Pastor Mentioned Ashley Madison in Suicide Note

His wife says she would have forgiven him
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2015 5:30 AM CDT
Pastor Mentioned Ashley Madison in Suicide Note
Ashley Madison's Korean website is seen on a computer screen in Seoul, South Korea.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

(Newser) – The wife of a Louisiana pastor who was apparently driven to suicide by the Ashley Madison hack says he was a good man and she would have forgiven him. Christi Gibson, who found the body of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professor John Gibson less than a week after hackers leaked the names of millions of Ashley Madison users, says he mentioned the adultery site in his suicide note. "He talked about depression. He talked about having his name on there, and he said he was just very, very sorry," she tells 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." She had to break the news of his Aug. 24 death to their two adult children.

The 56-year-old pastor was a popular teacher at the seminary and was known for fixing students' cars for free, with a school blog noting he regularly used his own money to buy needed parts and wouldn't accept reimbursement. At a memorial service, his son mourned him as a "great man" who had some struggles, reports the New York Daily News. "My dad reached a point of such hopelessness and despair that he took his own life," he said during a service in the seminary chapel. Christi Gibson, who says that her husband was probably afraid he would lose his job, tells CNN she has a message for other families affected by the hack: "Nothing is worth the loss of a father and a husband and a friend. It just didn't merit it. It didn't merit it at all." (Ashley Madison claims the publicity has attracted hundreds of thousands of new users, including thousands of women.)

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