'American Idol' star reveals pornography addiction that nearly cost him his marriage
Posted October 2, 2016
Jason Castro, the fourth-place finalist on the seventh season of "American Idol," recently revealed an "embarrassing" secret he's been hiding for some time: a pornography addiction once threatened his marriage.
Castro, who explained the details in an "I Am Second" video released on September 21, said at the beginning of the 12-minute clip that his pornography consumption began toward the end of high school and ramped up in college.
"I wasn't prepared for what the internet had," he said. "It started out as small every now and then and, you know, I guess it had just kept growing."
Watch Castro explain his battle with pornography here.
After he filmed "American Idol," Castro went on tour; it was at that point that he found himself looking at smut multiple times a day — a dynamic he said left him both ashamed and depressed.
Then, he made a major mistake when he cheated on his then-girlfriend with someone he was on tour with.
"I ended up sleeping with somebody on tour ... I found myself doing something I had never ever come close to with my girlfriend, my future wife," Castro said. "We had hardly kissed and here I had just slept with somebody that I barely knew.
He kept it secret and internalized it for four months before finally telling his girlfriend, Mandy. Castro asked for her forgiveness, but the two called off their engagement before later reconciling.
After she eventually forgave Castro and they married, he said he'd stop looking at pornography, but, before long, he was using his smartphone to once again consume smut.
"I found myself not wanting to tell her because she said she'd get a divorce," he said, noting that he once again kept it a secret. "It eventually got to be too much, making us grow separate and she didn't know what it was, she thought it was her."
Castro continued, "I was a coward, I did not want to tell her."
It was after the two started attending some church meetings that Castro finally came clean, confessing to his wife in front of a Christian group that he was still watching pornography.
What followed was fighting and intense frustration, but Castro said they worked through it, he turned over a new leaf and he began truly living a "godly life."
"I always believed in God, but didn't really trust him with everything," he said, explaining some of the steps he took to make the situation right. "I got rid of my cell phone I got rid of every outlet. ... (I took) away every potential hazard."
Now, Castro said that he and Mandy have open dialogue about his struggles. He's no longer a pornography addict, he said — and if he feels tempted, he talks to his wife to try to stop any potential slip-up before it happens.
"She understands that it's a struggle that we have and this struggle might never go away," Castro said. "It's part of my flesh, but I've been able to overcome it."
Recent research indicated that watching smut can increase the risk of divorce, though not everyone is buying that argument.
Still, other studies have found that the brains of pornography users share similarities with the brains of drug and alcohol addicts, among other negative effects, as Deseret News previously reported.
The debate continues as not everyone embraces the notion that pornography is an addiction, despite findings indicating that many suffer from uncontrollable desires to view such content.
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