Second time around. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar confirmed on Wednesday, Aug. 26, that their eldest son, Josh Duggar, has checked into a long-term treatment center. This marks his second stint in rehab, and comes after he admitted last week to cheating on his wife of seven years, Anna.
"Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center," the parents of 19 shared on their family's official website. "For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change."
The first time Josh, 27, sought treatment was back in 2002 when he was a teen, and he had confessed to molesting five underage girls, including his sisters Jessa and Jill Duggar. The 19 Kids and Counting alum acknowledged his dark past in a statement this past May after reports surfaced of his past abuse, and claimed his first time in treatment helped cure him.
"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," wrote Josh, who was 14 at the time of the molestations. "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."
In their sit-down with Fox News' Megyn Kelly in June, Jim Bob and Michelle detailed how they initially responded after Josh confessed to molesting his sisters.
"We talked to him. We put all kinds of punishments on him. We watched him all the time. I took him to work with me and we just poured our life into it," Jim Bob recalled. But even their best efforts couldn't stop Josh from repeating his actions.
"After the third time he came to us was when we felt like, 'We've done everything we can as parents. We need to get outside help,'" the family patriarch recalled on The Kelly File. "Some of my best friends came over. We talked about it. At that point, we pulled Josh out of the home and we knew a man who mentors young men. He really helped young men who had made unwise choices in their lives to get straightened out."
Josh was subsequently sent to a faith-based rehabilitation center in Little Rock, Ark., where he did manual labor as part of his treatment. “There was so much grief in our hearts," Michelle told Kelly in June. "I think as parents we felt, ‘We’re failures.’ Here we tried to raise our kids to do what’s right, to know what’s right and yet one of our children made some really bad choices, and I think as a parent we were really devastated.”
The couple echoed their previous sentiments in their latest statement released after the Ashley Madison scandal. "We are so thankful for the outpouring of love, care and prayers for our family during this most difficult situation with Josh," they wrote on their family's official website. "As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear."
Like Josh, Anna is also receiving counseling as her husband gets treatment. "In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future," Jim Bob and Michelle shared on Wednesday. "During this time we continue to look to God—He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family."
Anna and Josh share four kids, Mackynzie, 5, Michael, 4, Marcus, 2, and Meredith, 1 month.