Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation scandal may have gotten him kicked off of TLC, but the ghost of the former 19 Kids and Counting star continues to haunt TV when a character based on him pops up on Law & Order: SVU.
Josh Duggar’s molestation confession was one of the summer’s most shocking scandals, so it shouldn’t be too shocking that Law & Order: SVU is giving the Duggar family’s story its own unique spin in an upcoming episode. Law & Order and its numerous spin-offs often rip their plotlines straight from the headlines, and taking on high-profile scandals is a great way to generate buzz for the certain episodes.
E! News reports that the Josh Duggar-inspired episode of Law & Order: SVU will be titled “Patrimonial Burden.” It will focus on a famous reality TV family with 10 kids and a grandkid on the way. However, this isn’t one of those cheery 19 Kids and Counting episodes that features a gender reveal party and plastic flamingos that are painted blue — the “Duggar” who is pregnant is just 13 years old, and her pregnancy has prompted a criminal investigation into her family. The episode description doesn’t reveal who fathered the 13-year-old girl’s child, but if SVU is drawing inspiration from the incestuous aspect of the Josh Duggar scandal, there’s a high likelihood that it will turn out to be one of her brothers.
The Josh Duggar sexual molestation scandal first made headlines back in May when In Touch Weekly obtained police reports through a Freedom of Information Act request. The reports detailed a disturbing pattern of molestation that began when Josh was 13 years old, and the reports revealed that four of Josh’s five victims were his younger sisters.
Josh first confessed to fondling his sisters’ genitals and breasts while they slept, and his behavior grew worse as his parents allowed him to keep sharing a living space with his victims. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar finally decided to send their son away after he touched his then-five-year-old sisters’ genitals while he was reading to her. However, they didn’t turn their son in to the authorities — they sent him to a program run by disgraced religious leader Bill Gothard.
A legal expert told In Touch Weekly that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar could have faced a six-year prison sentence for their failure to take action when they first became aware of what Josh Duggar was doing (their crime would be considered “Permitting Abuse of a Minor”). However, the molestation remained a family secret for three years until someone with knowledge of the matter decided to take action. After learning that the Duggar family was set to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show, an unidentified woman sent a letter to the show’s production company about the Duggars’ dark secret. The studio forwarded it to the Department of Human Services, and an investigation was opened. However, the Duggars managed to dodge police interviews until the statute of limitations expired. This means that Josh, Jim Bob, and Michelle cannot be charged with anything.
Judging from the Law & Order: SVU episode title, “Patrimonial Burden,” the episode will focus more on the wrongdoings of the faux Duggar father than it will on the Josh Duggar-inspired son. Christopher Sieber (Shrek the Musical) is playing the father, and Geneva Carr (Hand to God) is starring as the Michelle Duggar stand-in.
In an odd twist of fate, the episode will air on November 4, which just so happens to be the birthday of one of Josh’s victims, pregnant 22-year-old Jessa Duggar. During a Fox News Channel interview, Jessa defended Josh’s behavior by saying he was “a young boy in puberty” who was “a little too curious about girls” when the molestation took place.
“And that got him into some trouble,” Jessa Duggar said. “And he made some bad choices, but really the extent of it was mild, inappropriate touching, on fully clothed victims, most of it while girls were sleeping.”
Jessa Duggar and her older sister, Jill, are starring in upcoming TV specials being produced by TLC. The first of them is set to air before the end of the year. However, advertisers are fleeing from the specials in droves.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, SVU executive producer Warren Leight has also talked about the possibility of an episode inspired by another scandal connected to Josh Duggar: the Ashley Madison hacking. Josh confessed to cheating on his wife after his name was linked to two accounts on the website commonly used to arrange extramarital affairs.
Will you watch the Law & Order: SVU episode (or episodes) inspired by Josh Duggar? Or, are you tired of hearing about the Duggar family?
[Photo by Josh Duggar/Instagram]