"To us, it was very mild compared to what happens to some young women," sister Jill added
“My parents … I can see looking back [that] my parents handled this very well,” Jessa, now 22, said in an exclusive interview with Megyn Kelly on Friday’s The Kelly File on Fox News.
“They sent Josh away,” the expectant mom explained. “They had him get help. When he came back he was a totally different person. He was repentant whenever he left. When he came back, I could see he had made life changes.”
Jessa, who sat alongside her sister, Jill (Duggar) Dillard, for the interview, said that her parents spoke to each of the girls who had been molested.
“My parents took us aside individually and said, ‘Here’s what happened,’ ” said Jessa. “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.”
New mom Jill, 24, added, “It was never like you think, ‘This will happen to me.’ To us, it was very mild compared to what happens to some young women.”
“When my parents told me this I was really, I was sad. I was shocked. But I was sad because this is my older brother, who I love a lot. It’s conflicting.
“I was angry at first, I was like, How could this happen?’ ” Jill recalled. “And then, you know, my parents explained to us what happened and then Josh came and asked each of us, individually – I know he asked me to forgive him.
“And I had to make that choice to forgive him, you know? It wasn’t something that somebody forced, like, ‘Oh, you need to do this.’ You have to make that decision for yourself.”
The Duggars Break Their Silence
Discussing how they felt when information in Josh’s police record was released, Jessa said, “This was five years earlier. As a family we had moved on. We didn’t feel there was any need to share private information with people who weren’t there.”
Said Jill, “I’ve heard people saying, ‘You’re hypocrites.’ If you go back, we’ve never claimed to be a perfect family. My parents have always said we are not a perfect family. We’re just a family with so many people.
“Jessa made a good point,” she continued. “The hard part is the viewers think they’re in our home every Tuesday night. When we’re out and about and people are coming up to us we’re really friendly, but we don’t know you. People expect to know every detail of our lives. But this happened long ago.”