Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said their “hearts were broken” upon learning of their son Josh’s extramarital affairs and addiction to pornography.
The couple issued a brief statement on the family website, a day after learning that Josh Duggar had paid to have open an account on the adultery website AshleyMadison.com.
“When we learned of this late last night, our hearts were broken,” the Duggars said Thursday in their statement. “As we continue to place our trust in God, we ask for your prayers for Josh, Anna, our grandchildren and our entire family.” None of Josh's siblings have spoken out since the news of his extramarital affairs surfaced.
On Wednesday, Gawker reported that Josh Duggar had maintained a paid account on the recently hacked Ashley Madison website, which is designed to facilitate extramarital affairs.
It is the latest scandal to rock the Duggar family because of the behavior of Josh, the 27-year-old former executive of the Family Research Council. In May, he admitted that while he was a teenager, he molested five children. Four of the victims were his sisters, including 22-year-old Jessa Seewald, who is now pregnant with her first child. The controversy prompted TLC to cancel the Duggar family's reality television show, "19 Kids and Counting."
Josh, who has four children with his wife, has apologized for the latest scandal in a statement that also was issued on the family website.
"I have been the biggest hypocrite ever," he said. "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."
The statement was later edited to remove the references to pornography and his molestation controversy.