Josh Duggar isn’t looking good. A picture of the disgraced oldest Duggar showed up on social media this week, showing him sporting a shaggy beard and paunchy abdomen, leading fans to speculate that he’s depressed and, even more telling, perhaps living with his parents.
As In Touch Weekly reports, the 29-year-old former reality star was at a homeschooling convention with his family in Big Sandy, Texas, when he was spotted by a fan looking quite a bit worse for wear.
As the Hollywood Gossip notes, the Duggar family has been trying to manage Josh’s image lately, to the point that he’s basically a non-entity in the family. For example, photos on the Duggar Family blog basically exclude Josh, though you can see him in some group shots. Similarly, in announcing the Texas homeschooling conference, Josh is conspicuously absent (though you can see his 2-year-old daughter, Meredith).
For a time, Josh Duggar was going to be the man who carried the Duggar name and image into the next generation. In fact, he was also poised for a career in pushing his family’s evangelical Christian beliefs into the halls of government. Before his fall from grace, Josh had worked as a political consultant for an Arkansas republican think tank, had campaigned for Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, and had even worked for national conservative think tank Family Research Council “engaging the grassroots and taking the message of faith, family and freedom all across America,” according to the New York Daily News.
— Tony Ynot (@tyytonline) April 4, 2017
Josh’s promising reality TV and political careers both came crashing down, and in a big hurry, in 2015, when In Touch Weekly turned up old Arkansas police records that revealed Josh had molested five girls when he was 14- and 15-years-old. Specifically, he had touched the breasts and genitals of the girls, four of whom were his sisters, while they were sleeping.
The Duggar family had handled the problem at the time by sending Josh away to a Christian treatment facility.
Not long after the damning revelations about Josh’s sexual shenanigans as a teenager, even more devastating (to the Duggar brand) news emerged: Josh had signed up for cheating website Ashley Madison — a damning revelation that was revealed in the data breach that revealed the names of several users.
Josh apologized profusely and was sent away to a treatment facility in Illinois while the family tried desperately to enter damage-control mode.
“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.”
Meanwhile, TLC canceled the popular 19 Kids and Counting, although fans couldn’t get enough of the Duggars. Later, the network developed a new show, Counting On, focusing initially on Josh’s older sisters, Jill and Jessa, and their families.
That was all two years ago, but it seems like Josh can’t seem to get it together. In Touch Weekly revealed that Josh is still in treatment for his sex problems, even as wife Anna, who has steadfastly stood by her man, is pregnant with the couple’s fifth child.
“Josh is still in counseling after his rehab stay for sex addiction. He is going to a family pastor. It’s religious counseling, so it’s not like he’s getting actual help for his issues.”
Needless to say, this puts the family in an indescribably awkward position. Were Anna to divorce her man, the shockwaves for the Duggar family brand would be immeasurable — to say nothing of what it would mean to the couple’s kids. Meanwhile, no one seems to know what Josh is doing for a living or where he hangs his hat each night. He had, at one time, managed a used car dealership, but those days appear to be over. Some fans are even speculating that he’s moved out of his and Anna’s home and is living with his parents or another friend of the family.
The fact that he looks tired, fat, and depressed seems to indicate that wherever he’s sleeping each night, he’s probably not sleeping well.
[Featured Image by Danny Johnston/File/AP Images]