The Duggar Family Identifies Jill and Jessa as Josh's Molestation Victims – as They Speak of Their Devastation
http://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=4273754217001&w=600&h=400Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have broken their silence about the allegations their eldest son, Josh, had molested five underage girls as a teen – and now, daughters Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard have identified themselves as two of their brother’s victims.
Jessa, 22, and Jill, 24, will have their say during the Fox News interview – the family’s first public showing since May 20, when a 2006 police report detailing the alleged molestation surfaced.
In a promo for their sit-down with Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly, Michelle, 48, says that there was “so much grief in our hearts” when their son approached them to confess what he had done. “I think, as parents, we felt, ‘We’re failures.’ ”
Added the 19 Kids and Counting star: “We’ve tried to raise our kids to do what’s right – to know what’s right – and yet one of our children made some really bad choices and I think, as a parent, just we were devastated.”
Kelly asked Jessa and Jill whether they consider themselves victims, and Jessa said that what her brother did was “very wrong,” but said she wanted to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester, pedophile or rapist. “I’m like, that is so overboard and a lie really, I mean people get mad at me for saying that but I can say this because I was one of the victims.”
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” Josh, now 27, told PEOPLE in a statement the day after the scandal broke. “I hurt others, including my family and close friends. 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.”
Josh’s wife, Anna – who is expecting their fourth child this summer – likened his actions to “past teenage mistakes,” but that he had “received the help needed to change the direction of his life and to do what is right.”
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For their part, Michelle and Jim Bob said that they were “shocked” by Josh’s “mistakes”: “Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family.”
Kelly told PEOPLE that she intends to ask “some of the harder questions” but has agreed that one topic will remain off-limits: “They do not want to talk about the details of the molestation, and I understand that as the parents of those involved, and that’s fine.”
Kelly’s interview with the Duggars will air on Fox News Channel’s The Kelly File Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. Additional portions will also air during a one-hour special on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.