Josh Duggar’s neighbors are breathing a sigh of relief after his guilty verdict, an insider exclusively tells In Touch ahead of the disgraced reality star’s sentencing.
“The talk among the majority of residents in Springdale, where the Duggars first lived, and Tontitown, where they settled and still live, is relief,” a local from Arkansas says in an update following his trial. “Relief that this whole Josh mess is finally coming to an end due to the guilty verdict. Most people in town were horrified when Josh and the child pornography story broke. It was shocking, but because of his past issues, it wasn’t that surprising for some folks.”
Josh, 33, is facing up to 40 years behind bars plus additional fees after being convicted of two counts of possessing and receiving child pornography on December 9. The former 19 Kids and Counting star was taken into custody that afternoon, where he will be held until his sentencing at a later date.
After the six-day deliberations came to a close, United States attorney for Western Arkansas, Clay Fowlkes, released a statement noting how this verdict “demonstrates that no person is above the law” whether they are well-known or not.
“The Duggars went from being celebs in small town Arkansas because of their TLC series, liked in town, to becoming a negative stain on the community,” the insider exclusively tells In Touch about their rise to fame and Josh’s fall from grace.
In 2008, the family famously made their TLC debut on 17 Kids and Counting, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as well as their children. After expanding their family, the series was renamed twice to reflect how many children they had. By 2015, their show 19 Kids and Counting came to an end due to Josh’s molestation scandal at the time.
“In the early days, having all those kids walking through town, who were polite and very well-behaved, along with their very conservative religious beliefs, was never really an issue,” the insider points out. “It wasn’t until Josh’s abuse allegations in 2015, which his parents and sisters eventually confirmed, that the tide began to turn.”
TLC has since canceled Counting On, confirming they would no longer be filming as of June 2021, nearly two months after Josh pleaded not guilty to his charges.
“If you bring up the Duggar name to someone who lives here today, you’ll get a range of emotions,” the insider tells In Touch after his conviction. “Mostly outrage and disgust for what Josh has done. There are still people in town who support the family, they don’t blame them for Josh’s actions. But there are plenty more who just want them to go away. No one here wants to talk about them anymore, especially Josh. They’re tired of hearing about the Duggars on local news 24/7. They just want their lives to go on as normal.”
An attorney for Josh did not immediately respond to In Touch’s request for comment.
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