Roughly two years after news of Josh’s child molestation, cheating, and even sex addiction began dominating the news cycles, Josh and Anna Duggar are expecting their fifth baby. The pair became famous due to Josh’s role on the TLC reality TV show 19 Kids and Counting. Josh Duggar is the oldest of the Duggar siblings, and after news of his secret sex life broke, he’s also become the most controversial.
Josh Duggar is now 29 years old, but he hit the reality TV circuit along with the rest of his family when he was just a teen. A conservative Christian, Josh Duggar met his future wife, Anna, in 2006 at a homeschooling convention. She was little more than a child herself, just a teenager, but the pair soon began “courting.”
Now 28 years old, Anna Duggar is expecting her fifth baby with hubby Josh, reports People. The news comes at a time when rumors of the couple’s impending divorce (due to Josh’s infidelity and admission that he molested his younger sisters and a neighbor girl as a teen) have had to be repeatedly debunked.
In the aftermath of the news that Josh had indeed molested several of his younger sisters and another child, as well as his involvement in the Ashley Madison cheating website scandal, the eldest Duggar child announced publicly that he was suffering from “sex addiction,” as Radar Online reports, and entered and completed sex addict rehab.
Josh and Anna married on September 26, 2008. Both from incredibly religious families, the pair’s first kiss was shared after they exchanged vows, and the world would later watch as their wedding was featured on the Duggar family reality show in 2009. Like Josh Duggar’s famously fertile mom and dad, the newlyweds vowed to leave their family planning and the number of children they would have “up to God.”
Shortly after their wedding (but well before the sex scandal that shook up the lives of Josh and Anna and the rest of the Duggars), Josh Duggar proclaimed to People that his marriage was “great,” his yet-childless home “quiet.”
“I would welcome a big family. My parents have been wonderful examples.”
Anna Duggar concurred with her husband, adding that she wanted as many kids as her God “would bless us with.”
“Growing up in a large family, and Joshua in a mega-family, you learn so much more. I think a large family helps you prepare for life.”
It didn’t take long for Josh and Anna Duggar to begin their family, with little Mackynzie Renee entering the world just over a year after the wedding. She is now 7 years old, and has been joined by 5-year-old Michael, 3-year-old Marcus, and 19-month-old Meredith. It was just around the time Meredith was born that Josh and Anna Duggar’s seemingly perfect, conservative Christian family and world were rocked by the news that Josh Duggar wasn’t entirely what he seemed.
With the sex scandal exploding all around her, Anna was encouraged by family and strangers alike to pack up her kids and divorce their father, an admitted child sex offender. (Following the release of a police report implicating him as a teen child molester, Josh Duggar publicly apologized for “wrongdoing” in connection with sexually touching a total of five female children. Several of his sisters would later come forward, admitting that they had been among Josh Duggar’s victims.)
Despite the public outcry, which led to the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting (many viewers were furious that the Duggar family had covered up Josh’s behavior), Anna Duggar stood by her man. Josh ultimately entered sex offender treatment after his Ashley Madison (and other) accounts were exposed, but not before admitting in a public statement that he frequently viewed pornography and had even cheated on Anna.
“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. I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.”
Josh Duggar’s statement was released in May of 2015. Now, not even two years later, he and his wife have released another statement, also on the Duggar family blog. This time, Josh and Anna Duggar appear to have redeemed themselves and the validity of their relationship and marriage with a message of hope and redemption — a message that announced that the embattled pair, in the wake of all of the negativity, are expecting their fifth Duggar baby together.
Not just that, but Josh and Anna’s fifth pregnancy is already far enough along that (while no due date has yet been revealed) the pair already know that they will be having a son.
“For nearly the last two years, we have quietly worked to save our marriage, focus on our children, and rebuild our lives together as a family. Doing so is never easy after a breach of trust. We’ve learned that a life of faith and rebuilding a life together is simply done one day at a time. As we continue our journey as a family and rebuild our lives, we are delighted to share with you that we are expecting a new baby boy later this year.”
The statement, signed “Josh and Anna,” went on to compare the state of their marriage after Josh’s cheating and news of his past child molestation “ashes.”
“Beauty comes from ashes and we cannot wait to see and kiss the face of this sweet new boy!”
Social media reactions to the couple’s pregnancy news have been decidedly mixed, with many critical of Josh and the couple’s decision to add a child to their family so soon after so much scandal.
What do you think? Do you support Anna Duggar’s decision to forgive, forget, and move forward with a fifth child with husband Josh? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Josh and Anna Duggar/Facebook]