The hits keep coming. Josh Duggar's former employer, the ultra conservative Family Research Council, released a statement on Aug. 21, condemning the reality star for his "deceitful behavior" in light of his admission that he has a pornography addiction and was unfaithful to his wife, Anna.
The admission came after it was revealed that he had two accounts on AshleyMadison.com, a website devoted to privately facilitating extramarital affairs. Hackers, however, breached the site's system and released the data this week, including names of its members.
"Last night we learned from online reports about allegations concerning Josh Duggar and then read his confession today. We are grieved by Josh's conduct and the devastating impact of his pornography addiction and marital unfaithfulness," FRC president Tony Perkins said in a statement. "Our hearts hurt for his family, and all those affected by Josh's actions. His deceitful behavior harms his family, his friends, his former coworkers, and the cause he has publicly espoused. Those of us who advocate for family values in the public square are held to a higher standard, and Josh's failures serve as a painful reminder of the destructive effects of not living with integrity. We are praying for the family."
Josh resigned as a executive director for FRC in May after reports surfaced that he molested five girls, including his sisters, an accusation he later admitted to. TLC eventually canceled the family's reality show "19 Kids and Counting" in light of that scandal.
In Josh's resignation letter to FRC he wrote that "in good faith I cannot allow Family Research Council to be impacted by mistakes I made as a teenager."
While working for the conservative group, Josh railed against same sex marriage and carried the torch for family values. He often spoke about fighting back against the "immorality" of the country.
Earlier this year, he told CNS News, "I'm sure grateful for my parents and I'm grateful for my wife and we have our fourth child on the way due in July and I think it's just such a blessing when you see family and you see that you can honor each other."
On Aug. 20, though, Josh was saying something else.
"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," he said in a lengthy statement on the Duggar family's website, a statement that was revised an hour after it was released.
"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," he said.
He continued, "The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, in my heart I had allowed Satan to build a fortress that no one knew about. 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."
Oddly, an hour after the family released Josh's statement, they revised it, taking out the admission that Josh has a pornography addiction. The new statement simply read: "I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife." A mention of the previous molestations was also edited out.
Anna, it's believed, will stick by Josh's side through all of this, People magazine reports.
Whether the Duggar family as a whole can come back remains to be seen, but there isn't a high likelihood.
Robert Thompson, a Syracuse University Professor of Television and Popular Culture, said hypocrisy isn't "tolerated in America," no matter how famous someone is. "If you are a senator and get caught with a sex tape it is hypocrisy and people won't stand for it, but if Paris Hilton has a sex tape it's OK. With the Duggars, it's the sin, the lie and the contradiction -- a triple whammy."
Dr. Daren Brabham, a public relations and strategic communication expert, told E! News: "I would say at this point Josh Duggar's brand is pretty much destroyed ... The family values cause was his brand and potentially his political platform in a would-be political career, but now that has all been revealed as a sham. Public relations doesn't get much worse than this. TLC is wise to have broken bonds with the Duggars in light of this new development."
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