Despite the drama that nearly ended the 19 Kids & Counting family’s television reign, the reality stars aren’t letting the Josh Duggar scandals get them down. In fact, the optimistic Duggar clan is hoping to use their well-documented downward spiral to “encourage even one other person out there who’s struggling,” revealing that’s why they’re releasing Jill & Jessa: Counting On.
In an interview with Good Morning America, the Duggar children, including Jessa and John-David, said that they forgive Josh for the past year, and have “had a lot of healing in our family these past few months,” adding that the Duggar family is “ready to move forward and share our lives.”
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar announced last week that their son, Josh Duggar, has returned to their hometown of Springdale, Arkansas, after a six-month stint in a faith-based rehabilitation center in Illinois. Last year, Josh admitted to having a pornography addiction as well as cheating on his wife, and fled to the center after the scandal broke. Josh has yet to speak out about the past year, which almost ruined the Duggar family and saw their long-time TLC series, 19 Kids & Counting, cancelled.
In a public statement, the Duggar family added that they’re “so thankful” for the treatment Josh received in the rehab center, noting that it was “a crucial first step in recovery and healing for Josh.” Now that he’s returned home, Jim Bob and Michelle confirmed that Josh “will continue professional counseling and focus on rebuilding relationships with his family.”
And, according to John-David, the best way to do that is to “kind of share that with our fans, the folks that have followed us for years.” The Duggar family hopes their new TLC series, Jill & Jessa: Counting On will inspire other families that are struggling, too. Although Josh Duggar’s wife, Anna, will be featured on the series, TLC has confirmed that Josh will not make an appearance.
“The devil took his best shot,” at ripping the tight-knit Duggar clan apart, John-David explained on Good Morning America, adding that “he tried to take our whole family down.” However, his parents and siblings have “forgiven” Josh for the scandals, and the Duggar family firmly stands behind the belief that “God has really used this to — instead of tearing us apart as a family, he’s using it to draw us together.”
Jessa explained that even though the backlash was swift and severe after viewers learned that Josh Duggar molested several young girls when he was a teenager, as well finding out about the cheating scandals, the Duggar family still has had time to heal. According to Jessa, “in the midst of what we were walking through, there definitely have to be periods where you’re like, ‘I don’t want cameras around,‘ ” but the family is ready to move forward and tell their story.
According to a Duggar insider, however, it might not be that simple. Hollywood Life reports that Josh and his family “are doing lots of prayer together and trying to make it work for the kids,” but Anna still might leave him anyway, adding that “their future is still uncertain.”
The family also sees Josh differently, after the scandals, and Josh “knows they are talking behind his back.” The insider explained that there “are lots of mixed feelings from not only people in the community but from his family as well,” adding that Josh Duggar’s “sisters especially are having a hard time coping with having him back in their fold… it is hard to forget everything he has done.”
What do you think? Has the family forgiven Josh Duggar? Should they? Leave a comment below!
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