Anna Duggar fully supports her husband, Josh Duggar, despite the fact that he sexually molested four of his sisters and one other female--all minors--when he was a teenager. She has known about the incidents since two years before marrying into the 19 Kids and Counting family.
Josh and Anna Duggar were seemingly living their dream until word broke earlier this week about his devious past. Josh worked as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., where he lived with Anna and their three children. They are expecting their fourth. Just days ago the family revealed the gender of the new baby--due in July.
Dad Jim Bob Duggar and Mom Michelle Duggar join Anna Duggar in standing by Josh.
"Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives," Jim Bob, 49, and Michelle, 48, said in a joint statement to People magazine. "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. 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," the statement reads.
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) May 22, 2015
Anna Duggar shared her own statement with the media.
"I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock," she says. "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 very difficult past mistakes."
— In Touch Weekly (@intouchweekly) May 14, 2015
Anna Duggar added she had confidence that the counseling Josh received "changed his life."
"He continued to do what he was taught. [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," she says. "Someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right."
— Wetpaint (@WetpaintTV) May 14, 2015
Josh Duggar, of course, issued a statement to People at the same time his parents and Anna Duggar issued theirs.
"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," his statement reads. "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."
"I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions," he adds. "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."
TLC pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting from the air on Friday. Its future is a bit uncertain at this time.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 23, 2015
It's almost unthinkable that Anna Duggar can live a normal life as a wife and mom, knowing what her husband did just over a decade ago.
Could you live with a man you knew molested his sisters and a family friend?