For years, Josh Duggar seemed like the perfect oldest son of the 19 Kids And Counting Duggars family. Married to Anna, with kids, Duggar had a flourishing career amid his role on the popular reality TV show. But then came the bombshell that Josh had allegedly molested several underage girls when he was a teen, including some of his own sisters. Those allegations were followed by another bombshell, when Duggar admitted he had cheated on his wife Anna and was addicted to porn, subsequently heading to rehab.
Now some of the Duggars are starring in a new 19 Kids And Counting spin-off, while Josh has stayed mostly under-the-radar since his return from rehab. But the original whistleblower for that molestation scandal is stepping forward to reveal new details about what led to the decision to publicize Josh’s past, reported Starcasm.
Nearly two years ago, the story broke that Josh Duggar, then famed for 19 Kids and Counting, allegedly had molested five under-age girls when he was a teenager himself. Four of those girls allegedly were his sisters. TLC subsequently canceled 19 Kids And Counting, while Duggar resigned his position with the Family Research Council.
InTouch magazine initially revealed the allegations, and the publication’s editorial director David Perel described the story about Josh’s molestation scandal as the result of “knowing where to attack and where to start digging.”
Only now, however, is a woman who identified herself as the source for that InTouch story stepping forward. The whistleblower, Sherri Townsend, turned to Facebook to share new details about the allegations that Duggar had molested some of his sisters.
“I’m going confess/admit to y’all something that I did a couple of years ago that not very many people know was me,” wrote Townsend on Facebook.
“I told a reporter…about Josh Duggar’s molestation/ pedophilia…, which…got his family’s hypocrisy filled show cancelled.”
She noted that the story also “ultimately caused his resignation” from his position on the Family Research Council. Sherri also revealed how she feels as she looks back on the result of her decision to talk with a reporter about Josh’s alleged molestation.
“Yep, that was me and I’m not at all sorry that I did it,” summed up Townsend.
As for why she chose to identify herself now, Sherri described herself as feeling “sick to my stomach from watching last night’s 20/20 expose on conversion therapy camps.” She believes that “hateful religious bigotry is still alive and well,” pointing to the “dangerous hate group, the Family Research Council,” has having “doubled down on promoting their brand of bigotry causing terrible harm to countless people.”
Consequently, Townsend views that group as “true evil,” and promised that she would add attacking them to her “list of causes” in the future.
“That group [Family Research Council] is true evil!!! Bringing them down will now be added to my list of causes!!!”
When Sherri’s post was also shared on another Facebook page, some questioned how she knew so many previously unreported details about the police investigation. That admin clarified the allegations from Townsend, including a comment about Josh’s mom Michelle Duggar.
“She lives in Springdale and she said it was pretty common knowledge in that area,” clarified the admin. “She told InTouch, for no money, after Michelle’s gay hating robocalls and InTouch found the court documents.”
Writing about Sherri on the Facebook page “Duggar Family News: Life is not all pickles and hairspray,” the admin also provided more details on the 20/20 special that Townsend mentioned as motivating her to step forward and identify herself.
“She is telling the truth here,” wrote the admin. “The 20/20 special features the Family Research Council. The hate group Josh used to work for and a group the Duggars wholeheartedly support. I also have no doubt that the Duggars support gay conversion therapy.”
In 2015, the Advocate interviewed one of the journalists involved in the story that revealed Josh’s past, including details about Michelle Duggar’s “robocall” that compared trans women to child molesters.
“I was disgusted by Michelle’s robocall… [regarding] trans women and restrooms and comparing them to child molesters when she knew about her son’s actions.”
Soon after the allegations about Duggar, Josh joined his parents Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar in addressing the reports that he had been accused of molesting five underage girls when he was a teenager, reported People.
“As a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends.”
Duggar revealed that he confessed his actions to his parents, and they “took several steps to help me address the situation.” Those measures included talking “with the authorities” to allow Josh to confess his “wrongdoing,” and Duggar also shared that counseling was set up as well.
“My parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life,” said Josh.
However, although Josh has returned from rehab, a recent post on the Duggar family’s Facebook page hinted that the famous clan hasn’t haven’t forgotten Josh’s past, pointed out In Touch.
Almost two years after Duggar headed for rehab after the allegations that he molested some of his then-underage sisters and his own admission that he cheated on his wife Anna and was addicted to porn, Josh is the recipient of prayers for good behavior from his family.
“Happy birthday, Josh,” posted the Duggar family. “We pray that you diligently follow and serve the Lord with your whole heart all the days of your life and that this year is a wonderful year for you and your family.”
[Featured Image by Danny Johnston/AP Images]