As many of you know, there is nearly irrefutable evidence that Josh Duggar created a Facebook profile under the alias “Joe Smithson” that he used to try to hook up with women for more than a decade–even after he married Anna in 2008. If that wasn’t enough, he swiped the picture of Jonathan Blankfein, the son of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, to use on that profile–thus putting an innocent man’s reputation in astronomical danger. Jonathan Blankfein hasn’t commented as of yet, but it doesn’t take a lawyer to know that he would have grounds for one whopper of a lawsuit if he went that route.
Well, the oldest son of America’s most famous babymakers may be facing legal trouble on another front related to his cheating. It turns out that the same email that Josh used to troll for affairs at Ashley Madison and create the “Smithson” profile on Facebook was also linked to a profile on OKCupid, “joesmithsonnwa.” Apparently Josh did a search for “random guy” on Google Images, selected the third image that came up, and swiped it. The profile was deleted soon after Gawker flagged it on Thursday.
Well, it turns out the picture belongs to a Hollywood DJ and producer named Matthew McCarthy. Apparently Josh’s self-absorbed actions have already come back to bite McCarthy hard. He told TMZ that at least one club cut ties with him because its owners thought he was somehow linked to the scandal. According to TMZ, McCarthy is seriously considering a lawsuit against Josh for defamation of character.
McCarthy subsequently told Gawker that he first learned Josh used his picture when a high school friend of his tipped him off on Facebook. Apparently someone swiped his picture back in 2010 and uploaded it to a WordPress blog under the title “Random Guy from Facebook (4).” Apparently other cheaters have swiped that picture in the past five years; Josh is only the highest-profile one to do so. He wants Josh to “stop lying, stop cheating, stop pretending to be other people”–and above all, “stop using my pictures.” If you’re reading this, Matthew, my heart goes out to you. You didn’t deserve to get any blowback from the actions of this conceited and self-absorbed jerk.
Josh is already facing a lawsuit from the babysitter he fondled as a teenager. Combine that with any lawsuits that McCarthy and/or Jonathan Blankfein might pursue, and it would be enough to drive Josh into the poorhouse. It would be what Josh deserves several times over. I’ve tried to go easy on Josh since news broke that he fondled some of his sisters, as well as that babysitter, when he was a teenager. After all, while he bears responsibility for his actions, Jim Bob and Michelle bear at least as much responsibility, if not more, since they dragged their feet in reporting his actions and getting him help.
But that changed with the revelation that Josh was callous and self-absorbed enough to not only cheat on his wife, but put innocent third parties’ reputations on the line in doing so. This isn’t just about the Duggars, folks. How many others have had their lives ruined because some random bottom-feeder decided to cheat on his or her spouse, and got the bright idea to use an innocent person’s picture to cover their tracks? Cheating is bad enough, but wrecking an innocent third party’s reputation to facilitate your cheating is absolutely heinous. I hope that either McCarthy or Blankfein–or both–do haul Josh into court. The signal must go out–you cannot wreck innocent third parties’ lives in this way and do so with impunity.
As much as I feel for McCarthy, I also feel for Josh’s wife, Anna. We already know she’s under tremendous pressure to stay with Josh. There’s no word on whether she knows about this facet of Josh’s infidelity. But once she does find out, you would think that it would be enough to overcome any pressure she’s under to stay. The mere fact we have to wonder if it will be enough should be all that anyone needs to know about a family that has defrauded this nation for a decade.