Josh Duggar, executive director of FRC Action, speaks in favor the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Aug. 29, 2014. 
Photo by Danny Johnston/AP

Josh Duggar heads to rehab amid sex scandal


Josh Duggar, the sex scandal-embroiled son of reality television’s conservative Duggar family, is heading to rehab.

“Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center. For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change,” parents Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar said in a statement on Wednesday. 

The 27-year-old reportedly had a paid account on Ashley Madison, a recently hacked online dating service targeting married people interested in engaging in affairs. 

RELATED: Josh Duggar admits to porn addiction, being unfaithful

After years of using TLC’S “19 Kids and Counting” to promote sexual purity, conservatism and devout religion, the Duggars, who are part of the fundamentalist Quiverfull movement, faced allegations that their son had molested five young children – including some of his own sisters – as a teenager. The family swore Josh had been reformed and received counseling.

Reporter’s Notebook, 8/24/15, 11:46 AM ET

Gawker reporter explains scoop on Josh Duggar’s Ashley Madison…

When word got out that the Ashley Madison site had been hacked and its patrons exposed, it was only logical that journalists would take a look. Gawker reporter Ashley Feinberg joins Reporter’s Notebook to discuss how she managed to locate and verify…

Duggar apologized in a statement last week for being the “biggest hypocrite ever” and leading a “double life” that included viewing pornography and being “unfaithful to my wife.” He did not make direct reference to the Ashley Madison hack in that statement, though it was released shortly after allegations surfaced connecting him with the data leak. Duggar later revised his statement, taking out previous references to having a “secret addiction” and viewing Internet pornography.

In their comments on Wednesday, the Duggar parents said they were “deeply grieved” by Josh’s decisions and were praying on the matter. 

“His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear,” they said in the statement. “During this time we continue to look to God—He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family.”

The Duggar family was working on a one-hour television special to air on Sunday about the sex scandal.

—Emma Margolin contributed reporting to this article.

Josh Duggar and Pop Culture

Josh Duggar heads to rehab amid sex scandal