When brother Josh Duggar was publicly accused of molesting sisters Jill and Jessa in 2015, Jinger Duggar was ‘shell-shocked’ by his ‘sinful choices,’ she writes in her new book.
Days after brother Josh Duggar was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, Jinger Duggar is opening up about the impact that his 2015 molestation scandal had on their family. Jinger, now 27, writes in her new book, The Hope We Hold, that she felt like hiding when the news broke. Josh had been accused of molesting five girls when he was a teenager, including their sisters Jill and Jessa.
But the family already knew about this, years earlier, and kept the scandal private. “My brain hadn’t quite caught up to the reality of what had happened in a few short hours,” Jinger writes in the book that she co-wrote with husband Jeremy Vuolo. “Earlier that day, Dad had gathered my siblings and me to tell us that the worst trial in our family history, a trial we had long since dealt with and made our peace with, was now public knowledge.”
Though the Duggar kids had been reality stars since the premiere of 19 Kids and Counting in 2008, they experienced a new level of scrutiny amid Josh’s scandal. Jinger didn’t know how to handle seeing her family in the tabloids. “I felt shell-shocked, as if a bomb had exploded. I moved in a daze, living in a nightmare that I wished with all my heart wasn’t real,” she recalled. “One of my siblings had made some sinful choices, but it had all been years ago.
“It had been awful, but we had dealt with it as a family,” Jinger explained. “We’d sought the Lord, took the necessary steps to move toward healing, and offered up our forgiveness. Now that it was out in public, the old wound was open again, raw, painful.” Josh admitted to the abuse in a 2015 statement, but by then the statute of limitations had run out. TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting.
Five days before Jessa’s book was published, the Duggar family was thrown into turmoil yet again. Josh was arrested in Arkansas and charged with receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material on April 29. He’s accused of allegedly downloading child pornography that depicts the sexual abuse of children under the ages of 12, in May of 2019, according to the indictment obtained by HollywoodLife.
Jinger responded to the allegations in a statement posted to Instagram: “While this case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice.”
The Hope We Hold is available now.