“We have news! We saw Anna,” Amy, 36, said in a Friday, August 4, TikTok video with her mother, Deanna Jordan. “I was hugging my friend’s mom and I looked up and [Anna] was literally a couple inches away from me.”
“Oh my God, she looked so angry,” Deanna, 61, chimed in before Amy noted that Josh’s wife “looked so ticked at the world” during the memorial.
“She’s obviously right there in front of me, so I go, ‘Oh,’ completely startled that I’m literally seeing her face after years,” Amy said on Friday. “I said, ‘Anna,’ and I kind of patted her back and she said, ‘Just give me space.’ I gave her space, I didn’t make it a big deal and I walked away.”
Amy then speculated that Anna — who married Josh, 35, in 2008 before welcoming seven kids — “knows that I have been talking about her” and “how I’ve been trying to reach her.” Deanna further explained that she did not even attempt to hug Anna to respect the claims about needing space.
“She obviously knows that I’m putting it out there that ‘Anna, you don’t have to be alone in this. We’re here for you, we’re gonna protect your children,’” Amy said. “But y’all, she made it clear tonight though that she does not want our help, she does not care for our help and that she’s gonna do whatever Anna does.”
Deanna also explained that they still “love” Anna and her kids, hoping they can be “free” from disgraced minister Bill Gothard and the Institute of Basic Life Principles’ “nut job” teachings. They also claimed that either Jim Bob’s daughter Jennifer, who is one of his 19 children with wife Michelle Duggar, or Anna and Josh’s firstborn, Mackynzie, was “bawling her eyes out” next to Anna during their unexpected reunion. Neither Amy nor Deanna knows why the preteen was sobbing and did not speculate on the reason for her tears.
Two months earlier, Amy and her mom spoke out about their family and the IBLP in Prime Video’s Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets documentary. The TV series even rehashed Josh’s multiple sexual misconduct scandals and how Jim Bob allegedly concealed his crimes.
“It all kind of boils down to this, right? If you’re not going to protect those beautiful daughters from a predator that was living inside of your home and you knew about it, and you’re gonna sweep it under the rug and your mentality is kinda just to brush it off and to hide it and to lie, not only do I not respect you anymore, but I also don’t want to give you a right to get to know my child,” Amy later said in a June TikTok video about her uncle. “Just focus on the fact [that] the abuse was hidden and then [Jim Bob] was put on the stand, and he said, ‘Oh judge, I don’t recall.’ You don’t recall your daughters’ abuse? You don’t recall that? Well, then, for me, I have to protect my son from you. Because something is not right here. A lot of screws are loose.”
Josh was sentenced to 151 months in prison in May 2022 after being convicted on one count of receiving and possessing child pornography. He is set to be released in October 2032 after his sentence was extended by two months.
While Anna has stood by her spouse’s side, Amy has vocally expressed her interest in helping her cousin-in-law escape the situation.
“Anna, I feel for you. No woman wants to be in your shoes. You’re faced with an impossible decision and you’re being surrounded by the wrong kind of support,” Amy wrote via Instagram in May 2022. 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.”
While Amy has claimed that her communication attempts have not been received by Anna, she remains steadfast in her hopes to lend a helping hand. “I will never stop trying to defend children and try to protect children,” Amy concluded on Friday. “It’s just so clear to me that she doesn’t want help, which is so unbelievably sad.”