Jill & Jessa: Counting On, the new reality TV show about the Duggar family of 19 Kids And Counting fame, has the names of two of the sisters Josh Duggar molested in the title. But it also answers the question of how family members, including Anna Duggar, reacted to the scandals created by the family’s oldest son. In a preview, Anna Duggar spoke out for the first time in public about her reaction, reported In Touch Weekly.
She refuses to hide her feelings any longer. The 27-year-old, who has the role of single mother while her husband is in rehab for sex addiction, told the cameras how she reacted to the news that he had cheated on her and admitted an addiction to porn.
“It’s like, ‘I’m going to wake up and everything’s going to be okay,’” Anna recalled thinking. “‘This can’t be true.’”
Although her husband started treatment for sex addiction in August, Anna visited him for the first time only recently.
What of the rumors about a divorce? Anna has no plans to divorce Duggar, a source told Entertainment Tonight (ET).
That same source revealed that they are putting what happened behind them and seeking to renew their romance with love letters sealing the pact.
“Anna is planning on getting back together with Josh, that’s just how it goes,” the source explained. “The family was taught to have a new level of forgiveness.”
In addition, Anna has gradually been appearing in public, including going to an event with her cousin, Amy King. The event was for Loving Choices, a family planning group that offers health services to women. It is a conservative organization and does not provide contraceptives or abortion.
Anna seemed to enjoy herself, her cousin told ET.
“I think the picture I posted shows how strong Anna truly is, she’s smiling, and has a lot of love around her,” said Amy. “She was talking to people at the event, having so much fun.”
In addition to reactions from Anna, Counting On reveals how other family members, including John-David and Joseph Duggar, reacted when they learned what Josh had done, reported People.
The Duggar brothers recall how the initial scandal broke in May, revealing that Josh had molested five underage girls. Then, as the publicity began to cease, came the Ashley Madison scandal, which showed that Duggar had paid for two accounts on the website for infidelity. That resulted in his confessions about cheating on Anna and porn addiction.
“After everything started to settle down from the first release of stuff in the news about Josh, we got word of a second thing that we had no clue about,” recalled John-David. “That was a little more of a shock probably than the first stuff coming out.”
Moreover, 20-year-old Joseph contends, no family member could have been aware what the oldest Duggar brother was doing or the secret life that he had involving porn addiction and affairs.
“I don’t think there’s any way any of us would have known that my brother was living such a secret life. It broke my heart. Whenever somebody you respect the most is willing to get up and proclaim what we believe as Christians, about being true to your wife, you’d never think that that’s the person who’s involved in it.”
Without their oldest brother to serve as a role model, it’s a difficult time in the Duggar family, revealed second-oldest son John-David, who is 25.
“I always wanted to be like him. But one of the toughest things I had to tell my older brother was, I don’t want to be like you anymore,” said John-David. “I’ve got a whole bunch of younger siblings looking up to me, and I’ve got to be an example to them. Because whatever I am, that’s what they want to be. I know that’s how it was for me and Josh.”
With revelations about the family ranging from Anna to the Duggar sons, Jill & Jessa: Counting On debuts Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on TLC.
Two Facebook groups are fighting to prevent the show’s success and contending that the network is exploiting Anna and other victims of Duggar family, as the Inquisitr reported.
The groups tackle two questions surrounding the show. First, will it get enough viewers? And, second, will advertisers support the show by sponsoring it?
One group, called “Contacting Sponsors #Nomoreduggars,” has thus far achieved a list of more than 928 advertisers who have agreed not to advertise. The other group asks Facebook users to “Like” the page and take a pledge to boycott all the Discovery channels (which include TLC) during Counting On.
“This family minimized childhood sexual abuse showing victims they do not matter,” contends the Facebook group.
In addition, TLC’s Facebook page to promote the Duggars’ show is receiving its own share of criticism. Some Facebook users contend that TLC and the Duggars are exploiting Anna and other victims for profit.
“Pimping out Anna now — you money-hungry people will stoop to the lowest of lows. You should be encouraging Anna to get the heck out of your family and get her children to safety away from their child-molesting father,” accused one such user.
[Image via Duggar Family/Facebook]