Last night was the premiere of Jill & Jessa: Counting On — Jill and Jessa Duggar’s 19 Kids and Counting spinoff. And while the reality stars were “open,” they weren’t totally honest with viewers.
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In Touch can reveal that they weren’t telling the whole truth — especially when it came to their 27-year-old brother Josh’s molestation scandal.
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During last night’s episode, Jessa, 23, said, “There was a period of time in our family when Josh was not to be trusted,” though she added that after the family sought counseling following the incident, “That relationship was restored.”
As In Touch Weekly previously explained, Josh never received any formal counseling for two years during and after the molestation scandal. Instead of receiving help from a certified mental health professional, he built houses and participated in other activities involving manual labor under the supervision of a family friend.
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Jill, 24, added, “After that time, it was really, really hard on our family. You know that was 12 years ago and the healing process started shortly after that happened.”
The bombshell police report of the investigation — obtained by In Touch Weekly through a Freedom of Information Act request — revealed that parents Michelle, 49, and Jim Bob, 50, didn’t seek counseling for their daughters who were Josh’s victims for two years while the girls were repeatedly touched inappropriately by Josh.
Police reports confirm the Duggars didn’t go to authorities until a year and a half after the initial incident; during that time, the girls were victims of Josh’s actions repeatedly.
Despite Jill’s assertions that they went through “lots of different steps,” including counseling, “when that situation took place,” documents prove the victims didn’t get any sort of counseling or therapy until after the police investigation triggered a probe by child services.
While they imply that counseling helped them heal, the girls went years without receiving necessary treatment because the parents’ refusal to properly acknowledge their son’s wrongdoings.
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Speaking of the investigation being made public, Jill expressed her feelings that it “wasn’t right” to be exposed as a victim, explaining, “To be thrown under the bus was really hard.”
However, Jill didn’t admit that when news broke of Josh’s past crimes, she and Jessa were not identified as victims until they chose to come out.
Sources tell In Touch that the sisters’ decision to speak out was an attempt to cash in and save their family’s reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, which has since been cancelled.
Jill and Jessa’s final lie can best be considered a lie of omission. During Counting On, not a single member of the Duggar family recognized that ahead of the scandal, Josh had been working as Executive Director of FRC Action, a lobbyist group that works with politicians to try to pass legislation that aligns with the group’s “traditional family values.”
While the father-of-four acknowledged that his past was so relevant to his career and his decision to step down — calling himself “the biggest hypocrite ever” ahead of his resignation — none of his relatives addressed how his actions (which not only include his crimes as a young teen, but also his cheating on his wife, Anna) starkly contrasted with the values that Josh was using his influence to push.
To see what the Duggars admit next time — and what they don’t — tune in to the next installment of Jill & Jessa: Counting On, a three-part special, airs next Sunday at 8 p.m. on TLC.