19 Kids and Counting‘s standout sisters Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar were among their brother Josh Duggar‘s molestation victims, the girls confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday, June 3, during Megyn Kelly‘s interview with their parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
The Kelly File anchor has been previewing her exclusive sit-down with Jim Bob and Michelle since the news was confirmed this past weekend. The network told Us on Wednesday that daughters Jessa and Jill had joined the sit-down as well.
It was revealed on May 21 that eldest Duggar child Josh, now 27, molested five girls — including his sisters — back in 2002 when he was a teen. The family addressed the allegations on their official Facebook page.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Josh, now a father of three and soon to be four, initially confessed in his statement. “We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life… I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
Kelly’s interview is the first time Josh’s parents will speak out publicly about the dark family secret.
“We will sit down with Megyn Kelly on Fox News to share our hearts with you about the pain that we walked through as a family twelve years ago, the tears we all shed and the forgiveness that was given,” they noted via Facebook. “We appreciate the outpouring of love and prayers for our family at this time.”
In the wake of the controversy, TLC has pulled episodes of its wildly popular 19 Kids and Counting — but has yet to cancel the show entirely.
Jill gave birth to her first child, son Israel, with her husband Derick Dillard this past April — the same month Jessa revealed she was expecting her first baby with her husband Ben Seewald. The girls and other immediate family members have remained silent on social media since their brother’s scandal broke last month. Jill’s last Instagram post before the controversy was revealed featured a selfie with Jessa.
“So glad to spend the day with my sista!” Jill wrote alongside the snap of her smiling sibling. “@jessaseewald #sisters.”
Amidst the family’s silence, Jessa’s father-in-law Michael Seewald responded to the claims in a detailed blog post.
“I want to say that the Seewald family stands with the Duggar family in solidarity. We stand with the unnamed victims of these incidents,” Ben’s father wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are for you. I want to say to Josh, hang in there, the shame you feel is legitimate, yet Jesus took your shame as he was punished in your place. Rest in his forgiveness and grace. Remember that he gives you his righteousness as a covering for your shame. Let this trial in your life build humility and grace. Don’t be angry at the world for their hatred of you. Show them through your love for them that it is Jesus Christ that made all the difference in your life. I’m rooting for you.”
Kelly’s interview with the Duggars will air on Fox News’ The Kelly File on Wednesday, June 3, at 9 p.m. ET.
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