Last night during “The Kelly File” show with Megyn Kelly on Fox News Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar spoke out to the world full of family, friends, devoted fans and the media in response to all the news stories and publicity that has been circulating around their son Josh. Throughout the hour program both Michelle and Jim Bob expressed feelings of failure, grief, betrayal, the impact the situation has had on their family in the past up till the present time and the public shame and heartache they felt and still feel inside.
At the start of the interview they explained that Josh acting wrongly towards his sisters and a babysitter. After he realized what he did he immediately told his parents through crying words and tears exactly what had happened. He had touched the girls lightly over their clothes while they were sleeping, the touching lasted only a few seconds and he revealed to them that he was curious about girls. Michelle and Jim Bob sat him down and talked to him. They also questioned the girls who at the time knew nothing of what happened since they were both so young and asleep when it happened.
Josh was punished for his actions; they set up new boundaries within the household to prevent this from recurring and kept a watchful eye out as best they could, but in all reality you can’t watch someone every second of the day when you have a home and a family to care for. Distractions happen all the time. Jim Bob stated that; “parents are not mandatory reporters” and at this point they felt they did what they could for their young son and prayed he would learn his lesson while dealing with this difficult situation between them and Josh.
Unfortunately the same act happened, twice more. Josh’s parents then sought out a friend to speak with to help them with decisions that were laying heavy on their minds. Discussion came about regarding juvenile sex centers, but that idea was turned down since the success rates were very low they felt this was not the direction that they should turn to. They knew Josh needed help and with their friends help they took Josh out of the house. He was sent to do construction work at a training center located between the police station and the prison in Little Rock, Arkansas. There Josh worked with a mentor that would work and talk with him about his behavior. This was very hard for Michelle and Jim Bob. They needed to help Josh and at the same time do everything they could to protect their daughters too.
After Josh returned home Michelle and Jim Bob didn’t just forgive and forget. They sought out additional guidance for both Josh and their daughters. They all attended a Christian based counseling session, which they hoped would make a huge impact on all their lives while working towards a turning point in their lives they could all live comfortably with and still keeping boundaries and safeguards within the home at all times.
That may have been enough for some, but for the Duggar’s they felt that more should be done since they believed they did all they could for Josh at home, they still needed to report the occurrences to the authorities as well thinking that what he did would be conceived as a criminal act. So, they told a friend of the family with them to the police station as a witness and proof that could be verified if necessary. There they filed a police report, had Josh describe in detail everything he had done to the officer on duty that day, one whom the Duggar’s didn’t know personally. The officer sat Josh down and gave him a stern talking to and released him back to his parents whom took him home.
Every time the doorbell rang soon after that day they were afraid that Josh might be taken from them, arrested, charged and have to serve whatever punishment was deemed appropriate at that time for his actions. No such call ever came and they continued to live their lives as normal as possible while still keeping certain boundaries in place and a watchful eye out when the children were together.
Then one day while preparing for a production for the Oprah Winfrey show an anonymous call came in reporting the incident about Josh, that occurred three years prior. At this time Josh was older and the statute of limitations had run out and his record was supposed to be sealed by the courts. Somehow, knowledge of the police report was leaked to Harpo Studios and the Duggar family never appeared on the Oprah Show. This was devastating for the entire family.
It is unclear whether the police officer who is currently serving a very long sentence for child pornography leaked the story or if it was a counselor from the center the children attended that spilled the story to the media creating a tabloid scandal that has gone viral and traumatizing the entire family once again. Jim Bob said in the interview that “they are seeking the advice of an attorney” regarding why Josh’s sealed juvenile record was revealed in detail.
The entire family is affected by the slander, constant rehashing of events, the fact that they are Christians and being targeted in many ways, being victimized all over again as they struggle to get through each day. According to date announced in the interview approximately eighty-five to ninety percent of children who have acted in the same manner as Josh will never repeat their actions or be arrested again.
Jim Bob said that “I don’t know if the rest of our family should be punished for the act of one of our children for something that happened 12 years ago or not, but we are fine whether they film us or not. We are going to go on and live life, and we are going to serve God and make a difference in the world.” He later said “Josh’s actions are inexcusable, but not unforgivable”!
Fans of the reality television show, “19 Kids and Counting” are hoping TLC will make a decision about the fate of the show soon. Since they decided to take one step backwards before taking a giant step forward they may also need to hear the reasoning behind, the steps taken, how the family is affected by these tribulations that are heartbreaking and how they are coping with everything before doing anything rash. This show is highly rated, brings in huge ad revenues and has an enormous following which are other good reasons for taking their time while the last season ended before deciding on the fate of the show and how it will also affect their network.
This Friday, Fox News will be airing the second half of the Duggar interview on the “The Kelly File” at 9:00 p.m. EST.