The 8 Biggest Bombshells from the Josh Duggar Scandal
JOSH CONFESSED TO HIS PARENTS AS A TEENAGER
"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 friends,"a19 Kids and Counting staraJosh Duggar, 27, told PEOPLE in a statement after reports that he had molested five underage girls as a teen gained traction on the Internet in late May. "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 road that I would end up ruining my life."a
ONLINE COMMENTER WARNED ABOUT JOSH DUGGAR MOLESTATION ACCUSATIONS 8 YEARS AGO
When those allegations surfaced, fans of the TLC show were shocked – yet the rumors first circulated online eight years ago when a commenter called "Alice" wrote about the family on a blog. Alice offered a detailed account of events that almost identically match those described in the official police report. "If you don't believe me, contact the Arkansas State Police Child Protection Agency in Bentonville, Ar. and the Washington County Child Protection Agency in Fayetteville," she wrote.a
JOSH CONFESSED TO ANNA TWO YEARS BEFORE HE PROPOSED
Josh's wife, Anna, 26, says she remains supportive of her husband and has stood by his side ever since he confessed his "past teenage mistakes" to her (and her family) two years before he proposed marriage. "I can imagine the schock 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 very difficult past mistakes."
JESSA AND JILL WERE AMONG THE VICTIMS
In a brief but emotional moment during Megyn Kelly's interview with the Duggars on Fox News, the sisters identified themselves as two of the girls that their brother Josh had molested. "The system that was set up to protect kids, both those who make stupid mistakes or have problems like this in their life and the ones that are affected by those choices – it's greatly failed," said Jessa, 22, as her and sister Jill, 24, wiped away tears.a
THE FOUR DUGGAR DAUGHTERS SPOKE TO AUTHORITIES IN 2006
Michelle Duggar told Kelly that her four daughters who were victimized aspoke to authorities in Springdale, Arkansas, in 2006, and believed they were doing so with complete confidentiality. "I think that's what's so devastating as a mom, for me, is we took our children to the Children's Safety Center," Michelle told Kelly. "We trusted them. We trusted the police department. Our children poured out their hearts. They shared everything. And then to have their trust betrayed?"
JIM BOB AND MICHELLE PUT UP 'SAFEGUARDS' TO PROTECT CHILDREN AFTER JOSH'S CONFESSION
After their son confessed to them that he'd molested five underage girls, Michelle and Jim Bob say they put "safeguards" in place to protect their children. "They didn't know anything happened because they were asleep," Jim Bob told Kelly of his daughters. The family then took precautions for when they went to sleep to avoid the incident occurring again. "We had safeguards that protected them from that," saidaJim Bob.aYet when Josh came to them to confess a third time,aJim Bobarealized that Michelle and he "had done everything we can as parents to handle this in-house" and that they needed to get outside help. That's when they "pulled Josh out of the home" for counseling in a Christian treatment program.a
JESSA & JILL DIDN'T INITIALLY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED
In a continuation of the interview on the The Kelly File, Jessa and Jill said because Josh acted as they slept, they weren't even aware anything was going on. "My parents took us aside individually and said, 'Here's what happened,' " Jessa shared. "At that point, you're shocked. I was shocked. I didn't know. I didn't understand this is what happened until my parents told me." Before ultimately sending Josh away for counseling, Jim Bob and Michelle put locks on the girls' and boys' bedrooms, and forbade games like hide-and-seek where two kids could run off together. But the sisters reiterated the situation is behind them. "We've dealt with it. We've already forgiven Josh," Jill said. "We've already moved on."
JOSH CHEATED ON HIS WIFE AND DEVELOPED A PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION
After asserting his scandalous past was behind him, Josh admitted he had cheated on his wife Anna and had a pornography addiction, following the revelation that he had signed up for Ashley Madison, a dating service whose tag line is "life is short. Have an affair." In an Aug. 20 statement on the Duggar family website – just a month after TLC officially canceled their show – he wrote, "I have been the biggest hypocrite ever ... I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him."