Matthew James McCarthy is a DJ/producer living in Hollywood and looking to make a name for himself. He is not, in fact, scandal-plagued reality star and former lobbyist Josh Duggar who made headlines last week after his name turned up in the Ashley Madison dump. But good luck telling that to McCarthy’s former high school teacher.
Because unfortunately for McCarthy, he’s become inextricably linked to Duggar ever since his photo was identified on what’s been purported to be the Duggar’s OkCupid profile. And as his photo accompanied various salacious headlines, it didn’t take long for people to start asking questions. As McCarthy explained to me over the phone:
A teacher of mine from high school messaged me on Facebook, who I haven’t even seen or talked to in year. And she was like, “Hi Matthew, I hope you’re doing well. I think you’re doing well—but I saw some article, and you’re in the news about some sex scandal...” I was just like, “No, no, no, no that’s—that’s not me.” It was so weird—it’s just kind of crazy to have someone I haven’t spoken to in so long message me about it.
But this isn’t the first time McCarthy’s photo has been used in Catfish-esque online dating profiles. Apparently, the same photo Josh purportedly used (along with several others of McCarthy’s) has popped up over the years on a number of fraudulent pages. According to McCarthy, “Even before this happened, random women have been like messaging me and adding me on Facebook, saying, like, ‘Hey, I just wanted to let you know that theres this other profile on that’s been talking to me for months now, and I thought something was up, so I Google image searched the image and found your profile. This person is using your pictures.’” McCarthy estimates that he’s received about two dozen of these sorts of messages total.
Though he used to be a model, all the swiped images were pulled from his personal Facebook (and uploaded around five or six years ago), and though McCarthy, who’s now 30, has no idea who took them initially, it’s not hard to see how someone like Josh Duggar might have stumbled upon them now. At some point in 2010, two photos were uploaded to a WordPress page called “Daddycatcher’s Realm.” The title of the post that likely sealed McCarthy’s fate: Random Guy from Facebook (4).
After that, just googling “random guy” or “random guy from Facebook” (both common, innocuous enough searches) would yield McCarthy’s photo almost immediately. All of which wasn’t really an issue—until Josh Duggar’s alleged dating profiles started making headlines. And while he had never actually heard of any of the (many, many) Duggars before last week, McCarthy did his research:
Initially, I just kind of thought it was funny. But then I started reading. Now that I’ve found out that this guy’s a child molester, and he’s unfaithful and all those other things—it’s awful! Especially since he’s supposed to be this standup religious guy. I mean, I’m not all that religious, but I do—I am very close with my family. And am basically the exact opposite of him And now, this maniac is using my pictures online to try to get laid. It’s just crazy—it’s surreal.
McCarthy, who has never been a big fan of online dating himself (“I just like meeting people and talking in person.”), is still considering his options. He hasn’t made any attempts to contact Josh—yet. As he explained to me, “It hasn’t really affected me from a working standpoint or anything. It’s not like I lost any work or lost any money or anything like that. But at the same time, I am concerned, and I don’t want it to hurt my image or anything. I do think I’m a pretty nice guy.”
If I could tell him anything, I would say, “Man, turn your life around. Stop lying, stop cheating, stop pretending to be other people. Just stop.” Something needs to happen, some really firm punishment needs to be brought down on him, and hopefully, he’ll change his ways. But really I’d just want to say, “Stop what you’re doing. And please stop using my pictures.”
And considering the owner of the OkCupid profile has since deleted it, it looks like McCarthy got his wish. But unfortunately for him, the Facebook messages full of questions are still rolling in.