Amy Duggar Tells Cousin Anna 'There Is No Shame in Divorcing Josh' amid Child Pornography Trial

"You didn't choose any of this, and your kids certainly didn't either," Amy (Duggar) King wrote in an open letter to cousin Josh Duggar's wife

Amy (Duggar) King is offering some "tough" advice to her cousin Josh Duggar's wife, Anna Duggar.

On Instagram Monday, Amy penned a powerful open letter to Anna amid Josh's controversial child pornography trial.

Amy acknowledged that she understood what a difficult time this must be for Anna, she also pointed out that there is "no shame" in divorcing Josh.

"Anna, I feel for you. No woman wants to be in your shoes," Amy, 35, wrote alongside a photo of her and Anna hugging. "You're faced with an impossible decision and you're being surrounded by the wrong kind of support. You've been taught since you were a child that marriage is forever and you prayed for God to send you a partner. You've constructed a life and a family with him. You didn't choose any of this, and your kids certainly didn't either."

Amy assured Anna, 33, that she's "not coming after [her] with some sort of tough love thing" but that "this is what's simply on [her] heart." Because of this, Amy "can't help" but speak out.

"I cried as I read the letter your own father wrote in support of your husband this week. It's no wonder you're struggling to know what to do to protect your own kids … you've obviously never had an example there. That's awful and I'm so sorry for that," Amy said.

Amy Duggar King, Anna Duggar
Amy King/Instagram; Anna Duggar/Instagram

"But my Mom was a fierce protector and so am I," wrote Amy. "She showed me how to stand up and speak up. If no one else in your life is saying it, I need you to understand that there is no shame in divorcing Josh."

She continued, "Someday your kids will be old enough to understand what kind of guy their father really is. You can't protect them from the truth for forever! I'm saying all of this publicly so that when they do grow up, they will also know that they had family members shouting from the rooftops that they were worth protecting all along."

Amy pleaded with Anna to "be the role model" that her children "need" during this dire time, noting that she and her husband Dillon King "are more than willing to help."

"Josh has chosen how history will remember him," she wrote. "By staying and supporting him you're allowing him to choose that for you, too."

She concluded, "And I know standing up to all of this seems impossible now, but as a Mama, your instinct to protect your kids always has to be stronger than your fear. The only people you would upset by leaving are the ones willing to sacrifice you and your children's safety to protect Josh and his secrets."

Anna has been married to Josh, 34, since 2008. The longtime pair share seven children, one of whom was born in November 2021.

The spouses have been dealing with Josh's current legal battle since April 2021 when he was arrested by Homeland Security. He was then found guilty of possessing and receiving child pornography in December.

As he awaits his sentencing later this month, the former 19 Kids and Counting star's mother, Michelle Duggar, penned a letter in his defense to Judge Timothy L. Brooks of the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court. She said her son "has a tender heart" and "is compassionate toward others."

Additionally, the 55-year-old Duggar family matriarch requested that Josh be "reunited with his wife and family in a timely manner."

anna duggar, josh duggar
Anna Duggar/Instagram

Anna also wrote a letter to the judge. According to the Daily Mail, she maintained she's still "happily married" and called Josh "the kindest person."

In response, Amy told PEOPLE she's "angry" with Josh's actions and "furious" at their family as they "refuse to hold him accountable."

"I take a lot of intentional effort to protect my mind and heart and still, this has me crumpled," she said. "But you know what? We're not supposed to be ok in light of any of this. And I'm giving myself the grace to feel all the anger and sadness and disappointment running through me."

Amy added, "I am grateful for the support of my husband and my mom's gentle reminders that this isn't ours to carry alone. I am humbled by the love you guys are showing us. Thank you for being here with me, through it all."

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Josh will return to court on May 25. He faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

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