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Celebrity Names Resurfaced from Ashley Madison Scandal

With the tagline “Life is short,Have an affair.” Ashley Madison, which was founded in 2001 by Darren J. Morgenstern, sets itself as a dating site primarily for people in committed relationships.  A major breach of data affected 32 million users, including well-known people like Josh Duggar and Hunter Biden, occurred in July 2015. Following the release of a Netflix documentary, Ashley Madison experienced a surge in users despite the scandal.

Shutterstock/VictorMoussa

Ashley Madison is a dating website that launched in 2001 by Darren J. Morgenstern. With many different types of dating platforms, Morgenstern had to find a way for Ashley Madison to be different. Their service is intended mainly to those who want to have partnerships but are married or in committed relationships.

The sites slogan was “Life is short. Have an affair.” Users are able to set up meetings, send messages, chat with others, and create profiles. The platform prioritizes secrecy and anonymity in order preserve users’ privacy.

But in July of 2015, the promise of secrecy came to an end. A significant data breach at Ashley Madison resulted in the publication of millions of users’ personal data by hackers. Email addresses, personal information, and payment details were exposed due to this breach, which resulted in a huge backlash and legal costs.

There were approximately 32 million accounts at the time of the data breach. And celebrities were no exception. Last month, Netflix released a three-part series about the site, “Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies, and Scandal.” During the series, viewers were reminded of the celebrities that were exposed for having accounts with the platform.

Hunter Biden

President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden found to have links to Ashley Madison site. Credit: Shutterstock/AndrewLeyden

Connected to an Ashley Madison account was President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. In a statement to Breitbart News, Hunter Biden denied any involvement with the dating site, as featured in Netflix’s docuseries. Hunter had previously claimed that someone was discrediting him by using his old email address.

In a 2015 statement, Hunter mentioned that hackers had previously targeted his Gmail and Twitter accounts. “I am certain that the account in question is not mine, this account was clearly set up by someone else without my knowledge and I first learned about the account in question from the media.”

After the release of the emails, Hunter and his wife, Kathleen Buhle, stayed together for 2 more months. Until the discovery that Hunter had an affair with another woman. Hunter Biden was having an affair with his sister-in-law, Hallie Biden, after the death of his brother Beau Biden from brain cancer.

Josh Duggar

Josh Duggar was found to have accounts linked to Ashley Madison. Credit: TLC
Josh Duggar was found to have accounts linked to Ashley Madison Credit: TLC/ 19 Kids and Counting

The former star of “19 Kids and Counting” had two paid subscriptions to the website that promised him an affair. The husband and father of four frequently spoke at political rallies about his faith and family values. The former celebrity expressed regret for appearing on the website.

In a 2015 statement on the Duggar’s family website, Josh wrote, “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.”

Gawker claims that Duggar paid close to $1,000 to keep up two accounts. “Ready4ThisDC” and “Josh_The_Man” were the usernames. “Take charge nature” and “stylish and classy” were listed as his interests on his profile.

A few months prior, authorities were investigating Josh for multiple counts of sex offenses. Some of these cases dated back to 2002 and 2003. 2 of the 5 girls were his sisters. Who initially defended his actions.

At the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Seagoville in Dallas, Texas, Josh Duggar remains behind bars pending his release. U.S. Marshals charged him with receiving and having child pornography on his home computer’s hard drive, leading to his arrest. After being found in possession of a contraband cellphone, Duggar was found guilty of child pornography charges in 2021 and received nearly two months of additional jail time on top of his already 12-and-a-half-year sentence.

Jionni LaValle

Snooki defends husband when accused of cheating. Credit/ TLC: Snooki and Jwow

A week after allegations surfaced that Jionni LaValle, Snooki’s husband, had an account on the website due to the discovery of his connected email, Snooki came to his defense.

Snooki took to her podcast, “Naturally Nicole,” saying her husband did not cheat. “I’m lucky if he knows how to even use a computer yet go on Ashley Madison to cheat on me. It’s so stupid.”

The couple has two kids together and had recently got married before these allegations. Snooki followed up by saying, “He’s such a good guy. He would never do anything to ruin his family, and if he didn’t want to be with me, he would tell me. He’s a straight-up guy.”

Sam Radar

Sam and Nia’s response video to allegations. Credit: Youtube/ Sam and Nia

The series features the story of Sam and Nia Radar, family vloggers on YouTube.The couple who rose to fame from car lip-sync videos, found themselves in hot water during this 2015 scandal. It was revealed Sam had an account on the site. They addressed this is a now private video back in 2015.

Sam explained that this was something Nia already knew, and they, along with the church, discussed it, ultimately forgiving him. He also added he had never met anyone from Ashley Madison.

“I just remember seeing an advertisement for Ashley Madison: ‘Life is short, have an affair,'” Sam explained in the series. “I was like, ‘That sounds intriguing. Life is short. They’re right—they have that right. Maybe they have had an affair right, too.’ I wanted more of the good stuff that life had to give. So, I signed up because it sounded like they had the answer.”

Sam eventually admitted to having an affair through the site. After the confirmation, the couple took space away from each other. They have worked through their issues and are still together today.

Josh Taekman

RHONY husband Josh Taekman admits to having an account. Credit: Bravo/ RHONY

Just like others on this list, it came to light that RHONY star Kristen Taekman’s husband, Josh Taekman, had an account on the cheating site. Josh admitted to this scandal in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

He admitted to “Foolishly signing up for the site.” He also added his apologize by saying, “I deeply apologize… We both look forward to moving past this and getting on with our lives.”

Prior to this, viewers were able to see relationship problems in the Bravo show. But eventually, pushed through the issues to raise their two children. The couple is still together as of 2024.

Michelle Mcgee

Former Ashley Madison brand ambassador. Credit: YouTube/Inside Edition

Unlike other celebrities on this list, the internet did not find any links connecting Michelle to having an account on the site. Instead, she was an ambassador for the app. Before becoming an ambassador, Michelle gained notoriety for having an affair with Sandra Bullock’s husband at the time, Jessie James.

McGee worked on projects for Ashley Madison, but the website later utilized her images for false profiles. Former employees who participated in the docuseries confirmed the legitimacy of female accounts on the website.

Ashley Madison deliberately engaged male profiles with bots to encourage them to spend more money.

Ashley Madison in 2024

After the Netflix series, TMZ did an interview with an Ashley Madison executive. The executive said the Netflix series has increased their users. When asked if celebrities are still on the site, he responds by saying, “I have heard from a lot of members who may fall into the category in different ways. Between politics, sports, and entertainment, because they are human beings as well.”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lynne DONHAM

    June 5, 2024 at 12:51 am

    Great article.

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