Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, stars of TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” have opened up about the family’s molestation scandal involving their oldest son, Josh.
USA Today reports Josh Duggar, now 27, groped five young girls while they were sleeping, including four of his sisters. The incidents occurred in 2003 and 2004 when Duggar was 14 and 15 years old.
The Duggar family has received widespread criticism for failing to report the molestation to authorities for over a year. Duggar had tearfully confessed to his parents at 14, but the abuse continued even after his confession.
Speaking on Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” Michelle Duggar said that she and Jim Bob were “devastated” by their son’s confession.
"As parents we felt, we're failures. We tried to raise our kids to do what's right — to know what's right. And yet one of our children made really bad choices."
The parents sent Josh Duggar to a Christian counseling center after the abuse continued. Jim Bob Duggar said that counseling was brought his son closer to God and was “a turning point in his life.”
The Duggars believe that their rights were violated by “In Touch” magazine, which requested police records from the state of Arkansas under the Freedom of Information Act. According to Jim Bob Duggar, the juvenile records should have been sealed.
"Every victim should have the right to tell their own story, not by a tabloid," said Jim Bob Duggar.
The Duggars said that they agreed to feature their family on “19 Kids and Counting” because the situation had been dealt with five years prior to the show’s premiere.
Michelle Duggar said, "Everybody has things in their past in their families.”
Jim Bob Duggar added, “Our son violated God's principles, and it was terrible what Josh did, it was inexcusable but it was not unforgivable.”
An episode of “The Kelly File” on Friday will feature an interview with two of the Duggars’ daughters, Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald.
Photo: Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Publication date: June 4, 2015