When 19 Kids and Counting began its reign on TV, fans gradually came to know and admire the growing Duggar family (the original 17 Kids and Counting expanded to 19). And although gradually over time some of the remarks family members made about topics such as gay rights earned anger, the charm of the little ones captivated viewers.
But then came the revelation that the oldest son, Josh Duggar, had molested five underage girls, including several of his own sisters, two of whom later were revealed to be Jessa Duggar and Jill Duggar, reported Us Weekly.
Following up on the resulting scandal for the 19 Kids and Counting clan, celebrities ranging from Bette Midler to Montel Williams attacked patriarch Jim Bob and his wife for being hypocritical. These stars pointed out that while Josh’s parents knew about his actions, they had been harsh in condemning others in their campaigns against gay marriage.
Advertisers let their money do the talking when it came to their views by canceling their support for 19 Kids and Counting. Among those advertisers were Payless, General Mills, and Walgreens.
In an interview, Jim Bob insisted that he had put on safeguards so that his son would not be able to take such actions again.
“He came to us and was crying and told us what happened,” revealed Jim Bob.
And Jill shared that they felt her parents protected her by keeping the boys in their room and the girls in a separate room, insisting that it sufficed to have door locks.
“Locks on the doors,” said Jill. “Girls in the girls’ room. Boys in the boys’ room… my parents did such an amazing job for me.”
While Jessa joined her sister Jill in saying she forgave Josh, the married father of four little children with wife Anna apologized on social media.
TLC subsequently canceled the show just in time to avoid two more scandals linked to Josh. Through the hacking of the Ashley Madison site for marital affairs, the public learned that Josh had been linked to two different subscriptions. The dates on which Josh allegedly used the website specializing in cheating ranged from February 2013 to May 2015.
With a billing address associated with the 19 Kids and Counting grandma Mary, the Ashley Madison user alleged to be Josh revealed that “sex toys” and “one-night stands” were of primary interest.
Josh confessed yet again on the family site.
“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.”
While some hoped that his wife would immediately divorce him, Josh retreated to a rehab for sex addiction, while Anna fled Duggarville to Florida to stay with her parents, reported Hollywood Life.
Stressed out with four tiny children, Josh’s wife wanted the support of her own mother, said an insider.
“She’s having a tough time and needed the support, so she took the kids and moved back in with her mom. Josh is still in rehab getting no doctor supervision whatsoever,” added that source.
And now the rumors of divorce have accelerated with the revelation that the home Josh owned in Arkansas to share with his wife and four children has been sold, reported Fashion & Style.
The ownership of that house was transferred just days following the revelation of Josh’s Ashley Madison site accounts. The oldest son of the 19 Kids and Counting family reportedly is pleading with his wife not to divorce him and promises again to reform.
And while some may think that all makes for a great spinoff focus for 19 Kids and Counting, the rumors that TLC will have a spinoff have materialized not for Josh but for two of the sisters he molested, reported People.
The TLC specials will focus on Jessa (Duggar) Seewald and Jill (Duggar) Dillard and their husbands, Derick Dillard and Ben Seewald.
“We are grateful that the new TLC specials set to air this fall will be sharing special moments with Jill, Derick and Israel on the foreign mission field and following Ben and Jessa as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby!” wrote the family on its website.
But will Josh be part of the 19 Kids and Counting specials? At this point, a TLC insider revealed that the network plans to ban Josh from its productions, as the Inquisitr reported.
Instead, 24-year-old Jill along with Derick and their baby boy, as well as 22-year-old Jessa and Ben (plus their new baby after he or she is born) will be center stage in the specials, the first of which will be broadcast by the end of December.
A source revealed that in addition to keeping Josh out of the specials, TLC is not planning to include him on any productions.
[Image via Jessa Duggar Seewald/Twitter]