She unleashed the Duggars onto the world -- now she feels 'dizzy' reading about them

In an op-ed published at HuffPostthis Tuesday, journalist Andrea Cooper confesses that she was the one responsible for catapulted the controversial evangelical Duggar family to fame.

By highlighting the Arkansas family with 14 children, Cooper writes that her goal was to "share a tale about unusual people, in the same vein as my profiles of a hairdresser for mall Santas or the director of an association for nude recreation" for the blog Parents, which ran her story in September 2003 under the title “Count Our Blessings.”

"After my article was published, someone at Discovery Health Channel read it and commissioned a documentary for the channel about the Duggars, according to Michelle on the family’s website," Cooper writes. "That eventually led to the TLC reality show “17 Kids and Counting” ― a show that ran in some incarnation for seven years, but that I never once watched."

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Cooper didn't think much about Duggars after her story ran, until In Touch Weekly ran the now-infamous report, “‘19 Kids and Counting’ Son Named in Underage Sex Probe,” which identified Josh Duggar as the alleged offender, prompting TLC to end the show, now titled "19 Kids and Counting" after Michelle Duggar had two more children. In April of 2021, Josh Duggar was arrested on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. He was later found guilty on two counts.

"At the pretrial hearing for Joshua’s recent trial, a family friend said Josh had told her years ago he’d 'digitally penetrated' a young girl while she sat on his lap and he read her Bible stories, according to a prosecutors’ supplemental brief filed on Nov. 30 and reported by E! News. I feel dizzy typing those lines, especially as the mother of a daughter," Cooper writes.

Read her full op-ed over at HuffPost.

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