Everything You Need to Know from Jill and Jessa’s Interview on Josh Duggar’s Molestation
New revelations on Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal have emerged in the wake of Jim Bob and Michelle’s interview on Wednesday (June 3, 2015), and now Jill Duggar Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald’s interview, which aired last night.
Jill, 24, and Jessa, 22, were two of five of the girls Josh, 27, “improperly touched” when he was 14. They spoke exclusively with the Megyn Kelly on The Kelly File, explaining they chose to give their side of the story themselves and coming to his defense.
Jill spoke, as Jessa nodded:
We didn’t choose to come out and tell our story. But now that this story has been brought about, we really feel like—as we’ve been seeing these headlines—we feel like, as victims, we have to come out and speak. This is something that we chose to do. Nobody asked us to do this. Most of the stuff out there is lies. It’s not true. And so for truth’s sake we want to set the record straight.
They also disagree with anyone who wants to call their older brother any names like “child molester.” Jessa explained:
I think in the case of what Josh did, it was very wrong. I’m not going to justify anything that he did or say it was okay. It’s not permissible. But I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist…that is so overboard, and a lie.
At another point, she also added, “Josh was a boy, a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls. And that got him into some trouble,” and that he made “some bad choices,” but “feels it was “mild, inappropriate touching on fully clothed victims, most of it while [the] girls were sleeping.”
Jessa added Josh would use “subtle tactics” so they wouldn’t understand what was happening. “We realized it was serious, but it wasn’t like a horror story.”
As for the incident itself, Jill noted that they were unaware of the molestation until Josh confessed it to their parents. They then told the girls what happened separately. “I was shocked, like okay this is strange,” said Jessa, adding, “I didn’t know, I didn’t understand this is what happened.”
Jill said she was “scared” when she was first told, but nonetheless “it was mild compared to what happens” to other victims
Additionally, Jill expressed that this current scandal is “1,000 times worse” than what happened with Josh when they were all minors. She explained through tears, “I see it as a revictimization that’s 1,000 times worse. This was something that’s already been dealt with. We’ve already forgiven Josh. We’ve already moved on.”
On how their parents handled the situation, Jill and Jessa gave praise in addition to detailing what kinds of “safeguards” (such as locks on the doors) were used. Jill explained, “Being a mother now, I look back and I realize my parents did such an amazing job for me. Even when we went through the DHS investigation, they complimented my parents on what an amazing job they did during that process.”
She added, “As a mom, I hope I can set up the same safeguards with my family that they did.”
Jill and Jessa also explained how they coped with the molestation after Josh was sent to a “training center” in Little Rock when he was 15. Jill said, “My dad explained to us, he said, ‘You know there’s a difference between forgiveness and trust. That’s not the same thing.’ You know, you forgive someone and then you have boundaries. Forgiveness with boundaries. Trust comes later. Josh destroyed that trust at the beginning, and so he had to rebuild that. I think when he came back, that was…the point of rebuilding.”
As for the future of their TV show, 19 Kids and Counting, Jessa said, “Life goes on, really. We’re not a TV family. We’re a family that just happens to be on TV,” and Jill added, “We do love our film crew, I will say that! We have the best film crew. They’re like family to us.”
Lastly, Jill and Jessa questioned how the supposedly sealed police report came into InTouch’s hands in the first place. A city attorney for Springdale, Arkansas made a statement saying, “…the Springdale Police Department responded to a records request under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. The requested record was not sealed or expunged, and at the time the report was filed, the person listed in the report was an adult.”
Nevertheless, the Duggar’s are considering their legal options.