Amy King (née Duggar) wants Anna Duggar (née Keller) to know that there is no shame in divorcing husband Josh Duggar amid his child pornography trial — so she wrote her an open letter.
“Anna, I feel for you. No woman wants to be in your shoes,” Amy, 35, wrote via Instagram under a photo of herself hugging Anna, 33, on Tuesday, May 17. “You’re faced with an impossible decision and you’re being surrounded by the wrong kind of support. You’ve been taught since you were a child that marriage is forever and you prayed for God to send you a partner. You’ve constructed a life and a family with him. You didn’t choose any of this, and your kids certainly didn’t either.”
Amy noted in the message that “I’m not coming after you with some tough love sort of thing” and assured her cousin that “this is what’s simply on my heart and I can’t help but to express it.”
“I cried as I read the letter your own father wrote in support of your husband this week,” the 19 Kids and Counting star revealed. “It’s no wonder you’re struggling to know what to do to protect your own kids … you’ve obviously never had an example there. That’s awful and I’m so sorry for that.”
The Arkansas native continued: “Someday your kids will be old enough to understand what kind of guy their father really is. You can’t protect them from the truth for forever! I’m saying all of this publicly so that when they do grow up, they will also know that they had family members shouting from the rooftops that they were worth protecting all along.”
The TLC personality then appealed to the pair’s shared sense of motherhood, asking her cousin to “be the mother your children need,” noting that she and husband Dillon King are “more than willing to help.”
King ended the letter by saying she knows “standing up to all of this seems impossible now, but as a Mama, your instinct to protect your kids always has to be stronger than your fear,” reminding the South Florida native that “the only people you would upset by leaving are the ones willing to sacrifice you and your children’s safety to protect Josh and his secrets.”
Anna and Josh, 33, wed in 2008 and share seven kids: Mackynzie (born October 2009), Michael (June 2011), Marcus (June 2013), Meredith (July 2015), Mason (September 2017) and Maryella (November 2019) Madyson Lilly (born October 2021).
After the Counting On alum was arrested in Arkansas on child pornography charges in April, Us Weekly confirmed that he was indicted on the counts.
While the Duggars have acknowledged Josh’s behavior was wrong, multiple family members — including Anna — have publicly supported him and attended his trial. In May 2022, the 17 Kids and Counting alum sent a letter to the judge praising her husband and asking that he get the minimum sentence of five years.
Amy, for her part, took to her Instagram Story on May 13, asking her followers to “please pray that Josh Duggar will be given the ultimate sentence. 20+ years.” She also told fans to not send her the “graphic/sick details” of her cousin’s case, explaining that she wants to “protect my mind and heart from hearing/reading such disgusting material.”
That same day, she continued to share her thoughts on the former reality star via Twitter, writing: “First of all Josh is funny, charismatic, kind and all the things my aunt listed in the letter” — before eventually diving into claims that he also possesses a disturbing side. “But there’s a sinister side. A side to him that makes your skin crawl. You can’t ignore what he did years ago, and what he was caught looking at! Are they delusional?”
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