"They have lied and lied about their son to protect him," someone named Alice wrote in 2007
When allegations that 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar molested five young girls resurfaced this week, fans of the TLC reality show were shocked. To the millions of viewers who’ve tuned in each week, the Duggars personified family values, from their strict rules about modesty to their dedication to religion.
The illusion was shattered Thursday, when Josh, 27, admitted he “acted inexcusably” as a teenager. But rumors of the former Christian lobbyist‘s past are nothing new: They first surfaced online eight years ago. As Gawker’s Defamer points out, a commenter called “Alice” recounted the allegations on a blog, ibiblio.org, in May 2007. Other sites such as FreeJinger.org have long cited Alice’s comments.
Eight years ago, Alice gave a thorough and detailed account of events that are nearly identical to those outlined in the police report that became public this week:
“In January, the whole family went to Chicago and taped Oprah Winfrey show… As you may have noticed, that show never aired and it never will,” Alice posted before delivering the bombshell that The Oprah Winfrey Show staffers had been told that Josh had molested five minor girls. Alice then wrote, “Yes, this is the truth … They have been investigated to some length…”
On the subject of Josh’s parents Jim Bob, 49 and Michelle, 48, Alice wrote, “They have lied and lied about their son to protect him… In my eyes he is a CHILD MOLESTOR. HE SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE HOME.”
Alice went on to write, “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. It will be worth the time and effort to read all about it… People, trust me or not. I know this for a fact. God’s honest truth that the molestation happened. I could go into detail, but I won’t. Of course, you can find nothing about the charges. The Duggar s want to keep this hid. Wouldn t you? They wouldn t have the things that they do if it had gotten out earlier….
She continued, “They call their son ‘Precious Josh’ and in their eyes he can do nothing wrong.”
Alice’s story has now been corroborated by the police report that In Touch unearthed last week. Winfrey and Harpo have not responded to PEOPLE’s requests for comment, and the police report was recently expunged.
“I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Josh said in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE. “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.”
“We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time,” the network said in a statement Friday.
In the meantime, Josh’s parents and wife Anna are standing behind him.
“Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives,” Jim Bob and Michelle told PEOPLE in a joint statement. “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.”
“[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,” said Anna, 26. “Someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right.”