this late last night our hearts were broken,” Jim Bob and Michelle wrote on the family’s official website. “As we continue to place our trust in God we ask for your prayers for Josh, Anna, our grandchildren, and our entire family.” 

Josh, 27, came clean about his transgressions after Gawker reported on Wednesday that he’d spent nearly $1,000 with AshleyMadison.com between February 2013 and May 2015. Though he didn’t mention the site directly, he did allude to using the Internet to fuel his “double life.”

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“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” he said in a statement, posted alongside his parents’ on Thursday. “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.”

Anna Duggar and Josh Duggar
Anna Duggar and Josh Duggar pose during the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 28. Kris Connor/Getty Images

He continued: “I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain, and disgrace my sin caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.”

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This is the 19 Kids and Counting star’s second major scandal in recent months. Earlier this year, it came to light that he had molested five young girls, including four of his sisters, when he was 14 years old.

“Back 12 years ago, our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives,” his parents said in a statement in May. “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.”

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They added: “We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day…We hope somehow the story of our journey — the good times and the difficult times — cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.”

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