“19 Kids and Counting” Star Josh Duggar Admits to Molesting His Sisters: Issues Statement with Family

Josh has admitted to the sex abuse charges against him.
Josh has admitted to the sex abuse charges against him.

Josh Duggar has responded to the shocking In Touch Weekly reports that have been circulating over the last two days that state that the 19 Kids and Counting star had once been accused of molesting some of his sisters. The accusations, (which you can read all about here), were made by several of Josh’s sisters starting as early as 2002, when Josh was 14 years old.

Although his sisters weren’t specifically named in In Touch‘s story, the police reports stated that four of the five victims were female minors living in the same house as Josh and his parents, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar. At the time of the events, there were only five Duggar girls, so it’s assumed that Josh’s victims were the four oldest, Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger.

In a statement to People, Josh admitted that the reports were true.

“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,” Josh said in the statement. “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.”

Jim Bob and Michelle also issued a statement to the magazine.

“Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives,” Jim Bob and Michelle said in a joint statement. “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.”

“Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God,” the Duggar parents’ statement reads.

“We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.”

Anna stated that she knew about the molestation.
Anna stated that she knew about the molestation.

Josh’s wife, Anna Duggar, admitted to knowing about the molestation. In her own statement, she revealed that Josh admitted his wrongdoings to her before they were married. They now have three children together, with another one on the way. She doesn’t seem concerned that Josh may repeat his teenage behavior with their own kids, as she has stated that Josh has “changed his life.”

“He continued to do what he was taught,” Anna stated. “[I know] who Josh really is – someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended. Someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right.”

“I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock,” Anna said. “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.”

Jill and Jessa Duggar spent the day together.
Jill and Jessa Duggar spent the day together.

Josh said that he regrets his mistakes.

“I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different action,” he told People.

The magazine states that, in light of the molestation allegations coming to light, Josh has resigned from the Family Research Council. His job with the organization is what brought Josh and his family to Washington D.C.

None of Josh’s sisters have commented about the story, but Jill posted to her Instagram today that she was with her sister, Jessa.

“So glad I got to spend the day with my sista,” Jill captioned a photo of her and Jessa.

TLC have yet to release a statement regarding the future of  ’19 Kids and Counting.’ When The Ashley contacted the network yesterday, they had no comment.

To read more about the accusations against Josh, click here.

(Photos: TLC, Instagram)



  1. Now it comes out: His youngest victim was his (at the time) five-year-old sister. His wife might want to get locks for the room of their daughters.

  2. I think that it wouldn’t be fair to cancel the show completely. Josh and his wife should be off the show. They should have a spin off and follow Jessa and jill.

  3. Everyone is assuming that the 4 eldest daughters were the ones being abused by Josh. On Thursday, one of the victims appealed to a judge to have the police records destroyed, as she is still a minor. That would mean one of the victims is Joy-Anna, who is 17 now but was 4 years old when the abuse started (as far as we know). The thought of a 14 year old preying on an innocent 4 year old adds a whole other level of disgust to this situation.

  4. So Mama June meeting with her daughter’s molester was wrong, but harboring a child molester isn’t?

    TLC seriously needs to pull this show off for good! I’ll definitely never watch it again!

  5. Although I feel that it should be made public what he did, I am disgusted how media is pointing the finger at who may be the victims. They never should have released that it was family members. Those poor girls don’t deserve to have their victimization publicized.

  6. In strict religious families like this one there is almost always some kind of sexual abuse going on.

  7. I agree that what he did was wrong but he was a child himself. I know this doesn’t pertain the everyone but most children will do something like this when they are young with brothers sisters and cousins. I was molested by an older cousin when I was young and he has become a good man and him doing that when we were young shouldnt be held against him now.I feel like if people thought about him being their son would they put it on the news and tell everyone. No it is a private family matter. I believe they handled it correctly.

    1. I think it’s different when it’s two 8 year olds who have no clue what they are doing. If they have no sex education they literally don’t know what their bodily urges might mean or why they feel weird. That is a little different. He was 13/14 and abused someone as young as 8. He should have known better at that point.

      1. But still, Josh Duggar had no sex education either. The Duggar children are all taught that their bodies’ natural sexual urges are sinful and wrong.

      2. Correction: He abused someone as young as FOUR. It’s been confirmed the eldest daughter was the only one who wasn’t assaulted. During this time period, there were 5 girls. It was when the youngest was abused that they finally “sent him away”.

    2. This went on from the time he was 14 to 16, and there were 5 victims. That is NOT innocent exploration, that is deliberate abuse.

  8. As someone who was also molested by my brother throughout childhood, I feel sick to my stomach reading this, and to be honest I am so sad for the girls because publishing the police report (and before that the speculation of who he had abused) has very publicly revealed a part of their lives that is very private and likely very painful. They are being re-victimized by having this information put out for all to read.

    That said, he and his parents deserve all of the negative attention that this is getting and more.

  9. All that crap they say about the gay community and they were harboring a CHILD MOLESTER the whole time….19 hypocrites and counting….and if the wife truly knew about these disgusting acts BEFORE she married him AND HAD KIDS WITH HIM, then shes just as pitiful and disting as he is. I would never be so desperate to get married that I marry a man who would molest his own sisters. SICKO

  10. I find it interesting that they’re claiming counseling occurred. That contradicts the police report. Something tells me there was no formal counseling for the offender or victims. Josh was probably once a victim himself. These are people who believe you can pray away being gay. I find it really disturbing that the parents went out of their way to hide this and keep it under wraps. No wonder Jinger acts the way she does. Victims never forget this. One police report pointed to the possibility of cousin Amy being the 5th victim who lived elsewhere.

    1. Agreed. It’s likely they went to some church based “therapy” instead of something by trained medical professionals.
      Wait…curious…what do you mean “no wonder Jinger acts the way she does?” Super interested in what you mean by that. I’ve been thinking a lot about “Cinderella Duggar” Jana as this has unfolded. Her voice is always so sad no matter how much she smiles and she’s the oldest girl and no courtship. I wonder what’s going on beneath her surface now more than ever.

        1. [sorry] -ormal?” Whether from being disillusioned with the lifestyle or just a stronger personalty. That’s an interesting thought with Jana. It would certainly make sense, particularly given her close, almost maternal bond to some of the younger kids. But having mom-level responsibilities as a child, no freedom, or just being asked constantly wouldn’t have me any too chipper. That woman can’t be getting that much sleep.

          1. Isn’t Jinger the one who used to roll her eyes whenever Josh and Anna gushed about having children? Her family have always tried to gloss over her subdued sarcasm but now I think may be a lot more to her skepticism.

    2. Ooh, interesting! I’ve never noticed because I’m also half paying attention to something else but I may have to sneak on Netflix before they pull it to see if I can catch what you’re talking about!

  11. I’m really glad The Ashley mentioned “The Rod”. I haven’t seen any other site mention it. Spanking is one thing…but a rod? They give me the creeps. I hope people see now just how warped these kids are. The parents definitely did not give them a normal upbringing.

      1. One of the last interviews with a victim included the rod mention. The child said “mother and father” spanked her on the bottom with a rod. She said they did it to all the kids. She doesn’t go into specifics on what the rod is made of and the detective doesn’t ask.

  12. “I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”

    How about the lives of the girls you molested? You disgusting piece of sh#t.

    1. Hello? Girls kind of aren’t people. Get with the Duggar agenda. *throws up slightly in mouth*
      I’m honestly curious as to how or if this would have been handled differently if it had been his brothers.

  13. This is just a question to whoever, but do you all think he’s truly a pedophile meaning he is still “into” kids now or do you think that maybe his twisted upbringing had something to do with why he did this back then? Don’t get me wrong, either way, what he did was beyond wrong and he is a pedophile because of what he did. You can’t undo that. I’m just wondering if people think he actually still thinks of kids in that way or if the warped way he grew up played a role in what happened.

    1. No way!A child who touch another child is not a pedophile.He was a child that makes a big mistake and his parents interfere.In my opinion this story is blow up to much.Every teenager makes mistakes that is part of growing up,one takes drugs,another one go’s to steel and he grabs his sister privateparts….Now he’s a man and he’s changed in a good way,so give him some credit.People overreact a little bit,maby beacause there famous?

      1. It wasn’t 1 person accusing him it was 5, so that’s not a mistake that’s a pattern.

      2. Wow. Really glad I’m an only child, since that brother I kept asking for would have inevitably molested me while under the influence of stolen narcotics. *sarcasm*

      3. He molested 5 female children who were as young as 8, repeatedly, for years, until he was 16 years old, then covered it up for a decade. I’m not sure what is included in your definition of “normal teenage behavior”, but I assure you that that is absolutely not normal! If you think that it is, I’m very concerned about what kind of childhood you had, or what you may be exposing your own children to now.

    2. I’ve been wondering the same thing. Something in his wires got crossed for sure. Depending on what kind of therapy…if any (I’m not buying their statements…), he may not have these issues anymore. IDK though…

    3. I don’t think so. I think when people are taught from a young age that their bodies are shameful and natural sexual urges are sinful and wrong, sexual tension will not be relieved the normal ways. Since he couldn’t consensually touch a partner because he wasn’t married and he couldn’t touch himself, he was probably very curious and thought that if he did it late at night while the girls were sleeping no one would ever know. I don’t think he was ever attracted to children per se.

      And no I’m not saying that what he did was ok. I’m just taking a stab at what might have been going on in his mind.

  14. Nothing will happen to the Duggars. They’ll most likely air a special where the whole family is interviewed and the story comes to “light”. TLC will get massive ratings and everyone will get another paycheck.

      1. It would be unfortunate but they have such a crazy, strong fan base. I could never stand Josh. He just has this annoying air about him and now we have confirmation that he’s a perv. Another reason not to isolate your children.

        1. Without this situation coming to light, he really was already the definition of a tool. Least favorite Duggar…easily!!!

    1. I accidentally hit the thumbs down but I totally agree with you they will make money off it and I will be physically ill with you.. so disgusting what people do for money

  15. This just proves that nobody is perfect no matter how much you try to convince people that you are. Every family has skeletons in their closet. Even the Duggars.

    1. Sometimes the more people claim that they’re “perfect”, “godly”, “happy”, “smart”…whatever, they’re actually the opposite. Sometimes they’re lying to the world and other times they’re honestly lying to themselves. That’s why I try to listen to people’s actions and realize what they’re saying may not be true no matter how badly they want to believe it is.

  16. While I in NO way condone his actions…please keep in mind that when this took place he was also a child. We don’t know what had taken place in his own childhood, or if he was a victim of abuse himself. It isn’t an excuse for his behavior, but he wasn’t a grown man preying on children, he was a child making a bad mistake. It really isn’t any of our business, but the fact that he is being honest shows remorse.I have family members that abused children (they were adults, not 14 year old children) and to this day they won’t admit it and show no remorse.

    1. I’ve been wondering that myself, and if I were a betting woman I would bet that he may have been a victim of abuse since that statistics about children abusing other children prove that they’re usually victims themselves. That said, I do think it’s a little bit of our business because depending on what kind of therapy he’s gotten, we as the public can’t be sure that he isn’t a danger to other girls/women etc.

  17. Sorry but I don’t buy the whole “I regret molesting my own sisters” and that he only had what, 5 months of alleged counseling.” I mean hello the minimization of varied public commentary in posts on websites makes me sick to my stomach. Those sisters of his saying he was ok after they got home, that they felt safe etc. Hello does anyone understand what INCEST in a household is? He was sent to a AK State Trooper now serving 56 yrs for child pornography, a family friend. Yeah a family friend, you heard that right who gave this young deviant son of the Duggar’s a “stern talking to” and that was that. Pedophile ring? Why does the mother obsess about having child after child. Pornography victims? The cops allegedly investigated? These are not mere allegations. This was a sexual deviancy crime of incest. And they claim their morally superior? HAH?! Tell me that nonsense again, Mr. and Mrs. Duggar and family. Y’all should be expelled from the USA as terrorists and shipped to Africa, Russia or the Middle East. How do we even know who the real Daddy is to all them young Duggar children? Could be Josh fathering all them kids with his mommy for all we know. Hypocrites the lot of em.

    1. I agree with the first half in that I’m not 100% buying their media statements. I’m sure it was a much longer road than they’re saying to make these girls feel safe again, and even so they still may be in a lot of pain about this. But though I believe that there’s plenty of issues in the Duggar household, the idea that Josh is fathering Michelle’s babies seems like a stretch…

  18. Where does he or his parents say that he molested his sisters?

    I see it in the headline, but not in the direct quotes given by anyone in the Duggar Family.

    1. It’s in the police reports that four of the five were young girls residing in the family home.

      1. They never mention his victims in his scripted statement. The police report gives the information. In fact, his statement seems more like a “cover your ass” statement than a true statement of remorse to the people (his own sisters) that he hurt.

  19. I hate when things get ruined. 7th Heaven was destroyed and now this show that I used to watch while I was multitasking is also screwed.

    I hope TLC cancels it

  20. They have been so quick to judge people who they believe behave wrongly, I’ll be curious how Josh does with having the judgment directed at him instead. I also find it interesting that Michelle said we shouldn’t have gender neutral bathrooms because transgender people are pedophiles yet her own son actually displayed pedophile behaviour and there was no comment that he shouldn’t be able to use the bathroom. Hmm.

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