Disgraced 19 Kids & Counting alum Josh Duggar was involved in a sex scandal following the 2015 hacking of affair website Ashley Madison. Now, Hulu is taking viewers inside the gritty details of the scandal in their new three-part documentary, The Ashley Madison Affair. 

“The rise, fall, and improbable resurgence of Ashley Madison, the dating website aimed at marriage cheats,” the docs description reads. “Pioneers in outrageous viral advertising, the company stops at nothing to gain publicity and by 2015 it appears to be on the brink of world domination. Then, a team of hackers expose the intimate sexual secrets of millions of members, with devastating consequences. But in the aftermath of the data breach, are the site’s adulterous users the only ones with dirty secrets?” 

Keep reading for details on the scandal, the owner of the website and where it stands today.

What Is Ashley Madison? 

Ashley Madison is a Canada-based online dating website which launched in the early 2000s and primarily targeted married adults in search of extramarital relationships. 

“Life is short. Have an affair” used to be the site’s slogan.

Who Hacked Ashley Madison? 

After reportedly gaining more than 50 million subscribers at its peak, Ashley Madison was hacked on July 15, 2015, exposing its members secret affairs, including a lengthy list of celebrities and public figures. 

A group of hackers called The Impact Team gained access to the website’s database and threatened to expose its users’ personal information, including names, addresses, search history and credit card info if the company did not cease operations. 

When the founders of Ashley Madison failed to bend to the hackers’ requests, The Impact Team released the names of 32 million users on August 18, 2015. 

What Did Josh Duggar Say About the Ashley Madison Leak?

Duggar – who was married to wife Anna Duggar at the time – was the first public figure to be outed by the hackers. Following news of his involvement, the former reality star released a statement calling himself the “biggest hypocrite ever.

“I brought hurt and reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust,” he added, via a since-deleted post on the family’s blog. 

Real Housewives of New York alum Josh Taekman as well as several high-profile politicians were later revealed as users of the website.

Who Is the Ashley Madison Founder?

Darren Morgenstern founded the company which was named using two of the most popular female names at the time. Noel Biderman was the man in charge before stepping down as chief executive officer in August 2015. 

“I helped to turn Avid Life Media [Ashley Madison’s parent company] in to one of the largest online dating companies in the world. I was instrumental in developing online real estate portals in Canada and Internationally,” Noel – who is a former lawyer and sports agent and currently – states, via his LinkedIn profile. “I am currently helping SME use consumer and employee data to make more efficient decisions, and better compete with large companies in their peer set.”

Prior to his company’s scandal, Noel penned a book titled Cheaters Prosper: How Infidelity Will Save the Modern Marriage in 2011. 

Noel married Amanda Biderman in 2003. While his personal website states that he is a “founder, author, speaker, lecturer and father,” and does not mention “husband,” Noel thanked his wife at the end of The Ashley Madison Affair for standing by him. 

Is Ashley Madison Still Around?

Despite its worldwide scandal, Ashley Madison is still in operation nearly a decade later, using the same tagline. 

“Every day, people just like you join the Ashley Madison network to find discreet relationships of all kinds,” the website reads. “Married, attached, looking to explore, or just curious to discover what’s out there – Ashley Madison is the leading discreet, like-minded dating community in the world.”

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