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Family Research Council Slams Josh Duggar's 'Deceitful Behavior' Amid Cheating Scandal

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Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty; Brian Frank/Reuters/Landov

The conservative Christian organization for which Josh Duggar was a lobbyist has released a statement following his confession Thursday that he cheated on his wife Anna and was addicted to pornography.

“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,” reads the statement from Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “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,” Perkins continues. “We are praying for the family.”


Duggar resigned from his position at the FRC on May 21 as news broke of his first scandal, which revealed he molested five underage girls, including his sisters Jessa (Duggar) Seewald and Jill (Duggar) Dillard, as a teenager.

In his May resignation letter, Duggar apologized for his “long ago past,” writing: “In good faith I cannot allow Family Research Council to be impacted by mistakes I made as a teenager, so I am resigning as Executive Director of FRC Action.”

While Duggar insisted his mistakes were in the past as his family’s reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, was canceled, on Thursday he confessed to having a pornography addiction and cheating on his wife Anna following reports he had signed up for Ashley Madison, a website that facilitates extramarital affairs. His statement was later reposted without the mention of porn.

Duggar and Anna, both 27, have four children together. A source with ties to the family tells PEOPLE she will likely not leave him.

As for Duggar’s parents, Jim Bob, 50, and Michelle, 48, they are "absolutely stunned", the source says: “They just don’t know who this person is who could have done this.”


For much more on the Duggars, subscribe now or pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now