A New Orleans Baptist minister has committed suicide after being outed as a member of the adultery website Ashley Madison. Father of two John Gibson was a teacher at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is believed to have taken his own life following the inclusion of his details in the hacking of the site that exposed 32 million people worldwide and has encouraged several civil class action lawsuits.
The 56-year-old joins a number of suspected suicides by former Ashley Madison site members including Chicago resident Donald Bradshaw and Captain Michael Gorhum, a policeman in San Antonio who shot himself after his official email address was reportedly published on a list of alleged Ashley Madison users.
Gibson's wife Christi found the pastor after she returned from work. He left behind a son and a daughter. Christi told CNN: "What we know about him is that he poured his life into other people, and he offered grace and mercy and forgiveness to everyone else, but somehow he couldn't extend that to himself."
"John was a popular member of our Leavell College faculty," said seminary president Chuck Kelley. "He was particularly known for his acts of kindness to the seminary family. John was the quintessential good neighbour.
"John was loved by the students because of his love for the ministry and for them; he was always a favourite. Our hearts are saddened as we miss greatly a significant part of our Leavell College family – a colleague – a friend. We are better because of John and the way God used him in our lives."
Authorities in Toronto, the home of Ashley Madison, are understood to be investigating a number of alleged suicides aggravated by the hacking of the site, including two deaths on 24 August.