WASHINGTON, DC FEBRUARY 2012 MICHELLE AND JIM BOB DUGGARWhen online vigilante hackers, the Impact Team, threatened to release the private details of AshleyMadison.com’s subscribers, at least, one known person must have been nervous. After several months of scandal, Josh Duggar was revealed to be on the list of people who have paid for the service that helps married men and women find an adulterous partner. In the wake of the revelation, a public announcement confirmed the reports.

Ashley Madison Accounts
More than 32 million subscribers were outed when the database for Ashley Madison was hacked, stolen and then leaked online. Included in that list was Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of the now-cancelled TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting.

According to reports, he had, not one, but two paid accounts – one near the home that he shares with his wife, Anna, and four children in Arkansas and another near his home in Maryland. It was also discovered that he had paid for a premium service that comes with a money-back guarantee that users will find an affair partner within three months.

Among the details were Duggar’s dating and sexual preferences which included “bubble baths for 2,” an expressed interest in experimentation and discretion. Between 2012 and 2015, he spent $986 on his membership to Ashley Madison.

Public Confession
Duggar did not wait long to address the accusations and make a public statement. On his family’s website, he wrote: “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 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. 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.”

Molestation Scandal
Back in May 2015, fans of the Duggar family were shocked to learn that Josh Duggar had molested several younger females, including some of his sisters, when he was a teenager. A 2006 police report showed that Duggar was accused of “forcible fondling.”

As a result, 19 Kids and Counting was cancelled and Duggar was forced to resign from his position at the Family Research Council, an organization that aims to “advance faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview.” Republican presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee, opted to stand by Josh and the entire Duggar family during the scandal.

In a post on Facebook, Duggar addressed the situation and wrote: “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling.”

Moving Forward
It is unclear how the Duggar family will move forward from this point and there has been no mention of how Josh will be addressing his issues, if at all. Since he is the father of four small children, one can only hope that the family will make their decisions based on what is best for them. It is, undoubtedly, a very difficult time but, sometimes, having secrets exposed can be for the best. If he chooses to, Josh can openly begin to work on himself and heal which, of course, would be the best thing for everyone involved.