Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal is opening up old wounds for Sheryl Underwood. One day after Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar discussed their son’s controversy with Fox News‘ Megyn Kelly, the Talk co-host opened up during the daytime talk show about her own past sexual abuse experiences.
“I went through that [at] 3, 4, 5 years old,” Underwood, 51, shared with the audience on Thursday, June 4, without further detail. “I didn’t sleep. I learned how to stay up as long as I could…I may sleep at school, because nobody is going to protect me. So I had to protect myself.”
During The Kelly File on Wednesday night, the 19 Kids and Counting stars explained that Josh confessed back in 2002 that he inappropriately touched four of his sisters while they slept. Jessa and Jill Duggar identified themselves as such and will be talking to Kelly on Friday, June 5. But they did not want their older brother to be called a molester.
Underwood continued: “It took me years to have to learn how to love myself because I felt that I was worthless. I felt that I was less than. I felt that I deserved this or brought it on myself because of what was coming towards me from my parents.”
Underwood went on to disagree with how the Duggars defended their eldest child. On Wednesday night, it was confirmed that they waited 16 months before contacting authorities about Josh. “These parents are wrong. There’s no way you can say this as parents, you’re wrong. And for the years that I couldn’t accept love and I couldn’t accept what I was made to have — the beauty of a great relationship with someone who loved me back because I didn’t love myself.” She added: “Families have to protect families and [shouldn’t] rationalize violation.”
The comedian’s co-host Aisha Tyler agreed that the Fox interview didn’t help the Duggars’ case, but Underwood is glad that it at least drew attention to the topic. “What it really did was it helped us, the world, to see what happens to people when they’re in some type of family structure when the people you’re supposed to trust, to protect you, seem to be your co-conspirator in your violation – seem to rationalize sexual assault and molestation,” Underwood noted. “I thank God for my older brothers who took an action on my behalf.”
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