Lurid accusations, parents covering up the crime, police inaction. You’d think this was the plot from another sordid soap opera but no, these apparently happened on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting.
The reality show, which follows the Christian family as they cope with raising 19 children, has long been hounded with rumors that the eldest Duggar son had molested several young girls, including some of his sisters.
It was a dark family secret that recently came to light when Josh admitted to the crime.
“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,” the 27-year-old Josh said.
The Duggar parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, also released their own statement admitting that their son “made some very bad mistakes” and that they “were shocked” by it.
“We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before,” they added.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) May 21, 2015
But while the parents sought God, they didn’t seek professional help for their son or for their victimized daughters.
Instead, reports show that they just sent Josh to a “Christian” program where he would allegedly receive counseling and do hard physical work.
However, this apparently wasn’t true as matriarch Michelle admitted to police that her son never saw a counselor but was just sent “to a family friend who was in the home remodeling business.”
Jim Bob and Michelle’s appalling lack of concern or empathy for their daughters Jana, Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy-Anna was quickly picked up on by viewers and fans who have expressed their support and concern for some of Josh’s alleged victims.
The real question here is what’s to be done with Josh, his parents and the show?
— People magazine (@people) May 22, 2015
TLC has already pulled the show from its roster but hasn’t formally canceled it. It’s also been speculated that Josh will just be fired from the show.
But why is the network even considering other options for a show where the parents have covered up for their son’s sexual misdeeds?