The eldest son of the Duggar family, chronicled in TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting”, spoke out in response to the accusations of child molestation.
In a statement, Josh Duggar, who was accused of molesting five underage girls, told People, “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.
“I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation.”
According to TMZ, of the five girls some were his sisters, whose breasts and genitals he allegedly fondled. Although the incidents were brought to law enforcements in 2006, the acts of molestation at this point are outside the statute of limitations.
Duggar’s wife, Anna, stands by her husband’s side. She said that Duggar had disclosed his misdeeds to her and her family when the couple began courting. They got married in 2008 and have three children, with a fourth one due in July.
Anna said, “I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock.
“When my family and I first visited the Duggar home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes. I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn’t know why he was sharing it. For Josh, he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was – even every difficult past mistakes.”
Duggar said that his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, took him to the authorities and also had counseling sessions set up for him and his victims. Jim and Michelle described the tumultuous episode “one of the most difficult times of our lives,” while remaining supportive of their son.
In a joint statement, the parents said, “Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.”
“I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions,” Duggar said. “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.”
Duggar has also resigned from his role at the Family Research Council. The same was confirmed by the council’s President Tony Perkins in a statement to Entertainment Tonight.
“Today Josh Duggar made the decision to resign his position as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years,” the statement said. “Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work. We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved.”
“19 Kids and Counting,” an American reality television show that first aired on TLC in 2008 (called 17 Kids and Counting then), records the life of the Arkansas-based Duggar family. The show is currently in its tenth season.
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