Duggar Parents Open Up On Molestation Scandal; Say They Were ‘Shocked, Devastated’ at Son’s Confession

Megyn Kelly interviews Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar at their home in Tontitown, Ark. (Photo: Fox News/Getty Images)
Megyn Kelly interviews Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar at their home in Tontitown, Ark.
(Photo: Fox News/Getty Images)

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the Christian conservative reality-TV stars reeling from a family molestation scandal, appeared on television Wednesday night for the first time since the shocking revelations that their son confessed he groped underage girls years ago, including his own little sisters.

In their first TV interview since the revelations two weeks ago, the Duggars talked about how son Josh Duggar, now 27, came to them at age 14 and tearfully told them that he had “improperly touched” some of their daughters.

“We were shocked, we were devastated,” Michelle Duggar told Megyn Kelly on Fox News. “As parents we felt, we’re failures. We tried to raise our kids to do what’s right — to know what’s right. And yet one of our children made really bad choices.”

For the first time, the couple acknowledged that at least four of the victims were their daughters, including younger sisters Jill and Jessa, who also spoke to Kelly, and one was a family friend.

They said they eventually learned that Josh had mostly groped the girls while they slept (the girls slept in the same room), and that he did this more than once even after his first confession to his parents.

They got him out of the house and sent him to a non-professional Christian-based counseling facility in Little Rock, Ark. Jim Bob Duggar said it was “the best decision” they made, because Josh became “closer to God” as a result. He also asked for forgiveness from his victims, some of whom were too young to understand what was wrong or what had happened or why Josh had to leave, said Michelle Duggar.

Appearing on conservative-friendly news channel, the Duggars told Kelly on her show, The Kelly File, that they still believe they can save their top-rated series about their huge family, 19 Kids and Counting, from the cancellation ax.

The TLC network has pulled the show’s reruns from its schedule but has not decided whether to dump it outright, despite the damage caused by Josh’s dark secret and his parents’ role in hushing it up in Arkansas years ago.

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SOURCE: Maria Puente
USA TODAY

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