Famous kidnapping survivor and activist Elizabeth Smart’s father, Ed Smart, announced that he is gay and leaving his wife, Lois Smart, in a heartfelt Facebook message to friends and family, though the news was not meant for public knowledge. After realizing the post was not private, 64-year-old deleted it but later confirmed on Thursday, August 15, that the news was, indeed, true to the Salt Lake Tribune.

“Lois has been a loyal wife and extraordinary mother, who has had to endure an impossible part of this journey. I deeply regret the excruciating pain this has caused her. Hurting her was never my intent. While our marriage will end, my love for Lois and everyone in my family is eternal,” reportedly stated Ed’s note according to the Desert News.

Elizabeth Smart father gay divorcing mom
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“My faith is strong, and unwavering, however, after considerable study, prayer and pondering I have come to a change in my beliefs. It is because of this change, that I can finally acknowledge and accept my orientation. Had I not had a change in my beliefs, I would have likely remained closeted the rest of my life,” he continued. “As an openly gay man, the church is not a place where I find solace any longer. It is not my responsibility to tell the church, its members or its leadership what to believe about the rightness or wrongness of being LGBTQ.”

Although Ed now doubts his former faith, Elizabeth, 31, previously told In Touch that the church helped her recover from trauma. “It’s such a comforting thought for me to believe that there’s someone [like God] who’s all-powerful, all-knowing, and he’s looking out for me.”

Ed also spoke with KUTV and said he “struggled with this” for most of his life. Elizabeth spoke out about her parents split and although she is saddened by this news, she respects their decision. “My parents taught me as a young child that they would love me unconditionally no matter what happened,” she said to the Salt Lake Tribune. “While I am deeply saddened by their separation, nothing could change my love and admiration for them both. Their decisions are very personal. As such, I will not pass judgment and rather am focusing on loving and supporting them and the other members of my family.”

The blonde beauty was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home back in 2002 when she was only 14 years old and held captive for nine months by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. During that time, she was repeatedly raped and tortured. She was rescued on March 12, 2003, and returned home with her parents. Her father played a big part in her recovery. We are proud of Ed’s bravery and are wishing the best for the Smart family.

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