Yesterday, it emerged that disgraced conservative activist Josh Duggar had apparently plunked down almost $1,000 while trolling for an affair on cheaters’ mega-site Ashley Madison. This afternoon, Josh admitted that, in his own words, he had been a “hypocrite” by cheating on his wife.
Early this afternoon, Josh released a statement on his family’s Website in which he described himself as “the biggest hypocrite ever.” He admitted that he had been “unfaithful” to his wife, Anna, while publicly “espousing faith and family values.” Josh expressed shame for the “double life” that brought “hurt, pain and disgrace” to his family. He also apologized for the “hurt and reproach” that his actions brought to his close friends, as well as longtime fans of his family’s now-canceled show, “19 Kids and Counting.” Josh confessed his “sin” to his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, last night–presumably hours after the Ashley Madison leak broke.
An earlier version of the statement had Josh also confessing to a longstanding addiction to pornography, though that section was later scrubbed out. Regardless, let’s give credit where credit is due. For the second time in the Duggars’ terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2015, Josh had the decency to admit what he did. He could have screamed that the accounts were fake–which seemed very unlikely since the address for one of the accounts belonged to his grandmother. Had he kept up that charade, then he really would have been a hypocrite.
I have to hope that with this admission, Josh will be able to get the help he needs. After all, his parents failed him when they dragged their feet in getting him help after he inappropriately touched five girls–including his sisters–in 2002 and 2003. While most parents would have realized there was a problem after just one incident, any defensible reason not to get help right away got torpedoed when Josh fondled a babysitter.
When you inappropriately touch someone who isn’t related to you, you’d have to be delusional or worse to think it was just teenage experimentation. It took a third incident for them to finally realize they had to do something–and yet, all they did was have Josh work with someone who painted houses.
Had Jim Bob and Michelle not failed Josh more than a decade ago, you can make a very good argument that we wouldn’t even be having this discussion today.
Unlike his parents, Josh at least had the guts to admit he had a problem. He took a big step by admitting he’d been a hypocrite for years. For his own sake, as well as the sake of Anna and his kids, he needs to take the next step and get some real, professional help–and soon. Let’s also hope this spells finis to any talk about Jim Bob and Michelle wanting to “counsel” sexual assault victims on TLC. If this isn’t a sign that America’s most famous babymakers need to get off TV and focus on healing their family, I don’t know what is.