American Media Inc.
August 16, 2019
August 16, 2019 3:50 PM EDT
Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart’s father has come out as gay — and revealed he plans to divorce his longtime wife.
In a heartfelt Facebook message, Ed Smart dropped the news, explaining his reason for leaving Lois Smart, the mother of his six children.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Ed deleted the post shortly after sharing it on Thursday, August 15, but confirmed the shocking confession was legitimate.
Speaking to KUTV about exposing his sexuality, Ed said said he “struggled with this” for most of his life. He refused to comment when reached via phone by RadarOnline.com.
His famous daughter also released a statement about her parents’ shocking split.
“My parents taught me as a young child that they would love me unconditionally no matter what happened,” Elizabeth said. “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.”
Radar readers know Elizabeth was kidnapped from the Salt Lake City, Utah family home in 2002 and held captive for nine months, repeatedly Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. She was rescued on March 12, 2003 and returned home to live with her parents.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Lois filed for divorce from Ed on July 5, 2019.
Ed’s note on Facebook reportedly read: “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,” according to the Deseret News, who broke the story.
“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.”