Jill And Jessa Duggar Defend Josh: “We’ve Already Forgiven” Him (VIDEO)
Jill Duggar and her sister Jessa opened up about their brother Josh Duggar molesting them on Friday’s “Kelly File,” and said they forgave their brother years ago. The sisters said they never intended to go public with their stories but felt it was necessary after Josh was labeled as a molester and rapist. “We didn’t choose to come out and tell our stories,” said Jill, adding, “For truths sake we want to come out and set the record straight.”
Jessa admitted what Josh did was “very wrong,” but said she wanted “to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a rapist or child molester.” She added, “Josh was a boy, a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls. And that got him into some trouble. And he made some bad choices, but, really, the extent of it was mild – inappropriate touching on fully clothed victims, most of it while [the] girls were sleeping.”
Jill quickly added that none of the victims knew they had been molested by Josh until he confessed to their parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. The sisters said their parents were the ones who broke the news to them separately. “I was shocked, like okay this is strange,” said Jessa, adding, “I didn’t know, I didn’t understand this is what happened.”
Jill said she was “scared” when she was first informed by her parents that her brother had molested her, but she noted that “it was mild compared to what happens” to other victims. At another point in the interview, Jessa told Kelly that Josh used “very subtle” tactics so the victims wouldn’t really understand what was going on. “We realized it was serious, but it wasn’t like a horror story,” said Jessa, adding, “Looking back as an adult, my parents handled it very well.”
Jill said she was sad about the situation “because this is my older brother, who I love a lot. It’s conflicting.” Shortly after Josh confessed to his parents that he was inappropriately touching minor girls, he was sent away for almost three months to receive counseling. “Josh made some very bad decisions, and he is going to suffer the consequences of those decisions,” said Jill, admitting that she and Jessa forgave their brother many years ago. Jill explained that her father told her there was a big difference between forgiving someone and trusting them. “Josh destroyed that trust at the beginning, and so he had to rebuild that. When he came back [from counseling], that was the point of rebuilding,” she said.
Jessa also said her brother was a completely different person when he returned home and she knew he would never “go down that path” again. However, both girls did admit their parents used “safeguards” in the home in order to make sure everyone felt comfortable. “My parents said, ‘OK, we’re not going to do this hide-and-seek thing where two people go off and hide together,” said Jill. She also revealed their parents put locks on the kids’ bedroom doors to keep the “girls in the girls’ room [and] the boys in the boys’ room.” She also said she thought her parents did an “amazing job” with handling the situation.
At one point towards the end of the interview, Jill broke down in tears. Interestingly, she wasn’t crying over the molestation, but the fact that someone had leaked the police record. “How could someone do this? We’re victims, how can someone do this to us?” asked Jill through tears. She continued, “I see it as a re-victimization that’s a thousand times worse. We’ve already dealt with this, we’ve already forgiven Josh.” Jessa mimicked her sister’s comments, saying the “past two weeks have been a thousand times worse for us.”
The two sisters also discussed the possibility of the family’s show, “19 Kids & Counting,” being cancelled, saying they wouldn’t be devastated if TLC axed the series. “This show has always been a window of opportunity that God allowed for us,” noted Jill, as her sister added, “If it ends life will go on.” Check out the video below of Jill and Jessa discussing Josh Duggar and how they forgave him, and tell us what you think.