In 2015, it was revealed that Josh Duggar, the eldest Duggar child, had molested five girls in 2002, when he was 14 years old. It came out that he fondled the breasts and genitals of the girls, four of whom were his sisters.
Josh released a statement regarding the situation, apologizing for his actions, but at the same time implicating his parents as well.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” the father of four said. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
The information released by the Arkansas Police Department revealed that Josh molested his sisters Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna. There was also a fifth girl who was not named.
“My parents … I can see looking back [that] my parents handled this very well,” Jessa told Fox News. “They sent Josh away. They had him get help. When he came back he was a totally different person. He was repentant whenever he left. When he came back, I could see he had made life changes.”
“I was angry at first, I was like, How could this happen?’ ” Jill recalled. “And then, you know, my parents explained to us what happened and then Josh came and asked each of us, individually – I know he asked me to forgive him. And I had to make that choice to forgive him, you know? It wasn’t something that somebody forced, like, ‘Oh, you need to do this.’ You have to make that decision for yourself.”
After the reports were confirmed, TLC cancelled its incredibly popular series, 19 Kids and Counting.
“After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting. The show will no longer appear on the air,” the network said in an official statement, noting that “the recent attention around the Duggars has sparked a critical and important conversation about child protection.”
But that wasn’t the end of controversy for Josh Duggar.