On Josh Duggar’s 28th birthday, Thursday, March 3, the embattled reality star’s parents, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, took to social media to send their son a message of “love” as he spends the big 2-8 in a faith-based rehab facility.
“Today is our son Josh’s birthday. The heartache of the past year cannot surpass the joy 28 years ago on this day when we first became parents!” an emotional Michelle and Jim Bob wrote on their family’s official Facebook page. “We love you Josh and believe your best days can be ahead of you. We continue to pray for you every day.”
Josh checked into Reformers Unanimous in Rockford, Illinois, in August 2015, after copping to a pornography addiction and to cheating on his wife, Anna, the mother of his four children.
Prior to that, the 19 Kids & Counting alum had been entrenched in a series of scandals. As Us Weekly previously reported, reports surfaced in June 2015 that Josh had molested five girls, including sisters Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, back in 2002, when he was 14 years old. In the aftermath, Jill and Jessa sat down for an interview with Megyn Kelly, during which they defended their brother and said they’d forgiven him for what he had done.
Then, in August, Josh’s name was uncovered in a widespread hack of Ashley Madison, a website dedicated to helping married people conduct affairs.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife,” he said in a statement at the time. “I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.”
In December, Anna broke her silence on the scandal during TLC’s Jill & Jessa: Counting On special. “It was definitely a hard thing, and I think it was such a betrayal for a spouse to go through what we’re walking through — and … it was hard,” she tearfully said of Josh’s actions. “It was hard to realize that it was such a public thing, so not only was it a betrayal for me, but it was also a betrayal against those who call themselves Christian, because here we were as a Christian couple and everyone was able to see us get married and to vow before God to be loyal to each other. And [then] that loyalty was broken.”
The father of four’s indiscretions were the catalyst for TLC canceling his family’s reality show, 19 Kids & Counting. On February 23, TLC announced plans to turn the Jill & Jessa: Counting On special into a full series, premiering Tuesday, March 15, at 9 p.m. EST.
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