Josh Duggar probably wishes he never made a joke during a 2008 episode of 19 Kids and Counting because now it resurfaced after accusations of child molestation. The reality star laughed when he talked about his siblings dating other people, according to the New York Daily News.
Duggar, 27, is seen talking about a cinema visit he was due to take with his then-fiancee Anna before they married. The movie they had chosen to watch had an 18 rating, meaning his sister Jinger, who had been designated chaperone (in accordance with Duggar family rules about no solo dates pre-marriage), was too young to attend with Josh.
In the end, siblings Jana and John David Duggar were selected to chaperone, in what the reality star described as a “double date.” Josh explained in detail on what happened.
“We chose Jana and John David - we thought why not, have a double date,” he says to the camera, looking jovial. The video clip then cuts to what appears to be him having a laugh with producers of the show. “We are from Arkansas, no?” he adds, with a huge smile on his face.
The joke, which clearly implies an incestuous relationship between siblings, seems even more off-color now that he confirmed allegations Josh molested five female minors, some of whom were his own sisters from the Duggar family.
The Josh Duggar joke comes in the wake of a tabloid report alleging that he molested several underage girls while he was a teenager. Duggar admits that he “acted inexcusably” and was “deeply sorry” for what he called “my wrongdoing.”
The high-profile member of the evangelical Christian family that stars on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” also resigned his post with the Family Research Council, a conservative lobbying organization.
The joke makes uncomfortable viewing amidst recent accusations that Josh molestation five girls when he was a minor, some of whom were reportedly his sisters. Duggar responded to the accusations in a statement released via his family’s Facebook page, expressing apology and regret.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” Josh Duggar said in the statement. “I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation.”
Hours before Duggar made the statement, media outlets published a partially redacted police report from the Springdale Police Department in Arkansas that contained details of the allegations against Josh. The report redacted the name of the suspect and the alleged victims, all juveniles, but listed Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as relatives.
The Duggar incidents occurred in 2002 and 2003. The family still supports Josh.
“We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life,” another statement read by Josh and his family.
The TLC reality show has a huge following and was one of the largest-watched shows for the TV network. The Josh Duggar joke might be embarrassing for the family today, but no one knew that he was going through counseling at the time.