Duggars ‘still stunned’ fans didn’t forgive and forget their family molestation scandal: report
The Duggars remain shocked that they lost their reality TV show because the public didn’t just forget about their eldest son’s “mistake” of repeatedly molesting his sisters and at least one other girl.
A source who “worked closely” with the evangelical Christian family told People magazine that the Duggars are having a hard time adjusting to life after TLC canceled their popular reality show, “19 Kids and Counting,” after revelations that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar helped cover up sex abuse by their then-teenage son more than a decade ago.
“They are still stunned that this is how it has all gone down,” the source said. “I think they are still trying to absorb the fact that their life has so radically changed.”
Josh Duggar, now 28, resigned from the anti-LGBT Family Research Council in May, shortly after the revelations were made public, and the cable network suspended broadcasts of the long-running program before eventually ending production.
The Duggars are desperate to get back on TV, according to other recent reports, including a possible spin-off where the parents counsel sex abuse victims that would capitalize on a one-hour TLC special, “Breaking the Silence,” set for Aug. 30.
“The better part of the last decade has been doing their show, and to have that removed – and instead for there to be this intense scrutiny of their every move – just isn’t something you get used to overnight,” the source told People.
The Duggars are reeling from the public backlash to their reaction to the sex abuse revelations, the source said, because they “truly felt people would understand and eventually be okay with it.”
The couple sent their son to stay with a Christian counselor — an acolyte to the disgraced founder of the Institute of Basic Life Principles — who taught the teen to control his “lust” by doing carpentry work.
It’s not clear that he received any counseling for his pattern of sexual abuse, and the parents did not report the crimes to police but instead told a law enforcement acquaintance who was twice convicted later on child pornography charges.
Many viewers were appalled that the Duggars claimed during political debates on marriage equality that LGBT people were child molesters after their son molested their own daughters.
“Jim Bob and Michelle love their son, and they love when they can spend time with his family,” the source said. “But every time they’re photographed with him, a story gets made out of it that rehashes the whole mess – and it’s painful for everyone.”