Duggar Pals Gil and Kelly Jo Bates “Praying” for the Family Amid Molestation Scandal

Bates family issuing a statement about the Duggars
Bringing Up Bates stars Gil and Kelly Jo Bates said in a statement that they're "praying" for their longtime friends the Duggars amid Josh Duggar's molestation scandal Courtesy of UP

From one large brood to another. Bringing Up Bates stars Gil and Kelly Jo Bates sent their prayers to longtime friends Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar amid the continued fallout of 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar's molestation scandal.

Asked for comment about the recent revelations concerning 27-year-old Josh's history, the UpTV stars issued a statement to Access Hollywood on Wednesday, May 27.

"We are praying for our dear friends," the couple said. "We respect their privacy and have no further comment at this time."

The Tennessee-based duo — who, like Jim Bob and Michelle, have 19 children — are known to be very close with TLC's famously large family. Members of the Bates clan have appeared on past seasons of 19 Kids and Counting, with one 2013 episode even featuring Erin Bates' wedding to now-husband Chad Paine.

Erin actually joked earlier this year that a Bates-Duggar romance was "almost inevitable" given how much time they spend together. "As much as we see each other, I think there's going to be an attraction somewhere," she told Entertainment Tonight in February. "I don't know where yet, but I think it's gonna happen."

Duggars
The Duggar Family Discovery Communications

At the moment, though, the Duggars have other concerns. In the week since the scandal broke, TLC has pulled episodes of the family's reality show from its schedule and its website, and multiple advertisers (including Walgreens and Payless) have cut ties with the series.

Additionally, celebs like Montel Williams, Bette Midler, and Larry Wilmore have spoken out against the family, with Williams calling Josh a "world class bigot" and "garden variety scumbag."

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