Josiah Duggar has ended his courtship with 17-year-old girlfriend Marjorie Jackson, the latest setback for a family hit hard by scandal in recent weeks.
Josiah and Marjorie had been dating for the past four months, beginning their courtship on the day Josiah’s older sister Jill Duggar gave birth to her first child.
“A few weeks ago, Marjorie and Josiah agreed to end their courtship, keeping in step with what they believe the Lord’s will is,” they added. “Both are thankful for the time getting to know each other and their families continue to enjoy each other’s company and close friendship. As parents, we are very pleased to see two young people searching out their futures with God’s will as their first priority!”
While parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are painting the split in the best terms possible, it likely comes as quite a blow to the already beleaguered Duggar family. Their popular reality show 19 Kids and Counting was just canceled by TLC amid the controversy over eldest son Josh Duggar’s alleged child molestation, and now the prospects to remain in the public spotlight are growing ever smaller.
There was initially some hope that TLC might offer a spinoff show to the popular Duggar sisters, Jill and Jessa, allowing the family to remain on television even if the flagship 19 Kids and Counting was gone. But that idea was reportedly nixed by Jim Bob and Michelle.
“He absolutely wanted to be back on TV and was never thrilled about the show suddenly shifting focus,” a source told People magazine.
Despite the show’s cancellation, the Duggar family has found a way to stay in the headlines. Many fans are still turning to the family’s Facebook page and other social media pages for the individual children. Updates from Jill and Jessa are particularly popular, especially news from Jill and husband Derick’s mission trip to Central America.
But the end of the courtship for Josiah Duggar means another avenue for the family to remain in the public eye is gone. Duggar relationships have consistently been one of the biggest draws — as special wedding episodes for Jill and Jessa demonstrated — and Josiah’s fizzled relationship means fewer chances for the family, and ultimately a diminished chance of a comeback.
[Image via Duggar Family Facebook]