Josh Duggar's Younger Brothers Speak Out: 'I Don't Want to Be like Him Anymore'
A controversial year has changed the Duggars’ family dynamic.
In a moving exclusive clip from the new special Jill & Jessa: Counting On, John-David and Joseph Duggar break their silence about older brother Josh and the havoc his August cheating scandal wreaked on their family.
“After everything started to settle down from the first release of stuff in the news about Josh, we got word of a second thing that we had no clue about,” John-David, 25, says during a tense interview, seeming to address Josh’s revelation of inappropriate conduct involving five underage girls being made public this past May.
Adds John-David, “That was a little more of a shock probably than the first stuff coming out.”
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When it came to Josh’s extramarital activities, “I don’t think there’s any way any of us would have known that my brother was living such a secret life,” says Joseph, 20, who is close to tears during his interview. “It broke my heart. Whenever somebody you respect the most is willing to get up and proclaim what we believe as Christians, about being true to your wife, you’d never think that that’s the person who’s involved in it.”
Now, the brothers say they’ve all but lost a hero: “I always wanted to be like him. But one of the toughest things I had to tell my older brother was, I don’t want to be like you anymore,” says John-David.
As the second eldest of the Duggar brothers, he says it’s now up to him to set the example. “It’s a big load. It’s a big weight upon me now,” he reflects as the video shows younger Duggars playing at a family gathering.
“I’ve got a whole bunch of younger siblings looking up to me, and I’ve got to be an example to them,” he adds, “Because whatever I am, that’s what they want to be. I know that’s how it was for me and Josh.”
Jill & Jessa: Counting On premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on TLC.