Jessa Duggar Seewald, who’s due to give birth to her first child in November, said her pregnancy is “bittersweet” now that “19 Kids and Counting,” has been canceled amid brother Josh Duggar’s child molestation sex scandal.
TLC canceled “19 Kids and Counting” in May, shortly after Jessa and Jill Duggar confirmed they had been molested as children by Josh. Jessa, 22, is reportedly sad the birth of her child won’t be chronicled on TV the way her sister Jill’s childbirth was.
“It is now bittersweet, because it’s not lost on [Jessa] that Jill giving birth to Israel got an entire TLC special devoted to it,” a source told People Aug. 19. “Jessa would have liked to have had the same sort of platform to give thanks, show what a miracle she feels her child is and express her gratitude.”
Rumors are swirling that Jessa is expecting twins, but Seewald has not confirmed the speculation. Jessa’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, are deeply religious and believed their TV show gave them a platform to spread the message about “Christian family values” to millions of fans.
The Duggars are shocked that people have been unable to “move on” from Josh’s child molestation scandal. “I think Jim Bob and Michelle honestly did expect people to just move on from this,” said an insider. “Their thinking is, they put this behind them ages ago, so why wouldn’t the rest of the world?”
Sources also said the Duggar kids enjoyed the fame and attention they got from being TV stars. “The kids like being recognized,” a family insider told InTouch.
“Some of the older kids in particular are really upset about the show’s cancellation. These kids loved the spotlight and expected to be on TV forever.”
’19 Kids’ Cancellation Cost Duggar Family $25 Million
The Duggars reportedly earned $25,000 to $45,000 per episode of “19 Kids and Counting.” The show aired 227 episodes spanning 10 seasons from 2008 to 2015. The Duggars have reportedly lost income totaling $25 million a year as a result of lost book deals, endorsement and speaking engagements stemming from their TV show’s cancelation.
Josh, 27, his parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, have been slammed after news surfaced that Josh had sexually fondled six underage girls (including sisters Jessa and Jill) when he was 14.
According to a police report, Josh fondled the girls’ breasts and genitals, in some cases when they were asleep. Jim Bob Duggar told authorities Josh had apologized to his victims and they had “forgiven” him.
Jim Bob has come under fire for waiting more than a year after Josh confessed to being a child molester before contacting the police, who received criminal complaints about Josh’s molestation from his other victims in 2006.
Josh’s sisters, Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard, have outed themselves as two victims of Josh’s child molestation. Both Jessa and Jill have forgiven their brother and are furious at the media for exaggerating their sexual abuse, saying Josh is not a rapist.
“I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist,” said Jessa. “That is so overboard and a lie really. People get mad at me for saying that, but I can say this because I was one of the victims.”
Josh has been severely depressed ever since news of his child molestation scandal surfaced in May. Sources say Duggar isolates himself at home and is borderline suicidal.
Family sources worry Josh may commit suicide because he feels guilty and ashamed that he has destroyed his family’s reputation and financial well-being with his underage sex scandal. “They fear the shame is too much,” said the insider.