Josh Duggar, the eldest son of conservative icons Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting fame, has announced that he is resigning from his position at the Family Research Council following revelations that he molested several young girls, including some of his sisters according to TMZ, when he was a teenager.
In Touch magazine first published details from the 2006 police report that showed that when Duggar was 14 he confessed to his father that he had sexually molesting five young girls. But Jim Bob waited more than a year before alerting the police and his since tried to keep the felony investigation out of the public eye.
“Twelve years ago, 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,” the now 27-year-old Josh Duggar told People magazine in a statement Thursday. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and 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.”
Josh’s parents also released the following joint statement:
“Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.
Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.”
In his role as executive director of the Family Research Council’s political action arm, Josh Duggar has fought to prevent LGBT Americans from receiving discrimination protection and publicly argued that the gay “lifestyle” is harmful to children. Just last month, the Duggar family announced that it was endorsing Mike Huckabee for president in 2016 and as of Thursday evening are still featuring on the home page of his website.
— Josh Duggar (@joshduggar) May 16, 2015
UPDATE — 7:23 p.m. ET: Family Research Council President Tony Perkins issued the following statement in reaction to Duggar’s resignation:
“Today Josh Duggar made the decision to resign his position as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years.
Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work. We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved.”
Watch a video of Duggar preaching “family values” outside the Supreme Court earlier this month below:
[Photo via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org