An Arkansas woman has come forward as the whistleblower who revealed sex abuse claims against Josh Duggar — and she admits doing so to punish the reality TV stars for their anti-LGBT activism.
Sherri Townsend came forward on Facebook after watching a 20/20 documentary on gay conversion therapy and took credit for the revelations that eventually led to the family losing their TLC reality show, reported the Starcasm website.
“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,” Townsend wrote on social media. “I told a reporter from InTouch magazine about Josh Duggar’s molestation/ pedophilia of his sisters and others, which broke the story and ultimately caused his resignation as the head of the Family Research Council and got his family’s hypocrisy filled show cancelled. Yep, that was me and I’m not at all sorry that I did it.”
Townsend’s post was shared, with her permission, on the “Duggar Family News: Life is not all pickles and hairspray” Facebook page, and she admits she told a reporter about the rumored sex abuse after the family’s matriarch, Michelle Duggar, took part in a campaign to overturn a non-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
“Sitting here sick to my stomach from watching last night’s 20/20 expose on conversion therapy camps, I can see that hateful religious bigotry is still alive and well and that the dangerous hate group, the Family Research Council, has doubled down on promoting their brand of bigotry causing terrible harm to countless people,” Townsend wrote. “THEY NEED TO BE BROUGHT DOWN. That group is true evil!!! Bringing them down will now be added to my list of causes!!!”
David Perel, the editorial director for InTouch, told the Washington Post in 2015 that the Duggar report came together over a three-week period that spring after a tipster revealed the family’s eldest son had been investigated for molesting three of his sisters and another girl.
Another Arkansas woman, Tandra Barnfield, helped guide the magazine through the story, which she said was widely known in the Springfield area where the Duggars live.
“It wasn’t like it was a rumor to us,” Barnfield told the Washington Post. “We knew all about it — It wasn’t hard to get it. You just had to know where to look.”